Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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katthechimp 05-23-2010 03:28 PM

Poorley Black Molly?
Hiya im all new to keeping tropical fish. Ive had the tank for about a month. Added plants, then 2 mollys, then 5 neons, 2 catfish, then 5 plattys, 5 rummy nose and 2 cat fish.
They were all doing fine, until 2 days ago I found one of the plattys on bottome of tank, nothing obviouse wrong with it.
Now ive just looked at one of the mollys has white spots on its fin and tail and keeps going to the top for air.
Each time ive added fish the pet shop has tested water and its been ok.

My plants have been going abit brow round the edges so again on petshop advice i added some plant feed.

the petshop advised me to clean tank every 2 weeks where i take out 20% of water and every week i add tetra aqua safe.

please can someone advise me????

will my molly die quickly or will it be ok until 2moro when i could get something?

JouteiMike 05-23-2010 06:07 PM

It would be a good idea to purchase a liquid test kit so you can test your own water to know what is going on. I am wondering if your tank was properly cycled before you added all the fish. Seems like your fish were added too quick. Adding fish should be staggered when the tank is so new, so you don't risk overstocking the bio-load.

Did your pet store give you the parameter numbers for your water? Like, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, kH...?

Was your tank cycled before you added all the fish?

A few basic details on your tank will help too, like how many gallons, what type of filter.

I am not sure what to advise you as far as how often and how much water you should be changing, because I am unaware of your parameters. Try to find out what your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are. For now I will suggest doing partial water changes, more frequently. About 10-15 percent every other day, until you purchase a water test kit and test your water.

redchigh 05-23-2010 07:03 PM

Indeed, we need more info.

What kinds of plants? (If you don't know, post pics)
What plant food did you buy?
What are your parameters (ammonia, nitrite, ph are the most important)

I hope your pet store will accept fish as trade-ins because you have one obvious issue- neons and most tetras like soft acidic water (low kh gh and ph) while livebearers (platies mollies guppies and swordtails) like higher PH (around 7.5, maybe 8 and a higher kh)

So test your PH and build your fish accordingly.

(I'm reading over this post before I post it, and it seems rude. I'm sorry if it does, I don't mean for it to be.)

katthechimp 05-25-2010 06:39 AM


After ringing several places yesterday and getting very conflicting advice I went to buy a testing kit....Luckily the man was vey helpful and offered to do a test for free (as the kit was 40 and if nothing was wrong no need to spend it!)

He was willing to put money on that from what I described I had too much ammonia in the tank. Anyway, water all tested everything was fine. all levels as they should be and from what I told him The way I keep the tank is also good.

I did a 35% water change anyway as instructed and the water temp is now at a ok level. As i syphen the water i 'hoovered' the gravle and plants.

Unfortunately though my fish are still a bit off, especially now the rummy nose.

The Mollys seem ok and some of the white spot has gone but Im not sure if the rummys have it, they dont keep still for long enough and its hard to show up.

Plants are still going brown though.

Ive also had a filter casualty with a neon (how can i stop them getting stuck in this?)

i now have in my tank.....

2 black mollys
4 neons
2 catfish
2 cory catfish
4 plattys
5 rummy nose

2 small grass plants
3 other big leaf plants

its a 60l elite tank with 'stingray filter'

Im on a very tight budget but dont want my fish to die..............

Austin 05-25-2010 08:00 AM

Hi there,

The water parameters that pet store employees think are okay, and what are actually okay are very different. If he was willing to bet money on ammonia being the cause, it means your tank is not completely cycled yet and there was likely an ammonia reading. In that case he lied - ammonia reading should be 0 and anything above is not ok.

Not sure if you know about the cycling process if you are new to aquariums, but it is basically establishing a colony of GOOD bacteria inside your tank (mostly in the filter media (sponges, etc)) that break down Ammonia (very toxic) into nitrites (somewhat toxic) into nitrates (not toxic unless levels get too high). The way you cycled was, to be honest, not a good way to do it. But, many many many of us have been there and made the same mistake. Anyways, the fish produce ammonia as their waste product. If you do not have a bacteria colony established in your filter system yet (I believe somehow this beneficial bacteria is in the water and establishes itself in your filter), the ammonia won't be converted into nitrate and will stay the toxic ammonia. This causes all sorts of stress and makes your water quality very poor which can weaken fish's immune system and if ammonia is too high can actually kill the fish from ammonia poisoning. So, that's the cycling process. You did it by adding fish and their ammonia probably sat there with them for a while until the bacteria colony slowly developed to take care of it. After a month the cycle should mostly be done especially with a cycle with fish. So anyways, that's basically why your fish are probably sick. Your tank was not cycled when you added fish and the build up of ammonia lowered their immune system and caused them illness.

