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Old 03-30-2012, 11:43 PM   #1 
optimusprimesgurl
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Talking First time molly breeder? Any suggestions?

Since my last goldies died I wanted to take a break from em'. Right now my little bristlenose pleco is in the heated 20 gallon tank all by himself. I thought it would be cool to get some mollies. I heard they breed pretty fast and am excited. Today I bought my healthy 1 male and 2 females and have just plopped them in. They are doing good and I want to make sure everything is good just in case some babies show up. TRight now I've got two ten gallon tanks on hand and if ya would please explain the main process of everything. Like the signs I guess of pregnany or when they are releasing the fry? I also heard it's not necessary to move the fry and mom if ya have a lot of plant coverage, which I've got. And whatever else you think might help a beginner out.

Thankies!
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:49 PM   #2 
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Originally Posted by optimusprimesgurl View Post
Since my last goldies died I wanted to take a break from em'. Right now my little bristlenose pleco is in the heated 20 gallon tank all by himself. I thought it would be cool to get some mollies. I heard they breed pretty fast and am excited. Today I bought my healthy 1 male and 2 females and have just plopped them in. They are doing good and I want to make sure everything is good just in case some babies show up. TRight now I've got two ten gallon tanks on hand and if ya would please explain the main process of everything. Like the signs I guess of pregnany or when they are releasing the fry? I also heard it's not necessary to move the fry and mom if ya have a lot of plant coverage, which I've got. And whatever else you think might help a beginner out.

Thankies!
You will see the middle section enlarge. Notice it should be a more rectangular shape rather than a complete circular bulge. When this bulge gets really noticeable, and this is the first pregnancy the mother could give birth at any moment. After the first pregnancy the mother could get larger and give birth to more fry. If you want to ensure 100% survival then get a breeder net so you can have a tank JUST for the fry. Otherwise just have the plants and you will be fine. I have my mother in there with 2 breeds of fry and they are thriving. They have birth 3 times from one matting. crazy.

Good luck!
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:00 AM   #3 
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Add some live plants to ensure a large number of fry to survive.The fry are larger than betta fry so you can feed them larger foods like pellets.They will usually give birth in about a month after you notice the belly enlarges.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:05 PM   #4 
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Whatever you do, make sure you have a plan for the babies, because they will overstock you in a matter of months.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:20 PM   #5 
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I can go on all day with tips for you but will give you the most important things and if you have any questions you can send me a PM.

I would get one of your 10G tanks cycled. You will need to have an area to put the fry after they are a week or so old other than in with their mother and father b/c they are still small enough to be eaten but getting a bit too big for the breeder net.

There is the breeder net that comes with some fake plants in it that you stick the mother in and you watch and when she is done take her out right away. I tried that one my mama seemed to pop them out and turned around and at them right away so I didn't end up with many in that one. There are 2 different types of plastic ones. There is one that has a v shaped divider for the mother to swim at the top and the babies fall through and then one that has a little shelf that has slits in it that the babies fall through. Some will still get eaten on these as well as the babies seem to pop back up once they start swimming more after about an hour. (Some start swimming a lot right away though. I would suggest the second plastic one as the first one is a little to small for mollies. I use that one for my platies. They also can swim out of the side on that one if they are not small enough so you may lose some to the other female and their father in that case but usually not many. I personally about a week before my molly is due move her to my 10G tank and let her stay in there alone or add the father in with her so she is not lonely. The problem with that is the closer she is to delivering the more he will annoy her and she will stress out a lot.

So you just have to watch her and see how he treats her if you choose this way. Then the day before I know she is due (since this is your first drop with them watch for their bellies to look more square when you look at them from the side. I forget if you said what color you have of them. If they are silver or gold you can see a black spot by their anal fin the closer they get, if they are black it is really hard and you just need to watch for the other signs. Other signs: they swim up and down the side of the tank constantly and fast, she will breathe faster and she will be more aggressive towards the other tank mates or they will be more aggressive towards her.) So the day before I know she is due I scoop her carefully into the breeder. Don't net her in as this will stress her out and she could abort or have stillborn. Mine seem to just swim in b/c I just hold it sideways and hold still and they usually swim in and then I just put it upright so she can't get back out. If she seems to start to panic once you get her in it you can turn off the light and she will calm down in a matter of minutes.

