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Old 08-06-2010, 02:14 AM   #1
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Molly Breeding Problems?

Ok, so I read everywhere that mollies are prolific breeders. I got some mollies bc I thought it would be fun to breed different colors and fin styles together to see what the outcomes are. It's just my luck that my mollies won't breed. What the heck am I doing wrong? I do regular water changes, check water levels, even add a little salt. My parameters are: ph:7.2, Alkalinity:80 ppm, Hardness:140ppm, Nitrite:0ppm, Nitrate: 5ppm. Temp in my aquarium is 78F. The only thing I could think of is maybe my ph isn't high enough, I know they like a higher ph... Any other ideas or tips? The guppies breed all the time and I see a few baby swortails appear every once and a while (although the momma swortails never get big; I never even know they're pregnant until I see 2-3 babies swimming around every once in a while). So I think maybe I'm almost there...? I don't know how I could be messing this up
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:20 AM   #2
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got male and female mollies? you see any of them get prego. its not uncommon to give birth and the other fish eat them. ph shouldnt be a problem.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:37 AM   #3
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Yeah I have 2 males: one black and one balloon, and 4 females: dalmation, balloon, silver, and gold dust. The gold dust was pregnant when I got her from the pet store, then never was again. I've never seen them get even remotely big in my tank :-/ Meanwhile, my girlfriend's little brother has some mollies (I went to look at them today and the water was nasty, all cloudy and stuff. Rushed back to my house to get water changing supplies for him. Apparently he didn't know anything about water changes), and he's got one that has one gigantic belly on her! Why is it that I carefully watch my water levels and get no preggers, while his is all cloudy with crazy parameters and he has the fattest molly I've ever seen?
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:30 PM   #4
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Does anyone have an idea of what I'm missing? I think it might be that my alkalinity isn't high enough for the mollies, I know they like hard, high ph water. I have all the other parameters in order, the only thing that is low is that alkalinity.
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:14 PM   #5
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I read somewhere that Mollies are harder to breed than swords or gups. I have had dozens of batches of swords and gups, yet only 2 batches of mollies, one from one fish, and one from another. I don't know if they are just not as prolific or what, or if I don't catch them in the right stage of pregnancy before switching them to the birthing/fry tank, but I have found they are more difficult to get to reproduce. So don't bang your head too hard, just check them one a week to see if any are getting fatter (I could see the gravid spot on my orange creamsicle molly, but can't on my black and marble mollies)
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Old 08-07-2010, 06:23 PM   #6
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Alright. I would really like to breed mollies eventually, so I hope I can figure out how to do it lol. My swords and guppies do breed in the tank, like you said, so I know I'm not like poisoning my fish and sterilizing them or anything However from everywhere I've read it seems like the females are supposed to constantly be pregnant and it kind of worries me that mine aren't like that. And like I said earlier, the gf's brother's molly is like super preggers and I don't know how that even happens. Her belly has more than doubled her normal height. It does make me feel a little better that I'm not alone tho
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:23 PM   #7
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Here's my 2c, as someone with a 3 week old batch of juveniles myself:

1. A small temp bump to the cooler side. I actually had my mollies in an unheated aquarium (because I was a newb) at around 73-74f, and they were constantly getting it on. This seems to be a general trend with some fish- a brief cold spell gets them in the mood for baby making.

If you don't want to have to repeatedly adjust the heater then just do tis - when you do your regular water change, make the incoming water a bit colder than the tank water.

2. Good eats. If you have the mollies on a fairly basic diet - try something new. One thing that turned out to be a big hit was blanched zucchini. Sliced, boiled for a few minutes, cooled, and hung from a veggie clip or fishing line - even with the skin on, they'll shred it's innards like tiny vegetarian sharks. And you can freeze the rest of the slices for later.
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:29 PM   #8
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The cool water for the PWC is a good idea, I've heard that before described as mimicking a rainshower. You just have to be careful that it's not too drastic, as I've also read a quick temp drop can bring on ich (not 100% sure on that)
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:10 PM   #9
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ok cool, I'll have to give the temp change a shot, as well as the zucchini when I can get ahold of some. Right now I feed them flakes, frozen brine shrimp, and freeze dried bloodworms. Temp is about 79-80. What kind of temp drop would be good? like 4-5 degrees? I did have some success today when I moved some into their own tank away from the communtiy. Started last night with putting a male in my other tank (which only had two angels), and put the female in today. The male went nuts! The female kept running away, but things are looking better
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:53 PM   #10
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If you go the route of adjusting the ambient temperature, I'd take it slow. Maybe 1 degree, watch for a couple days, 1 degree, watch, etc. Etc. This way if you do see any illness setting in, you can more quickly bring the temp back up to deal with it. You should also watch for "the shimmies" which is a common symptom of mollies' environments affecting them negatively. Shimmies are when the Molly hovers in place and continuously wags his/her entire body instead of just the tail and pectorals.

As for the feeding, here's what I feed at the moment:

Freeze dried bloodworms (I chop up about half the feeding so that the babies can come up and hunt small pieces while the parent hunt down the big ones)

Freshly hatched brine shrimp (homemade hatchery from YouTube and a $10 supply of eggs that will easily last 6 months.) the babies will go after shimp from the days after they're born all the way to adulthood. In fact, the one full adult Molly has such a taste for them that she just opens her mouth and swims through the cloud of shrimp like she's a whale. The caution here is that feeding brine shrimp at every meal can start to salt- up your tank, and has been known to cause swim bladder disease.

Tetra spirulina flakes. Same consistency of the standard tropical flake, but it's 100% spirulina algae. I crush up half this feeding too for the babies. Sadly the pet stores around here don't carry it, so I had to order a small jar off amazon for about $10.

Algae crisps. Brand really doesn't matter that much, but mollies have no problem diving for these chips and often they'll "kiss" on them so fast that they'll have to chase them around the tank like they were practicing for the World Cup. The importance with these is not to overfeed. 1 chip is equivalent to about 1.5 servings of flake-equivalent, and any extra left over will sit and break down on your gravel till they get hungry again.
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:57 PM   #11
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I should also mention that if it looks like your female is about to drop some fry, you may want to invest in "Hikari First Bites". It's a powdered food that can be fed to Molly fry even before the brine shrimp.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:00 AM   #12
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Ok, thanks for the tips. I feed my guppy/swordtail babies some pulverized flakes, but mostly frozen baby brine shrimp. Is the frozen baby brine shrimp about the equivalent of the freshly hatched ones, or would the hatchery be a better idea?
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cd216513 View Post
Ok, thanks for the tips. I feed my guppy/swordtail babies some pulverized flakes, but mostly frozen baby brine shrimp. Is the frozen baby brine shrimp about the equivalent of the freshly hatched ones, or would the hatchery be a better idea?
They're about the Same, although some say that hatching live preserves some nutrients lost in freezing - for me it's a personal preference, hatching brine shrimp is a mini science experiment within the continual science that is aquarium keeping.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:10 AM   #14
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Very true. I was interested in the idea just because it sounds like it would be fun, so I know exactly what you mean. In reference to the Hikari First Bites, I actually did just order some of that; I'm excited to try it out
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