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Discussion in 'Board Announcements & Suggestions' started by Jessie J., Dec 29, 2018.

  1. Jessie J.

    Jessie J. Fish Crazy

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    Hi everyone. I am writing a book about mollies, and I have pretty much all the information I need for the regular mollies (not balloon mollies). I am looking for molly raisers to add in quotes or tips on raising these fish, things that not every book has. Please post any interesting facts or information you want to supply with your real name (Generic name example: Barbara Brown). This way I can give you credit and you could possibly be in a book. Please remember that any information used, though credited, will not give you any personal profit.
    Thank you very much.

     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Does the book have information about the different species of molly that are available?
    What about the hybridisation of different species to produce the colour varieties that are currently available?
    You should have a section on balloon mollies and point out they are genetic mutants that were man made and have a shorter body and their internal organs are squished up due to the shorter body. This in turn makes them more susceptible to health issues, especially internal health issues.

    You need to include dietary requirements and make sure they get fed lots of plant matter because they naturally graze on algae throughout the day.

    You need to have a section on water chemistry and what the water is like where the fish originate from.
    And it helps to have some information about basic water quality and the filtration cycle, as well as diseases.

    Have pictures and provide a description of sexing livebearers and how the females carry the developing young around for about 1 month before giving birth to free swimming young.

    Perhaps mention plants in the tank that provide the females with hiding places when giving birth and hiding places for the fry. In my opinion Water Sprite is the best plant of livebearers.

    Without reading the book most people probably won't provide you with quotes that they want printed because the information in the book might be different to what they believe.
     
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  3. Jessie J.

    Jessie J. Fish Crazy

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    Yes, I did add that in on the balloon mollies and I have included ten (and counting) color mutations. Do you want a sample of the book in a rough-draft form (open for editing and expansion)?
     
  4. Jessie J.

    Jessie J. Fish Crazy

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    Here's a sample of my book, this is just a basic outline; more details will be added later and what I have now is just kind of like a skeleton. Also, I am still looking for somewhere I could get pictures for the book as I don't have enough camera space (or good enough camera quality) to shoot all of them myself. Here's the link:
    Microsoft word
     
  5. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    can't see it, don't have and don't want a Microsoft account :)

    Get a new memory card and take some pictures of your fish. Then put them on the computer and keep the good ones and delete the rest.
     
  6. Jessie J.

    Jessie J. Fish Crazy

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mollies, or poecilia sphenops, are some of the best freshwater fish for people just starting out with aquariums. They are colorful, peaceful towards other fish, relatively hardy and easy to care for, and they don’t need that big of an aquarium. Mollies are also livebearers; this means they give birth to live young, making them excellent candidates for the beginner fish-keeper looking to raise baby fish without all the hassle of hatching eggs.

    Appearance and Varieties



    The Different Kinds of Mollies

    There are many different kinds of mollies; different body shapes, colors, patterns, and even different tail types are quite common, and most are readily available at pet stores or from online fish stores. All mollies with different color varieties, patterns, tail and fin types, and body types can interbreed (breed with other mollies with different features or traits).

    Body shape

    There are two main types of mollies; the regular or classic molly, and the balloon or pot-belly molly. A classic molly has a thick, long body and a wide mouth, while the balloon molly has an absurdly large belly and an upward-pointing mouth. Balloon mollies are actually bred for this deformity (that is why they are not naturally found in the wild), and their body is too misshapen to properly fit their organs; it’s not known if this causes the fish everyday physical pain, but this form of molly is looked down upon by many fish-keepers partly due to the fact that affected fish can have mobility issues and are more prone to intestinal and internal problems.

    Colors and Patterns

    Both classic mollies, sailfin mollies, and balloon mollies come in many different colors, including white, silver, black, yellow, calico or marbled, dalmatian, orange, brown, gold, pied, and many more; the most common and some of the most widely available are black mollies and dalmatian mollies.

    Silver- silver mollies appear whitish but with a silvery sheen.

    White- white mollies are all white.

    Black- black mollies have a beautiful matte black coloration, and often have all-black eyes.

    Yellow- this color should not be mistaken for gold, as it can be a creamy yellow or a very light butter yellow, but not a very dark color.

