Help with my molly!!

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emilai333

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I got two mollies for my roommate, to go in her community tank. When I got them home I realized that one (a black) is male and one (dalmation) is female. I had them in QT for a while, and have since added them to the community tank. I adjusted their water slowly so that the change from brackish water to fresh water wouldn't shock their systems and kill them, and for a while they both seemed fine... my rm loves them, they will follow our fingers around the front of the tank (more than I can say for the tetras. Wish we'd gone with mollies in the first place).

The female molly was laying on the bottom this morning. She has no external signs of disease or injury, but is very sluggish and will not eat. She is not bloated, nor has she suddenly lost weight which would indicate she had given birth (I don't know how to tell a molly is pregnant, but I don't think she is). The male is not only not showing the same signs of illness, he is quite honestly THRIVING except for being irritated that I'm giving the girl all the attention and ignoring him. He has all of his fins spread as wide as they will go, is eating normally, and acting normally. Could she be stressed out by being the only female in the tank with a male? Our tank is pretty full, I don't think we could get away with adding another female molly. The other possibility is that the water temperature may have gotten too cold. I don't keep a heater in any of my tanks because our room is usually sweltering (about 78 to 80 degrees), making a heater somewhat overkill. Today, however, the temperature in the room is inexplicably cold - 68 or so... but I don't know why cold temperatures would affect the molly and leave the tetras, the cory, the loach, the other molly, my bettas, and my guppies all acting completely normal. half of the guppies and two of the bettas are in smaller tanks, they should be much more susceptible to cold temperatures.

Any suggestions?
 

Izabela

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Hello,

Congrats on your new molly couple. OK, here goes....I would at least get a thermometer in the tank so you can monitor water temperature...although your other fish aren't showing signs oof distress, any sudden temp drop will affect fish in a negative way. So the temperature is definetely a factor. BTW, you can pick up a heater fairly inexpensive nowdays, and they have automatic temp settings, so if it gets too hot in the room, it simply doesn't turn on. The goal is to keep the temp constant.

Also, as you mentioned, and especially if your male is showing off his beautiful fins (they often do this to show off to females), she may be exhausted by his unending attention. Have you noticed him chasing her around the tank? You could trade him in for another female, which should eliminate that problem. Remember mollies are VERY EASY BREEDERS. Where there is a male and a female, there will be babies...lots of babies. And I noticed you mentioned you are at your tanks maximum capacity...what will you do with the babies?

Third option is of course that your molly is sick. Or maybe the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels are off? Adding new fish always puts you at risk of an ammonia spike. Check your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels, check the temperature of the water (some food thermometers will work), observe the behavior of the male, and act accordingly. Good luck.

Izabela

PS.
If she was pregnant and about to give birth she would be quite plump, compared to her partner.
 
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emilai333

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My roommate didn't bring the heater back in when she took it home over break; she took it because she thought it would be too cold in her house. She promises to bring it in tomorrow.

My best guess was that she might be stressed from the male, but I haven't noticed him chasing her, harassing her, or in fact even hanging out near her except at feeding time. He likes to hang out by the filter, she tends to stay over by Chaos's cave.
 

Terry

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In addition to maybe being too cold with no thermometer, I think you said you moved the mollies from brackish (with salt) water to fresh water with no salt? It's said that mollies do better in water with aquarium salt added (typically 1 tbsp/5 gallons) as they originally came from brackish waters. I picked up a few gold dust (yellow) mollies about couple weeks ago, and after slowly adding salt to that tank a week ago they became much more active & "happy" in their behavior. In fact all of the fish in that tank seem to be in much better spirits after the salt addition.

The addition of aquarium salt seems to bring on a lot of debate, but after trying it my fish have been more healthy and active than ever. It hasn't had any negative effect on my other fish either (platys, white clouds, zebra & long fin danios, neon tetras), and although a lot of people don't think salt should be added to tanks with corydoras cats, mine are doing fine, and the same with friend's aquariums with salt & corys. But salt night have a negative effect on live plants - I don't know - mine are all plastic.

