2 New Mollies & 2 New Questions

  • #1
Maybe some of you follow the Disease/Sick section - if you don't, I had a very very hard time and lost all my adult Mollies due to an apparent case of stress at having combined 2 tanks with different salinity levels and they then developed a type of swim bladder disease where their bladders *deflate* and therefore they can not surface without great difficulty. They eventually die due to "drowning" or starvation. (This information all came by unforseen luck by having an actual Zoologist specializing in Aquatic Studies being in Petsmart when I was and she was intrigued by my questions to the guy at the store -- who, really didn't seem to have the answers I wanted.) Anyways, I can not *believe* how lucky I got!! How often is it that you get to talk to an actual Zoologist and get good quality information?

Soooo - my 2 questions:

1. The Zoologist recommended I get a salt test kit to make sure my salinity (brackish-ness) is kept at the right level. Do you guys test your salt levels or just add new salt when you add in new water? Are you doing a tablespoon per 10 gallon changed or another ammount? -- What is a good salt test kit brand name? I am seeing only one by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals that is actually for *ponds* - so I am not sure if that would work for an aquarium or not.

2. How many of you just let your livebears give birth on their own and in the main tank? I haven't felt comfortable using a breeding net because at this point, I am not guessing right on how many days they have left and I have heard too many problems with fish over-stressing when put into a breeder net. I did use a breeding net a few times with my old (passed away) Mollies and a few times they gave birth in the net, but it seemed like they were just upset to be in there all the time. I figure if they give birth in the main tank, there are lots of hiding spots for the new fry until I find them and then move them into a nursery. If some get eaten, it may be sad, but it is nature's way. Soooo - is NOT using breeding nets a bad thing?

** Welcome Aboard My Two New Mollies! Two beautiful Creamsicle Lyretail Mollies - 1M and 1F -- Please Let Them Adapt and Be Happy!! **
  • #2
Having lost fish before, I can totally sympathize.. now to address the question of what to do with your Molly fry, that would depend on if you want to raise them.. leaving live-bearer fry in a tank with their parents is almost a certain guarantee of the majority, if not all of them, being eaten.

Within the last year or two, I started taking an active interest in raising my Molly Fry, so I set up an extra 4gal. tank with a couple of small coral-type ornaments and a long flowing bushy type artificial seaplant. I would then monitor my pregnant females whenever I could, and the moment I noticed them looking as if they went 'Jenny Craig' on me and lost a lot of weight, I'd start searching carefully and gently through the plants in that tank with a Brine-Shrimp net until I find the fry, and transfer them gently over to what I've now taken to calling my Fry-Tank.

As a result of doing that separation of fry and adults, and feeding them 'First Bites' powdered food for their first couple of months, and then alternating between Brine-Shrimp, crushed flakes and First Bites, I've raised several batches of healthy Molly, Platty and Swordtail fry and have given many away to various friends and sold some to LFS.

My main tank now has a full mix of some of the finest Dalmatian and yellow spotted Mollies, along with some of the most vividly colored Platties and Swordtails ( I keep the best for myself.. LOL), and it's an ongoing cycle since I am always moving fry over to their tank!
  • #3
1. You don't really need salt anymore, but you can add salt if you want to.
2. I sometimes move mine to a separate tank with plants and a cave to make her feel comfortable or I leave her in the main tank. It depends on how much room I have (none these days though)
  • #4
HI there and congrats on your new cremesicles! In regards to your questions:

1. Because I have other fish in my main community tank, I use very little to no salt in my tank. I do not use any salinity test kits, but it might be handy if you have a molly only tank. I HAVE heard however that you will need a special test kit which will detect low levels of salt, as the marine test kits will not detect low levels. Not sure if that is correct.

2. Like you, I do not like putting my pregnant females in a breeding net as I can never guess when they will give birth. I let mine give birth in the main tank, and basically fish out the fry that do not get eaten. I suppose you could just put her in a separate tank, but of course as I'm sure you know, she could eat some babies too. My spare tank is being occupied by two batches of fry ;D (one batch about 2 months old swimming freely, second batch in a net breeder, about a week old).

Hope that helps,
  • #5
During the summer I move my Mollie maternity ward outside to a 50 gallon well planted artificial pond. The fry bury themselves in the thick anacharis and therefore very few are lost. I feed mom all the greenstuff she can eat, like spirulina flakes just before she drops her young, then she doesn't seem to show much interest in eating them, giving them time to hide. I gave away nearly 500 youngsters at the end of the summer last year.
On a smaller scale, I wouldn't go smaller than 10 gallons for the maternity tank. Layer the bottom with course, egg sized rock and java moss, add a bunch of anacharis. The tank should be placed in a quiet location. Buy crafters plastic mesh in a dark color and tape to front of tank so she feels more secure. When you feel she is 'close', perform a 20% water exchange.
You should be able to save 90% or better of your batch this way, and have a happier mom.

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