2 pregnant mollies

Jackee

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Hi everyone! In your own experience, what is the longest your mollies were pregnant before they actually gave birth? Second, have your mollies more often given birth during the day, at night, or about 50/50. Please, I am not looking for generic, rule-of-thumb info. I’ve read all of that, lots of times. I’m looking for other people’s actual experience, not by-the-book info. I have 2 mature black mollies that I purchased when they were pregnant. When I bought them they already looked so pregnant and boxy that I literally thought they might drop their fry in the bag before I got them home from the pet shop! I’ve had them now AT LEAST 3 weeks, I’m guessing. They have been showing signs of labor off and on for probably the last 2 weeks (‘yawning’ where they look like they’re gagging and overextend/stretch out their mouth, hovering very still, chasing the other away, anal area looks VERY ready for babies) but still no babies!! They still swim around between periods of hovering, are still eating...what the heck!? I put a divider in the breeder tank they’re in so they can leave each other alone, hoping they will feel more relaxed and secure. Have any of you have a similar experience where it just seemed to take FOREVER, but eventually the babies WERE born and healthy?

Disclaimer: With all due respect, I am not looking for unsolicited advice or lectures on general fish care or other general information.
 
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Deanasue

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If it wasn’t for their bellies, I’d never know if they were getting close to delivery. Once they squared off, it was a matter of days. They usually were pregnant about 21-28 days. I never saw them give birth. I always just found babies in the tank. Only sign I got was that the female would hide more in the corner or under a plant before delivering. Are you sure the females are pregnant and not just fat?
 

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Livebearers like guppies, mollies, swordtails & platies are regularly infected with gill flukes and intestinal worms. Fish can look fat, like they are pregnant, but they don't give birth. Several months later you have fat females and no babies. This is very common in livebearers that are heavily infested with intestinal worms.

You can use Praziquantel to treat tapeworm and gill flukes. And Levamisole to treat thread/ round worms.

Remove carbon from filters before treatment and increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.

You treat the fish once a week for 3-4 weeks. The first treatment will kill any worms in the fish. The second and third treatments kill any baby worms that hatch from eggs inside the fish's digestive tract.

Do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean 24-48 hours after treatment.

Treat every fish tank in the house at the same time.

Do not use the 2 medications together. If you want to treat both medications in a short space of time, use Praziquantel on day one. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate on day 2 & 3. Treat the tank with Levamisole on day 4 and do a 75% water change and gravel clean on day 5, 6 & 7 and then start with Praziquantel again on day 8.

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The gestation period is 4 weeks/ 1 month. If the fish have been fat for a couple of months and haven't given birth, then they aren't pregnant.

Make sure the tank has lots of plants for the females and babies to hide in.

Try not to move pregnant females and don't confine them to a small enclosure.

They can go into labour any time, day or night.
 
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Jackee

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I found a baby!! I knew they were so close! Woo hoo!!
 
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Jackee

Jackee

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Livebearers like guppies, mollies, swordtails & platies are regularly infected with gill flukes and intestinal worms. Fish can look fat, like they are pregnant, but they don't give birth. Several months later you have fat females and no babies. This is very common in livebearers that are heavily infested with intestinal worms.

You can use Praziquantel to treat tapeworm and gill flukes. And Levamisole to treat thread/ round worms.

Remove carbon from filters before treatment and increase aeration/ surface turbulence to maximise oxygen levels in the water.

You treat the fish once a week for 3-4 weeks. The first treatment will kill any worms in the fish. The second and third treatments kill any baby worms that hatch from eggs inside the fish's digestive tract.

Do a 75% water change and complete gravel clean 24-48 hours after treatment.

Treat every fish tank in the house at the same time.

Do not use the 2 medications together. If you want to treat both medications in a short space of time, use Praziquantel on day one. Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate on day 2 & 3. Treat the tank with Levamisole on day 4 and do a 75% water change and gravel clean on day 5, 6 & 7 and then start with Praziquantel again on day 8.

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The gestation period is 4 weeks/ 1 month. If the fish have been fat for a couple of months and haven't given birth, then they aren't pregnant.

Make sure the tank has lots of plants for the females and babies to hide in.

Try not to move pregnant females and don't confine them to a small enclosure.

They can go into labour any time, day or night.
They don’t have parasites, they are pregnant, and at least one is giving birth right now bc I have a fry in my tank!
 

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Exciting! Congrats.
 
