Breeding Mollies

  • #1
HI All.  I have just put 3 female (2 white and 1 Dalmatian) mollies in a tank with 1 male (black).  I am hoping for pregnancies in the near future!.  I have a well established tank with 3 live plants and an ornament for hiding in.

My questions are:-

- Is there anything else I can do to stimulate breeding other than varying food?

- What would be the ideal temperature to promote breeding?

- Should I leave the male in all the time or remove him when there is an obvious pregnancy?

Any advice on this will be well received.

Thank you in advance

  • #2
You should have the temperature 75-85 F. The higher the temperature, the faster the fry get released but they also age faster.
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks for the tip. Can you answer the one about the male? I don't know whether to leave him in or take him out when they are pregnant. I have heard that if the females are stressed too much they will abort their pregnancy and I don't want him to be the cause of the stress.

  • #4
You should remove him when there is an obvious sign of pregnancy because your male will constantly chase them even when they are pregnant which will stress the females. (What a long sentence!) Good Luck on Breeding your mollies!!!
  • #5
To answer your question of food to stimulate breeding, the best I could advise is freeze dried brine shrimp or anything of the same sort.
As patchspud rightly said try to remove the male if you can, if not put some extra live plants in as this will put more oxygen into the water for the mother an fry but also extra hiding spaces for the fry when born, and in fact for the mother if the male does stay
  • #6
hI there, I have mollies in my tank also. she is getting old now but she has, in total, spat out three lots of tiddlers!! in each pregnancy she has had at least 20 each time. I never seperated her from the male or from any of the other fish and she seemed to be ok. all babies survived too. I fed her on normal flake food and tank conditions were normal. she is still happy and blowing plenty of bubbles!!!!! ahh bless
  • #7

Does anybody know what age Mollies can breed from? We have some fry and a couple are almost big enough to put into the main tank but we are worried they may get pregnant (as seem to be female)?

Many thanks
  • #8
Most livebearers (mollies, guppies, swordtails, platies, etc) get sexually mature within a month and a half to three months of age depending on environmental circumstances (available room, food(s), waterchange frequency, etc.)
  • #9
Thanks for that - another quick question? Can our existing male molly get the baby female mollies pregnant?
  • #10
Can our existing male molly get the baby female mollies pregnant?

Yep, as soon as they are old enough.
  • #11
I like to separate livebearers as soon as they're old enough to tell male from female.
  • #12
With mollies they are usually able to breed at 1 to 3 months. Any female can be impregnated by any male. Not only that once they have the fry, they can automatically get pregnant again, even if you take the males out before they give birth. This is because they are able to store the sperm in their system for use at a later date.
  • #13
Many thanks for updates, sorry to keep coming back with further questions but we are new to this!!

Is it normal of fry to die quite regularly? We had about 30 in our baby tank and they were doing well for first few weeks but have started to die quite rapidly over the last few days (at the rate of 1 or 2 a day)? Is this just natural selection (survival of the fittest) or are we doing something wrong?

  • #14
I'd say it is not normal. I have been raising molly for the better part of 5 years. The only time I have had any to die young was when the water quality was off. Make sure you are feeding them ok. They have to have food small enough for them. Regular sized flakes will just sink to the bottom and decay.
  • #15
Thank you for the reply.

We are feeding them with special flakes for baby fish and are feeding them 2-3 times a day in realtively small doses. We have had another two die today as well, so maybe it could be the water quality that is off?
  • #16
It is very possible. Especially since you are feeding them 2-3 times a day. You should never feed any fish more than what it can eat in about 3 mins. If it drops to the bottom, a molly fry won't touch it. A less expensive way to feed your molly fry would be to crush the regular flakes between your fingers as you feed them. Do you have any algae wafers? Molly fry love vegitable matter, but again it has to be small enough to fit in there mouth, so crumble it up.
  • #17
Hello again! I slowly introduce a new species to my 30 Gallon Tank that contains 14 Guppies (10 Females, 4 Males) so I went out and bought

1 Male Molly, his really really cute, he looks like someone took a bucket of orange paint and splashed him with it, and then took white... and black and did the same thing. His an orange/white/black spotted Molly ;D

3 Female Mollies, one of them is a Solid Black, another one is a Dalmatian Molly and the last one is a White/Silver Molly.