Terry
 
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emilai333

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Thank you everyone on your input. Unfortunately the female died overnight. She has developed an orange patch on her back between her dorsal and caudal fins, so although I had not noticed any orange prior to her death (and orange stands out on a silver and black fish), I am guessing that she died due to some sort of parasite or infection... perhaps velvet?

I have included pictures of what it looks like; I am concerned that it may have been transmitted to the other fish in the tank. In this situation, should I treat the tank? Will it hurt Chaos (the black kuhli loach) or Amaethon (the albino cory)? Can anyone confirm what it is?

I plan to get a different molly, probably a male, to keep the current one happy.

Terry, about the salt - I am less concerned with Amaethon being adversely affected, as I have seen mixed reviews concerning cories and salt, and more concerned with Chaos. I would say that we could give Chaos away, but my he is my roommate's favorite fish despite his being totally hidden most of the time.
 

Terry

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Hi. I'm not sure what the redness is - maybe bacterial, but I'm only guessing. Hopefully someone else will recognize it, and if it's contagious. Sorry about the fish loss. I hate to lose fish too. After getting back into this hobby after years away from it I'm almost convinced that all the years of inbreeding fish have resulted in them being even more susceptible to disease and untimely death. You try so hard to keep the little guys happy & healthy & sometimes we just can't succeed and can't always figure out why.

On salt & the Kulhi, I did a quick seach and found a web page with this comment in reply to someone asking if they could add salt with Kuhlis:

"I normally keep salt in my tanks & I used to use 1 TEASPOON per gal in my 10 gal with kuhlis.(Have since cut back) And I keep 1 TABLESPOON per 5 gals in a 30 gal with kulhis. It's been more than a yr for all of 'em, with never a sign of illness or problems for the kuhlis.

On occasions where ich has popped up, I have more than doubled that amount. Again, no sign of illness (they never got the ich either) in the kuhlis.

BTW, these are all well-planted, medium light tanks."



I wasn't sure myself - I don't know if Kuhlis are scaleless, or if their scales are too tiny to be evident.

Proceed with caution I guess.

Terry
 
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emilai333

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Thank you for the information about salt and kuhlis, Terry. I may add a small amount of salt, maybe two teaspoons or so, when I replace my female, and see how it works out. If Chaos starts acting sick, I can always do several water changes in succession to remove the salt.
 

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So sorry to hear about your loss. Coincidentaly I just lost one of my silver lyretail females; she gave birth to like 30 babies today, some of which were not developed fully, and just now died. She looked very stressed by the labor. But I digress....You know, it almost looks like your molly may have had an injury that got infected. Maybe it was small, and just turned reddish like this from infection. Just a thought. BTW, you do need to be careful with salt and live plants. Although I am in no way a plant expert, I do like the look of live plants in my tanks. Once when I added salt to treat ich, my plants started dying....quickly moved them to my 10 gallon...only a few survived.

Izabela
 
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emilai333

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Don't worry, I have no live plants. I've been considering them for my female guppies, but I don't know if I will get them anytime soon.
Sorry to hear about your girl. Its awful to lose fish. Hopefully your fry do well.
I returned the dead molly to the store and brought home an orange creamsicle lyretail male. **hoping that things work better for him.** Since I don't know what happened to the female, I'm just going to pray it wasn't contagious and fanatically watch the other fish for a couple weeks. I'm glad my guppies aren't in with them. Thats seven less fish I have to worry about getting sick!
 

Terry

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The gold dust male molly I put in the quarantine tank is soon to be put out of his misery I'm afraid. He was the only lyretail they had in with the other ones & was told the lyretail in the gold dusts was unusual. I don't know if that's true, but I hate to lose him. His clamped fins have turned into velvet or something that now has his back half covered in some lighter colored coating. He looked improved the other day but took a turn for the worse. The female I have is small (only about an inch) but obviously very full of young, and she looks very healthy. Hopefully removing the male days ago has stopped any spread - the rest of the fish in that tank look great - active & healthy.

Terry
 
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emilai333

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Sorry to hear about your guy, Terry.

Good luck with it not being contagious... my other fish are still looking happy and healthy, too, so I'm confident at the moment!

