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Pete112288 03-01-2011 04:46 PM

Molly breeding in a community tank
I have a 55 gallon aquarium that I have just finished stocking. Some fish have been in there for a week, some I just got today. I have;
  • 3 Dwarf Gourami
  • 9 Neon Tetras
  • 2 Zebra Dinos
  • 4 Cory Catfish
  • 2 Small Plecostomus
  • 5 Male Guppies
  • 4 Female Guppies (had 6, 2 died when first introduced to the tank, I intend to at least even out the male/female ratio soon)
  • 6 Platys
  • 6 Mollies
One of my dalmation mollies gave birth on the way home from the pet shop. I have the fry in a breeding basket. I was told with the fish I have, the fry should do alright with everyone else as long as there is plenty of hiding places. I let one loose and it did perfectly fine for a while. Every fish in the tank came to investigate and just left it alone. Then one of the other female mollies noticed it and chased it down. This female will sometimes chase other small fish in the tank. She ill just peck at them. Have not noticed any damaged fins on the others. She even occasionally will chase the a gourami, the biggest ones of my community. She is also very fat, I assume she is pregnant. With so many livebearers, I intend to, with time, get much more plants to almost completely coat the bottom with. I dont like using the basket. If the one molly is just being aggresive because she is close to giving birth, will she calm down after she does?
Any other pointers or tips for a community like mine?
Thank you

small fry 03-01-2011 05:36 PM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping!:-D

Well if you let the molly fry out of the net, the other fish will get alot of them if the fry aren't cautious. Live-bearers will eat their own fry until the fry grow too large. I would grow your fry to at least 1/2" before even considering letting them out, but even then they might be harassed by the gourami.

Also, Zebra Danios need to be kept in groups of at least 6, but they aren't very good tankmates with gourami. Gourami don't like fast moving fish such as the Zebra Danio that likes to zip back and forth in small groups (bigger in the wild).

If those plecos are common plecos, they will get WAY too big for a 55g aquarium. The minimum tank size for those plecos is a 75g tank. There are smaller species of pleco, though.

Watch those gouramis. They can be pretty mean at times. You might want to consider taking the Zebra danios to the lfs if you already have them.

Hope this helps!

DKRST 03-01-2011 05:47 PM

If you just set up the tank and it hasn't had fish for very long, watch out for water quality issues as the tank bacteria start to "cycle". Keep the water quality acceptable with water changes on a regular schedule. Also, watch out for any diseases you may have imported, particularly ick, with the new fish!

Pete112288 03-01-2011 05:47 PM

Thank you for your advice. I would have got more zera dinos but the shop only had the two left.
The plecos are only about an inch and a half long as of right now. I have had some before with this tank, when they start getting too big, I take them in get credit that I use to replace them with new small ones.
The gourami so far have not caused any problems, I keep an eye on them though. I just recently learned how to tell the males from females and now that I know, I have one male and two females. They tend to hang out in one end, even at feeding time. Most of the others like the other end. Those habbits happened almost instantly. Since there so far seems to be a lack of aggresion, I assumed they just liked the habbitat at those spots better. The gourami hang at the end with less plants and more open space, the others really like the end with dense plants.

small fry 03-01-2011 06:20 PM

Is it a new setup? Alot of fish at once can be devastating to the bio-load. You might want to invest in a master test kit from API to test for ammonia. If the tank was just setup with all those fish on your stocking list, you are going to be very busy with water changes. Very busy! Unless of course you have alot live plants...

Do you have live plants? If so, what kind? Lighting is essential for live plants, so if you don't have lighting for tank and you have live plants, we can help you find out what kind of lighting to get. Alot of plants will die without lighting.

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to post them!:-)

Pete112288 03-01-2011 06:39 PM

The tank has been set up for a few weeks. After a week was when I got the guppies, platys, and two of the corys. I dont have any live plants. For a while I planned on getting a snail, last time I combined the two, the live plants didnt last long. I dont think I am going to get a snail now. I might pick up some live plants. All these types of fish I have had before, besides the gourami. I never had this many or this big of a tank with tropical fish before. When I had it set up before, I had 2 bass, one largemouth one smallmouth, each about 4 inches, and one 4 inch bullhead catfish. I had them for a year or two before the tank started to leak. Thats why it hasnt been set up in a year or so. I fixed it and gave it plenty of time to cure before adding water back to it. Ive had guppies and platys breed before, never had they had more then one or two fry at a time though, and the fry were always pretty good size compared to what I would expect. The molly that gave birth on the way home from the shop had about 30. Id say about 10 died.

Question; I have a 2 gallon tank that I think I might set up for the fry for now. The only thing is water temp. Im on a budget now and if I can keep from having to buy a heater just for the little tank then I will. But is that a risky move with the fry? The room temp is normally around 70. Will keeping the small tank at room temp be ok? Or should I try to find a less expensive heater for it?

small fry 03-01-2011 09:14 PM


Originally Posted by Pete112288 (Post 606266)
Question; I have a 2 gallon tank that I think I might set up for the fry for now. The only thing is water temp. Im on a budget now and if I can keep from having to buy a heater just for the little tank then I will. But is that a risky move with the fry? The room temp is normally around 70. Will keeping the small tank at room temp be ok? Or should I try to find a less expensive heater for it?

That is kinda risky. Setting up a new 2g tank would mean 100% water changes everyday to keep the ammonia from building up. It would be diffecult to net the little guys everyday and get them in a cup or something while you change the water, but that would be pretty stressful. Perhaps you could dip a cup in and get most of the water out.

Heat is another issue. Small tanks tempreture will fluctuate very quickly if the room changes tempreture. You might try it, but it might be better to leave them in a contraption. How many fry do you have left?

Are all the fish on your stocking list in the tank right now? You need to keep a close eye on your ammonia, as so many fish in such a short time before the tank has started to cycle is a recipe for diesaster. You might want to invest in a bacterial suppliment to boost the cycle and help your fish with stress. Stability from Seachem labs worked wonders for me. You can get a bottle for about $10 at Petsmart.

Watch those fish for signs diesase. High ammonia can cause diesases that can wipe out colonies of fish. Be very careful and if you haven't already, you might want research some common fish diesases.

Pete112288 03-01-2011 10:41 PM

I have been using a bacterial suppliment since day one. since the couple i had die right off the bat, I havent had any more issues yet.
Thank you for the advice. Its given me a lot to think about. And has given me even more of an idea of what to keep an eye on.

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