Aggressive Molly

NancyD

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So, I have a 20 gallon tank with a male and female dalmation mollie and an algae eater. I've had them at least a month and they've all gotten along up until this week. Every time I feed them the male gets super aggressive. He'll start eating and they're fine, but the moment the female tries to eat he attacks her and does so relentlessly. Now she just hangs out at the back corner of the tank and the male mollie refuses to let her eat anything. Is this normal behavior? What can I do to solve it. I have two other tanks, a 1 gal with a male betta and a 5 gal with 2 female betta, so I'm thinking about moving some fish around to get him away from the female mollie, but I'm not sure who would be good with who. Any suggestions?
 

Iverg1

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The fish is probably not the problem, it's more likely the environment of the tank. Mollies put into a tank less than 30 gallons become aggressive, because they feel crowded. There's not enough room in there to get away from the other fish. Another issue with Mollies is they must have the surface of the tank well planted, so they feel comfortable and have hiding places to get away from other fish. , , and are all good floaters that don't require planting in the bottom material.

If you have unusual fish behavior, it's the tank conditions. Water chemistry and diet can also cause problems for Mollies. They need pure water conditions which means lots of larger and more frequent water changes. Even traces of any form of nitrogen will stress them. You should be feeding a high vegetable diet to these fish. As you can tell, these fish are high maintenance and not a good fish if you're new to the hobby.
from oldsalt777
 

Iverg1

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Quote from gena
Your Dalmatian has taken the position of queen bee and the only way she is going to vacate that position is if someone takes her on and wins. (Resulting in serious injury or death.) Pick a favorite and rehome the rest. I don't know what else is in your tank but you need to make some serious decisions.

Mollies are brutal fish. They are charming and very interactive with humans but they aren't nice to tank mates. Mollies have a history of bullying pufferfish of the same or larger size. Anything that can bully a larger puffer should not be taken lightly.
 
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NancyD

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Oh, don't get me wrong, my mollies my be new, but I'm no newby when it comes to fish, I've been raising them for the past 13 years and have had a few live as long as 6-8 years of age. But granted that does not make me an expert, and I can honestly say that I've never dealt with this issue in particular before.
Now before I got the mollies I did research on them so that I can know how to take care of them. Every site I went to says that they need 10 gallons of space per fish, so a 20 gallon tank (I was told) should be able to hold two fish comfortably. The only things in my aquarium are two mollies and an algae eater. That'll all. Yes, it is heavily planted, and has two hollow logs for hiding in. But I do not have any floating plants, so I will definitely look into that. (Do you think that would help?) And yes, I give them a varied diet of flakes, pellets, fresh veggies, and every great now and then (just for a treat) I give a few bloodworms.

Other than being overly crowded, is there any other possible issue that is the reason behind my male mollie refusing to let my female eat? (I just want to make sure before I go through the trouble of moving him to his own tank) He ONLY displays this behavior during feeding time. The rest of the day they get along just fine.
 

Iverg1

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I never said you weren’t an expert to me it seems that the male isn’t assuring his dominance over the female. I suggest if he gets more aggressive than you should put your molly in the 2 female bettas (would that agravate them?) Also why do you have a betta in a 1 gallon is he aggressive?
 

OneLittleBubble

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You can always separate the tank if it's a problem or you could get a different tank for the mollie.
I am not a mollie keeper so if these ideas are stupid just ignore them
 
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NancyD

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"Also why do you have a betta in a 1 gallon is he aggressive? "
to answer your question, My male betta is only there temporarily. He used to have the 5 gallon tank all to himself, but then a friend of mine gave me her two females because she is moving away and cannot take them with her. You can NOT keep a male and female betta together, so I gave the two females the 5 gallon tank and put him in a 1 gallon bowl for now, until I can figure out what to do with the females. I was thinking about putting them with the mollies, but I don't want to over crowd that tank. It has enough issues of it's own as it is.
 
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NancyD

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[QUOTE="OneLittleBubble]You can always separate the tank if it's a problem or you could get a different tank for the mollie.
I am not a mollie keeper so if these ideas are stupid just ignore them. "
I don't think it is a stupid question. I was thinking the same thing, but am not entirely sure.

Is there somebody on here who is experienced with both bettas and mollies? I can I put them in the same tank?
 

CaptainAquatics

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Hi! I have kept several Molly’s and the one thing I can say is they have a lot of personality. Some are the most peaceful fish you can get and some are very aggressive. Like I have a story the proves this. One time I had a Dalmatian and butterfly molly together with 3 females, which should have been enough. They all lived peacefully for a very long time and my Dalmatian molly was always alpha but he never was mean. But when my Dalmatian molly started getting old and started to slow down my butterfly molly started to bully him, and at first it was hardly noticeable but then he got more aggressive and it got to the point where my Dalmatian molly was dying and if I haven’t moved him he would have died. He actually did die a little later from old age but I saved him about a month by moving him out of that tank. My point is that some Molly’s are just aggressive and there is nothing you can do about it. He is actually the reason I haven’t gotten any more male Molly’s. I am thinking about getting a young larger molly to become domonitent over the butterfly molly but you tank is to small. I also had a ledger tank than that so the anger was not because of that. Hope this helps.
 

Thunder_o_b

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I agree with the above a 20 gallon Is too small for mollies. You also should have at least 3 females for each male. The male will run the single female to death. Best to rehome them both.
 
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NancyD

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Rehome them? You mean get rid of them? Yeah, because putting them back in a pet store where they cram 20 of them in a 10 gallon tank sure sounds like the better life for them. And I don't have any friends who have large aquariums that I can give them to (unless I ship them to Alaska).

thanks for all your help and efforts anyway guys, but it looks like I'm back to where I started.
 
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NancyD

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Okay, I'm sorry, I just re-read that and realized how rude and snappy I sounded. I apologize, I didn't mean it that way. I really do appreciate you all trying to help me here, but I'm not going to give up on these fish just because one of them has an aggression issue, or because somebody else misinformed me of the space needed in the first place. I'll find a way to make it work out for them. Thanks again.
 

CaptainAquatics

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Hi! No first off, I want to say I completely agree with you. I HAVE ONE RULE WITH MY FISH AND IT IS TO NEVER GET RID OF A FISH. If it where me I would get another female molly and just step up water changes. Hope this helps
 
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NancyD

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I'm starting to save money for a larger aquarium. Until I get one I'm putting the male in my breeders box for feeding times (since that's the only time he acts aggressive.) Actually since I started doing that he has been less aggressive towards her, and she seems to refuse to leave his side. Weird right?
I probably will get another female as well, just to help even things out.

So, I have one more question, when I do get my larger aquarium, would it be safe for me to put my two female bettas in the larger one with my mollies? (That way my male can have his 5 gal back). Or would that be a bad idea?
 
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