What's Wrong With My Molly?

  1. Linzlion Initiate Member

    So we have a pretty healthy 30 gal aquarium (admittedly overstocked - but we're working on that) with a variety of mollies, platies, tetras, 2 cories a clown pleco and one giant goldfish (he makes us water change every other day because of his bio load). One molly in particular, Big Momma, all of a sudden started swimming erratically and sank to the bottom. Now she's acting like her tail is broken. She tries to swim up for air but she can't move anything but the fin. I can tell she's fighting, and this isn't the first time we've seen it - it happened to her mate a couple months ago and he died. Temp levels are stable at 78, we have been battling fungus (due to the overpopulation I'm sure, but she is fungus free and ammonia levels have remained safevas we've been diligent in keeping the tank as healthy as possible while trying to thin out the herd so to speak.
    Anyway, why is she acting like she broke her back/tail?
    We put her in the breeding net inside the tank so she can easily get air.
  2. bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    Hello! Aw. That doesn't sound good.... the good news is you already know what the likely problem is. Successful fishkeeping is all about creating a safe, stable environment resembling nature, so the fish can live with minimal stress. Add stress and things will go badly. The goldie may be better off out of that community ASAP. Everyone will be better off, actually. But you already know this, so act quickly. I'd hate to see a disease wipe everyone out! Good luck!

    Edit: forgot about the molly. Is she showing any other symptoms? Eating at all? What are your parameters, actually? Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate? What kind of filter are you running?

  3. Linzlion Initiate Member

    The thing is, Big Momma has never acted stressed. She's just laying on her side, unable to move her back. She used to be a classroom fish, poorly taken care of and pretty much just unwanted, so she was thrilled when she joined our community. Spot the 4inch goldfish was already with us and is very docile (he was actually intended to be Oscar food but never got eaten and lived with 2 Oscars for 2 years before my brother dumped him in our tank happy bday little sis! Lol) But the other mollies act differently when they're stressed or sick from fungus. It could be old age (how old do mollies live?) but maybe a stroke? In her case I really don't think it's stress or fungus
  4. Shadow2331 Member Member

    Stress plays a vital role in fish being sick, When fish becomes stressed it is weak and easy target for the bacteria's and parasites. Keeping a goldfish with mollies and platies is not recommended, its is better if you separate your goldfish from that community. Did your molly showed any other signs and symptoms before getting sick?? have you noticed anything weird with that molly before it got sick?

  5. Linzlion Initiate Member

    No, she's actually been one of the healthiest fish in the tank since we got her. She's never gotten ich or fungus, she eats well, swims normally and is very active. She got pregnant once but gave birth before we could catch the fry so they all got eaten. I do know that she'd been in that classroom aquarium for a while, though I don't know how long, nor do I know how clean/healthy the tank was, but from what my husband tells me it was pretty sad
  6. Shadow2331 Member Member

    Is the molly swimming vertically?? do you notice any change in the shape of its body?? does the tail appears to be paralyzed?? i recommend you separate the molly from that community tank and keep it in a quarantine tank , i have a feeling that it is a bacterial cause .
  7. bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    Yeah, if some of the mollies have already been sick from fungus, then something is out of balance in this community. Fish usually won't get sick unless something is wrong, but yeah, it could be old age or natural causes in the molly. But if you have to do water changes every other day, likely the biofilter can't handle the load. But we don't know the parameters.

    I don't keep goldfish, so maybe this question is best left for someone else, but I'm not sure that goldfish should be kept at tropical temperatures indefinitely? I think they need cooler water long term? Someone correct me if I'm mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that goldfish could be super stressed overheated in a crowded tropical community. He could very likely become a vector for disease and parasites. May be already. Accumulating ammonia will stress out his neighbors. Even in spite of the water changes (which do help), unfortunately. The goldfish would do best in a 30 gallon minimum if alone, preferably in a 40-55 gallon with one fancy goldfish friend, since they are social. They really do need this much space. At room temperature. With double filtration, because of their high bioload. I know that's quite an investment, but if this continues, you are at significantly increased risk for all matter of fishy disasters. In fact, I would say, disaster is quite inevitable at some point. Best to provide for your pet's minimum needs. Not sure how to help the molly beyond this, as we need a little more information to diagnose her specific issue. It's very likely combined stress from overcrowding and water quality, and also possible internal parasites or bacterial infection. I really hope this advice helps!