    Gold- an attractive gold color; all-gold fish are very rare, and the gold coloration is usually seen as shiny spots or patches on the heads of mollies.

    Calico or Marbled- a blend of brown, white, black, and sometimes gray arranged in tiny flakes or patches; this color mutation closely resembles the dalmatian molly.

    Dalmatian- this appears as white and black flecks or flakes all over the fish’s body, and sometimes the outer rings of the eyes follow this coloration too.

    Orange- orange is a very attractive color most often seen as dotted lines, stripes, or markings, and is usually accompanied by other colors and patterns such as white or blue spots.

    Red- a deep orangish color usually seen in dotted lines with lighter orange colors. The eyes are red or sometimes dark orange.

    Brown- this is a color that is mostly seen in patches or irregular markings, accompanied by other colors.

    Pied- this is not actually pied coloration, but stripes or markings of black on a light-colored fish; black eyes or one black eye, and black spots on the fins, are common also.

    Tuxedo or Goldust- this color form is very pretty, as the tail-half of the fish is black and the other half is yellow or golden, often with shiny flecks.





    Tail and Fin Types

    Mollies can have different types of tails and fins. A normal molly tail is a horizontal fan shape, made of very thin bones and webbing. But a lyretail has two curved prongs sticking out of the top and bottom of the tail, forming a lyre shape. This strange tail form is popular among other livebearers and is seen in many species of fish. Other fish can also have a sailfin, or a very big dorsal fin.



    Setting Up a Tank for Your New Mollies

    If you don’t already have a tank set up for your new fish, it’s best to get one set up several weeks before you get them; this allows the tank to cycle, or build up a supply of beneficial bacteria that help to keep the tank clean and the water clear. The microscopic beneficial bacteria grow on the gravel, decorations, and even the media of the filter in the aquarium. Tanks that are not properly cycled can have spikes of toxic chemicals from the fish’s waste, and may become cloudy and foul-smelling. This can cause severe stress to the fish. Mollies are known to be very sensitive when moved into a new environment; the slightest stress in a new tank can cause them to die, but after they adjust, they are very hardy and if you have to move them, the experience won’t be as stressful.

    Tank Size

    Mollies can grow up to 2 ½ inches in length, so it’s important they have a properly sized aquarium; fish bowls will not comfortably accommodate them and are not good homes for any fish. A group of three or four mollies should be housed in an aquarium of at least ten gallons, and larger groups of 20-30 mollies should have an aquarium of at least 40 gallons. Sailfin mollies need more space than other varieties due to their long dorsal fins, so they should have an aquarium of at least 20 gallons. If you live in a warm climate where nighttime temperatures never drop under 70 degrees a protected outdoor pond may be a good option; however, larger fish such as koi or goldfish will harm them, and you won’t be able to see their vibrant colors as well as you would if they were in an aquarium.

    Number and Gender

    Mollies like to be around other fish, especially those of their own kind, so they should be housed with at least one other molly for company. They can be housed in large groups, but just remember that for every mixed population with males and females, there will be about twice to three times that amount of fish within less than a year. Groups of just males or just females are good options if you don’t have room or can’t sell the extra fry, or baby fish. Make sure that if you have a mixed population there are at least two females for every one male; males can be aggressive and cause damage if they don’t have enough females.

    Tankmates

    Mollies are generally peaceful, and can be housed with other peaceful fish that are about the same size or a little smaller; guppies, platies, danios, rasboras, and other small fish make good tankmates, and larger algae-eaters such as Corydoras, otocinclus, plecos, and Chinese algae eaters are also good tankmates. However, not all compatible fish favor the same water conditions as mollies; it’s important to research any fish before you get them to make sure they prefer the same tank conditions.

    Fancy guppy

    Endler guppy

    Tetra

    Danio

    Rasbora

    Pleco

    Corydoras

    Otocinclus

    Angelfish

    Cherry barb

    Tiger loach

    Killifish

    Flying fox

    Glass catfish

    Croaking gourami

    Dwarf gourami

    Sparkling gourami

    Rainbowfish

    Kuhli loach

    Rosy barb

    Silver dollar

    Swordtail

    White cloud mountain minnow

    Upside-down catfish

    Betta fish (Siamese fighting fish)



    Mollies also do well with most invertebrates, such as larger shrimp, snails, and clams. Dwarf shrimp such as cherry shrimp are very small and mollies will eat the offspring. Molies may also be kept with dwarf crayfish, but large crayfish will harm them.



