Dalmatian Molly Behavior After Dropping Fry

Discussion in 'Molly' started by Mum, Jul 25, 2015.

  1. MumValued MemberMember

    I bought a Dalmatian Molly from a pet store a two weeks ago that was very pregnant. On Wednesday she dropped her fry. Not very many, I only counted five. A couple looked premature, still had yoke sacks. Our frog promptly ate them all while they were swimming towards the floating plants. Lol...such is nature.

    Well Mom seems depressed, for the lack of the word. She hangs out at the bottom of the tank for the most part, where she dropped the most fry. She seems to swim well, but her top fin isn't fanned at all. She eats, but not much, won't eat the flakes, just blood worms. She also seems a bit pale, if possible. Her spots are okay, but she isn't as vibrantly white as before. She really just seems sad... Idk how else to explain it.

    i have a 10 gallon tank. 1 frog, 1 male black Molly, 2 Dalmation Molly's. One is looking pregnant now. The other Molly's eat like they are starving. And are very active. Hang out in the middle of the tank, are social. I've tested my water and everything is good there. Ammonia is not quite 0, but I just did a water change today and added stuff for that.

    Anyone else experience "moody mommas"? Just put my heart at ease if this is normal. :)

    (BTW, we found one surviving fry under a plant, he's now hanging out in the breeder box I got.)
  2. BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fish Lore!!!! Nice name haha! :D

    I don't have any experience with breeding mollies, so I wouldn't know. But I did just want to chime in and say that the tank is too small for mollies, and that depending on the type of mollies, I'd recommend at least 20g for some types, and more for others.

    What test kit are you using?

    Hopefully, someone with more experience with breeding mollies can chime in. :)
  3. MumValued MemberMember

    Oh okay, I read to keep I gallon for each inch of adult fish... I have considered getting another tank in case of fry or if needing to quarantine.

    Truth be told, I just wanted a few cute fish for my kiddo. Who knew the cute Dalmation ones would end up so much work? Lol. We're in for the ride though...
  4. BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    Sadly, the inch per gallon "rule of thumb" is very, very inaccurate. It doesn't take into consideration the bioload or activity level of the fish. For instance, that rule would say it's perfectly fine to have 5 zebra danios in a 10g tank, but zebras are extremely "hyper" fish that love to have a lot of space to swim! For mollies, they have a high bioload (they create a lot of waste), and they can get kinda big, so they need a bigger tank than 10g.

    But yes, I agree that the Dalmatian mollies are some of the most adorable fish out there. :)

    What exactly are your water parameters and what test kit are you using?
  5. MumValued MemberMember

    My ammonia tested .25 this morning. Temp is 77 degrees. I don't have tests for the other parameters, but it was tested at the store last week and it was good.
  6. BornThisWayBettasFishlore VIPMember

    What did the store use to test the water and what are you using to test the water? Also, did you get exact numbers from the store?
  7. MumValued MemberMember

    Both were dip tests with strips. I didn't get the numbers, I though good was good.

    What tests are recommended?
  8. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I think 95% of the people here use the API Freshwater Master Test Kit to check water parameters.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  9. Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    ^yep, that's the one most people here (myself included) recommend.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  10. MumValued MemberMember

    Perfect, it's on order! TY. I've been changing the water (25-50% each time) every week because we seem to have ammonia issues...I just can't seem to get it to zero. I add Tetra SafeStart each time I change, following the instructions on the bottle. I've used Jungle brand Ammonia Clear, but the dip-sticks still read .25. Hopefully a better test kit will help me see what it's actually reading.

    Question: After a water change, when should I retest the water? Maybe I'm just retesting too soon after changes or adding the ammonia stuff?

    Last night and this morning I really noticed how clamped up she looks in comparison to what she looked like prior to having her fry. Her fins were nicely fanned and beautiful...

