Sylver's Fish Updates
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Sylver's Fish Updates

This is a discussion on Sylver's Fish Updates within the Fish Breeding forums, part of the Advanced Freshwater Discussion category; --> I currently have a beautiful female Creamsicle Lyretail Molly, who, until the other day, had never been interested in the boys. lol She is ...

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Sylver's Fish Updates
Old 08-21-2012, 05:40 AM   #1
 
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Sylver's Fish Updates

I currently have a beautiful female Creamsicle Lyretail Molly, who, until the other day, had never been interested in the boys. lol She is almost full grown, I think they get to be four inches long, she is just over three and a half inches long. To my knowledge, this will be her first brood! She took a liking to my male Black Sailfin Molly, and have been...dancing for the last few days. Now, she is about three quarters of an inch larger than the male fish, and she runs my tank. Haha, so if she gets tired of him, he'll know it. I have ten females and two males in the tank, and I haven't noticed any bullying from the boys, they seem to be rather gentle for males who usually practically attack the females while breeding...Bah. The two males are also interested in three other females at the moment, so she isn't getting too bothered, and to my knowledge only lets my black sailfin near her.

Well, in anycase, I was wondering what the estimate on the brood size is for Creamsicle Lyretail Mollies. I can't find anything on it when I googled. lol They usually add in all the molly species, and I know they can all interbreed and are basically the same species, just different sizes and colors. I also know that bigger fish can have more babies, but it is her first time, again, to my knowledge. She was pretty small when I got her. I've had her for several months now, and she's grown from about two inches to her near four inch size. She really is rather pretty, as is her male "buddy."

Also, for those curious, I have a breeding net which I will NOT be putting her in to have her babies. It has nine fry from a gold dust and silver molly in it right now. I was also afraid it'd be too small and stressful for her in that thing. I have improvised a roomey area for her. I made a large net that I have tied to a very large, two gallon picher(pitcher? I hate that word lol), that I will be putting into the tank, it's used only for my fish water changes and holding for big tank stuff the fish shouldn't be present for or if I have an issue that requires them moved, so it has nothing yucky in it they can't be near, like soap. I need a separate tank for this, really. LOL But I haven't gotten one yet, I intend to get one later this year.

Anywho, yes, makeshift net tied in there, and weighed down. The whole thing can go into the tank, only temporarily, no more than a few hours I am hoping, or the other fish might get upset with me. But this way I don't have to worry about her being in there out of the tank and risk a problem, like oxygen or tempurature, or a spill. I intend to have some plants in the bottom and some gravel for the babies. When they're born, they should fit through the net and be able to get to the plants and hide until mom is done giving birth. I've also made sure it's roomey and that the net wont move or collapse, and it wont catch on her and/or cause damage. This way I can try to minimize loss of babies to being eaten, and lessen stress to the mother and other fish, it wont really be a move, she will just get sorta scooped into it and stay in the tank. I did let a different, very expectant mother go in it last night, I thought she was in labor and I had been up almost two days, I had to sleep or be sick! She did not give birth and I removed her after I had a five hour nap, she seemed not to care. If anything, she wanted back in and tried to do so. ^^; Afterwards, I will remove the fry to the breeding net and let mom have an hour or so to rest before going back to the tank, I don't want the other fish picking at her while she is tired and smells of afterbirth. Would YOU want someone poking at your rump when you just shot out a bunch of babies? lol


SO, anyone have an estimate for me on the possible brood size, or should I ask later once she gets her size on? :3 Also, what do you guys think they will look like? Creamsicle Lyretail Molly with a Black Sailfin Molly. He's pure black except the top edge of his sail. It's bright yellow across the whole top edge! Mom is a very nice orange color with a lighter colored belly and dark eyes. The male has very odd eyes, the top half of his eyes are kinda dark brown/black, but the bottom half seems to be a bright shiny gold color, maybe copper would be a better wasy to explain it. Odd eyes. lol One of my gold dust females has a black eye and a silver eye though, I guess I am used to funny-colored eyes.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 08-21-2012 at 05:55 AM.. Reason: I am epic at typops! =)
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:27 AM   #2
 
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Heehee, I just LOVE Mollies! Congratulations on your expectant mother! It's really just impossible to predict how big of a brood she'll have. It can depend on so many factors, one of which is how many previous broods she's had! As far as what they'll look like - this is kind of impossible to know, too! It sounds like she's been in your tank for quite some time, but remember that female Mollies can 'store' sperm from previous matings until they feel the time is right for their pregnancy to progress, so she could be developing fry from the sperm of various fathers that were never even in your tank (that is, unless she was born there!) As much as I'd love to give you a more definitive answer, I think that this is just going to have to be a wait and see situation. A SURPRISE!!! It sounds like you have everything ready to go when the time comes, though! Congratulations again, and keep us posted!
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:11 AM   #3
 
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I would be happy to keep you informed. I LOVE writing about my fish. =) I am hoping to have a 30 gallon tank set up by the second or third of next month, though it will need to cycle before I add anyone to it! I intend to move some water from my current tank here and there to let it grow what it needs and cycle faster, but it'll still be a while. lol I will be using my ten gallon as the breeding area, and it might even be ready for her and the other girls by the time they're ready to give birth, we'll have to wait and see.

