Help and advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Question Help and advice

Hi everyone,


I have recently inherited a tropical fish tank after a bereavement. I am a real novice and have been spending the last week or so trying to fathom out what I am doing. I really want to keep the tank going and I must say, as far as my untrained eye can tell, the fish are happy. However I don't have anyone I can ask for advice so I thought I would say hello on here and explain my concerns. I have read so many posts with varying views on over stocked tanks and I am worried that I have inherited just that and want to know what I should do for the best. I have measured the tank as 60cm length, 32cm width and 40cm depth. After some googling I have identified the following:


3 x Sailfin Mollys (Female) - I am not 100% sure I've got this breed right but I am fairly confident.
3 x Balloon Mollys (Female)

4 x Guppies (Male)
4 x Otocinclus
4 x Corydoras


There are 11 very small mollys, between 1cm and 2cms maximum in length... I have no idea how old they are or how they got there. They don't resemble guppies at all so I am pretty sure they are not related although one of the guppys seems a bit flirty with what I think is a Sailfin Molly female - who is so much bigger than him (about 8cm in length). He seems to shimmy in front of her although a couple of times he has got close to her face so I another concern is that he is hurting her. Any ideas?



My Dad had two tanks - although one was empty when he died but I have kept it. The empty one is almost identical in size. Without being able to talk to Dad and understand how he worked things, I am a little stuck.


Would you recommend splitting these fish up and having two tanks or if they are 'seemingly' happy should I leave them as they are? What should I be looking out for in terms of unhappy fish? If I am honest, I'd really like to keep this up and I can see myself finding it a rewarding hobby.



I hope someone can help with a bit of advice - particularly about the volume of fish and if it is 'overstocked'. I've added a couple of pictures in case it helps.



Best wishes, Alex
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 09:33 PM
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Nice job taking it over.

Probably the single most important thing right now is developing a water change routine. I do 30-50% weekly.

I use prime for chlorine. Good water changes and observation will lead you to what you need next


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2018, 11:51 PM
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It sounds like you might have a 20 gallon tall tank? You could use the empty tank that you have as a hospital / quarantine tank, if you get new fish that you are wanting to put in your tank that is currently running, it is always a good idea to quarantine them before adding them to your main tank, if you get fish that are sick you can separate them from the healthy ones and treat them in your hospital tank. To start out doing weekly water changes can be an important thing to start with, and making sure that the fish are fed, but not overfed. I doubt that the guppy is hurting the Molly, Guppies and mollies are pretty good tankmates from my experience, though if you happen to have a male and female Molly, or male and female guppies together they will breed like rabbits. If you have mini mollies in the tank it is possible that one of your females was pregnant at one time and gave birth. When you do water changes just remember to treat the water to make it safe for the fish, usually anything that treats it for chlorine but make it fish safe and there are plenty of affordable options on the market. I think you have a decent amount of fish for that tank size, so I don't think you're particularly overcrowded, you could also set up the second tank if you felt like you wanted to part the tanks out. Or if you wanted to raise a different type of fish you could use the 2nd tank for that. Overall have fun with it, this Hobby can be very rewarding and enjoyable! Best of luck!

Life without an aquarium is just flat out boring, Unfortunately like most in the hobby I'm highly susceptible to Multiple-Tank-itis.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I believe it is a 20-gallon tank. Thank you - that's all really helpful. I will make sure I get something to treat the water changes. It's a relief to know they are not overcrowded. I've been reading that Otos like algae but I don't think there is a lot in the there - although they seem happy. I've bought some algae wafers for them so hopefully, they will eat those.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 02:39 PM
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It's interesting that your dad had male guppies with female mollies. I believe Guppies and Mollies are different species in the same genus and will cross breed, producing 'Muppies' (which will most likely be sterile). I don't know if this is what happened....but it can.

Over crowding is a very relative term. Sure, you can have what appears to be too many fish in a tank, but if/when your willing to put in the work of extra tank maintenance, the tank can still be a healthy environment for the fish. For example, the average tank with a small(er) fish load may receive a 25-50% weekly water change and the fish are fine. Another tank of the same size may have twice the fish, but gets a larger volume weekly (or twice weekly) water change and is also fine. This co-insides with proper feeding and filter maintenance.

So stay on top of water changes. If it seems crowded, you could always setup that other tank. In the meantime, if you may want to rehome the fry once they grow out.

Tank On, Mike-
60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


What came first, the chicken or the egg. It was the egg, but not the egg from a chicken.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2018, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks AbbeysDad. I appreciate people taking the time to reply.
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