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Just rescued Platys- water parameters atrocious

  1. #1

    Just rescued Platys- water parameters atrocious

    I just rescued 5 Platys from someone who was moving and she gave me her son's fish. I may have only 4 soon. One looks to be not taking the move well. I tested the water that they came to me in and it looked like this:

    Ammonia- at least 8 mg/L, could be higher. Highest level on my chart.
    Nitrite- .25 mg/L
    Nitrate- 80 mg/L
    pH- 6.0 or lower. Lowest end of my chart that shows.

    After I put them and some of the water they were in in my 5 gallon hex tank, I topped it off with fresh treated tap water. Constituted about a 50% water change for them. Tested like this after:
    Ammonia- 1 mg/L
    Nitrite- 0 mg/L
    Nitrate- didn't seem to make a difference at all. Still looked like 80 mg/L
    pH- 6.6

    My tap water has a little ammonia, no nitrites or nitrates, and is generally a pH of 7.4.
    I need to get the water healthy asap, but without stressing the fish anymore.

    Does really dirty water turn acidic?
    How fast should I do water changes to try to get the nitrates down?
    Should I load up on live plants to try to use up the nitrates?
    Is the 5 gallon hex too small for 5 (maybe soon 4) Platys?
    I put two products in the water to try to clean it up, Seachem Prime and Seachem Stability. The instructions say to repeat Stability every day for a week. is there anything else I could be putting in?
    I have extra charcoal in the filter. Will that help?
    The tank heater that came with the fish is 50 watts, which I think is too strong for the 5 gallon hex tank. I decided not to use it, but the incandescent light seems to be keeping it at 76 degrees. They might have been in warmer water than that in their old tank. It was 78 when I checked the water in the bucket when I got them home. Should I get a small heater for the hex tank or will the light do OK? I've always thought that fish need some nighttime, so leaving it on 24/7 might not be a good idea. Do you have any small tank heaters you could recommend?
    Should I move them to a larger tank as soon as I get one? Would that cause too much additional stress at this point?

    I'm not new at keeping fish, but I had stopped for awhile and had to hurriedly set this up because I only found out a couple days ago that the woman needed to get rid of her fish. The hex tank was the biggest one I had available to use.

    I know this is a bit heavy for a first post to this forum. Sorry for so many questions, but I'd love to hear your answers.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    New Hampshire
    welcome to the forum. But I can't help you with your fish problem. I've never had fish.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

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