    Parameters & water testing

    Parameters are the statistics of the water. There’s pH, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia, and general and carbonate hardness (GH and KH). You will need a master test kit to measure the most important things- pH, nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia.

    Different kinds of tests

    Strip tests are little pieces of paper-like material coated with a special substance that changes colors when put into water. Unfortunately, though they are the easiest to use, strip tests are often wrong and can’t give you firm results every time.



    Liquid tests involve filling a vial with aquarium water and dropping in the testing liquid; it’ll change colors that you can compare to a chart. Liquid tests are some of the most reliable tests.



    Tablet tests are the same as liquid tests, except you put in tablets instead of testing liquid. These take more time than liquid tests but are just as reliable.



    PH

    PH is how hard or soft the water is. Betta fish like a pH of about 7.0. If the pH is too low or too high, the fish will develop problems. Mollies like moderately hard water, which is a PH of 6.5 to 8.0.



    Checking Parameters Often

    You should check all the parameters of your tank at least once a week. If your fish is acting strange or you notice anything out of the ordinary, be sure to check right away, regardless of how long it’s been since the last test; it could be a life-and-death matter for the fish.

    Ammonia spikes

    Ammonia spikes are when large amounts of ammonia fester in the water, appearing very quickly, sometimes over the course of only a few days. These can be deadly to your fish, and cause both plants and animals to die or become severely “burnt” by the ammonia. Ammonia spikes are usually caused when something in the aquarium dies and isn’t taken out- the body begins to decompose and ammonia is produced. Larger tanks may not have ammonia spikes because of this, as the vast volume of water dilutes harmful substances. Tanks that are fairly new and are not cycled may also have spikes when fish or other animals are added, just from the fish’s waste, because there is not enough beneficial bacteria to help it harmlessly decompose. Levels of ammonia in a well-cycled, stable aquarium system should be undetectable or less than 2.0ppm.







    Buying and Bringing Home your Mollies



    Where to Get Your Mollies From

    There are lots of places that sell mollies; but before you make plans to drive out to a pet store and get some, think about your options. Pet stores usually buy mollies and other fish from breeders, who often breed the mollies with other mollies of different colors, patterns, tail types, fin types, and body types; this can result in poor genes or unwanted traits, so if you are getting mollies for breeding a specific variety, pet stores aren’t always best. Even is a fish has no visible traits that you don’t want in your breeding stock, they could be carrying a gene that will be passed onto the next generation. You can buy special molly varieties from certified breeders or from someone who only raises on kind of molly. If you are just getting mollies for pets, or if you don’t mind if they have mixed colors or features, getting them from a pet store can be a good option.



    Quarantine

    Quarantine is the process of putting the fish in a separate tank for a few days before adding them to the aquarium; this will allow you to spot any illnesses the fish might have before you add them to their permanent home, where they could transmit diseases. It may take a few days for If the tank is a species-tank, or a tank with just mollies in it, you can choose not to quarantine as there are no other fish that could be infected; however, some diseases can remain in the water or in the substrate even after the fish are removed so quarantine is the best choice for most people.



    Adding the Mollies to Their New Tank

    When you purchase your fish, they will usually be packaged in a clear plastic bag or a watertight container. You will need to float the container on the surface of the tank water for 15-20 minutes so the water temperature can equalize; this will help to prevent stress. After they have acclimated, pour a small amount of water from the tank into the transport bag. Wait a few more minutes and then put the bag into the water, suspending it so it’s in the water only a few inches. Don’t rush the fish or try to dump them out; let them come out on their own. The mollies may be hesitant at first, but they will go out when they feel comfortable enough to do so. If your tank is new (only fully cycled for a few days), don’t add more than three fish at a time; you can add more later on, when the tank system can handle more fish.

