Dalmation molly and red wag platy loosing scales

  • #1
10 gallon
1 Female Red Wag Platy
1 Female Dalmation Molly
1 Clear ? I apologize I do not know.
1 Otto
1 Pleco
2 Neon Tetris
1 Female Black Molly
1 Male Red Wag Platy

I will start from the beginning. I'm new to this world should have done more research. Although I have grown to love my new family. First, I got a crown tail male betta for my 10 g tank. I had gotten fake plants total of five, one scull, one volcano, one plastic circle decor, gravel rocks and a net. I also got a Aqua-Tech quiet power filter 5-15g with 3 stage filtration, GloFish 8 inch blue LED light,and Tetra Submersible Heater 2-15g, and a thermometer. I used Tetra BettaSafe conditioner and did not use but bought Jungle Clear Water solution just in case it was needed. I also bought Tetra TetraMin tropical flakes for food. I noticed after a week the water seemed merky so I used Jungle Clear Water solution with no progress. I thought 2 Otto bottom feeders would help according to Petco employee and did a full water change. This actually turned tragic quickly my Betta wouldn't stop harassing them. About two days later I found one dead the next morning. I immediately went and got Betta a 5 gallon tank with new gravel rocks three fake plants, one hollow rock, two little Disney sisters from Frozen, another Tetra Submersible Heater 2-15g, thermometer, and this tank came with a light and a whisper filtration system.
I left the one Otto left in the 10 gallon and my boyfriend got a few fish to put in the 10 gallon with Otto except the employee at Petco gave him no information for any type of fish, care for fish, or what to expect. He brought them home I thought that's a lot of fish for one tank and wondered what type they was. Upset the employee was not more informal I went online I found the type, their sex, water conditions, and as well as knowledge that it's recommended an inch per gallon already having an Otto this took us to a total of 9 fish. 1 Otto, 2 Platy (1 Female, 1 male), 2 Neon Tetris, 1 Dalmation Molly, 1 Black/chocolate Molly, 1 Pleco (which will out grow our tank). Quickly this became unmanageable the water had gotten much worse. I did research, found I need to test my waters every week I went and bought
Tetra 5-in-1 easy strips and Jungle quick dip Ammonia test kit. These readings are bad currently they are
Nitrate 20-40
Nitrite 10.0
Hardness 300
Alkalinity 300
PH 8.4
Ammonia .5-3.0
In Betta's tank it reads
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
Hardness 75
Alkalinity 180
PH 8.4
Ammonia .5-3.0

I continued my research to find I needed to cycle my tanks with fish food before ever putting any fish in.
Then out of nowhere I find little fry everywhere the next morning. I was already stressed about the male and female Platys having fry and was getting ready to rehome my male platy. I quickly grabbed my net and scooped them up and placed them in a small 1 gallon fish bowl I check the filter and managed to save two that was sucked up. I bought a new net n used the mesh of the old net to put around the filter hose just in case I forgot a few. Then more bad things happened my Black Molly got stuck on the filter she could not get free. I don't know for how long when I saw her I freaked quickly pulling the filter apart to free her. I looked her over her fin was stuck against her body and you could see damage around her fin area where she was being sucked on. I cryed forever. She was my favorite. I immediately took the net off sad to say if any fry was a left it was a risk to take. I checked the filter after many times and found no fry. But for Black Molly things got worse. I noticed she was loosing scales and would stay in the corner by their heater. As I watched her her fin got better she started using it as if nothing happened. Then when checking on her scales I noticed my female Platy was missing a few back to the research. I found the male could be attacking her although I havn't seen him actually bit her from what I learned he was indeed chasing her. She was very stressed and also begain staying in the corner by the heater with Black Molly and would clamp her fins. I got rid of mister male Platy. She begain to loosin up and swim a bit. But Black Molly worried me she had always shook from side to side since we had her this increased, later to find my Dalmatian Molly began this same dance. I went to a family owned aquarium shop this time and asked what was wrong they said it was the called shimmering and to and aquarium salt. Before I could I found my favorite Black Molly stuck to the filter again when I got home so I quickly took it apart to release her except this time she didn't swim away. Sadly she had passed. So I buried her with a rock to remember her. I added the salt and my Dalmatian Molly has stopped shaking back and forth and hiding in the corner. Now I have a total of 7 fish well 5 fish 2 bottom feeders.
This concludes to my current issue that is my Platy is still loosing scales evan tho the male is gone and there is no bulling and now my Dalmatian Molly has yellow spots possibly missing fins and I'm seeing maybe her skin as the yellow spots all over her body as well. Platy seems to swim but mostly stays in the corner but Molly is swimming around beautifully. My tank is still not cycled and my levels are still bad. I was told by the family owned business to not do any water changes for two weeks and to only feed them once every other day until the cycling period has finished. Is this good? What should I do? I did buy a Lee's Ultra Gravel Vac but I don't know when to use it? I don't know what's wrong with my two fish I desperately want to save them. I have spent hours after days researching with no real answers. And I'm completely stressed about all this bad karma. I did manage to donate the fry to the family owned aquarium shop. This helped a lot but now I'm scared of loosing these fish too. My Betta is doing great and his water levels are stable and its clear. But their water is merky and looks toxic I'm so worried I'm going to loose the rest of my fish

