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Old 07-04-2009, 04:44 PM   #1
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Dalmation Molly fry

So I was looking closely at my 55 gallon planted tank this afternoon and I noticed a little molly fry swimming around in some of the thick background plants. I looked a bit closer and I discovered three more. Pretty big surprise to me, but it's really cool. I was wondering what I should do at this point to keep them healthy and make sure they survive and grow properly. I tried to get them in a net really quick when I first noticed them, but my tank is so heavily planted and they're so tiny/fast that it was next to impossible to do so. Would they be safe in the tank if there is plenty of thick plants for them to hide in? They seem to be staying in all of the plants right now as it is, and I have not noticed any of my other fish bothering them as of yet, but I'm sure that could easily change over time.

If I do need to separate them into a different tank, is there an easier way to catch the little guys? I'll be doing my weekly water change tomorrow morning, so I was thinking maybe trying to grab them then once I have 50% of my water removed, but even then I think it will be almost impossible unless I get really lucky due to all of the plants I have in the back of the tank and with them being as tiny as they are.

Any help is appreciated! I'm pretty excited that I have some fry and I've been wanting to set up a smaller tank with some mollies for my girlfriend later this summer because she thinks they're adorable, so I thought it would be really cool to make sure these ones survive and use them to put in the tank I set up for her later.

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Old 07-04-2009, 04:55 PM   #2
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Congrats on the fry!

With enough places to hide, thick plants are a huge plus, they should be fine. No gaurantee though. Your only chance to net them will probably be during the water change as you mentioned. Hopefully someone will have a useful trick up their sleeve. The only fry I caught were out of bare bottom breeding tanks so it was easy.
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:33 PM   #3
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Well, they definitely have a ton of places to hide amongst the thick plants. The other fish usually don't even go that deep into the background plants anyway, so as long as the fry stay back there like they have been I think they should be pretty safe.

What is the best way to feed them? I highly doubt they'll be coming up to the surface to eat any time soon like the other fish, but I guess I could be wrong. And any food I put in the tank is probably going to get eaten by the others first anyway. I've noticed the fry seem to be nibbling at the plants as they are swimming through them, but I'm not sure if they're actually eating anything from them or if that is even sufficient nutrition for them until they get bigger.
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:36 PM   #4
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Your best bet to get food to them may be BBS. You can hatch them yourself or use frozen thawed in tank water. That way you can pour them into the tank and get them down into the plants for the fry.
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:44 PM   #5
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Sounds good. I'll get some frozen ones on Monday, unless you think I should worry about feeding them sooner than that? I only say Monday due to holidays and such this weekend.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:05 PM   #6
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They should be ok. Having established plants is definitely a good thing. The fry have probably been grazing on microfauna and such.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:30 PM   #7
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You can also crush some flake food into powder, soak it in water then use an eye dropper or something similar to squirt it down into the plants where they are hiding. Most adult fish ignore tiny foods like flake crushed to powder.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:51 PM   #8
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That's an awesome idea with the dropper. I was actually thinking of trying something like that tomorrow, was planning on posting later to see if it would be effective. I'll do that tomorrow and see how it goes. Should they accept flake food pretty easily, or will it take them a while before they develop good eating habits?
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:43 PM   #9
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They will eat fine from the beginning
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:29 PM   #10
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The powdered flake food and the eye dropper worked pretty well this morning. I squirted a little bit of the mixture down into the water near the fry and it seemed like they took a little nibble at one or two particles of food, so hopefully that's good enough!
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:44 PM   #11
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They will nibble at it all day now.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:25 PM   #12
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Even if it sank to the bottom after a while? They also seem to be getting more comfortable with their surroundings and are starting to come towards the front of the tank a bit more now, hopefully this does not make them easy targets for any other fish in my tank. So far they're all still safe, just did my PWC for the week and all is good for now.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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If the other fish are well fed, they may not be in a mood to hunt at all so the fry may be fine.
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:57 PM   #14
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That's what I've been thinking too. I have been making sure that my fish are well fed (although I always do that anyways), but making sure not to overfeed them. Hopefully that will be enough to deter them from snacking on my little fry. The fry seem like they're starting to school together now too -- every time I spot one the others are right with him as well, swimming amongst the plants in a little group. It's too cute!
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Old 07-12-2009, 02:13 PM   #15
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Just thought I'd update this thread since it is the end of the week and I like to keep my ongoing threads pretty up to date with my progress and results. Three of my fry have grown a noticeable amount just within this one week, they are definitely much larger in comparison to the other two smaller ones. They are starting to eat better as well, when some of the pieces of flake food get sent throughout my tank after the initial feeding frenzy each morning, they are always hanging out near the bottom catching all the pieces as they float around, it's fun to watch!

None of my other fish (surprisingly) have eaten any of them, even since the fry have become more comfortable within the tank and have begun swimming all around it, rather than just hiding in the plants. They even go under a piece of driftwood that my big pictus catfish hides out under and he never bothers them. I've seen a danio swim over to them once or twice if they got real close, but never pursued them beyond that. The same goes with my clown loaches.

I'm glad they are doing well, hopefully they will continue growing and eventually be as big and healthy as their parents I just need to figure out what to do with them now, haha. I suppose I could put one or two in one of my other tanks, but the rest I will probably give away or try to sell if I can find anyone interested.

That's all I've got for this set of updates!
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:12 PM   #16
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That's great that they are surviving. Hopefully nothing will happen!

What fish do you have in the tank with them? I've seen you mention a few, but what's the entire list?
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Old 07-12-2009, 03:35 PM   #17
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I've got 3 Giant Danios, 3 Dalmation Mollies (2 females, 1 male), 2 Pink Kissing Gouramis, 1 Rainbow Shark, 3 Clown Loaches, 2 BN Plecos, and 2 Pictus Catfish. They all seem to get along quite well together, haven't had a single problem with any of them so far besides two of the loaches getting Ich a while back. Oh, and 5 Dalmation Molly Fry (obviously)

I'll be moving my loaches to a larger tank in the coming year(s) once they get larger. They've had one or two nice little growth spurts since I got them, but they are still small enough to be in their current tank.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:08 PM   #18
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I snapped a couple pictures of my fry a few minutes ago while I was doing my water change and stuff. They aren't the best of quality, but it's as good as I could do do with how tiny and quick they are. Enjoy!
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:30 PM   #19
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Wanted to bump this thread real quick to ask one more question. I plan on probably only keeping one of the fry once they grow bigger, so I'm either going to sell the others or give them away locally to a friend or someone at my LFS if they are interested. How old should the fry be before I should begin trying to get rid of them? I can already notice since last week how much they have grown in size, and they are all over the place in my tank just swimming along side of all of my other fish and none of them even bother the fry at all, it's really surprising (and cool)!
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:34 PM   #20
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You can sell or give them away whenever. As long as they don't go into a tank where they'll be seen as snacks...

If you sell them, I'd grow them out for 3-6 months. That's about when I used to sell all the fry I raised.
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