Balloon Belly Molly Had Fry. No Other Tank. What Do I Need To Do?

black_hoodie8

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I bought a balloon belly molly yesterday to put in my [then empty] 3.5 gallon tank. Got up this morning and there are 12-14 fry swimming in the live plants I have.

I have had both molly and platy babies before, but that was a few years ago when I had a 10 gallon tank. I cannot get another tank to put the mother in (I live in an apartment with restrictions), but she is currently unable to reach the fry because of all the plants. I'm wondering what I should do now. I won't be able to get a mesh fry enclosure or any kind of special food. I know that finely grounding the flake food should be fine for them.

How fast will the fry grow? How many should I expect to survive? Will they be okay in the plants?
 

Francine

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Problem 1- I really really hope that is a typo and you do not have a balloon mollie in a 3.5 gallon tank... if you do I hope they are only going to be in there for about a day.... forget about the fry... let the mother eat them... you need a MUCH bigger tank for just your one fish... they grow bigger than 3 inches... a lot bigger usually.... and they need a tank size of 30 GALLONS not 3.5.... so please rehome it... unless you are getting a bigger cycled tank in a couple days it will most likely die in a 3.5....
So I definitely wouldn’t save any fry that’s for sure... unless you can give them away now just let nature take its course and she will eat them...

And yes they will be ok in the plants however none of them will live in what is going to be a toxic environment and fast! Have you been testing your parameters?
What is your
ammonia-
Nitrite-
NitrAtes-
Was this tank cycled first??
 
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black_hoodie8

black_hoodie8

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Well . . . I feel rather stupid, but I'm sure you've got more knowledge than I in this. I have tested the water with strips for the nitrate/nitrite levels and both are very low. I am unsure of the ammonia levels because I do not have anything to test that with (though I am now aware to remedy that.) The tank has been empty and filtering (aside from the plants) for about 10 days now.

Since the verdict appears to be death for the molly, what fish are suitable for such a small tank?
 

Francine

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Agreed with above... the only thing I would feel would be decent to live in there and I’d have to see a picture of the tank... is an African clawed DWARF frog.... for goodness sake if you do decide to try one BE SURE it’s a dwarf and even he may be a little crowded but should manage... they are tiny... you will need to have a thin thin layer of sand or better yet bare bottom... you need a tight fitting lid or he will get out... but again there’s not much you can do with a 3.5 gallon unfortunately... and also they are extremely hard to cycle so you basically will have to keep replacing those “packages” that your filter came with every couple weeks which is a huge money grab.... can you not get a 5 or 10g? They are pretty small... or even like an 8g hex or something?? How come you can only have a 3.5?

Anyway my suggestion is get those fish and any living fry to someone you know who has a tank or knows about aquariums etc or take it back to the store and explain the situation....
 

Francine

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This is my ACDF (African clawed dwarf frog) in an 8 gallon tank... they are pretty fun and you can hand feed them... but they must live entirely in water leaving only a tiny bit at the top as they sometimes come up and breath... but can also breathe through their skin and can stay under water for hours without having to take a breathe... but again I’d have to see a picture of what your tank looks like from both the top and side view... the good news is... if you take care of them they can live for about 15-20 years and they cost about 10$ or so Canadian
 

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black_hoodie8

black_hoodie8

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Thank you all for giving me these pointers! I'll have to see what I can do for the Molly, if I can take her back.

To answer Francine's question, the apartment complex I live in prohibits tanks of 10 gal or larger. I don't have the finances/space/furniture/parental permission for a larger (8 or 5 gal) tank.
 

Francine

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If you get a smaller one... say 8 gallon and go with acrylic (no idea how to spell that) they are very light... you could put it on your end table or coffee table those types of places... and won’t weight that much especially if you go barebottom... (no substrate) so you may have a place somewhere afterall... sometimes it just involves a little thinking lol
But if you do end up keeping what you have and are interested in looking into an ADF let me know and I can help you get things started... they are small but like I said quite entertaining and very very cheap and easy to care for

I’m glad you are going to do the right thing and try and take him back... a lot of people wouldn’t and would just say screw it and then wonder why their fish dies in a couple weeks... it sucks but at the same time you are doing the right thing... they may even take any fry that are left because it obviously came from their male lol
 

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