One Fish Dead, Another Fish in Distress.
I pride myself on rarely losing fish. It's truly an oddity for me to have fish die on me. Maybe 3 a year, tops. Today I've ran into some problems. When I woke up this morning, I saw my Dalmatian Molly hovering at the bottom of the tank between some decor. This isn't rare for her, so I paid no mind. I fed my fish and noticed she wasn't eating (she is usually the first fish to come for food).
I took a closer look at her and noticed her mouth wasn't closing. Upon further inspection, her eyes had a white film on them. I poked the glass to see how her reflexes were, and she didn't move. She was either totally blinded, or partially blind. Obviously it's a baterial infection, possible Mouth Fungus and/or pop eye.
I inspect my fish almost every day to check for any signs of illness. She was perfectly fine (to the outside eye) and didn't have any of the problems of today. Odd. It was either festering for a while and showed itself today, or it's something that worked FAST.
Unfortunately, she began darting and shaking about. She died before I could even out her in another tank and/or treat her. Very sad, as she was one of my favorites.
I come home from work later and I saw my female Creamsicle Lyretail Molly hovering between the heater and filter in the middle of the tank. She was shaking like she was having a seizure and nipping at the air. she has no obvious signs of infection. I figured she was dying, yet hours later she still lives. She is now laying on the bottom, hiding in a cave. She isn't breathing heavy, but her fins are drawn down and she is shaking slightly. She looks like a fish in shock.
I'm not sure what to think about that. I had a male Silver Sailfin Molly do the same thing a few weeks ago, and he recovered. So I guess I'll just keep a check on her.
My levels have all tested in the correct ranges. All my other fish seem perfectly fine. I'm a bit stumped. I did a water change anyway (today was the day I do water changes by chance). All the fish still seem fine and no no signs (visual and in action) of distress or health problems.
Any ideas or suggestions?
Data on the water and tank please. We don't know what "correct ranges" may be for you compared to others. Numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate; pH; GH (this will be your tap water unless you do something to target it in the aquarium); temperature. Other fish in the tank; tank size.
That sounds an awful lot like dropsy. D: (white film, pop-eye, shaking, clamped fins, ect.) Do any of you fish have scales sticking out around their torso or appear bloated? If it is dropsy, treat your tank as soon as possible. It can be killed early on but it is highly fatal if treatment is too late.
I'm pretty sure dropsy is more of a slow painful death (at least for betta/goldfish it is).
I agree that we need some numbers.
All I can speculate for now:
Nipping at air (if you actually mean the air) is usually what fish do when they are suffocating. Which can be caused by excess nitrite and nitrate (and ammonia I believe), as well as lack of water disturbance.
Some individual fish are much more susceptible to pathogens than others. Like people they all have different immunity levels, even in a good environment. Chances are that first fish is a warning flag of something coming up. It's important to keep really on top of things in times like this.
It could have been undetected though. I'm still pretty new to diseases and that's what it sounded like. ^^;
29 gallon glass tank
13 fish and 1 snail (assorted Molly, Platy, Swordtail, Cory, Snail)
Live and fake plants plus 2 caves
Tetra Whisper EX45 filter and a Top Fin 30 filter
Nitrate 25 ppm
Temp at a consistent 78 degrees
Tank is a tad overcrowded at the moment due to me taking in a few stays a while back. 55 gallon tank will be their new home in a few weeks.
This is where I currently have and try to keep my test levels. for the most part, this is the usual test levels. These are the "correct ranges" for my 29g setup.
UPDATE on the Creamsicle Lyretail Molly. She is still alive. She even had a nice bloodworm snack. She is swimming around a bit more and is no longer trembling. She's not out of the woods just yet, as she is still a bit sluggish. She seems to slowly be getting back to her normal self. She spent a few hours hiding in a cave, but she is out now and her fins are no longer drawn in. Right now she is swimming up and down the side of the tank, like she always did (it's her "spot").
My other fish still show no signs of distress, are all acting normal and have no visible signs of infections of any type. I'll keep a close eye on them and continue to monitor. Guess I'll be spending a good portion of my day off tomorrow sitting in front of the fish tank and doing some fishy research online.
As far as the tank, here is the latest happenings of note. I switched to a sand substrate 2 weeks ago (had zero problems with that). I had an algae problem a month ago (problem cleared up mostly on it's own with a cleaning and water change). I added an Apple Snail a few days ago (already helping me keep things clean). I added 2 live plants a few days ago (plants are doing very well).
I'm thinking the Dalmatian Molly just got a random infection somehow. Hey, it happens. I think what the Creamsicle Molly is going through is unrelated.
From the data I see some stress from the low pH, low for livebearers. The GH is not given and that is equally if not more important. Molly in particular are highly susceptible to soft and acidic water, they absolutely must have harder water with mineral. Shimmying, fungus, eratic swimming are all signs of water problems, so I would correct that. At the very least it will reduce stress which weakens the immune system allowing for other health problems.
Livebearers do get weak slime coat in soft water, which leaves them open to illness. Could explain why the one fish got cloudy eyes, slime coat coming off.
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Is this movement the shimmying you refer to? And could it be related to the aggression of the dominant male? As I have hard basic water, that I change regularly so confused as to how water quality could be causing it? Saying that my nitrates always read around 40ppm due to what comes out of my tap.... Even with all the live plants and floating ones too...
A stress-related symptom in which a fish remains in one position while wagging it's body from side to side. Common among Livebearers, especially Mollies, when water conditions are not within the parameters for the fish's needs.Rubbing or "flashing" against objects is something different, sometimes related to water conditions, but also parasites and protozoans.
Quivering or shaking by fish when displaying, interacting, threatening, pre-spawning, etc is different again.
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