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Why Your Platy Is Pineconing And How To Treat It!

The number of people within the fish keeping hobby who are keeping platies in their aquarium tanks is steadily increasing and with the species being such an a great beginner friendly fish due to their hardy nature while also being cheap and offering bright and beautiful colors and patterns, we only expect their popularity to keep growing.

One problem that we see people having time and time again is issues with platy pineconing and due to so many people reaching out for help, we have decided to publish this dedicated article.

Pineconing in a platy fish is usually a symptom of an underlying problem or disease in the tank so quarantining the affected platy will usually not prevent the issue from spreading to the other fish in your aquarium.

There are a number of treatments that you can use to help treat pineconing in your platy but unless you treat the underlying issue in your tank, the pineconing will return so you will have your work cut out for you to discover the actual cause of the symptom.

Pineconing can be caused by a number of issues ranging from issues with water parameters and quality to a number of different viral infections.

Although a rare cause of pineconing in a platy, it can occur due to a sudden change in water conditions, stress or anxiety. You can reduce the pineconing symptoms in your platy with a number of commercial treatments such as the standard aquarium salt treatment but many people will use an Epsom salt bath to help soothe the symptoms of pineconing in a platy.

What Is Pineconing In Platies?

Pineconing in platies is usually a sign of the fish having dropsy that is also sometimes referred to as bloat.

The visual indications of platy pineconing include the fish bloating up, the fish keeping its fins close to its body, and in some cases, it may appear as if the scales of the fish are peeling away from the fish too or that the scales are losing color.

There are a number of other potential problems that may cause your platy to bloat up with internal pararasites being a common reason that a fish may look bloated.

A other relatively common cause of bloating in fish is constipation with this being slightly more common with the fish that beginner fish keepers care for due to over feeding or feeding an unsuitable food to their fish.

Many people instantly think that their platy may be pineconing without checking for other secondary symptoms or testing their tanks water parameters with a decent water test kit that offer at least some level of confirmation on the condition of your fish.

Internal parasites and constipation do tend to be more common reasons that your platy may look bloated so try to keep this in mind.

What Causes A Platy To Pinecone?

There are a number of potential causes of a platy pineconing with poor water parameters, viral infections, low quality water, student water changes, and extended period of stress being the most common issues.

Older or injured fish tend to be more prone to having issues with their immune system increasing the chances of them having issues with pineconing too.

Some fish are more sensitive to issues that can cause them to pinecone too making it difficult to workout exactly whats wrong in your tank.

For example, you can have a number of platies in your aquarium, all the same age, all healthy, and one platy may pinecone while the others are fine.

The more of your platies that pinecone, the easier it tends to be to actually work out the problem and remove it while treating the symptoms of pineconing.

The most common of the causes of pineconing in a platy is definitely poor water parameters by far. It doesn’t matter how experienced a fish keeper is within the hobby, a slight mistake can cause problems with your water parameters and result in your platy pineconing.

Due to beginners to the fish keeping hobby often having minimal experience, it can be very common to have issues with water quality that can cause pineconing.

How Do You Treat Pineconing In Platies?

The two best options to ease pineconing in a platy is to give the fish an Epsom salt bath or to use a commercial product such as a standard aquarium salt treatment to deal with the issue.

Pineconing is just a symptom of a more serious issue in your tank though so without identifying and correcting the thing causing the pineconing, the problem will simply return within a matter of weeks or in some cases, a matter of days.

There are a number of different ways that you are able to use an Epsom salt bath to ease pineconing in your platy with different methods using different ratios of water to Epsom salt with both higher and lower ratios of Epsom salt offering you advantages and disadvantages so do your research.

From there, you simply add the Epsom salt and water ratio you have chosen to a contain and add your platy to it for around five minutes but different ratios of Epsom salt and water may need the fish in the water for longer before you put it back into your main tank.

The easiest option for the majority of people will simply be the standard aquarium salt treatment that works in a very similar way to an Epsom salt bath but different brands mix up their formulas in slightly different ways.

Due to this, you should always read the usage instructions on the label of your aquarium salt prior to using it.

What makes things even more confusing is that some of the larger brands have multiple aquarium salt treatments in very similar packaging that are actually used in different ways so always double check prior to use!

Should You Be Worried If Your Platy Is Pineconing?

In most cases, a platy that is pineconing is more of an early warning that there is something wrong with your aquarium and provided you correct the issue quickly, there is no need to worry about your fish.

If your platy is consistently pineconing then the risk to your fish will increase of if the fish has been in a pineconed state for an extended period of time then the risks can escalate rapidly.

For the majority of our readers, you should easily be able to soothe the pineconing in your platy and find and treat the actual problem that is causing the pineconing in your platy with minimal effort.

This means that for the majority of people, you should easily be able to get your platy back to full health before any serious or long term issues take hold of your pet fish.


That brings our article going over platy pineconing to an end and we hope that we have been able to help as many people as possible who are having problems with their platy pineconing. If you are new to fish keeping then pineconing can be a common problem due to there being so many new things that you have to learn in a short period of time so please don’t let your fish pineconing put you off the hobby. Do your best to treat the problem as quicky as possible and continue to enjoy your fish.