What is she doing?

VioletThePurple

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It almost looks like she's drinking the water. She's not doing it constantly; she'll take a break then go right back to it. I hope she's okay.

 
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VioletThePurple

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Test your water for ammonia and nitrite, also I can't see any surface agitation have you got any flow and/or an air stone?
Water quality shouldn't be an issue, I just did water change yesterday. I have a filter, but I've recently been having some issues with it. Unless putting the filter up higher would work. I'll look into getting an air stone. If there's anything else, I can do before going to the store let me know.
 

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Water quality shouldn't be an issue, I just did water change yesterday. I have a filter, but I've recently been having some issues with it. Unless putting the filter up higher would work. I'll look into getting an air stone. If there's anything else, I can do before going to the store let me know.
It's always worth checking the water (just to make sure) she doesn't look fat enough to be giving birth as they sometimes gulp air during labour.
If you were interested in getting a air filter instead of an air stone that would add surface agitation and increase beneficial bacteria, I think they are great but that's just my opinion.
 

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it could be poor water quality, low oxygen levels, or a gill problem (gill flukes, fungus, bacteria).

as the others said, check the water quality for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.
Mollies need a pH above 7.0 and a GH above 250ppm.

increase aeration/ surface turbulence.

add some salt to treat any gill health issues that might be there.

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SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria but the higher dose rate (4 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will affect some plants and some snails. The lower dose rate (1-2 heaped tablespoons per 20 litres) will not affect fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
 
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VioletThePurple

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it could be poor water quality, low oxygen levels, or a gill problem (gill flukes, fungus, bacteria).

as the others said, check the water quality for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph.
Mollies need a pH above 7.0 and a GH above 250ppm.

increase aeration/ surface turbulence.

add some salt to treat any gill health issues that might be there.

----------------------
SALT
You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt) or swimming pool salt to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 liters of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours, you can double that dose rate so there are 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 liters.

If you only have livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), goldfish or rainbowfish in the tank you can double that dose rate, so you would add 2 heaped tablespoons per 20 liters and if there is no improvement after 48 hours, then increase it so there is a total of 4 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 liters.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, but the higher dose rate (4 heaped tablespoons per 20 liters) will affect some plants and some snails. The lower dose rate (1-2 heaped tablespoons per 20 liters) will not affect fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly, so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimize stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
Water quality checks out as I recently did a water change, low oxygen could be an issue, and if it is I can't fix it until next time I go to the store. I hope it's not disease but there's not any other symptoms. My ph is a little low at 6.5.
 

Colin_T

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Water quality checks out as I recently did a water change, low oxygen could be an issue, and if it is I can't fix it until next time I go to the store. I hope it's not disease but there's not any other symptoms. My ph is a little low at 6.5.
If you have a power filter, raise the outlet of the filter above the surface to create surface turbulence. This will increase the oxygen level in the water and might help.

You can also use some airline with an airstone and physically blow air into the tank for a few minutes every hour. this will increase the oxygen level in the water.

If you have live plants in the aquarium, having bright light above the tank will encourage the plants to photosynthesise and produce oxygen.

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Mollies need a pH above 7.0. A low pH won't normally cause this but it does cause long term health issues to mollies and a number of other common livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails). Adding some shells or limestone rock will help to bring the pH up.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I just did a water change, but I can do another if it helps.
Do another, especially when you see a fish doing this and you say you've been having issues with the filter. What kind of problems?

Do you have a water testing kit? Even after a large water change there can still be any number of problems that mean the water quality drops quickly, so testing would let you know if that's the issue.

Another possibility; what is the GH of of your water? If you don't know, next time take a tap water sample to the store since you've said you're going and ask them to test it and let us know the results. Make sure to get the number, not just let them say that "it's fine", we need the number. If your water is soft then mollies particularly will struggle. Platies are also hard water fish, but mollies especially start to ail and often develop the shimmies if the water is soft. She isn't shimmying yet, just worth finding out your hardness (GH) especiallly when you keep fish that need water that's on the end of the scale, very hard or very soft.

If it does turn out to be soft though, don't be sad. There are far more fish that need soft water than thrive in hard water. Like your betta would prefer soft. Livebearers and cichlids need hard water, but the vast majority of fish need soft water, and those of us stuck with hard water tend to wish we lived in a soft water area!
 
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VioletThePurple

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Do another, especially when you see a fish doing this and you say you've been having issues with the filter. What kind of problems?

Do you have a water testing kit? Even after a large water change there can still be any number of problems that mean the water quality drops quickly, so testing would let you know if that's the issue.

Another possibility: what is the GH of your water? If you don't know, next time take a tap water sample to the store since you've said you're going and ask them to test it and let us know the results. Make sure to get the number, not just let them say that "it's fine", we need the number. If your water is soft, then mollies particularly will struggle. Platies are also hard water fish, but mollies especially start to ail and often develop the shimmies if the water is soft. She isn't shimmying yet, just worth finding out your hardness (GH) especially when you keep fish that need water that's on the end of the scale, very hard or very soft.

