Female Dalmation Molly VERY Swollen and Swimming Tail-Up - HELP PLEASE!

DeeNtey

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Hello,

My son and I are rather new to fish-keeping, and we have a female dalmation molly that is VERY swollen/bloated and need help figuring out what could be wrong.

We have a 55-gallon tank with 2 mollies (one swollen female + one male), 3 male guppies, 2 cory catfish, 1 dojo loach and 1 dwarf frog. We purchased her from PetsMart in July 2019 and she gave birth in September 2019 to 20+ fry. I say 20+ fry because by the time we discovered she had given birth, we were able to catch 16 of them to put in the nursery net. Once this was done, I made sure to vacuum the substrate (found about 7-10 dead fry in the substrate) and performed a 50% water change. We didn't realize she had given birth because she was still as big as before.

At first we thought maybe she wasn't done giving birth/more were coming and didn't think too much about it. It has been 5 weeks since she's had the fry and now she is even bigger than ever, so much so that she would spend most of her time floating about at the top of the tank, but had no problem swimming around with her tank-mates and hanging out at the bottom. Now she is even a little bigger and constantly in a vertical position tail up!

Up until the last few days, she was still her happy self and would continue swimming around and eating a ton. She is the alpha of the community tank, and other than the male chasing her around a bit before she gave birth, she has never been picked on. Lately, she hides under ornaments, probably to keep herself upright. We have also noticed that she rubs herself against the substrate, which is something she didn't so before. We thought it could be constipation and tried giving her a salt bath and a boiled/de-shelled pea. We didn't really see any improvement, but noticed some white/clear-ish poop. The poop wasn't that long though - about 1/2".

We now have her in hospital tank to be safe. After reading blogs, I thought it could be an internal parasite/worm, so I gave her a dose of API General Cure last night and a little bit of daphnia. I noticed a longer (about 1") clear poop this morning floating in the water and it did kind of look like string.

I know it is not dropsy as her scales are not pineconing. I feel the scales around her lower abdomen are shiny because her skin has stretched so much. Her fins are not clamped, and no sign of fungus or open lesions. There are no worms sticking out of her butt and no redness either. Besides being super huge, swimming tail up and rubbing herself on the substrate, the only other thing I have noticed is that a darker color (dark brownish-purplish hue) underneath her lower belly outside the butt area as seen in the attached picture.

Outside of the daphnia I gave her last night, she would always eat Tetramin+ flakes and some blood worms (frozed/defrosted in aquarium water) as a treat. I only feed the community tank a pinch of flakes 2x daily and the blood works 1x every 1-2 weeks.

I use the API master test kit, and my water quality is as follows:

High pH: 7.8
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5.0ppm

Thank you in advance for reading and helping us!
 

MissNoodle

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They have babies every 28 days, so its very possible she's either so pregnant theyre affecting her swim bladder, or shes unable to pass the babies and is having complications. I suspect its the latter, since 5 weeks is a bit past their usual timeframe.

@emeraldking knows a lot about livebearers, more about their genetics and such, but perhaps he has come across a situation like this with his experience
 

PascalKrypt

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Could be that something went wrong during labour and she has some fry blocked in there... I know it happens sometimes with other animals (and would also explain why you found so many dead fry).

I do hope someone has some suggestions to induce labour in fish...
 

s3ptum

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Not an expert but that looks like fluid is trapped in her body similar to dropsy. Scales don't need to pine cone for it to be dropsy. Dropsy is a secondary symptom to a primary problem.

Get some antibiotics in her water quick. Maracyn-Two comes to mind. I did this for a danio of mine that did the same thing and saw results in 24 hrs.

  • Move the sick fish to a "hospital tank."
  • Add 1 teaspoon of Aquarium salt per gallon of water in the hospital tank
  • Feed the fish fresh, high-quality foods.
  • Treat the fish with antibiotics, either in the food or in the water.
  • Test the water in the hospital tank daily to ensure it is appropriate for the fish.
 

s3ptum

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That gets very expensive quick because most medications want 2 to 4 doses. Also, it may kill beneficial bacteria in the tank. Which can make things worse. Note that every tank has some kind of bacteria or parasite in it that will make your fish sick no matter what you do.

The trick is keeping your fish healthy by keeping them from being stressed which lowers the immune system. Good water parameters, chemistry, proper decor and tank mates. I've put sick fish in display tanks knowing they were sick and they have gotten better because the environment they were in was good. maybe think about getting some Java moss and anacharis both are easy to keep and will naturally uptake nitrates and add oxygen to water.
 

emeraldking

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The position refers more to a swim bladder problem. Not sure if she's really pregnant. She could be but I'm not sure in this case.
Even fluid could be in there instead of fry.
 
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