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Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

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Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Sher0808 on Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:49 pm

Hi, I have only had platys for a couple of months. I seem to have run into a string of bad luck with them recently. I have lost 4 of my female platys in 10 days. When I lost the first one, it had a ring around its body right where the tail fin starts. I treated it as well as the rest of the fish in the tank with Melafix. Unfortunately my platy died but the rest seemed to be ok.
Then a week ago, I lost two females in short order with no evidence of any disease. The water parameters were perfect so that was not an issue. Yesterday I noticed one had the shimmies so I separated her into a breeder. Later yesterday she developed the beginning of this white stuff at the base of her body and tail fin.
I was advised to do the heated water and lots of aquarium salt on her and the rest of the tank. I also included Pimafix treatment. There was also a male who had a white spot on his side.

Today I don't notice any improvement with the male. The fish are staying close to the top of aquarium and I assume it is because of the heat. Do I continue with this treatment or try something else? Any suggestions would be welcomed.
Thx
Sheryl Very Happy
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by GaryE on Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:00 am

Okay, a key question.
Water changes. Have you been changing 25% weekly? That's usually at the root of most problems as you describe. The disease you are describing hits with the stress of polluted tanks.
You are describing a bacterial infection by Columnaris bacteria, from the sound of it. You have had bad advice, as it blossoms in heated water. Get it down to 22 as gently as you can. The only treatment is antibiotics (Kanamycin and furan 2) which I can't get where I live. I don't know how it will be in Sask.

In my opinion, while the active ingredient in Pimafix and melafix is proven to work, in the super low concentrations it is present at in the meds, you might as well use homeopathy. To me, the two 'fixes' aren't medications. So that won't help.

What you describe sounds like a nasty, usually fatal bacterial disease, well known in aquarium/fish-farm circles. If you look it up as columnaris, you will see a lot of articles.
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Sher0808 on Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:03 am

Thanks GaryE. I was just told the same thing on another group. I am so sad as you are right about the heat treatment....I should have been going for lower temperatures. I religiously do at least 20% water changes and sometimes more if need be. I am going to start with giving them a bath in Meth Blue since I have this on hand. I read it on this site. http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/columnaris.html#treatment1

Looks like I am going to quarantine the fish into another tank after a bath and hopefully I can find Furan 2 at PetValu. That is the only store we have. Meanwhile, I am going to do a major cleaning of the 30 gallon tank while it is empty. Does this sound appropriate? thanks for your help.
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by GaryE on Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:33 pm

The meth blue bath is an oldie, but it can't hurt.

Sometimes, these things just happen. Often, you find a reason, weeks later, but more often, you never do. I would consider a major water change, gravel vacuuming of the 30, but a major cleaning? Make sure your filter's clean and roll on from there. Hopefully, the furan 2 will work, and you've just learned something totally useless because you'll never see columnaris again...
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Sher0808 on Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:56 pm

Thanks GaryE. The hardest part so far besides hauling water was catching the damn fish. They really do outsmart me or I don't have quick enough reaction time...lol. lol! lol!
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by GaryE on Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:56 pm

The next time, try this. Buy a larger than normal net at some point. In Spring, dollar stores sell them.

Put it in the tank.

Stand back, and watch, within reaching distance. Or go for a walk and come back in 2 minutes or so.

Xiphophorus, the Genus petstore Platys were hybridized from, are painfully curious. They will have a hard time resisting this new object, and will generally swim into it to take a look. Swordtails are absolute suckers for this trick (the alpha male always goes first). Platys should also go for it.
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by nyleveiam on Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:01 pm

Try Gary's net trick. I spent six weeks trying to catch a Swordtail, Gary told me about the net and he swam into it in less than two minutes!!
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by CAAIndie on Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:08 am

Sorry to hear about this.

I agree about the melafix and pimafix being... ineffective for Gary's reasons above. A "medication" for that migh be akin to using a Swiss army knife (a really little one at that) in a sword fight. It sounds like you are on the right track now though Sher! I agree with a nice big water change (or two). I hope you can track down the needed antibiotics. Be sure to update us with everything. Wishing your tank inhabitants a speed recovery.

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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Sher0808 on Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:31 pm

Oh how I love the net fix for catching fish. I will definitely buy one and try it.
As far as the 30 gallon and fish...I did lose two more including a molly since I first posted. I gave them a meth bath and put them in a 10 gal with a tbsp of aq salt per 5 gallons. They look more active today and first time in days where they looked like they really wanted something to eat. I believe these are all positive signs. As far as the 30 gal...I pretty much took everything out and cleaned everything with bleach and water including the filter. I also put in a bit of hydrogen peroxide in the water and left standing overnight with the gravel. Today I have pretty much got all the water out and a full tank of clean water. Now to start my cycling all over again before putting any fish back. Using media from other tanks and some of their water to speed it up. Thx for asking and fingers crossed I have eliminated the problem. Smile Smile
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Fishypastor on Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:33 pm

Sorry to hear this. I've never had good luck with Platys. Even though they are sold as beginner fish, I seem to be able to kill them readily... and I'd say I am at least a decent fish keeper. It seems that they have been bred to look nice... but they are weak. I've chosen to just steer clear of them... too many floaters Sad
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Shell on Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:17 pm

So sorry to hear about the losses. I feel heartbroken when I hear about fishy deaths Crying or Very sad Sometimes, it is impossible to know what to do. I do hope that things take a positive turn! It sounds like you are a caring fish-keeper, so keep on doing what you are doing - watch and care! Do keep us updated...!

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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Sher0808 on Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:41 pm

Thanks everyone. Fishypastor...I do believe I am going to do the same thing. I just added up how many platys I have lost (including freebies) since I started back with this hobby. So far, so good today. I did water changes in my other 3 tanks and I have only put the catfish back in my 30 gallon. He was very unhappy in the 5 gallon. He seems to be ok but I am still cycling so watching closely.

Have a great night. Smile
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Fishypastor on Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:40 am

Consider making or buying a python-like device. Since making mine my fish are happier because I actually enjoy doing water changes without having to slosh gallons of water across nice carpets and hardwood.
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Sher0808 on Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:57 am

not sure where my post went, but I am interested in this python device...care to explain a bit more. thx.
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Fishypastor on Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:20 pm

Sure... here's one from Big Al's: python

Here's one from Petsmart, aqueon

Both do the same job... I ended up making a less high-tech version which requires me to manually start the siphon but it still works great. The tubing can be expensive, I just happen to have lots of parts lying around. I can do water changes on all 4 tanks in less than an hour with minimal to no spills.
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by Sher0808 on Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:32 pm

Thank you.. That is so cool. I bet this will be one of my purchases next time I am in the city. Smile
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Re: Huge problem with my platys...fungus issues

Post by CAAIndie on Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:42 pm

Sher0808 wrote:Thank you.. That is so cool.  I bet this will be one of my purchases next time I am in the city.  Smile

I recently finally bought a python. Best thing I've bought for my tank in ages!

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