White Spots on My Molly, Is It Molly Ick

Do you notice the appearance of white spots on your molly? Is it something you need to be concerned about? Are you wondering if it is molly ick or your fish is just getting some new colors? Keep reading this article to know more about this condition.

If you notice white spots on your molly’s skin, then there is a chance your molly has an ick. To be sure of this, you need to look out for other symptoms of molly ick. If you notice fish flashing, scale loss, or bruising alongside white spots, then your molly has an ick.

What Are the White Spots on My Molly

The white spots on your molly are a result of infestation by a parasite known as Ichthyophthirius Multifilis. The parasites have a highly complex life cycle which makes them difficult to get rid of. These white spots are easy to detect and can take over your fish’s population in no time.

White spots on mollies usually come as symptoms of diseases and illnesses. Most times, the white spot is a result of your fish contracting ick. White spots are one of the primary symptoms of molly ick.

Does My Molly Have Ick?

To know if your molly has an ick, you need to watch out for the symptoms of the disease. Once you can identify a number of these symptoms, then you can find out if your molly has an ick. Here are some of the symptoms of ick to watch out for.

  • Small white spots: This symptom is the most pronounced indicator of molly ick. You will notice there are multiple white spots on your fish’s body. The white spots might be few at the start of the disease, but as it gets intense, the spots multiply.
  • Frequent scratching: Another symptom to look out for is scratching. If your molly has an ick, you will notice it rubbing its body against structures in the tank. The fish will do this frequently in a way that seems like it is trying to peel off something from its skin.
  • Loss of scale: You will also notice your molly losing some scales. This symptom might not be very obvious at the start of the disease. As the disease becomes severe, the loss of scale will become more obvious.
  • Reduced activity: Like every sick fish, you will notice a reduced activity from your once active molly. Your molly will choose to rest and will only swim around once in a while. It will also experience loss of appetite and enthusiasm in swimming around the tank.
  • Difficult breathing: Your molly will start breathing as you will notice the fish putting more effort into respiring. Your molly will also try hard to breathe as it experiences reduced activities. You can check this by taking a look at the molly’s gills and notice the irregular movements.

What is Ick

Ick is a white spot disease caused by a parasite and is also known as white spot disease. The parasite comes in different forms, but these forms can be highly difficult to get rid of due to their complex life cycle.

The ick has different stages in its life cycle. These stages are not susceptible to treatments and can be very difficult to treat except the front stage. Free-swimming, the front stage is the only stage of the parasites that responds to treatment.

The growth into and out of each stage depends on the temperature of the water. It takes longer for the parasite to grow in cold waters and less time in warmer waters. The ick is one parasite you want to get rid of from your fish, and you need to do it as soon as you notice it.

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How to Treat a Molly with Ick

Treating your ick-infested molly is essential, especially if you plan to keep your molly alive. The prolonged appearance of ick can result in the death of your molly, which is something you wouldn’t want. To treat your molly, you have to administer the necessary medication, and these are steps you need to follow;

  • Quarantine the affected fish: One bad trait about ick is its spread rate. If one of your mollies has an ick and you do not take care of it, other fish in the tank will get it in no time. This is why you need to quarantine the affected fish as soon as you notice it.
  • Slowly raise the water temperature: After separating the affected fish from the others, increase the temperature of the water slowly. You cannot treat incubated ick, so you need to wait for it to hatch before treating it. Raising the temperature will hasten the incubation process, allowing you to kill the ich parasite faster.
  • Ensure high oxygen: Your molly will need a lot of oxygen during the treatment process. You need to ensure it doesn’t get deprived of oxygen by adding air stones, air pumps, etc. These devices will ensure the oxygen level remains intact.
  • Add a teaspoon of salt per gallon: Salts are effective killers of ick, so adding aquarium salt to your water will help get rid of them. With the temperature intact and oxygen-filled, you should leave the salt for about a week. This will ensure no ick goes undead.
  • 50% water change: After adding the salt for a week, make a 50% water change to ensure a clean environment. You also should vacuum the gravel and observe your fish to be sure the ich is gone for good.

What Causes Ick

There are different causes of ick, but all point to ill-quality water, food, environment, and objects. It happens mostly when you are introducing infected alien material into your aquarium. And it only takes a few ick parasites to bring down your whole tank in no time.

Some other causes of ick include;

  • Transferring infected décor or filter media into the tank.
  • Using infected equipment in the tank.
  • Moving infected water between two or more tank systems.

How to Prevent Ick

Prevention is always better than cure. Sometimes your fish doesn’t get the chance to become cured, which is why you always have to prevent your fish from getting sick. The best way to prevent ick is by setting up a quarantine system.

The quarantine system helps you treat every new tool, object, fish, etc., before adding them into the tank. This way, everything that gets into your tank is healthy and free of ick parasites.

Can Temperature Kill Ick

Temperature cannot change kill ick, but it can most definitely slow down its growth process. Warmer temperatures tend to increase the growth rate of ick parasites while colder ones reduce their growth.


White spots on your molly fish can be a symptom of ick parasite infestation. You need to take immediate action and start treatment for your fish to ensure its safety. Follow the necessary procedures in treating your fish and give your fish a better and more healthy life.

John Brandon

John has kept fish all his life (since he was about 5). He started with keeping guppies and fell in love with fish keeping almost straight away. That was 40 odd years ago. These days John still keeps fish and currently has two large tanks where he keeps many different types of fish such as Angelfish, Neon Tetras, Goldfish, Guppies and many more.