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FAQs on the Molly Reproduction 4

Related Articles: Mollies, & Poeciliids: Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies by Neale Monks, Livebearing Fishes by Bob Fenner,

Related FAQs: Molly Reproduction 1, Molly Reproduction 2, Molly Reproduction 3, Molly Reproduction 5, & Mollies 1, Mollies 2, Molly Identification FAQs, Molly Behavior FAQs, Molly Compatibility FAQs, Molly Selection FAQs, Molly System FAQs, Molly Feeding FAQs, Molly Disease FAQs, Livebearers, Guppies, Platies, Swordtails

Live fry     10/29/16
Hi, my daughter has a small tank containing a single neon tetra, a Plec and a molly. This morning we have seen live fry and are very puzzled how they have appeared and which fish they are from.
Any answers would be much appreciated,
Thanks
Lynette
<Ahh; the young are very likely from the Molly... Not only do these fish bear live young, the females can store sperm in their tracts and give birth to successive batches. Bob Fenner>
re: Live fry     10/29/16

Fantastic thank you we were very puzzled spotted 3 so far but she's still quite fat
<Look closely at the vent area... you may be able to see some of the young's eyes! Bob Fenner>
re: Live fry     10/29/16
Will do thank you. Managed to catch 4 and put in a floating separator so far
<Quite an adventure! BobF>
re: Live fry      10/30/16
It certainly was its only a small tank in her bedroom and trying to catch the little buggers took ages what with filter heater and ornaments in the way lol xxx
<Will surely be worth the effort as you/your offspring get to watch them grow. Cheers, Neale.>

Behaviour of Dalmatian Mollies before dropping Fry.     5/20/16
Good afternoon,
<Hello Shannon,>
I happened to stumble across your website and thought I would ask a few questions. I should explain about our tank first. Last July we set up a tank at work, brought 2 female Dalmatian mollies and a female Mickey mouse platy back to the office, floated them, and went home for the evening. The next morning we walked in my co worker goes "Oh, look at all the poop on the plant!! ... wait.. the poop has eyes." We got 21 babies out of that fry.
<Nice!>
Because we were not prepared, we had to do some quick thinking. We raised what we could however lost most of that fry to ick.
<Do review the use of salt; very good for dealing with Whitespot/Ick, and Mollies are a hundred times healthier in slightly brackish water.>
Fast forward to after Labour Day weekend. We walk back into the office on Tuesday only to find that our two females are stuck between the breeding net and the glass, ( we now use a plastic floating fry catcher rather than the net that hangs on the side) she had tried to have another fry over the weekend and got stuck splitting open. :( Her sister also died we assume trying to eat the fry. All of that second batch of fry died.
<Sad. May have been premature. Top tip: get floating plants. Never mind the trap. They're bad medicine! Instead, just get floating plants (Indian Fern is ideal) and let the fry shelter there. While some might still be eaten by other fish, enough will survive to keep your community tank busy.>
We had to do a 100% Water change to get all the dead babies out. We were left with 4 fry and the Mickey mouse platy and a corey cat.
<Corydoras aren't fans of brackish water, unlike the Platies, which are fine in it. If you do use salt to treat Whitespot/Ick, keep it down to 2 gram per litre. Will eliminate the parasite within a couple of weeks, by which time you can revert to plain freshwater. This won't harm Corydoras.
Brackish water, 5-6 gram/litre, is ideal for Mollies, but bad for Corydoras.>
We let the fry out of the hatchery when they were big enough to not get eaten by the platy. One of them decided to turn into a boy. I took him home to my big 35 gallon bow front so he wouldn't knock up his sisters. I was a little late. About 3 weeks ago we found 3 fry floating around and we put them in the breeder trap. Then this week on Tuesday I spent half an hour fishing out 10 more fry and rescuing them. We haven't seen anymore recently but I expect I'll be fishing again soon, sometime this weekend or even next week. We aren't sure if our 4 remaining girls are just fat or ready to drop, at least three of them seem ready. My question is what is their behaviour like? Throughout the day 2 of them wander off from their sisters and sit over by the heater just sitting there, tails pointed down to the gravel, but more in the middle of the tank? Is this common for the females to seclude themselves before they drop? I assume they like the heater because it's warmer over there and we have some plants in the back corner as well?
Any thoughts or information you may have would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you so much for your time.
Shannon
<Let me direct you to some reading...
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Mollies require warmth, good water quality, space, and hard/alkaline water chemistry. Salt, though optional, is very beneficial. They're difficult fish to keep well, and become stressed in small tanks, in cool water, at high nitrate levels (let alone non-zero ammonia and nitrite), and in soft water. Review, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.`>

Black molly      5/18/16
I have a black Dalmatian Mollie she is 3.5in long and 1.5in from her belly to top fin. She is 3.5yrs old I call her Bertha she is one of my first babies born.
<Nice.>
She has a pea size white cotton thing coming outta her butt
it looks like..Idk what is it..for a fish we r close I taught her to come when called by name she tries to wave hi but her fins won't let her do it right
she gets mad. PLEASE HELP ME SHE AINT GONNA DIE IS SHE??
<Hard to say. Photos are not at all clear. You could start by using Epsom Salt, which has a laxative effect that can helps Mollies (and other fish) pass obstructions in the gut. Constipation is common in herbivorous fish like Mollies. But at the same time, there are some more serious problems.
Stillbirths can cause real problems for livebearers. The dead embryos form a silvery or off-white sac that protrudes from the vent. Really, without surgical action, the embryos will rot, cause infections, and kill the mother. You can't pull these embryos out without a risk of seriously damaging the mother, so there's not a lot you can do here short of humanely
euthanising the fish.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm
Similarly, Hexamita, worms and other parasitic infections of the gut can cause problems. Hexamita is distinctive, producing a combination of lethargy, loss of colour, stringy white faeces, and often pits on the head and flanks. It's treated with Metronidazole. Camallanus worms are quite common among livebearers, exhibit themselves as the tips of red worms from the vent, and are treated using commercial anti-worm medications (such as Prazi Pro). Would direct you to this article:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Then follow the links at the top to read more about Mollies and their health/disease issues. Good luck, Neale.>

Genetics? Mollies     11/23/14
I purchased a pair of gold dust or panda Mollies online and have had a few fry born from this pair.
<Nice.>
My water parameters are good per API master kit.
<Now this confuses me. "Good" for Mollies is "Bad" for Bettas, which you also have in this tank. So let's pin this down. What are the water chemistry values here? Remember, Mollies want alkaline water conditions, ideally slightly saline. Aim for 15-25 degrees dH, pH 7.5-8.5. They also appreciate reasonably brisk currents. Bettas want the opposite. Minimal current, and water that is soft to medium hard, slightly acidic to slightly basic. Aim for 1-15 degrees dH, pH 6.5-7.5. Obviously there's not much overlap here! Keeping Mollies in tanks with community fish is often done, but precisely as you're observing, with mixed results. Some specimens live, some specimens die. It's a crap shoot. So before dismissing these Mollies as being genetically poor, I'd want to know something about the aquarium
(test kit numbers, not opinions like "good" or "fine") and I'd want to know how they do if you make the tank slightly brackish (which the Platies and Guppies would enjoy, but not the Betta). Not strongly brackish, but something like 5-6 gram/litre (about 1 teaspoon of marine aquarium salt/US gallon). If adding salt isn't an option, you absolutely must ensure the water is hard and alkaline, and furthermore that water quality is excellent, not just ammonia and nitrite (both zero) but also nitrate (below 20 mg/l). Nitrate is much more toxic to Mollies than most other community fish bar dwarf cichlids. Salt detoxifies nitrate to a degree, which probably explains why Mollies are healthier and easier to keep in brackish and marine systems. I'm not saying Mollies are without genetic problems or subject to common diseases, they are, but environment is often the key thing for long term success.>
Several months later, after a normal water change, the female began spinning in slow circles. Isolated her, used Metronidazole, but it was too late. Hadn't noticed the behavior prior to water change. I euthanized her w clove oil.
<Thank you for doing this in a humane manner.>
Fast forward to the next water change and another female molly (could have been a progeny of the first, but no gold markings) began a similar behavior only this time it was nose down. I also euthanized her. Finally the male, a few weeks later, succumbs to I don't know, but he wasn't spinning. In fact I believe I had 3 spinners, after h2o change (which I think is coincidental) and the male, all removed and euthanized. Could this be a genetic problem? It strikes no one else in the tank (40 gal breeder with Mollies, platys, a Betta, one guppy). Have heard of whirling dx, but don't know if this is the same.... Any help appreciated! Kimberley
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Genetics?     11/25/14

Well, I keep my water hard and alkaline; I have 7 tanks with Mollies out the wazoo...it's just in this tank, with this particular pair and progeny.
<That is curious. Some Molly lines/strains seem to be more picky than others. Recall some Molly species are more brackish water fish, whereas others are more freshwater fish, and since you can't tell by looking which ones gave the most genes to your specimens, it's a gamble whether yours will need salty conditions to thrive or not. A while back I wrote a piece on Mollies for Practical Fishkeeping Magazine that I think reveals a bit more about these very complicated fish, now uploaded to their website, here:
http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=6331
The bottom line is that the genetics of Mollies is complicated, and it's hard to say precisely what conditions the fish in front of you will need. Brackish is always better, but it isn't always practical, and therein lies the challenge.>
I don't have exact numbers now but can fill you in later.
<Excellent... that will help a lot.>
I keep a Betta in all my tanks, but if this is detrimental to them, I will remove them.
<Does depend a lot on the Betta. Farmed Bettas are pretty tough, and while soft water is better, they can do well in hard water if all else is excellent. If yours are happy, then leave them be.>
Unfortunately I lost 3 female Bettas to a death trap ornament, so there's another thing everyone should keep in mind.
<Indeed. Bettas aren't as easy to keep as many people think. Keeping them for long and healthy lives takes a bit of doing.>
Thanks, Neale, for your reply.
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Molly; repro./comp.      8/5/14
After returning home from a short trip, noticed the new Molly we just got had babies!! She's in a tank with a barb(?), I think. We've had that fish for a couple of years. Anyways....there were 5, down to 3 now. Moved the barb to his own tank then noticed the Molly seemed to be wanting to eat the babies so put her with the barb. Now what?? Can they all go back together once the babies get a big older and bigger?
<Ah yes... a quarter inch or more in length should do it>
Thanks
Heather
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Molly     8/5/14

Awesome! Thank you for your quick reply!!
<Cheers, BobF>

Mollies; repro.       6/5/14
I bought 2 pregnant mollies, about 2 months ago, and they both gave birth within a few days of us buying them. We bought a "birthing net" and placed all of the babies in it. We have since cleaned the tank, removing everything separately, and thoroughly cleaning everything separately. Now, a few days after doing so, we have found about 15 new babies. Now, please take into consideration the fact that both of our Mollies are female, and the babies are still separated from the moms. Can Mollies hold out on
giving birth to all of their babies, and have more of them over a month later??
<Yes. The record for livebearers is delivering fry 6 months after mating!
Cheers, Neale.>

HELP!!!      2/28/14
Hi I just recently got a balloon belly molly whom I believed was very pregnant. I am in the process of setting up a birthing tank for her. Well I was gone today and when I got home she looks to have "lost" get belly. I can't see any fry but if they are dark I have black rocks and I know they will hide. In my tank I only have mollies and guppies. What are the chances I will see and fry and when? Should I move them to the birthing tank if I do see them? Thank you. -Christine
<Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
The section on Breeding is particularly relevant. Mollies can/do miscarry, they can be cannibalistic, and the fry are small enough to be picked off my other aquarium fish. On the plus side, they breed freely, so even if you weren't lucky this time, getting things right for the next batch shouldn't be hard. Fry instinctively hide at the top of the tank, so floating plants are especially helpful shelters. It's best to leave the female in the main tank, collect the fry from the floating plants, and put the fry in the floating breeding trap or rearing tank. Moving pregnant livebearers isn't a good idea, and putting them in a breeding trap (or even a small, sub-8 gallon, breeding aquarium) is likely to be very stressful. Cheers, Neale.>