My new lyretail male is not very active, though... Is it normal for mollies to go through a transition period? The other two didn't but this one is spending a lot of time on the bottom of the tank. I'm afraid he may have the same thing as the female, but as he's an orange fish, I can't tell if he's getting orange/red on him. I guess I'll add some extra salt to his tank...
 

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Hi. My male was spending all of time on the bottom till I removed him from the tank to the quarantine (hospital) tank. I couldn't even find him - he was hiding under the bottom leaves of a plastic plant. But, the female had been doing that for a day or two previously, and she's always out now & very active. So, I don't know if hanging on the bottom is necessarily a bad thing or not, but it often is. I'm not sure what to recommend you do.

I decided to do a partial water change on the quarantine tank, and added another dose of antifungal medicine, as well as a dose of antiparasite medication. It's probably a lost cause but I'll see if by chance it helps. I have a red wag platy that's been in there also for days, with what appears to be fungus on one side & fin. She hasn't gotten any worse, but hasn't show any definitive sign of improvement either. Maybe it not fungus. I've got some tetracycline here I probably should add in case it's bacterial problems, but I'll wait a day. Pretty soon that tank will be a soup of different medications. I'm trying what I can before fiving up on those 2 fish, but it seems like these things are a lost cause most of the time.

So far no signs of these things in the main tank in the other fish (various platys, neons, danio, and a cory). Keeping my fingers crossed.

Terry
 
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emilai333

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When I added salt to the Q tank, the male perked up some, but then returned to the bottom of the tank. If I put my hand up to the tank, he'll swim around, and sometimes he goes exploring on his own, but mostly he just sits there on the bottom. He wasn't eating at first and now its almost like he's trying to but can't get his mouth around the flakes, or else is picky and doesn't like the flakes (or the bloodworms that I tried, hoping that SOMETHING I have would make him eat... I'll try a bit of algae wafer in a bit). He does seem a lot smaller and thinner than the black one (wow we really need to name these guys, it gets awkward after a while), so maybe he does have trouble eating. If so, as long as he is capable of eating, I don't mind babying him a bit. Its not like we haven't had experience babying my friend's goldfish, Wat, who has a problem with his swimbladder. **Crossing my fingers on this one.**

Oh, and I think I'll name him (the creamsicle lyretail) Peaches. I'll let my rm name the black.
 

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How's the mollie doing that was hanging around the bottom of the tank? The evening after I did the changes to my quarantine tank my male gold dust mollie bit the dust & went to fish heaven. I wasn't really surprised but it was still a bummer. The female in the main tank looks about due to drop her young, but I doubt I'll transfer her to another tank. I've got too many fish already, but I may break down & do it.

Terry
 
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emilai333

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He's still hanging in there, at the bottom of the tank. I'm thinking I'm going to have to euthanise him but the thought makes me sick, even though my friend who works at the lfs says that it looks like he has a problem with his swimbladder and there is nothing I can do. I can't just let him suffer but I can't stand to kill an animal - its why I didn't go pre-vet. :'( poor Peaches, I don't know what to do. He will still swim away from me if I try to net him, or if I put my hand up to the glass (unlike the black, he's shy of my hand), but he just goes back to lying there and he isn't eating.
 

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Well, you can always let nature take its course and if he doesn't get better you at least gave him a chance. I can't remember as I type this if he shows any outward signs of disease or not - clamped fins, something strange growing on the body, etc. If that's the case then euthanasia may be best, in case it might spread to other fish in the tank. Since I got back into aquariums it seems like the livebearers are more prone to diseases. Maybe it's just my imagination. I have 4 neons that have survived things that killed all of my other fish at times - ich outbreaks, a heater that wouldn't turn off, super high ammonia levels. And I always considered neons a very sensitive fish! Maybe I got just got a batch that was super hardy. But, livebearers have always been my favorite because they are so colorful, without being overly expensive. I guess I'm getting off the subject now so I'll stop blabbering! Good luck with the molly - let us know how it turns out.
 
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emilai333

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No, he doesn't have any external signs of disease. And, he's in my last isolation tank, so if he showed signs of disease I would be able to treat him without being afraid of affecting my other fish.