As of right now, I had a female gold dust molly getting ready to have babies when I put this up, and already had nine fry in my net. The adults had caused an issue when I let them out previously when they were an inch and a half long...but I was left with little choice when the mother started giving birth. That net I had set up is fine for the Creamsicle molly, but turns out it wasn't ideal for the smaller gold dust female because the holes are ALMOST big enough for her to get her head in, and I didn't want to chance it, so I had to put her in the breeding net. She was fine with it though! I actually put a few little floating plants in there, because who wants to be pestered and stared at while giving birth? lol The problem was, my older fry tried to eat the new babies! So I put them back in the big tank, and thankfully, nobody got bullied this time. They're all happily living along side the adults. =) They even go up to eat with them instead of hiding.

I was wondering, how rare is it to have almost an entire brood come out one gender(I am sure some of the babies that didn't survive may have been male, but I never got the chance to find out before the adults ate them)? All nine of my fry are females, seven of which are from one mother.

Well, in anycase, my gold dust female had -probably- around 20+ babies this time. I am not sure how many I have for sure, they're small and lighter colored than the last batch, so they're hard to see through the net and plants. lol When feeding them I have managed to count 12 of them for sure, but I can also tell several are hiding, I just can't see them well enough to count them. They're only four days old now! I know a couple died during birth because mom had one stuck in the birth canal for over 24 hours! She had two-four prior to this. I had NO idea what to do about it and was worried she may get sick and die. >< All I could do was make sure she wasn't bothered and I had the lights off for the most part. Unfortunatly she did get fairly ill, and the baby that was stuck, as well as the one behind it didn't survive. But thankfully, the rest of the babies, that I know of, did survive. =) I let mom stay away from the adults for a day, she surprisingly didn't bother her fry. She wobbled a bit and seemed very weak, she did eat a little though. Then by the next day, she seemed a lot better so I moved her out of the net and near the plants in the big tank. She hid in there for about another day, but she did come to eat. Since then, she's been just fine and back to her normal energetic self!
I hope she's done holding on to her last partners sperm, I would rather her not give birth again for a while. The males haven't shown any interest in her yet, and I've noticed that they sometimes don't show interest in a female for a few weeks after she gives birth, so hopefully I'll have my big tank set up in time, I'll be letting her stay in the ten gallon with the younger fry for atleast two or three months, I want her absolutely fully recovered before anymore babies happen.


In anycase! My creamsicle molly, the one I am so excited about, is deffinatly miss grumpy right now. She doesn't run anyone down and bully them, but so help them, if they get anywhere near her she will try to bite them. My aunt said some females get really grumpy when they're pregnant. lol She was already miss grumpy before this(Except with my black sailfin, she'd try to plow the silver male into dust if he tried to court her, but she flirted with the black one), she's just worse now. Haha. Sometimes if she doesn't feel like biting back, she just bolts for the plants before going back around the tank slowly, giving everyone the evil eye.
I am really enjoying watching the different stages in my pregnant females. I'll update on her as soon as she has her babies! I always do updates on them on Facebook, a few of my friends and family members find it very interesting to hear about the stages and the babies.

Aside from her, I think there are thee or four other expecting mothers, maybe even five. My silver molly, who had horrible trouble with her first brood(Only one baby survived, she was being bullied at the pet shop and very pregnant, but the stress of that and the move caused her to give birth in the bag on the way home), looks like she might be due sometime in the next week or two. I hope it goes better this time, as even though she can't be more than two or three weeks pregnant right now, she is rather huge! Or are they able to breed while already pregnant? =o I did see her breeding with both my black sailfin, and the silver male that came with her a couple weeks ago. I think he may also be a sail fin, he's got a good sail, but it's not as magnificent as my black sailfin molly. She seems very happy in my tank, so I'll be doing my best to keep stress down for her and I'll report on that one as well! =)

Aside from a lot of plants and hiding places, is there anything you guys can suggest to me about keeping stress down for my pregnant fish? I know that mollies like to have a little salt in their water, so I do that, though less than it says. I would rather have less than needed than risk putting too much. Although I hear mollies can actually live in near 100% salt water! I'd rather not test that. LOL My water would be considered brackish I believe.

I was also wondering if I could give them any special treats for happier mothers and healthier babies. Right now I feed them all an algae wafer every other day, I hear they are better for them than tropical flakes because they need more plant matter than anything, I also feed them tropical fish flakes, a pinch daily, and I give them blood worms twice a week or so. I was giving them bloodworms more often before(every two days or so), but then I read that they shouldn't have that kind of thing more than once or twice a week at most. Also, as a pretty rare treat, I skin some fresh green beans for them, they love those! I don't know of many other fresh veggies that are safe to give them, so I was wondering if I could have a little aid on that as well. I know they need a lot of plant matter, and variety will probably be better than one thing here and there. :3

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 08-27-2012 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
 
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WHEEEEE! Sounds like Molly mayhem over there! Thanks for the update, I'm glad to hear that things are going well!

