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FAQs on the Molly Disease: Parasitic
(Ich, Velvet...)

Related Articles: Mollies, & Poeciliids: Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies by Neale Monks, Livebearing Fishes by Bob Fenner,

Related FAQs: Mollies 1, Mollies 2, Molly Identification FAQs, Molly Behavior FAQs, Molly Compatibility FAQs, Molly Selection FAQs, Molly System FAQs,
FAQs on Molly Disease:
Molly Disease 1, Molly Disease 2, Molly Disease 3, Molly Disease 4, Molly Disease 5, Molly Health 6, Molly Health 7, Molly Health 8, Molly Health ,
FAQs on Molly Disease by Category: Environmental, Nutritional (e.g. HLLE), Social, Infectious (Virus, Bacterial, Fungal), Genetic, Treatments
FAQs on Molly Reproduction/Breeding
Molly Reproduction 1, Molly Reproduction 2, Molly Reproduction 3,

Most diseases with Mollienesia start with environmental stress... and are most/best treated by improving the environment...

Temperature and salt use usually defeats Protozoan issues.

Other: Worm, Crustacean parasites require drug treatment.

molly sick? Env., worm....    2/22/17
Hi my name is Steve.
<Kbytes, not Megs Steve>
. I have a 37 gal tank which I started from brand new in a new hobby .. and of course I made the rookie mistake of adding too many fish too soon… eventually all died off due to overstocking and ammonia spikes
<Yikes; toxic; debilitating>

at the end I had a Pleco (was a real trooper through all medications etc.) and 3 mollies 2 female and 1 male, my other fish had no real symptoms other then swimming upside down and eventually dying. My remaining mollies were both pregnant several times but the male was very quick at eating the fry straight from the oven so to speak! He eventually became lethargic and I noticed (and through research) he had Camallanus worms and shortly after the birth of 2 litters of fry the females finally showed signs of it as well. 30 fry were in the tank and the male and eventually the 2 females passed away, over time only 2 of the fry survived.. eventually as well the last of my “first” fish the Pleco died of Finrot… since then I have only added 2 baby Plecos, one I had to put in because another of my tanks got 2 cold in the garage (supposed to be hospital tank but the heater couldn’t keep up with weather conditions) so I put the Pleco in the 37 gal. the tank I have left alone to see if these 2 mollies would survive or show any sign of the Camallanus it has been 2 months now and they seem to be doing fine other then the smaller of the 2 mollies always had a real thick white almost cylindrical something hanging from its anus… I have been watching it closely and it was hanging out 1/8th to ¼ of an inch from its body and yet feces was travelling through it.
<Reads like a prolapsed colon. Search this on WWM>
No change at all until this week when I noticed the thick white was now getting longer and curving and bunching up underneath but not falling off.. today I noticed that the center of the white stuff is red (no sign of Camallanus) and the outer part of the white looks almost cottony. My question is .. because I have read that Camallanus reproduce through the feces of infected fish could this be a sign that the mature Camallanus had died off with the last of the infected fish and could this be the natural reproduction cycle of Camallanus as I have read it takes several months to cycle?
<Possibly; but again, this brings to my mind the poor fish's alimentary canal protruding out of the cloaca, rotting off>
Sorry about the long winded explanation figured you should know the history of my tank (failures) again the tank is a 37 gal , bio wheel filter, ph 7.5-8, 0 nitrites, just over 80 nitrate,
<MUCH too high. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwnitrates.htm
and the Related FAQs linked above. You need to get this below 20 ppm... there are ways detailed here to do so>
0 ammonia, 80 degrees F, 120 kH and 120 gH, I know my nitrates are high and I am doing a 25% water change tonight to help lower it also I am attaching a few pics of the fish in question..
<Need to crop, spiff and then send>
couldn’t get good focus on the blob but figured it might help. Should I remove this fish all together to stop the respreads of Camallanus to be on the safe side or could it be the fishes natural immune system killing off the parasite?
<How did you treat for the roundworms?>
Since these fry were born in the infected tank my home town supply store said they could have an increased immunity to Camallanus.
<Mmm; no such thing as far as I'm aware>
Thank you for any advice you can send my way!
<Welcome; steady on; you appear to have a good mind, steadfastness in your favour. Bob Fenner>

Re: molly sick?    2/23/17
Hi and thank you for the reply.. the round worms I attempted to treat using a pig dewormer in small doses soaked into their normal flaked food.
<Likely one of the anthelminthic compounds that are used for fishes...>
. I believe it slowed the growth of the round worms in the tank to allow the fish time to react to it (and I know this was a long shot) but eventually they all succumbed to the very hard to get rid of round worm, having no fish in the tank to supply the worms with a host seemed to be my only course of action and so far it worked, yay.
<.... Please read here Re Camallanus: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwwormdisf2.htm
As far as my molly in question if you don’t think it could be “the return of the round worm” then I will leave him alone and hope he gets better.. doesn’t seem to affect him, he’s swimming eating and acting normal as compared to the other molly, I resized and cropped the photos.. hopefully these pics will help you and others determine what is wrong with their fish.
<Mmm; mollies are easily lost... for a few reasons. Try the search tool on WWM to review. Bob Fenner>


And now, weird Molly behavior. Env.    6/17/16
Neale, I hope this finds you well.
<Likewise my reply, Tom.>
We have another problem - we have a Molly that is spending a lot of time on the bottom. She'll occasionally sort of raise her head and shake it back and forth and then stop and sit there for a while, until she does it again.
<Shimmies. Quite common among Mollies, and indeed livebearers generally, when stressed. Usually, fixing the environment will effect a recovery. No medications as such required, but if there's something else amiss, like odd
white patches on the body or sudden loss of weight, then treating as per a bacterial infection is a good idea. If the only fish in the tank are Mollies (or other livebearers) then adding salt, 2-3 gram/litre, can help a great deal.>
She was doing that this morning then started swimming like a maniac, sometimes stopping and wiggling. The male lyretail did that with her. Now she's back on the bottom. Ok, Maria just opened the top to get some water for testing and the Molly was up to the surface in a flash. Her appetite has been... vigorous this whole time. She just acts funny when she swims (swims into plant leaves, then backs up and swims around them) and spends a lot of time just sitting on the bottom in out of the way places. Poops a lot.
Water numbers:
pH: 7.4 - 7.5
<What sort of hardness level? Mollies appreciate very hard water.>
Ammonia: 0.75
<Still not zero! Mollies are super-sensitive to ammonia and nitrite in freshwater tanks.>

