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Fish for 20 g?


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#1 Jadzia

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 11:22 AM

I have a 20 g walstad tank with mollies. I want to add some unique fish that is easy to be kept and bred in very hard water. I don't have room for a school, so I need a fish that can live in pair. My first choice is Flagfish, but I heard they are plant eaters? Is that true? Would they eat all my plants? If yes, what other species do you suggest? It doesn't have to be native, but would be nice.

#2 Dustin

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 11:27 AM

I catch Heterandria in hard water with mollies all the time.  They would do great in a planted tank and you could keep a school of a dozen or so with no problem.  The problem with other similar species is that they are either fin nippers like flagfish, mummichog, and sheepshead minnows or finicky feeders like rainwater killifish.  


Dustin Smith
At the convergence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree
Lexington, SC


#3 Jadzia

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 11:49 AM

Thank you. Should I just get a pair and raise a colony of them, or it's better to get more? Just because breeding my own fish is more interesting than buying them.

#4 Jadzia

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 12:25 PM

Where can I get the gold form? Anyone selling them?

#5 Dustin

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 12:29 PM

Not sure about the gold form.  Check with Mark at Jonahsaquarium.com.  He usually has the wild type form.  It's up to you as to how many to get but to account for any potential predation by the mollies, I would start with a small group.


Dustin Smith
At the convergence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree
Lexington, SC


#6 Jadzia

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 01:28 PM

I will write him. If I can't get the gold form, I might choose another fish, I want something a bit more colorful. Any idea what can I choose?

#7 NotCousteau

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 07:18 PM

Heterandria are tiny. Id worry about keeping them with mollies and most other fish. They are easy targets and will get eaten.

#8 Doug_Dame

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 08:01 PM

A sneaky way to highlight the gold in Heterandria is to use incandescent lighting. Antique aquarium hoods/reflectors designed for incandescent bulbs show up sporadically at fish club auctions and yard sales. Or there's always DIY. 

 

Heter in a mixed species tank need a LOT of cover, and most of the fry will get picked off. A tank where they're the only fish species probably work better.


Doug Dame

Floridian now back in Florida
 


#9 Jadzia

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 08:17 PM

Elassoma wouldn't work either I guess. They are too small and shy, right? They are my favorite.

#10 Jadzia

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 08:30 PM

What about darters? Maybe brown darter?

#11 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 08:36 PM

You'll like darters. Very inquisitive, personable fish that don't get very big. I have about 22 darters in my tank and very much enjoy them. They interact with me at feeding time, however, they're a bottom dwelling fish, so you'd want to get some mid level small fish as well. I have spotfins, a silver shiner, 2 bluntnose minnows and a dace as mid level fish. All are peaceful and outgoing fish.



#12 Jadzia

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 08:38 PM

That's awesome, I think I will go with darters if I can find them.

#13 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 08:55 PM

Where are you located? I am in Ohio. You should have darters in your state if not too far west. Check what species you have there and check to see if any are endangered/protected. Fortunately in Ohio, very few are threatened or endangered. Also check your state laws on catching and keeping native fish. Some states like Tennessee are very unpleasant towards people who want to catch fish from the creek or river to keep in aquariums. There's also the Zimmermans and Johnah's Aquarium online that sell various darters.



#14 Jadzia

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Posted 29 January 2019 - 09:08 PM

I love in Florida, but I wouldn't be able to catch them, I would have to buy. I don't think I can identify them if I catch them, my husband doesn't really like the idea of me fishing around alligators and snakes and other scary creatures, and I would feel bad capturing one from the wild. I will try those two stores.

#15 UncleWillie

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 11:37 AM

The Heterandria are great little fish, that reproduce readily, but as others mentioned - very tiny and fry may get gobbled up.  I started with 15 back in October, now I have somewhere around 25 in my moderately-planted 60 gallon.  If you start with a large enough number of Heterandria adults and have lots of cover in the form of fine-leafed plants, dangling roots from floating plants, or moss, you may have some fry survive to naturally replace any adult moralities.

 

Size-wise, flagfish would be great match for the mollies.  The downside is they did a number on some my plants, but only certain species.  For instance, my tank was slam full of Vallisneria, Cabomba, hornwort, Java fern, and Java moss.  The Val and Cabomba was constantly nipped, and clipped by the flagfish until it was nothing. The hornwort was a mess.  But they never touched the moss, or ferns.  So if you have "tough-skinned" plants, you may be okay.  The only reproduction I got out of the flagfish were in outside tubs in the summer.  I threw in 1 male, 3 females, and scooped out 18 little football-shaped flagfish juveniles a month later.  Also, my flagfish readily slurped down any fry dropping out of my Gambusia that were in the tank, which may not by what you are looking for in regards to Molly recruitment.


Willie P
Woodstock, GA

#16 Jadzia

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Posted 30 January 2019 - 11:43 AM

Thank you. I'm planning on setting up a "delivery room" for the livebearers like this: https://www.wikihow....7-Version-2.jpg
I think it can also house other fries or eggs.
I only have Java fern in the aquarium, but planning on getting something else. Do you have suggestions for smaller background plants that grow well in a walstad tank and the flagfish won't eat them?



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