Question still born fry varying in degrees of development

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Yesterday the female gave birth to a bunch of fry who were all still born. Most of them had the yolk still attached, and others were more developed than others. Why does this happen?

Also, wondering... How many mollies can comfortably live in a 20gallon tank? I've read on some sites they need a minimum of 10 gallons and others say they need a minimum of 20 gallons. I don't plan on getting anymore mollies any time soon... I'm mostly curious because i know the day will come when I may want one or two more.
 

BennyB

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Well, under stress livebearers have been known to give birth prematurely. The ones with the yolks still attached were not as developed as the others who didn't have a yolk sack. Everything should be okay, only the fish with yolk sacks(although I'm surprised are still alive) should feed on their yolk and have no need to eat normal foods like the other, fully developed fry.

Directed towards the other matter, a 20 tank can hold at least 10 mollies. I have no idea about how many gallons they need individually, or how many are actually suppose to be kept in a 20 gallon tank, but I've got a 20 gallon tank and have 8 mollies, 6 platies, and 3 guppies in it. A little overstocked, but I'm a risky person like that. I wouldn't suggest more than 10 mollies to somebody who has little experience with livebearers.(not saying you do, just saying in general)

A site I've found to be very helpful, is AqAdvisor.com. You put your tank's size and filtration in, then select which fish you have, or would like to have, and it tells you exactly how stocked your tank is, and how much filtration your tank would need to be able to handle the amount of waste the fish would produce in the water.

I hope this helped!
-Ben
 
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I'm definitely gonna check out that site. I'm relatively new to the fish keeping world all together. I was recommended to get a 20 gallon tank here; which I plan on doing because in the future, when I get the hang of this, I would love more than 2.

Most of the fry were little yellow balls with barely developed eyes. None of them were free of a yolk sack. Less than half could be identified as fry with yolk sac. There were even some that were still just eggs. No eyes or anything.
 

BennyB

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Ah, well welcome to the hobby! And fishlore!
A 20 gallon tank is a good start, I ran a 20 gallon tank all by myself as a 10 year old child with 0 experience. I'm 19 now.
Anyway, are the fish swimming, and doing well? Not so sure how something so underdeveloped could be very healthy later on in life if you manage to keep them alive. They may not be able to sell for much also if you do.

Well, you'd be surprised how quickly MTS will take over. Just so you know, there is currently no cure...
Actually, there is. Bankruptcy. Nvm, that's not funny...
 
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Honestly, none of the fry were moving... so I flushed them. Right now my mollies are just barely scraping by in a 2 gallon tank while I wait to move back home & get the 20 set up.

Funny you mention MTS, I already had my eye on a dwarf puffer (SO CUTE!!) and when I read it's absolutely unlikely they'll do well with mollies, I briefly thought about a second tank. Then I remembered all the loans I have... Maybe I'll win the lottery.

I was hoping these little guys would be healthy enough to sell. How much do pet stores buy them for? What can I do when I heave the bigger tank to ensure future fry will be healthy so I can make me some ca$h munnies?
 

BennyB

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Well, a second tank for the fry is a must. A breeding trap is not always recommended, but useful if you have a busy day an can't stand around waiting for the fish to start giving birth. If you get a 20 gallon tank for them you would essentially have the exact same set up as me.
I have a 20 gallon community, with a 2.5 gallon tank for fry to live in. It is so much easier for them to survive with all the room and more hiding places. Plus, not dealing with the stress of the other fish swimming up to the breeder trap and snapping at them from the other side of the plastic.
So you should keep that 2 gallon take for them. Just be sure to move them over to a larger tank once they get bigger. At least an inch long, including fins.
Live foods are a must. Flakes will work some times, but don't always give them flakes. I keep live brine shrimp going now so I can just dump a few in during meal time. Feed them 4 times a day, 3 is acceptable if you are a busy person like me.

I don't imagine mollies doing well in a 2 gallon tank; 10 gallons seems more appropriate for 2 mollies.
I'm gonna' write a blog some time soon, maybe start tomorrow. Now that I've had a successful breed I think I can more accurately write it.
I'll send you a link. Then I'll probably make a video about it too some time down the road.
 