If it does turn out to be soft though, don't be sad. There are far more fish that need soft water than thrive in hard water. Like your betta would prefer soft. Livebearers and cichlids need hard water, but the vast majority of fish need soft water, and those of us stuck with hard water tend to wish we lived in a soft water area!
With the filter, it's been buzzing after I forgot to unplug it in a water change. I cleaned the filter to help it, it stopped being as loud for a while but went back to buzzing. My GH is 120, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do when I have hard water fish in one tank and soft water in another. How do I fit both of their needs?
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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With the filter, it's been buzzing after I forgot to unplug it in a water change. I cleaned the filter to help it, it stopped being as loud for a while but went back to buzzing.
Sounds like you need to have a back up filter stored in your cupboard or added to the tank in case that one conks out. A sponge filter can help with oxygenation along with filtration, and they're not crazy expensive - you need an air pump to run one, but they're available for £10-12 on Amazon as a complete kit with airline and things included. You can run both filters on the same tank so you're not starting out with a brand new, uncycled filter if your current one conks out.

My GH is 120, but I don't know what I'm supposed to do when I have hard water fish in one tank and soft water in another. How do I fit both of their needs?
Is that 120ppm? There are a few different measurement scales used. If it's 120ppm, then yeah, it's far too soft for mollies, which need a GH of 250ppm or more. They're going to suffer long term, and are likely to eventually get the shimmies and die. What other fish share the tank with the mollies and platies?

@Essjay is much better with this sort of thing than I am, tagging her in the hopes she can step in and help more, but if you want to keep both hard and softwater fish, you need to research GH/pH/KH and about how to adjust the GH safely. No other way around it. The simplest thing to do is choose fish that suit the source water you have. If you don't want to play around with adjusting GH all the time (and you'd need to do that with every water change) then only choosing fish that suit your water parameters will give you more success.

Don't just think "well the fish look happy and well, and they're breeding, so they're fine". You can't see the damage when a hard water fish is kept in soft water and vice versa, since it's all about how they process the mineral content in the water and the damage is all internal, so not visible until they die and a necropsy is performed, but it's still happening.
Mollies, since they need much harder water even than hard-water fish like guppies and platies, tend to visibly show how unhappy they are when kept in soft water, and I've a feeling that's possibly what you're seeing here. If the fish starts to shimmy, that will definitely confirm it.

Fortunately, it's easier to make soft water harder than vice versa. You need to look into cichlid salts for adjusting GH, and you'll need a GH testing kit, since you'll need to add the same amount to the new water at each water change, since fluctuating parameters are terrible for fish.

That's another expense and hassle, but cheaper and easier than it is for those of us with hard water who want soft, since that means needing to either buy RO water in large quantities, install an expensive and wasteful RO system, or be lucky enough to collect clean, non-polluted rainwater.

But, if you have any soft water fish in the tank, then you don't want to be raising the GH for those guys. So you'll need to make some decisions about potentially rehoming fish, separate tanks for hard/soft, whether you want to use cichlid salts and a GH testing kit to measure, etc. Or if once the livebearers you have pass away, to only get soft water fish after this point.
 
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VioletThePurple

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Sounds like you need to have a backup filter stored in your cupboard or added to the tank in case that one conks out. A sponge filter can help with oxygenation along with filtration, and they're not crazy expensive - you need an air pump to run one, but they're available for £10-12 on Amazon as a complete kit with airline and things included. You can run both filters on the same tank so you're not starting out with a brand new, uncycled filter if your current one conks out.


Is that 120ppm? There are a few different measurement scales used. If it's 120ppm, then yeah, it's far too soft for mollies, which need a GH of 250ppm or more. They're going to suffer long term and are likely to eventually get the shimmies and die. What other fish share the tank with the mollies and platies?

@Essjay is much better with this sort of thing than I am, tagging her in the hopes she can step in and help more, but if you want to keep both hard and soft water fish, you need to research GH/pH/KH and about how to adjust the GH safely. No other way around it. The simplest thing to do is choose fish that suit the source water you have. If you don't want to play around with adjusting GH all the time (and you'd need to do that with every water change) then only choosing fish that suit your water parameters will give you more success.

Don't just think "well the fish look happy and well, and they're breeding, so they're fine". You can't see the damage when a hard water fish is kept in soft water and vice versa, since it's all about how they process the mineral content in the water and the damage is all internal, so not visible until they die and a necropsy is performed, but it's still happening.
Mollies, since they need much harder water even than hard-water fish like guppies and platies, tend to visibly show how unhappy they are when kept in soft water, and I've a feeling that's possibly what you're seeing here. If the fish starts to shimmy, that will definitely confirm it.

Fortunately, it's easier to make soft water harder than vice versa. You need to look into cichlid salts for adjusting GH, and you'll need a GH testing kit, since you'll need to add the same amount to the new water at each water change, since fluctuating parameters are terrible for fish.

That's another expense and hassle, but cheaper and easier than it is for those of us with hard water who want soft, since that means needing to either buy RO water in large quantities, install an expensive and wasteful RO system, or be lucky enough to collect clean, non-polluted rainwater.

But, if you have any soft water fish in the tank, then you don't want to be raising the GH for those guys. So, you'll need to make some decisions about potentially rehoming fish, separate tanks for hard/soft, whether you want to use cichlid salts and a GH testing kit to measure, etc. Or if once the livebearers you have pass away, to only get soft water fish after this point.
I could be reading it wrong; I think I got KH and Gh mixed up, the gh is dark blue. But my test only goes up to 180. So, it could be higher. The damage is already done, I already have these fish so I might as well learn to care for them. I used to have my betta with them, are bettas and livebearers not supposed to be tried together?
I'll look into the salts. No other fish are in this tank besides the ones mentioned.
 

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