Male Mollies an over breeding, beh., stkg...     4/1/13
So my husband and I have had a fish tank for the last 7 years and we have always chosen to get Mollies as they are beautiful fish, are rather hearty (we have had some females live to be 3 years old), easy to care for, tend to have fry that could survive getting eaten (had one family last seven generations), and usually last a long time...
<Ahh, you likely have "good molly water" (hard and alkaline), have kept the water not too warm, well-cycled, regularly maintained through water changes....>
 We also have them in a tank with one large (5 year old) gourami, danios, a couple platies and two tiger barbs (not friendly fish but they have adapted well...) At first we would always get a pair, one male and one female. We learned very quickly that the males can be very aggressive and actually (for lack of better terms) rape the females to death... Is this what is truly happening to our fish?
<Can be trouble>
We can tell that the females are already pregnant and have been very successful in keeping them and their fry alive but more often than not the males will constantly chase the females around and try to mate with them, even
after they are pregnant. We just bought some more fish because our population was getting low and now have two orange lyre tail mollies and two silver mollies. We asked for one male and three females
<Good ratio>
but got two of each and now both females are pregnant and both males are still trying to breed with both of them. I have seen this in the past and usually the female will give birth then die... I have had many females give birth and survive, but I am just wondering... Is it possible that our females are getting very stressed out by these males "over matting" with them??
<Yes>
 And if so... do I need to get rid of the males because they are very beautiful fish and I don't want to but I also don't want my females to get over stressed...
<Either that/this or add more females if you have room>
By the way we do normal water changes keeping our ph at about 7.6, use aquarium salt to help all of the fish stay healthy and also regularly change our filter media...
<Ahh, as I suggested above>
 Just hoping for some suggestion because I have put the males in "fishy jail" because they are over breeding with our females, but they males get along together just fine! I just don't want our females to get "raped"...
Help please......
Jeff and Erika
<Cheers, and thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Black Knife Sick, now Molly reproduction, stkg.    1/12/13
Well I know it has been quite some time since my last question. I would like to quickly update you on the Ich :(. Black knife died when I went to the LFS that morning, was very sad. All the other fish lived through it however, except for the swordtail fry(have about 4 left). I'll get my Black knife again in a few months :). I have one possibly small problem and the only answer I can find is add more females. As I've said before I have 3 Black Mollies (1 male 2 females). The male is obviously VERY active and is CONSTANTLY all over the females. Both females are pregnant, one being ultra pregnant (figured she would have done her business by now but I think she hasn't due to the stress from the male). I really rather not add another female, I don't want to overstock. Anyway I'd very much like your advice in this situation please.
<I's likely trade in the male itself... some of the coming offspring will serve as replacement fish>
Very rarely is the male swimming peacefully. 90 % of the time he's swimming underneath either female. Females seem annoyed but since they are mollies are they "ok" with this aggressive male behavior.
When I say aggressive I'm quite sure he's not nipping, more like he swims with his face in her anal fin area and then swims around her flashing his monster dorsal fin. Anyway Thanks again guys!
ps: perimeters  7.5 ph, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 15.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Is the molly pregnant?    7/27/12
Hi,
Can you tell me if my black molly is pregnant? Is this the early stages of pregnancy or is it just plain fat?
<Can't tell from that photo. If a female has ever been with a male since she was more than 3 months old, she'll be pregnant for anything up to 6 months after being with that male. Do bear in mind Mollies can be pregnant whilst also being fat (this one doesn't look particularly overweight) or having a problem like Dropsy that causes them to swell up. Do read about the needs of Mollies, here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Most problems with Mollies, such as the infamous "shimmies" where they rock from side to side while treading water, come down to environmental problems. Mollies are not easy community fish, and are very demanding about water chemistry and quality. Cheers, Neale.>

Molly labour     7/17/12
My molly is VERY, VERY pregnant.  (This is not the first pregnancy I have had in this tank.) I have noticed an opaque sack protruding from her anal vent area for 2 days now.
<This is not good, and to be honest, when I've seen this with a female Halfbeak, she died a few days later. Do see the pictures here:
http://www.fishchannel.com/fish-health/disease-prevention/dropsy-malawi-bloat.aspx
Review environmental conditions (especially water hardness, salinity) and social factors (e.g., too many males per female) because something seems to have stressed your Molly, and thereby caused the death of the embryos and this subsequent prolapse.>
Figured she would have dropped by now. Do you have any suggestions on what I should do for her? She has been sitting on the bottom of the tank.
Wiggling around every once and a while. Please help!
Thanks,
Rob
<Read up on euthanasia:
http://wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Odd Molly babies.....inbreeding???    6/18/12
Hi there I have a question about Molly reproduction.  I have been breeding molly's for quite some time and I have noticed 1 or 2 out of 20-30 will have this odd condition that I have never been able to save them from. 
They are born normally sometimes are a little longer than their siblings, but they do not develop right.
<Very common; natural... fishes have much of their "pre-natal development" post parturition... a percentage are expected to be defective>
 Within a month they have grown much less than their siblings are long and very skinny and have a big head and their gills seem to be fanned out and protruding a little.  They seem very weak and frail but hold on forever it seems.  They eat like the other fish but just don't thrive like the others.
 The oldest I have got one is 4 months and then it died.  What is this?  Is it inbreeding?  A malformation of genes?
<Perhaps a provision for differing/possible environments... evolution in the very short term>
 It does not happen with just one female I have seen it with most of them over the years and it does not happen with every batch seems to be a 50-50 to have 1 or 2 in a batch.  I know its normal to loose some babies after they are born but this is just weird.  I wondered if anyone has ever come across this and can identify it?
Thanks Jacquie
<You are a keen observer; nice to find in a fellow aquarist, human. Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Molly Fry Help, rdg.      5/22/12
Hi there,
 <Nicky>
Firstly what an informative site, thank you.
 <Welcome>
We have an established 30ltr BiOrb tank
<Mmm, unfortunately more a toy than a viable aquatic life support system>

that had 2 leopard danios and a platy. My daughter recently was given 2 Mollies for her birthday. That 2 have now turned into about 50 after the female gave birth to approx 50 babies.
 We have managed to get all the other fish into another tank (BiOrb) and left the babies, but have since had 12 casualties with the filter. I understand that the BiOrb isn't the best tank for babies (we weren't intending on any) but need your advice on what we can do now to try and prevent many more getting stuck. We want to try and do best by the babies as my daughter is so pleased with them.
 <Mmm, due to so many issues... water quality, foods/feeding... best to have you read through the genus's repro. FAQs files: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/MollyReproF4.htm
and those linked in series above>
I look forward to your reply. Many thanks in advance.
 Nicky
<Welcome again, Bob Fenner>

Pregnant Molly   4/25/12
Hi, my name is Alejandro.
<Hello, Alejandro!>
On March 2nd I sent you a mail about a black molly fish which I bought and I thought was (or is) pregnant because she was having some territorial issues and I could notice that she was larger than the other female mollies. The thing is that today is April 24th and the molly just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
<I can see from the photos. But please, don't send 10 MB of photos next time! Resize them down to 500 KB each!>
I think that by now she should had given birth.
<Agreed.>
Now I'm not completely sure if she is pregnant
<If she is with a male, or has been in the last 6 months, YES, she is pregnant. But she may be getting bigger for another reason as well.>
or if she could be having some sort of problem. I have her with some tetras and another female molly but no male mollies.
<Tetras and Mollies don't mix. Mollies need hard, alkaline water -- preferably slightly brackish. Such water is wrong for tetras. Bloating and dropsy (oedema) are common when Mollies are kept in the wrong water, especially soft water. On top of this, she has a deformed spine (like the "balloon molly") which makes her look an odd shape.>
I attached a couple of pictures of the molly. Please tell me if she could be pregnant or sick. Thank you.
<Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

 

Molly babies   3/31/12
Hi my black molly had her babies today I got her in the little floating birthing tank/fry catch just in time to watch the birth of 10 little mollies. She has always had small batches. After the 10th baby was born I noticed she was pushing out some eggs too. They look fertile with little blood vessels and looks like a tiny black fish in them. Can anything come of these?
<Unlikely if they're not actually moving about. In theory prematurely born Mollies could be viable, because the fry don't have a true placenta and instead use up energy reserves in the yolk sac. So they could develop outside the mom. But I've never had much luck with such fry.>
I have transferred the babies into my baby tank and put the mom back in her tank. I still have the eggs in the floating fry catch will they continue to develop or should I just let the fish have a good protein snack?
<As you see fit.>
Thanks Jacquie
<Cheers, Neale.>

Molly fry   3/19/12
Hello everyone at WWM.
<Hey Anne>
I have a very settled 60 (UK) litre tank with 7 mollies, 6 neon tetras and two bronze Corys.
<Mmm, the mollies like hard, alkaline water, the others softer, acidic conditions>
  When we bought the young mollies between 5 and 6 months ago (we staggered their introduction to 3-4 at a time) we asked for all female, but an undercover male managed to sneak in, which we discovered when he began to mature and his dorsal fin got much longer and his anal fin became "different" (if you see what I mean.)
<I do>
 Nature took its course and he became very interested in the other mollies around Christmas time, but no babies appeared.  This Friday, however, 4 molly fry suddenly appeared most unexpectedly - none of the females had looked particularly fat nor had any of their behaviour changed.  Straight away that morning I purchased a breeding net and moved them into there for safekeeping, in the belief that the other fish would eat them given half a chance.  Two of them had been hiding amongst our 3 living plants and the other two had been hiding behind the heater or filter.  Having taken advice that the breeding net should only be a very temporary solution, though, I went out late on the Saturday afternoon and bought a 13 (UK) litre tank with a sponge filter and a heater set at the same temperature as the main tank (25-26 degrees centigrade). 
I filled it with water from the main tank, one of the plants and a little of the thoroughly rinsed gravel that came with the new tank, and a handful of the gravel from the main one.  I left it about half an hour then moved the fry into it, and went to bed. I had to set the filter on a pretty low setting so that the fry weren't dragged towards it against their will! In the morning, the water seemed a little cloudy and the fry all looked stressed, i.e. holding their fins in a closed, not fanned out position.  I know from fish loss many moons ago when I was just starting out that this isn't a good sign and, sure enough, by the end of Sunday we had lost all four of them.  We were very sad indeed. 
What did I do wrong?
<Likely a "bacterial bloom" from the tank being so new... Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/cloudywaterfw.htm>
Whilst I really did want these little babies to survive, we never intended to be breeders.  Would it be an option to put the male in a separate tank on his own or would he hate that?
<Could try>
 I do know that giving him away is an option, too, but would prefer to keep him if possible. 
I know the females could continue to give birth for a while even if he is removed, and with a view to further batches of fry, was I right in my assumption that the other fish would try to eat them?
<Try, but not necessarily able or interested>
 If not, I would not try to separate them next time (we do have 3 plants for hiding in).  But if this is a significant risk, how should I go about moving them and how and when should I do it?
<Better to move pregnant females well in advance...>
  Did I move them too quickly this time?
<Maybe>
Thanks in advance.
Anne
<You're read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/MollyReproF4.htm
and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>
Re: Molly fry   3/19/12

Thanks, but from your replies am still a little unclear.
Can I get the bacterial bloom from a new tank even if the water in it was brought right from the old, stable and fully cycled tank alongside it?  Is it still classed as new then?
<Generally moving most all water from an established system to "new" is fine, doesn't result in such trouble/s, but not always... Perhaps a good deal of nutrient gets liberated, allows for a microbial population explosion>
Also, I didn't mention that the probable mother molly was black and not at all fat, so hard to know she was pregnant and therefore I couldn't move her before birth as I didn't know it was going to happen.
<Happens... batches of young can be small, the pregnancy not indicated>
 We think it was one of the two black ones as two of the fry were black and two exactly the colour of the father, and he is much more interested in the black ones than any of the others anyway. If this happens again, I'll again have to move the fry to the nursery net after they're born but how long should I keep them in there before (a) placing in the nursery tank, or (b) back into the main one?
Regards
Anne
<All gone over and over where you were referred... Please read. B>

Molly Reproduction 3/13/12
Hi there I have a Dalmatian molly that had a batch of babies born on Feb 23.  (She is an offspring of a Dalmatian female and a Sail Fin Male both of which died after about a year with me.  She only shows the characteristics and colors of the Dalmatian unlike most of her sisters and brothers [that I gave away].  Most of them are marbled with both parents looks.)  My question is, is it possible for baby fish, in one batch, to be fathered by 2 different males at the same time and be born at the same time?  
<Yes it is; what's more, females can/do store sperm in their tracts...>

