Molly scared of water changes? Help 

Maroon1997

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I was originally going to make a post because I siphoned up my male golden panda on accident but oddly he’s already back to normal and eating (but I’m keeping an eye on him). However, I’m kinda concerned about my other golden panda. I’ve had them for a year and a half and they’ve always been fine but lately every time I clean the gravel or change the water she freaks out and lays still on the bottom for an hour or two not moving. Her fins aren’t clamped or anything and she looks fine (besides her not moving anyway. She eventually comes back around and will gladly eat and stay around the other mollies. I’ve been checking the water levels every time I see her do this and everything is always fine. I never really thought about it because she always snaps back but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
 

Giul

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I wonder if the issue is the water you’re adding back into the tank. When you refill your tank do you use water that is the same temperature? How do you add your water conditioner to the new water? How much water do you change at one time and how often? Also what are your exact Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate numbers before and after the water change?

Hopefully a change in how you do water changes will fix the issue since she usually perks back up after the change
 

angelcraze

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Is a golden panda a molly? Sorry I don't know. Are you sure that wasn't the one you siphoned accidentally?

I keep cichlids, not livebearers, but fish remember things for a long time. I had an angelfish who got beat up badly, she was terrified of the fish that beat her up two weeks later. Furthermore, I had to disinfect her injuries, so she hid every time I opened the lid for about 6 months. She still hides a bit, but not as bad and comes out faster now. She's fine if I don't mess with the lid. Definitely a traumatic experience for her and she remembers it.

The fact that not all the fish are doing this says something about your water quality or water change practices. Some fish are more ok with tank maintenance than others. Some will chase the debris up my siphon, others will stay calm at the bottom.
 

eirynne

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angelcraze said:
Is a golden panda a molly? Sorry I don't know. Are you sure that wasn't the one you siphoned accidentally?

I keep cichlids, not livebearers, but fish remember things for a long time. I had an angelfish who got beat up badly, she was terrified of the fish that beat her up two weeks later. Furthermore, I had to disinfect her injuries, so she hid every time I opened the lid for about 6 months. She still hides a bit, but not as bad and comes out faster now. She's fine if I don't mess with the lid. Definitely a traumatic experience for her and she remembers it.

The fact that not all the fish are doing this says something about your water quality or water change practices. Some fish are more ok with tank maintenance than others. Some will chase the debris up my siphon, others will stay calm at the bottom.
Yup! My rainbowfish all crowd around the siphon trying to get what I'm vacuuming. Certainly makes it nerve wracking to move the hose around so I always need to be on my A-game with pinching off the suction. :nailbiting:

All of my fish seem extra hyper after a water change too (even the bristlenose pleco)! They all come out and see what kind of goodies I've left behind for them to eat haha.

I would agree with @angelcraze though that maybe maintenance just makes your molly more nervous than your other fish and perhaps to steer clear of her to avoid stressing her out too much when you do it!
 
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Maroon1997

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I only tested the water before the change last time but everything was always the same, the pH is always around 7.0-7.3, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites are always 0-.2 (just the nitrates got to .2 before the change). I always make sure the new water is around the same temp as the tank water and mix in the conditioner with the new water before pouring it in, and I only change about 25% every two or sometimes three days since school and work always has me busy. I don’t think it’s the water personally unless I misread something, I maybe think when I was pouring the water in and I might’ve dumped too much at one time and it might’ve pushed her against the rocks or something and scared her so now she hates it, but I could be wrong.

Yeah she’s a molly and the one I siphoned was Sushi and the one that hates the water changes is Wasabi (interesting names I know) but he has very long fins and abnormally more black than orange so I know I didn’t mix them up. I think it is just a traumatic experience and like I said previously I think I poured too much water, and she got pushed against the rocks too hard. I think all she needs is time and for me to not rush the changes and siphon more carefully.

Yeahhh I’ll be a lot more careful and make sure that I pay attention to where she hides at all times she’s probably just traumatized like both of you said
 

angelcraze

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I use my hand to break the dumped in water when i'm adding it to the tank. Spreads it horizontally instead of straight down. A habit I picked up from building dirted tanks.

Is she coming out for food alright?
 

GuppyDazzle

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Water changes always produce a certain amount of stress on fish. That's why I avoid doing more than a 50% water change unless it's an emergency.

I've found that fish grow more accustomed to water changes over time. New fish I've put into a tank tend to get spooked when I start subjecting them to water changes, then are fine after a while. I use the same process for my fry tanks, and they get used to it too. If it's just acting spooked for an hour or so, then they're fine, I wouldn't worry too much about it. But it's never a bad time to make sure you're matching temp and using conditioner, which it sounds like you're doing.
 

Giul

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Maroon1997 said:
I only tested the water before the change last time but everything was always the same, the pH is always around 7.0-7.3, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites are always 0-.2 (just the nitrates got to .2 before the change). I always make sure the new water is around the same temp as the tank water and mix in the conditioner with the new water before pouring it in, and I only change about 25% every two or sometimes three days since school and work always has me busy. I don’t think it’s the water personally unless I misread something, I maybe think when I was pouring the water in and I might’ve dumped too much at one time and it might’ve pushed her against the rocks or something and scared her so now she hates it, but I could be wrong.

Yeah she’s a molly and the one I siphoned was Sushi and the one that hates the water changes is Wasabi (interesting names I know) but he has very long fins and abnormally more black than orange so I know I didn’t mix them up. I think it is just a traumatic experience and like I said previously I think I poured too much water, and she got pushed against the rocks too hard. I think all she needs is time and for me to not rush the changes and siphon more carefully.

Yeahhh I’ll be a lot more careful and make sure that I pay attention to where she hides at all times she’s probably just traumatized like both of you said
Yeah, she just sounds a little scared from what happened before. Everything else sounds fine
 

angelcraze

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I don't find water changes very stressful for my fish, but like you say, they get used to them. Every week i'm changing out 50%, most of them hardly care about me doing them. So many times, I've had fish spawn right after the water change or even while during it! So I really don't think my fish are stressed out, if anything they are a lot more active with the fresh water. I think they love the fresh water personally.
 
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