How can you lower the ammonia and improve water quality? Many water changes. It might be best to go and get your water tested again and write down the exact numbers and post them here. We can tell you if your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are okay or not. But anyways, ways to ease the problems associated with a non-cycled tank is through plenty of water changes. I'd maybe do 35-50% water changes every few days until your fish start to get better. You may also want medications if you can post pictures and we can diagnose the diseases?

I just reread your first post and I gotta tell you.... be skeptical about the advice the pet stores give you. As i mentioned. What is "good" to them is usually somewhat far off from what is actually good. Also they will try t sell you stuff to fix PH, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, etc. And when everything is done properly you will not need any of those, and they can actually be more harmful than helpful.

On another note, your tank is a bit overstocked. Mollies are quite big for a 60 L tank, and there's just too many fish. I suggest picking out a few of the ones you really like and we can help you get a good stock level. Your tank will get dirty fast and the fish will probably be stressed and over crowded if things continue. I'd return some to the store or give them away. I don't think they will lead healthy lives (if some don't die off) if kept the way they are.

Lastly, I'll go a tiny bit into plants. I assume you probably haven't bought any proper lighting for the plants, and the ones that typically come with fish tanks aren't suitable for plants. You might want to check the kelvin rating if you can. 6500-6700k is usually good. Your plants will probably die unless you get light bulbs with kelvin ratings of 6500-6700. This is likely why the plants are dying.... Bulbs are not too expensive and might be worth the investment if you wish to keep your plants alive. Also, "big leaf plants" and "Grass" plants are LIKELY heavy "root plants" and should not be disturbed once planted.

Sorry about all the random stuff, but I'm just spewing out random information I guess that might be helpful because it is 5:57 AM and I'm a bit tired and don't wish to edit it all up.

Good luck with your fish, and if you have any more specific questions or need help with anything let us know, I'll be glad to help with whatever I can.

Btw, don't worry, you'll get your fish tank nice and running smooth soon especially if you listen to our advice here. ^^

Byron 05-25-2010 11:31 AM

I also think your tank may be overstocked from a numbers perspective; I use the word "may" because with live plants (growing, not dying) and regular maintenance (weekly partial water changes of 40-50%) it would be manageable. But with dying plants and problems with some of the fish, having more fish in a relatively small volume makes it worse.

We still don't have the pH of your water, and this is important. A pH test kit is in my view mandatory, as you should test the pH regularly at first, then once it seems to be "settled" once a week before the water change would be adequate to spot any shift. You have fish with differing requirements concerning pH; livebearers (mollies, platys) require basic water (pH above 7.0) while neons and rummys prefer acidic water (pH below 7). Neons can adapt to slightly basic, rummys have more trouble doing this and will not be as colourful. Corys depending upon which species may adapt. When fish are maintained in a pH unsuited to their needs they can be stressed, and this brings on other health problems. This may or may not be the issue here.

On the plants, what type of lights do you have? Be specific; if it is fluorescent, give us what is printed on the end of the tube.

When we know the above, we will have more suggestions to help.


katthechimp 05-25-2010 03:46 PM


Ive been back to the pet store to have my water tested again. Ive looked at all test kits I can get near me and they all use colours to compare them to like on a ph tape. The blokie in the shop showed me the test results and all are the colour they should be. The only level with numbers they can read is the ph at which mine is 7.

Ive had another casualty with the filter today- a rummy nose, as i 'fished' it out i noticed it had been laying eggs behind the filter and it had got stuck in a hole where some of the filter pulls out. I have now put tape over these to stop it from happening again.

I did a water change last night and the fish seem alot brighter today, ive also bought some white spot treatment just to be safe.

It has been mega hot here the last few days so im not sure if iths that? ive moved my blinds round soo the tank is shaded better.

Ive spoken to the store where I got my fish from, it is a pure aquatic shop so just deals in fish and they have said there is nothing wrong with how ive stocked the tank, the pet shop ive been to today has also said this.

I stocked my tank like this....

Added just plants and set filter off etc set up tank with gravle and rocks. I left this fishless for 2 weeks.
Then added 2 black mollys, after 2 more weeks added 5 neons and 2 cat fish. They all doing well so 2 weeks after added 2 further catfish, 5 rummy and 5 platty. Before all fish were added I did a 20% water change a few days before then added tetra aqua safe to the water. The aquatich shop also checked water levels to see that the fish would be ok.

Im going to do a water change now ever 2/3 days to aid the white spot treatment and then hopefully things will be ok??

I would apreciate more advice though, Thank you!!!

Byron 05-26-2010 12:33 PM

A pH around 7 will accommodate quite a few fish, so we can leave that for the moment.

What is the ich medication you have? You have to be very careful with ich treatments, most contain copper and fish like your neons and rummy are highly sensitive to copper. Be prepared to lose the rummys; I don't want to scare you, but in my experience they do not do well with most medications. Angel079 had a similar experience with ich and rummys, lost them all.

You still have told us about your light. I should be able to offer some help for your plants when I know what light you have.


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