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Old 12-28-2005, 11:38 PM   #1
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Mating dance results in death of male molly? HELP

Okay. My dalmation molly has been preg two times. Each time she gets close to birthing, I put her in a floating birthing chamber in the same tank. Each time now she has gone in looking huge then in the morning the bottom of the tank is filled with reddish 'poop' (aborted babies I think) and she's thin again. I'm not going to separate her the next time she has babies but instead increase the floating and stationary plants to provide hiding places for the fry.

Here's the question. Ever heard of a mating dance resulting in the death of the male? The next morning after her aborted preg. I released her. Fed the tank. My daughter noticed strange behavior about 2 hours later. She thought the female was attacking the male. After watching for several tense minutes, I believe it was a mating dance. They were circling each other and appeared to be 'kissing' 'nipping' each others sides. The female was doing most of the nipping but the male wasn't trying to get away at all. On the contrary his sailfin was up and he was circling her in turn. (this was all today around 11am)

This morning they ate fine. Tonite, I went to feed them and the male was nowhere to be found. I turned over the sunkin ship to find him floating dead inside it! WHAT HAPPENED!?!?!?

Did I do something wrong? Was she hurting him for some reason? HELP!

Monica
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:44 PM   #2
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How large is this tank?
How many fish are in it?
What are your water parameters?

If all the babies died, it is possible you had an ammonia spike, leading to death in the male who was already stressed for some reason. (It sounds like the female was agressivly resisting his advances.)
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:49 PM   #3
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10 gal. , 2 tetras, 2 dalmation mollies (now 1), 1 small fry mollie, 1 placo, snails.
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Old 12-29-2005, 12:59 AM   #4
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Do you know if the tank is cycled and what kind of pleco and tetras you have?
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Old 12-30-2005, 01:52 AM   #5
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The tetras are black skirt tetras, the pleco is ?? a big one?? He's about 4 inches long beige with black spots.
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Old 12-30-2005, 01:55 AM   #6
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What does cycled mean? I'm a newbie, don't know what that means. The tank has been set up for about 2 years now. I do a 20% water change every 2 weeks. I ran out of test strips so don't know the parameters but there haven't been any major changes lately.
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Old 12-30-2005, 02:02 AM   #7
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If your tank has been set up 2 years it must be cycled. This is a link explaining cycles.
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Old 12-30-2005, 12:49 PM   #8
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I'd be suspicious with the molly aborting twice. Either there is something wrong with her, or something wrong with the tank. If you don't want to buy more test strips, you could see if your LFS will test the water for you.
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Old 12-31-2005, 07:33 PM   #9
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How do you affect changes to the tank parameters?

Bought test strips. Here are the parameters:
Nitrate=80
Nitrite = 0.3
Hardness= 300 (how do I change this?)
Alkalinity= 0
pH = 6.5

I just added my 2tsp. of TetraAqua Easy Balance to lower the Nitrate.
Here are my questions:
How do I lower/higher the parameters that are off. I don't think that a hardness of 300 is good but I don't know how to soften the water.
The pH needs to go up but how?

HELP HELP
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Old 01-01-2006, 03:13 AM   #10
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Test strips are often not that accurate and those numbers could be way off. I would get some liquid reagent kits or take some tank water to a LFS that uses them. Then test for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, KH, and pH. The pH and hardness are most likely fine, leave them alone. The nitrate is a bit high so you need to do large partial water changes, not use chemicals. You should have 0 nitrite, which water changes should also help with that.
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Old 01-01-2006, 03:46 AM   #11
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I'd do a 25% PWC weekly. Could possibly have a high nirate level. Get a liquid test kit, the dip sticks aren't all that good IMO.

Take a sample to your lfs and have them test it with a liquid test kit. Chances are, if there's any overfeeding as well, the nitrate is higher than what your dip stick is saying, and may have ammonia and nitrite as well.

Do a large PWC, at least 50% a day for 2-3 days to get the levels down. Then 25% weekly, and no adding of chemicals other than dechlorinator (Prime is recommended).
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Old 01-02-2006, 07:18 PM   #12
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If your budget/time is limited, you can do all right with test strips. We don't really need the exact numbers. I agree that the nitrite and nitrate are the red flags here.

20% water change every two weeks should normally be sufficient, but since your nitrate has drifted up, that needs to be stepped up. You want to aim for nitrate under 40.

You could try some low-light tolerant plants to bring down that nitrate. I'd suggest hornwort for starters. Pick the cheapest plant varities you can find, those are the ones the growers are having great sucess with, so it's more likely you will too. I'm growing hornwort, eloda, and a few others, and my nitrate won't budge off 0.

The nitrite may be a result of the death of the male molly. Do a water change and keep testing your nitrites. If it doesn't start coming down pronto, we need to find out why and fix it.

Have you tried testing your tap water? If your tap water is that hard, then your fish will just get used to it. (Don't buy any delicate fish that require very soft water.) If the tap water is much softer than your tank water, then it is another indication that you need to step up your water changes.
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Old 01-03-2006, 06:05 PM   #13
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Water change worked

Still using test strips but the water change worked.
Nitrate=30
Nitrite = 0.0
Hardness= 300 (how do I change this?)
Alkalinity= 80
pH = 7.0

Still very hard water. Will this hurt if I add new fish? I was thinking of getting another male Sailfin Dalmation Molly to mate with my female.

I read something about Chiclids. Are they freshwater fish and could I have some of them in with my mollies?(agressive? size?) I've always loved balloon mollies and mollies in general so I don't mind staying with them just curious about chiclids.

Thanks for everyones help. You're all terrific and I wouldn't make it in this hobby without you guys/gals!!
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Old 01-03-2006, 06:08 PM   #14
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Did you test the hardness of your tap water?
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Old 01-05-2006, 11:16 AM   #15
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how often do I vaccuum gravel?

My tap water is very hard also. I took a chance and introduced some new fish and extra plants.

3 diamond fancy tetras.
3 balloon mollies ( 1male, 2 female)

I know it was alot at one time but they seem to be doing okay. I just missed seeing thing swimming around in there.

How often should I vaccuum the gravel? Mine seems dirtier than the fish store but I thought some algea/bacteria growth was good?
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Old 01-05-2006, 11:34 AM   #16
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I would vacuum the gravel every week when you do your water change.
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Old 01-05-2006, 12:09 PM   #17
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Weekly with water change.
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Old 01-05-2006, 12:36 PM   #18
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Re: how often do I vaccuum gravel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by partyof5
How often should I vaccuum the gravel? Mine seems dirtier than the fish store but I thought some algea/bacteria growth was good?
It's good to have it, but not everyone wants to see it. Regular vacuming to remove fish waste and uneaten food is a really good idea, but if you want to get rid of the algae, you need a gang of snails. The algae won't hurt anything if you leave it there.
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Old 01-05-2006, 11:11 PM   #19
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In a cycled tank, even if you gravel vac the bottom really well, there's still tons of bacteria. The bacteria reside on the gravel, and not just the poo and decaying food. As for algae, haven't seen any in my tanks. Either I keep my parameters well, or the CAE's are doing a great job.
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Old 01-06-2006, 01:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonewolfblue
Either I keep my parameters well, or the CAE's are doing a great job.
I vote for the CAE's, lol j/k, I think it's both.
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