I have a 70 litre cold water tank. It has been set up for about 4 years. I have a fluval filter. I have one 4 year old platy and two one year old platys and two fry platy. My old Platy has started swimming upside down and eratically. She seems distressed. I have tried: 1. giving her defrosted peas - i removed outer shell first. 2. 30% water change although my water recordings are: PH 7.6 , high range PH 7.8, ammonia zero, nitrate 5ppm, nitrite zero. 3. I have dosed tank with aquacare swimbladder treatment. She does not seem any better and is just floating about the tank aimlessly.
Is there anything else that i can do ? i hate to see her suffer. Will she recover from this with the treatment ? I regularly check my water and it is always ok, i do a 25-30% water change every week. I have lots of live plants. I have not done anything different recently. I did lose my other old platy four months ago in similar circumstances.
Should i add aquarium salt ? There are differing views on this online and i am confused. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Liz
Sorry to hear your platy is unwell. Unfortunately, this is most likely just old age. Platies only live for 3-4 years so if she's 4 years old she's coming to her natural end. You can take some comfort from knowing she lived a full life thanks to your care for her; many don't live anywhere near that amount of time.
I would just monitor her and if she gets to the stage where she has no quality of life - disinterested in food etc., or if her scales lift like a pine cone then you may want to put her to sleep to prevent further suffering. You can do this with a product called Aquased which is a fish anaesthetic that can be overdosed for euthanasia, or with clove oil as per the link below. Both methods will give her a pain-free exit.
Thank you for your kind reply. I did euthanise my last fish using clove oil which i am told is gentle and does not cause distress? she was lying on the bottom of the tank just gasping for air for two days and i just couldnt bear to watch her suffer anymore. It is a real hard thing to do though isnt it? It is difficult for my old platy to eat as she is bouncing about so much. I try to put the food over her but i havent seen her eat. thanks for your answer, i will just watch her for a day to see if she improves any and to give the medicine chance to work.
Yes, putting them to sleep is very hard to do: I hate doing that myself, but if the fish has got to the stage where it's suffering and won't get better it's the right thing to do. I find there comes a point where they somehow let you know they've had enough; I can't really explain it, but it suddenly seems to be time to say goodbye.