Given a tank and having problems - advice welcome! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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  • 1 Post By henningc
  • 1 Post By DayleJessica
  • 1 Post By SeaHorse
  • 1 Post By DayleJessica
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-29-2013, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Given a tank and having problems - advice welcome!

My name is Dayle-Jessica I'm from the UK, 20 years old have been given a freshwater tank and am having some problems.

Please help! Im in such a pickle I was given a very large tank (to me) approx 2.5ft by 1 by 1.5. The people before me had the tank set up etc for a good 13 months. You can see specs on my tank thingy :/.

My problem is; I don't know where to start! When I purchased a couple of Mollies I spoke to the fella that was an "Aquatic Expert" - I wouldn't know! He said to add the Mollies would be fine (to add to the fish that i had researched and told him) but to quarantine for a week - which i did.

I'm concerned because my black molly strikes me as being pregnant, I have no male mollies in my tank so i presume she arrived with me pregnant, she is full and square in her tum and when she slides up the glass tummy forward its as if she has rainbow scales? and her poop shoot is bright white. I'm really stuck here, I have no idea what to do what to buy etc whether a breeding box or nursery is better and which one and what size and do i put anything in?! Argghhhh!

Also I don't know if my fish are good to stay together I done a compatibility chart that said they should all be ok a couple were cautionary due to my very timid Bala Shark but other than that they were fine. I worry about different water preferences etc.

I have 2 female dalmatian Mollies that are looking quite full.... HELP :'(.

Any help I could receive about the above topics would be amazing,

Defeated Fishkeeper
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-29-2013, 07:42 PM
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Hi and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping!

I have never had Molly's or breed fish before soo won't be much help here but I have sent this thread to a couple of ppl that could help. Just wanted to Welcome ya here!

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post #3 of 8 Old 10-29-2013, 09:12 PM
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ive had several mollies and guppies.they are livebearers which means they give live birth. it sounds like they are pregnant but its not a huge deal. of you want to keep all the babies then i would get a breeding net or nursery, just which ever size you prefer really. she can have up to about 50 babies but some of them will get eaten and mine didnt have more then 20 at a time. if you dont really care if they live or not just leave her in the tank and let her give birth. i hope this will help :)
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-29-2013, 09:29 PM
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Ahhhh no probs!! We're here to help!! Mollies, Platys & Swordtails are all livebearers and have a gestation period of 28 days approx. Yes they can be pregnant at the store and come home to your tank, and they can also hold sperm and have a couple of drops of fry and have no males in the tank at all. Meaning 2 or 3 months in a row they can have fry. When the first batch arrives you mark your calender and count out 28 days to be aware just in case another batch comes along.

Can you list all the fish you have in the tank. The only one I see a major problem with is the Bala shark as they eventually need a 6 foot long tank minimum... that is 120-125 gallon tank. I have kept them in a 90 at 4 foot long but they just "get going" and come to the end of the tank. They really need more space!!

Can you give us an idea of who is in the tank, and how many.... and how much/many hiding places? Caves/rocks/plants etc. The more you have... for cover... the better the chances of some of the fry surviving.

Do you want to save all the babies? Let nature take it's course? Sometimes Moms will eat their fry and there is nothing we can do about it. It comes down to catching Mom and putting her into a breeder net or box but it doesn't mean she won't still eat her babies. If you are at school or work you may miss the whole event anyway. As disappointing as that is, it just might still happen. So be prepared. Best to have lots and lots of plastic plants and you can lay some at the surface to provide some cover... as the first few hours they will be at the surface anyway. I prefer not to use a breeder box for MOM myself, I use lots of plants. Get a big bushy one and lay it on the surface. I leave the lights off and each morning I peek into the back of the tank around the edges to see if I can see babies with a flash light. If I do, then I open the top and feed the other fish way far at the other end of the tank to distract them while I get my tiny net and scoop up the babies and put them into the breeder net. That method works better for me. You may have to check for them several mornings in a row. They tend to have their fry in the early morning hours. I try not to leave them in the breeder net to long, I have a 10 gallon. They truly are bored out of their minds in such a small space... no where to go. Put them into something bigger and they explore just like big fish. And they are so darn cute. Molly fry will be a good size... 2 eyes and a tail!!
The main reason I do not use a hard sided breeder box is that for the most part I bred Swordtails. Put a female Swordtail into a box like that and she will flip out and go nuts trying to take the top off and likely injure or kill herself. They do not like to be confined.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have!! Hope this helps and let us know if find any babies!!
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-30-2013, 12:04 AM
Welcome. You never said if the moolys and shark are the only fish or if their are more.

