Very pregnant BLACK molly - help

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lizzle

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How can I tell if my very pregnant black molly is about to fry? She's huge but as mentioned in previous post I have no idea when she would have bred again with our male. Could have been even days after previous fry were born. Anyway - tonight I put her in the breeder because all of a sudden her, ummm, REAR opening has turned bright white. I know it's not a disease because we just went through the whole fungus thing and used a broad spectrum treatment which ended yesterday. Honestly, it looks like she's getting ready to poop something bright white. But she already pooped earlier today. And her belly is really squared off now. I know with other colorations of mollies it's easier to tell, but what can I look for with my black one? Is this white spot an indicator of some sort?

Any advice would be helpful, and please - forgive me if this seems like a stupid question. We're new at this!
 

Izabela

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I'm not too great at telling when mine will give birth, but my pregnant black molly swam around with her ummm, anal area white like that for 5 days before giving birth today. In fact I just had two of my mollies give birth. I do think this is indicative of her being close to giving birth. Has she had babies before? If so, how long ago? Avarage is every 30 days or so, so I would just count 30 days from her last batch. Good luck

Izabela

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Be careful not to put her in her breeder too soon, as this may stress her and cause for her to go into labor too early. Honestly, I just let mine have the babies in the tank and catch whoever I can. I do not work however, so I see the tank like every 10 minutes.
 
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lizzle

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It's been 34 days since the last birthing. I noticed the white area today, although I admit it could have been there yesterday, I'm not sure. I put her in the breeding tank tonight since I already had the thing open, we had to change out some of the water following the medical treatment and I figured now would be as good a time as any. I certainly don't want to stress her, but I also don't want to wait and then have to chase fry around the tank to try to save their lives either !

Thanks for the tip though...I was really hoping the white spot was an indicator of some sort. That's the trouble with black mollies I guess, it's impossible to tell anything!
 
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lizzle

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Ok so here we are next morning. She's been in the breeding box all night. No babies, but there is a large amt of poop at the bottom of the box. I'm pretty sure it's just poop. I fed her but she didn't eat, and so now all the food I gave her is at the bottom of the box too. My poor male keeps trying to eat it - it's above his head but he can't get it! Funny.

Anyway now this brings me to another question. How long should I keep her in the breeder box before I start really stressing her? I don't want to be inhumane. I have read in other posts that some recommend nets, some recommend nursery tanks. We are beginners with just the one tank (5gal hex) so I really don't want to get too involved with lots of stuff at this point, and the box is very easy for us to manage. But I don't want to be a bad mommy either.

Anything else I should be doing?
 
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lizzle

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Well we came home tonight to babies!! Some of them didn't make it. I count about 22 babies, but about 9 or 10 actually alive. The rest look like little embryos, baby fish bodies curled around what looks like a yolk sac. Not sure how to separate the live babies from the dead ones, they all are pretty much staying to the bottom. A few adventurous ones are venturing to the top to eat the ground up flakes. Tomorrow we're going to buy a tank for the babies because the one we have now is a hex and it's a pain in the butt feeding the babies because we have to keep taking the light kit off just to get the breeding box cover off.

So now I'm asking for help in the care and feeding of baby mollies!! Help!
 

Nicholaa

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When I had breeding Mollies, I would use a turkey baster to pick up the new fry and then put them into a breeder net by themselves. This gave them time to grow and not be eaten/harassed by the adults. Just make sure to feed them smaller meals about 5-6 times a day. I just used the standard flake food and crushed it into bitty salt-sized pieces, but others might be feeding the liquid-fry food too. I dunno what is best. I was also under the impression if they still had their yolk sacks, they were a bit "early". I only ever had fry with yolk sacks 1 time and the sacks did fall off fairly quickly, but I did lose a lot of fry from that birthing. My turkey baster was my best friend with moving the little fry around.
 
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lizzle

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Hey Nicholaa - thanks for your reply! I hadn't thought of the turkey baster idea. I did consider (briefly!) using my siphon and just suck them out.....But then thought better of it.
But I ended up not having too much trouble in the end. It seemed like the fry that lived wound up eating the fry that didn't. Ah ain't nature amazing. That took a lot of explaining to our 5 year old :-\
We did get a larger tank for the grownups, and now use the 5-gallon hex that had completely cycled already as the nursery tank. It's working out very nicely, and we still have 9 of the 11 fry surviving. They are getting really big and next Friday some of them are going to go live at my son's kindergarten.
How big should they be before I can put them in with the grownups without fear of being eaten? They are about 3/4 inch long at this point.
And how can I tell the gender of the fry? I have tried to figure it out, but either they are all girls, or it's just too early to tell. They all look absolutely identical.
And it is apparent to me that my female must have stored some sperm from whomever she was "with" before we brought her home. All these fry are completely black (our current male is a dalmatian, so we're pretty sure he's not the baby-daddy).
Now my only concern is that it's been 4 weeks since the birth and my female hasn't gotten pregnant again yet. It seems strange.
 

