Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bradleyj2 11-30-2007 10:17 PM

Sick Molly?
Been a lurker here for a while...And I think I may need some help.

I have a 30 gallon tank with 5 mollies in it (starting slow). Over the last couple of days, I noticed my white molly has developed "sores" near her gills. It started out on one side, but today they are on both.

Water tests fine (used testing strips and sent to pet shop). She eats fine, and is as active as always.

The sores almost look like holes. I've tried to take some pictures. I posted them here:


(Same pic, just different resolutions)

Thanks for any advice!

Lupin 11-30-2007 11:39 PM

Hi Brad.

Can you please post your exact water parameters? I don't trust test strips and will recommend the use of API liquid kits.

JouteiMike 12-01-2007 12:47 AM

Don't mean to come on strong here, but that doesn't look good.

How long has the fish been like that?
You mentioned "sores", there are more than that one?
Are you treating it with any antibiotics?
Water parameters? (Liquid test would be nice.)

I would keep the water quality pristine, doing frequent water changes. I have heard cases where fish can live with holes in their gills...but the most important thing right now is to not let it get infected. On a side note, I have also heard cases of this being linked to tuberculosis, which is a serious illness in fish.

Keep an eye on the sores, and try and maintain good water quality to promote healing, and feed a varied diet to boost its immune system.

Good luck, keep us posted.

bradleyj2 12-02-2007 01:13 AM

OK...Just some additional info. Current water conditions are:

Nitrate 20
Nitrite .5
Total hardness 75
Total chlorine 0
Total alkalinity 80
and ph 7.2

I do weekly water changes and vacuuming. I use Tank Buddies fizzing tablets to remove chlorine, add aquarium salt, and Nutrafin Cycle bacteria.

In the 30 gallon tank I also have a bubble curtain and some live plants. The guy at the fish store said live plants can help keep nitrate levels down.

Went to the pet store today with the picture. They thought it could be bacterial...So I got API Melafix...Antibacterial and it says it can help heal open red sores. Just added some saturday after removing my carbon.

Fingers crossed.

Anything else look abnormal?

JouteiMike 12-02-2007 01:33 PM

Your test results are lacking Ammonia. I suggest you get your hands on a liquid ammonia test kit, since you are getting some readings of Nitrites.

Melafix will be a good starting approach. Let us know if the sores get any better, or get worse and have white fuzzy fungus developing, or also any significant change in the fish's behavior, like not eating, clamped fins, laying on bottom not moving.... Good luck!

Little-Fizz 12-02-2007 02:00 PM

Ouch :( Sorry I don't have any advice on top of what everyone here has already said. Thats a very beautiful fish! What type of molly is this? I might be interested in getting one myself. Best of luck! I hope your fish is ok :(

bradleyj2 12-03-2007 01:33 PM

I don't have any ammonia test yet...Going to get one tonight. The Petsmart guy told me I didn't need it if I was testing nitrates and nitrites :!:

Did a water change and vacuum again last night...And still treating with Melafix. No changes yet. She's still very active and eats everything in sight! :wink:

As far as I know, she's just a white molly. I have her and 4 dalmation mollies (All females).

Little-Fizz 12-03-2007 02:43 PM


Originally Posted by bradleyj2
The Petsmart guy told me I didn't need it if I was testing nitrates and nitrites :!:

Ah, your not going to listen to that right? You should always have an ammonia tester on hand. You never know when you will need it. Good luck.

bradleyj2 12-10-2007 10:10 PM

Well I have good news (I think)... It's been a week of treating her with the Melafix. My Molly is still alive! And it looks like the sores are closing up. Slow...But healing!

Did a 25% water change last night. Got a better water test kit.

My water today tests at:

Nitrate 10
Nitrite 0
Amonnia 0
Total hardness 75
Total chlorine 0
Total alkalinity 80
and ph 7.2

Here's hoping she continues to heal! Thanks for all your advice. And so much for petsmart lol :lol:

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