Creamcicle Molly is staying near bottom of tank and distressed
We have a freshwater tank (26 gallon) with 2 yellow tale male guppies, 3 zebra danios, 2 cories, and 8 mollies of different types 5 female, 3 male. Just today I noticed one of the male mollies hanging out at the bottom of the tank and swimming a little awkwardly. As I observed him throughout the day I notice he's hiding out in the corner of the tank low to the rocks and still swimming pretty hard. I checked the water levels and ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all at zero. (I used the API drop kit to test.) We are using aquarium salt as prescribed by the LFS at the levels safe for freshwater fish (and have been for 2 months). I did a 6 gallon water change today and vacuumed the rocks as it was the scheduled time to do so. He's not eating much. None of of the other fish seem to be in any distress. I can't figure out what's wrong with him. I looked him over for ich and velvet and don't see signs of it. We are pretty new to raising/keeping freshwater fish therefore I'm new to troubleshooting fish illnesses. This tank has been up and running for about 4 months now. Any ideas?
Here's a link so you can see what he's doing (please ignore the sounds of Dora in the background.)
Any help or ideas on what might be wrong are greatly appreciated.
I might check the pH of the tank. Mollies and guppies prefer hard alkaline water with ph between 7.5 and 8.0 and tend to fair poorly in the long run when kept in soft acidic water.
If biological filter is working I would expect to see some level of nitrAtes unless the tank is heavily planted with live plants.Mollies and guppies also prefer warmer water than the danios and cory's appreciate with 78 to 82 degrees being about right for guppies ,while mollies are quite comfortable up to 84 degrees F.
Livebearer's appreciate considerable vegetable matter in their diet and I might consider Spirulina flake or foods containing same along with occasional brine shrimp and bloodworms.Have had good success with Spirulina based Brine shrimp by Hikari and Omega one veggie flakes with livebearer's I've kept.
Weekly water changes of 30 to 50 percent taking care to clean filter material in dechlorinated water or old water you take out during water change is good practice.
mollies in particular seem to do poorly in cool water or water that as mentioned, is soft. some will live for a few months,others will not last but a few weeks.
You make no mention of babies which I would expect to be mumerous in 4 month old tank with both male and female mollies but perhaps water is not to their liking, have seen this happen and fry are usually deformed and or die within a few days,weeks.
Mollies in particular just don't seem to do well with pH levels much below 7.5 in the long run or in cooler water in my expieriences with them and I might review water parameters.
Might also make sure the fish is male, have seen females exhibit the behaivor on video when about to give birth. would make sure there is plenty of floating cover as opposed to caves or rocks for fish to hide or rest in to avoid aggression or attention unwanted. hope some of this helps.
That molly is exhibiting a behavior called shimmy. It is usually a result of placing the fish in water that does not have enough mineral content for the fish's health. With you present stocking levels and fish types, you could easily get away with raising the hardness / mineral content of the water by adding some crushed shell or rushed coral to the filter's flow path. Before you object to not knowing where to find it, look at the stuff your pet shop sells for a salt water tank substrate. It is almost always either crushed shell or crushed coral.
The plain aquarium salt is a really poor product for your livebearers in a soft water area. It will raise the mineral content of only sodium and chlorides. You want the benefit of the calcium carbonate that makes up shell to buffer your water at a higher pH while adding significant minerals to the water. Do not use this method with a tank full of soft water fish like tetras and cories, they really will not appreciate the change.
Straight fresh water with no added salt, but a nice high pH and mineral content can leave your mollies looking like this.
and a few months later like this
oh wow how mamy months later is that pic??
The fry had grown to about 5 months when I took the second picture. By them I had sold off over half of them at club auctions to keep my stocking levels reasonable in the grow out tank.
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