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Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Default Fish staying on bottom and top

    0 Not allowed!
    Tuesday night I bought a used 30 gallon tank that came everything, including the fish. After setting everything up, and getting the fish adjusted to the temperature, everything was going well. All the fish were doing great. The next day, around noon, my dalmation molly started laying on the gravel and breathing heavy, since then she will be down there for about 15 minutes breathing heavily, then come up for air for around 15 minutes. Once in a while she will swim around like normal but not often. She is still eating, I noticed today she ate most of the fish flakes herself, so I'm not if she is over eating. The temperature is at a normal 75, and the filter is working great. Does anyone know what the problem is? I know that she was attached the the previous owner, so I'm not sure if she is just stressed or what happened. The rest of the fish are doing fine. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    1 Not allowed!
    When you filled the aquarium with water did you use a product to eliminate chlorine. If you have well water or an r/o system a de-chlorinator is not needed.

    I take it the filter material was still moist when you set everything up being a used set-up and it would be too early to have a water quality problem. Fish do get stressed when they are moved or when their environmental conditions are not met.
    Keep a close eye on the molly, look for small white spots on the fins over the next few days.
    Warning; Bulldog Pleco guarding my Sons tank now..

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  3. #3


    1 Not allowed!
    I would suspect the nitrification cycle, initially this would mean ammonia poisoning, followed by nitrite in a few days. Unless you kep the substrate and filter media wet, and did not wash any of this under the tap, the bacteria may have been killed or significantly reduced, depenideng how you moved everything.

    If you have a test kit, I would test ammonia (and nitrite and nitrate wouldn't hurt either). If it is ammonia, or if you don't have a test, do an immediate major water change of no less than half the tank volume. Use fresh tap water with a good conditioner to dechlorinate. Nothing else; the less stress the better. If ammonia is present, daily partial water changes of half the tank are needed.

    If you can, a good conditioner during cycling is Prime by Seachem, or Ultimate (forgotten the manufacturer), or AmQuel by Kordon. These all detoxify ammonia and nitrite.

    Do yo know the GH and pH of your tap water? This is important especially for mollies, though here I suspect ammonia is the problem, but soft or acidic water will only make things worse for the fish.


  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    After reading about water cycle I'm not sure that that is the problem, I got everything Tuesday night and did a full water change with water conditioner, and the filter was still wet. I'll have to see if my conditioner had a chlorine treater in it. Thank you!

  5. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    if you don't have an API liquid water test master kit, get one ASAP. check the water specifically for Ammonia and Nitrites and Nitrates. Let us know what those readings are and it may help to determine what's happening with your tank.

    If Ammonia and nitrites are above .25ppm, you need to do an immediate water change (using enough conditioner to treat the entire 30 gallons). If nitrAtes are above 20ppm, - same thing. Water change.
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  6. #6


    1 Not allowed!
    What you initially described cannot be chlorine poisoning; this is immediate. I know, because a couple times over 25 years I have forgotten to add the conditioner when filling the tank, and within seconds I realize what I forgot. Chlorine burns the gills very fast.

    Your description is exactly that for ammonia or nitrite poisoning, but it could also be caused by internal damage to the fish such as during netting or transport. It could also be the result of sever stress shock, which of course can be from many things, including different water parameters (GH and/or pH, and temperature). As you can see, many different factors can cause the symptoms noted, which is why so many of us are asking for tests. Without eliminating factors one by one, it is impossible to ascertain the issue.

    Another thought occurs to me, and that is the fish were stressed by ammonia in transit. Mollies were mentioned, and they are especially sensitive to very low levels of ammonia. It is possible for fish to "live through" this but internal damage has been done and it can surface hours, days, and even weeks later when something else is just too much on top of it.

    You mentioned the filter remaining wet, which would help with the ammonia/nitrite, but if the substrate was washed under the tap that would likely have eliminated the majority of nitrifying bacteria.


  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Ok thank you! I have a water testing kit coming next week, probably Monday our Tuesday. Thank you!

  8. Default

    1 Not allowed!
    In the mean time, I would try to do partial water changes (up to 50% if possible) daily, or at least every other day. If you see an improvement in the fish then you can presume the cause was indeed nitrogenous waste.

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Agree. Whenever fish are having difficulty respirating, or become lethargic, or remain close to the surface...always immediately do a major water change (providing the parameters of tap and tank water are close). If the issue is anythin gin the water, this will help.

  10. #10

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    1 Not allowed!
    When EVER there are fish at the surface, it is 90% likely you have deadly water conditions; so, first step, do a near 100% water change (NO!!!! Don't bother with a near worthless 50% or less WC!!!)

    What are your ammonia levels? Any nitrites? Did something crash your filter? Have you cleaned the filter the last few days? When did you cycle the filter? What type of filter(s) do you have. The size of the tank, size and times per week you do water changes? Do you need/use a water conditioner?

    This information will help us help you>

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