That's kind of weird I know, but her batch of babies are so different. 
Some are dark, speckled with silver black and pale yellow, and are much more plump.  The others are very long, slender silver/white and are starting to get some spots.  The males in my tank are a Marbled Balloon Molly, a Tuxedo Gold Nugget Molly, and a Lyre Tail Molly (which died of old age just over a month ago) and a Black Molly which replaced the Lyre.  The darker babies look like they have some of the markings of the Tuxedo Gold Nugget Molly with the dark patch (Tuxedo) at the end of their tail.  The others look like the former Lyre.  Is this even possible?
<Yes>
  Or could it be a recessed gene from the Sail Fin Grandfather causing the long slender light ones. (The Sail Fin grandfather was a very impressive long slender pale yellow fish with a huge black dorsal fin and tail and it had a few black spots on its body)   I know when babies are born they usually take on either the mothers or the fathers looks or a combination of both but these babies are literally like night and day.  And yes they were all born from the same female at the same time,  I watched all 15 be born in my baby tank.  The female was alone in the tank aside 4 other babies one month old. (so cool, so cute!) And the dark ones have always been bigger than the light ones, right from the beginning.  All are healthy and growing fast but this has bugged me since they were born.  Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.  There have been hundreds of babies come and go from my tanks over the past few years but this is the first time this has happened.  Thank you. Jacquie
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Pregnant Molly, beh./sys.   3/3/12
Hi, my name is Alejandro. I recently bought two black female molly fish and put them in a 10 gallon tank.
<Really need more room than this Alejandro... too small a volume to keep stable; allow for movement, diffuse territoriality. Please read here:

http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mollysysfaqs.htm
Everything seemed just fine until I noticed that one of the female mollies may be pregnant. The thing is that the pregnant molly keeps attacking the other one, who is a little smaller.
<Ah, yes. Common behavior>
Today I noticed that the little one keeps hiding over the floating plants on the top of the tank. I thought that this may be due to the ammonia or nitrite levels in the water (I don't have any way to measure them, so I just guessed), so I changed half of the water in the tank.
<Good>
 Still, the little molly keeps hiding, since the pregnant molly keeps chasing it all around the tank. I've looked on your website but it seems that the male mollies are the territorial ones. Is this territorial behavior normal in pregnant mollies? Thank you
<This behavior is natural... You should separate these fish, look to getting a larger system. Bob Fenner>

I need help and or advice!   3/1/12
Hi WWM Crew,
  My name is Diamond Richardson and I'm very worried with my Dalmatian Lyretail Molly. Ever since I got him he's been perfectly fine and maybe a few weeks later his right eye grew swollen very large but then went away.
He was fine for awhile. Now he's acting weird and can't swim up to eat and I have him in a 10 gallon tank
<Really too small to be stable... water quality changing too easily in a short time. Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mollysysfaqs.htm
 with two guppies and two sunburst molly's.
I've only ever had goldfish before I purchased these fish and all of them are fine accept my Dalmatian Molly. He sits on the bottom of the tank and has a hard time swimming to the top. The other day he put himself in the plastic plant I have in there but then when I looked again he was just on the bottom. This has been happening for quite some time and so I decided to take him out and put him in a glass fish bowl with less water so he could eat. I've been feeding all my fish goldfish flakes and they've been fine with that.
<Mmm, really need something more substantial... see the Linked Files above where I referred you to>
 I also have a Betta so today when I put him in the glass bowl I gave him some of that since Molly's and Betta's are tough fish. I read some of the stuff other people have been having troubles with their Mollies and saw aquarium salt is recommended and a strong plant. I'm going to try it but please help me as best as you can with any advice. I love my fish dearly(:
Also one other thing, since I put him in the glass bowl he's been swimming around it like he's fine and then he'll sit at the bottom and get back up and do it again. Thank you for your time and help!
<Need information re water chemistry... For now, do read where you've been referred. Bob Fenner>

molly male and molly birthing    2/26/12
I have decided that I liked my sons mollies so much that I started a new tank with just mollies.
<By far the best approach! Well done. Now, do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
If you're keeping Mollies on their own, ensuring the right water chemistry -- hard, alkaline, and ideally slightly brackish is extremely easy to do. Buy some marine salt mix, and add around 3-5 grammes/litre of water. That'll be tolerated by hard water plants just fine, and the Mollies will become dramatically healthier.>

I purchased one that was pregnant and since I had the birthing tank already and she looked ready to go – there were quite a few signs, I better put her in there while I did a few errands and then picked up some plants for the tank for when she did give birth.  lo and behold, I come home and spy a little fry in the big tank!?
<Is normal.>
upon closer inspection, all the fry are in the big tank and mamma molly is still in the isolation tank?
<Ah, now, did you put the female in a floating breeding trap or similar? Don't do that! Despite the marketing, this isn't what these traps are for. In fact they're more likely to cause miscarriages than anything else. Instead, stock with floating plants such as Indian Fern (Water Sprite) -- the best choice if you don't have great lighting -- or even plain vanilla Brazilian Waterweed (Egeria densa) or Canadian Pondweed (Elodea canadensis) -- these do need good light to do well. Fry hide among the plants, and then you check the plants daily, scoop out the fry, and place the fry in the breeding trap. Rear the fry there for ~3 weeks, then they'll be big enough to set loose with their parents. Easy!>
so can you offer any suggestion as to why the babes were able to get out of the isolation?  it is the type that floats above the water with the separator about 1/2 inch above the bottom so fry are supposed to drop down away from momma.  I was hoping if they were born when I was away to come home to see them all on the bottom of the isolation tank.
<If the fry got out, chances are water sloshed over the top of the thing, or else, the slots are bigger than they should be, but that isn't likely. My guess is the fry came from another female.>
as it was, I had a few feathery plants and a hollow sculpture, the fry were all hiding away in plants, sculpture or in the pebbles. I caught 16 and put in another tank and all seem well.  I have no idea what she actually birthed.  I know that she can give birth again in 30 days so I wonder if I should just put the plants in, but if I decided to try the tank again, any suggestions?
<See above.>
The momma is a Dalmatian molly and the fry all appear black (so small, its hard to tell), can they change color?  could they develop spots?  she is more white than black though.
<If you have more than one variety of Molly, they'll all cross breed, and your offspring will be "mongrels" without any particular colour pattern. Over time, the generations end up greenish-brown like the wild fish. Imagine if you kept a German Shepherd and a Dalmatian together. You wouldn't expect the puppies of those two dogs to resemble either parent, would you? Instead, the puppies would have some random mix of traits. Same here.>
I imagine they would just possible develop white specks?  Now last question, I had two females and two male mollies in my sons tank and the males were very aggressively pursuing the one female Sailfin molly.
<What they do. Keep at least 2 females per male. Best not to mix the crippled Balloon Molly varieties with other varieties.>
I finally decided to move the one male to the other tank.  The mollies in this tank are very mellow, even though there are two males and 5 females.  Are there such things as males that are (for lack of a better word) “horny”?
<Of course. In the wild they're smaller than the females and therefore easier prey for predators. Evolution favours the males that mate often, and mate early.>
I was afraid this might be stressing out the female.
<Is doing so.>
I was sure she must be pregnant by now with all this attention (they have been together for over a month), she doesn’t appear fat but maybe she is too stressed and cant relax to allow herself to become pregnant?
<Or has miscarried; this is commoner than inexperienced aquarists imagine.>
Do you think the male remaining might calm down now that I have removed the other one?
<Males either spar with one another or chase females, depending on what's available to them. They never become mellow.>
If this male keeps being aggressive or starts pursuing the females in this tank aggressively, should I take him back to the pet store or get rid of another male?  I am not sure if this is his nature or a dominance issue?
<Both. Male Mollies become dominant by chasing other males away, and they try to become dominant precisely so that they have greater access to the females.>
he is a beautiful fish, Sailfin perfect features, I really love the way he looks.  would hate to get rid of him but I don’t want to stress out my girls!
jp
<Do read, learn about Mollies; none of this is unusual. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: molly male and molly birthing    2/26/12

Thank you so much for your reply,
<Most welcome.>
I have been reading and re-reading most of the information on your site about mollies along with other fish. The male in my sons tank seems a bit calmer now that he is the lone male.
<Logical; he has less need to assert dominance.>
The one in that I moved still seems a bit randier than the others in the tank.  To be honest, you would have thought they were all females by their behavior until he arrived, or the other males just haven't matured, but he will have them all pregnant in no time.  I might need to get my 75 gallon tank downstairs started!  or let nature take its course when they are born....:(  I have heard some pet stores will take the fry.  Do any buy them?
<Rarely, and only if pedigree. They don't want "mongrel" cross-breeds.>
I have gotten plants and ditched the breeding tank - which is what I was on my way to do, when I discovered the baby mollies in the tank.  The comment that really caught me off guard - that these could be from another female...none of my other females appear pregnant, but with the pitch black mollies, it is hard to tell, you can't see a gravid spot,
<Not normally visible on Mollies anyway.>
do they all get really big?
<Varies.>
my Dalmatian molly that I thought had the babies is still rather large and keeps just sort of hovering in one spot, not very active,
<Ah, now, this sounds like the Shimmies. Do review water quality and water chemistry. We get a lot of messages about sick Mollies; almost all down to their environment.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/MollyHlthF8.htm
>
she also still seems to have her gravid spot?  its hard to tell because it just looks like a brown spot on her whitish silver body .
<The gravid spot is merely the wall of the uterus pressed against the skin. It's visible in small livebearers like guppies because they have little muscle on this part of the abdomen. But on Mollies its rarely, if ever, reliably visible and diagnostic enough to prove pregnancy. Contrary to myth, it isn't a colour patch that evolved to conveniently tell aquarists their Mollies are pregnant!>
She has been like this and I thought that once she had her babies she would perk up.  she is not very sociable, the others sort of stay in little groups of two or three and then regroup but my Dalmatian keeps where she is.  Is this normal or does this seem more like she may still be pregnant?
<See above.>
Now I know she can still have more babies, but this wouldn’t happen for another month, right?
<Around about a month, but varies.>
I saved 16 babies in a gallon tank.  I have a bigger tank, I need to scrub out and get a sponge filter - is this a special filter or does is just have a piece of sponge to keep the babies from going up into it?
<Molly fry are strong and will be fine with whatever filter is installed in the main tank. No need for a separate rearing aquarium unless you want to keep virgin females away from sexually mature males. Otherwise yes, a plain vanilla sponge filter is ideal.>
I spun the food in a baby food processor and the fry love it.  I am using a turkey baster to get up excess off the bottom of the tank and do a 20% tank change.  My question is this, how long do you think it will be safe to keep the fry in this tank?
<If you don't need/want to keep and sell the fry, then leave them all in situ. Some, perhaps most, will survive. If you need to cull the fry, then adding a salt-tolerant or low-end brackish water predator like a Knight Goby can take care of this, eating the fry but leaving the adults alone.>
How often should I do water changes in order to keep them healthy?
<In freshwater tanks Mollies are very sensitive to nitrate, so you really do need weekly water changes to keep it below 20 mg/l. Obviously ammonia and nitrite also need to be zero. In brackish water (and I don't mean water with a teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon!) they are much less sensitive.>
They are on my desk where I can watch them and are doing well, I can watch them eating and pooping.  water in both tanks are perfect, I checked it.  I bought fake plants though, should I buy real for the future? I need to check my lfs.
<If it floats, it'll shelter the fry. Real or plastic doesn't matter. Cheers, Neale.>

molly male and molly birthing    2/26/12
I have decided that I liked my sons mollies so much that I started a new tank with just mollies.
<By far the best approach! Well done. Now, do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
If you're keeping Mollies on their own, ensuring the right water chemistry -- hard, alkaline, and ideally slightly brackish is extremely easy to do. Buy some marine salt mix, and add around 3-5 grammes/litre of water. That'll be tolerated by hard water plants just fine, and the Mollies will become dramatically healthier.>

