Female Sailfin Mollies-- when does the sailfin show up?
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Female Sailfin Mollies-- when does the sailfin show up?

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Female Sailfin Mollies-- when does the sailfin show up?
Old 05-10-2014, 02:01 PM   #1
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Female Sailfin Mollies-- when does the sailfin show up?

I have numerous babies that are probably from Sailfin fathers; when does the Sailfin elongated fin begin to show and is the dorsal fin longer when they are baby females? I know it will take a while for the male Sailfin to develop, but wonder if the females of Sailfins have longer fins to start off, compared to "normal non-sailfin ones?" I have many females that are 3 months old, and am waiting to see if they are Sailfins. And quite a few from a B&W Dalmatian Lyretail female, anxiously seeing their colors develop now, some Picasso-like black coming out.
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:31 AM   #2
The answer to your question is that depends. First, the femails will need to hit 2" before their dorsal fins show any signs of being different. In my experience, dorsal fins on fry are identical to normal mollys to start off. The development of the dorsal fin will depend on three things, the first being tank size. If the tank is too small or the fish too crowded the dorsals will not develop fully or properly. Numer two is availability of appropriate food. Mollys need a mix of veggies and meat. Blanched peas, spinich and zucchini are a must. If you have alae available even better. I put rocks in my outdoor pools of 5gal buckets and wait from them to be covered with algae. Put them in the tank and shazam! Spirulina flakes work well, but make sure the first ingredient is spirulina. The new frozen algae sheets on the market work great as well. Last factor is water quality. Mollys need salt no if and or but about it. I highly suggest using solar salt and a little aquarium salt with saltwater minerals.

Best of luck
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:47 AM   #3
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Males have the largest sailfin feature. Females have much smaller dorsal fins.
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:07 AM   #4
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henningc, at the present the babies are in a 10G tank, I feed them well, but wondering can you just put spinach, zucchini, or lettuce in there uncooked, or unblanched, for fry and adults? I do feed them crushed up bloodworms. I let algae grow on the tank glass, and they eat that, too. Also I have some moss from the woods nicely green, used to grow below lots of trees. Can I use any part of this? I have never thought of that before, so this is making me wonder if it is good algae. (also have a pool, but that is chlorinated...) They are all females now, and I guess a couple more months to reach 2" size.

Last edited by dancelady; 05-11-2014 at 11:10 AM..
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:56 AM   #5
First, you need to get them out of a 10gal and into a larger tank or container. If you can't afford a huge tank or have no place to put it, you may wish to look for a 75gal-125gal RubberMade stock and put it up on two cinder blocks in your basement or even outside if the waether is warm enough. You can use a submesable heater and don't worry the fish will find it. A stock tank ain't no fashion statement, but it will crank out some huge 5"-6" sailfin mollys for you.

Secondly, blanching the food take 10 sec in the microwave and it can be stored in a ziplock in the fridg. I just use a small glass kitchen bowl put about 10th inch of water in it and what ever veggies I'm needing and nuke it for 10-15 seconds. If you have room, you can get some rocks and place them in a sunny place outside in a rubbermade container from WalFart with some water. The rocks will become covered with algae and you can take them in and out of the tank to feed the mollys. I'd start with old aquarium water from a water change and as much waste-Poop- as you can. There are also algae sheets, frozen, on the market and they work great. Just attatch to the side of the tank or allow to sink. As good Spurlina based flake food will help as well. I feed a lot of fresh hatched brine shrimp. If they are over a day old their yoke sac is spent and they lose a lot of nutritional value. I add Spurlina or Astaxanthin powder to the hatchery and they are gut loaded. You can get both products from Ken's Aquatic Supply.

Last, understand that even the common Black Molly shoud reach a good 3" (+) if housed and fed correctly. The sail fins will not develop or have puny sail fins if housed in a 10gal. The fish will stunt typically after about 60 days depending on what you are feeding them and how clean the tank is. Unfortunately the LFS doesn't tell you that swords and mollys should grow 2-3 times the size they are in the store. If you want impressive fish do what I said above. If you're a sceptic, send me 6-8 fish and I'll send them back to you at the end of July. I'll put them in a kiddie pools and they will be double the size of yours. I'm serious about that offer and would olny request that you pay shipping, like $7, and allow me to keep at least 1 female in the end.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:08 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Thank you, loved your tips!

I am aware that these Mollies will grow to a much larger size. Right now the 5 oldest (2 months) have been moved, but the rest are smaller than 1/3 inch so I have a little time to prepare. Are you saying to use a large tote container, like Rubbermaid, to raise them, like making a big "pool" for them to grow? I have plenty of these, even the extra tall/large ones into which you can put a fake Christmas tree. The plastic doesn't hurt them in any way? Just want to be sure I am not giving them a heavy dose of something bad.

I will start blanching some veggies, and I have a deck where I can make the algae. Do you mean Kensfish.com has the Astaxanthin powder (Taunton, MA) or is that a different supplier?

Also, what about the moss that I have -- is any portion of that useable? Very green, and raising some "curled plants(?)" in the middle.

Because I just had a Marble Molly give birth, I may have to get that big container going pretty soon. Now I have appx. 80 babies, and although tiny now, they will grow like crazy. What about the heat, I have gotten several new heaters, filters, and hoods, which I never thought I would need, and all are in use -- do you put the heater in the bottom, I thought that might be too close to the plastic? And how does one figure out how much to feed them, and how often? I am hoping that I am doing it OK, but still worrying. Do you put any gravel in the bottom, like for a normal tank?

