Molly with at least one baby. I have questions

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Jun 23, 2022
Got a group of Mollies in two tanks.

2 we suspected were pregnant so we moved the fish around so the two we suspected to be pregnant were separated.

Later we suspected that 1 of the 2 was pregnant and the other is just fat but we kept them both in the same tank just in case.

Today I was suctioning out some of the water when I noticed something swimming against the suction. So we have at least 1 baby Molly now. Now sure how many more. We use larger pebbles at the bottom of the tanks so their could be 10+ hiding among them and we wouldn't know.

My question(s) is: She still looks pregnant. I knew before hand that Mollies are livebearers but I would of thought all the babies would pop out within minutes at most. Is this not the case?
Any tips for suctioning gunk out of the rocks without potentially killing babies? What about food? just grind up the regular food and hope it sinks? I know the larger flakes eventually sink but.....

anyways, yeah, any help would be awesome.


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She might still be carrying babies or she could have intestinal worms, which are very common in livebearers from Asia and other fish farms around the world.

Make sure you have lots of plants in the tank for the mum and babies to hide in. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) is a good floating plant and provides plenty of cover for the babies. The babies prefer to hide near the surface so floating plants help them do that. If you don't have floating plants, the babies hide around the bottom and can be sucked out with a gravel cleaner.

When you do water changes, try to use a white bucket. Gravel clean the water into a bucket and let it sit for a moment. Look for baby fish in the bucket and use a small plastic container to scoop them out and put them back in the tank.

The best food for baby livebearers is newly hatched brineshrimp, microworms and crumbled up fry food (you can also use flake food for the adults but crush it up fine).

The following link has information about culturing food for baby fish including hatching brineshrimp and growing microworms.


Intestinal Worms like tapeworm and threadworms cause the fish to lose weight, continue eating and swimming normally, and most do a stringy white poop. Fish can do this for months and not be too badly affected. In some cases, fish with a bad worm infestation will actually gain weight and get fat and look like a pregnant guppy. This is due to the huge number of worms inside the fish.

Livebearers like guppies, mollies, swordtails & platies are regularly infected with gill flukes and intestinal worms.

You can use Praziquantel to treat tapeworm and gill flukes. And use Levamisole to treat thread/ round worms. If you can't find these medications, look for Flubendazole, which treats both lots of worms.

In the UK look for:
eSHa gdex contains praziquantel that treats tapeworm and gill flukes.
eSHa-ndx contains levamisole and treats thread/ round worms.
NT Labs Anti-fluke and Wormer contains flubendazole.
Kusuri wormer plus (contains flubendazole) - sold mainly for discus, comes as a powder which is quite hard to dose in smaller tanks
Sera nematol (contains emamectin)

Remove carbon from filters before treatment and increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.

You treat the fish once a week for 4 weeks. The first treatment will kill any worms in the fish. The second, third and forth treatments kill any baby worms that hatch from eggs inside the fish's digestive tract.

Treat every fish tank in the house at the same time to prevent cross contamination.

You do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean 24-48 hours after treatment. Clean the filter 24 hours after treatment too.

Do not use the 2 medications together. If you want to treat both medications in a short space of time, use Praziquantel on day one. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate on day 2 & 3. Treat the tank with Levamisole on day 4 and do a 75% water change and gravel clean on day 5, 6 & 7 and then start with Praziquantel again on day 8.

The water changes will remove most of the medication so you don't overdose the fish the next time you treat them. The gravel cleaning will suck out any worms and eggs that have been expelled by the fish. Repeating the treatment for 3-4 doses at weekly intervals will kill any worms that hatch from eggs. At the end of the treatment you will have healthier fish.
The mother

I've read the mother might eat her babies. Is that the case? Should we separate the mother or keep her in the same tank?
Mollies don't normally eat their babies unless they are really hungry.

Try not to move gravid (pregnant) mollies or fish that have just given birth. Wait at least a week after she has given birth before catching. If you have to move the gravid female, use a net to careful scoop her up, but keep her in the water. Then put a plastic container under the net and lift the fish and net up in the container of water. Move her to the new tank, put the container with fish and net in the water, and let her swim out. If you lift gravid fish out of the water, or fish that have just given birth, you can damage their internal organs or the babies and kill the adult and baby fish.
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