Nitrates/nitrites: 0
Water gets 25% change weekly, but we haven't been adding bacteria to the 38 gallon tank with water changes.
We just don't know if she's even sick, just acting funny. We had one Molly with some white spots that got lethargic and died and took another well-loved fish with her. (We quarantined them, added some conditioner and PimaFix for fungal infections, and the next morning the pH had dropped from 7.4 to 5.8. Both fish died.) So we're a little skittish, I guess.
So there's a lot of info. Any light you can shed on any of it, we'd appreciate it. Thanks a lot!
<Hope this helps! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: And now, weird Molly behavior   6/17/16

Good info, as USUAL - thank you so much! Hardness might be a problem. We have soft water. Would hard water be a problem for the tetras and the platy?
<Platies will usually thrive in the same conditions as Mollies, though Mollies do prefer more heat than Platies; Platies are optimally kept around 22-25C/72-77F whereas Mollies are more 25-28C/77-82F sort of beasts. But so far as water chemistry goes, both like hard, alkaline, basic conditions.
Tetras are predominantly soft water fish, with a few exceptions. Generally not good companions for Mollies because of this. That said, it will depend on your tetras. X-Ray Tetras, Black Widows, 'False' Penguins, and Emperor Tetras will all do just fine up to 20 degrees dH, PH 8, which is fine for Mollies. You can add baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, to raise hardness. Do read:
Something like a half teaspoon baking soda per 20 litres/5 US gallons would be about right. Use a test kit to check before adding any such water to your aquarium.>
These will likely be the last mollies we get. Sheesh.
<As I've said many times, Mollies really aren't community fish and shouldn't be sold/bought as such. They are very beautiful, yes, but quite demanding. Kept on their own though they can look superb! Big tanks with big groups are wonderful. Check out Liberty Mollies some time. I saw a group of them in a single-species set up, designed with lots of flat rocks for them to graze on. Really beautiful fish, and patriotic too if you happen to live in a country with a red, white and blue flag! Cheers, Neale.>
Oh, crap...      8/21/16
We got rid of the mollies. But there's still some ammonia
in the 38 gallon tank - less than 1, more than 0.5. It looks like a ghost tank. We've lost two white skirt tetras, and now nobody is swimming.
<But no sign of Whitespot any more?>
Even the 12 neon are sitting towards the bottom in a clump, swimming a bit, but low in the tank. The remaining white skirts just hang and our platy is just sitting on the bottom.
<Do lower the water level a bit so there is more splashing. Is the water moving briskly? Is the water too warm? The fish behaviour could be related to low oxygen level. Review, and act accordingly.>
The pH is 7.2, no nitrites, a wee trace of nitrates, water is soft, alkalinity around 80. We have added ammo lock and bacteria. I'm afraid were going to lose the tank.
The other tank is fine, even though the ammonia has been higher. Could our filtration be too weak? Gah!
<A typical community tank needs to have a water turnover rate around 6 times the volume of the aquarium per hour. So if you have a 38-gallon aquarium, you'd buy a filter rated at 228 gallons/hour. You can find this value on the filter pump or the packaging. Pretty much ignore anything stating "suitable for tanks of 10-40 gallons" or whatever, because these
are really optimistic values assuming spotlessly clean filter media and very low stocking densities of small fishes such as Neons or Guppies. Much better to use the turnover rate. Provided you have that sort of turnover rate, and assuming the media is appropriate (i.e., biological filter media rather than, say, carbon), mature (over 6 weeks old) and properly
maintained (you don't clean the media under a hot tap) then the filter should be adequate. Check the ammonia level of a sample of dechlorinated tap water. If the ammonia level is identical, then the ammonia test kit is probably picking up neutralised tap water ammonia or chloramine, neither of which are a worry. I find nitrite test kits more useful because they're less likely to be related to tap water, though occasionally tap water does contain nitrite. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Oh, crap... it's ich      8/21/16

The white skirts have it. We see spots on their fins, looks like the pics we've seen. Everything we see about all this stuff is contradictory - one says do this, next one says do the opposite, third one says do nothing. And thus all started with those mollies.
<Usually Whitespot gets into a tank via the addition of new fish. Once eliminated, the aquarium is normally free from Whitespot until something else is added from the pet store. If this was me, I'd be treating using salt/heat, as described earlier, or else using a proprietary medication, my personal favourite in terms of safety and value being eSHa EXIT.>
So, 38 gallon tank. Four white skirt tetras, twelve neons, one platy, and a Pleco (algae eater). Live plants, which are replaceable. If you can give me one suggestion, one plan of action, maybe we don't need to turn the aquarium into a bookcase.
<See above. Assuming you don't have carbon in the filter, commercial Whitespot medications are very effective. So is the salt/heat method if done right (2 gram/litre of water; temperature up to 28 C). If Whitespot is the issue here, either of these will fix it. Once that's done, your aquarium should be parasite-free. As for the ammonia, do see my previous email re: ammonia in tap water.>
Maria's doing multiple water changes to deal with spiky ammonia levels.
<Don't change more than, say, 10-20% per day. And if the filter is basically functioning right and of adequate size, you should be able to scale these back within a week to the usual 20% change per week.>
Down to 0.5 - 0.75, not zero, but low. This is supposed to be fun and relaxing. �� Gah.
<It is fun and relaxing. Once a tank is set up properly and given periodic water changes, fish are BY FAR the easiest and cheapest pets around. Virtually no work. The problem is if the tank isn't quite right, and more often than not, that's through setting it up wrong, such as buying too many fish too soon, not getting compatible fish, etc. Still, compared to a sick dog or cat, fish are cheap! Have you visited a vet recently?!>
Sorry, and thanks.
<Welcome, Neale.>

Mollies... worms? Lernaea... ?   3/20/12
Hi there WetWeb crew.  I have a tank with Mollies of various breeds and ages.  I noticed that a couple of my fish had Ick so I turned up the temp to 82F, took out the activated carbon, and did an ick treatment and repeated 48 hours after.  Now I see the ick is gone but it is replaced by these dark brown/red worms that are attached to the fish's tail.  I did another ick treatment thinking it might work. What are these worms?  Is my tank done for?  What can I do?  Hope you can help, Jacquie.
<Are the worms attached to the tail fin, or are they emerging from the anus, just in front of the anal fin? If the latter, these are likely Camallanus. If just keeping Mollies, switching to strongly brackish conditions should break the life cycle of either worm type; perhaps one-quarter salinity initially, SG 1.006, about 9 grammes marine salt mix per litre of water. Cheers, Neale.> 
More re Mollies, worms   3/20/12

