silver molly swimming head down, bent body

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Mrs. T

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I have a silver molly that is acting really weird. Note, I'm new at this; I've had first fish tank since June, and I've had the Molly since September. A few days ago the molly started swimming head down and with a bent body. Once in a while, it swims normally, but most of the time it is in this position. It appears weak as well. We think it looks like it's dying, but it's hanging in there. Sometimes it even seems to have a burst of energy for no apparent reason, and acts almost normal for a short time. What is wrong with it, and how can I help it? Thank you.
 

AlexAlex

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Good evening, Mrs. T - And welcome to FishLore...

From what I have seen of your profile, you haven't filled out the "About Me", which lists your tanks, what fish are in them, and if you know about the nitrogen cycle. If not, I'd suggest reading it, which is vital on the health of your tank(s) and fish. Just click on the underlined and it will guide you to it.

It sounds like to me that your Molly is suffering either from some sort of seizure or it's a nitrate spike.

I am not sure if you are aware of the testing kits. Do NOT use any strip tests as those are horribly inaccurate and will give you the same or similar readings each time. I'd purchase the API Testing Kits.

Mollies, too, like a brackish water. I have a few mollies and when I do my 30-50% water changes once a week, I put a tablespoon of salt per each 5 Gallons of water in the tank. On top of that, if you have any that may have parasites, the salt will help kill them.

As noted above, I'd fill out your "About Me" on your profile completely so we can better assist the issues you are having.

It wouldn't hurt to do at least a 30-40% water change each day until you see improvements in the Molly. I hope she/he gets better. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask, as a question asked is a question answered or resolved.

Alex
 

Mrs. T

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I just signed up at this sight today, and I'm finding this sight very difficult to navigate. I have tried over and over to fill in the About Me section, but just can't understand how to. It was very time consuming just to find out how to post here.
Anyway, I've had the water tested regularly at the local pet store, and it tests just fine. It didn't initially when I first set up the tank, but it's fine now, and has been each time I get it tested.
For other fish in the tank, I have: a black Molly, 2 different types of Plattys, 2 tetras, a balloon molly, 2 different types of danios, 2 algae eaters (don't remember kind - some type of albino small breed) and a red tail shark. By the way, regarding the shark, I was told when I bought it that it was a friendly fish, no problem to have with the ones I already have. That was all fine for a month, but now he chases the others, and is getting quite large. I've been told he isn't so friendly, and will eventually eat the others as he gets bigger, so I'm trying to find a home for him. The pet store won't take him back, even though they sold him to me as a much different impression of what to expect of him!
My tank is a 30 gallon tank, and it's 24 high by 12 wide.
If you need any other info that would be helpful, please ask. I don't know if I'll have time to try to get that About Me thing to work or not. I already invested a lot of time in this sight today, and am really disappointed to see how confusing it is!!
 

Mrs. T

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PS, I also vacuum out 5 gallons of water off the bottom every couple weeks, and replace it with 5 gallons of tap water with 3 tablespoons of NovAqua Plus water conditioner.
 

Mrs. T

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the silver molly keeps getting stuck in the plants and/or suctioned onto the filter stick and I have to help it. Should I just flush it down the toilet and get it out of it's misery? I don't think it's going to live much longer, and I hate to see it suffer.
 

AlexAlex

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I'm sorry you are having difficulties with navigating through the forum. All you have to do on the "About Me" is go to your profile to the top right of the page, click on it, then when your profile shows up, click on "About Me" a little lower than the top of that page. They'll be some tabs on your profile to click on.

LFS employees quite often misinform folks on the care and needs for fish. They are trying to make a buck, not make fishes happier. Here on the forum, everyone is quite helpful and want to see that the fish are taken care of, and that the perimeters of the tank is well established and healthy.

The Shark is a very aggressive fish. He will eventually kill your Mollies, and I'm sure you don't want to see dead mollies tore up in a fish tank. I'm glad that you found out about the shark now and you're finding a new home for it.

It would be advisable, if you can, to purchase an API testing kit. Just make sure to never use the Testing Strips as those are very inaccurate. Do you have any pictures you can post of the "sick" molly? That would be quite helpful as well. Keep us updated!
 

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I know it can be frustrating, but don't give up. How long has it been since you have had the water tested?

IMO, Prime would be the best suggestion to use when conditioning the tap water. A lot of folks on the forum use it as it gets rid of the chloramine, too, on top of the chlorine, etc.