The Mollies will love the 30 gallon, for sure. They have a high bioload for their size, so it will be MUCH easier for you to keep the water clean in a bigger tank. I have found that one of the easiest ways to cycle a new tank quickly is to use the filter that will be going on the new tank in the already-established tank for a week or two, then switch it over with a few fish. From being used in the 'main' tank, there will be bacterial colonies now established on the new filter, so the tank will pretty much instantly cycle. You'll want to be sure not to dump all the fish in at once, or that could cause a toxin spike, but if you move over a couple of fish every 3 days to a week (I don't know how many you HAVE - are they ALL in the 10g??!) things should go pretty well. Another option (and if you have too many in the 10g tank right now, this is possibly the better way) is to move all of the decorations/plants/substrate AND the 10g filter onto the 30g tank along with ALL the fish and the new 30g filter. After a week or so, you can set up the 10g tank again, and put the 10g filter back on it - it will be ready to go and fully cycled so that housing a momma and her fry won't be a problem :)

Regarding gender. . . actually ALL Mollies come into this world as females! It isn't until they are several months old that their anal fins will start to change and you will be able to pick out the males by their gonopodium. Remember that as soon as you CAN tell there are males, your babies will begin breeding! I hope you have new homes, or a shop lined up that can take all of your excess fry - you can't keep TOO many adult Mollies in a 30 gallon tank - and you'll be overstocked by the time these little ones become juvies, lol. The wonders of live-bearers!!!

Mollies like hard, alkaline water, and they can thrive in anything from 100% fresh water to 100% saltwater. If your water is hard, you don't *have* to add salt. . . and you'll also want to do some research (if you haven't already) into what type of salt your using. The type of salt used in saltwater tanks is very different from the type you would use to treat a sick fish - so make sure you have the right thing! If you continue using salt in the tank(s) take care not to shock their systems by taking them from fresh to salty (or salty to fresh!) without acclimating them. You'll want to be sure to keep the level of salination in your 'birthing tank' equal with the water in your main tank. If you send any of your juvie fry off to a new home, you'll want to take care to acclimate them to fresh water (if that's what they'll be kept in the shop or their new tank) before sending them away - same goes in reverse for any new additions purchased from a freshwater tank in the shop! Also, regarding plants - some common plants do very well in saltwater, but others don't. So be sure to double-check which ones you have (or are planning to purchase) to be sure they'll thrive in your tank!

Your poor Goldust Molly sounds like she had quite a difficult time delivering her brood! You're doing the right thing by trying to give momma a break - it's stressful to deliver babies! Sounds like your Creamsicle is getting close, too - with how you say she's been acting, I bet it could be any time now! And the poor little who gave birth in a bag on the way home?!! That's so sad - talk about a buy one get one free sale!

. . . Livebearers are amazing animals, for sure. You'll find that they have so much control over how and when they get pregnant and deliver. . . it is entirely possible that she had a couple of the fry, then decided to hold the others for a time when she felt things were more stable, or she could have aborted the pregnancy entirely, and will slowly return to her normal size as the fry are reabsorbed into her system. From my understanding it is possible for them to be 'growing' more than one batch of fry at the same time, and since they can store sperm from various partners for a long time, any brood could have more than one father - and probably does if they've been living in the same tank!

I always enjoyed seeing the stages of pregnancy - and frydom - in my livebearers. . . very neat stuff!

Lots of plants and hiding places is good, but the biggest thing you can do to keep the stress-levels low is to maintain PRISTINE water quality. Pregnancy and delivery is always stressful - no matter what the creature is - but with fish it is very important to keep up on those water changes and test the water often - especially when you have so many changes going on all at once.

With the diet, you've got it - variety is the spice of life! My fish get peas, cucumbers, spinach, melons. . . on a regular basis, and they love it! As long as the pieces are small enough/soft enough for them to eat easily, and the flavor isn't too strong (you don't want to give them peppers, for example) they will do well with many veggies and fruits in their diet. You'd also probably be better off skipping the bloodworm entirely, and giving them brine shrimp or mysis instead - it's healthier for them, and they'll love it.

You might be interested in trying to find a book called Livebearing Fishes by Peter Scott. It's an easy-to-read short book that has the answers to many of the questions you're asking here, along with much more - including a nice look at how their internal systems work. It isn't very expensive, but check your local library - they may be able to get it in for you to take a look at!

Good luck over there!
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:41 PM   #5
 
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I see, you have wonderful info. I'll answer a few of your new questions as well.

One: I do not intend to have more than 12-14 fish in the 30 gallon tank. Most likely I will have no more than 12 though, the 12 adults I have now. Aside from my ten gallon being a birthing tank, I intend to keep my males in there when I do not have small fry or birthing mothers. I found out I have three males, not two! One of them tricked me. Ten gallons should be more than enough space for three fish, it will also keep the system in the tank healthy, and keep tired mothers from being picked on and bred with. The fry are temporaries until I know for sure they are big enough, and healthy enough to be found new homes. However, this is going to depend on the size of my mollies. If any of them get too big, I will no doubt have them either re-housed, or find them new homes on my own.

Two: I do have a petshop picked out and intend to ask them about their water when I go buy some ferret bedding and some of that brine shrimp food you talked about today. I did not know bloodworms were the wrong choice of "protein" for them! On a lot of the info I have been reading up on, bloodworms were included in the available proteins, or live/freeze-dried prey they should be allowed to have.

