Please Help...sick Fish And Stocking Questions

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by ailegan31, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. ailegan31New MemberMember

    I am totally lost on what to do. I have a sick black molly and I'm not sure if I should euthanize it or wait for it to die or treat it (if it isn't too late) and I think I have too many plecos. I have a:
    - 10 gallon freshwater tank
    - Aqueon Hang-On-Back/Power-filter
    - Heater
    - Thermometer
    - White and blue LED light
    - About 1 inch of various shades of blue gravel
    - 2 caves
    - 2 real plants
    - 4 bristlenose plecos that I feed with pleco wafers when necessary (about once every 2 days)
    - 1 sunset platy
    - 1 electric green glofish
    - 1 black molly
    I feed the 3 previously mentioned fish 3 times a day with Advanced Nutrition flakes for tropical fish. I also throw some shrimp pellets in the tank once a week to change things up a bit.
    I vacuum the tank about once a week.
    In february, I set everything in the tank up and let it run for a day, then my friend gave me 4 baby bristlenose plecos because hers had babies. I put those in the tank and they were fine - maybe a bit reserved; they hid a lot. Then a month later I went out and bought fish that would swim around more rather than just sitting on the bottom. I bought 3 that looked cool: the glofish, molly, and platy. After putting those in the tank, the plecos began swimming outside more and everyone seemed to be doing well. Today is the 22nd of April, and on the morning of the 21st I noticed that the black molly didn't come up to eat in the mornings, it was bloated and its fins were sticking out, and it just sat on the bottom of the tank. It was fine on the night of the 20th. I am quite new to taking care of fish, so I assumed it was something that would pass, so I left during the day and when I came back home about 8 hrs later it was still like that. I did some reading online and I think it is suffering from dropsy. I vacuumed the tank out which was covered in poop, mostly from the plecos, and refilled it with water of the same temperature and plenty of water conditioner, but the molly still looks terrible. I think its back fin has also began to rot since the 21st. As I said, I'm not sure what to do with it now: from what I've read online, some people say euthanize it before it makes any other fish sick, some say wait it out, some say to cure it, and some say it's too far gone to cure. I'm also unsure whether or not I should take out some plecos in case those caused the water quality to get so poor. Please help! I've attached 1 photo that shows the scales sticking out and the bloating, and 1 of the back fin.

    Attached Files:

  2. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    As I gather you already know, you are way overstocked. Plecos are notoriously high waste fish and you have 4 in a 10 gallon! That is almost certain to get you where you are now. I would rehome of all the plecos, a 10 g is not sufficient in size for this species. Sadly, the severity of your molly's illness is certainly fatal- at this point the organs have most likely failed. Euthanizing the fish will save it from a slow and painful death. There are various methods to euthanize, but I take the fish out, put in a small container with lid, and put into freezer. This method has been used many years by fish-keepers. Others might have additional suggestions. Here is a very good article on causes, indications, and treatments for Dropsy.

  3. DemeterFishlore VIPMember

    The scales look like they are pine coned out? That is a very bad sign of an internal infection called dropsy. There isn't a whole to do be done other than epsom salt baths and water changes. I would get a bucket of water and add 1 tablespoon of epsom salt per gallon and let the fish soak in there for 15 minutes. I'd be setting up a quarantine tank as well to keep the molly separate from the other fish. I have a feeling your molly is too far gone though. Best to send if off peacefully rather than let is suffer and possibly pass the illness off to the other fish.

    Sounds like you didn't cycle the tank before adding all the fish. If you don't know about the Nitrogen cycle then please do some reading on it. Bad water quality is the main cause for fish illnesses. I would bet your molly became ill because of off water parameters.

    How often do you do water changes and how much each time? It is important to do weekly water changes to keep nitrates down and it will go a long way towards keeping the fish healthy. On that note, can you test your water for nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia? These are the things that usually cause problems at the wrong levels.