I purchased one that was pregnant and since I had the birthing tank already and she looked ready to go – there were quite a few signs, I better put her in there while I did a few errands and then picked up some plants for the tank for when she did give birth.  lo and behold, I come home and spy a little fry in the big tank!?
<Is normal.>
upon closer inspection, all the fry are in the big tank and mamma molly is still in the isolation tank?
<Ah, now, did you put the female in a floating breeding trap or similar? Don't do that! Despite the marketing, this isn't what these traps are for. In fact they're more likely to cause miscarriages than anything else. Instead, stock with floating plants such as Indian Fern (Water Sprite) -- the best choice if you don't have great lighting -- or even plain vanilla Brazilian Waterweed (Egeria densa) or Canadian Pondweed (Elodea canadensis) -- these do need good light to do well. Fry hide among the plants, and then you check the plants daily, scoop out the fry, and place the fry in the breeding trap. Rear the fry there for ~3 weeks, then they'll be big enough to set loose with their parents. Easy!>
so can you offer any suggestion as to why the babes were able to get out of the isolation?  it is the type that floats above the water with the separator about 1/2 inch above the bottom so fry are supposed to drop down away from momma.  I was hoping if they were born when I was away to come home to see them all on the bottom of the isolation tank.
<If the fry got out, chances are water sloshed over the top of the thing, or else, the slots are bigger than they should be, but that isn't likely. My guess is the fry came from another female.>
as it was, I had a few feathery plants and a hollow sculpture, the fry were all hiding away in plants, sculpture or in the pebbles. I caught 16 and put in another tank and all seem well.  I have no idea what she actually birthed.  I know that she can give birth again in 30 days so I wonder if I should just put the plants in, but if I decided to try the tank again, any suggestions?
<See above.>
The momma is a Dalmatian molly and the fry all appear black (so small, its hard to tell), can they change color?  could they develop spots?  she is more white than black though.
<If you have more than one variety of Molly, they'll all cross breed, and your offspring will be "mongrels" without any particular colour pattern. Over time, the generations end up greenish-brown like the wild fish. Imagine if you kept a German Shepherd and a Dalmatian together. You wouldn't expect the puppies of those two dogs to resemble either parent, would you? Instead, the puppies would have some random mix of traits. Same here.>
I imagine they would just possible develop white specks?  Now last question, I had two females and two male mollies in my sons tank and the males were very aggressively pursuing the one female Sailfin molly.
<What they do. Keep at least 2 females per male. Best not to mix the crippled Balloon Molly varieties with other varieties.>
I finally decided to move the one male to the other tank.  The mollies in this tank are very mellow, even though there are two males and 5 females.  Are there such things as males that are (for lack of a better word) “horny”?
<Of course. In the wild they're smaller than the females and therefore easier prey for predators. Evolution favours the males that mate often, and mate early.>
I was afraid this might be stressing out the female.
<Is doing so.>
I was sure she must be pregnant by now with all this attention (they have been together for over a month), she doesn’t appear fat but maybe she is too stressed and cant relax to allow herself to become pregnant?
<Or has miscarried; this is commoner than inexperienced aquarists imagine.>
Do you think the male remaining might calm down now that I have removed the other one?
<Males either spar with one another or chase females, depending on what's available to them. They never become mellow.>
If this male keeps being aggressive or starts pursuing the females in this tank aggressively, should I take him back to the pet store or get rid of another male?  I am not sure if this is his nature or a dominance issue?
<Both. Male Mollies become dominant by chasing other males away, and they try to become dominant precisely so that they have greater access to the females.>
he is a beautiful fish, Sailfin perfect features, I really love the way he looks.  would hate to get rid of him but I don’t want to stress out my girls!
jp
<Do read, learn about Mollies; none of this is unusual. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: molly male and molly birthing    2/26/12

Thank you so much for your reply,
<Most welcome.>
I have been reading and re-reading most of the information on your site about mollies along with other fish. The male in my sons tank seems a bit calmer now that he is the lone male.
<Logical; he has less need to assert dominance.>
The one in that I moved still seems a bit randier than the others in the tank.  To be honest, you would have thought they were all females by their behavior until he arrived, or the other males just haven't matured, but he will have them all pregnant in no time.  I might need to get my 75 gallon tank downstairs started!  or let nature take its course when they are born....:(  I have heard some pet stores will take the fry.  Do any buy them?
<Rarely, and only if pedigree. They don't want "mongrel" cross-breeds.>
I have gotten plants and ditched the breeding tank - which is what I was on my way to do, when I discovered the baby mollies in the tank.  The comment that really caught me off guard - that these could be from another female...none of my other females appear pregnant, but with the pitch black mollies, it is hard to tell, you can't see a gravid spot,
<Not normally visible on Mollies anyway.>
do they all get really big?
<Varies.>
my Dalmatian molly that I thought had the babies is still rather large and keeps just sort of hovering in one spot, not very active,
<Ah, now, this sounds like the Shimmies. Do review water quality and water chemistry. We get a lot of messages about sick Mollies; almost all down to their environment.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/MollyHlthF8.htm
>
she also still seems to have her gravid spot?  its hard to tell because it just looks like a brown spot on her whitish silver body .
<The gravid spot is merely the wall of the uterus pressed against the skin. It's visible in small livebearers like guppies because they have little muscle on this part of the abdomen. But on Mollies its rarely, if ever, reliably visible and diagnostic enough to prove pregnancy. Contrary to myth, it isn't a colour patch that evolved to conveniently tell aquarists their Mollies are pregnant!>
She has been like this and I thought that once she had her babies she would perk up.  she is not very sociable, the others sort of stay in little groups of two or three and then regroup but my Dalmatian keeps where she is.  Is this normal or does this seem more like she may still be pregnant?
<See above.>
Now I know she can still have more babies, but this wouldn’t happen for another month, right?
<Around about a month, but varies.>
I saved 16 babies in a gallon tank.  I have a bigger tank, I need to scrub out and get a sponge filter - is this a special filter or does is just have a piece of sponge to keep the babies from going up into it?
<Molly fry are strong and will be fine with whatever filter is installed in the main tank. No need for a separate rearing aquarium unless you want to keep virgin females away from sexually mature males. Otherwise yes, a plain vanilla sponge filter is ideal.>
I spun the food in a baby food processor and the fry love it.  I am using a turkey baster to get up excess off the bottom of the tank and do a 20% tank change.  My question is this, how long do you think it will be safe to keep the fry in this tank?
<If you don't need/want to keep and sell the fry, then leave them all in situ. Some, perhaps most, will survive. If you need to cull the fry, then adding a salt-tolerant or low-end brackish water predator like a Knight Goby can take care of this, eating the fry but leaving the adults alone.>
How often should I do water changes in order to keep them healthy?
<In freshwater tanks Mollies are very sensitive to nitrate, so you really do need weekly water changes to keep it below 20 mg/l. Obviously ammonia and nitrite also need to be zero. In brackish water (and I don't mean water with a teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon!) they are much less sensitive.>
They are on my desk where I can watch them and are doing well, I can watch them eating and pooping.  water in both tanks are perfect, I checked it.  I bought fake plants though, should I buy real for the future? I need to check my lfs.
<If it floats, it'll shelter the fry. Real or plastic doesn't matter. Cheers, Neale.>

Pregnant fish?     2/15/12
HI,
I have a very plump looking balloon molly.
<Indeed!>
I have her in a tank with all babies at the moment. I was just wondering if there was any way you could tell if she's pregnant or not.
<If she has been in a tank with a male in the last 3-4 months, then yes, she could be pregnant. But do also be aware that Mollies are prone to Dropsy, especially when kept in freshwater (as opposed to brackish or marine) aquaria. Mollies are delicate fish that sicken quickly if exposed to the wrong environment.>
She waddles through the water, very active, appetite has increased drastically over the past day or so, she has her fins fanned out but when I go to take a picture she tucks them under. I attached two images. I was just wondering if maybe you could tell.
Thanks,
Danielle
P.S. I have 8 babies 4 days old and going strong! but that was from a different balloon molly.
20 gal main tank - 1 orange balloon molly and the black balloon molly(right now she's in a different tank but usually in this one)
10 gal - 8 babies and the black female.
<Do read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Pregnant fish?     2/15/12
Thanks! I literally got her last week and the tank she was in at the store had more than enough males in it.
<Problem solved, perhaps, but do be aware of Dropsy. Compared to pregnancy or simply being fat, Dropsy causes fish to have scales that lift away from the body (very visible from above, like a pine cone) and fish become lethargic, lack colour, and stop eating. Cheers, Neale.> 

Re: Pregnant fish?    2/15.12
Thanks. I just got marine salt and ill have hydrometers on the way here soon so I should be good to go for now
<Real good. Mollies don't need much salt; even 3-4 grammes/litre, or 0.5 oz/US gallon, will make all the difference. That concentration, by the way, will be a mere 1.001 at 25 C/77 F, or about 10% normal seawater salinity.
If you have good digital kitchen scales, you may not even need a hydrometer. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Pregnant fish?
    2/15.12
I do have an excellent scale. However when filling up and doing changes how much salt do I add? Say I take out two gallons do I put enough back in to make up for the loss which would be one oz?
<You add enough salt for that bucket of water. So, if you take out 2 US gallons, in your bucket containing 2 US gallons of new (dechlorinated!) tap water, you'd stir in 2 x 0.5 oz = 1 oz marine aquarium salt mix. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Pregnant fish?    2/26/12
Hi there!
I know its been a little while since I last wrote to you about my pregnant fish - but I just thought Id let you know since I added the salt my fish seem soooo much more lively and active and Thursday night I found 20 little baby fish swimming around in the tank :) No dropsy for this fish!
Thanks for all the info you've given me.
Danielle
<Glad things have worked out well, and thanks for letting me know. Best wishes, Neale.>

Hi I've got a question do molly's change sex ?   2/3/12
<Nope.>

my tank has about 4 molly's  all female until a few days ago she was female as i had breed her with a Dalmatian male i keep in a separate tank is it true that they can change sex as mine has
<The idea livebearers change sex has been around for decades, but there's no scientific evidence it happens. It's never been seen in situations where the fish was verifiably one sex and then becomes another sex. What usually happens is that a male develops later than normal, so to the less expert eye, looks like a female. After all, it's the shape of the anal fin we go on, and juvenile males have the same shaped anal fin as the females; it only becomes its particular shape after sexual maturity. If a male is a "late bloomer", he might have the female-looking anal fin for many months later than he should. What you describe would seem to be different, and I can't explain it at face value, but my guess would be that there's some sort of misidentification going on here.>
yours sincerely
d.Taylor
<Best wishes, Neale.>

Momma fish to be???
Hi Jacquie here again.  I hope your site supports my pictures.  Sorry about the poor pictures she is very camera shy!  I was told my fish, whom I believe is pregnant, is a Variatus Molly.
<Appears to be a Molly of some sort>
 I have since discovered there is no such thing and she is a actually a Variatus Platy.  Am I right here?
<My guess is on Mollienesia...>
 Any how, are there any signs in particular to watch for as to say when she would be ready to drop her babies?
<Yes... read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/MollyReproF4.htm
and the linked files above>
  Her tank is a 25 gallon and she is in there on her own aside from a golden algae eater
<Do see WWM re Gyrinocheilus>
 and a 3 week old baby balloon molly.  The tank sits at 83 degrees
<Too high... see Molly System FAQs while you're learning>
 (or 28.5 how ever you read it) and the water is perfect!  It is fully stalked with plants as you can see in the second picture.  How far along do you suppose she is?
<Can't tell much... the vent area typically becomes clear/er, eyes/pupils of young visible if you have good vision!>
This is her first batch, as far as I know, as I have only had her for 3 weeks. Any advise would be appreciated
<Read. Bob Fenner>


Poecilia/Mollienesia gestation period    1/30/12
Hi there Jacquie here.  I have a question concerning how long Mollies are "pregnant" for.  I had a Dalmatian molly that had her babies every 4 weeks.
You could put a clock to her.  I bought a balloon molly and within days of buying her she had babies in my community tank and most got eaten. :(    In my research of balloon mollies I have found a lot of people saying its 60 days before they will have their babies.  Does "pregnancy" lengths differ between the different breeds or are they full of hot air? 
Thanks.
<The gestation period for all Poecilia/Mollienesia spp. is between 4-6 weeks, varying with water temperature (warmer water, shorter gestation).
There's no significant variation between breeds. However, Poecilia/Mollienesia spp. can produce more than one batch of fry per mating, and I'd hypothesize that when people find fry two months after a female was mated, what they're actually seeing is the *second* batch of fry, the first perhaps being stillborn or cannibalised shortly after birth.
Cheers, Neale.>

