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I have had my 10 gallon going for a while and it's housed a slew of fish. After being empty for about two weeks and a failed fishless cycle attempt, I woke up this morning and saw the filter had stopped running. Who knows how long it hasn't been running. (ew.)

I was a bit depressed so I went to my LFS to look at fish and decided I would cycle it with three black mollies (1 male, 2 female) then slowly transfer to brackish, rehome the mollies and get a baby green spotted puffer. I just got home, did a 100% WC while floating the mollies and let the filter run for about 15 minutes before releasing them.

Here are the tank and water specs;

10 gallons
Minimal decor
Tetra 5-15 gallon filter
ViaQuartz 50 watt heater
Coralife digital thermometer
Incandescent lighting
Sand/Gravel Mix Substrate
Filter intake covered with the back of a filter cartridge pad (in case of babies)

tap water;
pH - 8.2
Ammonia - 0
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 0

My new API Master and GH/KH test kits were supposed to come in today but were delayed due to the holiday. I JUST threw out my old one because I've had it since 2008 and it has since expired and can no longer be trusted.

I will be doing 25-35% water changes every other day until my test kit comes in and then they will be done when the ammonia or nitrites go too high. This will be a long project due to funds.

I am on a $10 a week fish allowance from the fiance. Here is the order in which things will be purchased;

Stand (3 weeks)
Extension Cord (2 weeks)
80 gph canister (3 weeks)
Nano Hydrometer (1 week)
Marine Salt (3-4 weeks)
Decor (don't even want to know)
1 gallon (3 weeks)
free snails from petsmart (x)
puffer (2 weeks)

Be the time the puffer is an option and the salinity is at the desired level, the tank should be fully cycled. I have never done brackish and I look forward to updating you as the project goes on!

Flint
 

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Here is the order in which things will be purchased;

Stand (3 weeks)
Extension Cord (2 weeks)
80 gph canister (3 weeks)
Nano Hydrometer (1 week)
Marine Salt (3-4 weeks)
Decor (don't even want to know)
1 gallon (3 weeks)
free snails from petsmart (x)
puffer (2 weeks)
Okay, so after much deliberation, there has been a change of plans. As soon as I have the money, I will be buying a bottle of Tetra SafeStart to try a "quick cycle", (You know I'll keep you updated with daily readings!) From there, I will be purchasing a hydrometer and marine salt. Once the tank is cycled, I will start adding marine salt to raise the SG .002/week until I am at the SG that the LFS keeps their puffers in. (I need to call on Monday and ask) From there, I will let him be in that SG for a month (unless it is under .008) and begin saving for a 36 gallon bowfront, stand, live sand, live rock and a canister filter rated for 264 gallons. I will then set up the tank and begin cycling it. I will most likely add another canister filter (I want AT LEAST 360gph). I will purchase another 264gph to add and if it is too much, I will just put it on my 75 gallon and get a 106gph. Maybe eventually a protein skimmer as well. I feel this is a better option for the GSP in general after hours upon hours of intensive research last night. I look forward to my new friend!
 

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The mollies have been in the tank for over 24 hours (getting closer to 48 at this point) and they are all sticking in a group and just hovering in place. They were taken from a VERY LARGE shoal of probably 70 others. I'm going to post a little question about it in the livebearer section. Still waiting on my test kit but the water is crystal clear.
 

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My test kit finally came in, here are the readings as of now;

Ammonia - 1ppm
Nitrites - 0ppm
Nitrates - 0ppm

I'm going to go get some new sand for the tank tomorrow!!
 

