Mollies are pretty tough fish, but they are not invincible. They can sometimes deal with various health issues, such as infections, parasites, and diseases. And unfortunately, a lot of these issues share similar symptoms, making it tricky to tell what’s really going on.
For new molly owners, it can be especially challenging to know whether your fish are showing normal behavior or if they are dealing with a health issue. For example, it can be tough to distinguish between pregnancy signs and dropsy symptoms, which can look quite similar.
The good news is that I’m here to help you tell the difference. If you can figure out what’s going on with your mollies, you will know whether they need treatment or if they are simply pregnant, which requires a different approach.
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Molly Fish Dropsy Symptoms
Remember, dropsy is a pretty rare condition in the world of mollies, but it can be pretty gnarly when it shows up. The worst part is, It Is super contagious and can really take down your mollies.
Some fish are better equipped to fight off dropsy than others, but most fish will experience some symptoms. One of the most common signs is a swollen belly, which can look a lot like a pregnant molly. So, it can be tricky to know what’s going on at first.
But don’t worry. Dropsy has a bunch of other symptoms that can help you tell it apart from pregnancy, such as:
- Your molly fish might seem really tired and slow throughout the day
- Mollies might not be as interested in eating as usual, or they might not eat at all
- They might swim around erratically and stick close to the surface of the water
- Their spine might look bent or curved in an unnatural way
- Mollies anus might be swollen and red
- Mollies poop might be pale and stringy
- Their eyes might be bulging out, and their gills might look pale
And, of course, their belly will be swollen and deformed.
The good news is that having all these symptoms makes it easier to diagnose dropsy and get your fish the help they need.
If you confuse dropsy with pregnancy, your molly won’t get the treatment it needs, and that could be really dangerous. So keep an eye out for all those other symptoms.
Pregnant Molly Fish
Molly’s pregnancy is a super exciting time for many molly owners. But it can also be overwhelming when you realize that mollies get pregnant every 30 days and can give birth to anywhere from 20 to 50 fry at once. That’s a lot of babies.
So, how can you tell if your molly female is pregnant, and what should you do? Well, there are a few signs to look out for.
Did you want to know if your molly is pregnant? Here are some things to look for:
First, you might actually see the mating process happening. Mollies do not have a specific mating season so they will mate pretty much all the time.
During this time, you might notice the male molly trying to impress the female with some fancy swimming moves.
If your female molly is indeed pregnant, her belly will start to get big. She will look like she’s carrying a bunch of ping-pong balls in there! But don’t worry, and this is totally normal and expected.
Another sign to look for is a dark spot on the female’s belly. This is called the “gravid spot,” and it will get darker and darker as the pregnancy progresses.
If you look closely, you might even be able to see some tiny black dots in there – those are the eyes of the baby mollies.
You might also notice some changes in your pregnant molly’s behavior. She might get a little cranky and aggressive, especially towards male mollies who keep trying to mate with her. She might also lose her appetite and start hiding in different spots.
When it’s time for your molly to give birth, it’s a good idea to move her to a separate tank.
This way, the baby mollies (called fry) will be safe from any hungry adult mollies who might see them as tasty snacks. After about 3-4 weeks, your baby mollies will be big enough to take care of themselves.
Is Dropsy Contagious?
No. Dropsy is caused by bacteria known as Aeromonas, and it can spread like wildfire if you don’t maintain your tank properly. Poor water quality due to things like decaying food and fish waste can create a perfect environment for the bacteria to grow and cause havoc.
While some fish with robust immune systems can withstand the bacteria for a while, those with weaker systems can fall ill quickly. So, it’s best to keep your tank clean and well-maintained to avoid any issues with dropsy.
Fortunately, several preventative measures can help keep your mollies healthy:
Regularly changing the water (at least 25% per week) is essential for maintaining good water quality and removing accumulated waste.
#Keep monitoring water condition
Monitoring water parameters such as temperature, ammonia levels, and oxygen levels is crucial to ensuring a healthy environment for your mollies.
Overfeeding is a common mistake among molly keepers, so it’s best to feed them once or twice a day and only what they can eat in a minute.
#Remove uneaten foods
Removing fish waste and uneaten food daily or every other day at most will help reduce the risk of bacterial infections.
#Feeding high-protein fish food
Offering a varied diet that includes live food, veggies, and different plants will provide the necessary nutrients for your mollies’ health and vitality.
In conclusion, it is essential to be able to distinguish between a pregnant molly and a molly with a disease such as dropsy. Quarantining your fish if you are unsure is always a good idea to prevent the spread of any potential disease.
Regular tank maintenance and water changes, monitoring water quality and parameters, avoiding overfeeding, and providing a varied diet are all essential preventive measures to keep your mollies healthy.
If you want to learn more about molly tank maintenance, diet, and breeding, be sure to check out my other articles.