Then as she is in there and her time comes she will breathe heavier and you will see her be still a lot more. Mine seem to point upwards as they are pushing the fry out. I put her in the fry tank due to the fact that if any go out the side they are going into where she can still not get them and where they are going to stay. Just make sure you remove the dad by this point. A small tip is I know you want to watch but don't watch for too long b/c she will start to get stressed with you starring at her. But I poke my head around every once in a while to see how she is doing. Another thing I do is sprinkle a little bit of food at the top so instead of eating her babies she will hopefully eat that if she gets hungry. Oh that is another sign as well she will usually not eat and sometimes they will just lay on the bottom. Most likely though if they are just laying on the bottom they have already had some if their fry.

If you don't want to buy the breeders you can buy either floating plants or they also have what look like floating plants that actually catch the fry once they get in there so more are safe. Just heavily plant though b/c they love to hide and that is what saves them from their parents. After the mom is done giving birth. One month it took an hour the next it was 6 hours so all depends on the age and how many she is going to have. But after she is done dropping leave her in the breeder for a good 6-8 hours to give her time to rest b/c as soon as you put her back in the main tank with the dad he is going to chase her like crazy. Also if you can feed her some brine shrimp a long with color plus flakes that will help her get back to herself faster and gives her back much needed protein.

Now that the fry are in the 10G tank you want to keep the temp between 78F-80F. They thrive on warmer temperatures and grow faster. Also you can give them crushed up super fine tropical flakes you don't have to go out and buy special fry food for them. I have been doing this for a few months now and all of mine are doing great and I am actually taking my first batch to my fish guy to sell on Monday. The flakes though you want to always get the ones that have the color enhancers in it b/c that gives then extra vitamins and helps their color more as well. You can also feed them baby brine shrimp. Make sure you get the baby ones though b/c they will not be able to fit the others in their mouths. I just lay some flakes on a paper towel and smoosh them in circular motions between 2 paper towels until it is super fine powder. Then to feed them you need only feed them a tiny amount 3 times a day. I take a toothpick and dip it in my tank water (just the tip) and shake it off a tad and then dip the toothpick into the food. Tap that a little and then stick the toothpick in the water and they will either come up to eat right away or some like to wait until it gets to the bottom.

Sorry I have a tendency to talk a lot...lol. Hopefully this helps you though. I have been doing this for a while now and there are a lot of different opinions as to using the breeders and not using them. It all depends on your fish. If she doesn't calm down then you definitely need to take her out and heavily plant with floating plants to save more. If you have any top feeder fish that like to stay up there or fish that depend on part oxygen from the air then you need to make sure that you are careful b/c I have known many people that have lost their adult fish b/c they have gotten tangled in the plants and couldn't get to the top.

OK I will shut up now..lol. If you have any questions feel free to pm me or I will check back here if there happens to be a popup on my CP I see. Make sure you have someone to sell them too or give them too b/c you will soon be over run with fry if you don't. Molly's have fry every 28-30 days and do not need a male for 4-6 months b/c they store the sperm. Since you just got them from the store odds are about 99% they are pregnant so just watch for the signs and do your best. It is hard when you don't know the exact due date. You don't want to move the mom once she is in labor b/c she could abort or stop labor all together. But right down when she has them so you know about when the next drop will be. Again hope this helps and sorry so long!!!
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:16 PM   #6 
optimusprimesgurl
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No! No! I'm really happy you gave my so much information! I feel a lot easier now. Hmm, what to start off with. Well when I went to the pet store I picked out a gold female, a silver male, and a black dalmatian female. I tried to get the ones with the flattest tummies so I could tell easier. One is a little more plump and I remember the storekeeper saying that she had some eggs, but wasn't too full. My other one was pretty empty. Does this mean they are pregnant?

Also, I found out that they do sometimes take the babies. And surprisingly there are a large amount of small pet stores near me that I'm sure would take them.

And also, I know I've heard both sides as to whether or not a breeder is necessary and if it just stresses out the fish more. Since I'm pretty sure they have some time before the first batch, I was just thinking of taking out the mother the week before I suspect she is due and set her up in the 10 gallon.

Right now I don't have one set up and need to cycle it. To be honest I made the mistake of cycling my 20 gallon tank with fish. I didn't know I was doing it so I don't want to make that mistake again.