Mollie fry housing   1/15/12
Hi!  I have been keeping mollies for a while now and I think I know the in's and out's with them. But now I found a problem that I have never bumped into before.  I have 2 tanks one is my community tank with adult mollies of various breeds, its a 20 gallon. The other is a 25 gallon that I put the pregnant females in to have their babies.  Now my original fish were having babies every 4 weeks 2 weeks apart. So the babies had a chance to grow before the next mom had to be put in 2 weeks later.  Wild and confusing but it worked!  Anyhow, I bought a pair of balloon mollies and within days of bringing them home the female had babies.  I only managed to save 2 and the rest became a snack for the community (grrrr).  I put them in my "baby" tank (the 25) and they are doing great!  Here is where my problem is......I have another molly showing signs of being ready to have babies and the balloon babies are only 3 days old. Is it safe to keep them in a breeder trap for 1-1 1/2 weeks while I wait for the mom to have hers?
<Likely so... as long as you pay attention to cleanliness of the water in the trap and careful feeding>
 The breeder trap is the hard clear plastic floating type with slots in the bottom.
<Pour some system water through it a few times a day...>
 The 2 babies are in it right now I have put a very small plastic plant in it and some small stones and some duck weed like plant that floats on the top (it came with the new fish).  I have been lifting the trap (so the old water comes out and new water comes in when I put it down) after I feed them 3 times a day.
<Sounds good>
  Is this ok for them?
<Likely so>
 They are so cute, and so little, I don't want to loose them!  Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.    
Thanks, Jacquie
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

A Newby~ Question about fish compatibility for stocking a tank, and population control   1/8/12
Neil,
<Jill,>
I have read about Mollies being unsocial, but the group I have now of two balloon males and 4 females is very peaceful.  They hang together too at night. 
<Cool. But if you peruse the Molly FAQ pages here at WWM, you'll see we get a lot of messages about aggressive Mollies, usually, but not always, the males. Just because things have worked out so far, don't assume that they will indefinitely, and keep an eye out for fish hiding away a lot while another becomes more outgoing as if "in charge".>
The first male was super timid and hid all of the time until I introduced the other fish to the aquarium.  Now he's always out and about.
I returned/exchanged two aggressive females, and then I returned/exchanged two aggressive males, and came up with this final ratio of the two males and four females that are working out well together.
<Real good.>
My second male is more assertive than the first, but they are coexisting very peacefully and he's definitely not high on a scale of assertiveness. 
I have two shy female fish and two more outgoing one's, but thankfully no bratty one's like the one's I returned before.
I'd recommend anyone wanting to have these in their tank taking advantage of the store's return policy to find the perfect fish.  You can also observe how they're behaving towards their many tank mates in the store. 
Each one has it's own type or temperament.  And funny, the very most assertive male that I returned was just a baby still!!!!  They must be born with their tendencies.
<Very likely true. If you think about the life of a Molly in the wild, it's pretty hard for the males. Females only mate with the fittest males (in the Darwinian sense) so any male that can't assert himself is doomed to not pass on his genes. The big sail fin on the males costs energy to grow, and at the same time, the males are smaller than the females, so more likely to be eaten. That modified anal fin of their surely reduces their swimming ability somewhat too. All in all, male Mollies have shorter, tougher lives than the females, and that explains their sense of urgency when it comes to mating. Studies on Guppies are even more alarming (for as males, anyway) because it seems females actively seek males with brighter colours because there y're likely to get eaten, and therefore the ones who had to be smart and fast simply to live long enough to reach sexual maturity!>
They're entertaining, always munching, and some of them even lick the glass, which is amusing.  The balloon males are bulky and appear to be interested in the females but not "on a sole mission to populate," as the two regular style males that I returned because they were so aggressive were.
I am just sharing this for info on my own experience so far with this interesting, very colorful little fish, and for anyone with a large enough tank who is thinking of getting some, I'd highly recommend them.
<Agreed. As I've said many times before, Mollies are outstanding fish -- do check out Liberty Mollies some time -- but their very specific needs really do mean, I believe, that they're best given a tank of their own.>
Thanks again,
Jill
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: A Newby~ Question about fish compatibility for stocking a tank, and population control   1/8/12

Thank you Neil.  Yes, that's why I've decided to avoid adding guppies or platies, though their commonly combined!  29 gallon doesn't feel big enough for when they reach full size. 
<Quite so. Mollies, if happy, will breed readily enough, so you'll soon find your tank filling up. To be fair, they're quite cannibalistic at times, but still, some will survive.>
 I do worry about population control though....  Not sure yet whom to add to eat the fry.  As they are not as assertive as the one's I returned, I worry a Knight Goby or Chromide might cause a clash.
<Knights are pretty peaceful, if predatory and territorial amongst themselves. The "Crazy Fish", Butis butis, is another wonderful low-end brackish predator. Gets to about 6 inches, looks gorgeous once mature, if a bit sinister.>
You say those need brackish too, and I am not wanting to go above 1 tbsp per 5 gallon regular aquarium salt due to the plants, so those probably wouldn't work.
<If you choose the right plants, they're fine in low-end brackish. I have no idea what specific gravity you have in your tank. Tablespoons don't mean much in oceanography! But let's assume that's three teaspoons, which at 6 grammes a piece is about 18 grammes salt total. 5 US gallons is 19 litres, so that's 18 grammes per 19 litres, less than 1 gramme/litre. That'll be having very little helpful effect, to be honest; it's less than you'd use for treating Whitespot on Neon Tetras or Clown Loaches, which is 2 grammes/litre. A low end brackish tank would be running at around 6 grammes/litre, and that'd be easily tolerated by salt-tolerant plant species, of which there are MANY. Do look at the plant list on my Brackish FAQ for more:
http://homepage.mac.com/nmonks/Projects/brackishfaq.html
Virtually all hard water plants will be fine at this low-end salinity. If grammes/litre is confusing, you can use oz/US gallon (0.8 oz/gal) for the same 6 g/l salinity, or else a hydrometer, SG 1.003 at 25 C/77 F. My Brack Calc tool can be used for these conversions and t understand the relationship.>
I love having plants.  Though, I am attracted to Brackish fish and may someday start a separate tank for some.
<Hardy seems any point, if you have the Mollies already.>
At least these goofy balloon males are more mellow ...or should I say "lazy," and probably won't produce babies quite as frequently as the ordinary sort.  Though.....   Only time will tell.  I don't see what goes on at night or when I'm at work or in the other part of the house otherwise occupied.  I expect they will eventually score a family of fry.
I just hope as the males get bigger it will become more difficult and thus happen infrequently.  Balloon is like a deformity, and a recessive gene. 
Maybe Darwin will play out!  That's why I chose those for the males.
I will keep an eye out for aggression.  If necessary, there are a couple of pet stores who take a fish and give store credit.
I'm going to start a 10 gallon planted maybe for emergency situations, if I'm needing separation if I have to leave for work and can't return some fish beforehand.  I'm not sure what to put in it yet though ...maybe a single slow moving non aggressive fish. 
Can't just have an empty tank with no fish..... And a Molly might go after Endler's?  (which also breed profusely).  I guess I could do two FW Bumblebee Gobies perhaps.. Which I love. With lots of shells and caves and a heavy planting. I'd use the same amount of salt as for the Mollies.  They would probably be safe with the caves and shells and plant cover as I hope to be on top of things enough to spot aggression developing before it has a chance to become full blown.  Having a place to put a fish who was starting to act aggressive would be helpful.
Jill
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: A Newby~ Question about fish compatibility for stocking a tank, and population control   1/8/12

Thank you, Neil. That plant list is awesome!
<Glad to help.>
I have Hornwort already, and some type of Anubias and I think some kind of crypticorn.  I don't know which one's they are but the store said they would tolerate low salt.....so they may be the same type and if not I can probably order some.
<Indeed. Cryptocoryne wendtii is by the most commonly traded Crypt, and the one that does best in the widest range of aquaria, including slightly brackish water. Surprisingly to some, there's even a Crypt that is a brackish water specialist, Cryptocoryne ciliata. This species isn't as widely traded, but is available, and given its large size, makes a fine centrepiece plant.>
I don't know about the poor anarchis, as I think I once read it doesn't. 
Though, I also read recently that it uses hard water minerals as fertilizer, which could explain why it is sprouting and growing roots like crazy!
<Quite so. Is definitely a hard water plant, and tolerant of low-end brackish.>
I'll sit down and figure out the salinity later, and probably I can just gradually increase it each time I do a water change.
<Exactly. No rush.>
I think I'll go with a knight goby once I hit the right salt level and the tank is fully cycled.  I love the little guys. You've sold me on that one, and that can finish off the 29 gallon, unless a couple Molly babies have beautiful coloring and suitable temperament and survive the larger fishes. 
But really, 6 Mollies and one goby gives everyone a little extra breathing space... So I may just trade any surviving babies for store credit to be safe and keep the little guys happy.
<Sounds good.>
Jill
<Good luck, Neale.>

Advice on what to do with Molly fry.  -- 1/3/12
Hello, I stumbled upon your site whilst searching Google for help, and thought it was a brilliant resource. Forgive me if the information I am asking is on here elsewhere, I did try to look but may have missed it! A few weeks ago I purchased two female Sailfin mollies and put them in my tank with my 5 Cory catfish. They seem to be doing very well, not that I am an expert. However at least one, and possibly the other, was/is pregnant, because on Christmas day I found 10 fry swimming around the tank. I have separated the fry using a breeders net, with some plastic plant attachments both high and low, and am feeding them 5 times a day. They seem to be doing well, as does their mum, all very active and eating enthusiastically. I have purchased a new 33 Gallon to put them in, though will of course use established filter media, and cycle the tank before adding them, because I do not want to overcrowd my current tank.
<Good>
 I plan on keeping one or two (would like a male but don't know what I have got yet), and finding homes for the others. I have a few questions though that I am struggling to find advice upon. I have read male mollies are aggressive to each other, so does this mean if I keep one in the 33G at the end I should only have one?
<Likely there is enough space here for more than one>
 I do not want any more babies if I can help it so would not keep both males and females together!
<Okay... do know that females can store sperm in their tracks for quite a while>
 Also, I know males and females have the different anal fin and the fin on the top is bigger on the males, but at what age can I start to tell?
<W/ your frequent feeding... likely in a few weeks>
And at what age will they get sexually active?
<Several weeks>
 Is it going to be possible to separate the genders before the females get pregnant?
<Yes>
 I am trying to be responsible so I don't end up rehoming fish that are already pregnant and so recreating the problem for other people. Also at what age/size is it safest to start rehoming them, as I want to give them the best chance and not stress them out or shock them so that they die.
<At about 1-1.5 cm.>
They are growing fairly quickly (I think) are about 1cm long each now.
Finally, when I have found homes for the majority and have one or two left are there any species that will live well with them when they are small as one fish in a 33G would look pretty lonely to me!
<Yes; read here re:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mollycompfaqs.htm
 I know I can Google that part and will, I just didn't know if it makes a difference them being young and small mollies instead of adults. Sorry this was so long and I hope you can help me, thank you very much! Louise.
<Welcome! Cheers, Bob Fenner>

I think my balloon molly is overdue  12/19/11
I have a, used to be bright orange molly, but within the past month and a half she has nearly tripled in her belly and is white and within the past 2 days i noticed her scales on her belly are no longer touching they look like they're overly stretched out. I've looked for that black spot I've read about figuring it would be easily spotted since she's white right now. But i don't see it I also can see the vent opening like she could have the babies at any time but that has been at least a week now. I have a boy in there and at first he used to peck at her and now he just goes and does his own thing.
<Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Without any further information my assumption here is that pregnancy is nothing to do with her swelling (though she may well be pregnant as well).
Sounds more like she has Dropsy, a problem largely caused by poor care. To recap, Mollies need a large aquarium (30 gallons/100 litres minimum); hard, alkaline water; excellent water quality (0 ammonia and nitrite, and nitrate below 20 mg/l); and ideally slightly brackish conditions. Mollies aren't beginners fish, and when beginners try to keep them in small freshwater tanks, they usually end up sick or dead. Dropsy, Columnaris, Finrot, Fungus and the Shimmies are all especially common problems with Mollies. Most aquarium books do state that Mollies do best in brackish water, but sometimes people buy them without reading, and that's when the problems start. So, read the above article, find out what it is you aren't doing, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: help     12/18/11
Dear sir,
<Hello Aswini,>
I got 30 fries from my black molly 2 weeks before. They were dying one by one from last week. There remaining were only 5 now. Could you please provide any suggestion to get them saved.
Regards,
Aswini
<Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Most problems with Mollies come down to the following: [1] Wrong water chemistry; [2] poor water quality; [3] tank too small; [4] wrong diet.
Furthermore, Molly fry benefit from floating plants, and some Molly adults can be quite aggressive towards fry. In a large (30+ gallon) aquarium with slightly brackish water and lots of floating plants you shouldn't have any problems rearing Molly fry. Cheers, Neale.>

