15 Gallon Tank Help! My female molly is acting unusual and I don't know if I should be concerned.

AlexW9102

Member
I bought a female gold panda molly a couple weeks ago after my previous one died of pregnancy complications. I also have one male gold panda molly, 4 glofish tetras, 2 black tetras, 2 mystery snails, and two amano shrimp. I clean the tank every two to three weeks and replace about 1/4 - 1/3 of the water depending on how bad it is. I cleaned the tank about 3 days ago, and I don't use any harsh cleaners. All I do is vacuum the rocks, wipe the algae off the glass, and rinse the decorations with water to get the algae off.
She seems to be younger than my last molly. I bought her immediately after the other one died, and the male mated with her as soon as she came out of the bag, but stopped a few minutes later when she started being aggressive toward him. She obviously doesn't want him to mate with her. For the past few weeks she has simply kept a short distance between them. A black tetra nipped at her tail one time since they have a thing against bigger tails, but she hasn't been injured.
Just this morning, I noticed that she was resting on the bottom of the tank. She's breathing just fine, and she continues swimming once I gently wiggle my fingers in front of her (I haven't been tapping on the glass though). But whenever the male comes toward her, she lays her dorsal and pectoral fins against her and lies on the bottom and doesn't move. I also noticed something long and clear-ish coming out her backside. Like clear poop or something. But now the male's even showing more interest in her than usual. Does she simply not like the male, or is she sick? Maybe she's pregnant? Her belly isn't very big, but he may have gotten her pregnant for the first time. Should I be concerned? And what kind of behaviors should I be looking for that may mean that she's in trouble?
 

FishBoy101

Member
AlexW9102 said:
I bought a female gold panda molly a couple weeks ago after my previous one died of pregnancy complications. I also have one male gold panda molly, 4 glofish tetras, 2 black tetras, 2 mystery snails, and two amano shrimp. I clean the tank every two to three weeks and replace about 1/4 - 1/3 of the water depending on how bad it is. I cleaned the tank about 3 days ago, and I don't use any harsh cleaners. All I do is vacuum the rocks, wipe the algae off the glass, and rinse the decorations with water to get the algae off.
She seems to be younger than my last molly. I bought her immediately after the other one died, and the male mated with her as soon as she came out of the bag, but stopped a few minutes later when she started being aggressive toward him. She obviously doesn't want him to mate with her. For the past few weeks she has simply kept a short distance between them. A black tetra nipped at her tail one time since they have a thing against bigger tails, but she hasn't been injured.
Just this morning, I noticed that she was resting on the bottom of the tank. She's breathing just fine, and she continues swimming once I gently wiggle my fingers in front of her (I haven't been tapping on the glass though). But whenever the male comes toward her, she lays her dorsal and pectoral fins against her and lies on the bottom and doesn't move. I also noticed something long and clear-ish coming out her backside. Like clear poop or something. But now the male's even showing more interest in her than usual. Does she simply not like the male, or is she sick? Maybe she's pregnant? Her belly isn't very big, but he may have gotten her pregnant for the first time. Should I be concerned? And what kind of behaviors should I be looking for that may mean that she's in trouble?
image and the parameters of the tank would help please
 
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AlexW9102

Member
FishBoy101 said:
image and the parameters of the tank.
I don't know the parameters of my tank. All I know is that I fully cycled it and I make sure to use the proper amount of conditioner and the ammonia level is in check.
20200925_161457.jpg20200925_161541.jpg
 

FishBoy101

Member
AlexW9102 said:
I don't know the parameters of my tank. All I know is that I fully cycled it and I make sure to use the proper amount of conditioner and the ammonia level is in check.
How do you know if the ammonia isn't high?

Also, when did you get her? Finally, the tank should have a water change once a week.
 

Darwinthebloodparrot

Member
I would separate the male he’s stressing her out by constantly trying to mate and she could die
 

FishBoy101

Member
Hi12345 said:
I would separate the male he’s stressing her out by constantly trying to mate and she could die
That might not be the problem.
 
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AlexW9102

Member
FishBoy101 said:
How do you know if the ammonia isn't high?

