Need Help With Tank Readings And Weird Molly Behavior

  1. a

    annabee09 Initiate Member

    I cycled my planted 20g tall tank before I got the fish and ammonia, nitrate and nitrite were all at 0 ppm. I added 6 danios, 3 amano shrimp and a male Dalmatian molly. They've been in the tank almost a week now and we noticed the molly has the shimmies (determined through web searches). Problem is, I can't figure out how to fix those. I tested the water and got 0.25 ammonia, 0.25 nitrite and 10-15 ppm nitrate. I did a 6 gallon water change (I only have 2 3-gallon buckets right now) treated with enough Prime for the whole tank. Poor Marshall (the molly) seems to be breathing a little fast so I'm going to add a bubbler/airstone to the tank tomorrow. So how do I: 1) fix the parameters and 2) fix the shimmies and quick breathing?? Thanks in advance!!
     




  2. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    How did you "cycle" your tank? Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? In a cycled tank only ammonia and nitrites should be at zero. Nitrates can be zero under special circumstances but typically they will be higher.

    The shimmies though suggests that you don't have enough minerals in your water. Do you have a KH/GH test kit, either liquid or a strip?
     




  3. OP
    OP
    a

    annabee09 Initiate Member

    I used Marineland QuickStart and then let it hang out a couple weeks. I've just found my notes from the tests I took before stocking the tank and nitrates were in between the 0 and 5 color. I just have the API Master Test Kit. The only pet stores I have near me are Petco and Petsmart. I can't seem to find that test kit on their websites. Amazon has it, but wouldn't get it until Saturday afternoon. Can Petsmart test the hardness of the water? I'm super worried about the molly. Is the bubbler a good way to go as well, or unnecessary?
     
  4. m

    mollybabes Well Known Member Member

    Does Marshall look any different? Can we have a picture to check there is nothing different about him?
     
  5. m

    mollybabes Well Known Member Member

    When a molly shimmies it's either because they are ill or because of the flow. How is the oxygen in the tank?
     
  6. Caitlin86

    Caitlin86 Well Known Member Member

    I recommend purchasing Prime and Stability by Seachem. Prime is a dechlorinator with the added benefit of detoxifying ammonia nitrite and nitrate at 1ppm for 24hours while Stability is ur bottled bacteria designed to use with Prime. You don't have a colony of bacteria large enough 2 support the bioload of said fish.
     
  7. Rover

    Rover Initiate Member

    The only way to lower nitrates without live plants is to do a water change.
    If you have any nitrite at all, it means your bacteria isn't fully cycled. Best suggestion would be just keep up on water changes every day until the bacteria colony gets better established.

    If you were cycling with zero ammonia in the tank, you weren't really cycling as there was nothing for the bacteria to eat and grow on!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    a

    annabee09 Initiate Member

    He looks the same as when we got him.

    Very possible that it's not fully established- I did have to change filters about a week before to add a biological filter - all I had before was charcoal. This is my first actual go at this, besides a little 3 gallon Berta tank.

    Addition - I do have live plants. It's moderately planted.

    I don't have a way to test the oxygen, but I think it might be on the lower end. I'm getting a bubbler or air stone tomorrow or Saturday to help with that.
     

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  9. m

    mollybabes Well Known Member Member

    Low oxygen might be the reason why he's gasping.
     
  10. Aquaphobia

    Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    But what did you add as an ammonia source? If you just put the QuickStart in the tank but then didn't feed the bacteria they will have died off.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    a

    annabee09 Initiate Member

    Oooook so I got a bubbler and he's much better. In fact, he's so great that he's now harassing my danios by chasing them down and nipping them. He's quite the regular tail hole, so he's going to be taking a trip back to the pet store and will probably be replaced with a dwarf gourami.