Is my Red Wag Platy pregnant?

Discussion in 'FreshWater General Discussion' started by caitlinisobel, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. caitlinisobel

    caitlinisobel New Fish

    Dec 11, 2012
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    Hi everyone.
    New on here and fairly new to owning fish, however my sister manages a pet shop and has plenty of fish and reptiles herself, and I've been assured I'm doing things right. I have followed all the instructions of the pet shop people along with guidance from online (mainly this forum).

    I have a 22litre tank with gravel and real plants in, and after 5 days of letting the water cycle, I added 4 Platy fish to it.
    One's a Red Wag, I have no idea about the other three.
    They all seemed pretty happy, swimming about with lots of energy, no marks on them at all and eating fine.
    After about 4 days they seemed less enthused about the food going into the tank, not swimming up to get it. When I came home from school five hours later the food was in a clump on the gravel so I removed it straight away with the net.
    My Red Wag is now hiding behind the filter almost constantly, and every so often has quick spurts of energy, darts up and down vertically quickly, then retreats. I have no idea what I've done differently, so I thought I'd leave it and see if things changed.
    After some research I thought she might be pregnant? Her stomach seems larger however I can't get near enough to tell if there's a gravid spot.

    Then, randomly, one of the other ones has died over night:( It seemed really sudden as it appeared healthy.

    I'm going to take a water sample to the shop to get it tested tomorrow (it's asap) and whilst I'm there, probably buy a birthing tank to be on the safe side?

    Any other thoughts as to why it might have passed away or what could be wrong with my Red Wag?

    I'm aware that they're tropical fish, but I'm guessing the shop adapted them.
    I'm thinking maybe the dead one simply didn't adjust as well?

    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
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  3. lauraf

    lauraf Superstar Fish

    Jan 2, 2010
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    Vancouver, British Columbia
    Sounds like your tank isn't cycled. Despite the advice you got, letting a tank sit for 5 days does not cycle it.
    If you have an uncycled tank and you add fish, the first thing you get is an ammonia spike, which will definitely result in dying fish or fish acting funny. Find out what your water readings are for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate - ask the store to write down the exact measurements - and post the numbers here. We can walk you through the process of cycling a tank with fish in it, or you can choose to return the fish you currently have left and do a fishless cycle. Meanwhile do a 50% water change at least once a day...
    Don't worry right now about a birthing tank. First, they aren't good ideas IME; second, you've got dying fish. That's your priority.
    Keep us posted!
  4. OrangeCones

    OrangeCones Elite Fish

    Feb 27, 2009
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    In my experience, you will have a hard time maintaining any platy in such a small aquarium. I agree with lauraf, your tank is not cycled. Cycling refers to the Nitrogen Cycle, developing the beneficial bacteria that change ammonia to nitrite, then nitrite to nitrate. Ammona and nitrite are very harmful to fish at any level, while the nitrate is tolorated by fish in low levels. Most recommend doing a water change when the nitrate level reaches 20ppm.

    What you describe sounds like the affects of ammonia poisoning. Please follow lauraf's advice and do daily 50% water changes until you can verify what your readings are for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Make sure your water is the same temperature and that you are treating your new water with a good water conditioner.

    I'm not sure what this means. Yes, the platy is a tropical fish. What did the shop do to 'adapt' them that makes you tihnk they didn't adjust well?

    Do you have a heater for the aquarium? What temperature are you keeping the fish at?
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