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Old 05-10-2022, 05:29 PM   #1
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Molly Strange Behavior

Hey folks. Have a bit of a predicament and am worried I may lose a fish.

To start I have a 20g tank. I have 4 molly, 1 female dreamsicle lyretail, one mail dalmation, one female dalmation, and one male orange and black molly (can't remember what kind it was honestly).

I have had these fish for about 2-3 weeks now. At first I was worried about my ratio of male to female, and the male orange molly would bully the male dalmation molly.

Today, I noticed the male orange molly getting beat up pretty badly by the female orange and the male dalmation. Everytime I check on it now, my male orange is either laying still underneath the heater (upright), sitting at the top of the tank, or chasing the male dalmation around with much less vigor than it had.

I am nervous to add more females because of how grumpy the male orange one always seems.

Any advice?

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Old 05-23-2022, 01:10 AM   #2
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Yeah honestly I was surprised at how aggressive mollies can be after I got one. Mine bullies my tetras mercilessly if they get anywhere near her food or even if she just sees me near the tank. I feel in my situation it is because there are too many fish crammed into a 5 gallon. (Not my choice, just how i received them and their new tank isn't ready yet).

While technically a 20 gallon is big enough for 4 mollies, it is sorta bare minimum for their size requirements, so could help for you to have even more space so that the orange can have his own spot and not be bullied so much. Also if he is hiding underneath the heater perhaps there aren't other good places to hide? Fish like and need hiding spots from time to time especially if they live with bully fish.

Another thing that has helped me is at feeding time I put the food at all ends of the tank rather than just dropping it in one spot like i did initially, that way the Molly can't monopolize that one spot and everyone can get food without having to risk getting beaten up for it.

If doing these things doesn't help and you start to notice your fish getting sick from stress or injured then I would probably rehome him or put him in a different tank for his wellbeing.
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