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Old 01-30-2017, 11:47 PM   #1
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Unhappy Guppies and Molly exhibiting weird behavior?

Hi, I'm very new to keeping fish and I have a 5 gallon tank which I heard is too small, but I don't think my parents are willing to expand to a 10 gallon unless it really is urgent.

Anyways, I had 1 existing Dalmatian Molly in the tank which was doing fine until I introduced three new male guppies. The Molly would always eat and explore the tank but I got home today and all four of them were in the upper right corner by the filter and haven't moved from that position in about 4+ hours. I'm really worried something's wrong, because the guppies haven't eaten since I got them two days ago and it's the first time the molly's ever stopped eating or stayed in one spot that long.

I purified the water with Top fin and also I changed the water recently. Could it be chemical build up from introducing three new guppies? The temperature is 72, which I believe is correct because they're not all huddling around the filter.

I'm sorry if I sound super inexperienced and dumb (I am!) but all help is appreciated! I just want my fish to start moving around and eating, especially the Molly, as it's been successful in that tank for a month and I'd hate for it to die now.

Thank you!!
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Old 01-30-2017, 11:49 PM   #2
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Also, I'm not quite sure what cycling is other than it's a long process. could it help in this situation? Sorry for my inexperience!
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Old 01-31-2017, 04:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshcmayer View Post
Also, I'm not quite sure what cycling is other than it's a long process. could it help in this situation? Sorry for my inexperience!
Hi Josh-

Cycling a tank is when you establish a healthy bacterial community in a previously barren tank. So when you start from scratch in a new tank, it takes a while for the microbial community to balance out into a nice, stable, fish-friendly form.

How long was your Molly in the tank & doing well before you added the guppies?

My first thought is ammonia / nitrite poisoning from the increased fish population. I would immediately do a 50% water change --- even if it turns out to be something else it'll give your fish some healthy water, so there's no downside.

Do you have a kit to test the water chemistry of the tank? Does the tank water look a little cloudy/white? If you don't have a water chemistry kit or the water looks cloudy I would try daily 50% water changes for at least a week and see if your fish become more active.

A cloudy tank can indicate a microbial bloom. Water changes will help with this also. Your tank might just need to adjust to the increased "bioload", or amount of waste products coming from your fish that your microbial community has to break down into non-toxic forms.

How long is each fish? 5 gallons is definitely on the small side, the general rule is 1" of fish per gallon. Do you have any plants?

Hopefully some of this was helpful! Best of luck, I hope your Molly perks up
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Old 01-31-2017, 05:57 PM   #4
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The Molly has been doing well for about one month, and I don't have a chemical tester kit. The water doesn't look any different or cloudier, and it's pretty clear. I'd say each fish is about one inch long, tops, and my three guppies are mostly just big because of their longer tails. I don't have any real plants, only two fake ones and a small coconut as a hiding space.

I think the 50% water change is a good idea, but will that make the three new guppies nervous? I got home today and they seemed to be wandering around the tank a little more, but the guppies still generally all rush to hide in one corner and I still haven't seen them eat - could these be signs of nervousness or something more?

My Molly seems to have gotten more lively again and I saw her eat, so all is well there!!

Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it!
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