Tank upgrade...tankmates? Here's the problem.. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-12-2011, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Tank upgrade...tankmates? Here's the problem..

So we have a 10 gallon with two sailfins, a pleco, and a puffer, (we've only had them a month). I know its too small, we got hooked in the hobby and invested. We have a 50 gallon cycling for these guys.

So we want more fish!! But looks like someone in the tank didn't like the neons we tried to add a while back. We watched the tank for hours...but overnight someone went on a hunt...The only fish we didn't have then were the mollies and puffer. We knew we were taking a risk, but didn't know as much about the puffer as we do now...

haha...yeah...the puffer...

He is a figure 8 and looks like he is cool with whats in there now, but won't be with anyone new...and maybe isn't even very happy. Any ideas or recommendations? We were thinking about returning the puffer after reading about their tempers and diets and teeth...

It also looks like we were not well informed by the fish people.

They said the puffer and mollies don't need the brackish, so its just regular fresh water. These forums seem to have the smartest and most experienced fish keepers ever, so any input would be great!!

I know we didn't do our research as we should have...but help me get out of this hole please??

Thank you!
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-12-2011, 12:51 PM
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Yeah, the puffer attacked them. Puffers are usually pretty aggressive. The F8Puffer will prefer Brackish.

Mollies are usually freshwater (but can live in Brackish under certain conditions), but I am not sure about sailfin. I know that sailfin is the only molly in our profiles, and I do believe is says something about it being brackish. I am not a molly expert.

Also, you were not well informed if you got this stock under the advice of the store. They should have known that this was overstocked, and that there would certainly be aggression issues.

For a bigger tank, I would certainly recomend taking back the pufferfish. The pleco may be fine for now (once it is moved into the 55g tank, that is), but not for long. They will outgrow a 55 gallon tank, so you may need to take it back eventually.

The Mollies may be Ok for freshwater, but I will not say they are or aren't. Hopefully someone else will come bu and give some imput on that.

small fry,

FireOasis - 3g
Zachary the Halfmoon Plakat

CichlidHaven - 55g (under construction!)
0.0.7 Black Widow Tetra
1.0.1 Convict Cichlid
0.1.0 Firemouth Cichlid

HermitBase - 10g
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-12-2011, 02:16 PM
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Welcome to the forum. Glad you found us.

It is too difficult to say what may have caused the demise of the neons, several single or a combination of factors. We move on.

Puffers are not community fish in the common sense of the term, so if you want a healthy, stable community of varied fish I would suggest returning the puffer. Puffers are not a beginner fish, and that is not meant to be derogatory--we all were beginners once, and some of us tried these things and learned the hard way, with many dead fish.

With the puffer removed, i would leave the 10g as is. Once the 50g is ready, fish can be acquired, but slowly--and with advance research to find truly compatible fish. Compatibility means they share near-identical requirements respecting water parameters [what is your hardness, pH and temperature?], environment [some fish need wood, some rock, some plants, some special substrates, etc] and of course behaviours.

We have fish profiles here, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, and almost all the fish you are likely to encounter in stores will be included in the profiles. Each has a section on preferred (or essential) water parameters, numbers of the species (shoaling fish need a group, etc), suitable tankmates, minimum tank size\e [realize this is only the minimum for the number of that species, having other fish means more space] and other info.

If you tell us your water parameters we can direct you to some possibilities.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-13-2011, 11:08 PM
As far as the mollies go (as you already got the best puffer answers), mollies bought from pet stores these days are freshwater, and can withstand and ocassionally prefer some aquarium salt in their tank (as do guppies). In order to take a molly from freshwater to true brackish it takes some drip acclimation and slow salinity inclines over a period of time. So unless you desire a brackish set up, the mollies are more than fine in freshwater. Sailfin, balloon, lyretail...all the mollies are extremely similar in their water parameters and size (the balloon being slightly smaller). The different mollies are similar in that of the different tails and breedings of bettas (crowntail, veiltail, halfmoon...) and guppies (lyretail/forktail, fancy, delta...). Different variations of basically the same species of fish.

I consider myself to be pretty well versed in aquaria at this point in my hobby, and even though I want a puffer (dwarf), I know it isnt wise as it is a species only tank fish, and has special requirements that I dont particularly want to put the effort into, so I have choosen to put off ownership until down the road.

Like Byron said, in the beginning we all make mistakes. We learn from them, do research, and overtime become rather skilled at knowing what can and cant be done in our aquaria.

Research is key. Always research a fish before buying it. Sadly, a lot of people that work for pet stores arent as knowledgeable as we would like them to be, which causes a lot of beginners to have issues and dead fish. I wish places that sell fish were more regulated as fish are deserving of the same love and care as other animals...they sure cost enough! lol.

Good luck! Ask as many questions as you want here at TFK, there are plenty of dedicated members who can offer you their experience, advice, and knowledge. Welcome to the forum and hope to see you around!

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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