Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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KSASTER2 04-20-2010 07:08 AM

First fish death ever...questions
Well my 29g planted has been up and running for 3 months now. I had my first fish death this morning.
Woke up and found my female dalmation molly dead on the gravel under one of my plants:(
All other fish seem very healthy, energetic, and also they all ate normally this morning.

Did a water test

ph 7.2

nitRITE 0

ammonia 0

nitRATE less than 5.0 but definatly not 0

I have never had a nitRATE reading above zero in the 3 months the tank has been up. I change my water every week. Is the elevated nitRATE the reason why I lost a fish?

JohnnyD44 04-20-2010 08:24 AM

I highly doubt a nitrate reading of .5ppm played a contributing factor to your molly's death. I have a running nitrate of about i doubt that is it...

what other inhabitants are in your tank?
have you changed anything drastic recently?

KSASTER2 04-20-2010 08:44 AM

NOPE haven't changed a thing. 7 neons. male dalmation molly, 5 guppies, 2 albino corys and 1 small CPO

1077 04-20-2010 09:07 AM

Water is too soft for Mollies who seem to do poorly in the long run ,with p/H values much less than 7.5 and do much better with p/H between 7.6 and 8.0 and temps between 82 to 84 degrees F.
Platies would be more comfortable with your parameters.
Were it mollies I wanted to keep, I might consider setting up a molly only tank using a half cup of crushed coral per twenty gal in the filter to increase the alkalinity or perhaps one of the mineral salts sold for cichlid tanks to do same.
I say a molly only tank ,because although mollies would find the hard warm water suitable,,other community fish may not.
Mollies can live four or five years but seldom reach adult size due in large part to being kept in water that does not lend itself to their longterm survival.
Don't take my word for it though ,google info on water parameters for tropical mollies and do as you may.
They just don't seem to last long in anything other than rock hard ,warm,water.

KSASTER2 04-20-2010 09:25 AM

Thanks 1077 had I know that ahead of time I wouldn't have gotten the mollies and subjected them to unsuitable water. The LFS I got them from said they would be fine in my community tank with my water parameters. But as Ive learned and read on TFK the LFS cannot really be trusted.

JohnnyD44 04-20-2010 09:50 AM

great point by 1077....I didn't consider the waters softness....

Byron 04-20-2010 09:53 AM

I second 1077, mollies in my experience do best on their own. They make a lovely display, a group of black mollies (or the others) in a 20-30g tank planted with Vallisneria (corkscrew), pebble-type of substrate, with the water moderately hard and basic (pH high 7's) is very impressive. A nice Central American stream setup.

Perhaps your store will take back the remaining mollies; with neons I would not raise hardness or pH.

And I second Johnny, nitrate at 5 is not going to cause problems for fish. Most consider 20 ppm or lower the normal nitrate range, and while many fish can go above this it is preferable to keep nitrates below 20 ppm. Plants will do this, nitrates in a well-planted tank are rarely above 10 ppm and often zero, or if no plants then regular weekly partial water changes do the trick, provided you don't have nitrate in your tap water.


KSASTER2 04-20-2010 10:01 AM

thanks as always guys :)

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