Lastly I just had Cory Bronze catfish eggs hatch, extremely tiny, have to use a magnifying glass just to see them LOL. Can they stay in a 1G vase-like container for a while until I can actually see them with the naked eye? Maybe 4-6 teeny ones. I don't want to move them, until I can see them well enough to make sure they won't be caught in the transition.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:37 AM   #7
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Growing sails takes a lot of energy. Food, clean water, space, all go into that. They typically don't start showing until they're several months old, typically around 4-6 months well cared for, though you may notice them starting earlier. Usually by a year of age they should have a good one, but not full grown until around the time they are, but they wont have sails at all, or not good ones, like previously mentioned if you don't find more room. That ten gallon can only hold a handful of newborn mollies for a couple weeks, two or three at most. A handful being ten or less. After that you will have issues with growth and other problems.

henningc I looked those rubbermaid stock things up, they're all well over a hundred dollars, plus you'd need to buy the heaters and filters. May as well find a tank on craigslist of same size, used, everything with it for similar price. lol

I'd suggest going for the pool tank like I did. lol Go for this: Intex Ocean Reef Snapset Pool 56453EP

That can hold something like 350 gallons or so(if I did the math right, rough estimate from pool volume calculator was 376 gallons but that was rounded off). I'll be getting one to upgrade my 73 gallon pool to as soon as I'm able. It's not very expensive. Look into henningc's kiddy pool turned into a fish tank thread. I got my idea from him. With how your mollies are breeding, if you have a larger tank for the adults, yay, you can raise the kids in the pool and leave the smaller tanks open for temp nurseries or birthing areas. Or split the pool off and use part for the adults and part for the kids, certainly large enough. That is, if you have an area for something like this. Most do it outside, I did mine in the basement since we get a lot of wacky weather, and we only get a few months of summer and then it's all freezing.

There are other options, large tubs and stuff, make sure they have enough space, if you can't afford or don't have the space for the other stuff. Those rubbermaid things are good, but there may be cheaper, but still great options if you're gonna be breeding. You will get swamped. I have a 55 gal, two tens and a twenty gallon as well as my 73 gal pool, I am getting swamped STILL. And in so short a time, in the last month I've had over 300 livebearer babies born to me from just five or six females. ^^;
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:38 AM   #8
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Talking Whew, making me want a helper...

Sylver and henningc, I am going to start with a tote container, appx. 30-60 gal. or so. Because I am trying to decide about this type of "tank," and I have a couple others that can be used. I can fill it, check it and cycle it. And figure also about the heater and filters. Since it is a regular container, I know about the appx. size of them. Am using it upstairs, hopefully on a desk/table, so won't have to worry about my back for filling and working with it. (Forget using a floor pool, my back would never stand it).

I can put gravel on bottom, and plants, and I have some media from a filter & water to use quickly for cycling. I don't have the Master API test kit, but do have the API Ammonia/nitrites/nitrates one and some test strips for the rest of it. Should I use a Molly or two for cycling? Will a cluster of babies work? You say I should use fish for the faster cycling, not fish-less. I even have some balloon belly adult Mollies, for heavier bioload, yes?

I will check the thrift shops, and Craigslist. I don't plan to raise fish for selling, but just might need to get some big tanks cheap. Mainly I want to raise some nice ones, and give away the normal ordinary rest.

Am I crazy?!
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:21 PM   #9
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Crazy? No more than most of us. lol Those will work, aren't too pretty, but what you need is a safe, spacious place to raise the kids. Doesn't need to be pretty, just handy. But like I said with my pool...who says I can't try to make it pretty? lol

Just make sure they can hold water and take the stress of holding it for long periods, otherwise you'll have a mess and likely many dead fish.

As fr my floor pool? I just sit and do my work. I suppose I'm used to all the back breaking work, I do everything by hand, including toting water back and forth for hours at a time to clean and fill tanks. lol I filled my pool with a 1-2 gallon pitcher. Though I DID drag a huge tub of about 20 gallons from the second floor to the basement, so two flights of stairs, with pre-cycled water. WHY I did not do it down there...I dunno, brain fart. lol

Before you do this, I suggest you get a large container, fill it with tank water, a bubbler and small sponge filter to keep it cycled to help cycle your...bins faster. If you end up not doing it, you still have some nice pre-cycled, clean water to use in your current fish tanks, especially good in case of emergencies where you need to do a large change. I keep water on hand for that so I can do very large changes if I need to on short notice should I have some problem. Haven't had to in a long time though.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:31 PM   #10
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Cycling my bins... tra la la....

Ok, maybe I am getting a bit zany tonight...!

But I am gathering my bins for the transformation into tanks. It won't be typical, but I will get the largest one that I have and set it up. I have an old filter, and will start it all up to cycle, maybe with a couple of those balloon belly Mollies. I won't be able to see the babies too much unless I find a clear one to start with.

The reason I don't want to use a pool is I hurt my back last fall, and the physical therapy is still ongoing with bending over as the worse thing I can do. Luggin' those water bins is tough, have to do it as 2 gal at a time. Can you see me toting 300 Gallons? nuh uh...

I don't have any idea about how many sailfins I will have, most of the babies are from unknown fathers. And I can't tell if the mothers have a sailfin history. All I know is what will come when the ones I have mated have babies, but that is a month or so at least -- they could have unknown fry first. I hope to see one of those have her babies, then I will rest.

Those tote containers seem pretty strong, they wash up every so often on the beach solid as a rock. So won't worry much about that. Your pool will fail a lot sooner. Have you thought about putting 2 of them inside each other just in case? Hate to imagine the awfulness of them failing on you with a ton of babies...

What happens if the temp of the water is less than 76F, will babies be runty or have growth problems? How does one locate a heater in a tote -- will it be too hot for the plastic? How did you get yours to be upright in the pool -- can you post a close up pix or describe that? Alrighty, enough for today...
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