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Molly covered in small white spots

Discussion in 'Welcome: Introduce Yourself & Learn More About TFF' started by Caleb83837, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Caleb83837

    Caleb83837 New Member

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    I recently bought 3 black mollies for my 20-gallon tropical aquarium. After 1 day one of the mollies is ABSOLUTELY covered in small white spots, when before it appeared to be healthy fish. I fear this may be ich. Is there anything I can do? I am unable to get medication for the next 2 days.

    Some info about my tank;
    -20 Gallon
    -78 F
    -12 guppies
    -3 ghost shrimp
    -1 pleco
    -4 danios
    - and the mollies of course :)
    ph is 7
    ammonia is 0
    nitrates and nitrites are 0
     
  2. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    Raise the temperature of the tank to 82 deg F and keep it there for 2 weeks. But keep an eye on the danios as they are temperate fish and may suffer in warmer water.
     
  3. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I would suggest even a tad higher with the temperature. At 86F (30 C) ich should be killed. The caution on the danios is well taken, but for one or even two weeks this should not cause trouble. Neale Monks taught me this, and it worked with my cories for two weeks. You can increase surface disturbance ("bubblers" do not do it, it must be disturbance at the surface) probably by re-positioning the filter return (depending upon the filter type). This will bring more oxygen into the water which always helps fish at higher temperatures.

    Another possibly-related issue is the GH. What is the GH (general or total hardness) of your water? A ppH of 7 suggests it could be on the softer side than mollies need, and if so, this would weaken them which makes it harder for the fish to fight off ich or anything else, and over time will frankly kill them. If you are on municipal water, the GH may be listed on their website.
     
  4. Caleb83837

    Caleb83837 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I've turned up the temp and the spots have all but disappeared. Thanks for the heads up on the danios. I'll be paying attention for any signs of stress.
     
  5. Caleb83837

    Caleb83837 New Member

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    Thanks for the response :) With the raised temp the spots are nearly all gone. I've started to slowly adjust the ph of my tank to better suit the mollies. All seems well and under control now :)
     
  6. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    Mollies need very hard water so it is GH that needs to be adjusted not pH. The chemicals sold to increase pH do nothing for GH.

    The way to increase GH is by adding Rift Lake cichlid salts, or remineralisation salts (the type added to RO water). This will also increase pH. If you do this, you will need a GH tester. Experiment in a bucket of water to see how much of the salts is needed to get the GH appropriate to guppies and mollies, then at every water change, make up the new water with the salts before adding it to the tank.
    Note that I don't mean table salt or cooking salt, they are not the same thing.


    But if you make the water harder for the guppies and mollies, the danios and plec won't like it.
     
  7. Deanasue

    Deanasue Moderator
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    The temp should be at 86F. At 82F ich could survive.
     
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  8. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    I'll make a note of that - I'm used to working in deg C not deg F and got the conversion wrong :oops:
     
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  9. Byron

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    The disappearance of spots does not indicate the end of ich. When the spots fall off, the life cycle continues and the cysts now somewhere on the substrate will rupture and release dozens of parasites looking for a host fish. This is why we keep the temperature raised for at least a full week. It is only at this free-swimming stage (when the parasites are looking for a host fish) thgat ich can be killed. This stage lasts roughly 24 hours and the parasite then dies if it has not found a host.

    On the temperature, as others have also noted, it has to be at least 86F (30C) to kill ich. Some may well slip through at lower temperatures.

    On the pH, as essjay has since noted, you must deal with the GH. The pH will follow suit, but mollies like all livebearers must have minerals in the water and this is the GH level.
     
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