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pabearpa 06-07-2010 12:50 AM

Molly's compatible? Plants for fry? Additional fish?
Hi All!
After a 40 year absence from having an aquarium, my college son has, indirectly ;-) , re-introduced me to the hobby:-D! Unfortunately, I am sure a lot has changed! So please bear with me during this initial inquiry!

Aquarium set-up (you can also see on "Pabearpa20gal" aquarium tag - I hope to add a pic later):
20 gal freshwater (salt added - see inhabitants below);
bio-filter / full hood / rock / 2 live plants / 2 artificial plants / cave / castle / flake food / frozen brine shrimp;
- Mollys:
1 - black - sailfin (orange border on fin) - male;
1 - silver - lyretail - female (acquired pregnant from store - 14 fry in breeder pen);
- Swordtail:
1 - fire orange - male;
- Platy:
1 - "marbled" grayish / orange - sailfin - male (if platy's don't come in sailfin's then it must be a molly?)
- Neon tetras:
6 - 3 male / 3 female;
- Fantail guppy's:
3 - 1 male / 2 female;
- 2 Corydoras.

1. Are all Molly's compatible? Why? The female silver lyretail continually chases and "nips" at the black male and he try's at all possible to keep away from her to the extent where he gets exhausted and lays on the bottom at times. She does not bother the other fish; in fact, I have seen the "platy" become "anamorous" with her (may help answer my question above?)
2. What plants are great hideouts for fry?
3. Are attachable "v- bottom birthing units" advisable?
4. Ideas on how to sell the newborns? At what size is advisable?
5. Given we have a male dominated tank, is it big enough to support adding some females?
6. Any other advice / suggestions given the above layout, etc.?

Thank you for your time and patience!

(Des Moines)

iamntbatman 06-07-2010 03:06 AM

Welcome to TFK, and welcome back to the hobby!

Do you know the pH and hardness of your water? Livebearers generally prefer harder, more basic water but depending on the species of your corydoras you might not want to keep them with those livebearers and the neons generally prefer softer, acidic water so also don't mix well with livebearers. That goes for the salt, too; while all livebearers can tolerate (and even appreciate) some level of salt, the corydoras and neons certainly won't so I'd leave that out. So, depending on your pH and hardness, you're likely to be more suited to either soft or hard water fish so you might want to rethink your stocking once you have those numbers.

Mollies are odd critters. They're usually referred to as peaceful community fish but it's really not too uncommon for individuals to not play nice with their tankmates. Sometimes this is due to balancing issues with stocking (generally you want to keep at least two females for every male) but other times, you've just got a jerk fish that needs to go back to the store. Your tank is fairly heavily stocked, so I think you should wait on the pH and hardness before adding more females to the mix.

I think you'll be hard pressed to find a store that will actually give you money (or even store credit) for livebearers. They breed so rapidly that they're just not in demand, especially not young fish and it could be quite expensive (in terms of money and space in your house) to set up additional grow-out tanks to get your fry large enough to sell. If you do want to keep some fry and let them grow out, I've found that floating hornwort and java moss along the bottom of the tank make excellent refuge for fry of all kinds.

pabearpa 06-07-2010 09:26 PM

Thank you for your reply and advice! We will do the water checks and post them for additional input from youself and the community! Again, thank you!

redchigh 06-07-2010 10:44 PM

I also would be careful, black mollies are typically 'weak' fish (from the decades of inbreeding to bring out a mutation that doesn't exist in the wild.)

Also, while salt CAN be good with livebearers sometimes, I do not think it should be used constanty... There isn't really any evidence that it helps, and it can limit your treatment options if a disease does pop up (god forbid).

In addition, plants don't like salkt very much.
If your waterparameters agreee with livebearers, then I'd reccomend hygrophila difformis. Also, 'guppy grass' works great as a fry cover, if you can't get hornwort.

pabearpa 06-07-2010 11:15 PM

Hi redchigh!
Thank you for your advice!

Byron 06-08-2010 10:02 AM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

I agree with both previous members advice. And on the salt: The water in plant cells passes out via osmosis in an attempt to stabilize the salinity of the aquarium water and in doing so the plants literally dehydrate and die. Neons are characins, and scientific evidence shows that these fish cannot tolerate salt greater than 100 ppm (parts per million) which is not very much. Corydoras have a similar issue.


pabearpa 06-08-2010 08:06 PM

Thank you Byron! Much appreciated!

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