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Old 04-13-2013, 12:08 AM   #1
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Molly behavior

About five days ago I added 1 male and 1 female molly to my tank. I was going to add a second female, but none of my LFS had the type I wanted, so its currently on order.
The male will chase the female around sometimes (more often during feedings), but nothing super aggressive. They are in the tank with 7 Serpae tetras and there is no trouble between these groups. All water parameters are good.

The past day or so the female has become less active. She just kinda floats about on her own in a corner or under some plants for the most part. At first I thought she might be pregnant, but she doesnt show any of the physical signs. So now Im wondering if she could just be stressed from being the only target for (sexual?) harassment by the male.

Is it normal for a male to chase a female around like that? If so, will adding a second female calm the male down or make him worse?
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:36 AM   #2
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It is normal for a male to chase the female, I have had more experience with platys though. I wouldn't worry too much as long as the female is still eating and is not injured.

I had a similar situation with my platys, I bought a male and a female, and like you the other type of platy I wanted wasn't in stock. The other female platy I want still isn't in stock, but my 1 male and 1 female platy are doing fine. Initially the female hid a lot, but she eats really well. She is less shy now and has had two batches of fry.

It is important to provide lots of hiding places and live plants, the fish will feel more secure and generally will hide less, once they get used to you and their new environment. Generally adding a second female will help. I hope this helps.
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:42 AM   #3
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Thank you.. if nothing else, its nice to know that somebody else has had a similar experience.

There's plenty of places to hide... so many that sometimes it takes me a few minutes of searching to find her.

She seemed fine the first few days, so thats why I was a bit worried. I'll just have to keep an eye on her and make sure shes eating. Hopefully I'll be able to add a second female in the next couple weeks.

Thanks again.

Edit: Oh! Your first post! Welcome to AA
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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Unhappy

Well.. she didnt make it. Not sure what the problem was. I had checked the water parameters this morning and things looked ok, but when I got home from work she was laying dead at the bottom of the tank. Just checked the water again and it still seems ok. I didnt notice any kind of bloating, lesions or the like on her.
PH 8.2 (High, but its the same out of the tap and at the LFS I bought them from)
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 10ppm

The male that I purchased at the same time seems to be fine, as are the Serpae tetras that have been in there for a month now. Hopefully it wasnt anything contagious as I had added them prior to setting up my QT.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:04 AM   #5
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I'm sorry to hear about your Molly. As your water conditions seem fine, you may have just got a weak/stressed or sick fish from the lfs. It happens from time to time sadly. I hope you have better luck in future.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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Didn't specify tank size, but with that many I'm guessing at least 20g? You can manage with less but water changes are a necessity. Anywho...Mollies are super breeders, like platys, guppies and swordtails, with 1 male and female, he's basically going to harass her to breed nonstop. When the fish store gets more females in, buy a few females; ratio is best at 1 male for every 2-3 females because of the propensity to breed. Sorry to hear you lost her.

Good luck
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:17 PM   #7
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Oops.. It a 45 gallon.

The male has been pretty listless the past few days, but he is still eating. I've got another female set up in the quarantine tank and its also kind of listless. They both are either hovering just above the gravel or tucked up in a corner somewhere. Neither are doing what I would describe as "swimming about". They kind of remind me of the Bettas at the LFS in those little cups.

These are my first mollies, so I'm not familiar with their typical behavior. I'm thinking that either this is normal or I shouldn't get any more mollies (or any fish) from this particular LFS anymore.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:34 PM   #8
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My mollies are always super active, so I'd say it's probably not normal.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:27 AM   #9
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Mollies are certainly active fish and that behaviour does not sound normal, I wouldn't buy more mollies from that lfs or at least not from that batch of mollies.
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Old 04-19-2013, 02:24 AM   #10
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Same thing happened to me and my black molly. Exact same symptoms and everything. I deduced that the bioload was stressing her and that she didn't respond well to dramatic changes in the tank setup. I've lost no fish since I've left the tank alone and made sure to have fish in groups instead of pairs or less.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:34 AM   #11
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Sorry about your molly. Same exact thing happened to the Molly we got. She only lived a week. Very inactive like you describe. Then all of a sudden i saw hers darting around a few times and then she was gone. Other fish were fine.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sublimer View Post
Same thing happened to me and my black molly. Exact same symptoms and everything. I deduced that the bioload was stressing her and that she didn't respond well to dramatic changes in the tank setup. I've lost no fish since I've left the tank alone and made sure to have fish in groups instead of pairs or less.
Im not sure what you mean by "the bioload was stressing her...". Did you start feeding the tank less (either amount or less often), or do larger and/or more frequent PWC?

The good news is that both are eating, I suppose. Neither of them go after food though. Instead, if food happens to come near where they are, then they will have some. Sometimes they will pick through the gravel for leftovers. Im pretty guilty of overfeeding, so Im going to start making a concerted effort to change that habit. Ive also ordered some NLS Thera +A food pellets in hopes that the garlic will improve appetite and immune systems.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:25 PM   #13
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Small update...

The male in my main tank has shown dramatic improvement. My biggest worry with him (currently) is making sure he gets food as the Serpae tetras in the tank have a tendency to literally steal food out of his mouth.

The LFS replaced the silver Molly that died, and the new one had been in a QT for the past almost 3 weeks. Came home from work today and found her dead.
Not sure what happened. Tested the water and nitrites were around .25ppm. No signs of trauma, parasites or infection. There are currently 2 female gold dust mollies and 8 Harlequin rasboras, all purchased from a different LFS, in the same QT. The rasboras are closing in on week 4 and should be making the change to the main tank this weekend.

The LFS that the dead molly is from has a 30 day return policy on dead fish. Im wondering if its worth trying again or just eat the $3 and not purchase fish from there again.

Im open to any insight, thoughts or suggestions.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:42 PM   #14
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I have had horrible luck with Molly fish in my community tank. My set-ups are freshwater. I am really starting to wonder now whether these fish, at least in my case, need the brackish water and they are just not adjusting well to the freshwater. Just a thought. I won't be buying Mollies for my FW tank anymore. And the rest of my fish are doing fine.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:48 PM   #15
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I've thought of that too. The male is doing pretty well now, though it took 3-4 weeks before he pepped up.
The two gold dust mollies in my QT are very active, but I've only had them a little over a week. I think how the do may be a deciding factor for me.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:55 PM   #16
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Yeah. I honestly do think it comes to environment. When we bought our tank initially, the LFS said nothing about brackish conditions. We assumed it would be okay to put them in with tetra, platys, etc in a FW, and were not told different. I see a lot of people here have great success with them. We also have an oto, snails, and live plants so I'm very hesitant to always be salting. And, the reality is, brackish water falls somewhere btw fresh and salt, so just salting here and there with aquarium salt doesn't quite make for "brackish." I also think they prefer cooler climes than what I have provided, not that it's overly warm but I just think overall they'd do much better with brackish conditions. Solution for me is to not get mollies as I want a tropical FW and not a brackish set-up. I'll do what I can for them and treat as necessary but I'll not put them in this tank again once they're gone. Lesson learned for me.
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