New Mollies Dying...help

chughes737

Member
Completed my cycle after 6 weeks yesterday..

Went out and got 3 Black mollies 1 Male and 2 female

Adapted them with drip test...fed and watched for couple hours...turned off lights and went into other room

Got up to check on them some 6 hours after introducing to tank and 1 molly was dead on the bottom of the tank and the other two are swimming sort of listlessly and being carried by the currents etc...

My 6 Glo fish are doing fine

That's all I have in the 46 gallon tank

All parameters are fine

What is wrong...did I do something

Please Help!
 

Kunsthure

Member
What are your parameters, like the actual numbers. Have you tested since the molly died and the others started acting listless?

The one may have just died from stress. I doubt it played a role but it's better not to feed new fish right away.

-Lisa
 
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chughes737

Member
Temp 81
pH 7.5
NH3 0
NO2 0
NO3 7
KH 4 Deg

Just tested again

I have black inert sand from Petsmart in the bottom and when first introduced they started rummaging through it and spitting it out etc..didn't look like they were eating it...

Could they have ingested it?

I barely fed them, maybe just a couple flakes

They seemed very active and healthy and all of a sudden Wham!!!

Like I said too my Glo's are fine

Sad and puzzled...I can't help but feel responsible after I thought I did everything to prepare for their arrival
 

Kunsthure

Member
What test kit are you using?

81 is pretty warm, that could play a role.

My mollies are constantly taking mouthfuls of sand and spitting it back out. I think they do ingest some because I've seen some sandy poop. I doubt that's what's going on with your mollies.

-Lisa
 
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chughes737

Member
Using Liquid API Test kit

Uh oh... 81 is high?

I thought they were okay between 72 and 82?
 

jetajockey

Member
did they freak out when you turned the lights off? It looks like you have all of your bases covered, I don't know of what could cause this apart from them not adapting to their new environment.
 
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chughes737

Member
They seemed fine when the lights went out..the glo's darted a little then calmed down the mollies seemed okay also
 

Kunsthure

Member
The Fish Lore profile says 70-82 degrees, so 81 is up there. Did you try to keep it at that temp while you were drip acclimating them? If not, the shock of the temp change could've stressed them.

-Lisa
 

bass master

Member
everything sounds good to me, 81 is a bit on the high side for livebearers, but as long as there is adequate water agitation I don't see it killing seemingly healthy fish. What water conditioner do you use?
 
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chughes737

Member
I did use that temp when acclimating them and had my heater to the very lowest setting all day just seemed to settle on 81

I am using NovAqua +

I took the mollies out and put them in an emergency tank with some cooler conditioned water and am doing a partial water change right now with cooler water about 20% to try and change things around

Thanks for all the quick help so far...kinda in panic mode right now
 
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chughes737

Member
Well, sadly the 2nd one just died...

The 3rd one is struggling..

The Glo's are still fine..

I did a 50% water change and conditioned the water the temp is down to 79 and falling slowly

I was sure my tank was cycled so we'll see in the morning

Now to explain to our 5 year old in the morning where her fish went
 

Aquarist

Member
Good morning,

Sometimes the conditions fish are kept in (even in fish stores) are awful, high ammonia level for example. Every now and then fish can survive these conditions for a while and they adapt to these awful conditions. If this was the case for you fish, adapting to pristine water conditions can be a shock to your fish even with slow acclimation.

Sometimes it trial and error in this hobby.

With your cycle readings where they should be 0, 0, under 20 don't be so quick to blame yourself. The fish could also have been ill.

So sorry you lost them!

Ken
 
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chughes737

Member
Thanks aquarist48...I appreciate the feedback

3rd still hanging on, tough little guy
 

Jrobber

Member
I agree with Ken about the LFS tanks. Does your store have a refund policy? You could take the fish back, but before you buy anymore I'd ask them to test their water in front of you. That way you know what you're getting.
 
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chughes737

Member
Update:

3rd Molly made it through the night

I have him quarantined with some aquarium salt, he seems better now and is swimming rather than just lying on the bottom

I changed another 75% of the water and have the temp at 75 deg and all parameters look good.

Getting a false high reading for Nitrites using the API test...did a tap water 1/2 tap 1/2 aquarium and compared to 100% aquarium water...both turned bright purple ...I'm using Prime now so it looks like the chloramines are affecting the test

All other fish seem to be doing fine...still not sure why the original 2 fish passed..
 

jetajockey

Member
how are you getting a false reading ? what's up with your nitrites? what does the test do with 100% tap water?
 
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chughes737

Member
100% tap water equals bright blue

just a drop of aquarium water turns the results deep purple

which if was the case the fish would all be dead by now, but so far the Glo Fish have been in there for 24 hours and the new Mollies are doing good going on 7

I was using NovAqua+ before started using Prime and that was the main culprit for giving the false High...

These reading happened before like this immediately after a water change and took a couple days to indicate 0

Whatever Prime or NovAqua + does to chloramines, it throws the API test off from what I can tell
 

jetajockey

Member
that sounds odd. I've never had an issue with prime and nitrite testing, and I use prime as my main water conditioner.

High nitrites do not equal instant death, but it can and often leads to fatalities. try conditioning some tap water with your water conditioners in a cup and then testing it to see what it says, that should rule out whether or not you are getting false positives. If it turns out you have insanely high nitrites, then start doing some big water changes.
 