Anyways, back to topic, after I'd move her to the 10 gallon, I'd just let her have her fry and I will definitely be using the methods you recommended.
Then once she is finished just return her to the main tank. Also, how do you know when she is finished? Oh and I realize by doing this some fry will be eaten but since I know the large numbers they produce, I'd just like to let nature take its course and see who survives since I'm still inexperienced. Maybe after awhile I will try to save every little guy, but I'd like to take things slow. I hope that's understandable.

The main tank right now is heavily planted with fake plants so should I even take her out?
Thanks again sooo much! I'm nervous, but excited about this. I just ordered some food online for the new guys since my algae is running low soon. Zoo Med Spirulina I believe is what it is.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:00 AM   #7 
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Depending on their ages really depends on how many fry they will have. My fist one only had 6 and as I am typing this she is having her 3rd drop right now and her last one was 50. They say the usual is 20-50 for molly's but I really think it has a lot to do with size, age and number of drops they have had. I really lost count because within 4 days I had 5 fish drop. My dalmatian molly was first then the next morning my silver molly dropped and I had no clue she was pregnant b/c she was skinny the whole time. Then my sunburst play the next day and that night my gold mickey mouse platy and then the next morning my balloon molly. So I have a bunch right now. Thankfully my first ones that are almost 3 months are going on Monday.

Back to topic...lol. If you are not worried about how many you want to save the first time around and you have plants in your main tank you don't have to move her. Just make sure you have plants that float on the top also b/c they like to hang around the top of the tank and that is where the parents get them most of the time. But they will also hide in the ones on the bottom as well. Mine seem to be all over the tank but I am not sure if that is b/c they are not worries about being eaten or not. When I brought my first molly home I had no idea fish even had live babies...lol. I know that probably makes me look really dumb but I honestly didn't. The stress from bringing her home she had babies over night and when I woke up the next morning I saw little fry in my tank and was flabbergasted...lol. I tried to rescue the little guys but by the time I got to the store and back they ate them all. I was sad b/c they were so cute. And they are super fast also so if you decide to move them into your 10G by netting them which you can do also if you let her drop in the main and then decide to save a few you can do. Best thing to do is make sure your tanks are the exact same temp or put them in a little plastic bag with water in it and float them to adjust like you do when you bring new fish home from the store.

As far as telling when they are done it is kind of hard. You just really have to pay attention to the way she acts. Mine usually start eating right away when they are done and move around more in the breeder. With the gold one you will be able to see there should be no more what we call gravid spots which is the dark spot by her anal fin. With the black female she is def going to be more of watching and seeing how she acts b/c you can't see the gravid spot on them. But usually once they stop you can tell b/c they move around a lot more.

Molly's are tough fish. They are more forgiving when it comes to water parameters and things like that unless you get a lyre tail or high fin molly. They seem to die very easy I have noticed. Also they say black molly's are the hardest molly's to take care of and are the most temperamental. My black male is a little devil going around and mating with all of my females all of the time and I do not see how people say that about them but maybe I just got lucky with my black one and he is strong IDK but I figured I would let you know that just in case as well. Also a HUGE thing I forgot. After they give birth you need to do a 25% water change. The ammonia levels go up in the tank pretty fast. But since you only have 3 it might not. Def check your levels throughout the day and if they start to spike then do it that day if they don't you can wait a day or two. This is why I like having mine in a separate tank b/c it doesn't affect my adult fish and kill them. The fry are ok with it in a separate tank in my experience. But I always do a water change the next day. I always say 2 inches of water to remove is my amount I remove and refill. Seems to be working for me.

Another thing is it is not unusual for the mother to die shortly after having her fry either. That is why I give them the extra protein with the shrimp and I always feed them the color plus flakes. But you might want to feed her a tad more than normal also at first if she is separated. If not you probably don't want to b/c you don't want your other fish to eat too much and get fat. My one dalmatian molly is fat and pregnant and looks like she is going to pop. I think I might have a picture of one of my molly's giving birth. I know I do believe I put a video on youtube. I can give you the link and you can watch that and see what I am talking about..lol. I don't know why I didn't think of that before...lol. Ok I don't have one of my molly but I have one of my platy and they do it the same so you will see what it kind of looks like to be square on the bottom and also other things to look at to see. I don't have the molly one uploaded yet. But also they usually give birth early in the morning. All mine seem to drop around 5am or a little earlier. Here is the link for that video though.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lUVZEdurQI&feature=channel]My Sunburst Platy giving birth!!! - YouTube[/ame]




