getting a planted molly setup going

  1. Sonfish Member Member

    Hi ya`ll My son has become infatuated with Black Mollies, so I built him a tank that is about 30 inches by 37 inches and about a foot deep, I do know from reading that they like salt in the water and can acclimate to salt water, My dilemma is that I am having trouble figuring out what plants and substrate to go with, I have read about Java Ferns/moss and water sprite and some others but it seems like the more I read the more confused I get, lol
    I was wondering if anyone here may have a setup established tank they have had good success with...
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated, Thanks in advance
     
  2. Meenu Fishlore VIP Member

    Awesome, that's a 57 gallon tank. I don't have plants, but welcome to fl!
     

  3. Shadowbeam Member Member

    Congrats on the tank :) The mollies will love some plants!
     

  4. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    Hi there sonfish! :sign0016: to the forum.

    I have mollies in my brackish tank. :) They're really fun, cute fish, so I can see the appeal. Mollies do well in either fw or brackish, but not full marine conditions.

    Here's some brackish adaptable plants: http://www.plantgeek.net/plantguide_list.php?category=8. Keep in mind though, mollies are vegetarians and will eat/kill your plants. The only plants I've kept for longer than a few weeks without getting nibbled to death are marimo balls. Mollies pick at these now and then, but not enough to cause any real damage. They're also super easy to care for - just toss em in water. :)
     

  5. Sonfish Member Member

    Thanks for the link, I will check out some of those plants and see what I can come up with, If they are gonna eat most of the plants it looks like Im going to have to setup an aquarium garden to keep some and not go broke feeding the Mollies lol
    What kind of substrate are you using?
     
  6. Beth1965 Well Known Member Member

    My mollies do not eat my plants, i have them in a 55 gallon.
     
  7. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    What kind do you have Beth? :) I would love something new in my tank that the mollies won't eat! I wonder if they eat brackish plants, which would be native, but not fw plants. Pretty interesting if that's the case. :)
     
  8. m-corbett1 Initiate Member

    I have a bunch of assorted FW plants in my tank... I dont really know the names of them... but theyre leafy...haha i kno great description.... but i have like 10 mollies and they dont even touch them.... I also have a bamboo plant in there too and again noy even a nibble.
     
  9. Regal Well Known Member Member

    Hi Sonfish!
    Welcome to fishlore. I've been following this thread because I hope to be able to have a brackish planted tank at some point but I wasn't sure if it could be done.

    I have a planted 55 gallon with Mollies too.

    I have:

    Amazon Swords
    Stargrass
    Ludwiga Replens
    Corkscrew Val
    Java Moss and Riccia (sometimes in this tank)

    and these, which are some of what I got from Fishlorian Steve420 (all doing well BTW)
    Rotala Rotundifolia
    Hygrophilia sp. Bold
    Limnophila Indica

    My mollies don't eat the plants. I don't use salt. Maybe the salt turns Mollies into piggies. I would like to use this tank for a puffer or two in the future but I don't want to be unable to keep it planted because of the salt. I had only heard of java ferns and java moss as plants that do well in brackish water. That's quite a list in the link here though so maybe I can figure something out after all. I'm trying to find a way to have my cake and eat it too, of course.

    Good luck with your Molly tank!
     
  10. omnitheforsaken Member Member

    Java Fern's would be a good choice for you as they don't require any specific substrate so you could tailor that to the needs of your Molly's, don't require special lighting, and supposedly contain a chemical that deter herbivorours fish from eating them. Plus they reproduce frequently enough to keep you well stocked.
     

  11. Sonfish Member Member

    Thanks for the info, I went to the LFS yesterday and told the guy my plan on getting a brackish tank up and running, he said, Oh no you cant have plants in a brackish tank. I kinda lost faith in him at that point, I have read alot maybe even too much about planting brackish water, plus I know mother nature has all kinds of plants that thrive in bBW So I am using the list in the link ^^ Up there as a shopping list. that and seeing whats available locally.
    I did decide to go with pool filter sand and some areas with argonite to help with the ph, I have read about compacting and using gravel and sand but this tank has a pretty big foot print and I plan on using some stones and driftwood glued in place with some aqaurium silicone,to help maintain a border between the two different substrates, I know some mixing is going to occur but I hope to be able to keep that to a minimum.
    Thanks again for yalls replies


    I got some Tropica fern (microsorium Pteropus) its supposed to dp well in the brackish water, and ordered some Micro Sword, and Java ferns.
     