Three: Yes, unfortunatly I have too many in my ten gallon. I started out with six mollies and a chinese algae eater. Unfortunatly my dalmation and creamsicle males died of ich, and so did my algae eater. I was very sad about this. I ended up replacing them, but with different kinds of mollies because I didn't want anymore that were too big since a few grew bigger than I thought they would. When I first set up this ten gallon tank, they told me I could have ten fish in it, and me having low knowledge, believed it'd be ok! Pet shop workers should be smacked for giving this information, really. A lot of people believe them because they think so long as the fish have room to swim, even crowded, they are fine in tight spaces! It's bull, and dangerous for the fish, they really shouldn't tell people this. So far it has been problemless, and I am not going to try and test it. I did not get my new fish for a few months in hopes of making sure the ich was compeltely gone. I've had no issues, but I have been doing research on mollies daily only to find a lot of my "Knowledge" was a bunch of dangerous and irresponsible misinformation, and I will fix it! I insist upon having happy, healthy fish for many years to come.

I initially intended to have my 30 gallon tank months ago! Unfortunatly the money I was saving for it went to vet bills, medications and treatment when one of my ferrets got sick. Well, she didn't get sick so much as she ate something she couldn't get rid of (she found my little cousins rubber ball and ate half of the darn thing!), she was also very poorly treated by her previous "Home" and is stunted for life, and will remain looking sorta like a youngin forever. So she had to get an expensive visit. A lot of my money goes there at the moment, though it has slowed. She deserves the best. =) My grandmother is pitching in for my new tank and accessories because I was so upset over both matters and was worried I had not enough room for my fish, I felt like a terrible person who had her plans mushed! My only other option woulda been to re-home them, which I was intending to do, but my grandmum saw I put a great deal of work into it and made me an offer. =)

This was all very irresponsible of me, so I've been working my hide off to get enough money to buy a large, comfortable tank.

Well, I only have 12 adult fish, and I intend to keep two of the new babies. Is 12 too many for a 30 gal? The creamsicle will probably not get more than 4 inches, and my sailfin males will probably get 3-4 inches themselves, but again will only be temporaries in the big tank. The other types of mollies I have are not supposed to get more than 2 1/2-3 inches long. It'll be 12-13 in there for the times I have new mothers and small fry, and nine for when I don't, but probably for no more than two or three weeks. I have discovered a few of my females are selective with their boyfriends, so I can work that out when they want to breed as well. This way the female that wants one male in particular wont have to be badgered by the other one! And aside from the females currently holding sperm, I wont have to worry about a female getting over-bred. I think I got this right, doing math on no sleep and babysitting is difficult! lol
The rest will find happy new homes once they get to be about two inches long. I am also considering returning one of the black mollies I thought was a female, and it turned out to be a male. It's a lovely molly, but I only have enough females to keep two males happy, even if they aren't going to always be with the girls. lol He hasn't caused an issue, but I am afraid if the other two males get aggressive, they may cause HIM one, so it'd be better for him to go to a different home. He's a very peaceful male, and pretty to boot. If you think that is too many, I may also take back one of my marble mollies.

As for the book, I am going to look for it. =)

And I have to say, sad as it was, that "Buy one get one free" comment made me laugh.

Oh yes, one more question! What kind of cleaner-fish/critter would you suggest for me to get for the bigger tank? I have two emerald cories, but they like to be in groups so I will most likely keep them both in my ten gallon with the boys and fry, they wont mess with my fry and are peaceful fish. I don't want to get anything that will be aggressive or that may get unhappy! I would love to get one of those eel-like loaches, but some of them get big and I fear they would be unhappy. I WILL have one someday though! They are just so cool. But my current tanks may not be ideal. lol When I have my own home, I will be getting several tanks, like two per room I demand it. xD
A pleco would need a 50 gallon minimum tank(Assuming here, I know they get huge and fast), but finding the right knowledge on the kind of cleaner fish to get is difficult, I have had so many people tell me to get bristlenose plecos(I've had them befor eand they did well), loaches, cories, snails(I got stuck with the little jerks, they try to over-run your tank atleast once a month if you don't remove the youngins), and even shrimp. I did not do well with ghost shrimp, but I did alright with Bamboo shrimp until that ich outbreak! What would be good for my 30 gal? Should I go with cories since I do well with them and love them, or is there something with a smaller bioload/tank needs that would be happy there? If you tell me I can get one of those eel-like loaches and they would be happy in the 30 gallon, I am so on it. But after a great deal of learning. :3 Until then, I will probably move a snail over there. I do not like the snails, to be honest. They came on my plants and one of them is the size of a quarter! I get rid of the small ones I see. Well, I let them go in the creek where snails that look like them flourish as is. ^^; Better than flushing them.

I absolutely will NOT be buying anymore fish until I know what I need to about them, and petshop workers are not exactly good advice givers. Though there is one fella at the petco I go to that gives good info and very little of that "You can fit fifteen big fish in there and be fine" bologna.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 08-27-2012 at 01:52 PM..
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
 
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Hmmmm. . .