Another possibility: Lernaea. Read here re:
Bob Fenner
More re Mollies, worms   3/20/12

Another possibility: Lernaea. Read here re:
Bob Fenner
<Ah, do agree Bob, hence recommendation for strongly brackish water, which should shift (almost) all kinds of external parasites… standard operating practise on fish farms, with salt-tolerant Salmonidae, Cichlidae. Even better, Jacquie, if Mollies can be moved to half-strength or full-strength seawater for an extended period… hours, days. Perhaps doable with buckets? This is one of the real advantages of brackish water fish… the relative ease with which external parasites can be controlled, eliminated. Cheers, Neale.>
<<I do agree. Thought I'd add the poss. for review's sake. BobF>>
Re... FW worm poss.    3/21/12
Wow!! Thank you Bob and Neale  I was not expecting such a response from you and in such a timely manner.  I can assume that if one fish has these worms the rest of them probably have them too, I just can't see them yet.  The worms themselves are only on the fins there are no sores or red spots or marks of any kind and there are none coming from the anus.
<Do send along a well resolved pic please>
 The ick is completely gone and I will put the carbon in tomorrow.   Now all I have is mollies (got rid of the golden algae eater as per your advise)  so can I just make their tank heavily brackish rather than using a bucket?
<You could, yes>
  I have a twenty gallon tank so how much salt, in tablespoons, should I put in to make the salinity high enough.
<... please learn to/use the search tool/indices....
  The tank itself is already semi-brackish I will just deduct how much I have already put in to what you say.  And how long do I leave it like that?
 Also what caused the worms to begin with?  I have not bought any new fish in well over a month.  Was it the ick?  Thanks again Jacquie.
Re Mollie Worms    3/21/12

Hi, Jacquie here again.  I just want to make sure I have this conversion right.  You said 9 grams per liter.  I have a 20 gallon tank/ 75 liter. <So, 9 grammes x 75 litres = 675 grammes. Sounds a lot, I know, but seawater contains 35 grammes per litre, so if this was a marine aquarium, that'd be about 2.6 kg, well over 5 lb for a 20 gallon aquarium! If you don't believe me, check out the salt at your local retailer: a 3 lb bag makes about 10 US gallons. By all means use the measurements on the marine aquarium salt package you have. If it says it makes X gallons of water for a marine aquarium, you want about 20-25% of that amount for X gallons of brackish water. Does that make sense?>
So I am putting 675 grams of marine salt in my tank which is about 2 1/2 cups of salt.
<Yes, but NOT ALL AT ONCE! Make up a brine solution, adding the required 675 g salt to, say, a couple litres of hot water. Stir it in thoroughly; dechlorinate. Remove a couple litres of water from the aquarium. Then, over the next couple of days, add portions of this, maybe 10% every 2-4 hours, half one day, and half the next. That'd give time for the aquarium filter to adapt. The fish couldn't care less, but the filter bacteria might.>
It sounds like a lot but if you say its right I will do it!  I want to rid this tank of the worms.  Thank you in advance.
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Dalmatian Mollies, and assorted other queries... hlth. 6/7/10
Hullo, I would like to inquire about the usual coloration of Dalmatian Mollies. I purchased three smaller ones, still babies really. One, the male, is black with white flecks. The other two are most likely female and white with black flecks. When I purchased them, they had gold flecks as well, and while the flecks have not spread, or grown in any way, I have become rather paranoid as to whether they have Velvet.
<Velvet is usually accompanied with "flashing", where the fish flicks itself against solid objects. Also, fish with Velvet commonly breathe heavily because the parasites infect the gills, often before the appear anywhere else.>

There are also two larger Sunset Fire Platys.
<Do be aware that Platies require cooler water than Mollies, and unlike Platies, Mollies generally do better in slightly saline conditions; the two species make poor choices for the same aquarium>
(One of which I fear is pregnant), neither of which have developed gold flecks, nor came with them and the Platys and Mollies were in the same tank at the Fish store. An additional inquiry; the male is apparently a vampire, or zombie if that suits you. He was caught by mistake with the two Platys and I took him as well because he is gorgeous. For two days he was frisky, then to all appearances, died. He was motionless, and wedged within a shell
in the tank.
<Moribund fish often drift into shells; take care not to assume he got stuck and thereby became sick or damaged.>
When I went to remove him, he came back to life with a vengeance, and for a day was active; then he 'died' again-to the point I actually poked him and he did not move until I tried to remove him. Then I purchased the two white-base Mollies, and he is now constantly active and for all intents and purposes happy. (Though all three are slightly neurotic when I turn the airstone off for any period of time despite the adequate filter and many live plants for oxygen). Is there a possibility to overcrowd a tank with Plants?
<Does depend on the plants. Biogenic decalcification can happen when certain plants, e.g., Elodea and Vallisneria, are kept, and if sufficient carbonate hardness is removed, pH will drop rapidly. Under normal conditions plants have almost zero impact on how much oxygen there is in the aquarium. The idea they are "oxygenators" is an erroneous one; they are not, at least, not under aquarium conditions.>
(other than the obvious being you cannot see into the tank-I do not mean that many) I have two small fern (less than three inches high) and a grouping of three or so large leafed plants about a palms height. If my platy is pregnant, I intend to let nature have at with the fry, but also want to give them a fighting chance as this tank is supposed to mimic a natural setting to the best of my abilities. (I am working on replicants of all my favorite diving sites and this is the first). Needless to say, these plants are living. ~RJ
<Time to do some reading.
Cheers, Neale.>