Molly Concern, reproduction     11/29/11
Dear WWM,
<Melinda>
I have a couple of questions. The first one, my silver molly just had her babies but she was in the "baby" tank with my Dalmatian molly since they both were about to pop. The day the silver molly had her babies (about 14 of them) there were about 20 dead babies on the bottom of the tank.
<Mmm, a very good practice to move such females weeks in advance.
Relocating near parturition is very stressful>
 My problem is that the dead ones were about twice the size of the ones that lived. I'm just wondering if the dead ones were from the Dalmatian molly since she's been looking pregnant for almost a month and a half now and I haven't seen any babies from her.
<Mmm, maybe... Could be that the larger ones were "from a previous batch" though... in the one female w/ a later group of young>
 She still looks pregnant but the silver molly has gone down to normal size again. Both are back in the 10 gallon <Mmm, a small volume for these fishes>
tank with the rest of my fish (1 male platy, 1 female platy, and 1 female Betta). Is the Dalmatian molly going to have the babies at all or does she just "like" being pregnant so she's holding them?
<Can't tell>
She's had one set of
babies since I've had her (almost 3 months) but this one she won't let go it seems.
My other question is will a green Cory harm baby mollies?
<Not likely, no>
I have him in the tank with the babies since it's hard to clean the gravel when they're so tiny and adventurous. He doesn't seem to go after them but I want to make sure it's ok before he decides they're food. Both the 5 gallon tank and the
10 gallon tank have aquarium salt in them, the pH/nitrates/ammonia/etc are all good (I do weekly tests of the water).
Thanks,
Mindy
<Do keep your eyes open for the possibility of upgrading... to larger systems if you can. Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Molly Concern 11/29/11

Bob,
<Mel>
I relocated the moms as soon as I started to see them get bigger. I allow them to swim into the nets by themselves rather than chasing them around the tank. Should I be concerned about the Dalmatian Molly that's still pregnant?
<Mmm, concerned? IF you think this fish is still pregnant, move/leave her in the system to have her young>
Unfortunately I live in a tiny apartment so the 5gal tank and the 10gal tank are the only tanks I can have and they're as large as I can get.
My mom has a 110gal tank so when the babies get larger I give them to her.
Thanks again!
Mindy
<Welcome! BobF>

Molly birth   11/18/11
Hi, my name is Matt. Yesterday I bought 3 Dalmatian Mollies and 2 Black Mollies. One of the Black Mollies is pregnant and it appears that she is trying to give birth now. However, for the past couple hours she has had a fry stuck in her birth canal. At least I think this is the case. There is just a tail sticking out of her, I'm not sure if she's just "pushing" like humans do and it might take a while for it to come all the way out? But all the videos I have seen of Mollies birthing it looked like the fish just kind of... fell out.
<Yes.>
This is not the case with mine. Should I pull the baby out?
<Nope.>
This seems dangerous, but so does leaving it in. If I were to pull it out, how would I do that?
<Don't. Instead, dose with Epsom salt, as here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
This is a laxative and also causes muscles to become relaxed, and could help the baby come out.>
My tank is a 15 gallon FW that has been operating for about 4 months.
Nitrite and ammonia are 0 ppm, nitrates are usually around 5, although it did jump to about 10-15 yesterday. Lots of plants (fake) and hiding places, 78 degrees. Could she just be having a bad pregnancy due to being moved so much so close to her "due date?" I did get her from Wal-Mart (I know, the cardinal sin of fish-keeping, but I don't have an LFS and I like to think that I am saving them from the torture that is Wal-Mart's fish section) so maybe she was just poorly cared for? Any help would be wonderful. I am more worried about the mother than the fry since Mollies reproduce like mad, but saving the fry would be great too! Thanks in advance!
-Matt
<Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Mollies need a bigger tank and are easier kept in slightly brackish conditions. In brackish conditions you can add a Knight Goby or two, and these'll eat up most of the fry; useful, if your tank is getting overrun.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: lyre tail molly fry, hlth.    11/15/11
Hi
<Hello,>
I realise this is a late reply but I'm hoping you can offer me some further advice, My mollies in there current setup have proved to be fairly sickly, there fine for 2 or 3 wks then come down with a fungal infection or what I believe to be an Ich outbreak (still looks fluffy though so may be fungal) water parameters are always stable 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 20 nitrate with a ph of 7.5, kH of 180 and gH of 180.
<I see. Well, as stated, Mollies are disease-prone in freshwater. Your conditions don't sound bad at all, but there you go!>
Bearing in mind the advice given here and the same advice I read all over the net when doing further research I realise the water just doesn't suit them, as such I obtained a 2nd aquarium which is now the domain of the tetra's and Apistos and gradually been softened and ph reduced. This allows me to provide the correct chemistry for the mollies (something I wish the shops would advise to us new fish keepers) from reading am I right in thinking that the best option is to use a marine salt mix giving an SG 1.004-1.006.
<Yes, but honestly, even SG 1.002-1.003 is fine. That's about 5-6 grammes of salt mix per litre of water. Not much at all, and won't harm plants.>
The questions I have on this are: How do I go about acclimatising them to this salt mix?
<Just do daily water changes, replacing 20% of the aquarium water with the brackish water. By the end of the week you should be done.>
As mollies like plants what plants can I use in the salt mix?
<Do see above. If you keep the salinity at 1.002-1.003 at 25 C/77 F, you'll find most easy plants thrive. Amazon swords, Java fern, Vallisneria, Cryptocoryne wendtii, etc.>
What other fish could be kept in this salt mix (thinking gobies to occupy the lower levels and help grab any missed food from the substrate) tank dimensions are 24*12*15?
<Any salt-tolerant fish would be good. Obvious choices are Brown Hoplo Catfish and/or Horseface Loaches as scavengers, and Knight Gobies and/or Orange Chromides for the middle level.>
Finally when these mollies start to reproduce could any surviving fry be acclimatised to freshwater again, its an odd question and perhaps goes against what I'm trying to achieve but I wouldn't want to be over run with mollies, I'm sure it wouldn't be good for the water chemistry and fish health and I'm not sure if my LFS would take "brackish molly fry"?
<Knight Gobies will DEVOUR fry, so the problem goes away!>
Many thanks Brett
<Cheers, Neale.>

molly fry 11/14/11
<Hiya Aswini>I had 4 female black mollies in my tank. One of it laid <Not exactly, but I know what you mean> 6 fries <um, fry even> last night. But still now all their bellies are bulged. How can I find that which one laid them?????? <No real way of telling. If the fish are of different sizes, I would guess the most mature female. But either way, shouldn't really matter, right? Mollies can have fry even months after being separated from a male. Enjoy the new additions and read up about caring for them. Hope you have given them sufficient cover or moved them to a safe tank where they will not get eaten. Cheers! Sugam>

How Young Can Mollies Begin Mating?  10/25/11
I've done extensive research since my first "surprise" baby mollie.<molly> I've had a couple batches before, so I know how to regulate the water, the filter, etc. My question is, how young can a mollies begin mating? <They usually mature in a few months (2-3 months)> My black molly and her hubby, <Hehehe!> a Dalmatian molly, have given birth to 7 babies. <Quite a small number. Can be many many more!> They all lived, and I am about to move them into the main tank. The last couple days I've been noticing that 2 of the Dalmatian/black mollies are trying to mate!? Is this healthy?! They are only about half an inch long (I'm bad with measurements, but they are big enough to go in the main tank) Will they be okay? <Can you spot the sexual difference yet? If so, it is indeed likely to be mating behavior. Don't worry about it, quite natural. As for movement to the main tank, if large enough not to be eaten, they should be okay but do keep in mind you will still need to check male/female ratios. Cheers - Sugam>

Molly Breeding     10/24/11
Hello :) I'm new to owning mollies. And I need your help guys since I just go my fishes today. I got a problem how do you care for a pregnant female molly? I knew my molly was pregnant in the first place since my male molly was courting her. I'm not sure how long she was pregnant but I know she was
heavily pregnant by her looks. I need some tips to care for her. She seems calm, she keeps following my male molly. I need some tips of how to keep her healthy and when to separate her from my aquarium and how to car for her frys.
<Read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mollyreprofaq2.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

help... molly repro.    10/21/11
yesterday I bought silver and black mollies, they were 2 female and 1 male each. today morning I saw a black fry beneath the plants with a pale yellow egg. I cant find that, which will be its mother ?? and how to find that it will lay more fries.............
<Mollies don't lay eggs. They produce batches of quite large fry that swim about immediately after birth, among floating plants if you have them.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: help -- 10/22/11
Is any special method to breed mollies artificially when we need? how to find that a molly is pregnant and going to lay her fries?
<Is all here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Stock tank with hard, alkaline, warm, ideally slightly brackish water. Add floating plants, ideally Indian Fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides, also known as Water Sprite). Keep at least 2 females per male. Watch for fry in floating plants. Remove fry to a breeding trap within the aquarium. After 2-3 weeks they'll be big enough to release into the tank. Cheers, Neale.>

Dalmatian Molly babies/fry Died   10/17/11
<Hello Mary, Sugam with you>Two nights ago we were surprised to find that our Dalmatian Molly had given birth to 6 babies. <A real joy to watch isn't it?> By the next morning, this number had risen to 16 total. <Can be much more even. I have personally seen in the region of 100 fry from a single fish.> I took the babies out and put them into a small container that we use to change the water for our Beta fish --its about 10 oz. <That is quite a small container to put them in.> I didn't have another tank to put them in. < If your main tank has plants (floating varieties work well) and has good hiding places, you could consider leaving them in for a while until you have a setup ready for them. Better yet, there are a number of commercially available breeding traps that you can buy. Once you identify the fish that is about to have fry, you simply place her in the trap and move her when she is done. The fry can then be moved to their own tank just until they grow enough so the other fish in the main tank won't eat them.
For mollies, please get the largest breeding trap you can find. They do need significantly more room than smaller livebearers. > I crushed up some flakes for them to eat. <First bites of similar foods are great for fry.
You will find they would gladly lap it up.> They seemed to be doing fine.
I read that I needed to make sure that their water is changed often.
<Quite right. The danger with such little water is that things can go wrong very quickly.> So last night, after noticing that their water contained discharge, I changed it. <Not sure you should be seeing a discharge of any sort. The fear is more that the pH will be unstable and that the ammonia etc. will start to build up quite quickly.>
I didn't want them to get sick since it was such a small container. I woke up this morning to find all the babies had died. I am so heartbroken. My 5 year old daughter and 3 yr old son are going to be in tears when they wake up and find that they have passed. What did I do wrong? < I am so sorry they didn't make it. You used your instincts to try to do what you thought was right. While even with perfect care, not all the fry make it through, a number of factors are likely at play here. When trying to capture fry, I prefer to get them in a container rather than a net. I find there is a danger of damage with the latter. Secondly, you moved them to water conditions that were completely different from their tank and this would likely have shocked their systems. Lastly, the water quality in the small container is likely to have worsened over night. Add to this the lack of heating, circulation in the container and it was all a little too much for them.> I'm assuming its the water? I don't want for this to happen again, so please help me! I used water from the tap and treated it with the same thing we treat the mother's water with. <Assume this is some kind of conditioner to remove chlorine and other contaminants?> Water shouldn't be that cold here because we live in Texas its still about 89 degrees.
<Aha! If the water was at that temperature, likely too warm, actually.>
Should I have only changed a small percent of the water instead of the whole thing? <Almost always the way to go.> Should I have used some of the water from the mother's tank? Were they in too small of a container? <Yes>
Did they need a filter? <Helpful. But do keep in mind that they are really tiny and can be pulled in. I usually just tie a stocking around the intake of the filter to prevent this and turn the flow down.> Sorry for all the questions, we are new to taking care of fish! I appreciate your help! Mary
<Mary, Not be disheartened. I can tell you want to learn how to manage this situation in the future. I would suggest you use the search feature on the site and read about caring for livebearer fry. Neale has a great article on the same that you can find here -
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_4/v4i3/Livebearers/Livebearers.htm
Since you are new to keeping fish, I would also suggest you read about the ideal conditions for the fish you have in your tank. Here is a good place to start for mollies -
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
With a little bit of research and some time, I am sure you will be well on your way to finding many more fry in your tank. Cheers, Sugam>