    Feeding and Diet

    Feeding mollies is very straightforward. They are omnivores, and therefore should have a diet of both animal and plant matter; mollies should be fed tropical flakes, along with live foods such as bloodworms, black worms, daphnia, or mosquito larvae every few weeks. It’s important not to overfeed your fish- this can cause digestive problems and constipation. Mollies should be fed two to three times a day, with each feeding spanned as wide as possible form the other; a good schedule is to feed them a small amount of flake food (one or two flakes for each molly) in the morning, then live foods around mid-day, and more flakes in the afternoon or a few hours before you turn the tank lights off.





    Keeping Your Fish Healthy

    Mollies are hardy fish, but they can and often do get sick- it's important to know what diseases your molly is susceptible to and how to diagnose and treat them.



    Breeding Mollies

    At some point while raising mollies, you may decide that you want to breed them; often times the mollies are already pregnant, and you don’t know they are having babies until you see tiny fish in the aquarium. Either way, you will need to make sure you have enough space, time, and resources to properly breed your mollies and successfully raise their fry to adulthood. They reproduce quickly and can double their population in a year- you will need to think about where you are going to keep all the baby mollies until you can find a buyer.



    Breeder Boxes and Fry Boxes

    Breeder boxes are clear plastic boxes that are used for the breeding of mollies and other livebearers, and are then re-used when the female is ready to give birth. These are hung on the side of the main molly tank and are the most economical choice for most people; unfortunately, moving the fish after it’s pregnant can result in a miscarriage, which is why other people prefer breeding tanks.

    Fry boxes are small mesh boxes that hang onto the side of an aquarium just like a breeder box, and they hold the fry so they don’t have to be moved to another aquarium without any fish.

    The Breeding Tank

    If you have more than two mollies, a breeding tank is the first thing you will need to get; a 10-gallon is good for one pair of classic mollies or balloon belly mollies and a 20-gallon is recommended for sailfin mollies. The aquarium should have a good, properly-sized sponge filter in it to keep the water clean; sponge filters have a sponge-covered water intake area and are commonly used for breeding tanks or for tanks with small invertebrates, as they don’t suck up the baby fish. The babies should be removed as soon as the female gives birth, but just to prevent any mishaps, a sponge filter should be used.

    Cycling the Breeding Tank

    Just like any aquarium, the breeding tank must be well-cycled. This will take anywhere from a few weeks to over a month; you can speed up the process by putting a gallon or two of water from the established molly tank into it or putting in a plant from the established tank. This will transfer some beneficial bacteria from the older tank to the new one and help the bacteria grow to a sizable population.

    The Breeding Pair

    You will need one good male and one good female for breeding; some people choose to get a mixed population of mollies and let them breed as often as they like- this method is good if you have only one color or variety of molly, because then they won’t crossbreed, but if you want a special gene or trait, you need to use a breeding tank and have a healthy breeding pair. Both fishes should be in good health with no signs of disease or injuries.

    Sexing Mollies

    When choosing a breeding pair, you will need to be able to sex the mollies, or tell which ones are males and which ones are females; this is very easy with mollies and other livebearers, because they breed via internal fertilization. This means the unfertilized eggs are inside the body of the female molly and must be fertilized somehow- the male has a thin, elongated anal fin called a gonopodium. This is used to transfer the sperm into the female. Males also tend to have larger dorsal fins.

    Choosing Breeding Stock

    Fish for breeding stock should have no physical injuries and should be in very good health before breeding.



    Crossbreeding



    Inbreeding

    Inbreeding is breeding two fish that are from the same parents or from the same family; this usually results in deformities and poor genes. Eventually, cross-breeding is bound to happen if you use the same stock of mollies for breeding, so that Is why many molly-breeders trade some of their stock to other people for fish of the same color to add new blood to the bloodline.

    Genetics





    Breeding the Mollies

    Once you have your breeding pair of mollies and the breeding tank is fully set up and properly cycled, it will be time to introduce the two fish to their new tank. Put them in a thick fish bag or a sandwich bag tied with air inside, and let them acclimate while floating in their bags for about fifteen to twenty minutes so the temperature can equalize. Next, release both fish into the breeding tank. After a few minutes of settling in, the male and female will most likely begin swimming together as they like to have company. The male may nose the female’s belly or under her tail and then they will breed; breeding only takes a few seconds as the male will use his gonopodium to poke the female and transfer the sperm to the eggs. The pair should be kept together for at least a few hours; the male must be removed before the female gives birth, and some people remove the male once the first few services are over.