Molly with Velvet?? 5/26/2010
Hi I have a 26 gallon brackish water
<How brackish? Velvet, freshwater velvet at least, is not especially salt-tolerant, though more so than Ick, and above SG 1.005 it is relatively rare. So one thing to check/do is raise the salinity to SG 1.005 (9 grammes marine salt mix/litre) and see what happens. Otherwise you'll have to use the standard copper-based Velvet medications.>
tank with 1 full grown black male molly and about 20 fry. I also have a 10g brackish quarantine tank that has a female black lyretail molly (she is the mother of all the fry in both tanks) and her 6 new born fry. I decided to separate the female because I know she still has more babies to give birth to and the male was chasing her and stressing her out.
<Keep at least 2 females per male.>
I had no choice but to put her in my q-tank, which now leaves me no place to treat sick fish. Two days ago, I noticed my female molly in the 10 g tank covered in gold. The fry seem fine and have only the usual gold coloring under their belly (they were born that way). I am assuming it's velvet that has infected my female molly.. What do you think?
<Velvet should be distinctive. Look for fine, icing sugar particles, golden tint, heavy breathing because of gill damage/infection, and periodic "flashing" as fish scratch themselves against solid objects.>
She is still very active and eating well. I have no idea how this happened...Anyways, I did a 50% water change, added Aquarisol to treat for velvet, removed carbon, raised temperature to 84 degrees, and added extra salt.
<How much salt? And for what it's worth, there are strains of Oodinium that are more tolerant of salt than others, and of course there is a marine version of the disease that exists from about SG 1.012 through to 1.025.>
She has shown no signs of progress. I am not experienced on handling disease when it comes to fry. Is there anything else I can do that will be safe for the pregnant molly & the fry? Also, is it possible that this color change could be a normal part of aging? Any input would be appreciated!
Please help, I don't want to lose any of my fish. Thanks.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Molly with Velvet?? 5/27/10

Hi Neale,
Thanks for the info. Ok, I originally had 1table spoon of instant ocean marine salt (not sure if this contains Oodinium) per gal and now bumped it up to 2.
<Tablespoons per what? Cup of water? Pint? Litre? Gallon? Barrel? It makes a difference! One level TEASPOON is about 6 grammes, so 1.5 level teaspoons should be 9 grammes, and that's how much you want to add per litre of water. If you use gallons, there's 3.78 US gallons per litre.>
She does dart quickly; however, I removed all objects to avoid injury from scraping up against anything.
Is Aquari-sol an adequate copper based treatment?
<Contains copper sulphate, so should be, if used correctly.>
Also, the gold is not like a fine dust particle or crystal but more like the scale color.
<Sounds like velvet.>
I've attached several photos since they may be able to give you a better description of what I'm working with here.
<Too small to tell. Cell phones really aren't suited to photographing microscopic organisms!>
Prior to 3 days ago, the female was solid black. Although, when I first got her, I put her in a freshwater tank (ignorant to brackish systems and so forth and she began having the symptom of white spots) I moved her into the
10g and made that completely brackish and her symptoms subsided. She has been in a brackish system now for about 2.5 months and has been thriving.
This came up out of no where!
<My guess is that this system isn't as brackish as you think, and that's allowed the Velvet to become established. Ensure the salinity is 9 grammes per litre and see what happens. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Molly with Velvet?? 5/27/10
Alrighty, I put 1 tablespoon per gallon,
<One LEVEL tablespoon is three LEVEL teaspoons, i.e., about 3 x 6 = 18 grammes. One gallon is 3.78 litres, so that's a dose of 4.8 grammes per litre, about half as much as you need to treat Velvet reliably.>
I thought I previously mentioned that, sorry.
<No problem.>
Now, I have it at 2 table spoons per gallon.
<Closer to the mark. Honestly, this is easier in metric. So can we do this in grammes per litre? There's a reason scientists use the metric system!
It's easy! When you say spoonfuls, I have no idea if you're using actual measuring spoons or mere cutlery, or whether you're using them heaped or level. These things make a difference!>
I would think this is sufficient for brackish systems??? Maybe not.
<For a brackish water system you'd be using marine salt mix at a dose of between 6-9 grammes per litre, i.e., SG 1.003 to 1.005.>
I took the pics with a camera and uploaded them, I made them small so that I could send all of them. I will try again now, so that you can see
<You seem to have send 24 images. I don't have that kind of time, and least not if I want to help other people here at WWM as well, so I looked at the first two. Didn't really show me clearly anything. It isn't obvious that this velvet from those images, so do take some time to look at photos of Velvet online, and compare against, for example, Slime Disease, Whitespot, ammonia burns, and genetic changes in the colouration of fish. Cheers, Neale.>
Molly with Velvet??? 5/27/10
Hi Neale,
<Hello again,>
Total of 37.85 litres (10g)
Total of 28.4 grams of salt (in the 10g tank)
37.85/28.4 =
approximately 1.33 grams of salt per litre.
<Not nearly enough to deal with Velvet, if that's the problem here.>
These pics should show you more...sorry to waste your time and I'm not trying to take time away from others.
<Not a problem. But one or two good images around 500 KB in size is what we do specifically ask for. This time you sent 20 MB of images! Apart from taking forever to download -- I gave up -- that blocks up our limited e-mail mailbox space. Please, we have these very minor rules in place for a reason, and not to be awkward.>
I'm just wanting to get a professional opinion. I'm sending this to you from another email to see if this will do the trick with viewing the pictures!
<See above. It's gone 10 PM here in England, and I'm about ready for bed. Downloading just one of your 4 MB images was taking forever, so I gave up. I'm not about to wait 10 minutes waiting for them to download... Forgive me.>
Thanks for the info.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Ich Advice, mollies, more  - 06/05/09
Hi There,
I have been reading your site very diligently over the past two days as we realized two of our black mollies have ich. The information you have provided and the q/a section has been very helpful. I am sure every tank, like every fish has a different story and set of issues :-)
<As does every individual>
In our tank we have 4- 2 yr old silver mollies (not even an 1�), 3 large red Platies, 5 of their off spring and then ~10 of their off spring (3 generations), also 2 pop belly mollies, 3 black mollies, two (heckle and
jeckle) yellow mollies, 3 baby swordtails, one beautiful 5� rainbow shark
<El rey>
and ~15 more tiny babies of a mix (we thing black and yellow). Our tank has been very �busy� as of late.
Anyways our tank heater failed a couple weeks ago and the water temp spiked to almost 90 degrees (yikes). Now we have ich! Our water chemistry is perfect! The Ph was a bit high but controlled that by removing a piece of drift wood.
<Unusual... such material/s generally lower pH with their decomposition>
From a treatment perspective we have done the following- removed the carbon from the Whisper and canister filter, used ½ of the full dose of Para Guard from Seachem as only two of the black mollies show spots and we don't want to kill the babies (I would rather extend the treatment cycle than risk losing them). We have kept the lights (compact florescent) off except for ~15 minutes to check for spots daily, closed the curtains to eliminate more light, done ~50% water changing using a gravel vac and have added the
recommended salt (done once so far). We are slowing raising the temp of the tank from 74 to 84- should reach 84 by tomorrow night.
<So far...>
I am happy to say that the two fish that visibly had spots are looking better, the babies and other fish do not look stressed although some are spending more time near the top � not sucking air though.
My questions:
- how long do we continue this treatment?
<I'd treat at full dose, per the bottle recommendations>
- How often do we really need to do a water change/vacuum if our chemistry is good (checking daily)?
<Not at all if so>
- Is there anything else we should be doing?
<Not likely>
- Some say that we should stop feeding the fish during this process? Rumor? I haven't read that on your site.
<I would continue to feed>
- Do we really need to keep the lights off (I miss watching the fish already)?
Thank you very much for your time and input.
Kerrie Minoia
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Molly Question 03/26/2008 Hi I've got a 160ltr tank which has been going for about 10 months now, it's got mollies, platys, Endler's and guppies in it. I've had a issue before with platy's dying from the skinnies, but I've never had a problem with mollies before until now. <What's the "Skinnies"?> I have 6 second generation marble mollies, and over the last few days they have been feeling poorly with the shimmers and tail fin clamping. Today they seem much better, they are swimming around happily, eating and I haven't seen a shimmer in over 24 hours. <Do check temperature and salinity, both key factors with Mollies. Given you're keeping all livebearers together, adding salt to this tank is easy and safe. I'd be going with 6 grammes per litre of water, and use MARINE SALT MIX, not "aquarium salt". The Mollies will be altogether healthier in every way, and the other livebearers will appreciate the extra alkalinity. If you have a hydrometer, what you're aiming for is a specific gravity of SG 1.003.> However on 3 of them I've noticed what appear to be 2 red spikes coming out of them. It's not fecal matter, it's different to that, one of them it's coming from it's anus, but the other two has it coming from higher up their bodies towards their stomachs. Is this a normal thing? I've never seen it before. <These are Camallanus worms, seemingly quite common among livebearers in both the US and UK. So I'm guessing there's an issue here with breeding and transport. In any case, you need an anti-helminth medication. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwwormdisfaqs.htm  > I'm sorry if I'm being really stupid about this, I've have raised them since birth and I really don't want to lose them now! <Indeed!> Any help would be appreciated. Annabel <Cheers, Neale.>

