Very sick mollies- help!

  1. Mmbrown Well Known Member Member

    Hi everyone,
    We have one Molly who frankly I think has the shimmies- thrashes about while staying in place, makes exaggerated movements but doesn't swim anywhere. The other day I noticed some white feces. Our other Molly has normal feces but his fins have turned reddish and will swim around for a bit, then lay on his side on the gravel, leaning next to an ornament. What could be bothering our fish? Recommendations for course of action or medications?

    Please note that we do have a scaleless fish- I know some medications can't be used with them in the water.

    Our nitrates/nitrites/ammonia levels are all fine. Our pH and hardness is set for the bn pleco we have but we were advised that the mollies, likely being farm raised, would be able to adjust fine to this type of water, plus I'd rather keep the water at the pH and hardness it has coming out of the tap than try to alter it. We've had the mollies for a little over two weeks now.

    As a newbie, any and all help will be greatly appreciated!
    I also posted this on the Molly specific thread.
     
  2. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Is the tank cycled? What exactly are your readings for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates? I'm not an expert on parasites, but it sounds like that possibly could be the problem. Hopefully someone with more knowledge on parasites will respond.
     

  3. Mmbrown Well Known Member Member

    Nitrites and Ammonia are 0, Nitrates are about 20-30, we were doing some water changes to get it lower. The tank's been up and running for, what, six months now?
    I ran out and got some Pimafix, they livened right up from the fragrance. Hoping it works out.

    As a side note, the Petsmart representative recommended we increase our pH, which is currently 6-6.5. What do you guys think? She also recommended I put salt in the tank, but that would be like pouring salt on a snail with our pleco, so I'm not entirely sure I should trust her on the rest of her recommendations.

    Do appreciate the reply!
     

  4. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    I'm not sure of exactly who in your fish, but I believe you are right that salt is bad for your scale-less inhabitants. I know amongst members there is quite a disagreement about treating with salt; some think it is beneficial to be used sparingly, others think it often does more harm than good. Personally, I wouldn't want to risk it.

    Also, I believe that pH is one of the parameters that fish are most able to adapt to. Obviously there are exceptions; I know if the pH is too low, it will eat away at snails' shells. But I actually have very high pH, and it was recommended to me to not try and mess with it, and to instead be sure to acclimate new fish well.

    I would, of course, take my information with a grain of salt (hah), because I am merely relaying information that I have learned from others; I have no experience in this area. Hope others can help! :)
     

  5. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    I would't recommend trying to alter the ph, it will only lead to dangerous ph swings. Also I definitly would not add salt with the pleco in there. Did you notice by any chance that the advice given by PetSmart involed buying more products from them?
     
  6. Mmbrown Well Known Member Member

    Good point, which is why I've learned to go in there prepared to spend more time googling things quickly on my phone than talking with the associates, haha.

    Thanks to both of you - I think I won't try to mess with the pH. I looked for anything online about what pH is just too low for all fish, and didn't find much. But I'd bet my 6-6.5 is probably alright. It's probably not until it gets into the 5's that you're looking at fish kabobs :p
     
  7. bowcrazy Well Known Member Member

    First off it is always better to have a stable pH than a changing one. Most farm raised fish can adapt to about any pH as long as it isn’t too extreme. There are natural more stable ways to raise or lower the pH than using chemicals so if you decide you absolutely have to adjust it do it naturally. Do you have anything like driftwood in the tank that is slowly lowering the pH?

    Secondly I add lots of salt to my Molly tanks because they seem to do better with it but it is not a absolutely have to have item, just recommended. Most scale-less fish don’t like salt in the water because it bothers their skin so if you have fish like Pleco and Corydora it is advised that you don’t add salt.
     
  8. Mmbrown Well Known Member Member

    Hi all, sad to say that both mollies passed today. We were treating with pimafix but I think we caught it too late. I feel quite bad for the poor guys.

    Pleco seems alright although he is hiding more than normal. Would you all recommend doing the full treatment of pimafix (it says to treat for 7 days on the bottle and it's only been 2- I'm wondering if the fungus could still be in the tank even if not seen on the pleco, and so continuing treatment would be beneficial).

    As a side note, I've decided to leave the pH alone. I tested again today anyway and the pH seemed much more normal.