All the info above on the mollys is accurate. I sometimes remove the babys, fry, and put them in a 5gal bucket with aged water from the tank and an airline. If you want to keep the fry, buy some brine shrimp eggs and hatch them yourself. The young mollys will be too large for the parents to eat in 2 1/2-3 weeks. Once they are big enough they can go back in the tank. Also, mollys need some level of salt in their water. I use pure solar salt, 1 tbs per 5gal. Sorry I'm a non-metrics guy.

As for the bala shark, I have always liked them, it will need a larger tank eventually. It may cause a problem for the mollys once it is big enough. I'd fisnd somebody who wants one and give it away.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-30-2013, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your prompt responses! :)

Firstly, the tank itself is approx 2.5ft by 1.5 ft by 1.5 ft.
A friend was having trouble keeping the fish alive?

When the tank arrived they had white gravel stones that were covered in red, my mother-in-law has a marine tank and she has plenty of healthy algae but something told me this wasn't right so as soon as I received the tank I done a 75% water change, put the fish in a bucket with their original water and emptied the tank, the filter was overflowing with crap! The sponge could not be seen for algae and the bio rings were subdued by it. So i cleared the lot out and cleaned all the gravel following advice on here, I bought some new gravel (blue) but worried that it would be too different for the fish so I soaked some of the gravel in a tiny bit of bleach and water left it out in the sun in a bucket rinsed it off and added some of the white gravel back in. The fish seem a lot happier now, I have used API Aquarium Salts to help the live bearers as advised to do so by my local water gardens.

In the tank I have:
* 10 x Neon Tetra's (I added these as the previous owner had one all on his lonesome :()
* 2 x Swordtails
* 2 X Cory Catfish :)
* 2 X Tiger Plecko's (I'm not sure if its a good idea but they seem to keep out of each others way)
* 2 X Dalmation Mollies
* 1 X Black 1 X Silver Mollies
* 1 X Rummynose Tetra
* 1 X Golden Barb
* 1 X Filiment Barb
* 1 X Bala Shark, who's doing great atm, the filiment barb is keeping him company - If i got rid of the shark I think I'd need to send the barb with him as they actually get along haha!

I just want to know what to do to keep them happy, who to swap change and get more of.

I have added the Neon's as there was only one, and a couple of mollies and the cory's all of which were quarantined.

As for the Mollies being pregnant - I don't really want the fry to die as I'd feel awful. However, I don't want to keep them and have my tank overcrowded and overpopulated. I was thinking of buying a second tank to keep the fry in and to rear them but then I'd need to cycle it first :(. I dont mind buying things to help them.

This weekend I'm going to buy Brine Shrimp eggs etc and see about breeding them??? As most of my adult fish will eat them and the fry will eat the babies. I am also going to buy some caves and live plants as I only have a set of pillars, a tunnel a bridge and a rock which will not provide the fry with enough coverage should i not catch the mollies in time.

Also I am going to buy a water testing kit as i dont know how the water is atm they all seem happy but im still doing wc every 4 days to make sure its not too bad for them.

Kind Regards,
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-30-2013, 07:38 AM
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The only thing I'm still not sure of is the time line. As you know about the cycle process, cleaning and bleaching everything means you are starting from scratch like a new tank right out of the box. That would mean you will need to take those fish all thru the cycle process which can take 6-8 weeks. Did you save anything from the original tank in it's original state that may have good bacteria on it?

Algae is not necessarily a bad thing, just a sign of too much light, something was out of balance.
I'll let others weigh in on the salt.... I've never used any salt in a FW aquarium in my 40+ years of fish keeping so can't advise.
My suggestion is to get that testing kit to help avoid fish loss as this "new" tank goes thru the cycle process. You have a good sized tank, I'm guessing anywhere from a 29 gallon to a 40 gallon. It is important to know your tank size so google an aquarium volume calculator and input your exact measurements to determine the size. This way you can determine if you have the right heater/filter etc. This info all helps you be successful. Also if you ever need to add meds you know your volume.

Water conditioner... Prime is excellent, will help with any of the cycling stages, costs a wee bit more but goes a long way. 1 cap for 50 gallons.
And all the new plants you can add will help create a more natural look and help with the cycling process too. Good luck... keep us posted!!
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-30-2013, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, yes I did not clean any of the objects in the tank they are in original state, also I used 30% of their original water so there is a little bit of something familiar to them.

Thank you for all of your help.

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advice needed , pregnant molly

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