Hi, it's me again, the serial Molly killer... 12/3/07 Hi Crew! <Ah, it's the Head Warden at Molly Death Row again... Hello again, ma'am.> I've had several long chats with some of you, the last few ones were with Neale. All of my Mollies died of the same thing (7 so far), and the 8th is most likely dying as we speak. They all had Callamanus worms, or something that looks identical to every picture of Callamanus I've seen. I've treated with PraziPro countless times, and it's not working - or rather, it's not doing what it's supposed to. <Sometimes this does happen. The basic thing with fish medication is this: it's mild, and designed to treat what in human terms would be considered 'outpatient' sicknesses. Very few fish medications can deal with severe trauma or acute infections. That's just a fact of life, and short of getting the "hard stuff" from a vet, once fish diseases advance to a certain point, they often don't make it, however much medicine you add to the tank. This underlines the two Golden Rules that get stressed over and over: quarantine livestock, and treat at the first sign of disease.> If I don't treat, I get thin fish, shy fish, then dead fish. If I treat, they start pooing in a corkscrew within a few hours, then after about a week I find them heavily bloated upside down at the bottom of the aquarium. I learned how to use clove oil and my freezer. <Oops.> My last survivor came in as the aquarium was about halfway through a PraziPro treatment. Then I retreated about three weeks later, just to be sure. She was still fat and happy. No corkscrew poo, which usually shows up after a few hours only, so I thought she was all right. Then about a month and a half after that, she started hiding. I knew something was wrong, and sure enough, a close examination revealed the presence of the three-or-so usual small red threads in her anus. <Does indeed sound like Callamanus.> Why? Everybody tells me that Prazi Pro is the right treatment, but it ended up killing every fish I tried it on. My theory is that the worms die inside of them and it makes them constipated, and because of the dead worm they get an infection and end up bloating and dying. <Sounds plausible.> Why, if I treated the aquarium AND the fish twice already, are they still getting sick with the same thing? Maybe the PraziPro is not effective on worm eggs? Or is my bottle defective (I don't think so, or it wouldn't have an effect at all, and this stuff does)? What is wrong? She's been treated twice, and the aquarium too, she shouldn't still have them! <In the UK, a drug called 'Flubenol 15' seems to be favoured (in part because PraziPro is licensed for over-the-counter sale here). Flubenol 15 is apparently a milder medication and takes longer to work, but it causes less stress to small fish especially. The chief side-effect of Flubenol 15 is that it kills practically all lower invertebrates, not just tapeworms and nematodes. So if you have snails in the tank, they'll die.> I've talked husbandry with Neale before, and he agrees that what I do should be working. I have them in brackish water, they eat mainly greens, I have no detectable nitrates, etc. everything seemed fine when we talked about it. It's just this worm thing! <All sounds perfect. In any case, I'd treat with PraziPro (double dose!) or Flubenol 15 before adding any more livestock. Keep the filter going by adding a pinch of flake every day or so. The fish food will rot, and produce the required ammonia in the process.> Any tips on trying to save the last one? I haven't seen her poo for about three days, her anus is enlarged, and she's mostly hiding, but she's still trying to eat even though she spits out most of what she takes in her mouth... I have Metronidazole and Furan at home, I even have Epsom salts, those are the things usually recommended for bloat, but in this case, I'm not sure they'll do much good... I just don't want to give up before the fish does... <I think you're doing all you can. Short of Flubenol 15, I don't see any other moves in this particular game. Mother Nature won, and the worms have done their thing. You might also consider getting your next batch of Mollies from another retailer.> Also... what to do next? I don't really feel like buying any more Mollies. I know the stock where we used to buy them are infected, I've learned to recognize the signs by now - there are too many emaciated Mollies in their tanks... we have a better supplier, but I'm afraid that if I put fish in our tank they'll catch it again, even if they're healthy to start with. <Spot on. This would be my worry, too. At some point you have to draw a line.> Should I put the snails and shrimp in another tank and just bleach the heck out of this one? <Bleach might be overkill. I'd simply raise the salinity to 50-100% seawater. That'll kill any thing in the tank. Leave thus for a week. You'll probably need to re-cycle the biological filter, but since you already have another tank, that's a no-brainer: just take some mature filter media out of the second tank and 'inoculate' this Molly aquarium. You can remove up to 50% of the media in a mature filter without causing any serious problems.> It seems a shame to kill off what we've built this year, but right now we're going nowhere and I'm about ready to give up on buying any more fish. Friends of mine have Platies... 29 in a 16 gallon tank because they kept breeding, and breeding, and breeding, and she kept saving them because she couldn't stand to see them eaten. They're waiting for us to call them to take some of them off their hands... I'm just afraid to kill them too, and if they're coming from a friend, it's even worse! We're the ones who taught them how to start an aquarium, and we can't even keep our own fish alive!!! <I have to admit I've found a lot of fancy Platies to be well below acceptable in terms of quality and longevity. That said, good Variatus Platies especially are simply darling animals.> Well... everything's not lost... The Betta is doing beautifully in his own Eclipse III... If it weren't for this one success, we'd have given up a long time ago... <It's just one setback. Everyone has them. Even me! I can't keep Neons alive however hard I try! They all seem plagued with Neon Tetra Disease here, and the local hard water is the final nail in the coffin. So what you do is pick yourself up, dust yourself off, say "Mollies aren't for me" and move on to something else. Do check out some of the 'wild-type' livebearers, like Limia nigrofasciatus, Xiphophorus xiphidium, Xiphophorus alvarezi, Micropoecilia picta or Xenotoca eiseni. Because they're not so inbred they're much hardier, but no more difficult to keep. And you get the joy of keeping fish that are "out of the ordinary". Fish clubs are usually good places to find sources of these species, though most aquarium stores can get them if you ask.> Thank you all for your time, your understanding, and your help. At least, with you, we might, one day, learn to reform our ways and NOT kill our pets :-( Good night, Audrey <Aw, don't sound so blue! Spend the time reflecting, reading, learning, and then moving forwards! Cheers, Neale.>

