Female Mollies keep dying. HELP please - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-30-2008, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Female Mollies keep dying. HELP please

Hi all, hopefully someone can give me some great advise. Here's the deal.

About 2 months ago I had a female silver molly who started out to be a high strung appearing healthy fish. She was being tormented by my juvinile male black molly, which was resolved by getting another female molly. All seemed well, until about a month later when the silver suddenly became lethargic. She had appeared to have gotten slightly fatter in that last month, which I thought was potentially pregnancy. Unfortunately, she passed away within 3 days of the onset of lethargy.
A month has passed since the silver female died. My other female molly never seemed affected and she appeared healthy. She did not get increased torment from the male even after the other female died. However, about two weeks ago I noticed that she appeared to be getting slightly fatter. I know she bred with the male, so I assumed she was pregnant and she did not show any adverse signs or increased stress. In fact she seemed very happy and healthy until about 2 days ago. She suddenly became lethargic and she passed away last night. (she was a mature lyretail dalmation)
I guess I'm confused why my female mollies are dying. They seem totally heathy for slightly over a month, then suddenly get lethargic and die. Both appeared to be potentially pregnant, unless the slow fattening was something else?
All my other fish are fine. The male molly has been in since the beginning and has never had any problems. My tank has a variety of guppies, 3 small neons, a small algaeatter, a variety of snails, and the male molly (used to have the two other female mollies-but obviously no longer). The tank is well cycled, 15 g, with a Tetra 20g filter. Ammonia is less than 0.02 ppm, pH ~7.0, temp 76-78 F.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. What ever is going on seems to only affect the female mollies.
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-31-2008, 06:02 AM
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What is a "small algae eater" ? Your tanks kind of weirdly stocked and with the two females it would have been over stocked. Mollies really need 20 - 30 gallon minimum if your going to keep a bunch. Why only three neons?

Another thing I noticed, are you using test strips? No one around here is a big fan of those things. They are costly and inaccurate, so spend say 30 bucks on a API liquid master test kit that tests for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH. It may cost more up front but in the long run saves you money, as the kit does A LOT of tests.

Your fishes problem is unclear to me... I need more details, is there any chance you got a picture of the girls before they passed away? How long was it from when they swell up to when they die? I'm thinking constipation or dropsy maybe... But it could be something worse like bacterial. Were the scales raised at all? Did you notice them passing any waste?

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-31-2008, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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My algae eatter is only about 1/2 inch. (don't remember his exact breed name-would have to look it up). He doesn't seem to do much regarding the other fish. Usually don't see him often.
Only have 3 neons due to the size of the tank. I wanted to make sure not to only have 1 since these are a schooling type fish, but more is dangerous to the tank since it is already stocked to capacity. I'm not really interested in alot of Mollies, I just like some variety. One will be fine if that needs to be.
As for the test strips, I do have a monitoring strip for ammon. and ph, but I do use a liquid test kit to check parameters weekly since I've heard from many that the strips generally suck.
Sorry I don't have pic of the mollies, in retrospect I wish I did. The swelling seemed to occur about 2 weeks prior to death. It was slow to notice and it appeared to look like pregnancy. They did not appear sick until 2 days before death when they suddenly became lethargic. The scales never looked abnormal or raised. They both ate well and were pooping up to time of death.
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