My feed

to access all these features

Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your pet, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

Small pets

Where the hell is my fish?

18 replies

Biancadelrioisback · 24/01/2020 20:56

So I have a 20ltr tank and 4 platies but one is missing.
So in the tank I have a half a coconut with a real plant (only small) and a rocket ornament. That's it. We've carefully searched the plant, the coconut and the rocket and nope, still missing a fish. I've looked in the filter and in the gravel. I've searched the area around the tank area and no fish. I've looked everywhere I can think of several times and still no fish.
He's been gone a week now and I'm just baffled!
AFAIK a platy couldn't polish off another one in one evening...and he literally vanished overnight!

So what has happened to my fish?

DH joked that DS(3) might have him but I really don't think that's the case. DS could not be less interested if he tried.

So where is he?

OP posts:
WisestIsShe · 24/01/2020 20:57

Died and eaten by the others?

SpeedofaSloth · 24/01/2020 20:58

Could your platy have jumped out during a water change?
(My rasboras are prone to this.)

neddle · 24/01/2020 20:58


Biancadelrioisback · 24/01/2020 21:00

No cat.

I've searched the bench, the carpets, everything near the tank including the curtains but no fish. There was definitely still 4 after I changed the water.

OP posts:
Biancadelrioisback · 24/01/2020 21:01

These are my first fist btw, they were actually for DS but they've ended up being mine

OP posts:
swapsicles · 24/01/2020 21:05

I've got a shrimp that hides for weeks at a time then all of a sudden swims across the tank!
It's probably been eaten or maybe inside the ornament but floating inside at the top (shudders) love watching fish but hate dealing with them!

Biancadelrioisback · 24/01/2020 21:05

All 3 of my snails just died too after a couple of weeks so I think I'm just not a good pet parent ...

OP posts:
Whatnowagnes · 24/01/2020 21:07

Has it jumped out? Our platys leapt out a few times!

Biancadelrioisback · 24/01/2020 21:07

I've literally pulled both the coconut and the rocket out of the tank and inspected every mm of them looking for Mr fish.
He's definitely not in the tank...or around it.

Can platies really polish off another, whole adult platy in one night?

OP posts:
FleurNancy · 24/01/2020 21:09

Died and got eaten by the others. We had 3, now we just have one. Mind you, "he" is luckily he alive as he did the jumping out after a water change thing and went down the side of the chest of drawers. Luckily I was able to shift it and grab him pronto.

Caramel78 · 24/01/2020 21:14

One of our guppies disappeared for a couple of days recently. We literally checked everywhere and practically tore the tank apart looking for it. It just randomly appeared a few days later and seems fine. No idea where it could have been as we checked every last inch of the tank, filter, gravel, plants etc. So weird!

TamingToddler · 25/01/2020 06:46

We opened up our filter once and it was like a grave yard. We thought our sucky fish were eating them! We did manage to save our new tetras though. Pull your filter apart and clean it, we had to put some kitchen sponge in the gaps in ours so the fish didn't get sucked in.

MashedSpud · 25/01/2020 06:56

That’s a tiny tank for livebearing fish. Way too small.

Have a google about platys and their needs. Snails are more sensitive to water quality and tend to die off first. What type of snails were they?

Read up on “cycling a tank” too. To be honest the smaller the tank the harder it is to keep the water parameters and ph stable.

MashedSpud · 25/01/2020 06:58

Make sure you clean the filter and anything else in the tank with water taken from the tank then top up the tank with tap water treated with a water conditioner.

Biancadelrioisback · 25/01/2020 08:26

@MashedSpud really?

The pet shop sold it to me with the fish, they said that we could have put another one in but then it would be at capacity and we didn't want that. We did Google it all before we bought it and spoke to other fish owners all said this was fine!

OP posts:
MashedSpud · 25/01/2020 22:52

If they sold you the tank and the fish on the same day I’m sorry but they are idiots.

The tank has to go through a period called cycling where ammonia and nitrIte will appear, this is dangerous for fish. After a few weeks or months (depends on the size of the tank) the nitrIte will be converted to nitrAte. When you get a low reading for nitrAte it’s safe to add a couple of fish. Then add more slowly over the weeks depending on the bio load the tank and filter can cope with.

I’ve been keeping fish and invertebrates since 2003.

If you visit the minimum tank they advise is 10 us gallons which is 37.9 us litres.

Biancadelrioisback · 26/01/2020 14:29


They didn't sell them to us on the same day, we basically paid for the lot, had to set the tank up at home, wait at least 24 hours, bring a water sample in and get the fish.

The fish is definitely gone so I'm going to have to assume it's been eaten or it jumped out and DS put it in the bin.

On a side note, I noticed today that we have 4 baby fish (about half the size of a grain of rice). These are currently in a Tupperware box until we figure out what to do. The pet shop said they'll have them if we don't want them.

OP posts:
bunnygeek · 28/01/2020 11:31

The fish has most likely died and been eaten.

A 20 litre is definitely too small for the fish you have, they need at least 60-70 litres. And the tank will now be cycling as it takes 4-6 weeks before a tank is ready for fish from scratch.

Buy yourself the API master test kit (liquid kit, not strips) and go have a good read about the nitrogen cycle.

I would also recommend looking up some bigger tanks on sale sites, you can get good bargains second hand, just check the seals before setting it up properly! Fill it up in the garden first.

Pet shops lie.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.