Molly Fry    10/2/11
Hello, first off I want to thank you for any help you will give me dealing with Molly fry.
<No problem.>
You have several articles, or answers, on how to care for fry properly but I had a few more questions I couldn't find on your website.
<Fire away.>
I only have four mollies in a 55 gallon tank (some are Dalmatian and some pure white). I have 6 fry, white and black, and I was wondering that due to the fact there is a ton of room for them, do I still need to remove the fry?
<If the adults ignore them, then no, you can leave them where they are.>
If I should remove them, I have a small 5 gallon tank I can use. Can I just remove water from the large tank and use it for 5 gallon one?
Should I have a filter, and/or heater in small tank?
<Any aquarium you put fry into will need to be AT LEAST as good as their home aquarium, and that includes filtration and heating. Think about it, they're smaller and therefore more easily harmed by ammonia, nitrite, cold, and changes in water chemistry.>
Lastly, I was wondering if there was some contraption I can use at home to put in the 55 gallon tank to separate the fry safely.
<Yes. You can put fry into floating breeding traps, and keep them there for 3 weeks or so. After that, they'll be big enough to set loose with the adults. Obviously, as the fry grow into adults your tank might be overstocked, so you'll need to rehome any surplus. In addition, different varieties of Mollies all interbreed, so after a generation or two you can end up with a mix of "mongrel" Mollies lacking the bright colours of the original ones, so if you plan on keeping, say, Silver Sailfin Mollies, then you don't want to house them alongside Black Molly fry or Orange Balloon Mollies.>
Thanks for helping, and sorry if I have asked the same questions someone else asked. Thanks. - Robyn (California)
PS: Getting pictures of fry is hard! I tried. I will attach the decent ones.
<Good enough for government work! Cheers, Neale.>

lyre tail molly fry   9/28/11
Hi I'm hoping you are able to offer me some advice. I'm fairly new to this hobby and I'm starting to wonder if I'm doing something wrong.
<Oh?>
I have a 71 ltr planted tank stocked with 2 black Lyretail mollies (1 male, 1 female soon to be 2 females as I have since learnt this is a better number), 2 non wild local water cockatoo Apistos and 5 ember tetra's.
Water param.s are
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 20
ph 7.5
kH 180
gH 180.
<Do bear in mind that Mollies do only variably well in freshwater, and it's always wisest to choose tankmates that will tolerate slightly brackish water if needs be, for example Australian Rainbowfish or Glassfish. Tetras and Apistogramma, by contrast, are soft water fish, and it's hard to imagine them doing well in the long-term kept alongside Mollies. To be fair, Apistogramma cacatuoides is an exceptionally tolerant species, but still, it'll do better in fairly soft, slightly acidic water, and such conditions will sicken Mollies. We're talking about success over the long-term here, i.e., years rather than months. You may well be fine for a few months, even a year.>
All fish are behaving as normal bar my Apistos which I believe are about to start breeding. I perform 2 40% water changes a week which the fish seem to enjoy.
<Indeed. Low nitrate levels are crucial to both Dwarf Cichlids and Mollies.>
15 days ago the molly gave birth to 21 fry, I placed them in a floating breeder box and have been feeding the 3-4times a day on a normal flake food crushed up fine.
<Sounds okay.>
All has been fine up until this last wknd day 13 I lost one molly fry, day 14 3 molly fry and today on day 15 I see at least 2 maybe 3 molly fry that don't look so healthy.
<Could be a variety of factors. Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
Do note what it is Mollies need, then compare your water chemistry against their requirements. Do also consider temperature and water quality, as well as circulation of water in the trap. On top of this, Mollies can miscarry their fry, and prematurely born fry rarely survive, even if they seem alive. Such fry tend to swim weakly, if at all, and are obviously in trouble from the moment they're born.>
My original observation was that these fry were not developing like the rest, they were keeping the new fry shape with smaller eyes and not developing the fish shape as the others were. The fry that died seemed to be fairly thin. Just checking on the fry now I see more that are looking thin (could just be me being over critical) I also noticed one that seemed to have his tail bent at 90 deg on the bottom of the breeder box but he swam off after a bit and the tail is not bent. Am I feeding these fry wrong as I read these symptoms can be related to vitamin deficiency's or is there a chance I need to dose the tank with meds for an internal protozoa
<Unlikely. Mollies will produce countless fry, so the best approach is to be open minded about environmental conditions, make adjustments as necessary, and if needs be, transfer fry to their own, slightly brackish aquarium for growing on.>
Many thanks
Brett
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Very Pregnant Black Molly     9/27/11
Good Evening. Hope all is going well with you. This is Anita again, with yet another question. I have a VERY pregnant black molly. I bought her from the pet store at the end of August or the first of September where they told me she was pregnant at that time.
<These (molly) species and other livebearers can/do store sperm in their tracts... for successive generations at times>
Now she is huge and has the boxy abdomen. About a week (or so) ago, I noticed a tiny, white tube-like thing barely sticking out of her anus area.
From what I have read and understand, this is possibly a birthing tube?
<Mmm, okay; yes>
If this is true, how much longer should it be before she frys?
<Fry is both singular and plural, unless we're chatting re papas fritas (fries); a fave>
I check on her several times a day and the "tube" has not moved in or out any but appears to be open when I check on her. (She passes feces through it too). I have also read about a white ball with a black ring that will appear before frying?
<Is this summat to do w/ a type cooking ahead of watching sports?>
That is a little confusing to me as I have not noticed anything resembling a ball shape on her.
<Not likely to be such>
She appears to have what looks like possible whitish stretch marks running lengthwise on her abdomen due to her huge belly too.
<Good observation>
She still has an excellent appetite and is aggressive with food, especially when I feed algae thins. She will run all the other tank mates away from it. She is still quite active as well. I know that they are pregnant for about 30 days, right?
<Mmm, okay... more a matter of more or less, than black/white... A chance/opportunity for you to gain understanding re calculus/universe>
She looks and acts great, very active, has regular BM, great appetite, with this white tube coming out for a week or so. Is there anything I need to be concerned about or do you think she is getting ready to fry soon?
<Nah.>
Thanks so much for all your help/advice. It is greatly appreciated. Anita
<Just keep doing what you're doing Anita. Bob Fenner>

Mollie labor signs 8/30/11
Hey there! I have a pregnant silver molly in a 30 gallon tank.
According to Merritt I have everything set up right for her. I had her sectioned off with a sheet of Plexi glass but decided just to let her go.
<Whoa! Anything that stops water flowing in the tank is bad. Egg crate or mesh are good; solid panes of glass or acrylic are bad.>
She is in the tank with 10 2-3 week old babies (to big to eat) and seems quite happy eating and is very busy most of the time. I turn the filter off to feed the babies their crushed food so the filter does not get it all.
<Do try Hikari First Bites, an excellent food for baby fish.>
When I do this she goes to the top and just floats around by either the filter water intake or the heater (after eating her fill, which seems to be less lately). Are these signs of possible labor or is she stressed by the filter turning off? (As she only does it then) She is very box like and has the gravid spot.
<"Gravid Spot" is meaningless with Mollies; their abdomens are much thicker than Guppies, and in any case, it's a completely misleading term.>
What are some signs of labor?
<They don't have labour. Mollies are ovoviviparous; the eggs are retained inside the uterus but there's no connection between mother and embryo.
She's basically a swimming nest. The fry emerge very easily if all goes to plan, and oftentimes the females barely seem to notice.>
I would love to see her give birth this time. I missed it last time with my Dalmatian molly. I have done some research on this, some say rubbing on the stones (that's a parasite problem I think). Some say hiding or lack of appetite (didn't ever see that in the Dalmatian I would have noticed that, that sound more like stress or poor water anyhow). So I figured who better to ask than the people who know better! Thanks in advance....... Jacquie.
P.S. I love this site!!!!!!!
<Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Mollies need a spacious tank with warm, hard, alkaline water. Slightly brackish conditions make life much easier in many ways, especially if you use marine aquarium salt. If all you're keeping is Mollies, then not using marine aquarium salt at 3-5 grammes/litre is a no-brainer. The cost is minimal, the benefits enormous. Cheers, Neale.>
Re Molly Reproduction (Neale) 8/30/11

Hi Wet web crew I know these emails go to the site in general but this comment is for Neale in general.
<Here I am!>
I asked about molly reproduction in general as it is the only thing about mollies that confuses me.
<Okay.>
First off there were holes in the Plexi glass and lots of them was not asking about that.
<Was not stated. I can't see your aquarium, so have to work from the data you give me. If you just say you use a piece of acrylic to divide the tank, I'm playing it safe and stating that the thing needs holes in it or it won't work.>
Second I did not ask about brackish water and water conditions.
<And yet these are by far the commonest reasons people kill their Mollies. So again, I play it safe for your benefit.>
My fish live in a slightly brackish tank and there water is perfect.
<That's great, but you don't tell me that, and I certainly can't remember your previous messages.>
I know about all that. Third your comment, ""Gravid Spot" is meaningless with Mollies; their abdomens are much thicker than Guppies, and in any case, it's a completely misleading term." makes no sense to me and actually u contradicted yourself with the link u gave me as they quote "Otherwise, look out for an obvious swelling of the abdomen, and shortly before the fry are born, there is usually a dark patch around the vent known as the 'gravid spot'.".
<Precisely so. The gravid spot is something visible on Guppies and other small livebearers like Mosquitofish. The bigger the livebearer, the less obvious this gravid spot becomes. The crucial misunderstanding some beginners have is to assume female livebearers "turn on" this gravid spot when pregnant, perhaps thinking it's a way the females tell the males they're pregnant. In fact the gravid spot isn't a spot of colour at all, but darker tissue inside the body pushing against the abdomen wall because the embryos are getting larger and pushing outwards. Once you understand this, you place less faith in the gravid spot. Yes, it can be helpful, but it's not foolproof by any means, and there are other reasons a Molly might appear swollen: genetics, overeating, dropsy, tumours.>
You Neale seem to know a lot about the Mollies,
<Yes.>
ok, but when people are asking questions on a certain topic try to keep focused on that u always go off on water conditions and never or barely or sarcastically answer my questions.
<Hmm'¦ not my intention to avoid answering questions. In fact you'll notice that my answers are usually very long and detailed. What I'm trying to do is educate and inform the recipient, so that they *understand* what's going on, and from that, draw their own conclusions based on their *better* overview of their fish and aquarium. I won't have all the data needed to give you a point by point analysis, but if you understand the proper way to think about your Mollies, solving problems becomes easier.>
Long story short you always make me feel stupid Neale and I'm not. I know a lot about these mollies now, some thanks to this site. The other members of this crew are so positive and helpful, there is never even a hint of know it all comments, you should take note of this and try to be a little more positive. We are coming here for help not ridicule.
<I think you're overreacting here, but if you feel offended in some way, I apologise, and you're welcome to solicit help from anyone else here that you feel gives you better advice. I already volunteer about an hour a day at WWM, and won't mind having my inbox lightened a little.>
Thanks Jacquie
<Cheers, Neale.>

"Fish Help"  8/27/11
Hi Jacquie here.
<Hi! Merritt here!>
So I have a 30 gallon tank that has become my baby tank holding 10 baby mollies that are about 2 weeks old. I have a white or silver molly that is due soon with her batch. I have cut a piece of Plexi glass, and drilled holes in it to allow for water flow, creating basically a clear plastic wall between her and the babies in the other section. I can estimate that her section is about a 10 gallon area. Is this enough area for her?
<Sounds like the perfect nursery for her, you have separated her from the other fry while also providing water flow.>
I have floating plants on top and large rocks and more plants on the bottom. ( In my experience with the babies I have they prefer to hide in the rocks and plants on the bottom.)
<And you have added hiding spots! This will work out well.>
Jacquie here again sorry I pushed send by mistake hopefully this comes close to the other one! Lol. I am curious if my set up will work and I am curious of your opinion on it. It works for me but I am not a fish!
Eagerly awaiting your reply....Jacquie
<Your setup will work fine. Just keep an eye on her and make sure she is getting enough water flow through the divider. Good luck! Merritt>

