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Terri

White mark on platy

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Hi, I am fairly new to the aquarium world but saw something alarming on my red wag female platy. Not sure if it is a mark from injury on a decoration or something fungal/bacterial. I have a twenty gallon tank, fully cycled before fish were added. It has been up and running with fish for about 6 months. Water temperature is 78 degrees. Ph is 7.8, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 20 ppm. I do weekly water changes. In the tank there is a female red wag platy, female high fin platy, female rainbow platy, male calico platy, three juvenile high fins (all female about two months old) and a fan shrimp. This morning when I Checked my fish (I do this every morning) the female red wag platy looks to have either a scratchy or white patch. She is fine in behaviour, eating etc. Poop is normal (same as it has always been ). I am concerned this is something fungal bacterial and don't want to leave it if it is, however there was no mark last night and it is so uniform it looks like a scratch. I have attached pictures for people who may have knowledge that I don't have what I should do. I don't want to medicate if unnecessary. Thanks and if there is any info I left out let me know, as I said I am new to this.

 

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Hey Terri, I'm no expert with platys but 20ppm nitrate is pretty high. I would do a 75% water change add warm water back not to shock the fish and get some Ich meds that contain malachite green. if you only suspect 1 fish you can do a 15min soak per day with the 1 fish. but if you start seeing things on the other fish you may have to medicate the whole tank. The malachite will help heal the fish if it is just a scratch.

 

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Thanks for the response and advice, I will do a water change (last was 25% three days ago), you were right About my nitrates seeming high so I re-tested (as my daughter helps most mornings) and it is at 10ppm, everything else was as written above. Will the malachite green harm the juvenile platies, or my fan shrimp? I do have a 10 gallon tank I could set up for QT but as I am not sure it isn't a scratch from getting to close to something (she likes to swim through the driftwood holes) I would hate to move her unnecessarily. I don't think it is ich, my tank has never had it but a friends did. That looked more granular, and sort of sparkly. This spot is almost like two lines and very matte in appearance. It isn't raised at all. Also the mark seems big to appear over night, or can that happen? I was more worried there might be a bacterial or fungal type infection. Can ich be different in appearance?

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Again I'm no expert with the platys, 10ppm nitrates is a lot better. I'm not assuming Ich as it usually shows as small white dots and effects more than 1 fish. The most readily available source of malachite green is in Ich meds, usually the main ingredient. Malachite alone will not harm shrimp or fry but some general Ich meds contain sodium chloride that will harm inverts. If only 1 fish has an issue a few soaks and monitoring her wont harm. Its good to have some general Ich meds on hand anyway.

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I think you are right having it on hand would be a good idea, kind of how I have Benadryl for my kids, just in case it is needed. Thanks for the advice, I think I will do water change today and if no improvement by tomorrow I will try the individual soaking method you recommended. Also I apologize for any typos, I am tying to be coherent while typing with a toddler.

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I will just reply here to keep things simple :)

Quarantine needs to be much longer than a couple days, there is almost no point of a quarantine that short.  There are many nasty things won't show up in that short of time. This can be a touchy issue for folks but I personally quarantine for 1-2 months, minimum is 1 month usually most end up going 6-8 weeks. I also quarantine new plants, they just need to be kept away from fish for a good month. Like I said it's a touchy issue and not everyone agrees here, usually it's only after spending the $$$ to medicate a large aquarium or a wipe out that ppl start to quarantine, that was the case for me.

I would cation against using malachite green without knowing what the issue is. It is fairly strong, will dye everything green and will harm your beneficial bacteria.  All that and it may not even be the correct cure.

If it's something like columnaris you will know pretty quickly, it spreads and kills very fast. Keep an eye on the area for necrosis and if it is getting "deeper" into the flesh.

On the other hand an injury should heal quite fast with clean water and you should see it getting better in a couple days.

Edited by Shambhalove_
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Thanks for the information, it is a very hard hobby to get in to as there is so much conflicting information when you start out. Thanks for taking the time to provide all the info you did in regards to quarantine procedures and how to deal with the issue I was facing. As of today the mark is practically healing before my eyes so I am definitely leaning towards it being an injury. I will keep up daily water changes just to make sure it fully heals and there are no complications. Thanks to you both for all the info you provided, it really helped me out and stopped me from panicking. I had no idea quarantine should be a month. Would this be the same if you add a snail to the tank as well? Also the store I get the fish from does an in store quarantine for 30 days prior to them being allowed for sale. Would they still need a quarantine of a month on top of this? Thanks again for all your help, I hate when my lovely fish don't seem perfect or happy.

