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Livebearers Questions and comments about livebearers

 
 
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  #1  
Old 01-16-2009, 12:00 AM
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GingerKoala GingerKoala is offline
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Default Fighting Mollies and Stress

Hello,

I feel like I am always having new problems here...

Since I set up my tank 2 months ago the dalmatian molly has chased the black molly (both males), especially at feeding time. I figured they were just establishing the hierarchy, so I ignored it. However, I have lost two females and now I have 2 males and only 1 female and the chasing is out of control. The black molly is showing signs of stress (fast breathing, shimmies, edge of dorsal fin and tail fading to yellow, resting on bottom) and I don't know what to do. I don't have another tank right now or I would have isolated the dalmatian already. Should I get one? Isolate him now in a bucket? Get a tank divider and separate them? or add more females? I am open to all suggestions...

I set aside some tank water yesterday in a bucket with a handful of gravel in a stocking and a piece of decor from the main tank in case of an emergency. It's not filtered or heated (but room temp is always around 78 in my apartment). Would it be OK to remove the dalmatian to the bucket for a day or two until I can get another tank?

Thanks!

PS. water quality is perfect - pH 7.8, Ammonia and nitrite 0, nitrate 5 - also no other fish with symptoms.
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly

Last edited by GingerKoala : 01-16-2009 at 12:02 AM.
  #2  
Old 01-16-2009, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Fighting Mollies and Stress

The agression is probally not going to stop. You may need to isolate the Black in the bucket until it regains strength then give it to someone or the LFS where you got it......If it is real weak now it may never recover.

I wish I could tell you more.....sorry.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2009, 10:10 PM
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GingerKoala GingerKoala is offline
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Default Re: Fighting Mollies and Stress

OK I hope he's not too weak when I get home today. I will put him in the bucket for some time alone and hope for the best. I hope I stop losing fish sometime soon.
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
  #4  
Old 01-16-2009, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Fighting Mollies and Stress

Be sure that the water you put it in stays warm, and you might add a very small amount of salt.(1/16 a teaspoon full)................Please don't get discouraged..........Remember that fish are not treated very well before you get them and are weakened to ailments.......As your tank ages and you learn more and become more experienced, your luck with them will improve.......Review all you are doing and have done and work toward a goal of good water quality and maintenance................I have done this for 45+ years and I am still learning and finding ways to improve my fish keeping skills.
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  #5  
Old 01-17-2009, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Fighting Mollies and Stress

Unfortunately he was too weak when I got home. He was barely moving in the main tank. I put him in the bucket and noticed that his belly was swollen and the scales were sticking out like a pine cone, and his eyes were protruding also, like dropsy. This was new - he didn't look like that before. The water was warm and I added a little salt and tried to feed him but he wouldn't eat. He died less than 2 hours after I moved him.

I am concerned now because this morning the dalmatian started chasing the single remaining female. It's not like he is trying to mate with her by swimming alongside her - he darts toward her and tries to nip her just like he did with the black male. He really seems like an aggressive fish and I think he needs to be kept alone. Fortunately he ignores the platies. At least for now. I'm not sure about adding more females because I don't trust him not to harass them to death one by one.

Thanks for the support - losing fish can be very discouraging.
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
  #6  
Old 01-18-2009, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Fighting Mollies and Stress

Update - it seems like the male molly has calmed down. I watched the tank from a distance for a long time yesterday and he didn't pay much attention to the female, instead spending his time eating the algae from the decor. Also, he didn't chase her today at feeding time. I hope things stabilize like this. I may be able to add another female or two safely if his behavior stays calmer.

The female molly is getting a square-like belly, and swimming less, but she is eating like a pig and doesn't seem stressed. There may be fry in a few days...
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
  #7  
Old 01-18-2009, 04:59 PM
D.Gray D.Gray is offline
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Default Re: Fighting Mollies and Stress

Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerKoala View Post
Update - it seems like the male molly has calmed down. I watched the tank from a distance for a long time yesterday and he didn't pay much attention to the female, instead spending his time eating the algae from the decor. Also, he didn't chase her today at feeding time. I hope things stabilize like this. I may be able to add another female or two safely if his behavior stays calmer.

The female molly is getting a square-like belly, and swimming less, but she is eating like a pig and doesn't seem stressed. There may be fry in a few days...

Glad to hear it, I hope you have a quaranteen/fry tank to put the female in before she has her fry so the male doesn't eat them. When she is done having fry you need to remove her so she doesn't eat them. Also it would be a good idea to get a second female molly to keep the male from constantly harrasing the one you have.

If you don't have a second tank I would recomend getting some plants (floating and rooted) to give the fry places to hide.

Dave
  #8  
Old 01-19-2009, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Fighting Mollies and Stress

I don't have a second tank yet (although I did bring my old 20-gal tank stand home from a friend's house - she had borrowed it to use as a stereo stand...). I agree that a second female would probably stabilize the situation. I will pick up some floating plants at the same time. I have some rooted plants now (broad-leaf and fern types) which should also help. We'll see what happens.
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
  #9  
Old 01-23-2009, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Fighting Mollies and Stress

I have a cave in my tank that is covered with plastic plants. They look like 4 leaf clover and and the foliage is very dense. It gives the fry a place to hide that the larger fish can't get into. My Beta does live in the cave and I'm sure he watches who if giving birth. Some of my Molly and Swordtail fry do survive. Not all but 2-3 per batch, enough to cause over crowding problems.
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Last edited by sandygirl : 01-29-2011 at 01:23 AM.
  #10  
Old 01-24-2009, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Fighting Mollies and Stress

Thanks for the suggestion - the cave is a good idea. So far no fry though - my girl is still boxy and has a big dark gravid spot, very obvious.

I have been observing the tank for several days now, and things seem to be pretty calm overall, even though I haven't added another female molly yet. The male now chases all the other fish (still mostly the female molly), but only at feeding time, and only if I stand and watch while they are eating. If I walk away he stops the aggressive behavior. Weird. He doesn't chase the others if there is no food, even if I am watching up close. Most of the time they all just ignore each other and eat the algae.

I should have a chance to get to the LFS tomorrow and maybe bring home the new fish, and some plants and/or decor for hiding baby fishies.
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
 


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