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I got 3 balloon mollies (2 female, 1 male) just over a week ago and my one female looks noticeably fatter than the rest. She is showing some signs of pregnancy but she would be my first pregnant fish and I just want to make sure..

Also the only other tank that I can set up is a 5 gallon. I have a 10-20 gallon filter... is that too strong for the fry if she does end up being pregnant?? Also someone told me to wrap a net around the filter instead of having to buy a sponge filter.. is that an okay idea?

Please take a look at the photos and help me decide if she is pregnant or not. If she is, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

She is the yellow one with speckles. In the first photo, she is with the male.

Also how long does it look like until she has her fry? (if she is pregnant)
 

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First, the gold speackled fish has finrot and likely Drosey. Look at the fish from topdown and see if the scales are pertruding like a pinecone. If they are she is deathly ill and should be put down before the entire tank gets it. As for the finrot watch the rest of the fish once she is removed.

Ok, here is the cost of the diagonsis: Ballon Mollys are a hidious physical mutation caused 100% by bad inbreeding. These fish are NEVER normal or healthy to any extent and should not be baught, sold or breed. This is the sad reality of anythig to make a buck and you contributed to the cause. For anyone reading this, wake up!
 

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She does not have fin rot it is just the blurry photo, i assure you. Also, she does not have dropsy, her scales are fine and no symptoms. I did not realize that they are a mutation and therefore i will not buy them again, but i am not killing a perfectly happy fish
 

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I didn't mean to come off so harsh and apologize. I hope all is goig better for the fish. Again, did not mean to offend.
 

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Many fish in the aquarium trade are bred for specific qualities... Even though we don''t agree with many, we certainly can't tell people not to keep them. :) Do you have a similar stance to long finned varieties of fish, or mutations in colouration? How about double tailed goldfish? Hybrids? My point is that what one may find interesting and pretty, another may see as cruel.

IMO, I've always loved balloon fish and find them pretty cute. However, they often come hand in hand with complications due to their deformity and often not as hardy, which they can get sick easily. I personally would give them the best possible care by upgrading to a larger tank for them to enjoy, 5g tanks aren't suitable for most fish - especially largish and active fish like mollies. They will have a better quality of life, and really do enjoy a bit of swimming space - and room for more mollies (like more females) or other fish species... If possible, try sourcing balloon mollies that don't have such a compressed form, the "longer" and less "balloon" they look, the less likely they will suffer from complications due to deformity.

(If you like the fish and they fine, I personally don't see anything wrong with keeping them TBH. I enjoy that fishkeeping there's many ways to keep fish, and that everyone has to have an open mind regarding varieties and species. Shaming does not help IMO chenning, and your diagnosis isn't very helpful regarding the OP's question. I personally know little about livebearers as they don't interest me as much as other species, but it does look like so. Balloons themselves are hard to tell, and a good general rule when buying live bearing females is to assume that they can have babies when first brought. A good sign that she is indeed pregnant and healthy, have you observed any poo?)
 

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Cool, at least she made it through to drop fry. That is another issue with Ballons. Just for the record, some mutations such as long fins and color varieties don't cause any real ill effects to the fish in captivity. I also take issues with some of the Black Sword lines as they look great but the black trait is a precurser to melanoma cancer and if they live long enough you know what happens. I realize the B. Mollys are populor but most don't realize the impact on the fish.

For the mollys I'd use a 15 gal -20L. I raise some mollys outside in the summer and routiely produce most fish in the 3"- 3 1/2" size. Swords, Platys and mollys baught in LFS are never the appropriate size. One of my Marigold Wag Sword females gave birth to over 70 fry last summer. She is almost 4" I've had folks ask about my Giant Sword tail and molly strains. Most hobby folks have never seen these fish get their true size. My point is, the majority of Big Box and LFS fish purchasers have no idea what the fish should look like and what went into strain development. The photo is the result of line breeding for color I've been working on. My goal is to produce RTB Variatus with the same colors in the first photo. Fish farms i Florida have breed this regal fish into the ground. Most have yellow, instead of orange or red and pale yellow fins.
 