To be perfectly honest. . . I wouldn't be comfortable with keeping 12 adult Mollies in a 30 gallon tank. Mollies have a high bioload for their size, and this is really only giving them around 2.5 gallons per fish - which isn't really enough, in my opinion. Personally, I'd limit it to around 6 adults at the max - less if you intend to keep some of the larger breeds, like Sailfins. You can probably get away with more, but you'll want to have very powerful filtration on the tank, and be prepared to do lots of water changes to keep the wastes down. I'm not trying to slam you here, just giving you my thoughts on the matter. They need room to swim around freely, and . . . I just don't think they'd be as happy with so many in the tank! I have a 29 gallon AND Mollies, so I can kind of visualize where you're going with this. . .if it were my tank (it isn't!) I would keep no more than 1-2 males with 4-6 females. . . Personally, I'd go with the lower of those numbers and keep a handful of fry/juvies in there, too. I REALLY enjoy having a variety of ages mixed in together - those little ones really make a tank come alive! In my opinion you should seriously consider lowering your overall stocking of adult fish, they'll be healthier, happier, and it'll be easier for you to keep the conditions clean and stress-free. Just to give you an idea of where I'm coming from - that's MY stock list for the 55 gallon mollies-only tank that I'm planning - so *I* feel that putting these in a tank that's nearly half the size is pushing it. . . think of it this way 6 mollies in a 30 gallon tank is giving them each around 5 gallons of water. When you look at it that way - it isn't SO much, is it?

As far as the 10 gallon tank is concerned, I can see using it for the fry while they're tiny, or as a pregnancy tank for a delivering momma, but ten gallons (I'm sorry!) isn't really suitable for an adult molly to live in on a permanent basis - much less three or four of them. Another thing that you'll want to consider is that it's very stressful for a fish (any fish) to be moved from tank to tank. If you're using the 10g as a grow-out tank, that's fine - and if you have to move your pregnant mommas when their time comes close - that's okay, too. The stress of the move will be balanced by the relief of being alone in a calm tank to deliver. However. . . I wouldn't recommend moving the males back and forth every time you need to use the tank. If there are no fry in residence, just put the 10g filter in the 30g tank - that'll keep it healthy for you to use whenever you need it. I'm thinking that there won't ever be a time when you don't have babies in that tank, anyway - so worrying about maintaining a cycle on an empty tank probably won't be a problem for you - at least not if they keep popping out babies like they have been!

Bloodworm are good as an occasional treat, but they aren't the best choice, considering all of the options most shops carry. If you have a shop like PetSmart around you, take the time to look at the nutritional information on the foods they have in their freezer (around here they allow the public access to the freezers) You'll find that there are other things that are lower in fat and still provide a good source of protein - and also that don't carry the risk of bacteria/illness that bloodworm can. There isn't anything WRONG with feeding them - all the fishies love it, but it isn't the healthiest thing out there Remember to avoid the freeze dried food, and stick to wet-frozen (and defrost before feeding)

Definitely ask the shop if they'd be willing to take the juvies from you. Many fish shops won't, simply because they end up with so many mollies and guppies - they run out of room! Often, the shops that do will ask that they be 1" or so before you bring them in, and be warned - it can take months for a Molly to get that big - most especially if they're in a small or crowded tank. Another option may be to advertise on Craigslist or something. . . you'll figure it out, it looks like you're heading in the right direction already!

YES! WE SHOULD SMACK ALL FISH-SHOP OWNERS WHO GIVE BAD INFORMATION!!! Buuuuuuut. . . we also should do our own research BEFORE we buy our fish in the first place! The blame can only come down to the customer - and I mean that with no offense intended! I started out with a way overstocked and cycling 10g tank based on bad advice and lack of research, too! been there done that - never again! The IMPORTANT part is that you're trying to fix things so that your beauties can live a long and healthy life - for that, you rock!

As far as 'cleaner' fish are concerned - they're a myth, and unnecessary - especially since you'll be overstocked as it is . Remember that anything that is supposed to 'clean' a tank, also adds to the bioload, and in actuality, the ONLY thing that is really going to clean your tank is you! As far as I know (I've never kept them) Cories need to be kept in a group of at least 3 and need a minimum of a 30 gallon tank, I believe. . . you also will have to make sure to have a sand substrate, as they have those delicate little barbels which standard aquarium gravel can cause serious damage to. . . but if you put corries in the 30 gallon tank, you'll need to be sure to keep even fewer Mollies. . . 6 mollies and 3 cories sounds like a good MAXIMUM number to me.

I agree - pond snails/bladder snails are awful! I don't like 'em, either, and I wouldn't recommend moving even ONE into that tank. These guys can (and will) reproduce without a mate, and as you've noticed - are happy to do so constantly! They ALSO add to the bioload of a tank, and with Mollies, you can be fairly sure that they'll ALWAYS be able to find enough food to keep multiplying. If you would like to keep a snail, a single Nerite snail is a good option. They can only breed in brackish water - but also need both a male and a female to reproduce, so you'll be 'safe' with only one.

AAAAAAAND. . . one last piece of advice for you? DO NOT for ONE MOMENT think, that just because a Molly prefers one fish to pair with over another that this in any way means that they won't mate with one of the others - they will, and most likely DO - even if you've never seen it happen. I can almost guarantee it!

So sad to hear about your little ferret! Really sweet creatures, I'm glad yours is finally getting the care he needs to be well!

Hope that helps?