I've been adding them in 1 by 1 over the past couple days to let give them and the guppies time to 'get used to' each other.

--------------- I finally added the last female at last yesterday and now I'm just hoping they breed. It's been about 4 days since the male was introduced to the tank and at first he just kept running into the walls of the aquarium and hanging out at the bottom... and then after a day or so he started to swim along the middle of the tank just bellow the guppies..

But he doesn't seem to be interested in any of the females... and when I think his getting close to one it's because his either eating or nipping the gravel.. -.- It's really frustrating.. The black female is mostly interested in him it seems she's always 'near by' the white one doesn't even know he exists and the dalmatian was just introduced yesterday so she's still wondering around the tank.

I changed 1/3 of the water this week and I have the temperature at 79-82F... and I started feeding the fish some dried bloodworms w. their flakes to get the mollies 'in the mood' according to some sites..

But the male still shows no interest towards any of the females, he just wonders around 1 bottom corner of the tank all day and occasionally he swims up a little to eat or scavenges the bottom.. is there anything I can do for him to get him interested in any of the females?

I also noticed he fin-nipped 1 of my *MOST BEAUTIFUL* if I may add, male guppies. lol
  • #18
HI there

When you bought the females, were they separated from the males? They could already be pregnant - livebearers can breed from quite young and unless the breeder separated them and the shop kept them separated, they are probably already pregnant. Also, if its only been a few days you may not see the typical harrassing behaviour of the male molly towards his ladies because he's still acclimating to the tank and surroundings.

Just be patient, soon you will have more molly fry than you know what to do with lol
  • #19
heheheh well thank you for the quick reply I have noticed he's began to... well when the females who were placed in the tank before him come up to "his corner" he kind of... ugh well... gets his little "male" fin going lol and when they swim off away from "his corner" he chickens out and goes emo again hehehe

I'm pretty sure w.o a doubt the dalmatian one is prego because she was one of the 2 females in the pool of 9-14 males

The black molly was also 1 of probably 4 females in 9 or so males

But the white silver molly was separated from the males @ the store so she probably isn't but she shows no interest to the male yet.. sometimes does but I guess we'll just have to give that ladies-man some time to acclimatize
  • #20
Very likely your mollies are already pregnant. Also female livebearers (guppies, mollies, platies) can store sperm from previous matings for some say up to 6-8 months or that many drops of fry. So if you are keeping the fry very likely your male is not the father, maybe your silver molly but not the others. So you will end up with a surprise as the fry grow up as you can't be sure what they will look like. Don't worry about getting your male into the mood, as he gets used to his tank he will do what males do. It is good that you have more females as it will spreads out his attention. You can most likely expect fry within a month as it is usually how long between fry drops. Good luck.
  • #21
Thanks! I'm looking forward to surprise babies, I love wondering what the colors will be, I just hope I collect most of them before they get eaten! =P

My friend wants to give me her 6 zebra danios because she has no room in her tank, do you think that will be a good edition to my 14 guppies + 4 mollies + 1 pleco to my 30 gallon tank?
  • #22
I wouldn't put guppies and danios together. Danios are notorious fin-nippers. This combined with the guppies beautiful, long tails spells trouble IMO. Sometimes people get a pretty mellow group, but I personally wouldn't try them with long-finned fish at all. I have seen too many bad stories on here about danios nipping other fish, particularly long-finned species.
  • #23
Oo I guess I'm gonna keep a close eye on them and my guppies for a few days but if anything should go wrong I'll just take them to a pet store and get new fish out of them! *hahah banana man* lol
  • #24
If you do put the zebra danios in there you will have no babies. They will eat any babies they find and most likely as very fast swimmers will have a feeding frenzy when your mollies and guppies drop their fry. They as the others have said will fin nip causing stress your females don't need.
  • #25
Oo I forgot about the babies, do you think I should replace them with platys? I love having live baby fry ^^ *mainly because I've never ever ever ever ever had any success what so ever trying to get eggs*

And if I do, do you think the platy's and the molly*males* will fight? I only keep 1 molly male, I try to pick them so they have their own colors then get the other different colors I want in females.

