Molly being attacked
Hi everyone - New here...
Anyway, My husband and I have a 75 gallon community tank that is generally peaceful. However, we have a female creamcicle molly that keeps getting ran around by most of the fish in the tank. It's fully grown, and actually the biggest molly in the tank. We've probably had her for 2 months now. She hasn't had any fry yet, and looked a little bigger than normal last weekend so we put her in a breeder box. She started looking smaller so we tried to put her back in the tank and 3 male mollies immediately started nipping on her bottom. We felt bad for her so we put her back in to avoid the stress.
Any idea why they are doing this? We do have less females than the ratio we should have, but we got a few more today and they haven't even noticed them yet. They don't harass any other females in the tank.
On a side note, this molly has a little bit of red on the top of its head, which our other creamcicle's dont have. Is this a result from the other mollies picking on her? Its been that way for at least the last 2 weeks or so.
Thanks in advance for any help. We just want to be able to put her back in with everyone else.
We have a bunch of figurines that the fish can swim through and we added more plants. Tried to let her free again today and she got ran so much that she was turning to verticle when she finally got to stop. Put her back in the breeder. We have a well stocked tank and she's the only fish they bother. They keep nipping her bottom right by her tail.
It says its either a bladder disease, not enough salt, or that it is being threatened (which it is). I think we're going to give her some peas and see if it helps her feel better. We put in more salt yesterday morning and tested the water today. Everything looks ok on the test. We were hoping by getting more females that it would help out. Its the only creamcicle female, but a silver molly is the worst offender - so I'm guessing that it doesn't matter which type.
The best thing you can do after all that you have done, is not move her anymore. It's interrupting their bonding, and moving her around is making her extremely stressed out. When the female is re-added, no matter how many times you do it, most likely the boys will still be on her. My creamsicle gets this way too. She gets sorta stripey when she's being messed with too much. I made sure to put in a lot of plants and hiding places. I also tried distracting the boys by either feeding, or pretending to(when I go up to the glass they all come pay attention to me thinking they may be fed, but obviously you can't over-feed them. lol), they will go back to bothering her for a while as well. When you get more girls, get more like her, that MIGHT help, but all mollies can interbreed, they don't discriminate between other colored females. Right now it sounds like she is the most receptive, sometimes the boys will go after just one girl even with many other females to choose from, this needs to take its course though. The other thing is, she's probably letting off a smell that's good to the males, so they will bug her. You need to keep her from being stressed and let them do their thing. If she isn't being harmed by them that is. They will probably tussle here and there, but so long as they don't do damage, they should work themselves out. If you NEED to remove a fish, move one or two of the males. The ones left will still bug her, but it wont be as hard on her.
Remember, moving a fish, no matter how fast you can do it, especially putting them in a smaller area like a breeding trap, will severely stress them out, even if it's done a few days apart. That accompanied by the males pestering her may kill her if you keep it up. I understand it's very hard to watch, but you need to stop moving her around. =(
It is rare, but if you have a male actually attacking her and doing damage, he's a bully and is the one that should be removed or given away. I had to do that with one of my males, but he did severe damage to the girls in the tank, though he was only one of two in a tank with ten girls and the other male was uninterested.
Try keeping the lights out for a while. Don't turn them off and on a lot, but keep them off longer during the day(At this point, I'd actually suggest only turning the lights on for an hour to feed them and then leave them out and cover the tank for a full day, this will help her relax if she isn't in too bad of shape already, unfortunately it happens). Less light keeps stress down and makes them more sleepy than flirty, but I imagine it will still happen, it should be less.
Salt and warmer water temps are good, keep your temps between 78 and 80 degrees normally. The salt will keep immune systems up and may even lessen stress a bit, but it wont stop nature from taking its course.
I wish you the best of luck, it's easy to get attached to those beautiful fish. =) Whatever you do though, just stop moving her or she may end up dying. She may regardless, but I really hope not. They are very hardy fish, and creamsicles can be pretty tough! Mine runs the tank, but she still gets bothered by the boys a lot at certain times. But she'll beat them back when she's tired of it. If that doesn't work and I see her stressing, I just turn the lights out for a few hours and she usually goes back to her normal colors and usual bossy self. ^_^ She also will allow the males to mate with her after the initial...battering. She isn't as colorful as some of my mollies, but she is one of my favorites. =) I hope this wasn't too late to help you out, and I hope she is doing well. Please let us know!