Last edited by Chesh; 08-27-2012 at 06:33 PM..
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:01 PM   #7
 
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No offence taken anywhere! I did ask and state I am not an expert and still learning. =)

I hope my petshop has some frozen brine shrimp or some other good foods you mentioned. I've never seen any of that there myself, usually just freeze-dried. I wonder if it's orderable online...if so, I'd only even consider doing that in the winter if ever. LOL It says on the label that it doesn't take out any of the nutrition, but lessens the chances for parasites and bad bacteria. So I didn't know that wasn't the best foods for them. Thankfully I saw this before going to the store! I didn't make it yesterday because we are helping my sister in-law and her baby out while she recovers from surgery. We didn't have anyone else helping as planned yesterday. I WAS going to get freeze-dried brine shrimp. lol I will see about the non-freeze dried stuffs. I am also making up a list of fruits and veggies that are good for them when I go shopping today for our own food. lol

Also, I was wondering about that gallon per fish too! I was thinking that two gallons per fish just did not sound right, I wouldn't like having so little space, it'd be like jail! I have been thinking about which fish I can find new homes or return to the shop, if they'll take them, for a while now. So I think I am going to give one of the males back, as well as one of my gold dust, marble and black molly females. That should make quite a bit more space, especially since I will have fry around often and they will need that extra space.
I also absolutely HATE having a net in my tank for fry! It makes even less space, although the good part of having it is it grows algae and all my fish love nibbling on it and hiding under it. I had to get it though, two of my fish will actually dig in the gravel and under the plants until they get the babies. I think my creamsicle is actually a bulldog. lol v.v; Several of my fish are fairly young, so space hasn't become, well, yes it has become a terrible issue, as it did start that way...but it's not as bad as it will get should I allow it to continue, which I am already getting a new tank to fix that!(Within a couple years, I'll probably have about ten tanks. lol) The Petco I have here will also accept adult fish, and they have good luck adopting them back out too! I -could- make money selling them, but I'd rather the quicker way of giving them to a shop for free, lessens the chances of space issues should I have trouble selling them, but that can always be a quick back-up plan, maybe I will check out craig's list afterall! I am going to see about going to Petsmart today though, I am not sure where one is...but they may have the food I need!


I do my best to keep the tank clean. I certainly can't make THEM suffer for my mistake of over-stocking. I was so excited my grandmum was going to buy me my first tank for all the work I've done, I kinda jumped right in! I had done some research prior to it, but apparently I checked all thwe wrong places. I try not to get the stuff stirred up when I clean it, I know that can make them sick. I change the water more frequently than most do, but I do so in smaller amounts than required so I don't shock the fish or poison them.


As for the thing I said about my females selective breeding, I have seen other males trying to mate with females that clearly don't want them. lol The only reason I thought about separating them is because if the female attacks her attempted suitor, the other male will fight with him as well, I wanted to lessen that chance. But so far I haven't seen any injuries. =)

As for moving them from tank to tank, I wasn't planning to do that more than once every four months because it stresses them out. But maybe I shouldn't keep the males separated. If I have a female that needs a break, I can always just keep her in the breeding tank after she has her brood instead of moving them back and forth(Aside from my creamsicle, she'll kill ALL the fry if I leave her there, the other females mostly leave them be). I try to move them as little as possible. When I do get this new tank, instead of moving my females that are already pregnant, I think I will let them stay in the ten gallon tank. Otherwise they will be moved twice in one month while they're delicate and I don't want to chance that. But there will only be two females in there with some plants. =) My silver molly female and my creamsicle female. My creamsicle is about three...three and a half inches long, I'd love to be able to measure her! LOL And my Silver female is fairly small, I'd say about two inches even. That should be ok for them!


Again, I need all the help and info I can get, so don't worry about offending me. -I- am the one who didn't do enough research and endagered my little beauties. They're more than just fish to me, in this family ALL pets are considered family, and have the best care we can give them, everyone pitches in if someone needs help or medical funding. Unfortunatly fish was probably my most lacking in knowledge of any other pet. I never dreamed I'd be allowed to have tanks here!(I did have a five gallon when I was six or so. Had guppies though!) I live with my grandparents, and they can be a bit picky about...well, everything. lol

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Old 08-28-2012, 02:47 PM   #8
 
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I'm very happy to find you so willing to part with some of your adults to make life better for the rest - and it will make life better for you also, as you will be able to spend less time cleaning up after them and more time enjoying them! It's fantastic that your PetCo is able to rehome them for you. Many of the larger Petco shops have a special QT room with tanks set up just for this purpose, wonderful that you have one nearby!

You'll have a good time looking through the variety of wet-frozen foods, I think! There are many things available aside from the couple that I mentioned, including greens like Spirulina. Some companies even offer variety packs, or variety cubes that contain a little bit of a wide range of foods, either mixed together in one cube, or singly - with a 'row' of each different type in the package. Variety is always good, but don't give up on your staple flakey foods, either. They are formulated to contain a wide mix of essential vitamins that you'd have trouble feeding to your fish any other way. NewLifeSpectrum seem to have the best line of flake or pellet foods. . . The freeze-dried worms are generally avoided because they can expand in the fish's belly and cause bloat. If you choose to feed these, it is best to let them sit in some tank-water for a bit and then feed them when they've become saturated to avoid this problem. Glad that you mentioned the algae! Personally, I don't prefer to feed my fish algae wafers because, in my experience they cloud the water and make it more difficult to keep things clean - but you seem to have noticed that Mollies love algae, and are quite efficient at finding it for themselves, freshly grown in-tank! Remember this when it comes to feeding them. . . Mollies are grazers, and will eat everything all of the time. It's best to feed them very lightly, as they will find food for themselves throughout the day.

