drunken fish behavior

  1. Quibbles Member Member

    Hi I have an issue with a molly. I just glanced at my tank, and had a double take. My fattest molly was in a corner, swimming very fast, but getting no where, it looked like she was dizzy, or on a roller coaster. She was looping upside down, and crashing into the substrate, not like she was itchy, but just couldn't swim in a strait line. She had NO SYMPTOMS. Now she is kind of pale, 15 minutes later. She stopped flipping, and went under a leaf for a couple minutes, and she breathed heavily, and just jerked back and forth slightly for a while. gradually she emerged and slowly swam around normally. She is grayer that normal, not just pale. That is her only visible issue. She lurked in corners for a while, just looking dazed, and when she swims she runs into things like she didn't see them. She is very slow. Now she is slowly bumping her head repeatedly on the same glass wall. She is very unlike herself. Swim bladder isn't out of the question, I tend to overfeed. She is my fattest fish, but she looks to be a little skinnier that normal. No new fish in months, I checked the parameters immedietly, all is okay. 29 gallon, 78 degrees. WHAT IS THIS PLEASE EDUCATE ME.

    Edit: she was crazy for like a minute and a half, now she is like a zombie.
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    What parameters did you test and what were the exact results? Did you test KH & GH?
  3. Quibbles Member Member

    My results were 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 20 nitrites. I didn't test kh and gh. The mollies are some of my least water sensitive fish, so I doubt it has to do with that.
  4. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Livebearers don't do well in soft water so if your KH was low that could explain her symptoms.
  5. Quibbles Member Member

    I have never had problems with that before... would it cause Zealot(the molly) to swim like that? I can't test my kh right now.. or tomorrow.. the next day.. and I don't think she has that long. Truthfully, I don't have much hope for her at all. Would there be any reason for a fluctuation in my kh? I don't know much about that. No new plants, fish, or anything for months.. no changes in anything.
  6. littleredridingmech Member Member

    Do you inject CO2?
  7. Quibbles Member Member

    I do not and never have.
  8. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Yes, KH is used up by nitrifying bacteria and by live plants. Carbonates are used in life processes and in a closed system like an aquarium can drop if they're not replenished. If your tap water doesn't have them or enough of them then more is used up than is returned during a water change so there's a net loss and over time it can drop dangerously low.

    Do you have any crushed coral, crushed oyster shells, cuttlebone or aragonite sand sitting around doing nothing? There are others that may work but adding some of that until you can test your KH won't hurt and may help!
  9. Quibbles Member Member

    None... I have some sea shells and a piece of coral, but that would be it
  10. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Baking soda? Veering into suggestions that are better handled by CindiL!
  11. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Hi, mollies are actually very sensitive to water hardness (GH, general hardness) as are other live bearers and need more minerals than other fish or they can develop the shimmies (kind of what you've been describing?), where they list side to side, or swim erratically etc.

    How often and how much water are you changing out? Like mentioned, they only get replaced with minerals from your tap water and if those are not enough, that can cause problems too.

    Its worth having your GH checked (and KH too). Perhaps you can have a local pet store check those parameters for you and write them down?
  12. Quibbles Member Member

    I just watched another "episode". It was the second time. Same time at night. She hasn't done this during the day at all. I saw it start and then end. It looked like she wasn't swimming crazily, but just trying to swim without the use of her side fins. Like they were didn't work. Then her tail stopped working slowly too, and she floated around at the bottom a bit, then lodged under a plant. She then slowly seemed to regain control. Now she is swimming like normal. She was fine all day, ate both meals, interacted with other fish. She is the only one with even a tiny issue. Is there a reason for it being just one fish? Recap: at first I thought she was swimming weird, now I think she is trying to swim but can't move her side find/tail.
  13. Quibbles Member Member

    I water change weekly, sometimes twice a week. I do an around 1/3 or 1/4 water change. I plan to check my parameters at the LFS because my test kit doesn't include those. We don't have tap water, we have well water. Does that make a difference?
  14. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    The problem TMK is neurological and has something to do with the lack of calcium ions that allow nerve impulses to act on the muscles.

    Until you can get to your LPS I would do much bigger or more frequent water changes.
  15. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    Your Mollie seems stressed. By chance, any tank bullies in the tank? Being that you have other mollies and no others are displaying symptoms, I don't feel the issue is water parameters.
  16. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Its important to rule out (or in) water parameters as it could be contributing. I've had livebearers where only one or two will develop symptoms like this. Not ruling out disease, though (usually) others show symptoms as well. The symptoms sometimes could be indicative of either. Having water parameters established will give us a better idea which way to go here.
  17. Quibbles Member Member

    I did an immediate water change, huge water change. I realized that the housekeeper when I was gone hadn't done a water change. Zealot died soon after the change, but my other mollies are doing well. I will get kh tested soon.
  18. Quibbles Member Member

    Hey... Would a Kuhli loach have the same issue? Are they also sensitive?
  19. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    Not that I've ever heard. Not like live bearers anyway!
  20. Quibbles Member Member

    Good... One was kind of flopping around a little... I hope there is no issue there!