    Lastly, you have a few stocking issues. Mollies are not meant for 10gal tanks, they are just too large and too active to do well in a 10gal. Same for the plecos. I wouldn't keep 1 BN let alone 4. They may be small right now, but they produce a lot of waste which will heighten the nitrates significantly over time. They need a larger tank, for 4 BN I reccomend at least a 40gal. Either that or rehome them

    The glofish is a schooling fish, they need to be in groups of at least 6 to keep them from getting nippy and uphappy in general. Another reason to get a bigger tank, you can get more fish ;)

  4. ailegan31New MemberMember

    Thank you so much. I'll look into getting rid of the plecos. That sounds like a decent way of taking care of the molly.

    This is incredibly helpful. I think I'll go get a scooper so I can take care of the molly and I'll buy an aquarium test kit while I'm out, too. I use a siphon to vacuum the tank weekly, so that sucks out a lot of water. I would say about 1-2 gallons per week. I'll probably keep 1 pleco, considering I have a bunch of pleco wafers left and they've grown on me. I'll keep checking the nitrates though and if it becomes too much then I'll get rid of the plecos altogether. I've noticed the glofish becoming nippy towards the platy, so I think I'll get more of those too, once I know the chemical levels are alright. It's a 1" electric green glofish, and I heard the rule of thumb is 1" of fish per gallon, so I think I can fit 6 glofish in my tank, put please let me know if anything I've said doesn't sound right. Thank you so much for your help.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  5. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    If you keep 1 pleco in this size tank I would suggest taking out all substrate (particularly if gravel ), putting in a light dusting of sand or, optimally, none at all, and changing and vacuuming thoroughly 3x a week. You will need to be especially clean in this tank.... it will be alot of work. Make sure to rinse out your mechanical media at least once a week to make sure your filter doesn't become a haven for all things deadly for your fish.
  6. ailegan31New MemberMember

    Jeez, that is a lot of work. Can good bacteria even thrive in those conditions? It seems like it isn't worth keeping the plecos. Any idea what I can do with them? Would Petco or Petsmart take them from me?
  7. jenmurFishlore VIPMember

    Plecos even Bristlenose and Clown need a 29 gallon tank. They are huge bio load fish. The one inch per gallon isn't really true and danios are very active fish and not the best suited for a 10 gallon tank.
  8. DiscusluvWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, good bacteria can thrive in those conditions, but in smaller numbers. Because the tank is too small to support an adequate colony of BB to match the waste produced by the pleco ( even in optimum conditions), you will need to change the water and keep it clean in lieu of BB. Yes, try either of those two shops to see if they would take them- they just might!
  9. ailegan31New MemberMember

    Maybe I'll get more platys for my tank then to go with the one I have now. What do you suppose I do with the glofish that's in there now?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  10. jenmurFishlore VIPMember

    Could you take him to a store as well? Or get a 20 gallon tank? (Preferably a 20 long)
  11. ailegan31New MemberMember

    I'll ask the people at Petco if they can take the fish back to prevent it living in an unsuitable tank. I don't really want to buy a bigger one.
  12. ailegan31New MemberMember

    I'm thinking about euthanizing it by dropping it into a cup full of pure vodka. This seems to be one of the quickest and guaranteed ways to end his suffering. Any thoughts?
  13. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    Just to let you know, platies are livebearers and you will likely end up with babies if you keep more than one.

    Here's a thread on fish that do well in a 10 gallon. As far as I know platies are ok in a tank that size, just be prepared for more :D

    Stocking List for 10 Gallons
  14. ailegan31New MemberMember

    Ah, I forgot platies will most likely breed. I don't think I would do well taking care of a pregnant fish and her babies. Thank you so much for this - it's very helpful!!!!
  15. jenmurFishlore VIPMember

    Hopefully they can.
  16. ailegan31New MemberMember

    Ok, I've euthanized the molly was quick and definitely for the best. I bought a full water test kit and I'll use it as soon as I get rid of the plecos.

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