Sick Mollie - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-22-2008, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Sick Mollie

My female silver lyretail sailfin mollie is demonstrating some odd behavior that has me concerned, it appears like this:

She will stand almost straight up and down, and a appear to have a seizure. What I mean by seizure is that she will breath rapidly out of both gills and her body will wretch. There are no outward indications beyond the behavior that would indicate that anything is wrong.

This has just begun happening this morning. She is in an established 75 g planted tank with one male molly and three other females, all appear to be in good health. There are also 11 mystery snails.

Stressors: She gave birth to 100 fry about six days ago. The male was very assertively breeding her when I moved her from the fry tank 5 days ago. He's really settled in the past three days.

Looking back, I should've given her a couple of more days in the fry tank to rest, but I didn't and the stress may have caused her immune system to weaken. What can I do for her now? I have looked through the disease list and cannot find any symptoms that seem to match hers appropriately. I am wondering if she has a parasite. If so, how should I treat? Thoughts?

Nitrate = 0ppm
Nitrite = 0ppm
Ammonia = 0ppm
pH = 7.2
Temp = 80*F
C02 = 15 bubbles per minute (Sorry, I'm learning here and really untechnical.) It has been set at 15 bpm for almost two weeks and none of the other fish are showing signs of distress since it has increased.
Last WC was 50% one week ago. Due for another WC.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-26-2008, 10:11 PM
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Based on your description of the problem, it sounds like nervous system damage, probably caused by giving birth. It happens. Unfortunately there isn't any way to treat something like that, and if it's as severe as it sounds, there is a good chance she may not survive long. You can either take your chances and see how she does over the next wk or so, or you can euthenize her humanely. Putting her back into the fry tank will keep the other adults from picking on her, and will prevent the male from futher traumatizing her.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-26-2008, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 2.5 gallon QT I'll put her in. In the 75g she's getting bred constantly by the male and a dalmation female has just taken to chasing her around the tank the last day or so. I think the dalmation senses the SLS's weakness.

I don't see anymore of the odd behavior (standing straight up and convulsing) but at times she is breathing heavily after the "chasing" so I don't think she's able to rest like she should.

Thanks for your response Bettababy. I needed some direction.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-27-2008, 01:56 AM
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The qt tank would be a perfect place for her. In 2 1/2 gallons, I'd also add 1 tsp of salt to the water (aquarium salt) Mollies will always benefit from the salt content, and they thrive in brackish water. This will give her immune system a bit of a boost, and help raise her chances of survival.
Get her into the tank, then put the salt right into the water. It won't hurt her if she swims thru it as it's falling. Do NOT dissolve it in water first, the chemical reaction it goes thru while dissolving makes all the difference in the world as to its effectiveness. Just measure out 1 tsp and pour it into the water.

If she recovers and is doing well after about 4 - 6 wks, then you can slowly reduce the salt content back to full freshwater and move her back to the main tank if you want to.

Best of luck to you!

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-27-2008, 07:25 PM
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Here's a random safety note in case you've never worked with salt before: salt does not evaporate with water, so only add the amount of salt for any amount of water moved and nothing more. Otherwise you'll eventually end up with dangerous salt levels!
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post #6 of 6 Old 01-25-2009, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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I just wanted to let you all know that this molly has recovered. She is simply amazing! She went through the salt treatment for about 4 weeks until I couldn't bear keeping her in that little tank anymore. She's been back in the 75g since then. For about two months she hid in the plants and wouldn't swim at the front of the tank. She had a very small birth of about 10 or so at one point and is just now allowing males to breed her again. My tank is quite bright because it's heavily planted. Once one of the bulbs blew and it took me a few days to replace it. Little miss molly then came out of hiding. I didn't replace the bulb with the same brightness as the original. But she's been the queen of the tank ever since.

Thank you, especially BettaBaby, for your advice with the salt treatment.

I've attached a picture of the little princess now...
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