Possible baby fish! Beginner

  1. NickW Initiate Member


    Hello all!

    My wife rescued a siamese fighting fish (long story) and so we've ended up jumping into the world of fish keeping.

    I've been reading up a lot and I think I understand the water cycle, I'm half decent with water as I do a lot of brewing and I already have some tests kits.

    I've got a PF Mini filter. With 2 grades of sponge, one carbon sponge and a "finger" of biohome ultra on the top. I added some bacteria pellets last week too, and a squirt of stress zyme.

    We've had the tank in place for a week. It's about 40-50 litres. The fighting fish was in there for a week and we've just got 2 pairs of mollies.

    They all seem happy enough. But it appears that each species of molly we have is a male and female! The male of each is nudging the females belly and following her around the tank constantly. From my research it appears to be mating behaviour. One of the mollies does look quite "chunky"!

    I understand that I don't want any more fish waste in the tank just yet as I have not completed the cycle. I did a nitrite test and the levels are still quite high.

    Question is... am I doing things right so far? And... if my suspicions are true, what shall I do with the impending babies?... will the fighter eat them? If not... are they going be so small that they won't have much effect on the cycle?

    I'm also doing a 20% water change every few days and some gravel cleaning. Tresating the water with stress coat too
  2. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    First thing you need to do is either buy a much bigger tank (I think 30 gallons minimum) for your mollies as they get quite large and are a higher bioload fish. Further, in a tank as small as the one you have now keeping a betta with any other fish is not recommended. Bettas are highly territorial. You could maybe do snails or shrimp with him though!

    Congratulations on your first fish:)

  3. NickW Initiate Member

    Thanks! I was advised that molly's were generally ok with bettas. They've actually been chasing him around the tank...! I'll see how it goes. Otherwise I'll have to look at a bigger tank
  4. Aquaphobia Fishlore Legend Member

    It's not about whether the mollies will get along with the betta, it's the fact that mollies need a much bigger tank;)

  5. NickW Initiate Member

    I will look at a nice big tank soon.

    I've just noticed that one of the female mollies has string hanging out her bottom !! Looks like eggs in there... definitely pregnant...

    Will the betta eat the young ones?

  6. MinhMai Member Member

    Mollies bear live young, therefore don't lay eggs. The string is poop constipation however and may be a sign that she's about ready to release her baby fry. The betta and the mollies will eat anything that's "bite sized"
  7. NickW Initiate Member

    Thanks for the info. She looks rather bloated. Will she get stressed with the male constantly nudging her belly?

  8. MinhMai Member Member

    Yes she can be stressed out, which is why people generally recommend a ratio of 2:1 F:M to spread out the "harassment"
  9. NickW Initiate Member

    Is the extra fish in the tank going to cause issues with my cycling?
  10. MinhMai Member Member

    They will produce waste assuming the fry don't get eaten, it will require more frequent water changes to keep ammonia and nitrite waste products from reaching toxic concentrations. This is part of why mollies need bigger tanks, then they also produce babies monthly, and if they survive add to the bio load.

  11. NickW Initiate Member

    Thanks :)

    I plan on doing water changes every 3 days or so. When the cycle has complete. I've read that these biohome filters are so porous that water changes will be few and far between, because they hold anaerobic bacteria well, and they'll chew up the nitrate. Would I be right in assuming this?
  12. MinhMai Member Member

    It takes time for bacteria to grow and colonize so you will need to frequently do 50% water changes up to 2-3 times a week during your cycling period. If you can find tetra safe start plus or seachem stability bacteria additives then you can accelerate your cycle by several days. Even with biohome ultimate water changes of 25-50% are still necessary 2-3 times per month depending on your bioload and water parameters. API freshwater master test kit will let you measure ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and is the most accurate test frequently available. The parameters you want to aim for <0.25ppm ammonia, <0.25ppm nitrate, and <20ppm nitrate.
  13. NickW Initiate Member

    Thanks! I will research that kit and get it on pay day :)

    How many tests can be performed with the kit?
  14. MinhMai Member Member

    Well it says "over 800 tests" on the front of the instruction booklet.[​IMG]
  15. NickW Initiate Member

    Beautiful :) that sounds like good value.

    If your filter has a good amount of anaerobic bacteria that keep nitrate at good levels, is it feasible that you'd never need to do a water change?
  16. Aster Well Known Member Member

    No, the beneficial bacteria only eats up ammonia and nitrite. Nitrate is the waste product of the nitrogen cycle and can only be removed through water changes.

    If you had a heavily planted tank, you might be able to get away with few water changes or even no water changes, because if you had enough plants they would use up the nitrates.
  17. MinhMai Member Member

    The number of plants though may leave no room to swim. Haha
  18. Aster Well Known Member Member

    Possibly but not necessarily, look up some pictures of Walstad tanks. IMO fish also feel more comfortable with hiding spots and an environment they can interact with :)
  19. MinhMai Member Member

    It's so difficult finding that plant and fish balance and then you have to constantly fight your "fish collectoritis"... But that fish just looks sooo good! I'm headed towards MTS...
  20. Peacefantasy Well Known Member Member

    Nitrates are not the only reason to do water changes. The minerals in the water also need to be replenished.

    There is no substitute for good ol' clean water