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Anurag 08-06-2011 06:14 PM

Discoloration in Black molly
We brought a black molly couple (male and female) home, two months back. They are housed in a 12 inch fish bowl. We do a 20% water change daily and around 80% water change once in a week after cleaning the bowl.

We feed them fish food pellets around 6-8 pellets for both the fishes 3-4 times a day.

And the bowl contains stones at the bottom and an aquatic plant in it.

When we got the fishes, the female molly had silver patches under her face near the gills but we think that the patches are increasing in size now. In addition I see that her fins are beginning to become translucent towards the end.

I am not sure if this discoloration is due to a disease or not, the male molly seems to be just fine.

Another thing I observed is that my fishes wiggle a lot, wanted to know if this is normal fish behaviour.

Also wanted to know if the plant in background is safe for the fishes? The guy at the aquarium provided us with this plant. I live in India btw.

Kindly advise what steps need to be taken; the fish seem to be healthy and enjoying themselves.

Thanks in advance :)

Beaches 08-06-2011 07:36 PM


Originally Posted by Anurag (Post 769690)
We brought a black molly couple (male and female) home, two months back. They are housed in a 12 inch fish bowl. We do a 20% water change daily and around 80% water change once in a week after cleaning the bowl.

We feed them fish food pellets around 6-8 pellets for both the fishes 3-4 times a day.

In this case the discolouration is probably due to stress and they might be developing fin rot. The wiggling you describe, could be what's called shimmying (if you mean the fish looks like it is moving/swimming but staying in one spot) and this is a sign of stress. Mollies (no fish actually) can survive very long in a fish bowl and your fish need a proper cycled tank (at least 20 gallons preferrably) heater and filtration. Do you check the ammonia, nitrite & nitrate levels and do you know what the PH is of the water? Mollies need hard/akaline water to remain healthy. I know you mentioned you live in India, but you can still get all these supplies can't you?

I think you might be overfeeding them also, adult fish only need to be fed once/twice a day in very small amounts.

I would suggest you read the profile on the Molly and it's requirements...Common Molly (Poecilia sphenops) Profile

Anurag 08-06-2011 07:57 PM

Thank you for replying beaches.

What I meant by wiggling was they move their bodies side to side staying at the same place, their tail will be in opposite direction to their head and they sway their bodies... umm... something like this.. and vigorously sometimes

And yeah we have observed them Shimmying as well, when we transfer them to another container during the bowl cleanup; they also shimmy during late night hours .. I am not sure if they are sleeping though.

But as such throughout the day they keep on scaling the circumference of the Bowl.

Currently we dont monitor the pH value of the water or temperature; we were told by the aquarium person that a day old tap water can be used for the fishes as it would be devoid of chlorine.

Is there a way by which I can determine if the molly is suffering from a fin rot? And are there any medications out there that may help to stop the spread of the fungi in its tracks?

And thanks for the suggestion we will cut their food supplies as over feeding might lead to bloating and the fish might settle at the bottom of the tank .

Additionally can the male fish be the reason of stress in the female?

I just read that you should not have a single male and female in the same tank else the male drives the female crazy

Also I would like to know which vegetables can be fed to them, can I give them shredded cabbage, spinach or other green leafy vegetables?

Beaches 08-06-2011 09:30 PM

My question is; In India can you buy a proper tank, filter, heater and test kits for those fish? Because that is what they need! Fin rot (shredded/disappearing/frayed fins) if that is what they have is usually a result of poor water quality & stress, it can often be nipped in the bud if water quality is improved and stress factors removed as much as possible. Does the white area look fuzzy at all? could also be columnarus.... here is a link to the diseases

My advice, is that you stop listening to the LFS employee, do your own research and buy the appropriate setup/equipment for the fish as soon as possible or return the fish if you can't house them proberly, because honestly it is doing them a disservice keeping them in that bowl.

In the meantime, I would be doing at least minimum of 50% water changes every day to keep ammonia levels down, cutting back on the amount of food will also help. You really need test kits, if you don't have them the LFS may be able to test it for you. I don't know what the water is like in India, but if it has chloramines in it, you need a dechlorinator, also just letting the water sit overnight may not release all the chlorine, so the safest way is to use a dechlorinator.

Yes! The male can cause a lot of stress to the female if he is harassing her constantly. The ratio is 1m to 2-3 females, so the harassment is distributed.

Yes! You can feed those veggies (if feeding lettuce, normal lettuce has no nutritional value and isn't good for them, Romaine lettuce is best), blanched zucchine/cucumber is good and deshelled squished/cut up peas are very beneficial for fish and very good for constipation. Most veggies you should soften them in a bit of water in the microwave or 10-30 secs. first.

Beaches 08-06-2011 10:08 PM

Just to add Anurag...I know there are cultural differences between countries and in India it might be acceptable/common practice to keep fish in bowls, when I said you are doing them a disservice, I was looking at it purely with the welfare of the fish in mind and they will be a lot healthier/live longer if housed in the appropriate environment.

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