  12. iloveengl Well Known Member Member

    Sounds like it's gonna be great! Can't wait to see pics of the tank's progress. :)
     
  13. Sonfish Member Member

    Ok heres the tank I built it from scratch
    143.jpg

    The leak check
    144.jpg
    another angle
    145.jpg
    The layout about half way done
    146.jpg
    I dont have my drift wood yet but Ill add a couple pieces soon as I find some I like
    The argonite in the back covers roughly a third of the bottom and is about 2 inches deep, The pool filter sand in the front is roughly an inch or so deep, by the way if your married DONT rinse the sand in the bath tub, if I had a wife Im sure she woulda made me sleep on the couch for a couple weeks lol after doing that.
     
  14. Regal Well Known Member Member

    I am married and am a wife and I think I'm a little bit mad at you about the bathtub lol! When the plumber gets there and asks why there is sand in the drain what are you gonna say then huh?!

    The tank looks good. It looks low and wide. It will give you more room for planting!

    Have you decided what lighting you are going to use?
     
  15. Sonfish Member Member

    Im the plumber lol, besides ya gotta look at the bright side, I can exfoliate when I take a bath lol.
    I built it low and wide as a planted aquarium was the goal when I started this project.
    I have been doing some reading on the lights and havent really come to a conclusion as to what type I want, I`ll probably use one that hangs from the ceiling as I have an all glass top for it,
    Do you have any suggestions for lights? Im open to all ideas.or experiences
     
  16. Shadowbeam Member Member

    Looks fantastic so far! You will have some very happy Mollies!
     
  17. Regal Well Known Member Member

    Wait a minute! The sand is still in the tub? Get in there and scrub that tub right now!

    You could use shop lights and build something nice to go around them so they look nice. (you seem pretty handy with tools) If you want lighting made specifically for aquariums, I would get T5 lighting. I have a tank with 260 watt PC lighting and some with 108 watt T5 lighting and the T5 lighting is dramatically brighter at less than half the wattage. For a planted tank you want a mix of 6700K bulbs and 10,000K bulbs.

    Are you going to use pressurized CO2? You could leave the top open and make it a paludarium (sp?) with plants growing right out of the top. I might be getting a little carried away lol. Those tanks are so pretty though.
     
  18. bolivianbaby Fishlore Legend Member

    Welcome to Fishlore! Building a tank from scratch is an awesome ability to have.

    I can't help with the planted tank, though, no experience with anything that doesn't float on top.

    Good luck, keep us posted, and please keep posting pics. This is a really cool thread.
     
  19. Sonfish Member Member

    Hmmm plants growing out the top, now that would be cool, and its for sure an idea I will toy with, it would sure help cover my "custom euro bracing"lol I dont think I really needed.
    I used 3/8 glass for the sides so I know its plenty enough to hold the pressure.(I kinda have a tendancy of over building)
    I was looking at the t5 lights and started reading in the diy here about the pvc light fixtures someone made, they look to be pretty effecient, plus I have a bunch of 4 inch pvc around, lol,
    I have been looking at some of the C02 injection threads and not sure how to go about that yet, really Im in the planning stages and will not have a bunch of plants at first, and was kinda thinking with the fish we have that they should be able to maintain the plants till I get to the point of needing it,
    Kinda taking baby steps here and getting the cycle right then comes lights and more plants, and FISH !!!! darn I cant wait till I get the fish in there, lol
    Its tough to be patient lol
    The top I can leave half of it open or all of it so I have many options as far as that goes.
    Yall have some great ideas and I can see this might really be more better than I expected...
    I did get the sand outta the tub by the way lol,
    I did by the way add my other passion diving in this tank, see the long curved thing in the middle? Its a Mammoth rib(fossilized) I found diving in a river near here,

    Thanks for yalls replies and keep the ideas coming, I love DIY stuff and it looks like I can get a me do list as long as my leg just messing with this tank....
     
  20. Regal Well Known Member Member

    Ya baby steps are good :)

    The tank looks amazing so far. I can't wait to see more pics as you get it all together. Black Mollies are gorgeous and will look great with your plants.