Causes for Flashing other than Ich?
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:44 AM   #1
HamToast
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Default Causes for Flashing other than Ich?

One of my Molly's has been observed flashing lately and I'm wondering if there are other causes for this behavior other than Ich? I recently medicated for Ich and the symptoms are gone in all of my fish except for this one Molly. Additionally, I had noticed this Molly would flash often prior to the Ich outbreak even began. Is it possible she is just behaving this way for another reason?
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:59 AM   #2
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velvet will also cause the fish to flash, but it is treated the same way as ich (higher temps, salt, and CuSO4 or malachite green), so it should be gone.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:50 AM   #3
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I've seen fish flash for years and never had an Ich outbreak. I've heard high nitrates cause it but my nitrates have always been low. It's always been a mystery to me.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:10 AM   #4
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Think of flashing as a form of scratching. It's saying the fish has an irritant it needs to scratch. If it's only occasional, then it's no problem. If it happens often, then it indicates there's a problem, but it doesn't say what the problem is.

Parasites, such as flukes and ich, can irritate the gills. Water quality issues, such as high ammonia and nitrites, can irritate the gills. Any kind of bacteria that is able to settle in the gils can cause irritation. It's often difficult to determine the cause without some other symptom to help with the diagnosis.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:16 AM   #5
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I forgot to also mention the behavior of the fish is totally normal. Very active and alert, quite playful although a bit pushy with the other fish. All of this is pretty normal.

I know its not water quality. Ammonia and nitrites are consistently at 0 and nitrates are typically between 5 and 10. Each saturday I do a PWC of 20%.

As for parasites the only thing I could think of was that maybe the one Molly wasn't completely rid of the ich when I stopped treating them. I can't be sure. As soon as any further symptoms arise I will simply continue to observe them. Unless behavior changes or other symptoms arise, I will not make any attempts at treating the issue.

It will continue to be a mystery, just like my two Dalmatian Molly's gulping at the surface as though the water conditions are poor.
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Old 07-11-2012, 05:41 AM   #6
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Wrong pH can also make the fish irritable. Mollies are hard water fish, high pH. (salt is optional, but some strains of Molly can handle water that is saltier than sea water). Are you keeping the Mollies in hard water tanks?

Some fish (certain Cichlids for sure) will also flash as a way to show off that this is their territory. I have no idea if Mollies do this.
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Old 07-11-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
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I have had trouble maintaining the GH and KH where I'd like it but I keep it around 5-7 degrees. Ideally I would like it around 8-10 degrees for the Mollys. PH is always fine though around 7.2.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:49 PM   #8
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What are your readings straight from the tap? Generally, it's better to acclimate the fish to your tap water than to mess with the water parameters.

Is there a special reason why you're messing with your GH and KH? What method(s) are you using to alter them?
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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I just want to maintain good hardness for the mollys. I actually haven't done anything to regulate the hardness aside from adding either acid or alkaline buffer whenever needed. The pH chemicals seem to be enough to maintain decent hardness. The main issue is that both hardness and pH had a tendancy to want to drop during the week but it seems to be stabilizing on its own over time.

If I have issues in the future I was going to look into some shells of some kind to increase hardness as well as available nutrients for the fish and plants. I'm not sure what shells exactly, I'd have to do more research on that
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamToast View Post
I just want to maintain good hardness for the mollys. I actually haven't done anything to regulate the hardness aside from adding either acid or alkaline buffer whenever needed. The pH chemicals seem to be enough to maintain decent hardness. The main issue is that both hardness and pH had a tendancy to want to drop during the week but it seems to be stabilizing on its own over time.
This is why I'm asking what products are you using. Some products are known for causing more problems than they solve. Since you're having problems with one molly flashing and another gasping at the surface, it's possible you've fallen victim to one of those products.

So what are you adding to the water? What are the product names? And what are your tap water's parameters?
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:16 AM   #11
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I am one who believes that many medicines do one primary thing. They make money! Trying to set the PH/GH/ KH with additives is often a chase which ends in frustration. Many find it far better to let the fish get used to the water. They can adapt quite well but not if we keep changing the water like every time we do a water change. Over time, it gets to be too much and they die. Keep in mind that there are lots of reasons for fish to flash as mentioned. It often happens after a water change even when there is no measurable difference in the water. I think of it as the same as when we go shopping on a hot day. We run from the house to the car to the store and come home with a headache from the changes even though the air was fine every place we went.
Do fish flash when they get a headache??? Seems as logical as some of the other things I see that make them flash. Adding a new fish can sometimes make two or three fish flash for a while.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:59 AM   #12
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Products I use in the water are as follows:
Seachen Alkaline Buffer when performing a PWC and rarely as needed
Seachem Acid Buffer when performing a PWC and rarely as needed
Seachem Prime when performing a PWC
API Stress Zyme + when performing a water change
Seachem Flourish once weekly
Seachem Trace once weekly between Flourish doses
Seachem Excel daily

Nothing else is added to the tank as of now. Like I said, I would like to get some shells of some kind to put in the filter reservoir to stabilize the water and add some additional nutrients. I haven't decided on a shell type yet. I also understand cuddlebone is good for this? But that's besides the issue for now.

The water parameters for tap water are high Ph around 8.3. I do not know the hardness yet since I didn't have the test kit when I tested the water. I will likely request a data sheet from the local water provider this week. The fish appear quite healthy and happy, so I'm not sure they are ill at all. The gasping seems to be a remnant of the terrible nitrite conditions they were exposed to when I first got them. They do it less and less frequently, my theory is that their gills are simply in the recovery process from previous damage.
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamToast View Post
Products I use in the water are as follows:
Seachen Alkaline Buffer when performing a PWC and rarely as needed
Seachem Acid Buffer when performing a PWC and rarely as needed
Seachem Prime when performing a PWC
API Stress Zyme + when performing a water change
Seachem Flourish once weekly
Seachem Trace once weekly between Flourish doses
Seachem Excel daily
I think you can go without the Seachen Alkaline Buffer, Seachem Acid Buffer, and definitely the API Stress Zyme.

The only thing you really need to add to the water when doing a water change is the Seachem Prime.

The Seachem Flourish, Trace, and Excel are all optional so it doesn't matter if you dose them or not.

A pH of 8.3 is a bit on the high side, but for mollies, that should be great. So there's no need there to make a change either.

When it comes to aquarium water, the old adage "less is more" often applies.
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:40 AM   #14
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flashing is a normal fish behavior. i've seen it with marine fish while scuba diving, koi in ponds, wild sunfish in streams, and my own fish in several tanks.
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Old 07-12-2012, 03:23 AM   #15
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If you have not done it yet, I would try checking the tap water after it has set for 8-10 hours. You may find that it turns out not to be as high Ph as it seems. Then I would definitely cut back on the two buffers and let the PH settle where it will. Go for steady versus perfect. Most fish are not raised in their normal territory and are quite good at working with what they have.
The Prime for removing chloramine or chlorine and the last three would be all I use. The last three for plants and adjust them as needed. If you try that and see no trouble you will have saved yourself and your fish a lot of trauma. I would expect your main trouble to be too much molly breeding!
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