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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I'm planning my first 10 gallon freshwater tank, and I've decided I'd like to try to keep a few mollies. I'm new to fishkeeping, so thank you in advance for your guidance! My plan so far:

2 short-finned mollies (both female)
3-4 cory cats (pygmy maybe, to lower the bioload?)
3 amano shrimp
Several live plants

My questions are:

1. Is this a reasonable number of fish for this tank size?
2. Will the mollies bother the catfish or the shrimp? Would it be better to keep them alone?
3. What would be the best substrate to use? I'm thinking sand so that the cory cats don't damage their barbels, but would this be okay for the plants? I've also read that mollies do best in hard water, and that substrate is one of the best ways to alter water hardness (crushed coral). Is there a happy medium here?

The tank will be fully cycled before any fish are added. This site has taught me well! I will also be using a good quality filter and will be doing frequent water changes.
 

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First off welcome to the group.

Second I would ask have you bought the 10g yet? If not when the big chain stores put them on sale for $1 per gallon grab a 20g high or Long (Both can be great) because it will be easier to keep a 20g tank stable and you will be happier in the long run. If you already have the 10g then no problem maybe you can upgrade in a few months. Then you have 2 tanks:grin2: and before you know it they start to breed.

Okay back to the questions.
1- Those fish should do fine in the tank. Mollies will be a little big for a 10g with only 2 it should be fine.
2- The mollies will ignore the corys no question. The shrimp if they are small the mollies might try to catch them to eat, I have never keep that type so I can't be sure their size. I have been able to keep Cherry Shrimp with most fish because they will breed faster than the fish will eat them as long as you have places for the shrimp to hide like plants.
3- For a substrate you can do Pea Gravel (hardware store $5 for 50 pound bag) or Pool filter Sand (hardware store $12 for 50 pound bag) both would give you lots of left over for that send tank. :grin2: I have used both I like sand a lot because it looks more natural to me, you can drop a few rocks on top to help but not needed. I never try to alter the water, because most fish that you will get from the store have adjusted to our water so they don't need anything other than tap water with chlorine removed.


Good luck on the tank and feel free to ask questions.

I will make a suggestion for a filter use a sponge filter. It isn't high tech and they are cheap but work great.
 

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I think that it is reasonable, though not advisable. Meaning, I wouldn't advise someone keep the fish in a tank that small, but if you were going to do it, you're doing it right.

I would agree that the mollies don't care about the catfish. However, when kept in too small of a tank, a fish can start annoying other fish in the tank that it would otherwise have no occasion with which to interact. I don't expect that to be a problem, but it's definitely on the radar as a potential problem, which would be far less likely to manifest in a larger tank.

Sand is the best, in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both so much for responding! I really appreciate the feedback, especially as far as the substrate. That was one of my main concerns.

The 10 gallon tank was a gift, so really what I'm trying to decide now is what to stock it with. I've always loved black mollies and I would love to be able to keep them, but not if they won't be healthy/happy in the 10 gallon. I do like your idea of upgrading to a 20 gallon. Maybe I can start them in the 10 while a 20 is cycling and then transfer them over? And then just go with a betta in the 10 gallon.

One last question: If I do end up starting with this set up, will a covered tank be necessary? I've seen mixed information about whether mollies are prone to jumping.
 

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The Betta in a 10 gallon is a much better plan, in my opinion. You could also keep a proper school of dwarf corys in there too. They do like to be in larger numbers. 20 gallon is better for your mollies. You could start them in the 10 and move them to the 20 - then the 10 will be ready for the Betta and whatnot. However, I would do it the other way if you haven't already started the cycling process with the 10. 20 first then use media from that filter to quick cycle the 10.

Covering the tank is good for several reasons, including protection from contaminants, prevention of evaporation, as well as keeping your fish in the tank. Most fish won't jump out. A top is not necessary but highly recommended. Especially a glass top.
 

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I like to cover all my tanks because some times they will jump out. I have lost a few fish because of that over the years not fun.


I will add watch where you get the mollies I have bough many groups and they always die on me. I think the molly you find in the big chain stores is weak and get sick easy. I have had good luck with a group I got from a breeder that caught them wild, but store bought ones don't do well for me.
 
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