Mollies with Ich and nitrites issue -- 06/29/07 Hello Marco. <Hi Melissa.> Thank you so much for your help. <You are welcome.> I'm sure you won't be surprised to find out that the little guys now have ich, which I noticed this morning. My frustration meter has just quadrupled, and that's partially due to the fact that every website I look at says something different about treatment. <There are several different methods to successfully treat this parasite.> One thing after another thanks to my lack of patience. Oh well, live and learn I suppose. <Yes, and read.> Any suggestions? <Please read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm  and the linked FAQs to learn about ich. For mollies a treatment with salt works well in my experience. Rid Ich (Malachite Green and Formalin) may also work, but may cause problems with your biological filtration. If you want to use it, it'd be a good idea to put the filter into a bucket with untreated tank water until the treatment is over. Water changes and careful dosing will be needed, because you already have nitrites and removing the filter will increase the need for dilution of the nitrites.> I have Rid Ich, but I haven't used it yet because I don't want to do anything else incorrectly. I feel so lost now, with the nitrites, a crappily cycled tank, and now ich. Where should I start? <Large water changes to get rid of the nitrites. For ich salt or Rid Ich may work.> Sincerely, Melissa. <Good luck. Marco.>

Mollie with internal parasites?  - 4/6/07 Hi all! <<Hello, Audrey. Tom here. It's been some time since we spoke.>> You helped get me started a few months ago. Your site got me to amaze myself getting rid of an algae problem by myself in two weeks. Thanks to your good counsels, we have a few happy fish -- and a second tank that cycled in three days. All great so far, until... <<Sounded great up until the 'until'¦', Audrey.>> Once again, I come to you for help. <<Okay.>> One of our balloon Mollies started losing weight. She's always been a real pig, very inquisitive and somewhat odd. She ate so much I was afraid she'd get constipated and die on us in the first few weeks we had her. I'd suspected something was wrong with the other Mollie we bought at the same time, but she'd always been very shy and scrawny so when she died I thought I'd just inherited a balloon Mollie with bad genetics - until the odd one started losing weight. <<More than coincidence, I'd say.>> Last weekend, it got so bad I switched her over from the main tank to the small tank so she could be on her own (with the Apple snail). She was hanging at the top of the aquarium just below the water line doing nothing and she was hiding from us, and eating only a little. I did my research here, strongly suspected internal parasites and then called a few local places. Our best supplier (sadly they sell only saltwater) told us we could get Metronidazole at the local pharmacy (they don't sell the medicated food around here because of some silly rule the vets passed a few years ago). <<Ah, those 'rules' again.>> I dissolved about 100 mg in a tiny bit of water and soaked some frozen bloodworms in it (her usual Saturday treat, usually she gets Hikari flakes but soggy flakes didn't seem like a good idea). She got two or three on Wednesday morning and the rest on Wednesday night. She started swimming around again in a few hours only. Major, immediate improvement. <<Good to hear this.>> Now, it's Friday night and I'm worried. She's swimming around and she's back to her odd, hungry self but I can see two short, fine, reddish things sticking out of her anus. <<My first thought would be Camallanus, Audrey, but it would be an inappropriate 'jump' to draw an absolute conclusion about this.>> I know Metronidazole shouldn't be administered repeatedly, but in this case, is it indicated to try again? <<There are varying reports on the efficacy of Metronidazole when it comes to treating infestations of this sort. You might find Praziquantel readily available to you and it's a safe, effective treatment.>> She pooped a lot (well, what seems like a normal amount for a Molly anyway) and the red things are still there. Will they go away on their own or should I assume she still has something living in her? <<They're still there and probably doing well, unfortunately.>> If I do give some to her again, how much should I use? Should I add some to the water as well? They do sell the Jungle Labs parasite guard (the back of the bottle said not to use on food) around here. I'm worried she'll re-infect herself eating her own poo at the bottom of the tank. <<I'd shoot for the Praziquantel here, Audrey. Overall, I think it would be the safest way to go as well as being very effective. Hopefully, this medication doesn't have the restrictions on it that you've run across in the past.>> Thank you for your help. Worriedly, Audrey <<Your concern is understandable, Audrey, but this is treatable. Best of luck. Tom>>
Re: Molly with internal parasites?
  4/19/07 Bonjour Tom! <<Bonjour, Audrey! Quoi de neuf?>> So, you remember me from the chats we had in January - yes it's been some time, because everything was going well :-) No news in this case is good news... <<Glad to hear it.>> I just wanted to let you know how things worked out. I did some poking around and couldn't decide if I needed Praziquantel (per your recommendation) or Levamisole (which was mentioned on a few sites for Calamanus and similar problems). In any case, I couldn't find Levamisole alone, so I went for the Jungle Labs medicated food, since it contains the three most common anti-parasite medications. <<Without belaboring it, Audrey, the Levamisole wasn't a recommendation of mine for several reasons, not the least of which was availability. Another is that it's a pain in the backside (if you'll pardon the expression) to dose fish accurately with the stuff. Fortunately, a little overdosing does not appear to have adverse effects but the Praziquantel was definitely my first choice here.>> Getting her to eat it was quite a challenge. We ended up soaking the food and crushing it with a tiny amount of bloodworms. Otherwise, she'd spit out every single bite she took. <<Resourceful of you. Well done!>> And it made her poo like crazy - crazy amounts and crazy colours too (alternating dark and pale stripes, almost 3 inches long). <<Normally, I'd tell someone that this was more information than I really wanted but, in your case'¦  :) >> I'll try garlic this weekend, maybe she'll like it (our Betta goes crazy over thawed peas, but the Molly won't touch them - crazy animals). <<Peas are not my favorite veggie either, I'm afraid.>> The label says to feed three days in a row every week for four weeks. We've done one three-day treatment. On the morning of the third day I could still see the red worms. I don't know if they're still there now. <<Good bet that if they were still there, you'd see them.>> BUT, the good news is that she's totally, totally CRAZY! She's dizzying. Up, down, through the castle, around the thermometer, poking at the bottom, swimming backwards with nose straight up looking for food in the floating plants,  pulling on the roots, playing in the current from the filter, or trying to eat every single bit of floating stuff (mostly water lentil bits) that happen to float by... She was like that when we bought her. She's quite something. <<Sounds like it, Audrey. I could use some of that energy myself!>> Oh, and she's interested in human fingers again. A few days ago, she was running away from them. Sorry, I'm babbling again. I just think they're all so endearing and interesting... <<Babble away! I love the enthusiasm! It makes our work all the more worthwhile when folks give us feedback like this.>> All in all, I don't know if she's cured, but at least it did *something* and she seems a lot better. <<They're resilient creatures if we give them a fighting chance. You've done well.>> So... "merci beaucoup" for encouraging me. Now I just have to be patient and keep on treating her on schedule! <<Je vous en prie! Important here to complete the entire regimen of treatments. (Hard to fault a product, or manufacturer, if we don't do as they ask.)>> Thanks again! Audrey <<Thank you for the feedback, Audrey. Good to hear from you again. Cordialement! Tom>>

