Help wanted and probably needed, Freshie startup Q's - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
View Poll Results: Have you used Lava rocks in your freshwater aquarium?
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-11-2008, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Help wanted and probably needed, Freshie startup Q's

Hello. I started my10 gal freshwater aquarium(with hood 10 gal filter gravel, etc). I ran it for a month and a half maybe 2, then at about 2 months added two comet starter fish, they werent as health as i had hoped, one died after a week the other one was wierd, when he would eat, food would come out his gills as he swam, he was very thin! and died after about 2 1/2 weeks. after a week i tested the water everything checked out fine and I have added 5 mollies, 3 black, 1 silver/white, and 1male lyretail dalmation. Should my tank be fine? Also I began my tank with Lava rocks as decor, is this a no-no? The PH is fine. any constructive criticism?
Ps used to have many tanks, but its been a while.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-11-2008, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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When I started the tank...

When I started the tank I used TetraAqua brand aqua safe with bio extract. When I added My mollies I used the prescribed amount of API Stress Coat conditioner. and am now adding API Freshwater Aquarium salt-natural fish tonic . Let me know what you think and if Im not doing something I ought to do please! :) :P
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-11-2008, 04:07 PM
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It's a good thing that you didn't stick with the comets as they would have gotten much too big for a ten gallon tank.

How long have you had the mollies, and what sexes are they? If you have mixed sexes they will start to breed. If you have females at all, it's likely that they were already pregnant when you got them from the store. They can store sperm so can have several batches of fry even if you don't have any males. Mollies are one of the larger livebearers so as they grow five of them will be pushing what a 10 gallon tank can handle. Not to mention that if (more likely when) they start breeding, you're going to have more than five fish to worry about. Eventually you're going to have to either rehome some mollies or get more tanks.

The lava rock might increase the pH and hardness of your water over time, but this shouldn't be too much of a problem. Mollies generally like a higher pH and harder water so this will work out. Also, lava rock has a lot of little nooks and crannies and can make a good base for algae to grow on. Mollies love pecking on algae all day so that's also a good thing. Be forewarned that lava rock has some rough edges so I wouldn't recommend adding fish that it could hurt (i.e. fish with long flowing fins).

The use of salt is kind of debated. While mollies can tolerate brackish conditions, the salt you're using isn't marine salt so it's not really doing much. That salt is a natural muscle relaxer and is often used when treating fish for illness. Some people dose it regularly in their tanks while other people think it's just a waste of money.'s really up to you.

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post #4 of 6 Old 07-13-2008, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Yah I remembered about the molies i dont mind fry and additional tanks (used to breed for petstores) I was mostly worried about the impact of the lava rocks on ph level. The comets i had were small feeders and had had them in temn gallons before, but it took them a long while to grow to the size where you have to upgrade to a larger tank. And yes I have mostly females 3 fem to 2 males about 1 inch maybe 1 1/2 inch so i figured it by the 1 inch of fish per gallon rule that Id be fine. Thanks for the reply.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-13-2008, 06:35 PM
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Also, keep in mind that salt does NOT evaporate with water. If you choose to continue using salt, only add salt for the amount you have REMOVED in a water change, not for the total water added. IMHO salt isn't good to use all the time. It's a great treatment for some illnesses, but shouldn't be used all the time.

It's like if you took penicillin every day to prevent getting sick. You'd just end up catching something that had developed a resistance to penicillin, and it would be much harder to treat.

Keeping your fish in proper conditions is the best preventative medicine.
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-14-2008, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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thanks! :D
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