platy is dead, was it my beta or just sickness? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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platy is dead, was it my beta or just sickness?

Hello, I have a marineland 5 gallon tank with heater and filter. I have a Halfmoon male Beta, 2 Ghost shrimp, and until just a few minutes ago I had a Bumblebee platy.

I know I wrote a lot on this post but I just wanted to give as much info as I could, I tried not to ramble but I'm kinda upset right now about losing my fish so I'm sorry if I did.

First some background,
I had a pretty successful 10 gallon aquarium until early last year when I moved to an apartment for college that didn't allow fish so I found people with established tanks and gave the fish away rather than leave my parents with them. I now am back home after finishing my lease and 2 weeks ago started a new 5 gallon hexagonal shaped tank because I just want to keep things small until I graduate and get settled in at a more permanent residence.

Before adding the fish I let the tank run for almost 2 weeks because I was out of town for almost a week after setting the tank up and figured I would just wait to get fish till I got home. After much research I found that Platy's and several other fish generally get along well with male Beta's as long as they arent too colorful or have fancy fins. I finally went to Petco and as a final chance for advice I asked the person in the fish area to confirm that a male beta, a platy, and 2 ghost shrimp would get along fine and not be overcrowded in my 5 gallon tank. He said that would be no problem and that he had done it himself successfully before in a 10 gallon tank.

With that final bit of advice I had my water tested even though it had no fish in it yet just to be sure the water was safe, Then I got the Beta, a Bumblebee Platy, and 2 Ghost shrimp (to help clean). He said that the fish I picked would work out fine so I took them home and acclimated them to the tank water, then released them all into the tank, I released the Beta last to try and avoid him claiming everything as his territory. The Ghost shrimp didn't seem phased at all and just started walking around picking at stuff looking for something to eat, The platy immediately hid in a house decoration I have but from past experience I wasn't too shocked about that, and the beta just slowly swam around near the surface, I watched them for a few minutes then turned the light off to help reduce their stress. The next morning I put the light on a timer for 12 hours on and 12 off and fed them a little food, the beta ate a bunch, the platy was still hiding so he didn't eat anything, and the ghost shrimp both ate a few flakes that fell to the bottom. later that day I noticed the platy was finally beginning to venture out and explore his new tank, but anytime the beta noticed him he rushed him and chased him until he lost sight of the platy in the plants, he even took a small chunk out of the platy's tail, I was about to return the platy but first I did some research and found out that often the Beta will attack new tank mates for the first few days then calm down so I decided to give it a few days, I added some stress zyme and some other medication for fin bites and the next morning the fin appeared to have repaired itself. after 3 days the beta's attacks on the platy lessened and all the fish were eating, The beta mostly remained near the top and the platy stayed near the bottom in all the plants I have. The beta would still occasionally chase the platy but the platy was fast and always got away and the beta would lose interest. There were no more fin injuries and I assumed the platy was no longer stressed as his gills were no longer opening and closing so fast and he appeared to be breathing at a normal rate so I was happy.

I ordered a API Master water test kit so that I wouldn't have to rely on stores for water tests and before that arrived I took a water sample to the local petstore after one week of having the fish. They said other than hard water my water was still clean (never had hard water before so I'm puzzled about that reading, though later tests do show my tap water is all of a sudden hard)

Starting yesterday I noticed the platy was hiding almost all day in the house but he still came out for the daily feeding time and ate fine so I wasn't too worried. Today he did the same thing but I also noticed when he came out that his gills were going real fast so I was a little worried and since it was time for my weekly water test today anyways I did the test with my new kit and came up with the following readings.

pH:8 Ammonia:0.25 Nitrite:0 Nitrate:0

I wasn't too worried about the high pH because I know platys actually like higher pH and the beta was swimming around happy making a big bubble nest, and the tank is still cycling so I wasn't worried about the Ammonia.

Just a few minutes ago I walked past the tank and looked in to see the Bumblebee Platy against a plant with a Ghost shrimp holding onto his tail eating away at it, the platy was obviously still alive because his gills were going really fast, I broke him from the Ghost shrimps grasp with my fish net and he slowly swam with what little tail was left over to a plant and hid behind it. at this point I realized there was no saving him and the Ghost shrimp both quickly found him again and began eating him alive so using my fish net I pulled him out of the tank to stop the suffering. I just couldn't stand to watch him get eaten alive.

Now finally, my question:

Why do you think the platy died? everyone seemed to be getting along for the most part other than the occasional chasing of the platy by the beta. Was the platy sick? Or was it a bad idea to put a Bumblebee platy with the beta?

I am going back to Petco tomorrow to get my money back for the platy, Should I get another fish? if so should I try a platy that is less colorful than a Bumblebee platy? Should I just let the tank cycle before I get another fish to replace him? Or should I just keep the Beta alone since I have a 5 gallon tank?

If I shouldn't get another fish is there another cool thing that I could get other than just more Ghost shrimp? (the beta just ignores my shrimp so they are no problem) I know dwarf frogs and snails are big bio load makers so I figure they wont work plus the frog will probably like to eat my shrimp I imagine. Maybe a bamboo shrimp or 2 or some other kind of shrimp? how big do they get?