I'm gonna miss those danios, they really are nice to watch, here is a picture of my aquarium, you can see the breeder box were I have 9 baby guppy fry, and I added a lot more to the tank since the last 'batch' of babies wasn't a big number =P

I have a lot of friends who are just starting 40-120 freshwater tanks so I give a lot of my fry/fish away and sell some as a hobby. =P


  • #26
Just a slight warning, sometimes platies and mollies interbreed creating hybrids. They are strange fish. If I were you I would just stick right now with your guppies and mollies. As they have their babies then you will have some room to work with in your tank for the babies. Good luck. If you really want to add some fish to your tank you could go with a few corys. Which tend to stay fairly small and would work in the empty bottom part of your tank. Pandas, jullis both tend to stay smaller.
  • #27
I just purchased 2 female Lyretail Dalmation Molly today and added them to my 20 gallon. As soon as I released them into the tank, my white male Balloon Bellied Molly started breeding with both of my new Molly! I was surprised because I had forgot that they could mate! I'm pretty sure that there mating, because the male constantly follows the females and rubs his stomach on the females stomachs, and constantly looks like hes chasing and "sniffing" her abdomem. I'm pretty sure its mating behavior. If it is, that means I'm gonna have two pregnant fish. Amazing ! LOL. I'm gonna video tape the behavior and post it on the video section soon!
  • #28
Lol livebearers are like rabbits, for sure
  • #29
Yeah lol
  • #30
Good morning,

I have moved your thread to the Breeding Fish section of the forum.

Best wishes for many healthy fry!

  • #31
even one of my molly is I noticed its belly taking a sqaure cut...
I don't know when will it give birth..any idea? should I keep it in another tank..? alone?
  • #32
even one of my molly is I noticed its belly taking a sqaure cut...
I don't know when will it give birth..any idea? should I keep it in another tank..? alone?

If its belly is taking a square cut, that means its gonna have birth within the next 24 hours or so. Moving her all depends on if you want lots of fry, if you don't move her, most of the fry will get eaten, but if you have big plants in your tank some of the babies will hide and be able to survive. But you could move her to a separate tank, and them after she has the fry than put her back, because she will most likely eat her babies. You could also buy some breeding grass for the babies, or you could buy a breeders box or net. Hope this helps, Good luck!
  • #33
are u sure within 24 hours? actually..I don't think she is too fat or something..just that her belly has that characterstic cut..u know how it looks!
may be she is too young to have that much huge belly...look..the last thing I have is a 2 gal fish bowl..will it do in it for a day or two...till she delivers?
  • #34
if the female is stressed she may hold off on giving birth, even to the detriment of the fry and herself. I would not recommend moving her too far out of her environment. Maybe you could get a breeder net and put her in that with a bushy fake plant for fry to hide in? She needs to feel secure with good water conditions. my concern with the bowl is that it will be unfiltered, unheated, unfamiliar, and not something any fry will survive for long in as they are extremely sensitive to water conditions.
  • #35
Well, since you say she is getting a square cut, I was assuming that she was about to pop. But its hard to know without a picture.

I would'nt recommend a bowl. Because you don't wanna stress the female out too much. You should buy a breeding net or box like I had said. THere cheap and they work real good!

if the female is stressed she may hold off on giving birth, even to the detriment of the fry and herself. I would not recommend moving her too far out of her environment. Maybe you could get a breeder net and put her in that with a bushy fake plant for fry to hide in? She needs to feel secure with good water conditions. my concern with the bowl is that it will be unfiltered, unheated, unfamiliar, and not something any fry will survive for long in as they are extremely sensitive to water conditions.

  • #36
it will be heated..I have a small cute heater for it..filtered..ofcourse not!
  • #37
Hmmm, well I a still say go out to your LFS and buy a breeding net.
  • #38
ohk! thnk you
  • #39
filtered..of course not!
what do you mean by "of course not"? it is possible to filter a tank that small with a sponge filter. You'd have to have had it going for the past week in your big tank, though. And I still wouldn't recommend the change of scenery.
  • #40
No problem

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