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I have had a couple of mollies develop and die from what looks like a swim bladder issue. they start swimming pointed up or down, on their back.. etc. I tried isolating them and not feeding them but they die.
anyone have any ideas ?
ie food ? how often to feed ? etc

Jim
 

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if it's a molly only tank try a little aquarium salt

my .02
 

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its a community tank but had more mollies. How often should I put in Aquarium salt ? every week ?
Hard to tell.

FWIW In my experience mollies do much better in full marine than freshwater. Mine in FW developed a white cottony fungus. It started pealing off in minutes/hours with the addition of aquarium salt. In full marine no fungus showed up.

I suspect the same thing happens in brackish tanks but have no experience.

FWIW I recommend and use mollies to establish marine tanks. But that is another story.

To answer your question directly the salt never leaves the tank except through water changes. So if you don't do water changes no need to add more salt. To maintain that salt level you would need to add some salt to the new water in water changes. If the mollies are not sick then don't add the salt.

This story is worth .02 at most.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hard to tell.

FWIW In my experience mollies do much better in full marine than freshwater. Mine in FW developed a white cottony fungus. It started pealing off in minutes/hours with the addition of aquarium salt. In full marine no fungus showed up.

I suspect the same thing happens in brackish tanks but have no experience.

FWIW I recommend and use mollies to establish marine tanks. But that is another story.

To answer your question directly the salt never leaves the tank except through water changes. So if you don't do water changes no need to add more salt. To maintain that salt level you would need to add some salt to the new water in water changes. If the mollies are not sick then don't add the salt.

This story is worth .02 at most.
while I have you on the phone.. my parameters are PH 7.4 ammonia 0; nitrites 0; nitrates about 10-20 ppm. whats the trick to get my nitrates to 0. I have done 20-30 % water changes
 

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while I have you on the phone.. my parameters are PH 7.4 ammonia 0; nitrites 0; nitrates about 10-20 ppm. whats the trick to get my nitrates to 0. I have done 20-30 % water changes
nitrates will never be 0 through water changes. What happens is nitrates will build up to where the amount of nitrate increase between water changes is removed by the water change. If you change 20% (1/5) of the water nitrates will build up to 5 times the increase between water changes, then down to 4 and back up to 5 before the next water change.

In order to get them unmeasurable and assuming bacteria is consuming the ammonia, you must consume the nitrates as they occur. Plants are the best option IMHO. Nitrates will just stay at 0 regardless of the water changes.

But nitrates, especially at those levels, are not harmful to fish anyway.

In my tanks pH is 8.4+ with the api high range test kit even with peat moss in the substrate. I have no circulation and the plants are consuming the CO2 resulting in the 'high' pH. Which is just normal in my tanks. Fish 'needing' a low ph like neon tetras live for years. KH remains at 4 with the peat moss also. it rises with no peat moss to very high levels and neons don't do well.

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Mollies can live in freshwater, but do tend to be hardier in brackish to marine conditions, as mentioned. Assuming that you don't have any tank mates that are sensitive to salt (so no catfish, for example), 1 tablespoon salt per 5 gallons would be good. That's also assuming you are keeping up with weekly water changes of 30% or so. That should raise the pH and hardness a bit, too, which is the really important thing when keeping Mollies. 7.5 to 8.5 pH is ideal for them with a water hardness of 15-30 dGH.



There may be something to the diet causing swim bladder, as well. Mollies need a lot of plant matter in their diet, and tend to be more prone to swim bladder if those needs are not met. You can start out with blanched, skinned peas chopped to bite size for them. These will have a mild laxative effect, which should help the Mollies pass something if their swim bladder is caused by excess fluid retention or constipation. You can feed the blanched peas daily while they have swim bladder, just make sure to remove any leftovers before 24 hours have elapsed so the peas don't rot and hurt the water quality. Broccoli stems, Collard Green, and Zucchini Rounds are other things you can blanch and offer to the Mollies, and they should also be removed after 24 hours if there are leftovers. Do make sure to let these things cool after blanching before you feed them to the Mollies. Once the swim bladder is gone, you can offer veggies to your Mollies 3-4 times a week. For their staple diet, food specifically with high amounts of plant matter or vegetables in them would be a good idea. I like API Tropical Greens Flakes for my livebearers.


You mention that your Mollies are swimming pointing up. Are they sort of shaking or shimmying back and forth at the same time? If so, that is a behavior they often do when something is off in the water, especially if it isn't hard/alkaline enough, there are excess nitrates, or the temperature is too cold for them. Since your nitrogenous wastes you posted sound okay, you might want to make sure the temperature is between 78-82 degrees if it is not already and see if that makes the Mollies more comfortable, in addition to adding some salt to bump up the pH and hardness a bit.


If your Mollies won't eat and adjusting with salt, diet and temperature doesn't work you may consider adding Epsom Salt to the water. This is not a normal type of salt, despite the name, it is magnesium sulfate and isn't something you should have in the water beyond 10 days. If it is going to work it will within that time span, and after that you'll need to remove it from the water by doing 30% water changes each day for a few days. Epsom Salt is basically a strong laxative that can cure swim bladder caused by retaining fluids or constipation. You can start with 1 teaspoon per gallon, and go up to 3 teaspoons per gallon if the fish don't respond to the lesser dosage. I would only mess with the Epsom Salt if you've done the other things mentioned with salt and diet and the Mollies' swim bladder isn't getting better or worsens.
 
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