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Discussion Starter #1
My fish are dying and I don't know why. Please help !

:cry:
Ok. I used to have a 10 gallon tank for quite a while and everything was fine. I have since upgraded to a 55 gallon tank and now I can't seem to keep my fish alive. I let the tank cycle completely before adding any fish and once I did add fish, for the first week everything was fine. So, after 1 week of healthy fish, I decided to add a few more and they were fine. Then about a week later I added a few more. Am I adding fish too soon? I was told I only had to wait 3 or 4 days between adding fish, but I opted to wait a week in between adding fish.

I do water tests weekly for nitrate, nitrite, hardness, alkalinity, and PH. All of my levels are dead on in the safe zone except for nitrate which always seems to border between safe and unsafe. (I have always struggled with nitrate even when I had my 10 gallon tank) But from what I have been told, higher levels of nitrate are relatively harmless and can lead to excess algae growth (which I don't have), so I'm thinking that is not the problem.

I have been told many conflicting things about my new 55 gallon tank. One pet store told me to do weekly water changes, but another told me that was too often and to do a water change once every two weeks. Which one should I do? Also, as with my 10 gallon tank, I plan on doing a monthly gravel bed cleaning and replacing the filters - is this ok for my 55 gallon tank?

I have some mollies in my tank and the pet store told me that I needed to add salt. So, I was told to add 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons. Of course when I do my water changes, I add less salt (ex.) if I do a 10 gallon water change, then I only add 2 tablespoons of salt to the new water). Am I adding too much salt or too little and could this be harming the fish?

My fish do not appear to be stressed. They are active and eating well. They are all peaceful community fish and I have never seen any fish nipping or picking on other ones. They all look great. They can be swimming around and looking all lively one day, then the next day I'll wake up to find one dead.

So far, I have lost 1 guppy, 1 red wag platy, and just this morning, my only gourami. (It seems like I am losing one fish every other day now). And, my dalmation molly isn't looking so swell today. Could another fish in my tank be doing this? I have a mix of mollies, neon tetras, glass fish, platy's, and 2 dwarf frogs (NOT the clawfoot bulgy eyed ones, but the ones that are supposed to be safe and stay small).

Please help! :? If you have any information that you think might help me save the rest of my fish - then I am all ears. I don't want to lose anymore. Thank you :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Help - My Dalmation molly is in trouble

1. 55 gallon aquarium
2. Freshwater
3. Has been set up for about 6 months (used to have aggressive fish, but recently switched to community fish within last 2 months)
4. I have 5 blue neon tetras, 4 black neon tetras, 1 black molly, 1 white lyretail molly, 1 yellow molly, 1 sunburst platy, 1 mickey mouse platy, 1 red wag platy, 2 glass fish, 3 guppies, 2 african dwarf frogs, 1 worm-like loach (don't remember specific name), and of course my dalmation lyretail molly.
5. no live plants
6. 30/60 aquatech power filter
7. No CO2 unit
8. May receive some indirect sunlight (there is a window on the opposite wall, but not much sunlight reaches the tank)
9. Performed a 20% water change this morning (2-22-07)
10. I feed a small amount of flakes and pellets every morning and every evening and a bloodworm cube every other day and a tubifex worm cube about once or twice a week.
11. I use flouescent lighting about 6-8 hours a day
12. Before doing my water change, all levels of nitrite, hardness, alkalinity, and PH were in safe range and nitrate level was borderline safe/unsafe. After water change, all levels were in safe zone.

:( My Dalmation molly isn't looking so good. I have recently lost 3 other fish within the last week (a red wag play, a gourami, and a guppy) all without warning. I can tell that my dalmation molly isn't feeling well though as was not the case with the others. She is staying close to the surface, not moving around much, and sort of wobbles when she does swim. She did eat a tiny bit this morning, but not much at all. We bought her from the local petstore on 2-17, so we haven't had her for too long. Any advice as to the molly's health or my recent fish loss would be a great help.

Thank You :)
 

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Hello jandpgault,

I would be asking the question to your supplier of were the fish come from. Secondly whats the temp. And thirdly why the salt? They can survive fine without it. Ok, and what were these "aggresive" fish that were kept before? Did they survive?

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Answers...

Ok. I usually get my fish from Petsmart. There are 3 local suppliers in our area - Petco, Wal-mart and Petsmart. Out of the three, Petsmart's tanks usually have better upkeep and maintenance and the people seem much more knowledgable there. I'll ask them where they get their fish from.

The temp in my tank is 78.

I was told by multiple store employees at Petsmart that the mollies needed salt added to the tank. So, I added salt.

I bought my first fish tank over a year ago and it was a 10 gallon and had semi-aggressive to aggressive fish. I decided to switch to the 55 gallon about 6 months later when my fish got huge and ran out of room in the 10 gallon tank. (I eventually added a few tiger barbs and a silver and black shark to my original inhabitants which were a plecostomus, an irridescent shark, and a large red-eyed gold colored fish - I can't remember what it was called) The only problem I can ever remember was having was an outbreak of ich once. Anyway, I liked the look of my neice's community tank - they were just so peaceful and colorful. So, intead of continuing with my semi-aggressives, I found homes for them. I did I good cleaning of my tank (no chemicals or anything) and let it cycle for about 2 weeks before introducing the comminuty fish.

