1 male betta, 2 black mollies, and 2 otos - Compatible?
First of all, thank you for helping my poor fish. I am new to aquarium keeping, my only previous experience keeping a betta in a bowl for the past year. We got our kids a new 10 gallon aquarium kit for Christmas, and I was going to let it cycle for a couple of weeks empty, until I read that it needs fish in it to build up the good bacteria. So, we put the betta in it with some hairgrass and a plastic cave, then wanted it to look less empty, and did an hour of online research with no real conclusion. Newbies that we were, we went to Petsmart thinking to ask a "fish expert" there, and got two black mollies and two otos on the advice of the clerk that they were all compatible, as well as some live plant bulbs.
A couple of days ago, one of the black mollies developed white patches that I think are fungus, clamped fins, shimmies, and has been pretty much residing on the bottom of the tank. I've been doing 2 gal water changes every two to three days, complete with water conditioners, but yesterday I added 1 tablespoon aquarium salt, a water heater (which I found out when I brought it home does not allow adjustments, but keeps the water at 78, and then a fungus clear fizz tab. The mollie does seem to be doing a bit better, swimming around more and not much shimmying, the white patches appearing to diminish, though when I used my new test strips last night the nitrite was high at 3.0. Alk was 40, Nitrate was <20, hardness was 75, and pH was 6.8.
After doing hours of online research (stupid me for relying on a Petsmart clerk to know what fish would truly be compatible-she said she had all of them together in her two gallon tank at home!), I am still confused as to whether the fish can live together, and what to do about it. I have the following questions: (1)Will all of the fish do well with salt added to the water, and how much should I add? I am mainly concerned about the otos, since I found conflicting answers about whether they and the mollies could live with salt or not. (2)Do I need to do water changes more frequently until the nitrite goes down (say every day)? (3)The fungus fizz tablet from jungle labs says I can readminister in four days. How does changing the water affect this timeline? (4)I also purchased ammonia clear from jungle labs, but I am uncertain whether I should use it, as it sounded like it was similar to the water conditioner I was already using(Start Right from Jungle Labs). (5) Should I get some ick treatment and use it as well? The package said to use at half strength for scaleless fish, which I gather the otos are. (6) Should I be concerned about any of the water quality levels, and what can I do about it? I've been told the mollies like the pH much higher than the otos, and really have no clue about the betta.
All in all, what should my next steps be? Personally, I don't much like the black mollies after having them a week, but I don't want to just let them suffer and die, either. The betta is the fish we're most attached to, since we've had him for a year, so he is the one I would like to build the tank around (better job this time, I hope), though with the expected lifespan, he won't be around for much more than a year. We do have an extra 5 gallon tank, but no filter (or place to put it!) I do think the otos are cute.
Again, I thank you, and my fish thank you.
White patches is fungus. I believe antibotics like marclyn works better then the fizz stuff. I could be wrong. I'm still new to this as well.
Your fish are compatible with each other. In My 20 gallon I have a betta, mollies, platies, and tetra's. Fish can tolerate some salt. It should be aquarium salt. The dosage is 1 rounded tablespoonful for every 5 U.S. gallons of aquarium water for general usage. 1 rounded tablespoonful for every 5 U.S. gallons of aquarium water for dieseae usage. Which is what you should be using. A wondershell will help with the shimmies.
Again I'm no expert but I would do 20% every other day until your tank cycles. I was advised not to use ammonia eliminator products as it stresses the fish too much and to just do water changes. Make sure you are using a gravel vac and are sucking up the water from the gravel not scooping water out when you do your water changes. When you get new fish you should always quarantine them and treat them for ick as a precaution. Fish in a chain pet store store usually have diseases.
Hopefully someone with more knowledge can help you with the rest of your questions. HTH.
1 oto down
Well, my sick black molly seems to be getting much better - fins unclamped most of the time, no shimmying today, and the white patches are almost gone. But I lost an oto today:cry: - last night I saw him laying sideways at the bottom, thought the worst, and tried to pick him up, but he swam away at the last minute. No swimming away today.
I have not added any more salt to the aquarium, since I have been told most emphatically that otos can't take salt, and I'm unsure about the betta. Mostly, I'm trying to keep things for the betta, and just crossing my fingers for the other fish.
I added another fungus tab today (a day early) since I've been doing water changes every day, hoping to clear the disease out of the tank. Has anyone tried the stress zyme, that is supposed to add the good bacteria to your water? I'm also going to try only feeding my fish once a day until the nitrite goes down.
I feel so bad that I made so many mistakes and that my fish are suffering for it.:oops:
Anyway, my readings today after the water change were: NO3 <20, NO2 2.0, GH 75, KH 40, and pH 6.8.
Thanks for any suggestions!
One more thing...is it normal for a black molly to continually flash white under the head where the gills are? I had thought that was normal movement of flaring the gills, since they've done this from the beginning, but I begin to wonder if it is a sign of distressed "breathing". They also open their mouths most of the time at the same time they flash the white.
ottos need a well established tank, the rule is wait atleast 3-4 months before putting ottos in. I would keep an eye on your tank because fungis is highly contagious
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