I don't like using breeder baskets, either - they really are difficult to work around. When my 29 gallon was very lightly stocked and heavily planted, my fry were able to be left in the tank and had no trouble from the adults. The difference in growth between the ones that were 'rescued' in either a breeder net, or in a 10 gallon tank, and those that were allowed to roam free in the larger tank with the adults was amazing - the ones in the bigger tank grew so much more quickly than their siblings. . . of course you don't want the babies to get eaten, but it's something to keep in mind! They might not be all of the time - or if there are less fish in the tank. . .

As far as your couples are concerned. . . I had a pair of Dalmatian mollies that formed a life-bond, there is no doubt about it in my mind. The female died not too long ago, of old age - there wasn't a mark on her. I'm sure the fact that she was being kept in soft water and was one of the ones who had to undergo my initial cycle shortened her lifespan, which is terribly upsetting, but neither here nor there. When she was removed from the tank, her 'husband' flipped out. He was panting, flashing, swimming erratically - it was terrifying! None of the other fish in the tank (and these include other mollies - even juvies - along with other far more sensitive fish) showed any symptoms of distress - only him. The moment he was put into a QT tank, he was perfectly fine, and remained so for over a month. On one other occasion, these two got into a spat - she was nearing delivery, and he wouldn't leave her alone, so she turned on him and within only a few hours had severely nipped his fins. I removed her to the QT tank to deliver in peace, and the poor male reacted in a similar fashion when she was taken out - not as extreme as when she died, but he was definitely stressed by it. So I DO strongly believe that Mollies are capable of forming true pairs that will mate for life fairly exclusively - but still. . . with so many in the tank, I would still bet that your broods will be mixed!

If you have a gravel substrate with Mollies, you should definitely be using a gravel-vac to get into the substrate with every water change. Perhaps do 1/4 of the tank at a time - you'll be amazed by how much yucky stuff gets stuck down there. Personally, I prefer a sandy substrate, as the waste sits on the top and is more easily removed without stirring things up. You really see how messy a little molly can be! Changing smaller amounts of water more frequently is very wise of you - especially with an overstocked tank of high waste-producing fish. Taking dirty water to clean too quickly can be just as dangerous as the opposite - but still better all around to adjust stocking in the larger tank so that the water will remain clean for a longer period of time

Good luck! It sounds like you're on the right track to a healthy tank . . .or two. . .or ten!
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:25 PM   #9
 
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Well, we're going to get my new tank tomorrow! And a good thing too. Eesh. Had some unexpected babies. lol One of my smaller gold dust mollies gave birth this morning. Last time I only managed to save one of her babies, and it is one pretty baby(Full black body with a bright orange head). He's almost big enough to go to a new home. So far I've found five or six and moved them to the net, there's more in the big tank, but they aren't wanting to be caught, they are fine on their own for now! Good hiders.

Day before yesterday I took five of my fish and fry to Petsmart. Soon as I made some room, I lost it. lol I also purchased some frozen brine shrimp, oh they all love that stuff! I'm hoping to have them in the big tank within ten days or so. That depends on how my cycling goes, I'll be using the ideas you have given me, as well as the ideas a few others gave me. :3 All of my fry will be getting new homes just as soon as I am positive they are healthy and a safe size. I admit, I am tempted to keep some, they are SO pretty! But I don't have the room so all babies go when old enough. =(

All of my females except one marble molly are visibly pregnant. I really did bite off more than I can chew. lol But if I have trouble and don't have enough room, they all go to new homes. It's kinda hard, but it's what I planned on. I LOVE having babies in there, watching the mothers go through all the stages until they're HUGE and then little squigglies swimming around and growing. I initially got those females for my boys intending to have babies a lot, I just didn't think there would be so many at the same time! My aunt always had mollies when I was growing up, but she never had luck with babies. They would have babies every once in a while, but they usually didn't survive. She also didn't really make attempts to move them from the adults though. I remember they would give birth maybe twice a year, and only one or two females at that. She didn't have an over-stocked tank, infact she had a gorgeous 30 gallon tank with five mollies. Four females and one male. Planted, but I wouldn't say densly, that nmay have been why most babies died.

So, these are my first fish I've had good breeding luck with! I just have to make sure I keep them nice and clean, and have that bigger tank soon. I may actually be getting a third tank within the month as well. lol


In anycase, you wanted to hear babies! My previous molly that gave birth, all of her babies are already growing a little bit, and none aside from the two or three stillborn babies have died. I am still unsure how many are in there because I have the net planted to keep the babies from being stressed out. The adults like to poke at the net and it used to scare the babies until I added plants. Apparently they have decided my tank is perfect for babies, because suddenly all of my females are hitting it off with the males, most of which are already showing signs of being heavily full of babies. I just noticed one of my dark female marble mollies is getting big too, that makes me happy because I was hoping for some of those!

As for my newest gold dust babies...actually I am wondering about this. I heard most gold dust mollies lose that black on them, or most of it, by the time they're six months old. I have a female in there that is almost eight months, atleastt I've had her about that long, and she still has a solid black half with a bright orange head. The other female gold dust molly is completely orange with two VERY tiny black dots on her tail, and a black eye. Have I maybe gotten mistaken identity going here? I am wondering if the gold one might be an orange platy! Oops. >< Her shape is more molly than play though, maybe she's a mix. Either way, she gets along just fine with everyone, and I know they can interbreed, but still...oops. lol If anything though, my black and gold one is differently shaped from my other mollies, who have about the same shape to them. The females anyways.

