Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Starting a grow out tank for baby mollies/platies. (

Austin 02-02-2010 12:47 AM

Starting a grow out tank for baby mollies/platies.
I'm going to buy a 10-20 gallon tank (depending on what size can fit on the laundry room counter Dx) to grow up my baby mollies and platies in.

I got a few questions if you guys don't mind me asking...

Firstly, is 10-20 gallons big enough to grow the fry quick-ish when I have around 6 actively baby-making female mollies/platies? :p Or will the 20 gallon tank be over-run with fry after a few months?

If I keep the water in the "grow-out" tank nice and clean, changing it once every 1-3 days, will it be able to support all the baby fish?? I am thinking that right now 2 fish gave birth recently and I already have 20-25 babies... I am going to try my hardest to get most of them to live... will 25 babies be too many?? likeee when they get big... i'm going to give them to the pet store when they get large enough...

Also, I plan to just buy a tank and add the water from my old tank into it... if I do that, will I need to cycle the tank? How about if I take the gravel and water from my already cycled tank? It seems that's all there is in an aquarium anyways that would have to do with the cycle. :p

One last question... I'm gonna ask in the disease forum too, but a few of my fish in my tank actually have ich still... the tank that the fish had babies in. I don't want to bring the ich with me to the baby fish tank, though it might be unavoidable. But I had an idea.... if I add the water from my old tank into the new tank, and I turned the heater up to around 90+ in the new tank, or added hot water, would that kill the ich within a few hours?? I plan to do that before I add the fish, if that will work... but I don't want to kill any good bacteria... :/

Austin 02-02-2010 04:31 PM

Hey guyys, I don't mean to spam or anything but I'm gonna buy the 20 gallon tank soon today I hope and I'd like to set it up tonight, but I still dunno if it's ok to move my babies into it right when i set it up...

If I take a small amount of the rocks and the same water, if it would be ok to start the tank up tonight. :|

iamntbatman 02-02-2010 04:34 PM

I don't think I'd move them in there so quickly as this could cause an ammonia spike. If you can move some filter media from your current tank to the new tank's filter that would be helpful, or if you want to wait a bit, you could just run the new tank's filter on the old tank for a while and let some bacteria establish themselves.

Austin 02-02-2010 04:38 PM

What do you mean some filter media? :/ I replace the filter cartridges in my current tank with new ones often.... but my fish have always been fine and i don't think it's disrupted the cycle. Or are you talking about the biowheel thingy? I found the exact same model of filter in the garage (we must have thought it was broken), but it worked just fine when I tested it out, so i'm going to use it... should I move the "biowheel" thing for a day or so to that tank? Also, my filter is just running without cartridges right now since I am treating it for ich... so I'm guessing all the bacteria has dried up that was on those cartridges?

Oh and could baby fish still cause an ammonia spike? Even if I change the water almost every day and they barely eat. There's about 20 1-2 day old babies.

Thanks so much for the help. :)

iamntbatman 02-02-2010 04:58 PM

Filter media means pretty much any sort of material that goes in your filter. Sponges, cartridges, filter floss, ceramic rings, bio-balls, anything like that. All of this stuff houses beneficial bacteria, so if you have redundancies in your filter media (for example, you have two sponges in your filter) you could move one over to the new tank to handle the new bioload without causing a lot of harm to the filtration capacity of your old tank.

Fry are small but they do eat a lot and grow quickly, producing a lot of waste for fish of their size.

So you're just running a bio-wheel without any cartridges in the filter? Bio-wheels are very efficient when it comes to housing bacteria so that's likely why you never saw any mini-cycles when changing the cartridges. Generally, you don't really need to change the cartridges until they're physically falling apart and no longer function. If they get clogged up, you can clean them by gently swishing them around in a bucket of water you've removed from the tank during a regular water change. If you're using activated carbon in your filter, it would be much more efficient just to buy a big plastic jug of carbon (sold at pretty much every fish/pet store). Take a sharp knife and slit open your filter cartridge along the top edge. Every two weeks, you can just dump out the old carbon and replace it with new without replacing the whole cartridge, which is expensive and does yank out some of your bacteria (though most are probably colonizing the bio-wheel).

