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MsFrosty 03-05-2009 08:47 AM

My Female Turned Into A Male!
I have a little ten gallon tank that has (had) two female mollies and one male. Whenever babies would show up I would transfer them to my 33 gallon to grow up in with the rest of my fish. I don't do much to the ten gallon tank other then water changes once in a while and top the water off. Last week I worked 125 hours at my two jobs, I didn't have much time for my tanks. This morning I noticed my male mating with my already bloated female. (One female is dalmation and the other is jet black, my male is also jet black). When I looked at the two black mollies I noticed they were both males! I KNOW that I had two females, I wanted a better breeding ratio and I didn't want any fights. Can this actually happen?

eileen 03-09-2009 12:40 PM

Takes longer for gender to appear in baby fish
Yes this could happen. I Bought 1 gold dust molly from the pet store and the next day she had 8 babies. They all grew up and lived in my 55. gal. community tank. I rehomed the mom fish and kept 2 of the females and rehomed the rest. After about a little over a month the females turned into males. I read that sometimes it takes awhile for the male fish to develop. So it may appear that all your growing babies are female. It just takes a month or two to know the gender of the fish.

MsFrosty 03-10-2009 11:11 AM

these weren't the babies though, these were full grown adults. it was the mother of the babies that became a male.

eileen 03-10-2009 05:15 PM

That is to strange. I've never heard of a female fish turning into a male. I had both my gold dust mollys as babies. They both looked like female fish. Larger stomach like a female.Then one of them after a couple of months developed the gonopodium like males have. So I thought great now I have a boy and girl. They always hang around each other but did not try to mate. Well after a few weeks the other one developed a gonopodium. So now I have 2 males which is ok because I did not want any more baby fish. They are full grown now at 2". Someone in a fish forum told me that it takes awhile sometime to tell if the fish is male or female. I don't know what to tell you maybe someone else has an explanation.

eileen 03-10-2009 05:28 PM

I remember where I read about the females turning into males. Look on this forum futher down this page on livebearers. Their is a post OK Why Do I Only Have Female Fry And No Males. This person said that it takes 3 months sometimes for the males to develop.

MsFrosty 03-12-2009 07:21 PM

I have had the male (original) for almost a year and the females for about six months and I bought them full grown from the LPS. I looked it up in a aquarium fish for dummies book and they say some livebearers do it but they don't state which ones. Also when I first got the females my male mated with both of them, and the fry that I have are not from my dalmation.

eileen 03-13-2009 06:06 PM

Well you learn something new from the forums. I guess if it's in a book maybe some livebearers do turn into the opposite gender. I do know that some fish in the wild can be either gender. They do this if their is not enough of one gender then the other it's a way to balance and reproduce in nature. Thanks for sharing your information!

tophat665 03-13-2009 08:17 PM

The thing about livebearers is they have 3 sex chromosomes, a W in addition to an X and a Y. I am not entirely sure of the dynamic involved, but in swordtails anyway, you get both early and late blooming males. The early males are the ones that you buy as male at the fish store. They have a slim profile and develop a long sword early. The late males have a female body shape, are larger, and don't tend to develop a sword until they're pushing 3" long. It's entirely possible that mollies work in a similar way (though I know in sailfin mollies, the dynamic is between dominant males that are larger than the females, and sneaker males that are smaller than the females and have shorter fins than the primary males. They mate from ambush.)

eileen 03-17-2009 02:17 PM

I guess I have a late blooming males. I thought for sure that the 2 Gold Dust Mollies that I wanted to keep were females. They developed late even though both were born on the same day. One of them turned into a male. They both had a female body compared to a slender male. The other one about a couple of weeks later turned into a male also They are both 2" now and about 3 months old at the time of developing into a male. I have a big 55 gal. tank that is understocked with community fish. I guess that if you get small Mollies at the local fish store you might not know what you have at first even thought they look like females. This is very interesting topic.l

Oldman47 03-22-2009 12:22 PM

At 3 months old, a molly is not near to being a mature fish. All of my 2 months old molly fry look like females and I am certain that the odds against that being true are close to infinite. At 3 to 4 months of age and a couple of inches of length I expect to be able to sex them but right now at about an inch length they are still too young to tell.

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