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Fourstars
06/15/2016, 01:59 PM
So I'm tired of up righting all my frags ever morning from the turbo snails. Looking for a good algae eaters and would prefer tank raised, nothing off the reef. was considering black mollies. has anybody tried this? if so how did you acclimate them? and did the still produce off spring in saltwater? was thinking a side benefit would be fry for the corals to feed on. Thanks!

ashrem
06/15/2016, 04:52 PM
Slow acclimated mine over 5-6hrs to saltwater. Used 2 marble mollies in a 40gal. They didnt last long. Didnt see them actually eating any of the algea turf just picking at rocks.

Had much better luck in my 75. They dropped fry that I would find in sump. Fry too big for anything but lps but think most eaten by ither fish.

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Tripod1404
06/15/2016, 05:23 PM
As far as I know they can reproduce in saltwater. However, they produce fairly large and well-developed fry. Actually they look more like miniature mollies than fish fry. So healthy fry will be a bit large and hard to catch for most corals.
For acclimatization, you basically need to gradually raise the salinity from freshwater to brackish water to saltwater over a one week period.
By the way, if you want you can also try to acclimate guppies or some species of Xiphophorus (swordtails/platies) to saltwater. Those fish are also brackish in origin and I think can be acclimated to saltwater like mollies. They have smaller fry that might be better suited for corals.

Fourstars
06/15/2016, 05:39 PM
Thanks for the heads up. Might be a problem if they start reproducing like livebearers do and the corals can't keep up.
Guppies might be worth a try with smaller fry. Or maybe I'll start with just a male sail fin black molly and see how it goes. If I remember they do pretty good eating algea.

Thanks!

AdamD76
06/15/2016, 06:35 PM
I have 4 mollies in my 65. 2 dalmatian and 2 sailfin. They are picking at algae all day. I acclimated them in about 15 minutes (time it took to equalize the temp and dump a shot of tank water every 2 minutes into the holding container) scoop with net and dump in tank. Most of the fry end up in the sump, about an 1/8" long, bigger than I thought they would be. I've only lost mollies to the MP10 powerhead so I turn it down for a few days when I first put them in.

ezerasurfr
06/17/2016, 06:55 AM
I have 14 mollies in my 180g. 4 black, 6 dalmatian, 2 balloon and 2 red sunset sailfins. They are excellent at clean-up - but here are some warnings from my experience:

1.) They are voracious eaters when multiples are in the tank. While they are not aggressive to reef fish, they do not have the same fear reef fish tend to have towards people. So they will push to the front of the line if you have other more timid or passive fish.

2.) They breed. They breed a lot. Like, always. They really should be called rabbit fish, because all they do is breed. My males have actually killed females due to exhaustion trying to breed. This behavior can be a distraction in the tank.

3.) They are great nuisance algae eaters! However, that algae gets processed. I consider these fish just about as dirty as tangs. Since they eat a ton, they poop a ton. Perhaps its just something with algae eating fish, but it seems excessive. My recommendation is to be certain you have some method of removal from the sandbed before putting them into the tank. A good cucumber or two should do it.

Just remember, there is a trade off with these fish. And with acclimation, you can simply toss them in. They can tolerate hyper salinity or hypo salinity at the drop of a dime. They are delta dwellers and in the wild are used to rapid shifts in salinity. Another good thing about them is their ability to adapt to higher flow in the tank. When they come from the store, they'll most likely be in a tank with low flow, but will quickly strengthen up to the flow in your reef (it's fun to watch actually.)

bfrench
06/29/2016, 09:16 PM
Idea taken for my 280

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Fourstars
07/01/2016, 09:14 AM
Just an update. I ended up with a male and two female sail fin black mollies. They only came out at night to play in the moonlight the first few weeks. now the male swims right up to me ever time I come to the tank. more of an aggressive stance, guess he's guarding this tuff. Totally different behavior then when in fresh water. doing a good job keeping the tank clean and I would say a big success. Thanks for the help.

farfromsea
07/01/2016, 10:56 AM
I have 14 mollies in my 180g. 4 black, 6 dalmatian, 2 balloon and 2 red sunset sailfins. They are excellent at clean-up - but here are some warnings from my experience:

1.) They are voracious eaters when multiples are in the tank. While they are not aggressive to reef fish, they do not have the same fear reef fish tend to have towards people. So they will push to the front of the line if you have other more timid or passive fish.

2.) They breed. They breed a lot. Like, always. They really should be called rabbit fish, because all they do is breed. My males have actually killed females due to exhaustion trying to breed. This behavior can be a distraction in the tank.

3.) They are great nuisance algae eaters! However, that algae gets processed. I consider these fish just about as dirty as tangs. Since they eat a ton, they poop a ton. Perhaps its just something with algae eating fish, but it seems excessive. My recommendation is to be certain you have some method of removal from the sandbed before putting them into the tank. A good cucumber or two should do it.

Just remember, there is a trade off with these fish. And with acclimation, you can simply toss them in. They can tolerate hyper salinity or hypo salinity at the drop of a dime. They are delta dwellers and in the wild are used to rapid shifts in salinity. Another good thing about them is their ability to adapt to higher flow in the tank. When they come from the store, they'll most likely be in a tank with low flow, but will quickly strengthen up to the flow in your reef (it's fun to watch actually.)

