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Discussion Starter #1
I just noticed today that one of my mollies is having trouble swimming. He is active, and comes to the surface to eat, however his tail kinda droops down behind him, almost as if he can't move it. He definitely is working harder to get around.

I have 2 other fully grown mollies and 9 babies in the tank. I also have 3 shrimp. None of them are showing any abnormal behaviour.

I did a 50% water change yesterday, before I noticed anything, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, nitrates were a bit high but I can't remember exactly what it was, pH at around 7.5. The temp is 76F.

I took a video of him, and you can clearly see the difference with my other mollies. Excuse the food floating around, I just fed them. My guess is that his fins are clamped, but I would appreciate a second opinion. Also, what should I do if thats the case?

https://flic.kr/p/2jp416h
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't feel very confident that it is the shimmies, but I could be wrong. My water parameters seemed fine, and he isn't shaking uncontrollably. I also performed another 50% water change the next day, and made sure to be thorough cleaning up the substrate because I retested the water again and found the nitrates somewhere around 20-30ppm.

The main problem I see is that his tail is drooping and he is unable to use it properly. I think he appears to shake a bit more when swimming because he has to use his little pectoral fins, but when he rests he is not shaking. Not to mention, the other fish seem normal, and he does not hang around the surface of the water (except when I'm feeding).

I suppose I could try to raise the pH, but I am very hesitant to do so as it has always been around 7.4 and I've never had this problem before.
 

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I don't think the nitrates are too bad. But mollies do like a bit of aquarium salt. Are there only mollies there such that you could try that?
 

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I don't think the nitrates are too bad. But mollies do like a bit of aquarium salt. Are there only mollies there such that you could try that?
I only have mollies and amano shrimp in this tank. I believe the shrimp are also brackish water compatible, but I will double check.

Really!!! They are too high. They need to be at least 5 to 15 nitrates
I have done multiple water changes and gravel cleanings since I saw these numbers because I agree that they are too high, however I thought most sources say the water can contain up to 20ppm of nitrates without significantly affecting the fish.

As an update to his condition, since sometime yesterday he has been unable to swim up to get food. I hand feed him by putting food on the end of a chopstick and holding it near him on the bottom of the tank. He will eat and kinda wiggle around the bottom of the tank, but he can no longer even sit upright. I find him laying sideways pretty much entirely still, except for his breathing. No other fish has been showing any strange behavior.

Could this be a neurological disease/injury? I know the shimmies affects their ability to control their muscles, but I thought it was more in a spastic way, rather than a paralyzed kinda way. It's hard for me to find information about the behavior of the shimmies aside from staying near the surface and shaking.
 

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Hey! I've had a hard time with mollies too. One thing that is often overlooked with livebearers is water hardness. They love high GH and kh which basically means having a buch of minerals in your water. Mollies especially tend to suffer in softer water and unfortunately, most places on city water have water softeners attached to their taps. This means you need to add the minerals to your tank yourself. Adding some crushed coral substrate to the tank can almost immediately help. I had a silver molly swimming around similar to your boy and within 24 hours she was swimming better.

If you don't want to use crushed coral though, you can get these things called 'wonder shells' on amazon. You just drop them in and they slowly dissolve over a few days and add minerals to your water. there are a bunch of other products that do the same thing, but i've only used these two, so that's what i know works for me. Hopefully i'm not too late to help!
 

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Thanks for the help everyone! Unfortunately I have lost all my adult fish. The first one that became sick died 8 days later, and my female passed away about a week later. My last adult fish just died today.

After reading the responses, I did another water change, added a small amount of aquarium salt to the tank, and raised the pH by adding baking soda to about 1 gallon of water and mixing it in to the tank for a couple days. My city's water is within the hard to very hard range, but I may buy a test kit to check the water hardness just in case.

Neither of the other fish had the bent tail or trouble swimming that I noticed originally. The only thing that really stood out to me was that today, the fish had suddenly started acting strange. He was laying sideways and his gills seemed puffed out. I noticed something dangling from his gills, which was not present on the other fish. It was a white-ish thin thing. It kinda reminded me of dead skin. I immediately isolated the fish and he passed away not long after.

I have already treated the water with anti-bacterial drops and will do my best to protect the babies! I'm now researching into various parasites.

Thank you for the help!
 
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