Molly Fry Massacre
I started out with 15 molly fry that were born about a month ago. They lived together in a 5 gallon for about 3 weeks, until I moved them to a cycled 20 gallon a week ago. Since they have been in the 20 gallon, they have been dropping like flies. I have found at least 1 dead every day. Now there are only 8, and 1 looks as though it is about to die.
Before they die, they lay on the bottom of the tank, just breathing. The only symptom I have seen is on one of the dead ones, there was a white fleshy material coming from the center of its head. This made me think it could be hole in the head disease.
I used an old carbon cartridge from another tank to seed this 20 gallon. I floated it in the water. I have since taken it out. But since I was worried the carbon could be affecting the fry, I took the carbon out of the new filter and replaced it with an established sponge from another tank and a new bag of BioMax yesterday. I also did a 50% water change yesterday and added 2 tablespoons of aquarium salt. There was no carbon in the 5 gallon they were housed in before this tank, and none died.
I have no idea what is causing these fish to die! The only thing other than HOTH theory caused by the carbon filter, is that some of the plastic decorations or gravel were contaminated with something (even though I rinsed these before putting them in the tank). If you have any thoughts, I would appreciate it.
20 gallon tank, established for 1 month
2 tbsp. salt added yesterday
Currently houses 8 molly fry (1 dying) about 3/4 inch long
No live plants
79 degrees F
Filter: Penguin 100 Biowheel
Last water change: yesterday, 50%
Feeding: a small pinch of crushed flakes twice a day
Lights: 20 Watt fluorescent on for 8 hours
Parameters: (API liquid test kit)
Possibly a fungal infection? A melafix/pimafix regimen is my general recommendation for those, but wouldn't help for HITH.
I don't think that Mollies get HITH very often, and it's a gradual disease, I don't think it would be killing your fry that quickly.
Is it a possibility that some decoration could be leaching toxin into water? Who all has access to the tank? Any chance that aerosol or other substances have been sprayed in or around the tank? what were water parameters of 5 gal? It is frustrating to feel helpless but some times if we trace evrything we did backwards, It helps us to maybe identify more possibilities. I do hope you are able to find solution. havent switched foods lately? I am really just grasping here. Sorry! :oops:
This morning 2 more fry were dead, now there are 5 left. It is unlikely that any cleaning substances contaminated the tank because of its location, I never clean over there and no air freshner is sprayed into that room. There is a 10 gallon below this tank and it is fine. Although I'm not ruling out completely that its contaminated with a toxic substance.
The decorations are 5 plastic plants and 1 has a silk flower. Then there is a cave I made from PVC pipe and gravel, which I used silicone to adhere the gravel. I doubt there is a problem with this though because I have an identical cave in my 55 gallon that has been there for months and has caused no problem. I made both caves at the same time.
Then today I thought that maybe they are dying of exhaustion from swimming against the filter. I am skeptical about this though. They do swim hard when they are in the current, but at night when things are dark, I have seen them floating near the bottom in their dormant state barely having to swim.
The parameters of the 5 gallon were ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates around 20-25.
Well I come home and another one is showing the symptoms of death. I took a closer look at the gravel (which is black) because some of them looked like there was a white residue on them (I was thinking signs of a fungus). And it turns out a lot of the rocks have lost some of the black coating! I mean, these rocks were pitch black when I first set up the tank. Now, especially looking up close, you can see they are starting to lose their color.
These rocks are Petco brand aquarium gravel, "Veterinarian approved." The label says the gravel has "durable coatings specially developed for their permanence and non-toxicity. The gravel is processed to remove potentially harmful debris and metals. It will not affect the water's chemistry, nor harm any aquatic life."
I am going to get a breeder net right now and move the remaining fry into that inside either my 55 or my 10. This is ridiculous. -.-
I moved the 4 seemingly healthy fry into a breeder net in my 10 gallon. I kept the one that is dying in the 20 gallon and treated it with Melafix. If the fish gets better, I'll know its some type of infection.. if not, then it must be some type of contamination.
I have a question about Melafix though. Is it okay to use with scaleless fish, like a loach? I have a loach in the 10 gallon and I need to know if it will be safe to use Melafix should the tank come down with something.
Sorry to hear about your ailing fry. I had an issue with aquarium gravel once a couple years ago. No matter what I did, every fish I put into the tank died. I kept checking all the water info and it looked normal, except I couldn't keep the Ph down. It kept going higher and higher. Besides that, I noticed some of the coloring coming off the stones. Eventually I got the PH more stabilized, but fish kept dying anyway. As soon as I switched to natural gravel and a different brand of smaller colored gravel, everything was fine.
As I recall, some of my dead fish had whitish areas, but then again when a fish dies it decays rapidly and sometimes turns white. It was probably just that.
I hope you figure out your problem.
not sure here,have got my forgetful head on today.
half strength for scaless fish.
I am going to change the substrate in the 20 gallon where the black coloring is coming off, probably to EcoComplete. So I guess I can say this to others: DON'T buy Petco brand aquarium gravel! :(
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