Mollies Shaking - 01/27/2007 Hi <Hello.  Sabrina with you today.> We have a 40 Lt tank, with guppies and mollies. Most of the fish were born in our tank. Two of the black marble mollies (I think females but they are still a bit small to be sure) have this weird behaviour, they swim to the bottom section of the tank, in the corner and face down they shake their bodies - this can last for about two to three minutes a time and they do it approximately every 5 -- 10 minutes. They appear otherwise healthy, as do the other fish in the tank. What could be the reason for this behaviour? <In my experience, this "shimmy" has usually been indicative of a "skin slime" parasite - Costia, Childonella, Icthyobodo....  Other symptoms, though harder to see, would include occasional clamping of the fins and a slight "film" or "cloud" to the skin and fins.  I have also been of the understanding that this "shimmying" can be due to a lack of electrolytes or salts in the water.  If guppies and mollies are all you have, I'd try adding one to two tablespoons of aquarium salt per five gallons of water (12 to 24 grams per 19 liters).  This amount of salt will not be harmful to either guppies or mollies and will actually be quite beneficial to both.  This *may* also help if it is in fact a "skin slime" parasite, but if the symptoms persist after some days, or if the symptoms worsen and the fish get notably "sick", you might consider treating with an anti-protozoan medication.  Of course, this part goes without saying, but I'd better say it anyway:  Be sure to keep ammonia and nitrite at ZERO and nitrate below 20ppm with regular water changes.> Thanks for the great information you supply on your site. <I'm glad you've found it useful, thanks!> Steph <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Mollies W/Ich 11/04/03  <Hi, Pufferpunk here>  First, let me say WOW! what a great web-site. I have learned so much since finding your site. Thank you!  <Thanks for the compliment!>  My question is, how old do baby mollies need to be before you can treat them for ich? The fry are about 1 week and 3 days. There are 13 of them in a 5 gallon tank. I removed them from the main tank because I noticed ich on the mother and 1 guppy. In the main tank are 1 molly (used to be 2, another female lost her after birth), 3 guppies (1 male, 2 female).   So far my method in the fry tank has been to keep the water temp at 80 F.  Keep the tank lights off and put in 1 Tablespoon of salt. That seemed to help, most of the white spots are gone, but a couple of the fry still have 1 or 2 spots.  <I personally don't use any meds for the treatment of ich. I would think newborn fish would not fair well w/any kind of meds. Here is the info I have printed on ich at my puffer website. The same goes for any fish.  If some morning you get up and it looks like someone has salted the body, fins, and gills of your fish, you are looking at "Ich", sometimes called ick, or white spot disease. "Ich" is a protozoan parasite with the scientific name of Ichthyophthirius multifilius. It is the largest of the ciliated protozoans. It is easily introduced into your tank by new fish or equipment or plants that have been moved from one tank to another. A quarantine tank is the best way to prevent introducing this parasite into your display tank. If you see ich on your fish they should be treated immediately. In heavily stocked tanks it can cause massive death rates within a very short period of time. Some symptoms before white spots appear may include flashing, clamped fins, weakness, loss of appetite, and decreased activity. In the case of heavy gill infestations, you may not see evidence of white spots, but may find your fish breathing heavily at the surface of your tank. Secondary bacterial and respiration difficulties may result, so keep an eye out for complications in addition to the ich infection.   The best way to prevent ich, as I stated above, is to quarantine all incoming fish. A minimum of three weeks in quarantine (in my opinion) is the best way to go. When kept at 76 to 83 degrees, incoming fish that have been exposed to ich may show symptoms within the first 3 days. However, at cooler temperatures, ich outbreaks may take longer to show up because of its lengthened life cycle. Water temperature has a tremendous effect on how fast the life cycle of ich is completed. At water temperatures of 75 to 79 degrees F, the life cycle is completed in about 48 to 72 hours. In water temperatures below 75, it takes much longer for the parasite to complete its life cycle.  LIFE CYCLE: There are three phases to the life cycle of this protozoan. Ich is susceptible to treatment at only one stage of its life cycle, so knowing the life cycle is important.  ADULT PHASE: the parasite attaches itself under the mucus layer of the skin or gills, causing irritation and the appearance of small white spots. As the parasite matures, it feeds on blood and skin cells. After some time, the parasite breaks through the mucus layer and falls to the bottom of the aquarium.  CYST PHASE: after falling to the bottom of the aquarium, the adult cyst bursts and divides into numerous daughter cells called tomites.  FREE SWIMMING PHASE: after the cyst phase, the free swimming tomites search for a host. If a host fish is not found within 2 to 3 days, the parasite dies. Once a host is found the whole cycle begins again. These three phases take about 28 days at 70 degrees F but only 3 days at 80 degrees F. For this reason it is recommended that the aquarium water be raised to between 80-86 degrees F. for the duration of the treatment. If the fish can stand it, raise the temperature to 86 degrees. Raising the aquarium temperature in this manner will shorten the length of time between the cyst phase and the free swimming tomite stage. It is during the free swimming tomite stage that chemical treatment is effective in killing the parasite. During this time, whatever you use for treatment should be supplemented with daily or every other day water changes and gravel vacuuming to remove as many adult cysts and free swimming tomites as possible.  TREATMENTS:  Before starting treatment you should do at least a 25% to 30% water change and vacuuming of your tank.  I do not like to use meds w/my puffers, except in a heavy infestation.  One tablespoon of salt per 5 gals. of aquarium water, gradually raising the temperature to 86 degrees F. This is good if you have to treat BW fish who actually like salt as part of their aquarium habitat. Continue with this for a period of 21 days. Adding back 1 Tablespoon of salt for every 5 gals of aquarium water that you remove during water changes. One thing to remember with high temperatures is that you should run an additional air stone to oxygenate the water. There is less dissolved oxygen available in warm water than there is in water at cooler temperatures.>  Thank you so much for your time, Jen  <You're welcome & good luck. It sounds like your mollies are on their way to being healthy, well cared for little fishies! -- Pufferpunk>

