Should have gotten a bigger tank...

annemaeve

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Hi everyone! I got my first 20 gallon tank at Christmas to set up in my office and I LOVE it. There were some hardships and losses in January-February while I learned about the nitrogen cycle and some danios paid the price. :( I had to stop naming them. :( But then I bucked up, got the Tetra 6-in-1 and Tetra Ammonia test strips, taught myself about water changes, and BAM!

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I'm feeling really confident that I can catch any future issues early. Until they all get Ick, or parasites, or eat each other, or start swimming up-side-down and worshiping Poseidon... why did I think this was going to be relaxing?!

Anyway, I kept 2 longfin Danios alive for a whole month, so I got us some new friends this weekend: 4 guppies (all male, I hope!), 2 dalmatian mollies, and a very speedy mystery snail.

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Some questions I would love input on:
  1. The 6 new fish have all nibbled at the brown diatoms on those rocks - will they actually eat it? I thought the snail would love it, but he's too busy zipping on the glass and DIGGING in the GRAVEL to have noticed it yet.
  2. Speaking of diatoms - I hear it's a phase, and eventually algae will out-compete it. But my office has huge overhangs outside and I get NO natural light. Is 8 hours of the white LED that came with my tank going to be enough to grow algae?
  3. Socially, I know the danios are lonely. When it was just the two of them, the leopard one would always chase the zebra one. Now they seem content to chill with the guppies, but should I maybe get 2-4 more? They haven't speed-swam since the new fish came and I kind of miss that.
  4. Also socially, the mollies love each other. They kinda cuddle, and explore the tank together. So they seem... "happier" as a 2-fish pair than the danios do? So am I correct in thinking they'll be ok as 2, and I should get a few more danios?
  5. What is the best fiber/plant source for the mollies? They prefer the Tetra flakes over the freeze-dried shrimps that the guppies and danios go nuts for. This morning the white mollie had a HUUUUUUGE long pink poop (like twice her length) for 2 hours before it fell off, so I want to make sure they get more greens. Is it really as simple as squishing some peas in there? How often?
  6. The fish store said that water in this town is always hard, and it's a big headache to go messing with it, so I haven't. They also told me to cycle my brand-new tank with fish without telling me I could have done it with just food and avoided all that heartache, so I'm not taking their word for everything like I had been. Is my hardness too much for the long-term happiness of the fish that I've chosen?
Anyway, that's all my questions for now - thank you so much for any input you have, I'm excited to be part of the community!

:)
 

utahfish

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The fish you have are all hard water fish. Mollies will out grow your tank and danios are a shoaling fish which require a group of at least 6. Any light is strong enough to grow algae, algae will take any available light and nutrients not used for live plants so if you dont have live plants all the light is doing is growing algae. Peas work great for alot of fish. Fish are opportunity feeders and will eat when ever the opportunity to eat presents itself. Not sure what your feeding schedule is but fish can go days to a week without eating and be just fine.i feed mine about every 3 days. Sounds like youre doing fine just increase number of danios and you should be golden!
 

Retired Viking

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You do have plenty of hiding spots for your fish but I agree with @Deanasue and @utahfish You should have some live plants they help with water quality for your fish and provide oxygen for the fish. Plants absorb ammonia and help keep algae under control. There are plenty of easy to care for plants you can add. You can plant them in sand or gravel or let them float.
 
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annemaeve

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Wow the mollies will get too big? Oh no! The sign said 3 inches :oops:

I love the idea of floating plants! Thanks everyone for the input, now to hold off on a trip to the pet store until the weekend... can I make it that long... :D
 

essjay

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Female mollies have been known to grow to 6 inches, while males are always a bit smaller.

Ignore anything a shop says, even in writing.
 

Colin_T

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It depends on the species of molly. Female Sailfin mollies can reach 6 inches but normal black mollies only reach 4 inches.
 
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