Quote:
Originally Posted by optimusprimesgurl View Post
No! No! I'm really happy you gave my so much information! I feel a lot easier now. Hmm, what to start off with. Well when I went to the pet store I picked out a gold female, a silver male, and a black dalmatian female. I tried to get the ones with the flattest tummies so I could tell easier. One is a little more plump and I remember the storekeeper saying that she had some eggs, but wasn't too full. My other one was pretty empty. Does this mean they are pregnant?

Also, I found out that they do sometimes take the babies. And surprisingly there are a large amount of small pet stores near me that I'm sure would take them.

And also, I know I've heard both sides as to whether or not a breeder is necessary and if it just stresses out the fish more. Since I'm pretty sure they have some time before the first batch, I was just thinking of taking out the mother the week before I suspect she is due and set her up in the 10 gallon.

Right now I don't have one set up and need to cycle it. To be honest I made the mistake of cycling my 20 gallon tank with fish. I didn't know I was doing it so I don't want to make that mistake again.

Anyways, back to topic, after I'd move her to the 10 gallon, I'd just let her have her fry and I will definitely be using the methods you recommended.
Then once she is finished just return her to the main tank. Also, how do you know when she is finished? Oh and I realize by doing this some fry will be eaten but since I know the large numbers they produce, I'd just like to let nature take its course and see who survives since I'm still inexperienced. Maybe after awhile I will try to save every little guy, but I'd like to take things slow. I hope that's understandable.

The main tank right now is heavily planted with fake plants so should I even take her out?
Thanks again sooo much! I'm nervous, but excited about this. I just ordered some food online for the new guys since my algae is running low soon. Zoo Med Spirulina I believe is what it is.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:09 AM   #8 
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Aren't mollies brackish fish?
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:18 AM   #9 
optimusprimesgurl
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Originally Posted by mandi85710 View Post
Depending on their ages really depends on how many fry they will have. My fist one only had 6 and as I am typing this she is having her 3rd drop right now and her last one was 50. They say the usual is 20-50 for molly's but I really think it has a lot to do with size, age and number of drops they have had. I really lost count because within 4 days I had 5 fish drop. My dalmatian molly was first then the next morning my silver molly dropped and I had no clue she was pregnant b/c she was skinny the whole time. Then my sunburst play the next day and that night my gold mickey mouse platy and then the next morning my balloon molly. So I have a bunch right now. Thankfully my first ones that are almost 3 months are going on Monday.

Back to topic...lol. If you are not worried about how many you want to save the first time around and you have plants in your main tank you don't have to move her. Just make sure you have plants that float on the top also b/c they like to hang around the top of the tank and that is where the parents get them most of the time. But they will also hide in the ones on the bottom as well. Mine seem to be all over the tank but I am not sure if that is b/c they are not worries about being eaten or not. When I brought my first molly home I had no idea fish even had live babies...lol. I know that probably makes me look really dumb but I honestly didn't. The stress from bringing her home she had babies over night and when I woke up the next morning I saw little fry in my tank and was flabbergasted...lol. I tried to rescue the little guys but by the time I got to the store and back they ate them all. I was sad b/c they were so cute. And they are super fast also so if you decide to move them into your 10G by netting them which you can do also if you let her drop in the main and then decide to save a few you can do. Best thing to do is make sure your tanks are the exact same temp or put them in a little plastic bag with water in it and float them to adjust like you do when you bring new fish home from the store.

As far as telling when they are done it is kind of hard. You just really have to pay attention to the way she acts. Mine usually start eating right away when they are done and move around more in the breeder. With the gold one you will be able to see there should be no more what we call gravid spots which is the dark spot by her anal fin. With the black female she is def going to be more of watching and seeing how she acts b/c you can't see the gravid spot on them. But usually once they stop you can tell b/c they move around a lot more.

