Helping mollies to survive SW

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CenlaReefer

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@Cigmin and I were at Aquarium Central in Lafayette on Saturday and he told me that Joey the owner said not all molly fish can be acclimated to SW. This was a first for me to hear. Which mollies survive the best and which do you all think need to be avoided? I have my eye on getting some gold panda mollies.

Also, I noticed that these fish do not live very long in my SW tanks... it seems they slowly die off yet there is usually 1 or 2 that can survive the long term. I have been feeding them PE Myesis. They eat VERY well. Should I give them some nori? Should I give them a food soaked with a vitamin supplement?
 
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Humblefish

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Mollies are primarily herbivores, so they require nori and other greens in order to stay healthy. If your tank doesn't contain enough algae for them to graze on.

What I do is setup a 10 gallon with an air drive sponge filter, heater and acclimate them into 1.019 SG water. I basically just drain most of the freshwater out of their bag, float the bag to keep temp stable, and over a period of 2-3 hours slowly pour tank water (saltwater) into the bag. After that, I top off with hypersaline water to raise salinity to 1.025-26 (takes about a week).

I've acclimated all sorts of different mollies to saltwater, BUT I have found that the larger Balloon or Sailfin mollies adapt better to a marine environment. Also, if you see white stringy feces coming out of any of the mollies assume tapeworms and food soak General Cure (or Fenbendazole) for 1 week:

Using a shot glass:
  • 1 Tbsp food (preferably pellets or frozen food)
  • 1 scoop (~ 1/8 teaspoon) of medication (General Cure OR Fenbendazole)
  • 1-2 scoops Seachem Focus (makes it reef safe + binds the medication)
  • A pinch of Epsom salt to help expel dead worms/parasites
  • A few drops of saltwater or fish vitamins
  • Stir until a medicated food slurry has been achieved.
  • Feed after soaking for 30 mins.
  • Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers for future use.
  • You can feed this mix 1-2 times per day. Not recommend to exceed 2 feedings per day with medicated food.
 

clsanchez77

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Keep in mind that Mollies are naturally brackish fish and have no issue with the salinity. Many of the mollies in retail today are inbred to exaggerate specific features to make the fish marketable to the masses. In order for the molly to be most effective as our canaries in the coal mine, we need the all black ones. Their issue is really nutrition, so they will struggle in our standard reef tank, where we keep the tanks spotless with no algae.
 

CenlaReefer

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I have kept all-back mollies in my system as a "canary" to test for any presence of ich or marine velvet. I thank the Lord they stayed solid black.

My purpose in keeping mollies now is for the wide variety of colors, the cheap price, and EXCELLENT algae-control some have offered. I had one potbelly balloon molly that I think ate long-strands of GHA, whereas even my tang would not. I think it died after all the algae was gone... I should have tried the nori. I did notice the white stringy poop. Bobby, I will try the treatment you recommend. Thanks!

This is a superb fish for algae control when smaller tank size prevents the use of a tang. Lawnmower blennies can nip on some corals and get too large for smaller nano tanks.
 
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CenlaReefer

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This is a great video for someone who is interested in trying-out the molly thing for the first time or just likes mollies in a reef tank:

 

CenlaReefer

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@Humblefish, when you wrote the following treatment for tapeworms, for how many days is this required to cleanse the fish of all worms?
  • You can feed this mix 1-2 times per day. Not recommend to exceed 2 feedings per day with medicated food.
 

Humblefish

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@Humblefish, when you wrote the following treatment for tapeworms, for how many days is this required to cleanse the fish of all worms?
  • You can feed this mix 1-2 times per day. Not recommend to exceed 2 feedings per day with medicated food.
In most cases, 2 weeks of continuously feeding the medicated food will clear any intestinal worms out. Internal flagellates are much more difficult to eliminate, and can sometimes take up to a month. But I rarely see flagellates with mollies. Mostly wrasses, anthias and other carnivores.
 

CenlaReefer

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Also, if you see white stringy feces coming out of any of the mollies assume tapeworms

I hate to admit my ignorance yet for years I always thought, "Those mollies sure make strange poops." I never made the connection between that problem and the poor longevity of my mollies. Thanks again, @Humblefish.
 

CenlaReefer

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What is the expected lifespan of mollies if introduced into a reef tank when still juvenile?
 
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