my mollies are dying off

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Postby mollyfry » 2007-03-02 12:41

almost every day when i look in my tank i find a molly dead, it is the smaller ones which are only about 6 months old, I have checked the water and all seems ok there, I havent been over feeding them, they are being fed as noraml. There are not any signs in the fish that there is anything wrong either, they all look normal.

Does anyone have any ideas what this could be.......

I hope its nothing serious......
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Postby saracen » 2007-03-02 13:04

Hi Mollyfry,

Sorry to hear about your losses. Could you tell me a little bit more about your tank please? How big is it, how many gallons/litres, how many fish total you have and what sort are they?

Also, could you give me the actual values for Nitrite, Nitrate and Ammonia please?

What kind of filter do you run, and is there a bubbler for putting oxygen into the water?

Also, do any of your other fish have any symptoms? Any spots or marks, strange behaviour in fish that aren't dying?

Anything at all, however small you think it might be could help us to find out whats causing your deaths.
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Postby Mick e. t. » 2007-03-02 14:22

Water temperature, give us a reading on that as well. One more question; what are you feedinf the fry?
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2007-03-02 17:01

Even something as little as how often you do water changes, and how much?

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Postby Dookie » 2007-03-02 20:42

Nothing more I can add at the moment, other than salt. Are you using salt to make their water slightly brackish? Could you have added too much? Are you dissolving it fully before adding it to the tank?
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Postby mollyfry » 2007-03-03 10:29

The tank is just under 3 foot, its about a 90 litre capacity I think, its hard to calculate as we have a bowed tank.....

I now only have 10 fish, that is 9 dalmation mollies and 1 plec. The nitrates are 20 mto 50, the nitrites are 0 and the ammonia oh cant remember the level now but it is the lowest one on the chart.......

The filter is a fluval 3 i believe, yes there is a bubbler for putting oxygen in the water, but we dont use that as we have a bubble curtain.

I have been watching the other fish closely and as of yet there is nothing at all wrong with them, there isnt any strange behaviour, no marks or nicks, no spots. I have been checking on and off now since i lost the 1st one a few days ago, its really boggling me......


The water temp is a steady 26 thats where it has always been since having the fish, they are all being fed the same which is flake food and frozen blood worm, i dont really crush the flakes down too much now as the smaller ones have grown a little and arent so small anymore. They only have the frozen blood worm once a week, flake evey day.......

Water changes are once a week anywhere aound a quarter of the water......


I have though about doing brackish water befor ebut it was too confusing or me so i never did it, but we were planning on changing the tank around as we wanted to get some brightly coloured fish, but now this is happening im not even going to entertain any new fish yet......

So as you can see all appears normal an im at a loss with this......
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Postby sharkdude » 2007-03-03 14:50

you could try the salt, a small amount make a huge differenc, although not sure how the plec will take it...guys?

do you de-clorinate?
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Postby mollyfry » 2007-03-03 19:13

no Im not gonnad o the salt, i want to change the tank around so the less work i have to do to change it the better really.

I dont de clorinate no, i let the water stand for 24 hours before putting it into the tank.....
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2007-03-03 20:40

How very odd - this one's got even me stumped. I see why you're confused - you seem to be doing everything right...

*sucks teeth and has a think*

Could it be a genetic defect do you think?
I happen to know in axolotl there is a strange defect with their hearts; cardiac lethal mutation, especially in inbreds.

Just a thought. It suddenly rang a bell, what with them hitting an average age and THEN dying - that's just like the axolotl.
Those with CLM live to about three weeks with apparantly nothing wrong - then keel over in bunches. I would assume if it is something similar, they're living longer due to being a whole lot smaller than axolotl - it's actually the lack of circulation as they grow that does it you see.

Worth thinking about.
Might be worth adding new genestock into the tank when the deaths slow down a little, see if this helps.

What about prepping a smaller "grow-out" tank for the fry - then you can observe them better.
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Postby Mick e. t. » 2007-03-04 02:37

Very interesting IBF, just got back and slightly inebriated. When I get back down to earth I'll get back on this one. (lethal gene syndrome in mammal's). The latter. a reminder for me.

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Postby mollyfry » 2007-03-04 10:36

that is deff something i hadnt thought about IBF, I dont know if that could be the case as when i had the 3 female adults 2 of the were pregnant, then these 2 were having babies about every 4 to 5 weeks.....

They did stop having them though and when i was looking at the fry they all appeared to be female, of course i could have been wrong lol, but we havent had any fry for a few months now, gotta be about 6 months......

Hmmm hopefully it will all stop soon, I didnt have any dead yesterday and so far today there has been no sgn of any being lost. I did think about going to my lfs and getting another male molly, but as im thinking of changing the the fish about i was gonna make sure i could clear this problem up first then try with some different fish......

I know your probably wondering why im asking all this if im changing the fish to a different type altogether, but i want to make sure i get this sorted first before i get new fish and lose them to a potential problem in the tank......

thank you for all your help so far.......
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Postby smiley » 2007-03-04 14:32

if it is what i.b.f. said, introducing a new male would help combat that issue.

how long have you had them?
they might of been week from being inbred too much, which goes back to what i.b.f. said about the heart problems.
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can plecs see what they are eating ?
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Postby sharkdude » 2007-03-04 16:39

it could be a internal problem of other sort, maybe a worm or some description, any signs of something red sticking out of the anus?
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Postby Indigo Blue Fish » 2007-03-04 21:32

A lot of LFSs are willing to trade fish. I swapped one large female platy and a danio for a couple of pretty new females.
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Postby mollyfry » 2007-03-05 08:06

nope sorry like i said there are not any obvious physical signs there is anything wrong with them........

We have had the 3 adult for about 9 or 10 moths, the fry are around 6 to 8 months old.......

they are tha last bach of fry we had from any of them.......
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