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Old 08-21-2004, 10:19 PM   #1
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Beginner has baby Mollies by accident


I had a good discussion in Saltwater General Discussion about whether to start a SW or FW tank with my 20 gallon, see:


Anyhow, I decided on a FW, and I am currently cycling my tank with (2) mollies and a suckerfish (Placo?). The black Molley looked a little fat, and I said to myself she might be pregnant. Well, I went away overnight, and when I came back, there were like (6) tiny black Mollies swimming around in the tank. (See Pictures). I thought fish laid there eggs and the male spawned over them? Could the red Molley have spawned the Black's eggs? Was she pregnant with fertilized eggs when I bought her (2) weeks ago? The baby fish are black.

Also, and most importantly, I need advice on how to care for them. I was planning on buying several more fish in a couple of weeks when my cycle was complete. However, I worry because somebody might eat them. Please advise because I want to buy a silver angel, a rainbow shark, a jelly bean fish, and a clown loach.


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Old 08-21-2004, 10:38 PM   #2
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Mollies are livebearers. This means that somehow the father fertilizes the eggs before they come out. The fry consume their yolk sack and then mother "gives birth"

The only hard part about keeping fry is keeping them from being eaten. I would separate them from your other fish as soon as you can. There are small plastic breeder tanks that fit at the top of the aquarium. This is what I have always used for raising fry till they are big enough not to be eaten. Sometimes a few fry will survive if they have LOTS of places to hide. Judging the look of your aquarium (nice pic!) there are not a lot of hiding places - but I could be wrong.

If you do separate them you might want to some fry food. It's cheap and will last forever. I also feed my fry finely crushed flakes. Good luck!

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Old 08-21-2004, 11:04 PM   #3
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Firstly, the Clown Loach and the Rainbow Shark can both get quite big, you may want to reconsider what fish you are getting, the loach alone can get to be 10-12.

Now then, I keep mollies, and my female has fry every 3-4 months, so try to make sure that you will have good homes for these fish you are helping to survive, otherwise you may as well let them be eaten while they are young.

After sometime of reading you will likely hear this quote about various livebearers (mollies, guppies, platies, and swordtails) they "love to breed". Not only can one color molly impregnate another color molly, but it is possible for the four kinds of fish I listed to interbreed.

Having said that, my method for raising molly fry is to let nature run it's course. There is cover at all levels of the tank, plants and decoations. to provide cover at the mid and upper levels of my tank there are Banana Plants, Dwarf Lilies, and Duckweed, this is because I have noticed a tendancy for my newly born mollies to hang out at the top of the tank, and floating plants or plants with leaves that float provide excellent cover. The other place that my newly born mollies favor is the very bottom of the tank (sometimes even swimming down into the gravel if there is space between pieces), Java Moss or Micro Sword is my suggestion for "groundcover" plants. Adding decorations that function as hiding places will help all of your fish be less stressed when you add your new fish and they can add a "feel" or "mood" to your tank.

I have lost many babies to a running UGF, but I don't see one in your tank, so that shouldn't be a problem. However looking at your HOB filter, you will want to cover the intake with a sponge, or a nylon stocking that will prevent anything the size of your young fish to be sucked up.

FEEDING you baby mollies is not hard, simply take the food you have for the adults and crush it into the appropriate size, as fine as a powder if need be. If you want to, you can buy liquid fry food, or feed daphnia, but if you don't have the money to spare, crushing the adult food works just fine.

Congrats on the baby fish, and I hope my long rambling post helps you with your fish-keeping.
10 gal planted FW
2 adult Silver Lyretail Mollies
1 "juvenlie" male molly
many, many baby mollies
1 small clown loach (~2-2.5", returning to LFS in august)
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Old 08-22-2004, 01:19 AM   #4
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excellent info! kinda makes me want to start breeding

...fish. breeding fish...
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier...just as long as I'm the dictator..."
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Old 08-22-2004, 01:59 AM   #5
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err the one on the bottom is a platy.. the red one... the black one is a molly. they rarely breed together buts possible. it was probally fertilised at the store of soemthing.
~ Danny
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Old 08-22-2004, 02:50 AM   #6
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I agree, the red one does look a lot like a platy or swordtail. As krap said, the molly was likely empregnated at the store. Also know that the female can store sperm and will continue having babies without the male having to fertilize again.
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Old 08-22-2004, 02:53 PM   #7
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Thank ya'll for your help and comments. The red one could be a platy - I just don't remember. I attached a better picture. Also, I am having second thoughts about the clown loach - it may be too big, but my daughter loves nemo. Lastly, I may try to save a couple of the fry, but I might let nature run its course because there are a lot of other fish I want to fill this limited 20 gal aquarium. By the way, there are still (6) little guys in there. Have a good one,

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Old 09-20-2004, 07:05 PM   #8
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i am now on my 2nd batch of mollie babies. the first batch was about 33 fry, now 5 weeks later she just had about 50 more fry. i have them in a seperate tank that is allready cycled. i moved the first batch to a 20 gallon tank. the new fry have there own 10 gallon for now. mollies are quite easy to breed.

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