First of all I want to say how happy I am to have joined this forum. I, like many others, started out with a doomed carnival goldfish at 5 years old. We used to keep them in tiny bowls or pickle jars. I then moved on to the typical betta mentality that the poor betta was happy in a bowl his entire life. Moved up to an overstocked 10g many years back and couldn't figure out why I couldn't keep a fish longer than a month (maybe)!
About 5 months ago I decided to stop by the aquatics section in my petstore to see if they had anything my pretty little betta just had to have... Stopping to look at the massive wall of fish, these cute black and white fish caught my eye. I just had to have one of those Dalmatian Mollies... Which meant i needed the tank... Off I zoomed to the tanks and grabbed a 10g and put it in my cart, getting the attention of the fishie catcher... He proceeded to get me 3 Dalmatian Mollies, 2 Gold Twinbar Platies, 3 guppies and a simple Algae Eater. He told me all 9 fish should be okay in the tank and that he didn't think he could tell the sex of the fish I got until they were older... (All the fish were already 2")
LONG STORY NOT SO SHORT...
In my first week: one of the mollies had 43 fry, I realized I needed more females due to one of the mollies being male and constantly harassing the females, the guppies were both males and constantly fought twisting and tumbling nipping at each other, the platies were both also male and one bullied the other to the point he was hiding in the corner behind a plant refusing to eat or come out, I had a CHINESE ALGAE EATER who quite possibly would kill my fish in the future AND grow to be 12"!, I realized I needed a heater, that that very heater would malfunction within 24 hrs of purchase and kill 2 of my female mollies mid swim overnight...
Shortly thereafter and in the coming months I learned what the hated Camallanus Worm was and how to treat it properly, how to disinfect a tank, I'd rehome my CAE, guppies and one of the platies., I'd learn just how severely overstocked i was, I learned about partial water changes and gravel vacuuming, the endless waiting for a huge female Molly to hold onto her babies for 52 days!, I'd suffer the loss of a fish thru dropsy, shimmies and have a mysterious illness wipe thru my juvie tank and take 80 babies in 2 wks, i learned what an API Master test kit was and how it would become by best friend, I suddenly became a chemistry major and learned how to finish my uncycled tanks into a healthy environment...
I have a
5 female mollies
1 female betta
1 male/1 female platy
Molly juvie tank with 8 1" babies who are still pending surviving the massive losses
25 1/4" molly fry
7 teeny platy fry
Thru tons of research, talking things over with other fishkeepers, and many many hours of staring endlessly at my fish, all 4 of my tanks have parameters:
Ph- 7.4-8.2 (staying steady in each tank)
Ammo- 0 ppm
Nitrite- 0 ppm
Nitrate- 10 ppm
I generally do a 50% -- 80% PWC per week, depending on the tank, 2 PWC if it's a messier tank like the fry tanks because of higher feeding rate and waste.
If my nitrates rise I do an immediate change...
I love my tanks, love my fish, and my betta is thrilled to be in a 29g aquarium instead of a .94g "Betta container" she has brilliant colors, has grown and is quite the happy girl following my fingers on the glass and nibbling on them when I put them in the tank.
I'm so so grateful for forums like this one to turn to...
I gladly welcome any advice or suggestions...