Please help! I think my molly fish is dying. My Molly fish's tail fin looks like it is being eaten away. Every day it looks worse. At first I thought it was being bitten, as we watched the other fish biting. Then her scales looked raised and I thought it could be dropsy. But now her scales are not so raised, but her tail is nearly a stump. She is not swimming much and hids a lot. She used to be very active and ate a lot, but now it seems she is lethargic. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.
Fish diseases are frequently the result of water quality issues. Do you change part of the water every week, and does the aquarium have a working nitrogen cycle? Without either of those things, the aquarium water will contain toxins that weaken fish immune systems.
Please ask if you need more information.
Thank you so much for replying. We have only had our tank for 3 weeks. Unfortunately, we followed the advice of the pet store, and only had the tank (32 litres) fish free for a week. We did not know anything about the nitrogen cycle until I found this site last week. We did 20% pwc weekly for 2 weeks, until our Molly got ill and have done 20% changes daily since, which is about 3 days. I have ordered a test kit to check the water parameters, but it has not arrived yet. If there is anything more I can do, I will give it a try.
Thank you for your help so far, I have found this site an invaluable source of information, I just wish I had found it before we got the fish, instead of listening to pet store advice!
An aquarium of 32 litres is fairly small, so the effects of over feeding or over crowding will be more serious than they would be in a larger volume of water. Trying to establish a nitrogen cycle in an aquarium with fish requires finding a delicate balance.
The beneficial bacteria associated with the nitrogen cycle need ammonia and nitrite to grow, but both are toxic to the fish and must be diluted by partial water changes. In the last year or so, aquarium suppliers have been selling formulations that contain beneficial bacteria. Some names are Cycle, Prime, Start Smart, etc. The bacterial products claim to substantially reduce the time it takes to establish a nitrogen cycle, and they may be worth a try.
When doing partial water changes every day, the usual amount is 10 or 15 percent. This generally follows a much larger, initial water change.
If you have an aquarium shop test the water, ask them for specific readings on ammonia and nitrite. Sometimes, the shop just says OK, but anything above zero is not OK. A couple indicators of ammonia or nitrite in the water are fish gasping at the water surface, clamped fins, lethargy and lack of appetite. If you don't see any of those things, the aquarium is getting healthy.
We have 2 mollies, 4 cherry barbs and a plecto, I think this is ok? We also make sure that the food is eaten in a couple of mins or cleaned up.
I will try your advice with the bacteria formula - thank you. I will also drop to 10% water change.
The molly's fins were clamped day before yesterday, but looked better last night. She is still lethargic though, and off her food. Thanks for all your advice. I will let you know how I get on.