I know the fish hobby is a lot to breathe in, but I think they are well worth it. In due time it will get easier. Just be patient, and take one step at a time. :)

PS - I'd do 40-50% water changes daily, too.
Alex
 

Mrs. T

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Alex, thanks for your help here. I got the water tested about a month ago. I didn't think it had been that long, but that is when I got the 2 silver & black mollies, so I guess that was the last time I did it. I'd been doing it weekly prior to that, but when it kept coming back as being fine, I stopped doing it as often.
I'm not really that frustrated in general with the fish tank, we've enjoyed it a lot. We've had a few casualties along the way, but only a few, and of those few, it's been because of the fish store not advising us of what kind of fish would be good for a start up tank (not guppies!!). I'm just sorry for this silver molly, and don't know what to do to help it. None of the other fish seem to have any problems, so whatever is wrong with it, I think it's only this fish, and not something with the water.
Your advise to do 40-50% water changes daily sounds extreme! Especially when the other fish seem ok, and the water tests ok. Of course, the pet store uses the test strips that I see are not advised here.
The water conditioner I use detoxifies the chloramine, as well as chlorine, so maybe it's as good as prime. It's what I've been using all along.
Do you know what I find so strange? I hear someone like yourself with apparently so much knowledge of fish care telling me all this stuff to do, and yet when I talk to a few friends who have had fish tanks for years, they tell me things like this: "I never use water conditioner, I don't even check the water temp, I never clean my tank, I never change the filter, the most you have to do is rinse it every couple months." And these are people who have had fish for years! How do you know what to do when you hear everything so conflicting!! Even the pet store is no better with what they say!!
I did as you said for updating the About Me, and I can't find any place where I can enter anything. Maybe I can keep working at it later...
 

Mrs. T

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When I open the About Me tab, under it, it says Basic Information, then it has a long list of things that have mostly all N/A after them. I can't find any tab that lets me go in and change these answers.
 

Terra

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It's funny you posted that, because my mother and friends have both said the same thing to me when they hear my stories of how I've struggled to bring my fish tank under control as a newbie.

My mom bought a 26 gallon bowfront kit, poured some gravel in, filled it with untreated tap water, and bought a bristlenose pleco and plopped in it. It's been 3 years now.. the pleco is still alive and active. She's never heard of "cycling" and she's never done even a drop's worth of water change or cleaning on it. She was under the impression her "bottom feeder" would eat anything that shouldn't be in the tank. Her filter died 1 year ago and she replaced it completely after 2 weeks of having no filter at all in the tank. She never saved the old filter media for the new one, still didn't have a problem. It's not that she's an irresponsible pet owner, she loves the little guy... she just had no idea any of that stuff mattered or existed until I told her ... 3 years later.

I have aquarium keeping friends that I've been torturing with my fish woes and celebrations all month, none of them have a clue what I'm talking about. The most they do or have ever done is a water change once a month or so, if that. One is keeping an overstocked tank, one has goldfish in heated water, one has tropical fish in unheated water, etc. etc. None of them knew what cycling was or that chlorine was a bad thing for fish.

Having said that, I can attest from my own experience that what the folks on this forum tell you is not **** or unnecessary fear spreading. My fish were behaving wrong 2 days after plopping them in my uncycled tank. One was dead by day 4 or so, another dead by the end of the first week, and a third by the 2nd week. I used the test strips and got "safe/stress" readings, but never harmful ones. I used the API liquid master test kit immediately after and got "your fish is gonna die dummy, change the water RIGHT NOW!" readings.

It took me 5 weeks but my tank is cycled and my fish is happy thanks to the folks here. Please don't listen to your local fish store, they're the same kind of salesmen that got my 3 fish killed. These guys aren't getting paid to sell you products, they have no reason to embellish the truth.

EDIT - I had trouble finding the about me thing too, it's under settings -> edit profile. not under about me. https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/profile.php?do=editprofile
 

Eienna

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Sometimes fish survive the worst conditions, but that doesn't mean they should be in them. Far more die. Sometimes, say, a tank will cycle itself if you start with a small enough bioload, but more often ammonia overwhelms the fish and they die. A lot of people keep having their pets expire and give up for lack of proper information. A few avoid total tragedy by some miracle and those are the people who will tell you 'you don't need that stuff.' Unfortunately, those are the ones that tend to speak up the most and the loudest. These are often the people who think having a goldfish die at two years old is 'normal'. Those fish can live to far more than 25!

Do get the liquid kit. Many on this forum have had fish dying and the water tested fine, and then when they used the liquid kit, they found out that, say, their ammonia or nitrite was through the roof. You cannot depend on those strips.

You're on the right track with the conditioner, but the thing about Prime is that it detoxifies low levels of ammonia and nitrites, which you may have spikes of from time to time and will have a lot of when your tank is not cycled. It is also superconcentrated so one bottle lasts a lot longer than most others, making it more economical.

Mollies have a very high bioload, so your bacteria may not be keeping up with it. That aside, I'm thinking it may well be internal parasites. The behavior sounds about right for it. Can you get some Tetra Parasite Guard?
 

jdhef

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From what I understand, you are using NovAqua. NovAqua is designed to be used in conjunction with Amquel+. (Although there is a lot of overlap between the two products each do some things that the other does not.) I use Amquel+/NovAqua+ and actually think it is better than Prime. But it is also more expensive to use than Prime is.
 
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