Black Molly Sitting On Bottom Of Aquarium Help!

Wilcey

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Hi everyone!

Yesterday I bought 2 guppies (female) and 2 mollies (male and female) for my new tank. It has been cycling for over one month without fish and since then the ammonia levels have reached zero. Yesterday the fish were happily swimming around, however my Black Molly seemed to be the most shy as she was constantly hiding in the corner near the heater. Last night they were all asleep except for my Black Molly which seemed to be quite active. All day today she has been sitting on the bottom of the tank not moving a great deal, not even for food.

I have taken some photos and uploaded them to my server here (sorry if they take a while to load) :

http://wilceysfish.h...es/P1010971.JPG

and here:

http://wilceysfish.h...es/P1010972.JPG

Please help me, as I am really worried about my little dude! I'm totally new to fish keeping and so every bit of help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

phoenixgsd

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did you cycle using ammonia? are you using a liquid based test kit and do you know what your nitrites are?
 
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Wilcey

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Hi Phoenixgsd! Thanks for replying!

I did a fishless cycle using ammonia. I did that for seven days and then left for over a month to complete.
I'll purchase a testing kit tomorrow and let you know of the results :)
 

N0body Of The Goat

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Hi Phoenixgsd! Thanks for replying!

I did a fishless cycle using ammonia. I did that for seven days and then left for over a month to complete.
I'll purchase a testing kit tomorrow and let you know of the results
Sorry, but this does not sound like proper fishless cycling, where you need a test kit to maintain 2-5ppm of ammonia while testing for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate each day. Cycling typically takes 6 weeks or more, whereby you ensure 2-5ppm ammonia is processed within 12 hours to give zero ammonia and nitrite.

I think your fish are highly stressed and living in a toxic soup full of ammonia and nitrite. Do not wait until you test the water tomorrow, please do a ~95% water change ASAP (basically leaving enough of the old water just to cover the fish, yoiu then add similar temp dechlorinated back into the tank) before you retire for the night in Australia.
 

phoenixgsd

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Hmmmm i have to agree, it dosnt sound like a proper cycle, the cycle process is in the link in my signature, please have a read, especially the fishless cycling bit as this is now what your doing, this requires alot of hard work
 
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Wilcey

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Thanks guys!

Following your advice I did a very large water change last night before bed, about 90%. I then filled it back up with de-chlorinated water.Today I went out and bought a liquid based ammonia testing kit, It appears to be showing a reading of around 0.5mg/L. This isnt very much but at a guess I'd say anything more than zero is too much? What would you suggest I do?

Thank you for your help!
 

N0body Of The Goat

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Thanks guys!

Following your advice I did a very large water change last night before bed, about 90%. I then filled it back up with de-chlorinated water.Today I went out and bought a liquid based ammonia testing kit, It appears to be showing a reading of around 0.5mg/L. This isnt very much but at a guess I'd say anything more than zero is too much? What would you suggest I do?

Thank you for your help!
Did you get a nitrite test kit too? This is the other common killer in new or badly maintained tanks, it is part of the nitrogen cycle the happens in tanks (ammonia>nitrite>nitrate when the correct bacteria are present).

While 0.5g/l ammonia is not that dangerous at all in cool acidic water, without knowing what your nitrite levels are and how high the ammonia levels must have been before your 90% water change if it now shows 0.5, another 90% water change is in order IMO.
 
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Wilcey

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Unfortunately Nitrite test kits were sold out, there are meant to have a new batch in on Tuesday, so I guess I'll just have to wait until then
.

I'll do another ammonia test tomorrow, and report back to you with the results, and see if you suggest whether I should do another big water change tomorrow.

Is it normal for only one fish in four to be affected by this? The other three seem perfectly fine!
 

N0body Of The Goat

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Hopefully you have done another big water change by now, if keeping Mollies in suitable conditions, they are very prone to illness if not kept in hard water (which makes ammonia readings more dangerous).

Some fish will be more sensitive to environamental issues than others, just like us, so you don't always see everyone showing signs of stress like the flick of a light switch.
 
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Wilcey

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I haven't been able to do a water change as yet, however I just did another ammonia test and it's still sitting at around 0.05mg/L. So the ammonia levels appear to be rather steady, but I shall do another large water change now and contunue testing.

Tomorrow I'm off to the pet shop to pick up a Nitrite Testing Kit. I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow.

Now one of my Mollies appears to be pregnant. SHE IS HUGE! Hope that doesnt put the chemistry in too much stress!
 

the_lock_man

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I don't want to sound like I'm having a go, but ammonia is highly toxic. It burns the fish, particularly the gills. It is likely that you have nitrite in the water too, this is also highly toxic, it inhibits the red blood cells' ability to carry oxygen, meaning that the fish cannot have enough oxygen in its blood stream. In other words, it suffocates.

If you were to keep a cat or a dog in an environment where there was a chemical burning its skin and lungs, and where it was being suffocated, you would, quite rightly, have the Aussie equivalent of the RSPCA crawling all over you.

Now, chances are, you weren't aware of the severity of the situation when you decided not to do a 90% water change, which is why I'm not having a go at you. But if you could do your utmost to keep those two toxins as close to 0ppm as you possibly can, your fish will be ever so grateful.
 
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Wilcey

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the_lock_man,

I absolutely agree with you! You should never let your pet or anything live in a toxic environment. Thats why I have been following all of the very helpful adivce you have all been giving me. I have been doing large water changes daily, and also doing regular ammonia tests. I managed to get a Nitrite testing kit which is showing a reading of around 0.25mg/l and the ammonia is still refusing to budge at 0.5mg/L.

However after the last water change the fish are starting to look alot happier!
Are the levels still dangerously high?

Thanks!
 

N0body Of The Goat

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the_lock_man,

I absolutely agree with you! You should never let your pet or anything live in a toxic environment. Thats why I have been following all of the very helpful adivce you have all been giving me. I have been doing large water changes daily, and also doing regular ammonia tests. I managed to get a Nitrite testing kit which is showing a reading of around 0.25mg/l and the ammonia is still refusing to budge at 0.5mg/L.

However after the last water change the fish are starting to look alot happier!
Are the levels still dangerously high?

Thanks!
Any sort of positive nitrite reading is a bad thing and should be dealt with doing an "emergency water change," while ammonia readings are dangerous depending upon the pH and temp of your water.

Time for another ~95% water change IMO...

How big is this tank, BTW?
 
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Wilcey

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Okay thanks!

My tank is 200 Litres, or 920 x 360 x 620 Millimetres. Does the size of the tank have any sort of impact on this sort of problem?

I guess its time to bring the bucket out again!
 

the_lock_man

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It most certainly is time!

Size of tank doesn't impact on the severity of the problem, but it does mean that in a larger tank, it takes longer to build up the concentration of the toxins for a given level of fish (bioload).

What brand of test kit are you using? Is it paper or liquid-based?
 
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