Molly's are tough fish. They are more forgiving when it comes to water parameters and things like that unless you get a lyre tail or high fin molly. They seem to die very easy I have noticed. Also they say black molly's are the hardest molly's to take care of and are the most temperamental. My black male is a little devil going around and mating with all of my females all of the time and I do not see how people say that about them but maybe I just got lucky with my black one and he is strong IDK but I figured I would let you know that just in case as well. Also a HUGE thing I forgot. After they give birth you need to do a 25% water change. The ammonia levels go up in the tank pretty fast. But since you only have 3 it might not. Def check your levels throughout the day and if they start to spike then do it that day if they don't you can wait a day or two. This is why I like having mine in a separate tank b/c it doesn't affect my adult fish and kill them. The fry are ok with it in a separate tank in my experience. But I always do a water change the next day. I always say 2 inches of water to remove is my amount I remove and refill. Seems to be working for me.

Another thing is it is not unusual for the mother to die shortly after having her fry either. That is why I give them the extra protein with the shrimp and I always feed them the color plus flakes. But you might want to feed her a tad more than normal also at first if she is separated. If not you probably don't want to b/c you don't want your other fish to eat too much and get fat. My one dalmatian molly is fat and pregnant and looks like she is going to pop. I think I might have a picture of one of my molly's giving birth. I know I do believe I put a video on youtube. I can give you the link and you can watch that and see what I am talking about..lol. I don't know why I didn't think of that before...lol. Ok I don't have one of my molly but I have one of my platy and they do it the same so you will see what it kind of looks like to be square on the bottom and also other things to look at to see. I don't have the molly one uploaded yet. But also they usually give birth early in the morning. All mine seem to drop around 5am or a little earlier. Here is the link for that video though.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lUVZEdurQI&feature=channel]My Sunburst Platy giving birth!!! - YouTube[/ame]
That's so cool! I just am not quite sure where the square is your talking about. And that black molly you described is just like my dalmatian hehe. She is so quick. So since I'll be keeping them in the main tank for now, just get some floating plants. :3 Sounds awesome. So just the 25% water change after the birth and then when should I move the fry to the 10 gallon oh and how would you recommend cycling it? I guess I'm just kinda stuck on whether or not I should leave them in the tank...maybe it would be easier to tank them out...
I'm sorry for so many questions and so little writing.
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Old 04-01-2012, 12:35 AM   #10 
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No it's fine ask away. I would say on cycling set up your tank and use some of your water from your main tank in there as well as water from the tap. Add all the chemicals to remove chlorine and all of that stuff. I always take some rocks from my main tank and put them in panty hose and stick them in my filter behind the cartridge to help the bacteria you need in your tank build up faster. Also I use stress zyme which adds bacteria to your tank and filter to get the right bacteria in there for your fish. I would do that then put a little food in their once a day and let it run like you have fish in it. The food helps the bacteria as well. But the rocks and using some water from your main works on speeding things up as well. Not everyone recommends doing that so if you choose to normal cycle then that is a little different.

Put water in and add all of your chemicals for chlorine removal ect. Then everyday put a little food like you have fish in it. Then also everyday do about a 25% water change. You would need to do this one for about a month to 6 weeks to get it cycled. I did mine the other way and my fish are all fine.

As far as moving them to the 10G do it right away. As soon as you see them get them moved if you want to keep them. That way there are less eaten. When I first started I thought I would let mother nature take its course until I saw them and now I am a breeder...lol.

As far as the square it is really hard to tell on them unless they are in front of you. Sorry I thought maybe you would be able to see it a little bit. I will look and see if I have any pics of any of my fish in labor. I thought I had one of my silver molly and you can really tell but I have to look b/c it wasn't in my normal spot I save my pics too. You can do it however you want to as far as getting them out it really is up to you. I can't tell you what to do on that one. But yes on the water change and make sure you check your levels to watch for a spike in the ammonia levels. I have to run to the store really quick before they close so I will try and jump back on when I get home but if not I will check back in the morning. I finally got an answer on what to give my fish. First time any of them have ever been sick. I will talk to you soon.


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That's so cool! I just am not quite sure where the square is your talking about. And that black molly you described is just like my dalmatian hehe. She is so quick. So since I'll be keeping them in the main tank for now, just get some floating plants. :3 Sounds awesome. So just the 25% water change after the birth and then when should I move the fry to the 10 gallon oh and how would you recommend cycling it? I guess I'm just kinda stuck on whether or not I should leave them in the tank...maybe it would be easier to tank them out...
I'm sorry for so many questions and so little writing.
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