  8. bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    I assure you, all the fish are somewhat stressed, if the tank is overstocked. And it is overstocked because of the goldfish alone. I am assuming an ammonia problem too, just because of the set up and your water change schedule, but your current parameters would be very helpful in determining if this is an urgent emergency, or something you can deal with over the next couple weeks. Exactly how many of each kind of fish are in this 30 gallon? How overstocked are you?
  9. Shadow2331 Member Member

    Goldfish are known as cold water fishes and should be kept in cooler water and also gold fish produces lots of waste and can pollute the water easily causing other fishes to stress out
  10. Linzlion Initiate Member

    We are way over stocked. I'm going to get her into quarantine asap. We have 7 black skirt tetras, 2 green cories, 4 redwag platies, 1 clown pleco, and 4 mollies. We're working on setting up other tanks, a 55 for spot (Because yes he does need the cooler water - he's just literally lived his whole life in tropical temps).

  11. Linzlion Initiate Member

    She was swimming vertically when it started, up and down, and now she's acting paralyzed. I'm moving her to quarantine now but I'm afraid it's too late :/
  12. Shadow2331 Member Member

    Hmm then maybe it is suffering from Fish Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium)

    Additional Symptoms: Fish may lose color and appetite and become hollow-bellied. Fish become lifeless and often crippled with a bent spine. Fish develop ulcers under the skin and may rupture causing open sores and pop-eye.

    Actions: This disease is highly infectious and deleterious. Bacteria can remain living in the gravel to infect other fish when they are weakened. Some success has been achieved by treating infected fish with antibiotics (Oxytetracycline and Kanamycin), although often it is best to kill the fish and put it out of its misery. When removing piscine tuberculosis victims, do so with care, as this disease can be transmitted to humans.

    It maybe too late for the molly, iam sorry :( ,
  13. Linzlion Initiate Member

    Okay she's not really acting paralyzed, just listless. Not swimming up much. Just hanging at the bottom. And she's moving her tail more now.
  14. Shadow2331 Member Member

    Ok may not be the above problem i have mentioned, but still i think the cause is bacterial, or does it have any signs of physical damage ?
  15. bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    Don't worry. It's highly unlikely it's fish tuberculosis. Sure it's possible. But very unlikely. Quarantining the molly is a good idea. She'll be ok without a heater most likely, mollies prefer the low to mid 70s, I believe.

    I am so happy you are setting up a 55 for the goldie! She can have a fancy goldie friend or two in there. Removing her solves most of your problems. The cories would appreciate a same species school of 6 minimum. This will reduce their stress. And you may have room for them now after you move the goldfish. Not entirely sure about that, though. You could ask the stocking experts in the fish forum, they'll gladly help you. Good luck, I'm going to bed!
  16. Linzlion Initiate Member

    She has no symptoms of fishy TB. She's acting a little more lively now, but the only meds I've got on hand are pimafix and the ich stuff.
  17. Linzlion Initiate Member

    No, I think we just have a case of stress and bacteria. Possible old age. It's going to take some work but she has perked up the tiniest bit now that she's in quarantine.
  18. bopsalot Well Known Member Member

    • Hello again. Don't medicate unless you are sure of a particular disease. Most meds are pretty stressful themselves, and may make things worse. Good night! Hope she feels better soon!
  19. Linzlion Initiate Member

    Thanks for all your knowledge and help! I'm still fairly new to this and Big Momma is one of my favorite mollies. She's fighting. It really wasn't our intention to even have a Goldie in that tank, just kinda happened, but I'm quite fond of him and he'll be getting his friend and big new tank as soon as we can get it together. I appreciate all your help!

    Attached Files:

  20. Shadow2331 Member Member

    hmm iam having hard time figuring out what the problem is, for now just keep the water conditions and quality balanced and the temperature too.