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mutations such as long fins and color varieties don't cause any real ill effects to the fish in captivity...
Have you seen some of the long finned fish that breeders produce lately? With so much finnage, they seriously struggle just to swim due to the increased drag... Even colour varieties can cause problems, like the sword tails that you mentioned... What about the "black betta"? If two black bettas spawn, a large number of the resulting fry will die.
IMO, most varieties/mutations (whatever you call it) is just to make a profit and for many, improve the aesthetics of the fish.

But congrats on the resulting fry, I hope they are well!
 
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Thanks. They all seem to be healthy except the "runt" of the litter i assume died. There was one that was still not fully grown when it was birthed and was the last one to swim and was noticeably the weakest or for a lack of better words, the runt. It seemed to be normal and healthy after a few days. One of them magically disappeared from the tank and i assume that it was the runt and it died but i honestly have no clue what could have happened. Everyone else is eating regularly and swimming and showing all the signs of growth and health.

Just to make sure that i am doing this right, i read somewhere that they are supposed to eat 8 times a day but i only feed them twice because i couldnt find anywhere if that was right or not and it just seemed like too much. I feed them normal flakes but i set the opening to the smallest setting so its essentially just crumbs or little pieces that come out. I also feed them frozen bine shrimp, which they absolutely love. They are savages with the bine shrimp its so cute. I only give them a little since they cant eat the full thing, they just eat everything except for what looks like the skeleton of the bine shrimp since they cant fit that in their mouths yet.

Any other advice and tips would be great thanks. :)
 

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For fry Golden Pearls 100-300 microns just before feeding each time. These pack a punch and will fuel quick growth. Also, they need veggies as that is their primary food in the wild. I'd just buy a bag of froozen green peas, blanch a few cut them in 1/2 and put them in the fridge. Once a day cut one in 1/2, squeeze the outer shell off, squish and toss in. They will pick at it and eat on it all day. If you do that in the a.m. then siphone any leftovers in the p.m. After 1-2 feedings of peas it is highly unlikely there will be anymore leftovers. You may also increase water changes, I'd go with 10%-15% every two days. It stimulated growth and feeding in the adults and fry.
 

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I personally would up the feedings to 3 - 4 times a day; depending on your daily schedule. Raising fry is different from adult fish, fry require regular but small feedings. This can be supplemented through film in the tank - like dried oak leaves, they will grow bacteria that the fish can snack on - and plants... Even floating plants with trailing roots can offer a quick snack as well. :)

But it sounds like your doing everything right, raising livebearers is quite straightforward once you get into the swing of things.
 
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Thanks. They all seem to be healthy except the "runt" of the litter i assume died. There was one that was still not fully grown when it was birthed and was the last one to swim and was noticeably the weakest or for a lack of better words, the runt. It seemed to be normal and healthy after a few days. One of them magically disappeared from the tank and i assume that it was the runt and it died but i honestly have no clue what could have happened. Everyone else is eating regularly and swimming and showing all the signs of growth and health.

Just to make sure that i am doing this right, i read somewhere that they are supposed to eat 8 times a day but i only feed them twice because i couldnt find anywhere if that was right or not and it just seemed like too much. I feed them normal flakes but i set the opening to the smallest setting so its essentially just crumbs or little pieces that come out. I also feed them frozen bine shrimp, which they absolutely love. They are savages with the bine shrimp its so cute. I only give them a little since they cant eat the full thing, they just eat everything except for what looks like the skeleton of the bine shrimp since they cant fit that in their mouths yet.

Any other advice and tips would be great thanks. :)


UPDATE: I was cleaning their tank and i think the 9th one that i thought died was stuck inside an ornament somehow because i lifted it up and then moved it and when i was done i counted and suddenly there were 9!! hes noticeably smaller than the others i guess cause he was in darkness with not much food :crying: I put a new ornament in that isnt hollow on the inside and its much smaller and they are all happy picking off the bacteria or algae or whatever is left on it from my other tank. They all seem happy now :grin2:
 
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