Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Help! Silver Sailfin molly dieing, :( (

sammies4787 03-22-2009 05:12 PM

Help! Silver Sailfin molly dieing, :(
Hi, so I have a silver sailfin molly that is dieing right now and I have no clue what to do. He's just swimming up in the corner, and still alive but not moving at all, all the other fish are kind of poking him and he doesn't move at all. What do you do? I don't have a quarantine tank.

sammies4787 03-22-2009 05:29 PM

1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons) 16 gallons
2. Is your aquarium setup freshwater or brackish water? freshwater
3. How long the aquarium has been set up? about 2 1/2 to 3 months
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know) three swordtails and 2 silver sailfin mollies, one plecostomus
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium? no
6. What temperature is the tank water currently? 79 degrees
7. What make/model filter are you using? Aqueon Power Filter, I think its a CA10 or CA20, it doesn't say on the manual
8. Are you using a CO2 unit? what is that? I don't think so
9. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day? no, but it does have a flourescent light on for the good part of the day
10. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed? last night, about a 10 percent water change
11. How often do you perform water changes? every week, I did a fishless cycle for about 3 weeks and never changed the water, than changed the water two weeks ago, and this last week, I did another one yesterday because the nitrate was pushing a little past 40ppm
12. How often and what foods do you feed your fish? I feed them twice a day, mix it up with tropical flakes one day, than spirulina/ algae flakes another, than frozen brine shrimp another
13. What type of lighting are you using and how long is it kept on? flourescent, from 10AM to about 10PM
14. What specific concerns bring you here at this time? one of my silver sailfin molly's is dying
15. What are your water parameters? Test your pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. everything good except nitrate
16. What test kit are you using and is it liquid or test strips? liquid
17. When was the last time you bought a fish and how did they behave while in the pet store tank? I bought these two silver sailfin mollies on Friday, (today is Sunday), they were fine in the tank, they followed your finger everywhere

Byron 03-22-2009 07:28 PM

Since it is a new fish that is affected--how were they introduced to the tank? What is the pH of your tank water? Do you know the pH of the store's tank (some aquarium stores tell you, or you can test it when you get home)?

sammies4787 03-22-2009 10:19 PM

Well, I let them soak in their bag in the tank water for about an hour adding a little of my fish tank water to the bag gradually. Because I was causing a lot of stress trying to net them out of the bag, I just let them out with their water in the tank. I did this as well with the Pleco. I don't know the PH of the store's tank. But, I have asked him before when I first started if it was really important to watch for the PH level and he said he doesn't keep track as they adjust pretty easily to our Utah PH level and told me not to worry about it. I just added some liquid AmQuel plus which removes nitrate, nitrite and ammonia as well as chlorine and chloramines. They did seem to do a little better but they are still hanging out in the same corner looking stressed. Mind you I got these three new fish on Friday and now it is Sunday and they are still acting the same as when I got them.

Twistersmom 03-23-2009 08:51 AM

When adding new fish, I dump the bag of water and fish into a bucket, then net them out of the bucket. Its best to avoid adding fish store water to your tank.
Sounds like you acclimated the fish well.
Maybe, they just need some more time to settle in.

Byron 03-23-2009 09:42 AM

Like Twistersmom said, you acclimated the fish well. I also agree, it is better not to add store water to your aquariums; the bucket method works, and avoids adding pathogens and ammonia to your tank. But that's for the future, as I doubt this molly problem comes from something added with the bag water.

I asked about the pH because livebearers prefer alkaline (above pH 7) and it is very stressful for a fish to adjust quickly to a pH that is more than a couple of decimal points different. Your swordtails (also livebearers of course) seem OK, so probably not a pH problem, although there still could have been a marked difference between your tank and the store's water. Something to bear in mind for the future.

Your other water parameters are OK and not likely to be causing this, so as Twistersmom said, wait it out. If the molly is being picked on, are there refuges in the tank where fish can get away from the others? You said there are no live plants, but are there any plastic ones or other decor for "hiding" spots? Plants can often help fish adjust, it gives them a sense of security. If you want to try plants, Vallisneria should do well in alkaline water, and floating fern (Ceratopteris species) although more an acidic water plant, sometimes does well if the water is not too alkaline and it provides wonderful cover.

Keep us posted on developments.

sammies4787 03-23-2009 10:12 AM

Well, I do have 4 plastic plants in the tank and large lace rock and a little rock cave thing. I think I do want to get more plants eventually to provide more hiding spaces. Right now they seem to do better, their names for now are scooby and dooby, (my husband named them :P), scooby is the one that is more outgoing and seems more alert. Dooby is the one I am worried about. They both stay in the corner for the most part of the day only to come out to get food. But, now when Oscar (the grouch) comes to pick on them a little, he does move around to get out of the way.

By the way does everyone name their fish? Or, am I just a weird fish keeper?

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