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chughes737

Member
I did an 85% change and still deep purple...

that can't be correct could it ????

stand by gonna do the cup/condition test
 
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chughes737

Member
did the tap water conditioner test and it didn't effect the test...I still can't believe the nitrites could be that high though with all of the water changes I've done in the last 24 hours

just tested the tank again and the color is off the scale...deep deep purple...just the other day it was zero before I added the fish

not sure what to do...wait it out or just keep doing changes that don't seem to do anything
 
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chughes737

Member
filled a 5 ml test tube with 0.5 ml of aquarium water and 4.5 ml of tap...
bright purple almost instantly...that would mean almost a 100% water change...

I think the only practical thing to do would be wait and see

There have got to be some things at work here other than chloramine / ammonia conversion as in the tap water which gives a no nitrite indication...I'm guessing there has to be other bio-factors already present in the aquarium water that are affecting the results such as converted ammonia by BB to NO2 rather than the chlorine to ammonia that is happening with the tap water via Prime and NovAqua+

All my other readings are stable

NH3/4 0
NO3 5
pH 7.4
KH 5 degrees
Temp 77
 

jetajockey

Member
Water conditioners are not going to convert ammonia to nitrite, they just convert it to ammonium temporarily.

I suggest big water changes and a good vacuuming, its not common for nitrite to spike off the chart but it does happen.
 
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chughes737

Member
Could I just keep adding Prime every 24 hours to detox the nitrite until the bacteria multiply enough to take care of the Nitrite? I'm not going to be in town for the next 3 days and my wife will only be home watching the fish ....water changes aren't her thing

I do show about 5 ppm Nitrate

Seems like my water changes screw up my cycle in my tank every time

I did a fishless cycle for 6 weeks and everything was stable until I added fish
 

hyun007

Member
A little salt is always welcome by the Molly.
Just don't keep cory cat in there if you are going to add salt.

You are not the only one who have problem with Molly.
Try to add a little salt each time you do water change.
It works well with some people.
 
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chughes737

Member
Thanks all..I'm gonna go on the safe side then and assume the Nitrite test is correct

I reduced the test tube to 1 ml aquarium water and 4 ml of tap after another 50% change just now....showing 2 PPM with the dilution so I would assume my Nitrites are somewhere between 8 and 10??? I guess that will be well enough to keep the cycle going until the NO3 producing bacteria really take hold...added 2 caps of Prime directly to tank before refilling

I will do 50% water changes with 2x cap's of Prime until my bacteria get a hold of the Nitrites

Well...it has been educational I guess... chalk me up to failing Fishless Cycling 101... and killing 3 Mollies in the process , it's A LOT harder than everyone makes it sound...and here I was trying to prevent fish stress and thought I was patient enough but then blam 6-7 weeks down the drain

I assumed everything I read that said NH3 0, NO2 0, NO3 5-20 should be a cycled tank was correct...oh well live and learn...

Guess I'm being forced into completing my tank cycle with fish
 

jetajockey

Member
Just a suggestion, I would get the nitrites down to barely registering. They are obviously being produced by ammonia conversion, so you don't have to worry about there not being enough to feed the new bacteria.

I don't know the specifics of nitrites, but I do know that with ammonia , if you get over 5ppm that it actually can kill off some of the BB and slow your cycle down even more.
 
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chughes737

Member
Thanks Jetajockey

How much time should I let pass between changes

I just did a 50%, I'm going to wait until the morning and do another...I don't want to stress them out too much ....I think in the morning if the levels not down, I'll change 80 - 85%...

I must have a ton of BB for the ammonia conversion...showing 0 on the NH3 scale...

Funny that only when I introduced my fish I got the nitrite spike I was waiting for during the fishless cycle but never really got (I thought I missed it)...at most up to 1 or 1.5 but down to 0 the next day
 

jetajockey

Member
Just change out whatever you are comfortable with, you have the best idea of what's going on right now so you should use your best judgment as to what the fish can handle. You are doing all right, we all go through this starting out.
 
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chughes737

Member
Thanks jetajockey, I really appreciate the help
 

jetajockey

Member
gladly
 
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chughes737

Member
Glad I listened to you guys on the water changes, also got a new API test kit just to be safe....been doing 2x daily changes with a large one in the morning and a partial in the evening...finally got my nitrites down to about .25 ...

I just keep adding a 2 cap full shot of Prime and keep doing water changes hoping the NO3 producing bacteria show up in greater number soon

I've isolated my two remaining mollies in a small hospital tank as they were on their last legs in the main tank, I change their water 95% everyday with some Prime/Copper Meds/Aquarium salt - they both started getting ich in about 12 hours after putting them in the main tank

2 days later...they both seem alert and active and the ich is just about gone, barely notice anything with a high light led pen flashlight that usually reflects anything white to great clarity

What I do question is whether or not to return my Mollies to the store or the main tank

Not sure they're gonna like it if I switch them to a non-brackish environment...Although looking back the tank wasn't cycled properly (I jumped the gun - noob mistake) so they were probably more stressed about that than the salinity factor

I love how they move, swim etc...but they seem to really like the brackish water and I plan on running this setup in my 46 gallon once it is Fully Cycled ...

5 Boeseman Rainbowfish
1 Red Tail Shark
6 Glo Fish
2 Emerald Green Cory Catfish

 

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