Molly: Lethargic, shy and excessively wobbling whilst swimming. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

 
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-23-2012, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
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Molly: Lethargic, shy and excessively wobbling whilst swimming.

I bought a Black/Gold Molly a few weeks back and it has been fine apart from the last 3 days.

It has since gone very lethargic and seems to always be hiding in the shadows and underneaths of my driftwood.
However, when it does come out it seems to be swimming rather odd, to someone who has never kept fish however, it would appear that the Molly is swimming fine/normally (It's only a slight wobbly, but its excessive enough for me to notice whilst she is swimming).

I currently don't have my water parameter's, but I have done a 30% water change as of yesterday and I've started to feed my fish peas to rule out any digestion problems.
I am currently on the second day of feeding them peas mixed with fine bits of flake.
(I boil the peas with garlic, de-shell them and turn them into a paste and then add a few flakes too into the mix).

She seems to be eating fine, at least she is 'hunting' down the food to eat when it is food time, but the wobbling/lethargic/shyness has really got me worried since she has never acted in such a way previously.

Could this be a type of internal parasite, or something else?
- If so, could anyone recommend any treatment methods that I could get in the UK.
(As I don't think shops in the UK stock medicated foods and certain types of liquid treatments). - I know this is usually a last resort, but as it has been 3 days or so since I have noticed this problem, and doesn't seem to be getting any better, I don't want to waste any more time and would rather have chemicals in my tank than a dead fish on my hands.

I currently have
4 Juvenile Mollies, 2 Platys, 1 Adult Molly (The sick one), 3 Guppies, and a small species Plec.
This is all in a 125L tank (33G).
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-23-2012, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawes View Post
I bought a Black/Gold Molly a few weeks back and it has been fine apart from the last 3 days.

It has since gone very lethargic and seems to always be hiding in the shadows and underneaths of my driftwood.
However, when it does come out it seems to be swimming rather odd, to someone who has never kept fish however, it would appear that the Molly is swimming fine/normally (It's only a slight wobbly, but its excessive enough for me to notice whilst she is swimming).

I currently don't have my water parameter's, but I have done a 30% water change as of yesterday and I've started to feed my fish peas to rule out any digestion problems.
I am currently on the second day of feeding them peas mixed with fine bits of flake.
(I boil the peas with garlic, de-shell them and turn them into a paste and then add a few flakes too into the mix).


She seems to be eating fine, at least she is 'hunting' down the food to eat when it is food time, but the wobbling/lethargic/shyness has really got me worried since she has never acted in such a way previously.

Could this be a type of internal parasite, or something else?
- If so, could anyone recommend any treatment methods that I could get in the UK.
(As I don't think shops in the UK stock medicated foods and certain types of liquid treatments). - I know this is usually a last resort, but as it has been 3 days or so since I have noticed this problem, and doesn't seem to be getting any better, I don't want to waste any more time and would rather have chemicals in my tank than a dead fish on my hands.

I currently have
4 Juvenile Mollies, 2 Platys, 1 Adult Molly (The sick one), 3 Guppies, and a small species Plec.
This is all in a 125L tank (33G).
No water test result's will result in much speculation as to what may or may not be affecting the fish.
Considering no other fishes have been exhibiting similar symptom's,,
I would hesitate to add any medication's that may not be needed, for all meds,, are stressful for fishes and or biological bacteria that processes the waste created by the fish and excess food's.
Twice weekly 50 % water changes with dechlorinator such as PRIME until I could get water tested, would be my path if it were me.
If water parameter's are off,then all of the meds you may choose to use, will be of little to no help.
Number's for pH,ammonia,nitrites,and nitrates can reveal much about the fishes enviornment.
Ammonia,and Nitrites ,must read zero all day,every day, and NitrAte levels should be no higher than 20 ppm.
Peas you are offering are a good idea for mthese fish need a fair amount of algae,vegetable matter in their diet (largely herbivorous).

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.

Last edited by 1077; 08-23-2012 at 06:28 AM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-23-2012, 08:15 AM
+1 with 1077. The wobbling sounds like shimmy which is typically a reaction to poor water conditions of some sort. I'd go ahead with the bi-weekly 50% water change and test the water (including the source water) as soon as possible.
If you have not been 'religious' about weekly water changes of sufficient volume, you may need several partial water changes to dilute pollutants and regain good water quality.

I have found that Mollies are particularly sensitive to poor water conditions and may exhibit signs of poor health before some other species. (For example, before I realized I had high nitrates in my well water, the mollies I had were the first to suffer).

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-23-2012, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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From the way its acting, I doubt it would be the shimmies, when she is still, she's next to statue-like, and not doing the notorious 'flicking' and moving suddenly whilst still, it mainly just the way that she swims, it seems very pronounced.

I have just noticed her poo, and it seemed to come out somewhat powdery/dissolved quickly into the water, instead of the usual tube like shape, so I'm hoping it is just a digestion problem and that the peas will sort it out.
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-23-2012, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dawes View Post
From the way its acting, I doubt it would be the shimmies, when she is still, she's next to statue-like, and not doing the notorious 'flicking' and moving suddenly whilst still, it mainly just the way that she swims, it seems very pronounced.

I have just noticed her poo, and it seemed to come out somewhat powdery/dissolved quickly into the water, instead of the usual tube like shape, so I'm hoping it is just a digestion problem and that the peas will sort it out.
Well peas will help with constipation but swim bladder disorders are most often evidenced by a somewhat floating condition with a fish struggling to maintain depth.
Partial water changes to improve water quality never hurts.

Good luck saving the Molly.

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post #6 of 6 Old 08-23-2012, 11:05 AM
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I concur with what has been suggested. And I cannot stress the importance of knowing the water parameters. These may be at the root of this. Inappropriate water parameters (meaning the hardness (GH), pH and temperature) will weaken fish, and the molly is highly sensitive to these; this can then bring on other problems because of the fish's stressed and weakened state. As 1077 very correctly said, in any case of trouble the first place to start is with the water.

You can get the GH (and maybe pH) from the water supply people. The temp you should kn ow. And a pH test is well worth having as a pH shift can be the sign of some problem.

Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are also relevant, though in this case I would not suspect them. But testing for these three is recommended when any issue arises. The API Master kit (liquid) has pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and is a good investment.

Let us know the GH and pH and temp and we may have more to suggest.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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