Tell me about Mollies...
I am getting 8 baby mollies, just born a couple days ago, from someone for free.
I have a 30 gallon hexagon tank that is well planted, has driftwood, and java moss. My last fish died off recently and for a few weeks it's been running with just a legion of little snails living in it.
I've been reading about Mollies, but I've read so many different things. Will they be alright in my freshwater tank? I have it planted with freshwater plants, so does that mean adding aquarium salt isn't a good option? I had the water at a safe pH for my tetras that were in there. I am going to retest here in a minute to see exactly what the pH and hardness are now. How sensitive are mollies to soft water? Our tap water is pretty hard, so I guess they are well suited for my area.
How long does it take before Mollies start reproducing? I was thinking I might have to separate them by sex, but I'm not sure how quickly they grow and when I'll be able to tell...
And my last question--what tank mates do you have with your Mollies? (Assuming I keep it freshwater.) I've read differing things about what's safe to keep with Mollies and what isn't. I'd like to get some Silver Hatchet fish, and maybe something colorful my toddler would like. (Of course I'll wait quite awhile before adding new fish, so as not to overwhelm the bio load...I'm a little concerned about adding the 8 babies at once.)
Any thoughts? I want to make sure I'm doing the right things.
Contrary to popular belief mollies don't need salt . Eight baby mollies would be about perfect for this tank. I would leave them in the tank for the next three to four weeks with no additional fish added. I would feed these eight baby mollies a pinch of food once each day. Place the food in the palm of your hand and crush it with your fingers until it is almost a powder. Feed no more than you actually SEE them eat in 30 or 40 seconds. Your tank will mature slowly and naturally and at the same time rebuild the biological filter needed to break down the waste created by fishes. You may be familiar with the nitrogen cycle of aquariums where fish waste which is ammonia, is broken down into nitrites by bacteria and then further broken down by more bacteria into nitrates. This process takes time and if you feed as instructed small amounts,once each day, and don't add any more fish, then within the next four weeks your biological filter will have matured to the point where more fish may be added a few at a time over two week intervals. Mant people start with too many fish, too large of fish, and they overfeed the fish. All of these will cause ammonia levels to spike or become elevated to the point where it becomes lethal for fish. Even at low levels ammonia can damage the fish. So it is important to NOT over feed them otherwise, frequent water changes will be needed to keep these levels from killing the fish. At the end of three weeks and only if you do as described,You should begin weekly 20 percent water changes using a good dechlorinator such as PRIME which is what most use. Until this time you should not need to perform water changes. You have very small fish that don't contribute to elevated ammonia levels, you won't be overfeeding, and you won't be adding any fish before biological filter has had a chance to adapt or redevelop. I would recommend that ONE person be responsible for feeding the fish. I would not clean or replace the filters for the next three weeks. If the filters become clogged you can draw out a gallon or two of aquarium water and swish the filters around in that water (not tapwater) and stick em back in. If you decide to follow what I have described your expierience will be pleasant. Any deviation will cause problems which could lead to even more problems. I am doubtfiul as to how much good bacteria survived after recent fish deaths but by doing as I have described the tank should re-establish it's biological capabilities without much effort on your part. Keep us posted. PS use this time to explore different types of fish to place with mollies when biological filter or capabilities allows.
My mollies did just fine for a long time before I started using aquarium salt, the aquarium salt also doesn't seem to affect my plants much (my fish tear up my amazon sword but that's a different story). They do prefer warmer water, but other than that mine seem to be very hardy, not too picky about the water at all, mine are my 2 oldest fish, they've been in my tank since it was first cycled.
PS: although my aquarium salt doesn't seem to hurt my plants, I'm not sure if it is technically recommended to use aquarium salt with plants in the tank.
Thanks for the advice! That's how I was hoping it would work out. I'll be careful to only give a small amount of food.
I just put them in the big tank a little while ago, and it seems like they are really struggling against the filter current. I turned it off temporarily so I could ask what to do, I'm afraid they will get sucked to the intake thing and won't be able to swim away. Am I just being paranoid? I've never owned fish this tiny before.
I keep and breed mollies. I find that all a molly really needs is moderately hard water with a pH above 7.0. Frequent water changes to keep your chemistry in line is also a very good idea both for the fry's health and to help them grow up faster.
These are newborn fry.
These fry are almost 5 weeks old and still too small to go with hatchets.
The difference between them is lots of nutritious feeding including spirulina flakes for vegetable matter and a few water changes to remove pollutants.
Finally a picture of mom and her fry on day 35.
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