Help Black Molly and Silver Dollar

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undetermined

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Ok, so purchased my 105 Gallon Tank from a gentleman and he recently sold all of his fish except the 3" Silver Dollar. We drained the tank together to about 2-3" of water left. I transferred to my house and immediately set up and filled with RO Water. I got the BioWheel going again and the air bubblers. Once the PH level was 7-7.2 I put the Silver Dollar in. He swam immediately and has not stopped. We went to Petsmart about a week later looking at the fish we wanted. My wife wanted Black Mollies. The guy said they would do fine, just add lots of plants and get at least 4. We got 3 females and 1 male. They stayed near the filter and heater for the first couple days. I finally got some more plants and did a 15 Gallon cycle along with adding plants to minimize the stirring of things. Couple days later the mollies were going down when the lights were off, and coming up when they came on. I took the Silver Dollar out for about 24 hours and the mollies were able to explore, but the never came to the middle. I re-introduced the Silver Dollar and it looks as if the Mollies are getting a little braver, but they still hide a lot and haven't made it to the middle. They are hiding in the bottom mostly now. The PH levels are fine, I am going to try to test the nitrates using a drip rather than the strip because someone noted they are more reliable.

Guess my question is, Are the Mollies not going to be visible because of the Silver Dollar? Should I get a couple more Silver Dollars to maybe keep him occupied and satisfied? I have a good size tank, and I know it takes time to for the fish to feel comfortable, but I don't want them to die. They are eating and swimming, just not swimming openly.

Ok, just ran some tests.
PH 7.0
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 0

Had trouble understanding the Hardness Test. 5ml, add 1 drop and shake until green?

Alright, so I received no responses and decided to get a couple Silver Dollars. Amazingly, they are scared of the Black Mollies and follow the adult Silver Dollar everywhere. The Black Mollies have come around and we are going to get some more fish. I think the Creamcycle Lyretail Mollies will be next. Guess if I have an questions later, I will try again.

Hello, I've merged your posts since they were back to back with no response between.
Thanks!
Ken
 
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Aquarist

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Good morning and Welcome to Fish Lore,

I think you did the correct thing by adding more Silver Dollars. (SD) SD's are a schooling fish and are much more comfortable with members of their on kind to buddy with. Due to the tank being moved and newly set up again the fish are going to need a little time to acclimate to their new surroundings.

The Silver Dollars are some of the most peaceful fish I've ever owned. I would be very surprised if they ever harmed your Molly's. Now if your Molly's have fry in the same tank they could very well be breakfast for anyone in the tank.

I have merged your posts since they were back to back with no response between. It helps to save a little space on the forum.

I see you have your ammonia at 0 and your nitrate at 0. This has me a bit concerned. What is your readings for nitrite? Your tank is cycled when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and under 20 nitrates. The only time you should have 0 nitrates is if you have a planted (live plants) tank.

What type of test kit are you using? API (liquid) Master Test Kit is most widely recommended.

Thanks and please keep us posted.

Ken
 
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undetermined

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I am using the API Master Test kit. I will test again tomorrow, my wife just fed them. I did see that the nitrate had risen some according to the test strip. We now have 3 Silver Dollars, 3 Black Mollies and 3 Creamcicle Lyretail Mollies and they are all really happy. I think I may overtest everything, but I am trying to be extra careful until my tank is fully established for a few months. I am trying not to do any adjustments with chemicles, that is why I probably ask so many questions. What would be a good set of numbers? I will be doing a cycle in the next few days. What is the difference between cycle and cleaning the gravel? Is it better to cycle once a week and do the gravel once a month?

x for the reply
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

I'm glad you are using the API (liquid) Master Test Kit. The test strips can be inaccurate.

Be sure to shake the NitrAte bottle really well. Beat it on the counter, in the palm of your hand. Sometimes crystals can from in the bottom of the bottle and unless it's mixed really well your reading may be inaccurate here too.

You want the following readings for a cycled tank:
0 ammonia
0 nitrite
under 20 nitrates. The only time you may have 0 nitrates is if you have a planted (live plants) tank.

Cycling doesn't really pertain to your gravel so to speak. I think you may be confusing cycling with cleaning. Although it does house a large portion of good bacteria to keep the tank cycled.

I vacuum my gravel by doing 1/2 the tank one week..then I wait 2 weeks to do the other side. This gives the side of the tank that I just vacuumed time to rebuild more good bacteria before doing the other side. It's best not to do it all at once so that you don't remove too much good bacteria and send your tank into a mini cycle with increased ammonia and nitrites.

Ask all of the questions that you need to. That's why we're here is to help each other.

Ken
 

undetermined

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I just did my readings and here is what I have.

6.8 PH
0 Nitrate
.25 Ammonia

I am going to cycle about 20 gallons today, so that is 1/5 of my tank.
 

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Hello Undetermined,

Since you do have an ammonia reading of .25, your tank is not cycled. I suggest daily water changes 30 to 50% and add some Prime or Amquel + to detox the ammonia for 24 hours until it's time for the next water change. Keep up with the daily changes until you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and under 20 nitrates. Then your tank is cycled.

This will prevent your fish from suffering ammonia poisoning. Even if your fish aren't showing signs of it currently doesn't mean they won't suffer from it down the road. It can weaken their immune system leaving them open for a wide variety of disease.

Be sure that your water temperatures match from the tap to your tank. Sudden temperature fluctuations can lead to ICH.

It will get easier once your tank is cycled. Hang in there!
Ken
 

undetermined

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I cycled it today. 20 gallons and I will check it in the morning. The ammonia was fine 2 days ago. I think it is fine, it wad about 8 days before I cycled.
 

Aquarist

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Hello,

You're getting your terms confused. What you did with the 20 gallons is a water change and not a cycle I just don't want other members to get confused is all. The cycle is what your tank establishes to keep your fish safe.
Keep us posted!
Ken
 
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