I have had community fish in the tank I guess for a few weeks now and the first few weeks went by great. But here in the last couple of days, 3 of them have just died. They all seemed to be thriving, eating, etc... No signs of disease or infection. My dalmation molly on the other hand is showing signs of stress, but I can't figure out why.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ammonia...

Actually, I have never tested for ammonia. I just always assumed that if my nitrite levels were ok then my ammonia levels were ok as well. Do you think this could be my problem?
 

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my molly...

ok, I don't know if this means anything, but my dalmation molly has a few small rust colored spots on her (hard to see them). We purchased her that way. They don't seem to be getting larger or spreading. The other dalmation mollies in her tank where we purchased her from looked this way too. Is this normal for her? Could it be some sort of infection? I did notice her sort of scratch against a boat ornamet we have in the tank once. I'll watch her closely to see if she does it again.

I had a bout with ich once so I know that fish can scratch up against things. There are no white spots on any of my fish, so could this be some sort of ich-like infection?

I also just noticed my guppy starting to scratch against the rocks too. He has done it several times. I want to treat them if this is some sort of infection, but I don't know what kind and how to treat? Do I just use the ich treatment and hope it goes away?
 

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im no expert! just thougth id ask, u should test for ammonia, just to b safe. i have a dalmation molly and she has rusty spots, thats just her colour
 

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Welcome.:wave:

Pls post the exact water parameters including ammonia as suggested by Lioness in your other thread. Ich will not show up until your fish is stressed but I doubt it is ich. There are other diseases associated by flicking. Are your fish breathing rapidly? Any pictures of your mollies?
 

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Your threads have been merged. It gets confusing with three threads.:)
 

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what do you mean by "safe zone" do you mean zero? Or low enough for your fish to at least survive? Also do you test your own water or do you take it to petsmart and ask them to test it for you?
 

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paranoid about ich

Ok. I will stop by the pet store and pick up a test kit for ammonia. Any suggestions on which kit to buy?

My readings as of this morning were 40 for nitrate, 0 for nitrite, 75 for hardness, 120 for alkalinity, and 7.0 for PH. (I use the Quick dip 5 in 1 test kits). Is this an ok kit to use or do you reccomend a different one?

One more note - this evening, I noticed that more of my guppies were flicking themselves against the gravel. I do not want an outbreak of ich, so I started treating my tank this evening for ich. I do not see any spots on any of my fish, and all (except for the dalmation molly) are behaving and eating normally.

I am really, and I mean REALLY paranoid about getting ich in my tank. I used to have a few semi-aggressive fish (about a month before converting to a community tank) and my favorite was my irridescent shark. We had him for nearly 8 months. Anyway, I had never had any trouble at all with anything harming my fish until he just started to develop little white spots one day. He still acted the same except he did flick himself up against things. I didn't know much about fish then (and honestly I still don't know much today) so I just assumed he was just maturing. Boy was I totally wrong! I knew something was definitely wrong when one morning I looked at him and he had a white dot explosion all over his body. I consulted the pet store and they told me I had ich. I had NEVER heard of ich. Anyway, we treated him for about 2 weeks until he eventually lost the battle and died.

So, looking back, the guppies flicking themselves against the gravel remind me of what my irridescent shark used to do just before he started getting the white spots. I may have jumped the gun with the treatment this time, but I do not want to lose any fish.

I am using RidIch+. I gave the tank its 1st dose this evening (5ml to 10 gallons) I have removed the carbon filters. All of the fish seem to be tolerating it well. I plan to do a 25% water change before adding the next dose in 24 hours. I am going to do this until my guppies stop flicking against the gravel.

So, what do you guys think, am I just a total fish idiot? Could it possibly be something else?

My dalmation molly is still alive floating near the top, but didn't eat anything during this last feeding. She is shaking a lot now - I know she is stressed. Doesn't seem to be breathing rapidly, just really lethargic. I have downloaded a few pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
no pics...

I tried adding pics, but for some reason i can't seem to get it to work right now. I'll try adding some later. I will also be bringing a water sample into the pet store tomorrow so they can do their own tests.

Ok, one area of concern - it is really hard to see because of her coloration, but it appears that one of her eyes is bulging out. I never noticed it before, but tonight, I just sat there forever watching her and she sat right in front of me dead on and I noticed one appears to be considerably larger and there may even be a tiny white speck on her eye. It is extremely hard to see since she is spotted black and white all over her. Could it be pop eye instead of ich? I have heard of pop eye. Do I use Melafix for it? I have heard melafix is sort of a cure all. And can I use Melafix along with RidIch? Or should I just strictly use one medication?

Thank y'all so much for all of your help.
 

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Re: paranoid about ich

jandpgault said:
Ok. I will stop by the pet store and pick up a test kit for ammonia. Any suggestions on which kit to buy?