Any other ideas about possible new tank additions, if any would be appreciated. I wasn't planning on expanding my tank past the 2 fish and 2 Ghost shrimp since I figured my tank was maxed out by them. I just wanted a 2nd fish with the beta to add some more decorative interest but if that would be against a fishes best interest then I wont get another fish.

Thanks for reading all of this, I know it was a lot!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 09:48 PM
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A tank running for two weeks is not cycled. It is in the middle of cycling. There are a few things...

Nothing can accompany a betta in a 5 gallon other than shrimp. Or a snail. Nothing. It is too small of a space, and for a schooling fish such as a platy it can be even more stressful. The Betta also scouted that as his entire territory... Adding another fish was challenging him, in his territory.

I would not replace the fish nor get any more. Shrimp are fine, as long as they have enough coverage to avoid mr fishy from snacking on them. I definitely would not recommend an African Dwarf Frog. They love to hide, and more room the better. 10+ gallons to have any type of fish or amphibian with the fella. Not sure how many shrimp are okay, as I never get any since mine eat anything that moves.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 09:51 PM
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^ +1

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, I know its not cycled, its still got at minimum a couple more weeks, maybe more to build up the good bacteria and get good water readings before its cycled. I've been adding stress zyme+ following the instructions for new tank setup to help out :)

I thought platy's were fine being single? That's what the petstore told me with both this tank and my previous tank, maybe its time for me to find a new pet store No more fish in that tank for me then.

Its actually funny with the shrimp, my beta seems scared of them, they sometimes swim around and bump into the beta and the beta swims as fast as he can into the decorative house I have lol but so far I appear to have a beta who doesn't care to eat the shrimp. He even lets them go into his corner that he always sits in and has his bubble nest in without challenge.

I have 4 silk plants and a house that covers most of the bottom of the tank so I think they have lots of coverage, but like I said he doesn't seem hostile towards my ghost shrimp. Does anyone know about the other shrimp that Petco has? I think its called a bamboo shrimp or maybe Cherry shrimp?

Anyways I'll forgo any more fish and the frog, if other ppl think some more shrimp or something else might be good then let me know, I do find the shrimp fascinating, one of them molted in front of me a couple days ago

Thank you both for your input and time, I really appreciate it
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 10:13 PM
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+1 and never, ever trust a petstore!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 10:13 PM
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Pet stores are not always right They don't mind making a quick sale. "Fish dies, they come back for another" can sometimes be their mindset. Which is nasty in all means.

It is nice he does not kill the shrimp! It's rather funny how he acts

Cherry shrimp are the second most common one I believe.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 10:50 PM
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The betta might be reacting this way because he might not even see the shrimp when they hit him, or at least to the last second. My female was the same way, now when a shrimp bumps into her she will just move a couple inches away and continue begging for food...

Rat bellies are a gateway drug...and I'm addicted
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Well I guess I have now learned to never trust the pet store! Before my test kit arrived I took a water sample to the local petstore (not the one where I bought my fish from, that one is a hour away from home) and I was looking at the fish food and cycling chemicals they had in stock and I overheard the sales associate say to another associate "what part of this test strip is the top?" and the other associate replied "i'm not sure.... i'd say its this side"

I kinda hoped this Petco that I went to wasn't like that, When I had my first tank the associate told me to only get 2 or 3 fish for the first month or 2 after I handed him a list with a bunch of fish on it that I wanted to start the tank out with, but that associate no longer works there so maybe it varies with their experience and how much they actually care about the fish vs making money... I think i'll just ask on here from now on whenever I have questions, you people seem nice and knowledgeable

I looked up Cherry Shrimp and found quite a few post from this site, it seems like its a mixed bag, some peoples beta's ignore the cherry shrimp and others eat them. I think at any rate i'll wait till the tank is done cycling before I add any more shrimp, no use in stressing them out more than I have to.

That is actually kinda what I was thinking too PaulO, especially since when he is looking at a shrimp as it swims in front of him he doesn't do anything, its only when the shrimp touches him that he acts scared. I noticed how much of a pig beta's can be, when I first got him I assumed he would just stop eating when full but he just eats and eats so learned to only put a flake in once a day for him broken into small pieces. I tried putting an algae wafer in for the shrimp so I could cut down on flake food figuring the beta would not eat the algae wafer but as soon as it softened he ate the whole thing and his stomach bulged way out for about 12 hours, I guess no more algae wafers for that tank lol

Thank you everyone for your insight!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 10:43 AM
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Try giving them zucchini, he won't eat that ;p

There will be people who genuinely know what they are doing in pet stores. Many of us try or have tried to be hired in a pet store Mainly because we DO know what we are talking about, while still being able to make a sale.

Breed for the breed, not for the money; the words any REAL breeder would understand.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:04 PM
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Don't be so sure. I have girls who will tear a chunk out of blanched zucchini. Boy she looked funny swimming around with a seed in her mouth.
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