Normal fish behavior?
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:26 AM   #1
HamToast
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Normal fish behavior?


I've been noticing my Dalmatian Mollys have been at the surface lately gasping for breath, but when I test the water perameters everything is perfect. PH is almost always smack on 7.0 and ammonia and nitrites are at 0, with nitrates at a fairly low 10. Is this behavior normal for any type of fish to do occasionally?

One of my otoconclus has also been swimming a LOT around the back of the tan. I know Otos can be quite active but I'm unsure if it is normal for them to do this.

I'm rather new to the hobby so I'm still learning fish behaviors, please bare with me.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:44 AM   #2
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no, that's not normal for mollies. they don't breathe air, so if they're gasping there's most likely a problem.
didn't you just go through a cycling crisis? their gills might be damaged from the ammonia/nitrite so they can't breathe effectively...
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:04 AM   #3
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Yes I did. It's been about a week since the cycle has completed and all levels are at 0 now.

Is it possible for the damage to the gills to heal over time? It's fairly recent that the water conditions have improved, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Mollies just need more time to heal. Unless its permanent damage, of course.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamToast View Post
Yes I did. It's been about a week since the cycle has completed and all levels are at 0 now.

Is it possible for the damage to the gills to heal over time? It's fairly recent that the water conditions have improved, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Mollies just need more time to heal. Unless its permanent damage, of course.
A few questions:

Do you have adequate surface agitation? Do you use co2? Depending on what plants you have, if they can tolerate it, some aquarium salt will greatly help o2 transfer between gill and water if they are indeed damaged gills.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:59 AM   #5
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There is plenty of surface agitation, I'm running a large 60 gallon filter at about 3/4 speed in a 30 gallon tank and I can observe bubbles circulating in the tank from it. I don't have any exotic plants in the tank, so I can't imagine them being toxic to the Mollies. I'm hesitant to add salt due to the snails I have not liking it too much.

I'm mostly curious if the damage to the gills will heal over time or not.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamToast View Post
There is plenty of surface agitation, I'm running a large 60 gallon filter at about 3/4 speed in a 30 gallon tank and I can observe bubbles circulating in the tank from it. I don't have any exotic plants in the tank, so I can't imagine them being toxic to the Mollies. I'm hesitant to add salt due to the snails I have not liking it too much.

I'm mostly curious if the damage to the gills will heal over time or not.
i think they meant the plants being tolerant of the salt. what snails do you have?

okay, i've now read in a few different places that ammonia damage can lead to gill hyperplasia, which is basically where the gills try to heal (i also read that gill tissue doesn't heal very well), but instead grow a new layer of tissue over the damaged area and swell, and it's like a scar that makes it hard or even impossible for the fish to breathe.
the treatment is indeed adding aquarium salt, but nothing can be done if hyperplasia develops and gets severe enough. do your fishes' gills look swollen at all? i'd forsake the snails and add salt, it's probably your only hope.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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You can always treat them in a quarantine tank if you don't want to add salt to the main tank. Just keep feeding the main tank as tho they were in there so the cycle isn't disrupted.
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