My readings as of this morning were 40 for nitrate, 0 for nitrite, 75 for hardness, 120 for alkalinity, and 7.0 for PH. (I use the Quick dip 5 in 1 test kits). Is this an ok kit to use or do you reccomend a different one?
Use API Master Freshwater test kit.
One more note - this evening, I noticed that more of my guppies were flicking themselves against the gravel. I do not want an outbreak of ich, so I started treating my tank this evening for ich. I do not see any spots on any of my fish, and all (except for the dalmation molly) are behaving and eating normally.
Pls cancel the treatment. You are not sure of your exact water parameters after you used the test strips. Also, do not fix what is not broken. Bad water parameters and medications can have adverse effects to the fish. Flicking is a sign of a lot of things more than just ich. Gill flukes, Oodinium, etc. Occasional flickings are often seen. There's no need to worry in this case as they also scratch like humans do but frequent flickings is something to be concern about.
I am really, and I mean REALLY paranoid about getting ich in my tank. I used to have a few semi-aggressive fish (about a month before converting to a community tank) and my favorite was my irridescent shark. We had him for nearly 8 months. Anyway, I had never had any trouble at all with anything harming my fish until he just started to develop little white spots one day. He still acted the same except he did flick himself up against things. I didn't know much about fish then (and honestly I still don't know much today) so I just assumed he was just maturing. Boy was I totally wrong! I knew something was definitely wrong when one morning I looked at him and he had a white dot explosion all over his body. I consulted the pet store and they told me I had ich. I had NEVER heard of ich. Anyway, we treated him for about 2 weeks until he eventually lost the battle and died.
What is your temperature right now? Make sure your fish are eating nutritious foods and water parameters ok after getting the API test kit. Temperature at 28 degrees Celsius rarely allows ich parasites to thrive longer.
So, what do you guys think, am I just a total fish idiot? Could it possibly be something else?
Mate, relax. Your paranoia can result to disasters.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
API master kit..

Ok. I purchased the API master test kit and I have begun to calm down :lol: . I have also cancelled the treatment. Here are my levels using this new test kit:

ammonia - 0 ppm
PH - 7.2
nitrite - 0 ppm
nitrate - somewhere between 10-20 ppm

My temp is currently 78 F

My dalmation molly is still hanging on to life. Sometimes she'll just free float all over the tank, then get a burst of energy and try to swim around again. Who knows, maybe she'll pull through.

The rest of the fish still appear fine, still energetic and eating. Thanks for all the great advice. I'll keep y'all posted.
 

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Re: Answers...

jandpgault said:
I was told by multiple store employees at Petsmart that the mollies needed salt added to the tank. So, I added salt.
Utter rubbish. Mollies can do well with or without salt. If they do need salt, then they need a tank by themselves. As Dlil mentioned, salt is not needed. Mollies will adapt.:)
I bought my first fish tank over a year ago and it was a 10 gallon and had semi-aggressive to aggressive fish.
What fish were aggressive and semi-aggressive?
I decided to switch to the 55 gallon about 6 months later when my fish got huge and ran out of room in the 10 gallon tank. (I eventually added a few tiger barbs and a silver and black shark to my original inhabitants which were a plecostomus, an irridescent shark, and a large red-eyed gold colored fish - I can't remember what it was called)
You might want this added information. Common plecs, irridescent shark, bala shark(silver and black) will not fit in a 55 gallons.
I have had community fish in the tank I guess for a few weeks now and the first few weeks went by great. But here in the last couple of days, 3 of them have just died. They all seemed to be thriving, eating, etc... No signs of disease or infection. My dalmation molly on the other hand is showing signs of stress, but I can't figure out why.
Your water parameters are excellent. Try asking your stores where they got those fish. You'll need to dig deeper on how their suppliers keep the fish or even breed them. Interbreeding with mass productions often results to poor quality and susceptibility to diseases.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
fish poop...

My dalmation molly is still alive and looking about the same (may be a tad thinner). She appears to be trying to swim around more though. I haven't really seen her eat anything in a while.
I did noticed something different in 2 of my platies though. One had long, thin white poop and the other's was more clear. Both have so far been acting and eating normally. I feed them a variety in their diet (flakes, pellets, bloodworms, tubifex worms, zucchini).
I remember reading somewhere that clear poop was a sign of constipation and that white poop was a sign of a bacterial infection. I see no additional signs of an infection other that the white poop.
Just thought I'd get y'alls opinion on the poop situation, if it is something I should be concerned about, or just leave alone. Thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
looking good...

My dalmation molly is looking much better. She ate a lot of bloodworms yesterday and several flakes this morning, so, I think she'll pull through from whatever was bothering her. Now I just have to deal with my white molly who has sort of become the bully in the tank since my dalmation has been sick. She's not too bad, but the other fish better not get near her when she's eating. Man, does she have an appetite!

I also found another pet store in our area that deals ONLY with fresh and saltwater fish (no other pets/animals). Their tanks were in way better condition and they didn't seem to overcrowd their tanks. They also maintain many of the huge fish tanks in our local doctor's offices. So, I'm probably going to start buying from them and hopefully start to get a better health quality of fish too. :D
 
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