Molly Swimming Head Down, Sticks Head In Corner Of Tank In The Gravel

Discussion in 'Molly' started by Elliea, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Elliea

    EllieaNew MemberMember

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    Female
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    Anchorage, Alaska
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    Hi I am fairly new to keeping fish and had no idea what I was getting into at first.

    I have had my tank set up since Thanksgiving 2018. It is about 4 gallons, it has a filter that pulls from the bottom and drops back on top. It also has an overhead light. I have a panda platy and a balloon molly both male.
    My platy is fine but a week or two ago my molly started laying on the bottom of the tank. I did some research and started leaving the aquarium light off with the room light on. It seemed to help as he stopped sitting on the bottom and both of them became more active. But then he started swimming with his head down. He has to kind of fight to even stay there and not flip over. I researched and found it highly possible that he has swim bladder.
    I finally bought a heater. It is a preset heater at 78F. Once the temp was up he seemed to get a little better, it's not as hard for him to not flip over but he still swims with his head down. I am in the middle of withholding food and he seemed to improve a little right at first.


    I got water test strips and my pH was too low. I removed the fish and added some baking soda, but then the overall alkalinity was too high. This morning I did a partial water change and I haven't checked it again yet.
    My tank is hexagonal and now I keep finding him in one of the corners with his head down in the gravel. I don't know what to do!
     
  2. Rowan

    RowanValued MemberMember

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  3. OP
    OP
    Elliea

    EllieaNew MemberMember

    Messages:
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    Gender:
    Female
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    Anchorage, Alaska
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    I pretty much covered all of this in the first post.

    Tank

    • What is the water volume of the tank? 4 gallons
    • Does it have a filter? yes
    • Does it have a heater? yes
    • What is the water temperature? 78F
    • What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) one platy one molly

    Maintenance
    • How often do you change the water? weekly
    • How much of the water do you change? 3/4
    • What do you use to treat your water? Tetra conditioner, makes tap water safe
    • Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I move a gallon into another container with some of the gravel and then completely wash the rest

    Parameters
    • Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? No I didn't know about cycling until after
    • What do you use to test the water? test strips
    • What are your parameters? We need the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
    I don't remember the last numbers
    Ammonia:
    Nitrite:
    Nitrate:
    pH:


    Feeding
    • How often do you feed your fish? twice a day
    • How much do you feed your fish? several flakes
    • What brand of food do you feed your fish? tetra
    • Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? no

    Illness & Symptoms:
    • How long have you had this fish? about a month
    • How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? a week or two ago
    • In a few words, (more room for details below) what are the symptoms?
    • Have you started any treatment for the illness?
    • Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? no
    • How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?

    Please explain your emergency in the best detail possible. (Please use this area to tell us the story of when this emergency began and leading up to now.)
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Elliea

    EllieaNew MemberMember

    Messages:
    6
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Ratings:
    +0
    Experience:
    Just started
    Just now I went in and my molly is now laying on it's side on the bottom. As if it's too hard to swim
     
  5. Rowan

    RowanValued MemberMember

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    A lot of it, yes, but not all. The details are important.

    This sounds a bit extreme. How exactly are you washing the tank? Are you using anything other than dechlorinated water to do it?
    Test strips are notoriously inaccurate and we really do need the actual numbers in order to know what's going on with the tank as a whole. A lot of members use and recommend the API Freshwater Master Test kit. It's usually about $15-20. Is that something you could do? If nothing else, could you re-test with your strips and share the exact results?

    I'm so sorry your molly is unwell. Is the platy acting normally? Do you see any marks or discolorations on either fish?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Elliea

    EllieaNew MemberMember

    Messages:
    6
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Ratings:
    +0
    Experience:
    Just started
    No I just use water.

    Okay I'll look into it. I just retested the pH is between 8.0 and 8.5, the total alkalinity is about 300, total hardness is 25, Nitrite 0, Nitrate about 20

    I know it's all off a little but I'm not sure how to fix it.

    Yes the platy is doing just fine. I haven't seen anything other than behavior changes.
     
  7. Rowan

    RowanValued MemberMember

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    What was your pH before you added the baking soda?

    Stable pH is better than chasing a specific number, so unless your pH was way too low, the fish are probably better off without any pH adjustments.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Elliea

    EllieaNew MemberMember

    Messages:
    6
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Ratings:
    +0
    Experience:
    Just started
    It was 5.5
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Elliea

    EllieaNew MemberMember

    Messages:
    6
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Ratings:
    +0
    Experience:
    Just started
    I put in what was suggested for incremental changes but obviously it was too much
     
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