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w00t 4 double post!

So I decided to start working on the blog tonight instead of tomorrow. This is kinda' the final rough draft but here.

You may be able to pull some help out of that.
 

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10 mollies in a 20g is waaaaaay too many. Mollies can grow up to four inches, depending on the species.

AqAdvisor is one tool you can use, but like the 1"/gallon "rule" it's flawed in a lot of ways. There are stickies about it, I just have a hard time digging up links on my iPod. It's definitely not something to rely upon when deciding how you'll stock your tank.

-Lisa
 

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Honestly, none of the fry were moving... so I flushed them. Right now my mollies are just barely scraping by in a 2 gallon tank while I wait to move back home & get the 20 set up.
agreed, this may possibly attribute to why she had them early (stress).

Funny you mention MTS, I already had my eye on a dwarf puffer (SO CUTE!!) and when I read it's absolutely unlikely they'll do well with mollies, I briefly thought about a second tank. Then I remembered all the loans I have... Maybe I'll win the lottery.
dwarf puffers are awesome, but definitely a species only type thing.

I was hoping these little guys would be healthy enough to sell. How much do pet stores buy them for? What can I do when I heave the bigger tank to ensure future fry will be healthy so I can make me some ca$h munnies?
Livebearers in general don't really fetch much from the LFS because they are so prolific. However, you could always call around and just ask them if they'd buy them.

As far as ensuring their health in the future, keep a pristine cycled tank, feed them 3-4 times a day varying between live foods, golden pearls or first bites and flakes. That includes doing daily or every other day water changes (i do 25%) in which vacuum out the bottom of any waste, its best to keep a bare bottom tank for fry just for this purpose. Also keep some sort of live plants, preferably something that they can hide in and around and pick at, like java moss, or guppy grass (najas grass).

By far though, the most important thing for the fish giving birth and her fry is to have a large enough tank that they can be comfortable in, and keeping the water as pristine as possible.
 

Kunsthure

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Around here, stores will give store credit for 1/3 retail value. Unless you've got some really rare type, it's doubtful that you'd actually make any money.

-Lisa
 

sirdarksol

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10 mollies in a 20g is waaaaaay too many. Mollies can grow up to four inches, depending on the species.

AqAdvisor is one tool you can use, but like the 1"/gallon "rule" it's flawed in a lot of ways. There are stickies about it, I just have a hard time digging up links on my iPod. It's definitely not something to rely upon when deciding how you'll stock your tank.

-Lisa
I agree 100%

https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aquarium-stocking-questions/66006-aqadvisor.html

Here's the main link you're looking for. Thank you much for bringing this up.
 

omnitheforsaken

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For a 20 gallon tank I wouldn't put more than 6 mollies in it (basing that on 3" per molly and 1" per gallon). That would be comfortable I think. After you have 6 in there for a while you can see how effective your routine maintenance is at keeping the Nitrates low. If your habits keep the nitrates at a very low level regularly (say less than 10 before a water change) then you know you have room for some more. It's not just the number of fish but also your caretaking (feeding, cleaning, etc.) I think the concern with overcrowding is more of a water quality issue and less of a fish comfort issue, though I would imagine that at some point that pendulum does shift.
 
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I think the concern with overcrowding is more of a water quality issue and less of a fish comfort issue, though I would imagine that at some point that pendulum does shift.
I agree with you. I guess I was just thinking poor water quality could make a fish ill, which would make it uncomfortable hahaha.

I also agree that 10 mollies seemed like a bit much. I figured about 5 would be plenty considering all the waste. Eventually I would like to add more fish, but for right now I'm OK with the 2 mollies I have. I enjoy their company
 
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Also keep some sort of live plants, preferably something that they can hide in and around and pick at, like java moss, or guppy grass (najas grass).
Thank you for this part!! I've been wanting to get them live plants for a while, but didn't trust the pet store enough to ask. I had trouble finding names for kids of plats they would like.
 
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