Balloon Molly got stuck on filter intake and cannot swim straight anymore... help!

marrieletsgo

One of my balloon mollies I’ve had for 3 months now got stuck in the filter intake today, when I was feeding my other fish in the community tank I realized it was missing, I looked through the rocks and hiding spots with no luck so I panicked and turned off the filter and it swam to the bottom and stayed there, after some more inspection I realized it seemed to be very tired and stressed since it was breathing with its both gils and decided to place him on a quarantine tank, I’m very worried for my little guy and am not sure how to take care of him, is there anything I can do to him?, any medication that could help him feel any better or what should I do?, is it swim bladder disease?, I’m panicking and am unsure on how to treat him properly.
 

Deberber

HI there, welcome to FishLore! So first thing off is that fish will rarely get stuck in a filter if it is healthy, so chances are that your molly may have already been sick, which could have been a number of things. Did you happen to notice any type of disease or skin discoloration the past few days? Secondly, I personally think you likely did do the right thing by placing it in the QT, another thing you could have done is by placing it in a tuberware in the tank with a netted top just so you wouldn't have to worry about ammonia buildup in the QT if it is not already cycled. You can try treating the water with API stress coat so it can help heal any damage on the body of the fish.

However, if your fish was healthy, chances are is that they are extremely worn out. Just give them 24-48 hours to relax. If it was caused by swim bladder disease, I would recommend not feeding it for that same amount of time so it can try and digest what is in their stomach already. Either way, likely best to not feed them anything until Saturday as your molly might become constipated out of stress.

Any chance you know how long the molly was trapped?
 

marrieletsgo

No issues on the skin, the molly was fairly healthy and I did a water check today and everything seemed normal, my quarantine tank is very small (10 liters) and it is not properly cycled since I arranged it today while stressed because I looked it up that it was the best option for treatment, so I will do the tuberware in the tank to make sure the fish doesn’t get stressed out even more, I also don’t believe the fish is worn out since it cannot swim at all, I have a 50gal tank with some air pumps and bubbles and while the fish was in there it just kept being pulled by the current and I could see it was suffering, so that’s why I decided to put him in the quarantine tank as well, also I believe the fish was stuck for maybe 30 minutes, I‘m surprised it is still alive, also, update, the fish seems to be less stressed however It’s not swimming around, it is practically just breathing in place.
 

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Deberber

No issues on the skin, the molly was fairly healthy and I did a water check today and everything seemed normal, my quarantine tank is very small (10 liters) and it is not properly cycled since I arranged it today while stressed because I looked it up that it was the best option for treatment, so I will do the tuberware in the tank to make sure the fish doesn’t get stressed out even more, I also don’t believe the fish is worn out since it cannot swim at all, I have a 50gal tank with some air pumps and bubbles and while the fish was in there it just kept being pulled by the current and I could see it was suffering, so that’s why I decided to put him in the quarantine tank as well
I honestly am not sure. If it is swim bladder, I would try and keep the temperature warm in the high 70s as it speeds up metabolism for mollies as well as the no feed policy. If it doesn't get better with stress coat after a few days you may have to try an antibiotic. Definitely do wait to hear from some other members though on there opinions as these were just the first things that came to mine. I am sure that they might be able to pinpoint exactly what is wrong and how they treated their fish if they've experienced this type of thing before.
 

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