    Pregnancy

    After the female molly has been successfully mated, she will carry the developing fry for about a month before giving birth. Her belly will become plump and square-shaped. When the female is ready to give birth, she will hover just above the substrate or close to the surface. She may clamp her fins and will stay very still; soon a tiny fry will appear. It will take about a minute for the fry to fully come out- one female will usually have about thirty fries in one pregnancy, but only ten to fifteen ever survive to adulthood. Mollies will often try to eat their newborn young, so as soon as the fry comes out, you will need to scoop them out with a fish net right away and move them to a fry box or a small heated tank with a sponge filter.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I made different adjustments, such as emboldening the words, changing placement, and all kinds of things- but it wouldn't copy them and only copied the text. I also know that the scientific name needs to be corrected.
     
  7. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    The male Molly grows up to 3 inches long (6–7 сm) and the female is about 4 inches large (10 cm) at the age of about 6 months.

    Sailfin Mollies grow to a maximum size of 6 inches (15 cm)

    Mollies do not belong in a 10 gallon tank EVER.

    As Low as 6.5? Really? Mollies like their water so hard you could just about walk on it.

    A few days? try a few weeks.
     
  8. Jessie J.

    Jessie J. Fish Crazy

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    I already said that this is just a rough draft and I still have to make some corrections and add details.
     
  9. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    Well your rough draft should be factual also.

    PS
    It takes years to correctly research, write and publish a book.
     
  10. essjay

    essjay Member

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    The list of tank mates also needs some research. A lot of the fish in the current draft list are soft water fish which would not cope well in the hard water that mollies need.
    And bettas should not be in a community tank regardless of water parameters!
     
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  11. Jessie J.

    Jessie J. Fish Crazy

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    I already said that.
     
  12. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    Not quite correct, 3 mature females could produce enough fry in 1 hatching to critically overstock the tank.

    A female Molly could have as little as 1 fry to 200 depending on her age. The gestation period of a molly fish is around 60 days.

    Mollies reach sexual maturity in about 8 weeks.

    So starting with 3 females and a male in 12 months you could be looking at a few hundred fish easily.

    If they do not favor the same water conditions they cant be called compatible, can they?

    You want to put a fish that grows to about 6 inches (15 centimeters ) in a 20 gallon tank? How many of these fish do you think would fit in a 20g?

    No you can't keep crays and fish in the same tank, unless you want the fish to be cray food.

    You contradict yourself here, Hardy fish do not get sick often.

    Again you contradict yourself, In your list of compatible fish you say Silver Dollars are ok, Yet the Silver Dollar grows to about 10 inches.
     
    #12 NickAu, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  13. Byron

    Byron Member

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    In the spirit of helping, I will point out a few errors/misconceptions I spotted reading the draft.

    Water parameters...the definition is inaccurate. "Water parameters" refers to GH, KH, pH and temperature only (for aquarists). Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate are water conditions unrelated to parameters.

    You mention pH but not GH which is just as critical, more so for many fish. And while pH and GH are related, to say "moderately hard water, which is a PH of 6.5 to 8.0" is not correct. The GH determines hardness, and the pH will be partly determined by this but not exclusively. I have had a basic pH (in the high 7's) in very soft (zero) hardness.

    While I'm on GH/pH, mollies absolutely must have moderately hard or harder water (it really cannot be too high) which means at minimum 10 dGH but this is low, with a pH above 7. I have a published profile of Poecilia sphenops on another site which has this paragraph on water parameters:

    Medium hard to hard (10-30 dGH), basic (pH 7.5 to 8.5), temperature 21-28C/70-82F. This fish cannot survive healthily in soft or acidic water. Many sources recommend brackish water, though in its habitat the fish generally prefers freshwater, and the commercially raised fish have not been raised in brackish water but fresh. The black strain will be healthier at the warmer end of the temperature range, and most sources recommend brackish water, but the real issue is the “hard” minerals like calcium and magnesium, so harder water is better than salt.​

    Mollies are not hardy fish. They are the most sensitive and susceptible to disease of all the common livebearers.
    The common or short-fin molly is a hardy fish in the wild, but generations of tank inbreeding have resulted in fish that are weaker genetically and prone to disease. This fish should never be placed in a new "cycling" tank; it is highly susceptible to any level of ammonia and this will severely weaken its immune system, causing health problems and most likely a shortened lifespan. It is similarly intolerant of nitrates which should be kept very low. This is actually not a good beginner's fish at all, quite the reverse.

