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Choosing Tank Mates For Mollies?

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Zekumi, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. Zekumi

    Zekumi Member

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    Hello. :3

    I came here hoping for some good advice.

    I've got a 30 gallon tank with 3 Serpae Tetra, 3 Balloon Molly, and a pleco (whom I'm looking to get rid of).
    I adore the Mollies, although I'll admit I made a mistake. I didn't know they were live bearers and got all females, thinking I was being clever and avoiding a conundrum of accidental fry. Not the smartest thing I've ever done ...
    ANYWHO.

    I dislike the Serpae. They nip, and I'm worried they'll harass my little Mollies and leave them fin-bear, so I'm going to go and hopefully return them to a local store sometime within the next week.

    In the meantime, I'm looking for what'd make an attractive, peaceful addition to my tank and good tank mates for my mollies (no nippers, please). I don't want any more live bearers unless it's possible to 1. Discern between the male and female and 2. Get only males without them bickering amongst each other or harassing my female Balloons.
    For example, I was interested in a male Sailfin, but I heard that regardless of the species difference, he'd still torment my girl Balloons? I don't know if that's legit, though.

    EDIT: Oop. Something else just occurred to me that I forgot to ask. I'm interested in (for the future) buying some Java Ferns/Moss. I looked at my light, which I'm assuming is fluorescent (?), but I can't figure out how to determine the watts of the bulb? I thought maybe it'd be written on it somewhere, but I can't find it.
     
  2. Ludwig Venter

    Ludwig Venter Retired Moderator
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    Firstly,... I am surprised that your Serpae are fin nippers.... Not in their character as I know them (maybe they're just bored & should get another 2 which may (or may not) stop this habit....

    Secondly, Normally the wattage of your lighting (should) be written on either the box you got 'em in or on the light itself????....

    Other fish that could go with your balloons without a problem are Leopards or Zebra danios (schooling so at least six of one or the other) White Cloud Mountain fish (also at least 6)... Lemon tetras, Cardinals... Harlequins,.. a normal Chinese algea eater.. (only one), penguins,... Black neons (would be good)... Cherry Barbs... mostly all of these are better when kept in numbers more than 6.
     
  3. OldMan47

    OldMan47 Livebearer fanatic
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    Welcome to the forum Zekumi. Ludwig has given you a nice selection of fish to choose from except that I would avoid the chinese algae eater. The don't stay algae eaters forever and can become a pest in a tank. On the other hand, I really like his suggestion of harlequin rasboras. I find them a nice fish to have with almost any tank mates.
    FYI, a sailfin is not a different species than a balloon molly. They are both mollies. The balloon molly is a slightly different regular molly that people bred to emphasize the balloon shape but in any real sense they are perfectly normal mollies with a different shape.
     
  4. Zekumi

    Zekumi Member

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    Oooh. That never occurred to me. Good thing you informed me, then.
    [And thank you for the welcome. :3]

    Yeah. The Serpae aren't an immediate issue. I just see them nipping from time to time, although I'd rather just return them if they're going to be an issue in the long run. I didn't choose them myself, per se. A friend of mine gave me the tank along with the pleco and a lone Serpae (which is why I don't have a box for the bulb and don't know the watts).

    They're not particularly attractive either, so ... meh.

    I had a look at the bulb again earlier today to see if it said anything about watts.
    As far as I can tell all it says is:

    PLANT & AQUARIUM
    F20T12-PL/AQ
    WIDE SPECTRUM USA

    (Hg)

    EDIT: I looked up the 'F20T12/PL/AQ'. Apparently it's a 20 watt?
    That wouldn't be sufficient for much, I imagine.

    What kind of bulb should I be looking for in preparation for Java Moss/Ferns? They require low light, as far as I know, so would a 55 watt be adequate?
     
  5. OldMan47

    OldMan47 Livebearer fanatic
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    The F20T12 means that it is Fluorescent20Watt and the T number is the diameter in 1/8 of an inch so a T-12 is 1.5 inches in diameter. A 20 watt T-12 is 2 feet in length and could be replaced by a 2 foot long T-8 but it would not affect your light much. Even the 20 watt will be very poor lighting for plants but you could probably grow java fern, java moss and anubias well enough.
     
  6. Zekumi

    Zekumi Member

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    Oop. I think you lost me there. I couldn't get a 55 watt, then? I want good lighting, and I'm ready enough to pay for a better bulb if I can find one available that will fit right.


    As for my tank mate options:
    Would male guppies of some kind be a bad idea? I don't want anything that can't handle the bit of salt for the mollies, though, and harder water.
    As long as I find something peaceful that doesn't leave me up to my neck in babies, I'll be pretty happy.
     
  7. OldMan47

    OldMan47 Livebearer fanatic
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    Each length of standard fluorescent bulb has a particular wattage rating. In order to get more watts into the hood you will be looking at a custom light fixture. They can be multiple tubes in the same type reflector or power compact bulbs. Many of the kit lights use power compact bulbs. After market light strips can sometimes be found places like ebay that will fit various size tanks so that would be another option for more light. If you are in the US, a kit can be obtained at AHSupply or strips can be ordered from places like BigAls Online or Doctors Foster & Smith. A very few local fish shops also carry upgrade lighting but they would tend to be quite expensive compared to other options.
     
  8. Zekumi

    Zekumi Member

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    Hm. If I keep this 20 watt and get Java Ferns/Moss, for how long each day should I leave the light on?
     
  9. OldMan47

    OldMan47 Livebearer fanatic
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    The usual recommendation is 8 to 10 hours using a timer. The advantage of the timer is that it can be easily adjusted if you find you are getting algae from too long or the plants are failing to thrive from too little.
     

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