Help! Black mollie dead - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Help! Black mollie dead

3 days ago we found 2 black mollie babies, they didn't make it as its a fairly new tank (1 week) and we didn't have a place to put the babies as we noticed at 11:30pm so needless to say they were eaten.

We have a frog, a bloated orange mollie, a glass fish, a ghost catfish and a red tail shark and a bala shark. The orange mollie is new as we had a Dalmatian male mollie and he was very aggressive and going after the black mollie female. The day we exchanged and brought the orange one home is the night we found the babies.

Everyone was getting along great, we assume it was the black mollie that gave birth but I guess we really don't know it could have been the orange one as we don't know what to look for.

Anyway all day they were great, we feed them twice a day, morning and night. I just came home from work at 9:00 and hubby fed them at around 7:30-8:00 all was well. I get home and my poor Molly was dead at the bottom of the tank!!!

Does anyone have any ideas as to what happened??? I burst into tears (silly I know), hubby said she was fine an hour ago.

Like I said we only saw 2 babies, about 5mm long, I don't know how many she had I they even came from her. We have a 10 gallon tank, filter and heater, 3 statues and a live plant, my profile pic is our tank. Are more going to die? I just don't know what is happening...

Oh yeah, we keep the temp around 75.

Thank you in advance for any help with this...,
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 02:18 AM
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If the tank has only been set up for a week then your ammonia and possibly nitrites could be high, the fish could have been stressed from moving to your tank, could have been sick already. I'm going to bet it was do to high ammonia/nitrites since your tank is probably not cycled.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radioman View Post
If the tank has only been set up for a week then your ammonia and possibly nitrites could be high, the fish could have been stressed from moving to your tank, could have been sick already. I'm going to bet it was do to high ammonia/nitrites since your tank is probably not cycled.
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i agree, your tank probably isn't cycled. get some seachem prime to detoxify the ammonia while it cycles. do you have a liquid test kit? you should be checking your levels EVERY DAY and changing the water when the NH3 and NO2 (ammonia, nitrIte) are above .25 or .5 PPM or so (depends on who you ask, but if you're detoxifying the ammonia then it's not as big of a deal).

also, let me get this right- you have both a bala shark and a red-tail black shark in a ten gallon tank? the red-tail will proooobably be okay (gets up to six inches, can be aggressive- your funeral, or really your fishes', but it's been done before), but i hope you know the bala can get up to like a foot long, and does best in a school. it really probably shouldn't be in there, i'd sell it or trade it for something smaller/easier to keep, if i were you.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 03:07 AM
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Well, your tank has some problems going on for sure.

First off it doesn't sound like you cycled your tank. This means building up a colony of beneficial bacteria that will turn the fish waste (ammonia) into a less harmful substance. All tanks will cycle and the buildup of ammonia while it happens will easily kill your fish. Do some research on the "nitrogen cycle" - a typical cycle takes about 4-6 weeks.

Your tank is also very overstocked - bala's can get over a foot long and red tails up to 6 inches. They may be small now but you need to stock your tank using the adult size of the fish as your guideline. But in any event - adding 6 fish to an uncycled tank is causing a buildup of toxic waste in your tank which is probably making them sick and killing them. They are literally being poisoned by their own waste.

Also many of your fish are schooling fish, meaning they should be kept in larger groups (which you can't do in a 10 gallon tank). Glass fish, ghost cats, and bala sharks are schooling fish. These fish will not do well being kept singly - they must be kept in groups of 6 or more. Some of your fisht are quite aggressive species as well. Even peaceful fish can sometimes become aggressive if they are kept singly.

I think you should return or rehome as many of the fish as you can - all of them if possible - but for sure the 2 sharks and either the glass fish or the ghost cat. If you can return them all then I would suggest doing a fishless cycle - you can google it as there is tons of info out there on how to do it. It is the most humane way to cycle a tank as no fish are in the tank to be poisoned by the toxins. Once the cycle is done you can start adding fish back. Stick to one school of about 6 of a small fish, and if you really want a molly then get one or two males only so your tank doesn't get overstocked again (with molly fry). Be sure to research any fish you plan to purchase before you get them so you know what size tank they need, if they need to be kept in schools, etc.

In the mean time research the nitrogen cycle and start doing large water changes immediately while you are figuring out what fish you are able to return/rehome. Get a master drop test kit and use it to test ammonia and nitrite as these are the toxins that will kill your fish. A properly cycled tank will have a reading of 0 for both of them and readable nitrates - again this process will take about 4-6 weeks. You'll need a master test kit which also includes a nitrate test for the cycle in any event.

Last edited by wendyjo; 03-17-2012 at 08:09 PM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 03:43 AM
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Sounds like new tank syndrome. Take a sample of your tank water up to your local fish store. They will test it for you.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone, I'm Going to get my water tested tomorrow. It's a bit frustrating our fish are actually over the allotted time for return. We told the man at the fish store what we had and what we wanted and they said it would be fine, they will all get along, and there shouldn't be any issues.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 06:25 AM
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90 percent of the people in fish stores have no idea what they are talking about. Do your research before you walk into the fish store and never, ever buy fish before researching them.

Even if your tank were perfectly cycled (which it is not - see all the comments above), your stocking list is horrible. Do these fish a favor and return them to the store as a donation (they won't make it through the cycle anyways). Later, when your tank is good to go, it may be good to keep several fish of one or two hardy species and keep it that way for a long time. Your tank will prettier, and your fish (and you and your husband) will be happier. Mollies and other small livebearers (e.g. guppies) are an excellent choice for beginners.

Don't give up. It's a steep learning curve, but it's worth it, and you'll have a ton of fun learning about your tank.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 06:27 AM
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Oh, do you have plants? You will need lots of them. The more easy, hardy plants you have, the easier everything will be. Plants will protect your fish from all kinds of nastinesses.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-17-2012, 08:11 PM
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Most pet store employees are clueless when it comes to fish, and their main goal is to make a sale.

Instead of getting your water tested at the store, buy your own test kit. You're going to need it anyhow. Get the drops, not the strips as they aren't very reliable. And if you do get it tested at the store tell them you want to know the exact numbers for ammonia and nitrite, don't let them tell you it's "fine" or "acceptable" as that is way to vague.
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