  • #2
You have many issues here..
First your tank is way..way overstocked.
Your mollies need a minimum of 29 gallon as they have a high bioload.
What kind of pleco do you have? They need a bigger tank as well.
Neons and ottos need a minimum of 20 gallon long tank and to be in groups of at least 6+.
Please please please ditch the inch per gallon rule. It is highly inaccurate and outdated.
Do you know the Nitrogen Cycle? (The words are a link) please learn it. It is the most important thing to know about fishkeeping.

Also I recommend getting an API test kit. The strips are expensive and inaccurate

If you wish to keep your fish alive, you need to upgrade your tank asap.

  • Thread Starter
  • #3
I'm am not sure what type of pleco it is. I could be wrong on the types. Should I rehome the Molly? The Otto I thought was a bottom feeders, it does stick to the sides of the tank and they said it would only get two inches tops. I could be wrong with this type of fish. I do not know the nitrogen cycle but will follow the link and learn more I will get the API testing kit asap.
  • #4
Welcome to FishLore!

I agree with everything Peacefantasy told you.

Until you can rehome or upgrade, you should be doing large (~50%) water changes daily with a conditioner like Seachem Prime. .5-3ppm ammonia and 10ppm nitrites are ridiculously high and I'm honestly surprised anyone is surviving. You may end up losing some due to what's referred to as "old tank syndrome." Basically the water is so poor that adding cleaner water too quickly can stress or kill your fish. But they will surely die anyways in water like that and if it were me personally, I'd take the chance.
  • #5
If you are unsure about the types of fish you have, I highly suggest taking a picture of all of them and posting them so we can help you identify them.
As for whether of not you should rehome them...
Personally I think you should..all of them.
Then perform a fishless cycle. While you are waiting for the cycle to complete, you can research the fish you wish to keep (which we can help!)
Youll need to be sure each fish is compatible with eachother..and the tank.

There are ways to do a "fish in" cycle.. if you want to keep your fish and do this, I would immediately go out and buy a larger tank
  • #6
There are some other things Id like to address (was at work earlier, sorry about that)
One being that pet store employees usually don't have good advice. They are in business to make money..not make sure you have a healthy tank.
Second, you said your betta's tank's levels are good. They are not. neither of your tanks are cycled (learn more in the Nitrogen Cycle link)

Next is the use of aquarium salt.
I'll be honest, personally I have never used it. And probably never will. Most advice from more experienced people here say it is unnecessary and/or a money scam. Some people swear by it. IDK. I tend to think water quality is the key to most illnesses.

And a quick tip; NEVER replace your filter cartidges (unless they are completely falling apart. Ask for advice here on how you should go about it)

Youll learn that your "Beneficial Bacteria" or "BB" lives in your filter media. If you throw it out (or rinse in untreated tap water} you will kill off your bacteria and have to re-cycle your tank.


  • #7
Welcome to fishlore! You have found a good place for information and learning about fish and the needs they have. I don't have time right now, but wanted to say welcome. I know the people here will be coming at you with a lot of questions and suggestions, but know that by sharing your struggles you are taking an important step. Many here have strong opinions because they started as you did and have learned the hard way. So they want to help others avoid some of the many pitfalls you are encountering! Good for you for looking to do better for your fish! Sounds like with some rehoming and tank cycling yours will be a nice home for fish sooner rather than later!
  • #8
You're getting some great advice here! I just wanted to chime in with some encouragement. It can be very overwhelming to learn all this at first, especially when you already have a tank full of fish. I started out this way too, so I totally understand. Just don't give up! Once you get the hang of it, it feels way less complicated. Good luck with the tank, keep us updated

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  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Thank you guys rehoming soon as possible, only because I don't have room for a bigger aquarium plus it wouldn't be cycled. Thank you all so very much.
  • #10
Thank you guys rehoming soon as possible, only because I don't have room for a bigger aquarium plus it wouldn't be cycled. Thank you all so very much.

Do please come back and share what decisions you are making! We enjoy watching new tanks grow and blossom! Pictures are appreciated!
  • #11
Starting over will feel good! 10 gallons isn't easy to stock but here's a really useful link explaining your options!


In my own 10 gallon, I have 1 male betta, 4 Amano shrimp, and 4 Nerite snails. I love it! There's plenty of space with lots to look at.

Another tip- in most fish stores you'll find a product called SafeStart by Tetra. It's a bottle of the bacteria needed to start the nitrogen cycle and its designed to be used with fish in the tank, as long as the tank is lightly stocked. I cycled my 10 gallon with my betta in it by following the directions on the bottle and he didn't show any signs of discomfort during cycling. I recommend it and will continue to use it in the future.

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