Is this a problem? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 10-11-2008, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Is this a problem?

PROBLEM: My little molly just died this morning. She was red, but she turned yellow when she died. I've never seen that happen before. She was old, so I would have just excused it as that.
But my other molly, a big orange one, his scales around his gills have turned white and puffy. Looks like...mold? I guess?
It's been that way for a while, and I'm getting nervous. I don't want to get a new fish until I know it's safe.

1. I have a 10 gallon tank
2. Um...freshwater
3. I've had it for years. I couldn't say quite how long.
4. I have two fish. One is an algae eater - a little brown one. The other is a big orange molly.
5. Only plastic plants
6. It's about 75 degrees F
7. What make/model filter are you using?
8. I...don't know what a CO2 unit is, so prolly not
9. A little bit. I often forget to open the blinds. More in the summer.
10. I last cleaned it two weeks ago. I'm going to clean it again tomorrow. No time today.
11. I clean it every other week, as the manual said.
12. I feed my fish a little pinch of flakes every night.
13. I have two little fluorescent lightbulbs. They're on most of the day, but off at night. So I can sleep.
15. um. I don't understand the question. ;-;
16. O_O see question 15.
17. Oh, a long time ago. Several months. Before the summer.
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post #2 of 2 Old 10-14-2008, 11:02 AM
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Is it possible to post a picture of your fish? That would be a big help in determining what's wrong.

Question 15 is actually one of the most important ones on the list. Your tank has been set up for a long time, so it is probably cycled pretty well. However, when fish die they can cause big ammonia spikes even in a mature aquarium. Ammonia, which comes from uneaten food, fish waste (feces and urine) and decaying stuff in the tank (like your dead fish) is very toxic to fish. How long was it between when you last saw the dead molly alive and when you saw that it was dead? It's been a few days since you made that post, so the ammonia spike (if there was one) has likely passed, but it could have weakened the immune system on your other fish enough to allow it to get sick.

All fishkeepers should have a test kit to test those water parameters, as they have a huge impact on the health of your fish. You want a test kit that is capable of measuring pH (which is how acidic/alkaline your water is), ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Paper test strips are often inaccurate and end up costing a lot of money. A much better investment is a liquid test kit. I prefer the API Liquid Freshwater Master Test Kit. It usually runs about $30 in stores like Petsmart but is much cheaper (about $15) at online aquarium supply stores like Drs. Foster and Smith or Aquariumguys.

Even if you get us a picture of the sick fish, we really need to know those water parameters in order to help treat it. While you wait to get that liquid kit, you can take a sample of your aquarium water to a fish store and let them test it for you. Make sure they give you specific numbers for pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and make sure they're using a liquid kit or electronic probes rather than the paper strips.

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