Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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lillyrose81 03-06-2011 09:02 PM

Black Lyretail Molly, tail clamped and turning grayish
Hi I am new here but have been keeping tropical fish for a few years but am definitely still a novice. I have only recently added some Mollies but the all seem to hang around for only a little while and then die. I only have one left and a few days ago her tail looked like it was starting to clamp up and when the light shone at a certain angle it looked like it might be turning grayish. Is there any hope to save her or is she doomed to meet the fate of her former tankmates?

1. Size of tank? 20gal

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? 0
b. Nitrite? 0
c. Nitrate? 10ish
d. pH, KH and GH? 7
e. Test kit? Freshwater master test kit from Aquarium Pharm.

3. Temperature? 74

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? FW

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? 3yrs

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? 3 Cherry Barbs 1.5" (have had for about a year or so),1 Upsidedown Catfish 1", 2 Neon Tetras 1", 2 Pinapple Swords 1.5" + 4 Fry, 3 Gold Barbs 1.5", 3 Platys 1", 1 Gold Algae Eater 1.5", and a bunch of baby snails (have accumulated all of these in the last 5 months). Before adding the platys there were 4 mollies including the one I still have, all were about 1.75", 2 Gold an 2 Black Lyretails.

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? No

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? Live, anubius, swords, java moss and banana plants
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Natural beach pebbles and some crushed coral
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? 1 piece of drift wood, some shells and a few slate peices

9. a. Filtration? Fluval 204
b. Heater? Yes

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? 16 hours, 15 watt for plants
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? Someindirect but tank light is on at the same time

11. a. Water change schedule? Weekly
b. Volume of water changed? 25%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water? Tap
d. Water conditioner used? Yes
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? Weekly but not completely due to the plants and slate. I do one side at a time fairly thoroughly and just sweep along the other side. I alternate every other week.

12. Foods? Flake and algae wafers
How often are they fed? Twice a day

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Other than the molly the platys will sometimes swim quickly and rub against a plant or something but I see no visual signs of parasites
b. Appearance of poop? Normal, brown
c. Appearance of gills? Good

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? Not with any medications per say
b. What meds were used? Added some aquarium salt last week

gingerael 03-07-2011 09:28 AM

I hate to say it but I think your problem is that Mollies require salt.

1077 03-07-2011 10:25 AM

Mollies would be best suited in their own tank with Marine salt at half suggested dose for Marine application.Aquarium salt doesn't really provide them with the mineral content that Marine salt has.
If water is already hard,alkaline,,then no salt is usually needed Marine,or otherwise.
Would also submit that while your other fishes enjoy cooler temp that you have, (74 degrees) the mollies much prefer warmer temps between 78 and 82 degrees F which your other fishes would not appreciate.
Mollies aren't the hardy fishes that they used to be (inbreeding, indiscriminate use of antibiotics).
Some do indeed do better with a bit of salt but hard, alkaline, warm water is primary need for this species.

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