One of my mollies has been staying at the surface and seems to be gasping

🐠 The poll is open for the February TOTM! 🐠
FishForums.net Tank of the Month!
🏆 Click here to Vote! 🏆

dumbeginner123

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
I just got 4 new mollies and 2 cory catfish today and after a few hour this one molly has been staying at the surface for the last 10 minutes. It wont ever leave the surface for any reason and it is the only fish in the tank doing this.I checked the water parameters before i added the fish
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
D

dumbeginner123

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
I just checked on the fish but instead of gasping, they are laying still at the bottom of the tank
 

Fray

Fish Fanatic
Joined
May 29, 2022
Messages
105
Reaction score
68
Location
NSW Aus
Oh dear, that doesn't sound good.
Someone knowledgeable will chime in, but is the tank cycled?
How long if so?
Are these the first fish or are you adding new ones?
You'll need to give all the details of your tank, eg size, age, etc
 
OP
OP
D

dumbeginner123

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
Oh dear, that doesn't sound good.
Someone knowledgeable will chime in, but is the tank cycled?

How long if so?
Are these the first fish or are you adding new ones?
You'll need to give all the details of your tank, eg size, age, etc


I cycled the tank for about 4 days, these are the first fish I'm adding to this tank.I have a 20 gal tank that got near the end of october.
 

Byron

Supporting Member
Tank of the Month!
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
19,696
Reaction score
11,583
Location
CA
Unless you have fast-growing live plants, you are not going to cycle an aquarium in four days. So the issue here is likely ammonia poisoning. Do you have a test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? These values are very important. Water changes, 70-75% of the tank volume, each day may get you throughthis, but from the description the fish may already be doomed. Mollies are especially sensitive to ammonia (and nitrite and nitrate too for that matter).
 
OP
OP
D

dumbeginner123

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
Unless you have fast-growing live plants, you are not going to cycle an aquarium in four days. So the issue here is likely ammonia poisoning. Do you have a test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? These values are very important. Water changes, 70-75% of the tank volume, each day may get you throughthis, but from the description the fish may already be doomed. Mollies are especially sensitive to ammonia (and nitrite and nitrate too for that matter).
I did about 5 tests before adding my fish and they all came back fine
 

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
18,741
Reaction score
15,725
Location
Teesside, UK
What about after adding fish? The water would have been fine before the fish went in as there was nothing in there to make it 'un-fine'.


Fish excrete ammonia, it's their version of urine. This ammonia is toxic to fish, but there are two ways to remove it.
Plants take up ammonia as fertiliser and if there are lots of live plants in the tank, they will remove all the ammonia made by the fish.
If there are no live plants, bacteria 'eat' this ammonia and turn it into nitrite, which is also toxic. More bacteria 'eat' nitrite and turn it into nitrate. We can grow them before putting fish in the tank by adding ammonia to feed the bacteria, but this takes weeks to do. This is called fishless cycling.

If fish are put into a tank that has no live plants and the bacteria haven't been grown first the ammonia will build up in the water because there's nothing to remove it. In this case, the water must be tested daily for ammonia and nitrite and a water change must be done every time either of them read above zero. It can take several weeks before they both remain at zero.
 
OP
OP
D

dumbeginner123

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
Update: the original fish that was doing this is moving around a bit more than last night. But now another fish is doing the same thing!
 

Essjay

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
18,741
Reaction score
15,725
Location
Teesside, UK
What's the ammonia level? That's the first thing to go up in an uncycled tank.

It will be a few weeks before nitrite shows up as that can't be made until enough ammonia eaters have grown to make it. And nitrate can't increase till much later, until more bacteria have grown to turn nitrite into nitrate.



Ammonia burns their gills so they can't get as much oxygen. So the fish go to the surface where there is more oxygen in the water. Nitrite blocks the blood from absorbing oxygen so again the fish go the surface.
Whenever fish are seen gasping at the surface, the first action should always be to test for both ammonia and nitrite.
 

emeraldking

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator ⚒️
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
3,424
Reaction score
5,074
Location
NL
Well, it could be the issue what's already been mentioned by my fellow members. But if you got them today, it could also be a stress issue. Fish can take their time to adjust to the new environment.
You've mentioned you've tested the water already for 5 times. Could you also give the data of those tests? So, we can check if there's something else going on...
 
OP
OP
D

dumbeginner123

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2022
Messages
19
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
Just now I was able to test for ammonia and the test came back as .50 ppm,Is that ok, or is that too much
 

Most reactions

Top