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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
are there any behavioural indications that a molly is about to give birth? ive got a wee breeding unit for her to go in when shes going to have her babies but i hate the thoguht of her being in there any longer than needed as its obviously not very big. i know a heavily planted tank would be the best way but my tank isnt very planted at all just now and she looks quite big, like she might give birth soon

thanks

- julie x
 

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Mollies nearing labor will often hide among plants and other hiding places. Abdomen should be almost square in shape.

I wouldn't use the breeding unit. Allow her to breed freely. The fry are agile and will be able to escape predation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks. i really didnt like the idea of the breeding unit which was why i asked. shes still quite round them so might have a wee while to go. ill just have to keep a watchful eye on her then and put the fry in with the 10g with the cories who im pretty sure wont eat them when she does give birth cause left in the tank just now i think my pictus catfish would make short work of them. ill also start getting some more plants for any future births. are artificial plants alright for them to hide in or does it have to be real plants?

thanks :)
 

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ive noticed wen my mollies or guppies about to give birth, they r indeed very square on the back end and the anal area kinda sticks out! sounds bizarre, some ppl describe it as a little spike. also neither my guppies or molly stay still b4 birth, they get a little aggitated and swiftly dart around the tank, goin up and down against the glass.
 

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That's what my sowrds and guppies do just before giving birth. They start swimming up and down the glass for no reason and won't pay head to any other fish in the tank.

I don;t know about mollies but my guppies rarely ate the fry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
its not so much the mollies that i worry about, thoguh i hear theat they do eat their fry, its my pictus catfish as hes a fry eating machine apparently. i think she was pregnant when i bought her. shes pretty big but not square and i dont see a spike.

how long do fish remain pregnant for?

it would help to know so i could try and half-guess when she should be ready to give birth

thanks
 

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Usually 28 days.
 

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Female mollies always look a little swollen but seeing mine give birth about 3 times now their bellies do look square and kinda flat on the bottom, it is a noticeable difference. Same with my swordtail too, belly got square and flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for everyones help. well after reading the replies i think she has a wee while to go yet so i have put more plants in the tank so that if she has them theyll have a better chance of surviving. ill keep a close eye on her to see if her behavioour changes nearer the time.

thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well i got home from uni today and went over to put the lights on in my tanks and saw one very tiny little fish. i looked closer and saw a few very tiny fish. i have since fished out all the fry and put them in my cory species tank to save them from becoming pictus dinner and have counted 29 of them :D im delighted!

thanks for your help everyone
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
shes doing fine. swimming about and eating well. the babies are all a kind of blonde colour if that makes snese - not orange but not silvery either which is the colour alice (mummy) is. are they likely all to stay this same colour or do you think some might change a wee bit? maybe some turn out a bit oranger or darker or something. a couple of the babies look darker than the rest but theyre so small and still kinda transparent so i cant tell. i dont really mind what colour they turn out im just interested to know.
 

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I have had 3 batches of fry from 1 mommy molly (who is no longer with me *cry*) and 1 batch from a swordtail. All the molly fry came out half clear on the front with black tails, and later developed into orange/black, and now most of them are almost totally orange. The only swordtail left out of 40 (only 1 made it) was all clear at birth and is now silver in color. I think most of them change color, or develop color as they age, but I am no expert I just love seeing the little guys grow up :D

Glad to hear the mommy is doing ok, hope she makes it thru and has another round someday!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
this morning i woke up to find that 8 of my little babies havent made it. this is day 2 of their lives. i have never bred fish ebfore but my mum breeds dogs and i know that often it is almost expected to loose one in a little now and then. considering the dogs only have about 4 or 5 at a time and i have had 29 as i mentioned im guessing that, sad as it is, this is just to be expected? if not can anyone tell me what im doing wrong? i moved them on thier first day into a different tank so they wouldnt become food but the water parameters are fine - they are in a tank that has been establishged for a long time and the cories in that tank are also doing well. i have been feeding them crushed flake food (crushed until it is pretty much a powder)i am going to get them some baby brime shrimp or see what my lfs recommends today.

also if this is just to be expected, am i likely to loose more? how long do they need to survive until they are "safe"?

thanks
 

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You are expected to lose some, but I'd bet the corys are eating them. That was my case a few months ago. I let them out of the breeding net too soon, so a few were eaten. Out of about 20, 4 made it to maturity. 2 are pictured in my other thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
they arent disapearing , they are just starting to float at the top. even more have died since i came home today and now i only have 7 left!!! i have moved the remaining 7 into a breeding unit and floating it in the tank just in case the cories are eating them but like i said the bodies were floating and didnt look damaged so i dont think thats the case. hopefully these will make it but im not so sure now :(

any ideas anyone so i can try to save the remaining 7???
 

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Well heres what I did when I had fry. Keep them in the breeder thingy for a couple of months. Feed them little and often. Like 3x a day. Also, every day you should shift the breeding net thing to get some water flow through it. Its a little restrictive. Oh, and make sure your temp is between 76 and 80. Thats where my fry seem to be the happiest. Still, the corys *might* be killing them but not going to the top to get them. My cory killed little fish but didn't eat them. But, I believe you if you say hes not killing them.
 

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I have 2 breeder nets and switch the fry out of them every week or so to keep the net clean. I also feed them First Bites food for the first few weeks, then just smash up the flakes a little once they are big enough to eat. You can find the First Bites in just about any store that has fish stuff, its in a little ziplock pouch.

As I said in another post, my molly gave birth 3 times and out of those 3 I have 3 total fry who have survived, 1 from the first round and 2 from the second. And out of 40+ swordtail fry I have 1 left who is still in a breeder net. I know everyone here suggests to let them give live birth in the tank with lots of plants but I have a 90 gallon and didn't have the money to spend to get lots of plants at the time so I just kept them in the nets for about 2-3 months.

You could do everything possible to ensure your fry will live and you will still end up having many die on you, sadly thats what happens. I hope the remaining ones do well...I really would move them into a net though and make sure they are warm enough, I put mine closer to the heater in the winter because it gets realllly cold in my house here at night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
thanks for the replies. i had them only at 74 so that could have been the cause. i have since put the temp up a bit since i put them in the breeder unit but im not hopeful for the now 5 remaining. they just seem to be fading away - getting less and less energetic until eventually they just die. im gutted. i was so excited about having fry and i seem not to have given them a chance of surviving thoguh i dont now why this is.

if theres a next time ill just scoop them into the breeder uni but keep them in the tank that they were born in and see if it makes any difference
 
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