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My Dalmation Molly can't seem to swim normally
Hello, I am new to having an aquarium and now i've run into my first problem. For the last 2 or 3 days my Dalmation Molly (I have no idea if it is male or female, or how to tell) has been hanging out at the bottom of the tank. It is eating food that falls to the floor, and will swim about half way up the tank but then falls back to the bottom. It looks to me like it is only able to use its side fins for some reason, so for most of the day it just sits on the gravel. I have a black Molly as well, along with 3 guppies, an algae eater, and 2 Fiddler crabs. The tank is 14 gallons, and I did just do a partial water change at the begining of the week, but it is the same water that I originally put in the tank, and I let the water sit out for 24 hours first like the aquarium book said. All the levels on the test strip have been appropriate for a freshwater tank when tested, until today, and the temperature has stayed a steady 72 degrees, and still is. Today I tested the water and the pH and alkalinity levels were both high along with the hardness. Is that something that could cause this to happen? I'm, very confused because none of the other fish, even the other Molly, seem to be affected in any way. I also found in my research, that I may need to add a little aquarium salt, could that potentially help? I would appreciate any help you can give me, I feel terrible that he/she may be suffering, and I would like to help it if possible but I have no idea what to do.
Well I don't know that I can help as I've never owned a Dalmation Molly, nor ever seen my black molly do that, but since you said you were new to fish keeping I have to ask how long has the tank been running? Has it gone thru a full cycle? That can take up to 6-8 weeks. The other thing I would suggest if and when you can afford it, is to get the full testing kit with the bottles of drops, and not to use the test strips as they can be very inacurate. You are doing a lot right tho, your water changes and how you are handling your water. If you can answer the age of the tank question, hopefully one of the more experienced fish people will chime in here with help.
Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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