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I'm going to add a SUNSUN 603B to my filtration and am no longer going the RO route if my pH doesn't skyrocket too badly with the addition of salt. The Mollies are doing well, one of the females is starting to really fatten up. (; Hopefully a few babies live, if I see any I'm going to net them because I'd like a bit higher bioload in the tank. I doubt they will, though, seeing as the tank is cycling. I got another bottle of TSS but I want to give the tank until next weekend. If I see no Nitrates by then, I'll do a WC and add it, since I'll be changing my sand to playsand that weekend anyways. After I change the sand, the filter will probably be next. After that, a hydrometer and then salt!!!!!! Then will come decor (most likely going to use dry rock). Hopefully by the time this is all said and done, I will have a cycled tank and can start adding salt!
 

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:)

This is awesome, my fiance and I are considering the same thing! It is amazing that mollies are considered brackish, because even though they are kind of plain and very common, they are one of my favorites (besides Bettas of course:]) I just love their personalities... is that weird? Oh well! Anywho, I will be following this lovely thread and be attempting to do the same sometime in the near future! How many fish can you keep in your 10gal with the puffer? Cos we too wanted a puffer fish. :) WHOOOPSY just noticed you said you would be rehoming the mollies. LOL. But how many fish can you keep in a 10 gal with a puffer? or is it just the puffer?
 

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You can't keep mollies or a puffer in a 10 gallon. Green Spotted Puffers need 30 gallons to themselves. This will act strictly as QT but it's no longer an issue I'm using the 10 for something else.
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You can't keep mollies or a puffer in a 10 gallon. Green Spotted Puffers need 30 gallons to themselves. This will act strictly as QT but it's no longer an issue I'm using the 10 for something else.
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My mollies are in a 10 gal.....
 

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What Flint means is that they shouldn't be in a 10g tank. A full grown Molly can get to 5" and shouldn't be in anything less than a 36x12x12 / 30x12x15. A Giant Sailfin Molly will get to 7".
Well I figured that what Flint meant, but that was news to me.... Petco people told they would be fine in a 10gal. On here it seems petco is the preferred LFS and I'll admit, I am very new to this. But now that I have started, and got my foot in the fish world, so to say, I am addicted. My main goal is to eventually breed Bettas. Right now I do not have the income for that, and so I settle for other fishy friends. The accidental molly pregnancy I recently experienced, was because I bought a pregnant molly from petco. I want to learn all I can about this underwater world, and become successful with it. I could never have kids and just have fish. I would be happy forever. I love taking care of them. Please give me all the information you can offer, I mean I sit online at night, doing research and taking notes in a single notebook to have this info on hand. Please, suggest whatever you can:)
 

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Well I figured that what Flint meant, but that was news to me.... Petco people told they would be fine in a 10gal. On here it seems petco is the preferred LFS and I'll admit, I am very new to this. But now that I have started, and got my foot in the fish world, so to say, I am addicted. My main goal is to eventually breed Bettas. Right now I do not have the income for that, and so I settle for other fishy friends. The accidental molly pregnancy I recently experienced, was because I bought a pregnant molly from petco. I want to learn all I can about this underwater world, and become successful with it. I could never have kids and just have fish. I would be happy forever. I love taking care of them. Please give me all the information you can offer, I mean I sit online at night, doing research and taking notes in a single notebook to have this info on hand. Please, suggest whatever you can:)
Apologies if I appeared patronising certainly wasn't the intention :). I don't know Petco but presume it is a chain similar to Pets-at-Home or Maidenhead Aquatics over here in the UK. If that is the case then I think you will find some of the branches are very good, some 'not so good' and the rest somewhere in between.

Two pieces of advice I would offer:

Never go to buy any fish without knowing its basic requirements. By that I mean don't go on the advice of the shop only and never buy on the spur of the moment any fish that you don't already know about.

Do a lot of research from books as the 'net has an awful lot of misinformation (apologies if this offends anybody but I have seen totally inaccurate information frequently on the web)

Something you may not know but is interesting, most female live bearers can store sperm and therefore multiple broods of fry can be obtained from a single coupling. Don't be surprised if your Molly is pregnant again even though no male is present.

EDIT - Apologises for hijacking your thread Flint.
 
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