    Her fins used to look like the fins of the other Dalmatian Molly in the below picture. You can see the difference in her fins, especially the back one. I also think it looks funny, like there is something on her scales... so I added Lifeguard to the tank, per some Googling advice. I read that it wouldn't hurt them, but it could clear up fungus if there's a problem. If that's what it is I wanted to start treatment sooner rather than later.

    I would really like to keep a 10 gallon tank. This was what the pet store said we could have, which is why we started with it. There is minimal "stuff" in the tank taking up space: a few plants in the back, a hollow coral structure, and a moss ball.

    Question: Even if 20 gallons is recommended to give them space to swim, can't the 10 gallon work so long as I keep it clean and don't crowd them?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  11. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    It's not just about space to swim but also about bioload. Mollies have a higher bioload than other fish so the filter you use for a 10 gallon may not have enough surface area to hold the bacteria needed to handle the bioload. What filter are you running?
  12. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    You can think of it in terms of a person's space. You can live in a single room your entire life, but would you want to? We're taking their lives in our hands, so it's our responsibility to provide the best conditions that we can for them.

    You could rehome the mollies and get some smaller fish more appropriately suited to a 10 gal. You might be able to trade in the mollies for store credit, so you won't have to spend so much restocking!
  13. MumValued MemberMember

    Dom90, it's a Tetra 2-10 internal filter. It came with the glass aquarium I purchased.

    I guess at the end of the day I need to know if getting a 20 gallon, or larger, tank will solve some of the water quality issues I'm having. I had really bad advise from the start and put too many fish in this tank at once with too little cycle time.

    This was supposed to be a fun hobby, but having so many problems from the start has made it not as much fun. If I knew then what I know now...

    If starting over with a 20 gallon tank is the solution to getting back on track, then I'm willing to do that. I just don't want to do that and then still deal with poor water issues and sick fish...that feels like putting even more money into with no reward. I just want happy, HEALTHY, fish. :)
  14. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    If you're really attached to your mollies, it would be best to increase your tank size.

    If you're not super attached to your mollies, trade them in for a smaller fish! Easy to do, easier upkeep for your tank, and much cheaper than buying a larger tank and larger equipment and accessories :)
  15. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    It would solve a lot of water quality issues. There's more water to dilute the ammonia and nitrite so they wouldn't climb so fast, as it would take twice as much to reach the same "ppm readings". Bigger tanks are much easier to maintain and are more forgiving in terms of reacting to increasing ammonia/nitrite levels etc.

    Also, the filters that come with starter kits are severely underrated for the tank size. You will need at least 8-10x GPH for the tank size you have. You should even think about even more filtration for high bioload fish such as mollies.
  16. MumValued MemberMember

    Okay, so bigger tank it is. I appreciate everyone's feedback.

    So if I get a 20-30 gallon tank (I will not go bigger then that), what type of filter system is recommended? Is there a specific brand/type?

    Also, I'm a little unsure how to start over in a new tank. Do I cycle the new tank with gravel and "stuff" in it? I'm trying to figure out how to move all the gravel and stuff from the current tank into the new one so that it can cycle. Or am I supposed to just get new gravel and take the other stuff out of the current tank, since it's easy to move and the gravel is not?
  17. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    For 2 mollies, I wouldn't get anything less than 29 gallons. There's a dollar per gallon sale going on at Petco so take advantage of it! I am currently one of my tanks, a 29 gallon, with an AquaClear 70 HOB so it should be good filtration. I've never kept mollies before so someone else will have to chime in on whether you can use them for a fish-in cycle.
  18. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I cycled with them years ago, and they were pretty hardy! You can move everything from your 10 gal to your new tank (I agree with Dom, at least 29 gals) and that should help with cycling. When you get a new filter, you can place your old filter media in the new filter to help jumpstart the cycle. Also using Seachem Stability is recommended! You can follow the directions on the bottle.
  19. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Only problem I see with transferring old filter media to the new filter is that, the OP's tank isnt really cycled. So would this accomplish anything?
  20. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    If there are any BB on the media, then yes. It's worth a shot just in case there's something there!