Mollies breeding with Guppy??   8/18/11
Good Day to You All,
<Hello Tracy,>
I just came across your site, and I am pretty new to having an aquarium.
Hopefully it's an easy answer for you.
<We can only hope!>
I have 2 Golden Balloon Mollies (what I think are female) and 1 Fancy Tailed Guppy, male. Any chance they can mate and have fry that live??
Because just this morning, I found a new baby fish living under the log in our aquarium! He is often all over both of the Mollies. Thanks so much for your help!
<Yes, Guppies and Mollies can cross breed. It's fairly common in fact, but the offspring are usually infertile, so nothing much comes of it in the long run. The offspring might be called Gollies or Muppies as you prefer!
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Mollies breeding with Guppy??
Thanks so much for the quick response! So do you think there was many, but were eaten??
~Tracy
<Hard to say. Guppy/Molly crosses don't seem to happen as often as you'd expect them to, so it might be such crosses produce small broods anyway.
But in a community tank situation many fry will be eaten, so even if the female releases 50 fry, you might only see one or two by the time you get around to looking for them. Adding floating plants helps a lot by providing cover for newborn fry. Once you find them, remove the fry to a floating breeding trap for 2-3 weeks. After that, they'll be big enough to set loose with their parents. If you have predatory fish like Angels or large tetras, then "trap" the fry for longer. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Mollies breeding with Guppy??
Thanks Neale!!! Your knowledge and help are much appreciated! Cheers!!
~Tracy
<You are most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Mollies breeding with Guppy??   8/18/11
Ok, I apologize for this dumb question, and I promise it's the last one.
How do I get this little thing out without hurting it?? It's currently hiding between the rocks and the log we have in the aquarium. Do I just use the net??
<Yes, that can work. But often it's easier to use a net to drive very small fish into a small container like a Dixie Cup or similar, and then decant the fish from there into the breeding trap.>
Thanks in advance, and I won't bother you again about it!! ;-)
~Tracy
<Is not a problem. Good luck, Neale.>

Mollies, repro.    8/2/11
I was reading the information on your website about mollies, and I wanted to tell someone about the large litter that my Dalmatian molly just had early Monday morning. I first found 5 fry swimming around in our large tank, so I got out both of the little net enclosures that hang on the sides of the tank. One was for my female molly, and the other were for the 5 fry that I had found so far. I had her in the enclosure for about 5 minutes when she started pushing out more babies, about 4 at a time every couple of minutes. I took a small net and starting putting them in the other enclosure, and this went on until about 3 this morning, when she finally stopped. After she rested a little while, I put her back in the tank. I then decided to divide up the little ones so that it would not get too crowded in the one enclosure. I took them out a few at a time, until I stopped at 60. There are still more in the 2nd enclosure, so I am estimating that we are at 125+ fry right now. I know that mollies usually have between 30-40 fry at once, but this is one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen.
Kimberly
<Hello Kimberly. Thanks for your message; all very interesting. A quick look through my books on livebearers suggests that Mollies can, at times, have up to 300 fry. So while your brood is remarkable, and I've never seen anywhere near that number of fry from one Molly, you're not quite in the Guinness Book of Records yet! You might want to try asking around at the Wet Web Media forum to see if anyone there has kept Mollies that produced large numbers of fry. If you've not visited, the forum is a great place to share observations with other aquarists and to get lots of feedback.
http://wetwebmediaforum.com/
In any case, good luck rearing all these hungry mouths. Cheers, Neale.>

Poecilia/Xiphophorus hybrids, or not, as the case may be...   7/27/11
Hey there!
<Hello!>
I sent you a message a while ago about Platy/Mollie breading together and u said it was not possible nothing will come of it.
<Indeed not. So far as I know, these fish are too distantly related to breed successfully, though the male may well try to mate.>
" Ok" I thought, you know more than me about this stuff that will be it then.
<Indeed I do.>
WELL!! She is for sure pregnant and here is the kicker, she was very young when I got her (small) about 6 weeks ago. And in that time she has grown quite a bit. My other male Mollies pay her no mind
<Don't bank on that.>
they don't even stop to look (too busy with the other Sailfin and Dalmatian) I am sure they will soon. The only one who has ever even touched her was my plucky male red platy.
<Quite possibly.>
She is a silver molly who came from a tank of silver mollies. Now I know what your thinking mollies can store sperm for months on end so technically she could be carrying another males young.
<Yes.>
But being that she was very young when I got her, won't a male ignore them until they are basically the right age, like mine are doing?
<Nope. The males are sexually competent at about 2 months, when they're about, what, 2 cm long, a bit under an inch in old money. Females need to be slightly older and bigger, maybe 3 months of age, but there's no much in it. Mollies, and indeed livebearers generally, can/will produce young from a very early age.>
I have seen some info on POLLIES but nothing more than individual experiences and some opinion that the resulting fry would either be not viable or born sterile.
<Indeed. When distantly related fish try to breed, the result is either a lack of fertilised eggs completely, and therefore no fry, or else fry that are so weak or deformed they quickly die or simply fail to thrive. Either way, Platy/Molly hybrids are extremely rare, and when they do happen, the fry die within a few days.>
So given this info from me is it possible?
<Possible perhaps, but unlikely.>
She is almost 4 weeks in so I will be putting her in the momma tank soon. I have a method to do it which reduces her stress. No net!
<Hmm'¦.>
Awaiting your reply Jacquie Brown
<Cheers, Neale.>
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network
<Why do we get all these messages now where people tell us what Smartphone they use? All very strange.>
Never ending pregnancy?!   7/27/11

Hi there! Ok so I think I have done my homework but this fish is puzzling me! She is in a 5-7 gallon tank with pristine water.
<A Molly, I take it? This tank is too small except for the shortest period of time, days rather than weeks. Mollies get stressed in small tanks, and miscarriages are common when that happens.>
The heat is sitting at 81/82F. She has lights out for at least 16h as they like to give birth in the dark.
<Do they? Never heard of that. They do often give birth among floating plants, so that's what I'd recommend. Floating plants provide cover for the fry and also remove some of the ammonia and nitrate directly, improving water quality.>
She is well fed with a high quality food. I took a section of the mesh bag from a NEW BioMax rocks filter insert and put it over the intake of the filter so the fry can't be sucked up, but will still allow for normal filtration. (Which mind you I take off to clean now and again). There are lots of hiding places for the fry so they can hide
<Fry hide at the TOP of the tank, so rocks, caves, etc. are pointless.
Floating plants, even plain vanilla clumps of "Elodea" type pondweed work best.>
and maybe not get eaten, which she will likely do anyway. She eats very well is very social with me (following me as I walk by and my finger on the tank)
<Begging for food; livebearers generally learn this trick very quickly.>
and seems very happy being the only one in the tank as needs to be. Now the tricky part she has been in this tank for over 4 weeks now and she was pregnant quite a while before I put her in. Her gravid spot has always stayed black and has never disappeared indicating premature birth or abortion and re absorption of the babies. So what could be happening here?
<What's the father? Is this the one you think mated with a Platy? I will make the observation that when Halfbeaks hybridise, sometimes the female fails to deliver the young, and the young die, the female swells up, and eventually she dies. Just one of several reasons why I warn people against hybridisation. In any event, Platy/Molly hybrids are very rare so we might discount this theory. What you can't do is "fix" this in any meaningful way. If she CAN deliver the young, she WILL deliver the young, though some fancy varieties are prone to birthing problems as well as fertility problems. Optimising water chemistry, for example by adding marine salt mix, and either raising or lowering the water temperature for a short period might trigger release. High-fibre foods including cooked spinach and sushi Nori should be used instead of flake, in case constipation is the issue here.>
She must be going on 6 weeks now at least. I thought molly gestation was only 4 are Lyre tails longer?
<4 weeks is normal for Mollies, but it does vary.>
Its hard to find specific breed details in good detail. (Especially with a blackberry).
<Try visiting a library. Lots of books, and the information is often BETTER than what you get online because it's been edited.>
Here is a little video u can see the spot quite clearly when she swims away. Hopefully it works for you. Eagerly waiting your reply, Jacquie Brown
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Poecilia/Xiphophorus hybrids, or not, as the case may be...   7/27/11
Hi Jacquie here again. Thanks for getting back to me so quick.
<No problem.>
The Mollie that has been pregnant forever coupled with another Lyre tail and a Sailfin and when I got her she was with several different breeds of mollies so lord knows what she is carrying.
<Indeed. Mollies will hybridise with each other, as well as other Poecilia species, such as Guppies.>
The little platy had no chance in **** catching her!
<Optimally, you wouldn't keep Platies and Mollies in the same aquarium anyway. Platies prefer slightly cooler water than the farmed fancy Mollies most shops sell, ~22 C vs. ~26 C.>
I was going to set up my 30 Gallon tank so maybe I will just put her in that by herself for now and see what happens. I will keep you all posted about the Platy/Mollie breeding with the silver molly, I am curious about the outcome but being realistic too.
<Cool.>
And as well as far as the "Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network" that pops up with the messages. It is something that the phone does automatically with every sent message, it is not something we are doing ourselves. Thanks again Jacquie
<How strange. Free marketing for Research In Motion, I guess. Cheers, Neale.>

Platy/Mollie crosses     6/30/11
Hey in my community tank I just got a small (young I think) female silver Mollie. I have noticed my Male Red Platy mating with her and no one else is! (3 other males in tank). Can anything come of this?
<Mmm, in the way of progeny? No... there are other possible cross species crosses... Platies w/ Xiphophorus helleri, others... Mollies w/ Guppies, Endler's...>
I would love to see these hybrid fish! Should I take her out to stop any further breeding with other males. Here is a picture of the male.
<Ahh, very nice. Bob Fenner>

Molly repro.     7/17/11
Hey there! I love this site I am constantly coming back to it, it answers lots of questions. I have a Dalmatian Mollie that gave birth to about 10 babies prematurely (all were still born). She is still quite big is there a chance there are more in there?
<Yes... Poeciliids/livebearers often have young/drop for a few days...
i.e., not all at once>
She is currently in a well cycled 5 gallon baby tank by herself. Thanks for this site it is great!
Jacquie Brown
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Re: Identify turtle type and am I doing this right? Now... molly repro.    7/6/11
You guys are great,
<Actually, we're better than that!>
so I'm going to bug you some more.
<We do fish & turtles, we don't do bugs>
I bought my son a black molly on June 4th, it's in a tank with one fancy goldfish. Today, July 4 I came home from a weeks vacation to have 4 more baby mollies swimming in my tank.
<Congrats!>
I'm assuming mollies don't breed with goldfish,
<Well now '¦ you get Mollie drunk enough and she'll mate with just about anything '¦>
I guess it's just at least a month long gestational period?
<More or less>
Also, 3 of the mollies are black and one is completely clear.
<The next evolutionary step after "clear" will be "invisible">
I put some floating grass into the aquarium today to give them a place to hide,
<smart move>
but they are kind of on their own.
<I agree>
I have my hands full with 2 small boys, 2 dogs, a turtle and now 6 fish. Is there anything specific I should do besides buying a new tank for the babies.
<Hmmm .. try to find some personal time for yourself?>
<seriously, why not just get a breeding net? It's a 4 sided net that hangs on the inside of the big tank. They sell them for pregnant fish (which is a really BAD idea) but they will keep the fry safe for the few weeks that it takes them to reach fighting weight>
Thanks!

Poecilia/Mollienesia; repro.    7/2/11
Hey Jacquie here again I have been watching this fish seems forever. I think she is pregnant, what do u think? How long, its like Christmas for me! I am soooo impatient!
<Mollies produce offspring about 4-6 weeks after insemination. However, those fry are often eaten by the adults or other fish in community tanks, and it is quite common for this to be the reason why inexperienced
fishkeepers never see the baby fish they're expecting. Secondly, Mollies are easily stressed, for example by the wrong water chemistry or aggressive tankmates (including male Mollies) in which case fry can be born stillborn.
Obviously these will fall to the ground and get eaten by other fish. Do read about Mollies and make the appropriate changes to the aquarium necessary to provide the right conditions for breeding:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/mollies.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Note: CAE


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