Im Peter, and I'm completely new to fish keeping. My current knowledge is very limited to whatever Ive read on this forum (which is very good I think), and few other ones.
But lets get to the point!
Over a month ago we have received a Biorb Flow 30L tank for our autistic daughter (and yes I know that most of you will tell me that Biorb is not very good, but it was a present and we've been on tight budget at the time so decided to set it up, as Ive read that fish tanks are very good for autistic children- and so far, it seems to be true)
When we have received the tank, I have cleaned it up properly, washed the ceramic media, got a new filter and air stone. Ive set the tank up and its been running for a week before we have introduced fish.
We got 6x Variatus Platy (only small ones) and 1x Ghost Shrimp, as the guy in the store said that this will still be ok for 30L tank.
Since we have introduced fish to the tank, we've been doing weekly 30% water changes (using Stress Coat and Stress Zyme), but yesterday Ive performed around 50% water change as the water and ceramic media were too dirty.
Anyway, for last 1-2 weeks, 1 of my platys have started acting weird.... swimming at the bottom of the tank, swimming vertically (head up), and it seems like he is struggling to swim anyway. I was thinking that it might be a reaction to stress, as he's been bullied by other platys (not everyday, but ive noticed it few times). He also hides behind ornaments etc, and doesn't look well. He's got few white spots on his fins, but it looks more like there is some white cloudy dirt on them, if that makes sense?
Not sure whats going on but another one seems to have something similar now - whiteish cloudy spots on his fins...
Please let me know if thats something I should be concerned about?
What can I do to make sure they will be ok?
Ive took photos to show you how it looks like (links below).
Sorry to read about this. I'll reply more comprehensively tomorrow - unfortunately I'm unable to do so this evening - but, in the interim, I very strongly advise that you do a water change with dechlorinator added to the new water.
You might also find a read of this article https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... ammonia-nitrite-spike.htm helpful as it's very likely that there's an ammonia and nitrite spike due to a fish-in cycle (running a tank for a week is not a cycle) and too many fish in a too-small environment. I'll respond in more detail tomorrow about how to try to address this but, in the interim, daily water changes with dechlorinator (and not replacing the filter media - a gentle swish of ceramic media or squeeze of filter sponge in being-discarded tank water is all that's required) should help considerably.
Ive only just read your reply, as I thought Ill receive an email notification when someone replies but never did.
As I didn't know that someone actually responded to it, I went to the PetsAtHome yesterday and been told to use the Interpet Anti Internal Bacteria treatment. Ive added it to warm water yesterday as per the instructions and I will be doing this again on Day 4 which is Thursday. Since Ive put it in Ive not noticed any improvement, both platys are acting the same if not worse. Both have white wool-like thingy on their fins, and other fish seem to pick on them a lot. Ive noticed few times the other healthy (hopefully) fish, are trying to bite the weaker ones?
One of the affected ones seams weaker than the other one, and tries to hide whenever she can, staying at the bottom of the tank most of the time.
Should I stop the anti bacterial treatment and follow your advice for changing the water every day now?
Apologies that I've been unable to reply more comprehensively before now.
Glad that the tank is helpful for your daughter.
The health problems with your fish, which I'm sorry to read about, are almost certainly due to impaired water quality, which is why I emphasised the importance of water changes to attempt to partially address that. The issues, as I see them, are: * a fish-in cycle which means that, rather than the tank's filter being prepared in advance to be able to cope with the fish's waste by building up sufficient beneficial bacteria to process the waste, it is struggling to play "catch-up" while simultaneously battling with the waste - have a read of this article https://www.fishkeeping.co.uk/articles ... less-cycling-article.htm; * too many fish for the size of the tank - a 30-litre Bi-orb is only really suitable for snails and shrimp; * the requirements of your choice of fish are contained in this species profile; http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/xiphophorus-variatus/ - you'll see that the minimum tank size would be 60x30x30 which equates to a 54-litre tank if a shallow rectangular shape or a 60/64-litre tank if a more square shape, so they'll be struggling to survive in the tiny Bi-orb as well as be subject to territorial issues [and they also require hard, alkaline water - your water/utility website should provide info on whether your water parameters are suitable for this species].
Unfortunately, many sales/store assistants provide very poor advice, not based on good quality evidence. Sometimes this is due to sales (through selling products to address sick fish or through selling replacement fish for those which die) being considered more important than fish welfare, sometimes it is due to the sales assistant being more of a salesperson than one interested in responsible fishkeeping, and sometimes it is through lack of interest in their job at all. For that reason, it's always best to do your own research in advance first such as through sites like this.
While 50% water changes daily might help to a certain extent, your best bet would be to: * keep the Bi-orb and use it as a shrimp and snail tank - your daughter might appreciate brightly coloured shrimp such as red cherry shrimp or nerite snails; * buy a larger tank, of at least the dimensions described above, for the platies - you can pick up some good bargains on www.aquarist-classifieds.co.uk, second-hand sales websites or freecycle/freegle type sites, but ensure you check seals and water tightness first before purchase; this might involve some furniture re-arrangement; * buy a liquid-based test kit for at least ammonia/nitrite/nitrates so that you can monitor water quality daily and inform how often you need to perform water changes to ensure that ammonia and nitrite are consistently at 0, and nitrates at no more than 20 above your tap water level; if you're really struggling for cash, then at least buy a liquid-based ammonia kit and buy test strips which include nitrite and nitrates tests on them.
Long-term, this will be much less distressing for your daughter than coping with repeated premature fish illness and fatalities. [If a second tank for the platies and the purchase of test kits to monitor water quality really isn't an option financially, then an alternative would be to return the platies to the store - you are quite within your rights to show them the link above about their requirements and mis-selling that has taken place - and have the Bi-Orb as the shrimp and snail tank, as I'd imagine the bright colours and antics of the shrimp and snails might be as beneficial for her as the fish?]
Hi, sorry to hear about your Platys. It's good that the fish seem to be helping your daughter though!
In my opinion, it looks like what I imagine fin rot to look like, at least from the second image you've shown. Feel free to correct me other people...that's my thought anyway
Also, for what it's worth, I had a 30L Biorb with 6 Variatus Platys too, along with a total of 5 shrimp and 2 surprise snails, they lived in there for 8 months or so before I upgraded due to a platy population boom (they breed like mad!)
Applying the treatment is pretty much the only advice I can think of, which you already seem to have in hand, we had a bout of white spot which didn't notice a difference until a week or so, so hopefully you'll notice a difference soon! If possible, can you get a smaller tank to quarantine those infected fish?
As a side note, did you introduce all the fish into the tank at once? I was told not to add more fish than you've already got at a weeks interval...