ground cleaner stocking ideas

Stefan3289

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Hello all,

So I currently have a 29 gallon with gravel substrate. I also have a group of 7 mollies with half being juvenile (inch or less) and half being about 1.5-2 inches. I currently have the tank salinity around 1.003/.005 as I’ve been told mollies need a little bit of salt especially when they get older. I was wondering if there would be any kind of small catfish that would work in my tank that would be fine with slight salinity and a gravel substrate, but I assume not in a 29 gallon.

If there are no catfish, would there be any kind of ground cleaner that would work for my tank such as some species of shrimp or snail?
 
There's no such thing as a ground cleaner - there are catfish you like enough to get and set up for, and there's you with a siphon and gravel cleaner. We all try for shortcuts and end up meeting our inner fish.

What kind of mollies do you have? I bred wild caught and wild type mollies for years, always in mineral rich freshwater. I never added salt, and they did well for generations. The only ones I would have added salt for were the large sailfin velifera and latipinna. All the mollies I've caught in the wild (4 species) were in freshwater.
 
There will be no fish to clean your tank. That is your job as a fish keeper. There’s no fish or invert we can add to solve our problems in the tank, Gary is correct.
 
The biggest problem, especially with a herbivore like a molly, is solid waste. It isn't a diet favourite for the average fish we can get in stores. There are fish who sift through everything, as 'detritivores', but they prefer standard foods.

A lot of people buy plecos to clean up, only to discover they have poop machines that add a lot to the mess.
 
I see I have used the wrong word and made some people angry. I meant ground cleaner as in just will eat food off the ground like a catfish, not syphon the gravel for poop as yes that is my job. Perhaps a better word would have been bottom dweller😅
 
I see I have used the wrong word and made some people angry. I meant ground cleaner as in just will eat food off the ground like a catfish, not syphon the gravel for poop as yes that is my job. Perhaps a better word would have been bottom dweller😅
Nobody was angry :) if it’s just for excess food shrimp will do the best job, catfish aren’t the greatest for leftovers they do best with sinking pellets of their own
 
There's no such thing as a ground cleaner - there are catfish you like enough to get and set up for, and there's you with a siphon and gravel cleaner. We all try for shortcuts and end up meeting our inner fish.

What kind of mollies do you have? I bred wild caught and wild type mollies for years, always in mineral rich freshwater. I never added salt, and they did well for generations. The only ones I would have added salt for were the large sailfin velifera and latipinna. All the mollies I've caught in the wild (4 species) were in freshwater.
Currently I have 2 sailfins, 3 balloons, 1 lyretail, and 1 that I am not sure what he is as he was just in an “assorted mollies” tank. He looks albino as he has red eyes and is deep orange and white. Would you then recommend that I not use the salt? And what do you mean by mineral rich water did you get that naturally from their source or is there some specific water?
 
Nobody was angry :) if it’s just for excess food shrimp will do the best job, catfish aren’t the greatest for leftovers they do best with sinking pellets of their own
Is there any shrimp you would recommend with mollies? I see @GaryE said he does not use salt with his mollies so I will see his input on what I should do with my tank. Also curious as to what he would recommend feeding them so they can get the best diet and maybe some shrimp would also like the diet.
 

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