    I agree with what other members have suggested on tank size, community fish, etc.
     
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  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    You should have all the known species of molly listed and the sizes for each species.
    eg: Poecilia latipinna grows to 6 inches
    Poecilia velifera, females grow to 6 inches, males about 3-4
    Poecilia sphenops, females grow to 4 inches, males about 3 inches
    I'm not sure on exact sizes but if you check Wikipedia they have all the different species of Poecilia and their sizes.

    With scientific names, the genus (first name) has a capital letter at the start and the species name starts with a lower case letter. Most books will italicise scientific names Poecilia mexicana.

    If you write a number of species in the same genus you can write it like Poecilia formosa, P. obscura, P. picta. Or you can write it as Poecilia formosa, obscura & picta. However, most scientists prefer Poecilia formosa, P. obscura, P. picta.

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    Most livebearers where hybridised many years ago to produce more colourful fish, and this includes mollies. The four species that were originally used include Poecilia latipinna, velifera, formosa & sphenops. Other species might have been used as well. They have been heavily inbred over the years and wild caught fish have been collected and bred with captive populations to improve bloodlines and the overall health of the captive stock.

    ----------------------
    Wild livebearers tend to live in groups of 10-50 females with a few males hanging around. The females have a pecking order and are ruled by a big female and a group of females that back her up. Smaller females are kept lower down the pecking order by bullying from the bigger females.

    Males are generally ignored by the big females except when breeding. Males impregnate the females with a small number of sperm packets during each mating. The females can carry the sperm packets for up to 6 months and use 1 sperm packet for each batch of eggs. Once a female has been with a male for more than a day, she will usually have 5 or 6 sperm packets inside her body and she will use them to fertilise the eggs when conditions are favourable.

    If sexually mature female livebearers have been in an aquarium with a male, the females will be carrying sperm packets, so if people buy females from a mixed tank at the local pet shop, they will probably be pregnant when they are purchased. So buying a male and female is not always necessary.

    The eggs develop and hatch inside the female and the babies spend a couple of weeks growing inside their mother before being born. The gestation period is about 1 month from the time the eggs are fertilised to the time the babies are born. The new born fry normally swim to the surface and hide among floating plants. Water Sprite is the best plant for livebearers because it has lots of leaves and branches, as well as a decent root system that provides plenty of hiding places for the mothers and fry.

    Fry should be fed a variety of micro foods and do well on powdered fry foods that float on the surface, and newly hatched brineshrimp. You can add a paragraph or two on hatching brineshrimp eggs to provide more info.

    Make sure the fry tank has an established air operated sponge filter to keep the water clean and stop the fry from being sucked up. Do regular partial water changes on the rearing tank using dechlorinated water.

    Never handle baby fish with nets. If you have to transfer them out, use a small plastic container and scoop them out with some water. Baby livebearers should not be handled with a net until they are at least 1 month old. Baby egg layers should not be handled with a net until they are 2 months old. Rough handling can damage the baby fish.

    Never use a net to lift heavily pregnant female livebearers out of the water because the pressure of being out of the water can cause them to give birth prematurely. If you have to move pregnant females, catch them in a net and put a bucket in the aquarium and lift it up under the net. Then lift the fish out in the bucket of water. Try to keep the pregnant females in water at all times.

    Female livebearers do not normally eat their young if they are well fed and have lots of plants to hide in when giving birth. Most issues involving females eating their young is when the females are put in breeding nets where they get stressed out and eat the babies as soon as they are born. If the females are in a decent sized tank with lots of plants, they feel safe and secure and rarely touch their young.

    Do not put pregnant fish in breeding nets or traps because it stresses them out. However, you can put the fry into a breeding net to keep them separate from the other fish. Don't waste your time with the plastic breeding traps, they are too small to be useful.