Well, the newest babies from my black and gold molly, they look JUST like her, every single one. :3 They are some of the prettiest babies I've ever seen. Really tiny too, so was the first baby. She's not very big herself! She's smaller than all of my other mollies by atleast a quarter inch, so I guess it's no surprise. But the babies are alert and swimmig around.

That female got beaten up very badly by her previous mate. I gave him away because he had killed one of my mollies and chewed her up pretty badly, he also tried to kill my orange gold dust molly. He did so over-night, had I known, I woulda given him away sooner. He was the prettiest fish in my tank, but I can't have a killer, I told the shop I took him to he needed to be with fish bigger than him, and they said they would put him with the bigger ones. He used to be very calm, but after the female gave birth the first time he got extremely aggressive and just wouldn't stop. She is actually completely covered in scars. All over her back and gills. I am thankful she pulled through, they were my first two fish and I got very attached. I wouldn't exactly call her pretty anymore, but she seems to have no ill effects from it and she's mine for life regardless of her homeliness. I thought it'd be fair to keep her and give the pretty male away because he had a better chance of getting re-homed and I thought they might flush my scarred up girl.
I was wondering, do you think her scales might heal up and go back to their normal color again? I'd say they're more scar-like, but they may be missing scales, she just has colorless scales where he chewed her up. All clear and see-through like. Other than that, she hasn't had any issues, but it took about a month for her gill to fully recover. It was useable after a week, but it looked sore, now it's just scarred but seems to work properly.


I gave them all some peas this morning, they don't seem to like them nearly as much as green beans though, but they're chewing on them pretty good. Problem is, it mirked up my water REALLY bad, though it doesn't seem to bother them. I already did a water change last night, so I don't want to do one again, I am assuming that wont hurt them so long as I remove uneaten food, not that they left me much! lol I only put three small mushed peas in there. Those are good for their bladders, right? So they don't get the "Hey I can't swim right" issue. They really love that brine shrimp too. So do the older babies. Well, I now have variety in their diet! Healtheir fish, and soon to have one larger, possibly two larger, new tanks! And none to soon either. My silver lyretail molly looks like she's going into labor I just looked over and noticed She hasn't given birth in almost three months. x.x What, do they got something against having different birthdays?! Or maybe they're doing it just to spite me for my stocking mistake. So long as I have no more medical issues with my ferret or myself, all of my money is being saved to get more tanks. I don't intend to buy anymore fish though, but I can give the ones I haven't given away more space. Yes, I love tanks. LOL -face/fauls- Ah man. Honestly I don't mind spending all my money on the new tanks, I rather enjoy caring for them, even if I DO spend more time cleanign than watching. ^^; My house will probably be a new aquarium attraction at this rate!

I know, I'm kinda all over the place with my updates, sorry! I just get so over-excited, especially over these new babies today. I wasn't sure if she would even be able to breed again after nearly being ripped apart by her previous mate. x.x

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 08-30-2012 at 12:38 PM..
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:14 AM   #10
 
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Congratulations on your most recent round of babes, lol, by this point it shouldn't be unexpected at all - but even so, babies are ALWAYS exciting! Glad to hear you're getting the new tank - it sounds like you REALLY need it quick! I'm so proud of you for clearing up that extra room, as you said - you're going to need it (and MORE)! I'm very happy that you're so willing to part with the many for the health of the few, many people aren't, and it always ends badly. . .

Hmm... I always thought Mollies and Platy look very different, but as younguns I guess I can see how they could be mistaken! Is there any way you can get a picture of the fishy(s) in question? Maybe we can figure it out. . . as far as coloration is concerned, Mollies can and will change their spots as they mature. I've never had a Golddust Molly, so I'm not sure about that, but I got a 2" female Dalmation Molly from the pet shop, and though she started off mostly white with black speckles, by the end of her life she was mostly black with just a bit of white - so depending on how old they are when you get them (which you have no way of knowing, usually)

Your aunt's 30 gallon with 5 fish sounds ideal to me! There are a million reasons why her fish may not have bred so often, anything from the hardness/temperature/cleanliness of the water to the age of the fish can influence these things, so it's a really broad range there. It's also possible that they had babies more often than she realized - but perhaps they just didn't even make it long enough to have been spotted.

Depending on the severity of the damage, which in this case sounds pretty extreme, I'm sorry to say that your poor battered baby may never get back to the beauty she once was. Poor little thing! If the damage was slight, they can make a full recovery, but if the injuries were deep, and it sounds like they were, she'll probably always bear the scars of the attack. It's a testament to your care that she's recovered so well, and even breeding again!

LOL! Sounds like you are having as much fun as the Mollies are with the new food choices! Three peas sounds like a bit more than would be necessary to feed your crew - remember, you don't want to give them very much. Over-feeding is VERY easy to do! Next time, don't mush the peas, just cut them finely. It's probably the mush that was too small for them to eat that clouded the water - however, fry often can and will eat particles this small! Still... you don't want cloudy water for sure!
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