My fish had fry and I wasn't prepared!!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by nickyandalexsmommi, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. nickyandalexsmommiNew MemberMember

    We recently set up our first tank. It is 20 gallons and originally only had two black and two silver mollies. We added two albino catfish to help with the extra food at the bottom of the tank (at least that is what we were told they would do!). Yesterday I found two (so far) fry, which I wasn't expecting and also found one of my catfish had died and it appears that his tail fin has been chewed on. I usually clean my tank on Fridays and now I am afraid to clean it and risk vacuuming up the little guys. I am guilty of getting too excited about wanting fish and did not do my research, therefore I did not realize my fish were live bearing fish! I also did not realize my fish was pregnant. Does anybody have any advice on how to manage my new adventures?!?!?!? Also, any reccommendations for keeping my tank clean, my vacuum takes out a lot of water!
  2. fbn

    fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to the forum!

    The adult mollies do eat fry.

    You can do a vacuum, just be super careful. Maybe someone else can also help you by watching for the fry as you vacuum.

    Is this tank cycled?
  3. OP

    nickyandalexsmommiNew MemberMember

    We, unfortunately, followed the advice of a pet store employee as to setting up our tank. We believe our aquarium was fully established before we added fish. We had it for about a month before we added fish. I was also wondering if we should remove our decorations periodically to clean them? I know not to use chemicals, but I wasn't sure if we should boil them or just spray them down to remove the excess algae. I am thinking that we should have done more research before we added fish! We didn't not know until after starting to research online that mollies are better with a little aquarium salt.

  4. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    It would help if you can fill out your aquarium info. Do you have a test kit to test for ammonia, nitrite and nittrate? What did you do with your tank during the month before you added fish? Just letting the tank run for a month will not cycle it.

    Some people keep mollies in brackish water, others do not. Brackish water is made with marine salt, not aquarium salt.

    What color is the algea?

    Sorry for all the questions, but it will help everyone understand what all is happening in your tank with a little more info.

    And by the way, Welcome to Fishlore!

  5. luke355027355027Well Known MemberMember

    In my experience all of my fish do better with salt and it even helps heal fin rot.

    When I do big water changes 40 gallons I take out a decoration that has a lot of algae and let it sit out for a day.
  6. wisecrackerz

    wisecrackerzWell Known MemberMember

    can you be a little more specific when you say "albino catfish"? are these corydoras (topping out at 2"-3")? or are they like channel cats (topping out at 2'-4')? Or they could be plecos, or any number if critters. A solid id will help us give you better advice for the health of your fish! :)
  7. aviatorcoriesNew MemberMember

    Same thing happened to me.

    Are you talking about albino cories?
    My green cories laid unexpected eggs a few weeks ago. The fish store person told us to get a separator for our tank and put the eggs in in, so when they hatched they'd be safe. The separator I'm talking about is the AQ2, and just click or type in this link to view its image.
    Sorry it's kind of long.
    If you're talking about cories, this is safe and they won't get their heads stuck in the holes. If it's another type of catfish fry I'm sure they'll be fine. :)

    EDIT: This will also keep fish that are picked on safe but depending on the fish they might be afraid of it.
  8. OP

    nickyandalexsmommiNew MemberMember

    I am not sure how to edit the tank info so I will do what I can to inform you better. I only have a twenty gallon tank and before we added our fish we had two goldfish in there. Again at the advice of a store associate. He said the goldfish would help get the tank cycle going. We also used water conditioner. We do have test strips and we have been testing regularly, but I have read that those are not very accurate. Our local stores do not have the test kits with the tubes so we ordered some online yesterday. I was only told that they were Albino catfish, but after doing some research, they appear to me as Albino Cory. I am curious to know if anybody has suggestions as to cleaning and vacuumig without removing too much water? Also, I do not have any plecos or any other real algae eater. Should I or should I just use algae treatments? If you reccommend algae eating fish, what would you suggest?
  9. fbn

    fbnWell Known MemberMember

    What kind of algae is giving you problems?

    Otos are great little algae eaters, but are very sensitive, starve easily, and should be one of the last, if not the last, addition to a fully cycle aquarium.

    Another option would be nerite snails. Some Petco stores sell them.

    I have read that algae treatments can be dangerous. I would avoid them.

    You may want to buy a smaller vacuum. It would suck the water out at a slower rate.
  10. wisecrackerz

    wisecrackerzWell Known MemberMember

    Four easy ways to cut down on algae
    1) do HUGE water changes, to remove your nitrates. No nitrates, no algae.
    2) Turn off the lights. No light, no algae.
    3) Cut back on feeding; just feed once a day, or very lightly. This will help remove excess food and thus, excess nitrogen, from your aquarium. No nitrogen, no algae.
    4) Add plants. These plants will help absorb your nitrates, which will help out compete your algae. Also, removing nitrates is good for your fish, and they'll add O2 to your water, as well as giving your fry a place to hide.

    please do not use chemical algae treatments; these can be incredibly harmful to fish, especially to fry.
  11. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    If you click on the tab on the top of the screen that says "my settings" you will find edit aquarium info under it.
  12. fbn

    fbnWell Known MemberMember

    I always test 0 for nitrates and still get algae..
  13. wisecrackerz

    wisecrackerzWell Known MemberMember

    well, the algae does use some of it up; it's part of what helps me keep my nitrogen under control in my goldfish tank. if you do things to intentionally nitrogen starve your aquarium, you should get a reduction. i can't garuntee it'll work, but i'd be really surprised if it didn't

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