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    If you buy fish from a petshop, they will probably be related, especially if you buy the same colour variety. If you want to breed those colour forms then that is fine but if you want to mix n match colours then buying different coloured males and females will give you more chance of getting unrelated fish.

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    There's no need to set up a special breeding tank for them because they breed in a community tank. If you want to specifically breed certain colours then you need to get virgin females (young fish you breed that are kept away from males) or keep the mothers separate from the males for 6 months or so until they have used all the sperm packets they are carrying. Then put them in a tank with the male you are using.

    Young females sometimes die during their first pregnancy (when giving birth) but if they don't have any problems they are normally fine after that. Young females produce smaller batches of young and will usually drop a batch every month, whereas older females have larger batches and might produce them once every couple of months.

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    Sexing the four common livebearers (mollies, guppies, swordtails & platies) is easy. Males have a long thin anal (bottom) fin called a gonopodium. Females have a fan or triangular shaped anal fin. Males usually have a larger dorsal (top) fin and in P. sphenops (I think it is) the top edge of the male's dorsal fin has a yellow edge.

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    change after to while
    moving the fish while it's pregnant can result in a miscarriage

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    They should have algae in their tank to graze on during the day. You can encourage algae to grow by leaving the tank light on for a bit longer or you can put rocks, driftwood or plastic ornaments in a bucket of water outside in the sunlight. Algae will grow on these items and they can be moved into the tank for the fish to graze on.

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    If you are going to quarantine fish it should be for at least 1 week and preferably 4 weeks. Most diseases will appear within a week of the fish going into a new tank but things like whitespot can take a week or more before they have built up in enough numbers to show up on the fish, especially if only 1 or 2 parasites were introduced into the aquarium with the new fish.

    If you do quarantine them for a month you can deworm them and treat them for gill flukes before they get added to the main display tank. Intestinal worms and gill flukes need to be treated once a week for 3 or 4 weeks so all the eggs have time to hatch and the baby and adult worms/ flukes are killed. If you only do one treatment then eggs in the fish can hatch and reinfect the fish and all the other fishes in the tank.

    Gill flukes and intestinal worms are regularly found in livebearers.

    Protozoan infections (Costia, Chilodonella & Trichodina) are commonly found on them too. These cause the fish to rub on objects and the fish will develop cream, white or grey patches on their body.

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    This needs to be rewritten.

    Livebearers naturally occur in water with a pH above 7.0 and a general hardness (GH) above 200ppm. Mollies need a GH over 250ppm to do well. Some livebearers naturally occur in brackish water, which is water with some sodium chloride (salt) in it.

    If water has lots of minerals in it is considered hard water. If water has no minerals or a low mineral content, it is considered soft water. Pure rain water is distilled water and has a pH of 7.0 and no minerals, and is considered very soft. Sea water has a pH of about 8.4 and has lots of minerals in it, and is considered very hard.

    The minerals that are dissolved in the water can affect the pH. If there is lots of calcium in the water the pH will usually go above 7.0. If there are no minerals in the water the pH will start out at 7.0 but as things break down in the water, the acids and carbon dioxide produced by things decomposing in the water will cause the pH to drop below 7.0.

    Some minerals like calcium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) will cause the pH to increase to very high levels. Sodium bicarbonate can raise the pH to 9.0+.

    To make things more complicated, you can have hard water with a pH below 7.0, and you can have soft water with a pH above 7.0. It all depends on what is in the water. But normally, hard water will have a pH above 7.0 and soft water will have a pH below 7.0.

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    When you write the different tests, try to put them in the order they occur in. eg: ammonia, nitrite, nitrate.

    When you write general hardness (GH) and carbonate hardness (KH) put the GH and KH after each type of hardness so people know which is which.

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    Remove danios and rasboras from this because they need different water chemistry to mollies. Mollies are peaceful and will get along with these fish but one group of fish won't be happy if kept together. The water might be too soft for the mollies or too hard for the rasboras and danios.

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    The curved prongs are elongated fin rays. It's another mutation that has been exaggerated by inbreeding.

    I'm sure there's more I can pick at but that should cover you for a bit.
     
    #14 Colin_T, Dec 31, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018

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