Do you get brackish mollies to start or freshwater ones? Did you just grab some from petco/smart?

Fourstars
07/01/2016, 04:04 PM
I got mine from Petco. 20 minute drip and they did great.

farfromsea
07/01/2016, 05:51 PM
I got mine from Petco. 20 minute drip and they did great.

Okay cool. What are you going to use to clean up the sand bed from their voracious algae eating? I have a conch in mine but I am a little uneasy about cucumber nuking in my tank

AdamD76
07/02/2016, 07:15 AM
Serpent star, Tiger cucumber, Sand sifting star.

Fourstars
07/02/2016, 07:52 AM
I'm a bare bottom kind of guy. I would say they are no dirtier then my Turbos.

farfromsea
07/06/2016, 12:54 AM
Alright I went and got two lyretail mollies. Male and female. The female is dead after 4 hours and I feel terrible. I got it from Petsmart so of course they have their 30 day policy but it feels like I'm playing with fire here since they are selling them as freshwater fish.

The male is seemingly fine in the tank. He is still alive anyways, outlived his "partner" by an hour.

Should I try to make the return at petsmart? Not really sure what to do with a soon-to-decay fish until the morning.

Should I bother trying to replace her? I'm really worried I will kill another one.

Water parameters are not suspect (ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 5, phosophate somewhere between 0-0.25--garbage API test, pH 8.2, calcium somewhere above 400 the LFS worker did not count the drops correctly he was checked out, salinity between 1.023-1.025 per LFS)

Fourstars
07/06/2016, 08:30 AM
Sorry to hear that, at least it's not a fish off the reef. They are live bearers and breed like rabbits so don't beat yourself up. Remove the body and freeze it till you can bring in to get him a new female. Make sure you slow drip for a good half hour or longer before you introduce.

Fredfish
07/06/2016, 08:27 PM
Just an update. I ended up with a male and two female sail fin black mollies. They only came out at night to play in the moonlight the first few weeks. now the male swims right up to me ever time I come to the tank. more of an aggressive stance, guess he's guarding this tuff. Totally different behavior then when in fresh water. doing a good job keeping the tank clean and I would say a big success. Thanks for the help.
Its good to hear that this works. I'm planning on using mollies to cycle a new tank and manage the inevitable algae blooms.

farfromsea
07/07/2016, 06:06 PM
Sorry to hear that, at least it's not a fish off the reef. They are live bearers and breed like rabbits so don't beat yourself up. Remove the body and freeze it till you can bring in to get him a new female. Make sure you slow drip for a good half hour or longer before you introduce.

Thanks that did make me feel less terrible. Husband was repulsed by seeing the fish in the freezer below the ice cream lol. I felt disingenuous when Petsmart ran a water test on my tank and I didn't mention it was salt...but oh well. Your pH is a little high they said...

Now I have a male silver lyretail and a female creamsicle lyretail. I read that males are the drivers for reproductive activity so I may need to add a female soon to give the current girl a break if he starts going for it all the time. So far the male has been nibbling at algae and amphipods in the tank. Fingers crossed the female makes it!

Fourstars
07/07/2016, 10:18 PM
Glad you didn't give up, they are great little algae eating machines.
PetSmart doesn't get to decide if a fish is euryhaline or not. :fish2::fish2:

farfromsea
07/08/2016, 12:07 AM
Lol. Indeed. I read they have a 1-1.5 year lifespan in the wild so I will be curious how long they make it in the tank. I always feel like we shorten the lifespan of these creatures by keeping them in captivity although at the same time we remove a lot of natural predators and occasionally can treat for disease so it is hard to say.

Fourstars
07/08/2016, 09:08 PM
I did not realize it was so short. I'll have to do more reading. Maybe longer in salt? they don't seem to breed as much. Total different behavior,, I know salmon breed in fresh and feed/ grow out in the ocean. I'm sure a Small fish like that stays in tributaries. But might move up and down in salinity?:fish1:

farfromsea
07/09/2016, 12:32 AM
Well I was reading again and I think my initial source was garbage. Apparently a study showed that the ideal salinity for breeding is 25 ppt based on # of spawn released and fry growth rates. http://cmsadmin.atp.co.il/Content_siamb/editor/57_3_Vasagam.pdf

I keep mine around 35 ppt (1.025) obviously but I'm not here to raise 100s of mollies lol.

Some places say the lifespan is unknown and then this site

https://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/discover/species-profiles/poecilia-latipinna/

says the males get sexually mature in less than a year and then die one year(ish) after maturity so I'm not exactly sure what the juvenile period is but I guess we can safely say 2 years max for males. I would be curious to have someone do a study on the lifespan of mollies at different salinities versus like you're saying a lifespan of mollies when they move between different salinities.

j_mazzy
07/14/2016, 10:18 AM
I'm curious about the 5 of live young that survive in SW

organism
07/14/2016, 12:13 PM
I just toss in the orange sailfin ones and they do fine for the most part, in the wild they can have big salinity swings sometimes and adapt well.