Nicholaa

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Hi there again

Your female Molly can be impregnated maybe 2-3 times total before she needs to be impregnated again. It's kind of crazy, but once a male gets to her, there is enough fertilization that she can be without any other males and give birth 2-3 times just from that one impregnation.

The roll of thumb is, as long as the adults can't fit the babies in their mouths, they won't bother them. I'd say that 3/4" is big enough to put with the adults. Mollies really aren't true cannibals, but if they have the opportunity to see itty bitty fry, yes, it looks like a snack to them.

Don't ask about gendering fry! Mine all look female too. I am not entirely sure when the gonopodium comes out. I have only one that has lived to be a few months old (she's about 1.5") and there is no gonopodium present. I have 4 juveniles total left (I had a bad bout of Molly death, which has put me off to keeping Mollies at all anymore.) - One of my juveniles I think is physically disabled - uggh .. it's got a really long tail that doesn't end in a triangular shape - and its back is becoming hunched. It may be ill as well, but with the overly long tail and lack of triangular back fin, it seems more like an odd birth defect. Survival of the fittest I guess - so not sure how long it will last (it's about 1" long and the tail itself is 1/2 of its body) - Here's a really fuzzy/bad link to a picture of 2 of them:



I am surprised that in 4 weeks yours hasn't given birth again. It's usually a 28 gestation period, but I wouldn't guarantee that she isn't still storing some live babies inside of her. Mollies can hide pregnant bellies pretty well (at least mine were able to).

You're lucky yours all came out pure black. I never had a good stock of babies (another reason I am not trying to breed Mollies anymore). I think my LFS supplier kept all Mollies together and they just bred with whatever color they ended up with. I had tons of black Mollies with yellow/orange heads. (My one deformed one I mentioned above is a black one with yellow head - very very ugly.) I have one other much smaller one that is this color - one that is almost all orange (a little bitty black on the tail fin) and one that is mostly silver with a somewhat orangish head (all 4 are ugly mutts IMO sadly ...)

Good luck! I'm sure your son's class will love having some pets
 

armadillo

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lizzle said:
Well we came home tonight to babies!!  Some of them didn't make it.  I count about 22 babies, but about 9 or 10 actually alive.  The rest look like little embryos, baby fish bodies curled around what looks like a yolk sac.  Not sure how to separate the live babies from the dead ones, they all are pretty much staying to the bottom.  A few adventurous ones are venturing to the top to eat the ground up flakes. Tomorrow we're going to buy a tank for the babies because the one we have now is a hex and it's a pain in the butt feeding the babies because we have to keep taking the light kit off just to get the breeding box cover off.

So now I'm asking for help in the care and feeding of baby mollies!!  Help!
I put my fry in a small tank on their own. My mom used to keep them in the main tank, separated by a floating maternity unit, but none of them ever made it. So am trying giving them loads of space and seeing if that works. I keep a little salt in their water and a plant. I keep them at 26C (temperature). I feed them Tetra flakes for Baby (can't remember the exact product name, but will be pretty obvious when you see it). Normal flakes were far too big and I was getting sick of crushing them myself. It's best to feed them little, but often. It's also good to give them plenty of small hiding places so they can relax.
 

Jewelsfarmer

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I just got my Mollys a few weeks ago. My female is getting big i think she is going to me a mother soon. I have been reading the posts and thanking god for the internet because I am absolutely clueless with all of this. You all have been very helpful. I have 2 Mollys the male is black and the female is dalmation. So it will be interesting to see what comes from all this. My husband had fish before but it had been a long time. Me, I had a goldfish that I won at the county fair that lived for a couple of days. After that I gave up, until now. I have been reading books and joined this forum to learn as much as i can about these beautiful fish.: ;dete. So wish me luck and thank you for all your help.
 

finmama

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Good luck with your Mollies! I love them. I put mine with the adults when they were two weeks old, and one has just developed his gonopodium this week, and he is 6 weeks old today.So I seperated him from his mom, aunties and 4 sisters
Hope that helps
 

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lizzle said:
Well we came home tonight to babies!! Some of them didn't make it. I count about 22 babies, but about 9 or 10 actually alive. The rest look like little embryos, baby fish bodies curled around what looks like a yolk sac. Not sure how to separate the live babies from the dead ones, they all are pretty much staying to the bottom. A few adventurous ones are venturing to the top to eat the ground up flakes. Tomorrow we're going to buy a tank for the babies because the one we have now is a hex and it's a pain in the butt feeding the babies because we have to keep taking the light kit off just to get the breeding box cover off.

So now I'm asking for help in the care and feeding of baby mollies!! Help!
please do not feed your fry ground up flakes,it is no good for them you need to start them off on liquifry no.2 then after a week or so move them onto liquifry no.3 which is a very fine food, you feed them this 3-5 times daily until they are a third of adult size then you can start them on adult flake food.
 
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