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My poor Molly needs some help! It started about 10 days ago,  she was towards the end of her pregnancy when she started acting a little “off”. She was hiding away from the other fish but seemed to start struggling to swim a bit but was able to stay near the bottom of the tank. I figured this was just due to her pregnancy and she was having a tough go of it because she was towards the end of her pregnancy and she was BIG. This uncomfortable swimming continued for a couple of days and I eventually woke up to about 30-35 baby fry!! Yipppeee!! However, post pregnancy mom was now at the top of the tank kinda just bobbing about. Her tail kinda drags and she doesn’t seem to use her back tail anymore. When she tries to swim down she gets about 3-4 inches down but can’t go any further and bobs back up to the top. Like a good tank dad I hit the forums and came to the conclusion that it may be swim bladder. So I give her an epsom salt bath, she goes on a fast, I try to feed her peas (she never ate them though) I go through the seven day process for both API’s Melafix  and Pimafix. Followed everything to the letter of the law but to no avail as she is still struggling to swim. She has had a healthy appetite pre and post fast and poops well. 

Tank is 20 gallons and is fully cycled. Runs on a HOB filter as well as a sponge filter. There are 3 other Molly fish in the tank as well as some snails, 3 albino Corydoras, and a few shrimp to help as my clean up crew. 

pH - 6.8 

Nitrates - 0ppm (I do regular water changes but did not do water changes while using the Melafix and Pimafix)

Hardness - 60ppm (wouldn’t mind getting some tips on how to increase this as well)

Nitrite - 0ppm

Ammonia - 0ppm

KH/Buffer - 80ppm

Water Temperature - 80 


Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated! Hope I can turn her life around.

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Don’t know if this helps but I had a guppy go through this. After a week she swam on her side at the top of the tank for a week. I put her in a shallow 2 gallon with minimal bubbles to reduce all current with a well established sponge filter and fed her from my fingers. It took almost a month before she was close to normal.  A month and a half later and she healed and is back to normal.  I did give her Maracyn to prevent any bacterial infection from reduced immunity due to stress. Time was the key for her. Human women struggle to pop out one baby can’t imagine 35.  Sorry I hope someone else can give you a fix for this but sometimes they can recover. So I may not have helped but maybe gave you some hope. 

Livebearers I use wondershell for hardness or api liquid calcium and epsom salt

Edited by Guppysnail
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I'd like to echo Guppysnail's recommendation for Wondershells. I use them in a Molly / Platy tank, and it's very well received, as I have naturally soft water out of the tap. I also use Seachem Replenish or Equilibrium, which also raises GH. If you have live plants, Equilibrium would be a really good bet. If not, Replenish will be fine. It's a bit easier to dose as it's a liquid as opposed to a powder. (Equilibrium)

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