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Old 10-24-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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HELP!!!!

Ive just got home and I am in a panic about my 2 mollies. Yesterday when we put them in the tank, they were both darting around quite actively. I've got home tonight and they are both near the surface of the tank, barely moving. I dropped a pinch full of food in and neither were interested. The male suddenly started swimming around the tank but the female, is pretty much just stationary, moving her fins and her mouth a little and the odd burst of energy.

HELP!
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:12 PM   #2
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Do you have a test-kit to test your water?

It's possible that your tank contains waste products like ammonia which is making the fish feel bad. Fish waste creates ammonia in the water.

Doing a water change will help fix that in the short term, the fish will feel a lot better in clean water, but in the long term you need to know whether you have ammonia or nitrites or nitrates in the water, so you need a test-kit to show you those levels.

Did you cycle this tank?
These links might help I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice

The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling - Aquarium Advice
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:07 PM   #3
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I agree with Masha. A water test kit is very important in fish keeping and if you ever see strange behavior, usually there is something wrong with your water.

You indicated you put them in the tank yesterday. Did you just set up the tank yesterday too? Fish tanks need to cycle before it is "fish ready" as water parameters fluctuate until beneficial bacteria can help take care of it. To learn about fish-less and fish in cycling, I have a link under my post as my signature.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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Supporting the last 2 posts, you have to cycle the tank through what is known as the nitrogen cycle. Worth googling this. Some people do this before they add fish but it is not impossible to do it with fish in. As masha's link will describe.

In order to save the fish from harm you are going to have to monitor water parameters very carefully using a reputable test kit such as the API master test kit. It's much cheaper on amazon than your local fish supplier will sell it.

You will need to change out 50% if the water Every time ammonia exceeds 0.25ppm (parts per million) as ammonia is very toxic for your fish. Since assuming you don't have a test kit yet, I would be inclined to change 50% of the water every day till it arrives. You will notice that the general health of the fish will improve visually. You must however dechlorinate the new tap water before putting it In to the aquarium using a Tap safe conditioner you can get from pet store.

Under no circumstances add no more fish and you need to feed once a day a very light feed skipping a day every couple of days in order to keep toxins down. You can do this but you will have to be vigilant.

Tell us about your tank. What size is it litres/gallons? What filtration do you have? What temp do you keep it at? Do you have live plants?

Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 10-25-2013, 07:54 PM   #5
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As stated, the tank needs to be cycled. The important thing is to test the water, with a reliable kit. Most people use the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. It is cheap on ebay or amazon, but someone expensive in stores (by comparison).

If you don't know how to cycle a fish tank, read these, they will help, along with Masha's links:
Fish-in Cycling: Step over into the dark side.
Tips and Tricks For Your Fastest Fishless Cycle! - Aquarium Advice

The first one is about fish in cycling, the second is about fishless cycling. To cycle a tank you need to get some level of ammonia, and have bacteria in the tank (that get there through the air) to "eat" the ammonia, and make nitrites, which is "eaten" by another type of bacteria that produces nitrates. Ammonia and nitrites are very bad for fish, and levels over .25 ppm of those are bad and can cause permanent damage (given enough time in that water). Nitrates are much less toxic. Nitrates should be under 40 ppm, but under 20 ppm is best. Nitrates are removed through water changes.

A fish's waster produces ammonia, which is the source for fish in cycling. For fish in, you just add fish, test daily, and do a 25 % water change when water gets above .25 ppm for ammonia or nitrites, until you consistently get 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and x nitrates. Then, you are cycled (you have built up enough bacteria to "consume" the amount of waste produced by your current stock of fish. This is known as a bioload, the amount of waste a fish produces), and can add more fish, a few at a time.

Fishless cycling uses a source of ammonia (pure ammonia [bottled], a raw shrimp [the kind we eat], or fish food), try to get ammonia up to 4 ppm (but less is okay), and then just add more ammonia when it drops under 4, and do a water change when ammonia or nitrites somehow get over 5 ppm. Once you consistently get 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and x nitrates, you are cycled, and can add your whole stock at once. If you don't add your whole stock at once, say add only 5 fish, and then wait a week, you cannot add your whole stock then, as the bacteria will die off until there is just enough ammonia produced for all of the bacteria to eat. While fishless cycling you should test at least
every other day.

Hope this helps, and welcome to AA!

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Old 10-26-2013, 04:45 AM   #6
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Thanks for your replies.

I did a 10% water change last night. How frequently and to what amount do you all suggest?
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:53 AM   #7
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Once cycled. Weekly maintenance changes of about 25-30% is standard although some people change much more. Whilst cycling you must frequently test your water and Change however much is necessary to keep ammonia and nitrites at 0ppm.
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triggerfishfan View Post
Thanks for your replies.

I did a 10% water change last night. How frequently and to what amount do you all suggest?
What size tank? ANy other fish?

Right now, since you're probably still cycling, the amount of water you change will depend on the test (which is why a good liquid test kit is needed). You want to keep ammonia and nitrite as low as possible, preferably under .25. So for example if ammonia is reading 1 ppm on the test, a 50% water change will bring it down to .5. If you don't have a test yet, I would do a 50% water change and see if the fish react any better. This guide may help some too: Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
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