Balloon Belly Molly

  1. BonBon Member Member

    My female balloon belly Molly has been acting strangely... She is staying away from my other mollies and hiding in a log. She is also going to the surface a lot and breathing quite heavily. What is wrong with her?
  2. happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    What size tank? What are your parameters/are you cycled? Is anything wrong with her body e.g bloated stomach, food lodged in her mouth, etc? Does your tank have a CO2 system that may be putting out too much CO2?

    EDIT : Also, how many mollies? Male/female ratio?

  3. BonBon Member Member

    It's a 10 gallon tank with 4 female mollies including her, and 1 male. I don't have a CO2 system and there isn't food in her mouth. I don't think her stomach is bloated at all... Then again she is a balloon belly so it is kinda hard for me to tell the difference.
  4. happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    Tank cycled? Do you have a liquid test kit for your parameters? How long have you had the fish?

    Sorry to say, but mollies shouldn't be kept in 10g tanks. They can grow quite large (sailfins up to 6", normals around 4" females). They also produce a LOT of waste for such a "small" fish, so they will dirty up your tank very fast, forcing you to do tons of water changes to prevent nitrate buildup (ammonia and nitrite will build up too if your tank isn't cycled). I would either rehome them, and find a more suitable species for your tank, or upgrade to a larger tank ASAP.

  5. BonBon Member Member

    Okay thank you I will be sure to do that. What size tank would you recommend? I take my water sample to my LFS to get tested and they told me it was all good. I have had my mollies for about a year and a half, so the tank is cycled. Thanks for the tips
  6. happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    I would think that a 40g breeder (there's a dollar per gallon sale at Petco in about 20 days) would give your fish a lot of room, and then you could add other stock in addition to your mollies. It's a really nice tank size.

    LFS tend to just say that, you need to pester them for the real results (numbers). Did they use strips or a liquid test kit? Either way, you should order the API Master Liquid Test Kit on Amazon, the best $22 you will spend in this hobby. I'm suspecting that your molly is stressed due to ammonia or nitrite present, or your nitrates have risen too high.

    Have your fish dropped fry? Have you had any problems rehoming them? I would consider this when upgrading because your tank could quickly be over-run with baby mollies!
  7. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    29 gal minimum for those mollies.

    Next time you take a water sample, write down the exact numbers - don't let them tell you they're "fine".

  8. BonBon Member Member

    Well the fry situation is kind of strange... About a month ago I found two white fry in the middle of the afternoon. I only found two. I put them in a breeder net but one died within the next week. The other is now back with her parents and doing well. About a week after I had found the white ones, I found two orange ones and also put them in a breeder net. They will be reunited with the adults in a bout a week. And two days ago I found another orange fry -just one- who is still in the breeder net. I'm slightly confused...???
  9. happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    The majority are probably getting eaten, which is a good thing in your case. But with all these mollies growing up, I would get on that new tank ASAP :)
  10. BonBon Member Member

    Already found my new tank, heading to pet smart tomorrow to pick it up. :) It's 35 gallons

  11. Aquatica88 Member Member

    Great! Let us know how the new tank goes. Congratulations on your new addition - that size should be perfect for your mollies. Just make sure you cycle it, of course.
  12. BonBon Member Member

    If I use the water from my current tank and add it to the new tank, will I still have to do a two-week fish less cycle?
  13. Aquatica88 Member Member

    Yes, because beneficial bacteria don't live in the water column, they live on surfaces.

    What I've done to cycle my two tanks and a quarantine was to dose enough ammonia to register approximately 1-2 PPM (I use ACE Hardware Janitorial Strength ammonia) and add an appropriately-sized bottle of Tetra Safe Start. If you don't already have one, get an API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Then you wait and let nature take its course. Keep dosing ammonia when it falls.

    The cycle is ammonia>nitrItes>nitrAtes. When your beneficial bacteria can convert 1-2 ppm of ammonia into nitrates in 24 hours, you're cycled and ready for fish.

    What you'll want to look for in a cycled tank is 0 ppm of ammonia, 0 ppm nitrItes and some amount of nitrAtes that is more than 0 ppm. The API master test kit has tests for all of these. For further reading, click this link: Nitrogen cycle
  14. BonBon Member Member

    So I just found out that two of my female 'mollies' are actually platys... :-\. I really love my two platys though so I don't want to get rid of them. I was thinking of getting two more female mollies. Is a 35 gallon enough for four mollies and two platys?
  15. cheese Member Member

    can we see a picture of your fish? you did say they were balloon belly mollies, which would be difficult to mistake for a platy as they don't have the balloon stomach. pictures would help I.D. your fish :) congrats on the new tank and I can't wait to see it set up :) in my opinion, I would look into using your 10 gallon as a quarantine tank if you plan on adding any additional fish to the 35 gal. :)

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  16. Aquatica88 Member Member

    I second cheese's thoughts on using your old tank as a quarantine tank. You will need one as it's highly advised that you quarantine new arrivals. :)
  17. BonBon Member Member

    Okay, I will definitely quarantine any new arrivals. Here are my current four fish. One is a male dalmation Molly, one is a female balloon belly Molly and the other two are supposedly platys. (The white fish in the second and first pics are the same fish)

    Attached Files:

  18. BonBon Member Member

    Is that correct?
  19. happygolucky Well Known Member Member

    Yep, that's right.