New- Someone PLEASE help me, I think my fish is dieing - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-26-2010, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation New- Someone PLEASE help me, I think my fish is dieing

Hi, I'm a new aquarium owner, and pretty much clueless.. I've learned alot so far though, but I think that one of my fish is dieing, and I REALLY dont want that to happen, its really stressing me out.

I got my tank about month ago, its a five gallon. I have one Dalmatian lyretail molly, no idea if its a boy or girl, one black mystery snail, and one red wag swordtail, also clueless on the gender. When I first got them, everything seemed in line, they were all acting happy and normal. They gobbled up their food normaly, and swam everywhere. but lately, my Molly has been acting EXTREMELY different, and its terrifying me. Hes been hiding sticking in one spot for long periods of time, and actually started swim completely vertical. He refuses to eat, and doesnt even come up to kiss my finger anymore. He just stays in that one spot all day. My Swortail is acting just fine, minus the fact that he isnt really eating much either. I've looked up diseases, I think he may have nitrite poisoning.
I've honestly been doing a horrible job with the water until just recently because of my Molly's behavoir, and I didnt really know. I just did like a 50% water change, added a tablespoon of salt (I read that mollys like it..), and replaced my filter. I did a nitrite test, its very high. So is my nitrate, and I really dont know what to do.. My water temp. Changes from around 76-81 because of the light, since I keep it on during the day, and off at night. I keep spinach in the tank for my snail and molly. I also havent cleaned the gravel, because I'm clueless on how to do that. I know that my pH level is perfect.. Uhm.. I dont know if I can think of anything else that might help. I just really dont want my fish to do, anyone, please, give me some advice.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-26-2010, 11:07 PM
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I'm no expert, but it sounds like you did the right thing by doing a 50-percent water change. In fact, I'd probably do a water change every day while the tank is still cycling. Any amount of ammonia or nitrite is toxic to fish. Also, is there any way you can keep the temperature more stable? A 5-degree shift can cause stress and potentially set the stage for parasites. I hope you didn't add very much salt because snails don't like it.

There are lots of experts here who may be able to help you further, but for now I'd reccomend reading this article: A Beginner's Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium Cycle that is posted here on the forum. It is so helpful when getting started. I sure hope your Molly feels better.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-27-2010, 02:14 PM
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I hope your fish survives. As for cleaning the gravel, I use siphon which you can purchase from local pet store. I also have 5g tank and cleaning does not take long, just have to get in the habit.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-27-2010, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, since my huge water change yesterday, and the adding of the salt, my molly has been doing awesome. Hes starting eat, and hes social and swimming again. I checked the nitrite and nitrate levels today, they were what was rated as perfect on the color strip chart. I did another 10% change on the water just now, and so far everything seems in tact. I also removed an item from the tank because it made it seem crowed. I'm not really sure how to keep the temperature moderate, because it changes with the light. If I leave it on, around 83, If I leave it off, about 75, and its annoying because its dark. Also, I only added a tablespoon of salt because I read somewhere that that amount wouldnt hurt my snail in a 5 gallon tank.
Also, thank you for the advice so far.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-27-2010, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghosterly View Post
Okay, since my huge water change yesterday, and the adding of the salt, my molly has been doing awesome. Hes starting eat, and hes social and swimming again. I checked the nitrite and nitrate levels today, they were what was rated as perfect on the color strip chart. I did another 10% change on the water just now, and so far everything seems in tact. I also removed an item from the tank because it made it seem crowed. I'm not really sure how to keep the temperature moderate, because it changes with the light. If I leave it on, around 83, If I leave it off, about 75, and its annoying because its dark. Also, I only added a tablespoon of salt because I read somewhere that that amount wouldnt hurt my snail in a 5 gallon tank.
Also, thank you for the advice so far.

Do you have hood? I suggest getting a fluorescent light hood. The temp should not change so sporadically. What are you using as your light source now? Incandescent light bulbs?
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-29-2010, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I have no idea what kind of light I'm using, but I did just buy a heater today to regulate the temperature in my tank. I'll turn it on at night, when I turn off the light, because thats when the temp goes down, and then turn it off when I wake up and turn on the light, so it doesn't over heat. Does that make sense..? It hardly made sense to me xD

Also, even though my molly has recovered, he seems way more scared of me.. Thats probably just cause I've spooked them too much though, like with scooping out excess food and siphoning the tank. Huh. Do you think I should buy my molly a companion so he doesn't get lonely? I heard they were very social fish..
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-29-2010, 10:33 PM
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Although your molly might like companions, you've only got a small tank for even one molly and a swordtail so I don't think you have room.

Did you buy a heater with a thermostat? If so, you can turn the heater on and the thermostat will turn the heater on and off for you as necessary. You don't need to turn it off during the day - if your water is warm, the thermostat won't turn the heater on.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-01-2010, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I really hop to get a ten gallon for christmas, because I really dont want my fish to be cramped.

Uhh.. I bought a 12 dollar heater, so its not that great. It says it keeps it at 78, and my thermometer on the other side of the tank proves that.
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-01-2010, 04:27 PM
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just popping in to say hi. :)

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-02-2010, 11:33 AM
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Hi. :) glad to know your molly is doing a lot better. i agree that the temperature should be stable and fluctuations causes stress to the fish and makes them unhappy. If the light warms up the water that much you should consider replacing it. or maybe lift your hood of the tank a bit?
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