Also, when did you get her? Finally, the tank should have a water change once a week.
I do water changes once a week. I got her about two to three weeks ago. I don't know about the pH, but I know that bubbles on the surface of the water and too much poop in the rocks is bad, so I make sure to do water changes and clean it on a schedule and use filter pads that help regulate ammonia in the tank.

Hi12345 said:
I would separate the male he’s stressing her out by constantly trying to mate and she could die
Weirdly enough, he hasn't mated with her ever since she got snappy with him the day I got her. He hasn't made an effort to come near her until this morning, but he's still not really mating. That's how the last female died, though. He mated with her every day even when she was pregnant. It's like he knows it's not the same female, or he definitely knows that the new one doesn't like him. I'm not sure.
 

Mazeus

Member
Hi! So I have a couple of follow up questions so that we can offer helpful advice. Firstly, how did you know your tank was fully cycled if you didn't test? Even if you remove ammonia, if the tank has nitrites that is going to harm the fish. It really is helpful to have a way to test the tank yourself at home (if you can afford it).

I try not to get too hung up on tank size, but your aquarium is quite tall, which means that there isn't a lot of space. Mollys get pretty big, you may continue to have problems with harrassment in the tank due to lack of space. Do you have plans to move them to a bigger tank?
 
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AlexW9102

Member
Mazeus said:
Hi! So I have a couple of follow up questions so that we can offer helpful advice. Firstly, how did you know your tank was fully cycled if you didn't test? Even if you remove ammonia, if the tank has nitrites that is going to harm the fish. It really is helpful to have a way to test the tank yourself at home (if you can afford it).

I try not to get too hung up on tank size, but your aquarium is quite tall, which means that there isn't a lot of space. Mollys get pretty big, you may continue to have problems with harrassment in the tank due to lack of space. Do you have plans to move them to a bigger tank?
My family got the tank from Petco and they gave us a vial to put water in after 3 weeks and they said they would test it for us to see if the tank is ready for fish. I probably can do the same again to see, or I can ask my family to get testing strips since I am the one ultimately taking care of the fish but not the one getting the supplies. We also got a marimo ball because they're cute but we were told that they do well handling nitrates in the water. And after adding fish, the good bacteria or something must have balanced out, because the water has been staying much cleaner. The snails and shrimp have been doing well with cleaning up stuff on the bottom and the algae. We have a little bit of green algae which we keep in check with water changes and proper cleaning. There's also some brown algae and I just noticed something that looks like fine blue hairy stuff. I wiped that all down, though.
 

jkkgron2

Member
AlexW9102 said:
My family got the tank from Petco and they gave us a vial to put water in after 3 weeks and they said they would test it for us to see if the tank is ready for fish. I probably can do the same again to see, or I can ask my family to get testing strips since I am the one ultimately taking care of the fish but not the one getting the supplies. We also got a marimo ball because they're cute but we were told that they do well handling nitrates in the water. And after adding fish, the good bacteria or something must have balanced out, because the water has been staying much cleaner. The snails and shrimp have been doing well with cleaning up stuff on the bottom and the algae. We have a little bit of green algae which we keep in check with water changes and proper cleaning. There's also some brown algae and I just noticed something that looks like fine blue hairy stuff. I wiped that all down, though.
A single moss ball isn’t going to do much. Upping the water changes to 50% once a week and getting your own test kit (preferably liquid) would be the best thing to do right now. You may also want to upgrade your tank.
 
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AlexW9102

Member
jkkgron2 said:
A single moss ball isn’t going to do much. Upping the water changes to 50% once a week and getting your own test kit (preferably liquid) would be the best thing to do right now. You may also want to upgrade your tank.
I can totally keep it up with the water changes and get a testing kit, but I can't get a new tank at the moment. And the only other tanks I have is a 5-6 gallon betta tank and a 1 gallon fish bowl which I know is not an option.
But do you (or anyone who reads this) have an idea of what these behaviors could mean? Picture of her is above, she's breathing fine, but she's laying behind the fake anemone decoration, but not on her side. Whenever there's a little movement in front of her, she moves and swims like normal, but eventually goes back to that hiding spot and sits still. The male isn't mating with her, but she's obviously avoiding him.
 

jkkgron2

Member
AlexW9102 said:
I can totally keep it up with the water changes and get a testing kit, but I can't get a new tank at the moment. And the only other tanks I have is a 5-6 gallon betta tank and a 1 gallon fish bowl which I know is not an option.
But do you (or anyone who reads this) have an idea of what these behaviors could mean? Picture of her is above, she's breathing fine, but she's laying behind the fake anemone decoration, but not on her side. Whenever there's a little movement in front of her, she moves and swims like normal, but eventually goes back to that hiding spot and sits still. The male isn't mating with her, but she's obviously avoiding him.
I think she’ll improve with water changes. Live plants could also help.
 