Since you've got a second filter, maybe you could just run this one alongside the other on your current tank for a couple of weeks, then move it over to the new tank? That way you'd have a filter with bacteria already living in it ready to handle the bioload of the fry once you move them to the new tank.

Austin 02-02-2010 05:08 PM

Thanks! :) But uhh does it matter if the filter is dried up? :S Because I had to take it out for the ich medicine. If I put one of them in the new fish tank, will it even have any effect?

Also I was thinking of something similar to your idea. I read somewhere you could use a plain sponge, and fill a pantyhose or w/e with activated carbon and you'd be good. I usually rub the filters very hard when washing them off to get everything out... should I be doing it more gently so I don't take the bacteria off?

I've had fish for 4-5 years and I still don't know much... maybe I've just been lucky with the ones I have lol..

Austin 02-02-2010 09:00 PM

Well, in case anyone wanted to know, I ended up getting a 10 gallon tank with a hood. I have a "up to 50 gallon" filter though... I hope that doesn't create too much of a current. I'm using an old filter I had. Bought a "up to 20 gallon" Heater. Think it was 100 W. And got a hood that came with the aquarium.

Are there any live plants that can live off fake light? Can Java moss live off that? It's like 25 watts... theres 2 bulbs I think....

iamntbatman 02-02-2010 10:12 PM

Are they incandescent bulbs? You'll want to replace those with screw-in compact fluorescent bulbs with the appropriate color temperature. Incandescent bulbs don't really work for plants and give off a lot of heat (plus they don't last as long and waste more electricity). You can either use ones designed for aquarium use like these (you'd want the Colormax, not the 50/50) or you can buy bulbs from Home Depot or a similar store. Sometimes the ones designed to go in regular light fixtures are too wide for incandescent hoods, though.

Any plant can live off of "fake" light! Check out our Aquarium Plants section for all kinds of info about planting your tank.

As for the filter...sounds pretty powerful! You might want to put something like some pantyhose or sponge over the filter intake so that it doesn't suck up fry. I don't think the current will be too strong, though (especially if it's restricted a bit by a prefilter over the intake).

Austin 02-02-2010 11:47 PM

Thanks for the input. :) I know they can live off fake lights... but I mean aquarium lights that aren't specifically for plants... but ya I think they are incandescent bulbs... lol... well, I guess I can return them (the stupid aquarium hood didn't come with lights so we bought some 3.79$ light bulbs...).... lol think I could use em for a day or two then return them? :P Petsmart is where I bought it so I think they probably have compact florescent lights... Anyways, I'll put that on my to-do listttt... never did like the heat they gave off. changes the temperature too much when I turn them off for the night.

Does anyone know how to work the high/low heaters? XD I have NEVER liked those... I usually have the ones that show the temperature on the top rather than high/low.... but I'm tight with money and those were like 10$ cheaper than the ones with the temperature.

Lastlyyyyy, one important questionn... how long should I wait to move the fry in? I'm using the same water and rocks and one of the old filters (though, it dried up kinda so all the good bacteria prolly died......)... I am so anxious to move them in ASAP, but I know its probably not the best. I put 3 ghost shrimp in there I bought from petsmart today. I think they will be fine... I hope.

Austin 02-03-2010 08:20 PM

Well, update.

I'm going to buy 2 platies from the store tonight. I'm gonna put em in the 10 gallon tank to help cycle it hopefully... If they live for a week or two and seem healthy and all the water seems good (which is what I expect... since the water came from an established tank as well as lots of the rocks and the filter cartridge.), I'll move them in with my 4 angelfish, 1 platy, 3 plecos, and 1 blue gourami. That tank is kind of empty anyways. :)

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