Balloon Molly behaving (strangely)?

  1. Bumcivillian Initiate Member

    Hello!
    I recently started up a 29 gallon freshwater tank about 3 and a half weeks ago. At the moment I have 2 gouramis (neon blue dwarf + flame dwarf), 3 mollies (black sailfin + 2 balloons), 1 swordtail (red velvet), 1 pleco (bristlenose), and two mystery snails. All of them have been getting along very well, they're all very active and i've seen no signs of distress thus far. Today I noticed that one of the balloon mollies is persistently trying to nip at the lower belly portion of the other balloon molly almost as if it is trying to eat something off of it. I thought it might be trying to eat the other's waste. If thats the case, is it normal for them to do that? I wouldn't be asking if the one molly was not so determined to do whatever it is that its doing. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Crissandra331 Member Member

    Welcome to Fishlore! :)

    Completely normal. Most likely the one nipper is a male, the nipp-ee female. Guppies especially when a female is greatly gravid will poke this area on the female. Though I have also seen males nip this area on other males but its more in the area of the gonopodium. I'd see if you can sex them and if your males out number your females, I would consider getting more females, so the males persistence can be more equally distributed? if that makes sense.

    Also Mollies & Platys require much harder water and pH than Gouramis who prefer softer water and pH in the acidic range. Sailfin Mollies can be especially fussy in comparison to other live bearing species when it comes to their water parameters. Usually they require much more room than a 29 gallon and a diet that consists of A LOT of greens. Even if you had a Neutral pH the liver-bearers life span and health would not be to their fullest.

    I would consider either getting another tank for the Live-bearers and having a tank for the Gourami where you can better match their needs. Or maybe choose between the two because they are on very different sides of the spectrum.

    If you could update your profile, in the future when you have more questions we can answer them more accurately and timely. :)
     

  3. Bumcivillian Initiate Member

    Thanks for the reassurance! I'm fairly certain I only have one female so I'll definitely take your advice into consideration.
     
  4. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    I'm fearful you are going to end up with only one Dwarf Gourami. They really do not get along with one another. All will seem fine then suddenly one day...
     

  5. Wnsanford Initiate Member

    They do that sometimes when a female is having babies. She's basically dispensing food and they eat the babies straight out of her.
     
  6. Falcon JJ Member Member

    Totally agree. I learned this the hard way when I went in to the pet store and fell in love with dwarf gouramis and made an impulse buy without research. I bought 2. They were fine for about a month, then one day I came home from work and let's just say it wasn't pretty. I now have just one.

    About the mollies - mine do the same thing. Lots of chasing, and sometimes persistent nipping, but in a playful way without doing harm, if that makes sense.