He seems better at the moment... haha Justin (my friend who works at the fish store). He's not totally better, but he was swimming around a little without any encouragement from me, and he ate at least one bite of food. I'm not going to go crazy and declare him healthy by any means but I'm not going to worry about euthanasia for a while yet.

If it does come to that - its a choice between death by drowning because he can't swim, starvation for the same reason, or a quick and relatively painless death at my hands.
 

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Hi again. My little yellow gold dust molly evidently had her babies last night. She's been like a little ballon the last few days & is skinny this morning. But, not a baby be seen in the tank, and I've really searched around with a flashlight under the plants, etc. I'm guessing they turned into fish food. And I was going out to get a breeding net this morning - one day too late! I was hoping to get the babies & get a male out of the bunch, but no such luck. I've only seen them sold at Petco, but they were on sale last time at $0.99 so I'm guessing they don't have any more by now, but I'll look on the next visit. I would have put her in the quarantine tank with the red wag platy I've been treating, but I didn't want her to get whatever the platy has. Oh well. Really pretty fish - the one I have is a pure, bright yellow, with metallic gold specks. Some have black on them as well. Oh well, I'll keep an eye out for a new mate for her.

I put some tetracycline in the quarantine tank with the red wag yesterday, and I'd like to say it looks better this morning, but we'll see what happens in the next few days. It seems like I'm putting a lot of effort into saving one fish, but she's active other than having that crud growing on her side & one pectoral fin about eaten away by it. The antibiotic is my last try - I've tried everything else.

I hope your molly is showing some signs of improvement?
 

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Hi,emilai333 Im sorry about the loss of your fish. i just got a dalmation mollie today, Its a boy, and seems to be doing good, im glad I read about the salt i might now put a little in. I have a 10 galloon but hes in a smaller one. I was just wondering if i should put my heater in the tank. He has a lamp, and filter, obviously, i put the tank is beside my bed and the plugs are already taken up. I knw this is a very stupid question probably but I was wondering, does the light kinda work as a heater, otherwise I guess I'll have to attach my heater and put the tank somewhere else. Apparently for to hold one mollie you need 5 gallons of water is this true? ???
P.S- i KNOW I SHOULD PROABALLY post this somewhere else but I am new to this site, and I was looking for information on dalmation mollies and came this.
 
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emilai333

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Unfortunately, Peaches died today. I guess I'm glad that he isn't suffering any more, but I'm sad too because I got really attatched to him. I had to go to work today and when I left (7am) he was still sleeping so I didn't bother him; when I got back at five he was laying on his back but still alive and I didn't have time to try to help him - don't know what I would have done if I had had time. When I got back from my superbowl party, he was dead. Guess he goes back to the store tomorrow for a refund . It's way too cold for me to bring home a new fish at the moment though, unless I can take something to keep it warm on the way to and from the car. We'll see.

Terry, too bad about the babies and good luck finding a male. Good luck also with your platy. Keep me posted. I'm sure there will be more in this thread when I try my luck with my next molly.

Lola, Hello! I hope your molly is doing well. Livebearers such as mollies are social fish, and I and pretty much everyone else recommend keeping them in pairs or groups, with a ratio of 1 male to 2 females. If you have only females, you're OK... I plan to keep two males together but I'll have to watch and make sure they don't nip at each other, I've heard they do that sometimes. If you have a male and two females, which is good in a 10 gallon tank (3inches per fish times three fish, at one gallon of water per inch of fish, at least nine gallons), you will end up with fry. A five gallon is fine for one fish, but they are SO MUCH HAPPIER with friends!!! (which is why I keep trying to get a healthy buddy for my black molly). You should definitely put a heater in the tank (the light provides some heat but not enough... I believe 78 or 80 is ideal). You could get a surge protector to plug your aquarium stuff into. This not only protects about problems connected with power surges or outages, it also provides extra outlets. And they aren't that expensive!!! Feel free also to start your own thread, lots of nice people will be thrilled to help you out. I'm probably not the best to ask... I've only had three mollies for less than a month and two of them have died so far. On the other hand, I've picked up a lot by reading here, so as far as I know the information I have given you is accurate.
 
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