Black Molly

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We have a 72 gallon fish tank. Yestersay I bought a black molly, a white molly and 2 what I was told were red phantom tetras. This morning I noticed the black molly hiding near the filter. Later that day, I saw one of these red phantoms picking at the black molly. I took the 2 red phantoms back to the pet store. Here to find out that these 2 (red phantom tetras) might actually be 2 aggressive fish. He said he ordered black phantom tetras but got these instead and thought they just sent him the red ones.

I noticed a chunk out of the black mollies tail and was wondering if it will grow back. Also, how do I get him to realize he's safe now and to come out of hiding? We have about 15 fish and I'm sure he's scared.

The white molly is doing good. Do you think the black molly will be ok?

Why did these 2 only pick on the black molly and leave the others alone?

Should I get a couple more black mollies so this one will feel better knowing he's got "back up"?

I'm new to all this and hope you all can help. I'm sure I'll be coming back here a lot for more answers. LOL

Thank You,


Why the tetras were mean is an easy question.  Tetras are schooling fish, they NEED to be kept in groups of 6-8 or else they get very defensive, nippy, nasty and stressed.  You simply can't keep two of them together.

Mollies do much better in brackish water set ups than they do in fresh water set ups.  While they can survive in fresh water, they thrive in brackish and are able to live out their full life span.  Their lives are shortened substantially by fresh water tanks.  The best way to make a mollie happier to to move it to a tank where it can have a brackish environment.

What other fish are in the tank?

It sounds to me like you are adding fish directly to your tank with out quarantining them.  A lesson hard learned.  Please use a small quarantine for new fish.  Your old fish will thank you.  A tupperware bin with a small heater and a simple sponge filter will work, it doesn't have to be big and fancy.

The molly debate will never end. Some believe that they thrive in brackish while others believe that they thrive in fresh. There is "data" to back up both sides of that never ending debate. I say they do great in either. :happy:

The tetras might have gone after the black molly because it is sickly. ??? Observe it closely and have a QT tank ready for it if the need arises. If it is healthy and your water parameters are pristine then its tail will grow back.

Hope that helps &  welcome to the forum.

Thank you for the replies. After taking those 2 red fish back (don't really know what they were), our black molly was still hanging (and hiding) in the corner by the filter. I shut off the light for a day (per our pet store) and the black molly starting hanging out with the white molly but stayed mostly up on top of the tank and ate when I fed them. Today, he's swimming all over the tank, even in the middle. I think he knows now that the other 2 isn't there to bother him.

I'm going to change the water tomorrow (about 22 gallons to 24 gallons every 2 weeks, is that a good water change?) and then probably get 2 more black mollies to help this one feel safer.

In our 72 gallon tank we have:

2 Bala Sharks
1 Hi-Fin Leopard Plecostamas
1 Black Phantom Tetras
2 Angels
3 Catfish
3 Silver Tipped Tetras (the black phantom hangs out with these)
1 Black Molly
1 White Molly
3 Mystery Snails

All our fish (so far) keep to themselves. The only thing is that the big shark chases the little shark bascially only when it's feeding time. The big Angel chases the little Angel (I think to say hey, I was here first LOL). Other than that the Angels don't bother any of our fish and I know they can be alittle aggressive.

I'm new to keeping topical fish so any suggestions will be helpful and appreciated.

Thank You,


A good water change schedule is 50% each week.

You have some schooling fish that really need to be kept in schools.

Bala sharks, phantom tetras and silver tipped tetras need to be in groups of 6 or more.  I am not sure you have room in there for completing those schools.  I think I would rehome that poor black phantom and the bala sharks and up the number of silver tipped tetras.

What kind of cat fish do you have, there are hundreds if not thousands of varieties out there.


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