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Old 03-20-2006, 01:24 PM   #1
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Homemade Fry Seperator????

Hello everyone,

I've spent a lot of money on my aquariums and now am looking for a cheap alternative to buying a tank seperator and plants for the molly fry to hide in. Has anyone had any experience with plastic pop bottles? I have a bunch sitting around the house, and was thinking of drilling many small holes in a couple and placing them in my birth tank with my female mollies. This way the little fry can swim in the pop bottles to get away from hungry adults.

I know a lot of people say that mollies are pretty good at not eating their young, but mine seem to really like to chase and eat them.

I would imagine that the plastic bottles would be pretty safe for the fish if they are safe for humans to drink out of but I could be wrong about that.

Any suggestions?
Thanks.

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Old 03-20-2006, 02:19 PM   #2
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I can't imagine the fry actually swimming into the bottle to get away from the adults. I think you could put tiny holes in the bottle and permanently seperate the fry until they are older, but I can't imagine it being affective to save them from being eaten if they still can swim out into the adult area. It really only costs a dollar or two for a fry holder that hooks over the tank and into the water.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DepotFish
I can't imagine the fry actually swimming into the bottle to get away from the adults. I think you could put tiny holes in the bottle and permanently seperate the fry until they are older, but I can't imagine it being affective to save them from being eaten if they still can swim out into the adult area. It really only costs a dollar or two for a fry holder that hooks over the tank and into the water.
My problem with a fry seperator is that I would have to catch the fry as soon as they were born and put them in the seperator. The last time I saw one of my mollies giving birth, I saw her eat about 50% (10) of them before I could scoop her out of the tank. And I was lucky to catch her giving birth.

And by many holes, I was thinking a couple hundred. At least that might give them a better chance of living, until at least I could scoop them out. Any thoughts on how safe the plastic might be for fish?

Any other ideas for a cheap way to help fry hide?
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Old 03-20-2006, 05:54 PM   #4
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As long as you rinse it good most food grade plastics are safe, or so I've been told. I guess that might help a bit if the mothers are going to be that agressive with eating the fry. Maybe some plastic canvas in a box shape with the holes cut bigger. You could put a few in the tank. You'd have to use plastic "string" to hold it together on the edges instead of yarn.
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Old 03-20-2006, 06:09 PM   #5
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I'm sort of new at this but here's an idea: You could use the ide of drilling holes into a container but instead of putting the fry in it, put mama molly in it when you see that she is about to drop. That way, when she has her fry, they can swim down through the holes in the bottom but mama can't. It's the same idea as those breeder boxes they have. Just make sure the materials you have are safe!
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Old 03-21-2006, 08:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by daydreamer4186
I'm sort of new at this but here's an idea: You could use the ide of drilling holes into a container but instead of putting the fry in it, put mama molly in it when you see that she is about to drop. That way, when she has her fry, they can swim down through the holes in the bottom but mama can'*beep* the same idea as those breeder boxes they have. Just make sure the materials you have are safe!
That's a good idea, but one reason that I'm trying to add more places for the fry to hide instead is that my mollies get stressed when I put them in anything. My one molly from my main tank was 100% gravid and when I put her in the smaller birth tank (10g) inside a large net, she aborted. So I would like to just make more places for the molly fry to hide.

I went out and bought some java moss for $4 last night as I hear that's a good plant for ease of growth and it gives the fry a good place to hide. I hope it grows like a weed and covers my birth tank.

Getting back to the pop bottle idea, I would need to figure a way to get that sticky glue off the outside, but other than that, I think it would work.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:13 AM   #7
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It works I've used them before for guppy fry. The trick is to not make the wholes to big. I ued a 1/16th drill bit. As molly fry grow so fast for the frist 4 weeks, it's easy keeping them in it.
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Old 03-22-2006, 11:54 AM   #8
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Java moss, both floating and on the bototm. Anacharis floating, the more plants thet better. The female will find the plants and drop the babies in them. As for a seperator that won't stress mommy out, I don't know of one. Any time you net her she will stress, the best thing to do is have a tank that with lots of plants. the pop bottles might work but sharp edges could lead to injured fish. If you use a heated nail to make the holes, it should be safer for the fry and adults. You might even try letting the female swim into one on her own and this could lessen the stress. I will be making one that I will use for my swords that uses plastic rods on the bottom spaced just enough for the babies to fall through. Not inexpensive but better than the ones I have seen in my LFS.
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:20 PM   #9
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How do you make java moss float? Mine seems to sink to the bottom.

I have a lot of plastic plants in there too that hopefully the fry can use to hide. Actually I bought a long plastic plant, then tied it in knots and now it's a big ball where fry can hide very easily.
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Old 03-31-2006, 07:03 PM   #10
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to grt thr glue off thr outside it usually works on other ontainers to soak them in water and then use cooking spray and let it sit and then wipe it all right off and then wash it GOOD (ive never tried this with pop bottles)
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:01 AM   #11
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Double clicked, sorry.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:02 AM   #12
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When I first started breeding swords, I used the plastic grass for the fry. The female would go right over the top and the fry would swim straight for it. Most of the time they lived for a while under the stuff, then in it and finally swam free after about 3 weeks or so.

As for an easy birthing chamber, try the larger hole plastic canvas. Most of the live bearers should slip right through. Can be bought in rounds that fit perfectly into some pop bottles and need a little trimming in others.

Better yet, try the plastic cans left over from diet drink mixes. The ones that have the packets inside like Crystal lite. They are opaque but should work better because they are straight and easier to clean.
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