We keep our tank right around 80 (it dropped with the recent cold front so we're monitoring it) and do water tests/changes regularly...
We let her go back in the tank today and the "attacker" and another molly were both rubbing up against her pretty hard. Guessing its mating??
We're just going to keep our eyes on her for awhile and see since 2 males were chasing her down now instead of just one.
I think this tank is going to give me ulcers!
oh believe me, I know how you feel! I'm still not positive what happened in my tank, but the nitrites went up to a 0.5, and we're -thinking- that may have caused an aggression spike. I ended up waking to my favorite fish with a hole in him. v.v; That was two males I'd had for months though, and I didn't see any aggression before that! It was a real shock. But we're taking the level spike into consideration.
Also, if they're rubbing up on each other side to side, like tail smacking and/or body bumping from the side, it's more of a dominance game, and usually doesn't do physical damage. Typically they will raise their fins and threat display, even bump, sometimes really bump hard, into each other. But once they get that settled, they usually stop without harming each other. If you see someone bite though, attempt a gentle distraction. That usually helps if you keep it up. Like food. I like to drop a piece of an algae wafer in there to distract, usually they chase each other over it a bit, but then they establish their little places and knock it off.
Unfortunately, sometimes you just get aggressive fish. Mollies are tough, it's not uncommon for them to have little spats, but they don't normally get that out of hand. The thing is, again, if you keep removing her, her system will weaken and she will die, even if she isn't being bothered by other fish. Moving them is extremely stressful. And again, no matter how many times you try, when you add a new fish, or re-add one that had issues, it could indeed make it worse for her. I hate it when it happens, but if I CATCH biters being really nasty, I remove them. I don't allow killer or possible killer fish in my tank, it can end badly and very fast. But again, that is just so rare! They normally just bat at eachother and occasionally chase. Let them go at it for a day, usually by day two left to their own devices(With a male and female anyways, two males doing that will be damaged), usually they knock it off by the next day, but you will still see males trying to breed with her. However, the female usually accepts it calmly after a while and it's less stress for all.
Also, you will know when it's mating time. The male will chase the girls a lot, and continuously nose at her back end, even bump and lightly nip sometimes, and then he will...well, use his parts, it's very hard to miss. lol
Do you add salt to your water at all? Aquarium salt that is? If not, you might want to try that, sometimes it brings down the nerves, but mostly it's a great preventative if any sore nips happen. It also boosts the immune systems of your mollies. If you don't use it, I would suggest giving it a shot if all your fish are ok with it. If you just have mollies, they'll be ok with it, plecos and some algae eaters can be a bit sensitive to it, but are usually alright with very small doses. Usually it's a tablespoon per five gallons, but I started out with two small pinches, like three or four rocks of the salt twice per week, and then after a water change for the week I used maybe half a teaspoon per ten gallons. They perked up pretty good. lol It may not do much for you, but it should boost your girls immune system a bit, and it sounds like she could use the help.
Honestly, I used to almost get ulcers over my fish when I first started my molly tank and got it settled too. They would do that a lot, some even looked sick if the boy chased them too much, but I don't think it's as bad as it looks. The problem with your girl was being moved too much, that caused her to go funny angled and probably even bobble a bit when she swam. She will be less stressed dealing with the boys, Creamsicles are not push-overs, and certainly not delicate. When mine got tired of the boys picking at her, she ran them off good and proper, unfortunately she took a small nip out of my Silver Lyretails tail, but it grew back and wasn't severe. She just needed to get the point across.
Trust me, keep the lights out a bit more than usual, if you want to and have tolerant fish, maybe add a little salt, and don't stick your hands and nets in there to break them up for move them. They need quiet, dark, rest and relaxation. =) Uness she is too far gone, that should be all she needs and they will work it out. Otherwise I'd say to bring the most troublesome male back to the shop or give him to a buddy. It's hard to do, but sometimes that causes the other boy to go at the girls a little less aggressively. Competition makes the boys try harder to get the prize when only one female is receptive to them at the moment.
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