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AlexW9102

Member
jkkgron2 said:
I think she’ll improve with water changes. Live plants could also help.
I was thinking of getting live plants since there is a possibility she will have babies in the future and they may also help with algae and balancing out the water parameters. I have 8 molly fries that are in that net in the picture and it may help when I let them go if they have a place to hide in case the other fish still think they're food.
 

jkkgron2

Member
AlexW9102 said:
I was thinking of getting live plants since there is a possibility she will have babies in the future and they may also help with algae and balancing out the water parameters. I have 8 molly fries that are in that net in the picture and it may help when I let them go if they have a place to hide in case the other fish still think they're food.
Can you explain what you mean by balancing out the water parameters? More fish will just make you have to do larger water changes.
 
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AlexW9102

Member
jkkgron2 said:
Can you explain what you mean by balancing out the water parameters? More fish will just make you have to do larger water changes.
Like the ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, things like that. I heard live plants can help with a couple of those. Marimo balls help with nitrates, but not just one apparently. I make sure to keep the tank clean by vacuuming the rocks once every two weeks and I change the water about 25% when it's just a simple change after one week, and around 40%-50% when I clean it.
 

jkkgron2

Member
AlexW9102 said:
Like the ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, things like that. I heard live plants can help with a couple of those. Marimo balls help with nitrates, but not just one apparently. I make sure to keep the tank clean by vacuuming the rocks once every two weeks and I change the water about 25% when it's just a simple change after one week, and around 40%-50% when I clean it.
50% every week will help prevent this in the future.
Live plants will help absorb nitrates but that’s all. Nitrites and ammonia need to be converted by the beneficial bacteria.

I Don’t think you’ll be able to keep any more fish in that tank so you might have some issues with baby’s. Some fast growing plants that eat up nitrates are Myrio green, water wisteria, and frogbit. Salvinia minima is also a good one.
 
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AlexW9102

Member
jkkgron2 said:
50% every week will help prevent this in the future.
Live plants will help absorb nitrates but that’s all. Nitrites and ammonia need to be converted by the beneficial bacteria.

I Don’t think you’ll be able to keep any more fish in that tank so you might have some issues with baby’s. Some fast growing plants that eat up nitrates are Myrio green, water wisteria, and frogbit. Salvinia minima is also a good one.
I'm pretty sure there are some beneficial bacteria in the tank, but I won't know until I get a water test done to see how good it really is. I don't intend on getting any more fish, though, or on keeping the babies. Hopefully I can find some people to take the babies if they grow big enough. Thanks for the plant suggestions! I'll be sure to look for them when I go to the pet store next time! :)
 

Mazeus

Member
It sounds as though (and this is a guess) the female is feeling harrassed by the male and is trying to protect herself. One options could be to add some hiding spaces in the tank, some more rocks or wood that would create some hiding spaces for the fish. If the fish aren't working out, you could always see if the FS would take them back.
 

MomOfLiveBearers

Member
Ok, so there is a lot going on here.
1. Your tank is too small. Mollys prefer 30+ gallons.
2. You have got to test your water. No one can give you much help untill the water is tested and we have the numbers.
3. More fish is not the answer. It os already overstocked and can quickly make the water toxic at current stocking levels.
4. Mollys should be kept with the ratio of 3 females to 1 male, so if you are only keeping 2 mollys you would really want them to both be female.
5. Your females current behavior is indicative of stress. This can be caused by tank parameters and/or the fact that she is being harassed by the male. She will continue to hide from him to get a break.
6. Without pics of her poop and knowing what you feed them, its hard to tell if it is parasitic or not. My mollys poop changes throughout the week pending on what they have been fed.
 
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