Ich and Black Mollies (04/03/03) Hi, <Hi! Ananda here tonight; the mollies are in the other room...> I recently got 6 black mollies.  In a few days one female had gotten a spot near its top fin.  It became more pronounced and I even noticed its gills became shiny.  I decided to "cull" the ill fish as to protect the others.   <That probably wasn't necessary... it is very easy to treat mollies with ich. Just add salt to their water: - siphon off about a gallon or so of tank water, depending on the size of the tank - add the salt -- maybe 1/4-1/2 cup of marine salt, depending on the size of the tank - mix well - slowly pour salty water into tank The reason this works is that parasites are much less tolerant of changes in salinity than your mollies.> I want to transfer the rest to my main tank but worry they may bring the illness with them. Is it contagious? <It is. But it is easily eradicated from a quarantine tank.> I have been putting in half the recommended dose of Formalin at night and the rest of the fish show no signs (yet).  How long should I leave them there to make sure it will not infect the main tank? <Ich has a life cycle of about a month. I would wait a minimum of two or three weeks after the last signs of ich are gone.> I have Platy fry in the main tank in a nursery and would like to transfer them to the smaller tank where the mollies are.  The fry are about a week old.  Will they be affected by the trace Formalin or the traces of Ick that may be in the smaller tank? <Quite possibly. But if you can salt the smaller tank, you can avoid the problem. Platies are also amenable to salt, though I don't believe they can tolerate as much salt as the black mollies, who can even be kept in full marine tanks.> Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your prompt response. Kevin <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Sick Mollies Ok... I just noticed the spots on two Mollies in my fish tank today. I introduced a new Molly six days ago. That one was a birthday gift for my four year old. I can't kill these fish they are his babies. I tested the ammonia, pH, and nitrates about a week ago and everything checked out ok.  I checked them today and the ammonia and pH spiked bad and the nitrates are perfect. I just did a 25% water change and put Wardley WaterCare Ick Away in my tank with a half dose of ammonia eliminator as per the pet store. I didn't realize till after I put in the ick away that it says don't use with tetras and I have two of those too.  AM I GOING TO KILL THEM? <These medications that are based with malachite green are very toxic to tetras, catfish and some loaches. You probably have introduced ich into your tank with the new molly.> The tetra's don't have spots but cant they still be affected by the Ich if the other fish have it in the same tank? < They will get it too . They are just not showing any symptoms yet.> I do have a fish bowl I could move them to but I am new to this and I just don't know... could someone please hurry and tell me what I am doing wrong, or right for that matter, to my poor fish? < You could add some carbon to the filter and that would remove it too. Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and change the filter. Once the medication is gone I would get some rid-ich II by Kordon that is especially formulated for sensitive fish. Follow the directions on the package. After treating I would add carbon to remove the medication and then add some BioSpira to get the bacteria going for the nitrification process. Go to Marineland.com and see Dr. Tim's Library for an article titled " The First Thirty Days" for info on the ammonia problems.> The infected ones also lay a lot on the bottom of the tank and only get up to say hi when I open the lid cause they are such cute friendly fish... I'd really hate to lose them :(. Please help me with any ideas. It's a ten gallon tank been running about two or three months. Total of three little mollies two little tetras and a little algae eater. Plants, rocks, etc. It has a bio filter wheel thing, do I need to do anything to that since I don't believe it has charcoal?  <Remove the BioWheel when medicating so it does not kill the good bacteria on the wheel. Store it in a damp wheel in a container with aquarium water. You can also get rid of the ich by increasing the water temp to 82 degrees for awhile. It sometimes stresses the fish so you need very good aeration.-Chuck> 

Vertical swimming mollies Hello, I hope you can help, I have read everything I can find and just don't know what is wrong. I have a 55 gal tank with 1 swordtail, 2 platies, 2 Plecos, 2 Cory cats, 1 Bala shark, 1 painted glass, 2 balloon bellied mollies, 2 black mollies, 2 silver mollies. I do a 25% water change approx every 2-3 weeks. The problem begins with the fish body becoming curved, they swim around shaped like a comma, tail pointing down, like they are dragging their tail end around. <Not good> Within days they are swimming straight but vertically, head up. Then they die within a matter of days. I have had this problem for the last 2 months approx, and have treated with PimaFix numerous times <Worthless> ...and changed water numerous times. I have had my water tested and ammonia, nitrates, ph, everything shows good and safe. Is this a bacteria or a parasite? I have lost many fish to this and have 2 that are swimming this way now. Please help!!!! <Actually very likely a microsporidean endoparasite... You might be able to cure this with the use of Flagyl/Metronidazole. Please see your LFS re this material and administer per directions on the box, inserts. Bob Fenner> 

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