Will mollies breed?

Brokenshadows34

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Hello, everyone.

I know this may seem like a dumb question, because mollies are livebearer fish and breed like crazy, but it's (sort of) not. At least, I think it's somewhat intelligent.

A couple days ago I went to the fish store and bought three mollies for my community tank. I purchased one large, rusty orange and black sailfin male, one shortfinned orange female with big black eyes, and one white lyretail female.

I am positive on their genders, I know how to tell males from females in the livebearer species.

My question is, will these fish breed? The females both follow the male around constantly, trying to get his attention by swimming close to him and rolling to the side a bit. He seems disinterested and swims off. They all eat heartily and swim fearlessly around the tank.

Is he still just settling in, or are there some males that just choose not to breed? Can he, being a sailfin, breed with the shortfinned females?

My little brother loves them, even named them each, and spends a lot of time watching them. He really wants them to breed, but I just want to make sure they can/will.

Thanks.
 

celizabethh3

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They'll likely breed. Even if not from your male, your females may still end up having fry.

When I started up my 36 gallon, I added some platys (currently 3 females and 2 males - I had more females but lost a few) and two of them have been mating ever since. The other male seems disinterested like you describe your Molly but he is drastically smaller than the others so I'm wondering if he is younger and not ready. I'm sure a livebearer expert will weigh in yet.


 
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Brokenshadows34

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This male molly is impressive and huge. The females seem to be almost begging him to breed. Neither of them look even remotely pregnant. I just hope he will come around, because he is impressive and any fry would be popular if they even remotely looked like this big boy:

ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1404088106.082969.jpg
 

shiba815

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I had this same issue with my platies. The male never seemed interested and I gave up hope they would ever breed. I recommend making sure they are getting a balanced amount of food. Because if they're anything like my platy, my girl never looked pregnant and now here I am with almost 2 week old fry that appeared in my tank. XD good luck!
 

Psych0

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I had the same issue I had 1 male & 3 females. 5 months went by in once I added a little more salt in up the temp a little I had more fry then I knew what to do with.
 
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Brokenshadows34

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I'll wait a while before raising the temperature or adding salt, because they are in a community tank and I wouldn't want to harm one type of fish to get another to breed. I guess I'll wait and see. The females are young, so they might not be ready either.
 

shiba815

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Yeah. I'd wait a bit. Don't worry though. Fry will come eventually. Most likely when you least expect it ^_^
 
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Brokenshadows34

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How can I tell when he's ready to breed? He swims with the females and chases them occasionally, but lets them get away from what I've seen.

And would you recommend salt in this tank? I have the 3 mollies, 2 adult angelfish, one honey dwarf gourami, 4 red eye tetras, 4 black phantom tetras, one Congo tetra, and a pleco. Would a little salt harm any of these fish?

What kind of salt would you recommend, if I choose to put some in?

Thanks.
 

shiba815

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How can I tell when he's ready to breed? He swims with the females and chases them occasionally, but lets them get away from what I've seen.

And would you recommend salt in this tank? I have the 3 mollies, 2 adult angelfish, one honey dwarf gourami, 4 red eye tetras, 4 black phantom tetras, one Congo tetra, and a pleco. Would a little salt harm any of these fish?

What kind of salt would you recommend, if I choose to put some in?

Thanks.
If he's following them at all, there is a chance they'll be pregnant really soon if they aren't already. If you post pictures of the girls as of today or tomorrow it should be easy to tell if they're on there way to having babies.
As for the salt, why do you want to put salt in the tank? If there's no reason I wouldn't but that's just my personal opinion.
 
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Brokenshadows34

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Here were the females as of a couple hours ago, before feeding:

ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1404179565.961225.jpg

ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1404179599.789495.jpg

Sorry they're a bit blurry, they wouldn't sit still at all.
 

Jim

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OP, funny you mentioned this. About 4 months ago I'm looking at the new arrivals at my fish store. The clerk who I am friendly with asks if I want some Molly babies. I took 4 home and one died. I grew the remaining 3 to maturity and they were all females- had never been with a male. No pregnancy showing. A month later I purchased a male and after 2 weeks noticed that he was more interested in food than love. After a month I gave up and purchased another male and "whopee", I had a bunch of babies a month later. We are all different and so are they - the fish,
 

Anders247

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Do not put salt in there, it will harm the other fish. My mollies bred like crazy at first but now they don't do it at all. It perhaps just comes in spurts.
 

shiba815

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From those pictures, (to me at least) the girls kind of look young still. Give them a few weeks to let them plump up and there will be babies in little time at all.
 
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Brokenshadows34

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I did know that they are young, yes. I just wanted to ask if the male's behavior was normal at all, because I've seen in my school's tanks how crazy the males can be. Maybe he just realizes the females are young. Thank you all.
 

Akari_32

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I would just like to add that I never had much luck with mollies indoors. Then I set up a pond and wanted something to eat the mosquitoes and add some movement while the goldfish were still small, and put them outside, and added some more (wilds and domestics), and now I have like a billion mollies. Started off with three or four, a year or so ago. They do great over winter, as well.

I would check your temps, make sure they aren't too low, around 76-78, and let the girls mature. Mollies seem to be harder to breed than other Livebearers (unless you throw them out to the pond to fend for themselves...?). They're just stubborn, I think lol I'm sure has to do with conditions. If the conditions are survivable and stable, and the fish are doing very well, they'll put off breeding. If they're in an environment that's changing all the time, they'll pop 'em out faster to increase their chances of survival.
 

Akari_32

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I can guarantee you my ponds get near 100 in summer, and the fish don't seem to care. I wouldn't worry as long as the fish aren't bothered by it. My tanks hit 80 or so on occasion as well.
 
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