Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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shaggy42011 05-29-2009 08:48 PM

New fish laying at bottom of tank

I am totally new to fish and aquariums. I recently set up a 29 gallon fresh water tank and had the filter running for about 4 days before I bought my first fish tonight. I bought two marble mollies and two high fin platys. So I brought them home, put the bag in the water for about 15 mins to acclimate the water temp to my tank temp, then scooped out the fish with a net one by one into my tank (didnt want to contaminate my water). Three of the fish immediately started darting around happy as hell. However, one of the marble mollies just kind of sank to the bottom and has been laying on its side for almost two hours now. Every now and then it will move a short distance, but for the most part it just lays there. Any ideas what this could be? It is moving slightly but not swimming except short bursts of energy. My water stats are:

76 degrees farenheit
Nitrate: 10mg/L
Nitrite: 0
Water Hardness (75 - soft)
Chlorine: 0
Alkalinity: 120 KH ppm
PH: about 7.2

shaggy42011 05-29-2009 09:22 PM

It died, I was hoping it was just a little confused or disoriented from being moved. Im going to bring it back tomorrow since I think there is a 15 day return period.

Twistersmom 05-29-2009 10:07 PM

Next time you add new fish, it would be best to acclimate them slowly. You can either leave the fish in the bag or put it in a bucket. Slowly add your tank water to the water the fish came with. Add around 1/4 cup every 15 min until half the water or more is your own tank water. I have spent a good hour or two acclimating new fish.
If the stores ph is much different than your, the quick change can throw them into shock.
Chances are the fish was sick to begin with, but its safer to acclimate the fish to your water first.

shaggy42011 05-29-2009 10:25 PM

Thank you for the response. I will definitely acclimate my next fish the way you suggested.

I think the fish may have been sick to begin with in this case, it was pretty inactive in the bag on the way home and the sudden change in water composition (from store water to mine) must have been too much for it.

On a better note, the other fish are doing fine and are swimming around their new home with lots of energy. Again, thank you for your advice.

Oldman47 05-30-2009 08:13 PM

Welcome to the forum Shaggy.

Do not add any more fish to that tank. You have an uncycled tank that is not ready for any fish. If you have a liquid type testing kit, the kind with the little test tubes, sample your water at least daily and change water enough that the ammonia and nitrites never go above 0.25 ppm. If you don't have the test kit, you can figure that a 50% daily water change for the next few weeks may keep the remaining fish alive. To do a water change, start by vacuuming the water from the bottom of the tank picking up any uneaten food as you go. Then add dechlorinator to the fresh water and add that water back into the tank. The new water should be about the same temperature as the tank water to avoid any stress to the fish.

For mollies, water that is fairly hard with a high pH is a must. Again, I would use a liquid type test to find out if the water's pH is over 7.5. If it is, the water is probably OK for a molly. If it is not, look into how hard the water is where you live. If people complain about the high mineral content of the water and how hard it is, it is probably hard enough for a molly. I keep mine in water that runs about 7.8 pH and 12 German degrees of hardness. The units matter because there are 3 or 4 different scales used to express the hardness of water.

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