Young Molly fish won't stop spinning (not swim bladder disease?) **Video link included


Going to try my best to follow the emergency template, I apologize if I mess up.

This is a young dalmatian Molly (Oreo) that we've had since she was born. She has been spinning nonstop, corkscrew / barrel rolling over and over for about 2-3 days. It doesn't seem that she's eaten, spinning is the only thing she has been doing. I isolated her to a 10 gallon tank to see if it was a water issue but over 24 hours there has been no improvement (however I don't know how long it takes to see results). Wondering if she hit her head on the tank really hard and has a head injury? She has been great up until this point, and she is the only one in a 45 gallon tank of 10 fish (including her) that is displaying these symptoms.


Water volume - 45 gallons
Tank has been running for 1 month. We used old tank water and filter media to set up the
tank when it was new. All Molly fish came from the old tank.
Has heater and filter
Water temperature is 76 degrees

Stocking -

3 Female Molly (including Oreo)
2 Female Betta
2 Peppered Cory catfish
1 Rainbow Shark
1 Common Pleco
1 Clown Pleco
About 20 Cory babies in nursery tanks
4 Amano shrimp

Everyone in the tank gets along, there have been no incidents of overly aggressive behavior with any of them.


Change the water every 1-1.5 weeks, with about a 25% water change.
Aqueon water conditioner is what we use to treat the water
Water is vacuumed every cleaning, substrate every other cleaning


Tank was cycled before adding the fish
API 5 in 1 test strips ( pH, NO2, NO3, KH, GH) and ammonia
API Ammonia test strips

Parameter #'s:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0-0.5
Nitrate: 30
pH: 7-7.5


Fish are fed once a day in the evening
Medium Pinch of micro pellets, 2-3 shrimp pellets, medium pinch of tropical pellets, 1/2 algae wafer every other day
HikarI Micro pellets are what the mollies eat the most of, but we also have a variety of other food for the rest of the fish which are:
Aqueon shrimp pellets
API tropical pellets
HikarI algae wafers
Occasionally we will give the fish frozen brine shrimp as a treat

Illness & Symptoms

We've had her since she was born, she is about 3-4 months old
First noticed symptoms 2-3 days ago
Non stop spinning, does not appear to be eating
Isolated to a 10 gallon tank with small amount of old tank water and rest was new water. I left her free in the 10 gallon for one day but then isolated her to a nursery tank in the 10 gallon to try and restrict her movement
She was born in our tank
She's not even able to act like a normal fish anymore because all she seems to do is spin. There is also a brown scaleless patch right on the center of her forehead that she was not born with


I do believe this is swim bladder disorder. You'll notice that even when she is pushing herself very hard to move downwards, she is often barely moving downwards or staying at a certain depth. And when she stops corkscrewing, even for a fraction of a second, she promptly rises back to the surface. This tells me she has swim bladder disorder, and floating is her issue.

Clean water and epsom salt baths are usual treatment protocol for SBD. I will say your test strips aren't terribly accurate and you may be better off with the API master test kit. Regardless, you should do a large (50%) water change just in case.

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