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Nova4Scotia 06-08-2008 11:56 PM

Balloon Guppy Pregnant?!
I had recently gotten a new tank, and decided to make it a community tank. I got a lot of help from Petsmart where I had bought the fish. I have two dalmatian colored mollies, I'm pretty sure they are males, and 1 Balloon Guppy. When I bought the balloon guppy it was round like the others, but now it has become very large. I can't see if there is a gravid spot due to the fact that it is almost all black with the occasional white specks.. It moves slowly and sits in the back until it's feeding time.. Then it goes crazy and eats and goes back to its corner..

Any help please?

I will try to get a photo up here soon

bettababy 06-09-2008 02:19 AM

Balloon guppy? Something doesn't sound right. Most guppies with full color also have a full tail (caudal fin) which is also colored... and that would be a male guppy. The hiding part sounds as if it's being intimidated by the other fish, or not feeling well.

A photo will help a lot in identifying the fish and any problems it may be having. I honestly have never heard anything termed "balloon guppy" before. Are you sure this isn't a male fancy guppy with bloating problems or internal parasite problems?

bettaboy 06-09-2008 09:11 AM

Or could be a female guppy that was pregnant at time of purchase.

stephenmontero 06-09-2008 12:09 PM

you said black with little white spots randomly on the body?? if thats the case u need to treat the whole tank for Ich but again a pic will help out a lot here

Nova4Scotia 06-09-2008 12:56 PM

Oops, it was extremely late at night when I posted this, I was meaning Balloon Molly :(

bettababy 06-09-2008 01:13 PM

Ok, that makes a lot more sense, especially if you are keeping 1 female with 2 males. Your ratio for livebearing fish is opposite what it should be. I would strongly suggest either adding more females (if the tank size allows for it) or in trading a male for another female. The proper ratio for those kinds of fish are 2 or more females for each male.

2 male livebearers with 1 female is deadly. Their favorite thing to do is breed. With both males trying to mate with her constantly, it will exhaust her to death, and force her into hiding as you are describing.

Another thing that will help some will be to add a lot more plants and decorations. The more places in the tank she can find to hide from them, the more she'll be able to move around without being constantly harrassed.

Nova4Scotia 06-09-2008 01:23 PM

There is a lot of plants in there, along with driftwood. The males haven't touched her though, and they keep away from the other fish and swim through the driftwood and into the filter's current. My balloon molly is very demanding for food, but I feel like I feed them too much.

As for the ratio, I am going to Petsmart today, so I will definetly pick up some female mollies, especially since I know how they look now.

Now I'm not really sure on if she is pregnant or not though.. She hides most of the day, but she is usually eating algae off the driftwood.. Is this common? She is the only one in the tank to do it.

bettababy 06-09-2008 02:09 PM

Yes, the eating of algae is very common among mollys.

One thing to remember is that you aren't watching that tank 24/7. If you were to put a video camera on that tank and let it run 24/7 I think you would be surprised at the differences in your fish's behaviors.

There are a number of other possibilities here, but mostly it involves her being the only female with 2 males. That is never a good situation.
It is also possible your female is preparing to give birth. They tend to isolate themselves soon before it happens to help ensure the survival of some of their young.

As for knowing if she's pregnant or not for sure, there is no way to know except to wait it out. A female molly can have 30+ fry every 30 days. Because they have the ability to retain sperm in the body, if they mate with 3 or 4 different males, they can produce 3 - 4 spawns of 30+ fry each without having to mate again. Any female coming from a store tank holding both male and female has to be presumed to be pregnant. It is because of these breeding habits that it takes me 6 - 7 months to condition my female mollys for breeding, to be sure that the fry I am getting are from the male and female I have paired.

How big is your tank? Tank size and shape can also sometimes play a part in how males/females interact. The amount of decoration is important, but where its placed is also important. I will post a photo here for you of a properly decorated livebearing planted tank as an example. Take a look at the pic, then go back and take a look at your tank... considering the contents are different, are the same areas covered and just as heavily? What is a lot to one person may not be much of anything to another. I have found that out over the years first hand. When I refer to a large tank, that means anything over 120 gallons. Some people call a 30 gallon tank large.

The addition of more females should help, and clear photos of her and the tank will also help for us to see the situation first hand. Some things are more obvious to certain people based on past experience, and sometimes a photo can say everything.

Nova4Scotia 06-09-2008 08:29 PM

Whew, I was worried it might make my molly sick!

My tank is 12 gallons, and is rectangular shape. The driftwood occupies the back left side, and there are two large rocks on both sides. There is 1 fake broadleaved plant and 3 living broadleaved plants, they are very small as they are coming from another aquarium's runners.

I went to the local Petco, and bought an additional 3 female guppies. The Petsmart I went to didn't divide between male and females. So I could most definetly had either male or female.

I will try to get a clear photo of her tonight, Thanks again!

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