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You will get just as many opinions on quarantine as everything else in the hobby.  I would quarantine any fish, plant or invert.  For plants and inverts it's more about the water that comes with them, a single drop could be all it takes.

 I like to treat all new fish with prazipro,  levamisole and metronidazole prophylactically. This I partly why the quarantine can take so long, I like to give them breaks in between different treatments.  It's important to follow through with a complete course of meds for whatever you are treating to avoid any potential resistances.

What store is this? I wouldn't believe that, it doesn't make much business sense either, I do believe quarantine comes down to the end user.  The fish store can do their best but they are there to sell fish, the good ones will stand behind their fish usually and provide some sort of warranty.  To be honest anything from a lfs I would definitely quarantine.

Buying things from breeders or other hobbyists usually ends up in healthier fish as well.

I feel it's important to mention that a quarantine procedure has to be realistic.  Things can be different when you only have one smaller tank with less expensive fish...is it worth it to spend all the extra money/time on a new tank, equipment, meds when you could replace the fish and sanatize for cheaper? This may sound cruel but this last paragraph is probably the most important one here :)

 

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Thanks for all that info. I will definitely quarantine for longer next time. I do have a 10 gallon tank, with filter, bubbler etc. Should I always have it setup for emergencies and new fish. I ask only because of cycling a tank, I could do this prior to adding new fish but if a fish gets sick it wouldn't even something I could plan for so I just wonder if you recommend just leaving it setup somewhere if needed. I also didn't realize you should medically treat the fish during the quarantine, but that actually sounds like a fantastic idea.

The store where the fish were purchased was big al's. They said that the reason some fish aren't available for purchase was because of their quarantine procedure, but after I read what you wrote I am now somewhat skeptical if that occurs for as long as they said it does. They do provide a warranty on their fish but I am hoping not to ever have to use it.

How do you purchase fish from breeders or hobbyists, I know there is a spot on here to purchase (not that I am currently looking but maybe in the next few months) but if they aren't near you I am scared to have a fish shipped. I feel bad for the fish and worry it would be too stressful (probably being ridiculous I know) even though I realize that is how the stores bring them in. Would love your opinion on these questions because I love the fish and the thought I could be doing them harm would break my heart.

thanks again for taking your time to respond.

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No problem!

You can keep a qt tank cycled by adding pure ammonia like you would for a fishless cycle or leave a few fish in the tank.  Unless you plan on stocking your tank and and going through a qt for a few batches of fish in a row it's probably not worth it to keep the tank running.

I have had good success by using cycled filter media from a mature tank, adding a product like stability and then dosing ammonia.  I can usually cycle a qt tank to be lightly stocked in about a week.  I have 2 large canisters on my 75 so I can easily take some of the bio media out when I need to jump start a tank.  Some people keep bags of extra bio hidden in their tanks/filters, use an extra sponge filter, even sponge squeezings, mulm etc can all help.

I won't comment to much on big als because I just don't know. Ours shut down in calgary so you must be up north.  

If I had to guess I would say they "qt" new arrivals for a couple days to maybe a week. The real purpose of this is to reduce the shipping stress and I'm sure they can take that time to look for any very obvious diseases or dying fish.  You wouldn't want to bring home a fish that just got shipped overseas, plopped in a lfs tank and then bought the same day!  I'm sure after being in business a while you learn who the healthy fish suppliers are and stick with them, every once in a while something is bound to happen though.

Buying stuff from breeders / hobbyists can be easier than going to the lfs!  The buy/sell here is a great place to start.  You can make an ad with what you are looking for and you'd be surprised who has some for sale.  The quality of locally bred fish vs. Lfs stock can be stunning.  There's always free classifieds like kijiji, I swear there is new fish/equipment every hour in calgary.

I personally haven't had any fish shipped, at least not on an airplane so I feel your concern on that one.  Fish are shipped all over the world everyday so I'm sure it's just fine, there a chance our fish made a journey before we bought them? There's some nice people on here that may be willing to bring fish back and forth for some gas money depending on their own personal life and travel, you can also make an ad for that. 

 

Edited by Shambhalove_
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