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MMartin730 02-13-2013 10:48 PM

Something changed in my tank.. photos for possible illness.. new to fish
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My wife and I are pretty new to caring for fish. We had quite a bit of learning experiences with things the last month or so but I felt like I finally got things down.. The current setup we have has not changed for about a full month. Prior to that we had a couple issues with amonia but since then I got a test kit and been keeping an eye on the levels and it looks fine.

Nothing has died in the tank for a while until yesterday. We used to have 3 dwarf catfish, 3 platys, 3 mollys, and 2 fiddler crabs. One of the two crabs was added 4 or 5 days ago but he actually died yesterday. Today we noticed one of the catfish is not doing so well and one of the mollys are not doing so well.

The catfish seems to have some discoloration inside, almost like spots, not white like the pictures I have seen of ick. He is floating on top most of the time but swims down to the gravel and eventually ends back up on top.

One of the mollys have some sort of discoloration on the top of his head. Seems like a growth or a bruise or something. I do know of the three mollys, there are an orange male (the one i am discussing), a pregnant orange female, and a marbled female. I should also mention he has been hanging out on the bottom and seems a bit more sluggish.

I have a couple of things I have been feeding them. We had a couple of african dwarf frogs about a month and a half ago that didnt make it due to the amonia levels.. so the crabs seem to like the frog and tadpole pellets and a lot of the other fish end up eating them too.. I also have frozen blood worms I have been giving them every couple days or so from the frogs, just to get rid of them.. they seem to like it as a nice treat.. then the regular fish food..

Lastly.. there seems to be some wierd things floating in the water now.. almost look like eggs or something.. not sure if its the pellets that wernt eaten that puffed up or what.. Please see the picures below..

Any help would be appreciated!


OSagent23 02-13-2013 11:00 PM

Hello Martin,

Those definitely look like unfertilized fish eggs. I have seen those before. One of my mollies was pregnant and I didn't catch it in time to put her in a breeding tank and she miscarried. I was on vacation for a month and had someone feeding my fish while I was gone. They couldn't tell she was pregnant. I saw lots of those eggs floating around. I've learned to get someone experienced to watch my fish next time I'm gone that long.

As far as the health and stability of your male mollie and losses in your tank. I'm sorry to hear about that and I think the problem might be the fiddler crabs. Someone chime in on this if I am wrong but crabs have been know to hunt at night while the fish sleep. If a fiddler caught the male mollie or any other fish it might take a chunk of the fish or kill it completely. Crabs are opportunistic creatures. Catfish are bottom dwellers and your fiddler crab may have caught a hold of him/her one night.

That's just my guess as to what could be going on. Again maybe someone here might have some better advice.

MMartin730 02-13-2013 11:10 PM

Thanks for the response.. the wierd thing is that everything seemed fine for a while.. everyone was doing okay.. they were all active as can be.. especially watching the crabs wave and all.. but then out of no where all this came about all practically over night.. i put some additive in the water.. the declorinator i use has aloe it says to promote healing so I am trying that first.. but i am very doubtful the catfish will make it through the night..

I was told as long as you keep everyone fed well they shoudnt cause problms with anyone else.. and I know they are fed well and were really getting along the last 4 weeks... yet again im new to fish ownership so alll comments are appreciated!

OSagent23 02-13-2013 11:18 PM


Everything your doing is fine but think about it like this humans and animals all have their own personalities. An example is my sister has a male beta that lives great for many years with a few ghost shrimp in the tank. He doesn't bother them at all. I have a male beta that killed instantly 3 of 3 ghost shrimp that I but in his tank. We both have Fluval edge aquariums and they are nicely planted and even have beta toys in them, lol. You can never predict what a fish or animal might do one day to the next. We just try to mitigate the factors as best we can.

jentralala 02-13-2013 11:53 PM

Fiddlers require brackish (partially salt/marine) water and land to get out of the water and dry their shells. That's probably what killed the first one. Fiddlers will not survive in pure freshwater.

MMartin730 02-14-2013 07:56 AM

Just a little bit of an update... The one catfish and the molly did not make it through the night.

I think I will take my water to a local shop to test everything.

As per the fiddler.. the original one is alive and well... I made sure he has a way to get out of water from the start..

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