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Jackee

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Exciting! Congrats.
Thanks! The only problem is ...her labor has stalled. We only have 4 babies total so far and she is still super pregnant...She is in the breeding tank with another pregnant molly who is also in labor (I know this based on behavior and also the light gray area that develops where the babies actually come out of is very prominent in BOTH of them). I'm not sure if the two of them being in there together is stressing them both out but I cant separate them b/c my only options would be put one in the community tank with other fish (which I think would be even more stressful...) or put one of them in a fish bowl with no heater and no filter (I can't bring myself to do that :( ...) So....I'm just waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. One of the mama's is a bit of a bully and will dart at the other mama randomly (which I know sure would stress ME out while in labor!) I am keeping their tank about 80% covered with a small towel to keep the light low but still...no new babies :( I hope the rest of the babies are okay in her little fishy belly....
 

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Did you move the female while she was in labour or before she started giving birth?

If you move heavily pregnant females you stress them and can harm the babies.
If you move the females into a small tank it will stress them.
If you move them into a tank without lots of plants, it will stress them.

If you have to move heavily pregnant fish or fish that have given birth in the last week, you should carefully catch them in a net and keep them in the water. Put a plastic container in the aquarium and scoop up the net and fish in the container of water and lift the whole lot up together. Keep the fish in water at all times. Move the fish to another tank with exactly the same water chemistry and carefully pour her into the new tank.

Make sure there are lots of plants (real or plastic) in the tank so the females feel secure and the babies have somewhere to hide.

Make sure the water quality is good.
 
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Jackee

Jackee

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Did you move the female while she was in labour or before she started giving birth?

If you move heavily pregnant females you stress them and can harm the babies.
If you move the females into a small tank it will stress them.
If you move them into a tank without lots of plants, it will stress them.

If you have to move heavily pregnant fish or fish that have given birth in the last week, you should carefully catch them in a net and keep them in the water. Put a plastic container in the aquarium and scoop up the net and fish in the container of water and lift the whole lot up together. Keep the fish in water at all times. Move the fish to another tank with exactly the same water chemistry and carefully pour her into the new tank.

Make sure there are lots of plants (real or plastic) in the tank so the females feel secure and the babies have somewhere to hide.

Make sure the water quality is good.
Hi, no I didn't move them at all. They had been in the same tank at least 3-4 weeks prior to going into labor. They are still in the same tank. There are plenty of hiding/safe spots.
 

Colin_T

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Make sure the water is clean and keep them calm. Check the temperature and make sure it is above 24C.
They will give birth when they can :)
 
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Jackee

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Make sure the water is clean and keep them calm. Check the temperature and make sure it is above 24C.
They will give birth when they can :)
Thank you :) I actually did a pretty decent water change yesterday as soon as I got home from work. I have been putting off vacuuming the gravel and disturbing the tank much to not stress them out but I was becoming concerned about the cleanliness of the water. I didn't even want to do a water change for fear of stressing them...but it had to be done, so I just did it. Just a water change, not vacuuming the gravel. It's killing me to not vacuum the gravel!! LOL The parameters are fine, so no issues with ammonia, pH, etc. thankfully (somehow). It's just that I know there is a ton of nasty debris down in that gravel! It's the debris that I have been worried will throw off the parameters. I also ordered more bushy plants to put in their tank. There are plants and hiding spots, but not as many as in our community tank bc this tank was meant to be temporary since it's the breeding tank. Hopefully the bushier plants will help them feel more safe, and the one mama that is getting darted at by the other mama will maybe feel safer. I'm also trying to stay away from the tank in general aside from feedings- it's so hard to not sit and watch for hours (literally!), waiting for a baby to come out! :D In all honestly though, I'm pretty much convinced that whenever they do finally have the rest of their babies, they will all be dead :( Oh, and the temp is 78/79 F.
 

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They don’t have parasites, they are pregnant, and at least one is giving birth right now bc I have a fry in my tank!
My molly gave birth which we brought pregnant, she must of gave birth at night when we were sleeping as in the morning the tank was covered in poo and only 4 fry left!

Most of the time only 10% Of fry survive so chances are the Molly 40 babies. The 4 I have in a floating tank and now over a week old and nearly tripled in size!! Make sure you keep feeding them so they grow!
 

Colin_T

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You need to gravel clean the substrate every time you do a water change. If you do water changes and gravel cleans every week or even several times a week, the fish will get use to them and won't be stressed when you do it.

If you don't gravel clean the substrate, you risk the fish getting protozoan or bacterial infections and dying.

Don't stay away from the tank either. Fish tame down much quicker when people and animals are moving around the aquarium all the time. Fish become shy and nervous when people don't go near their tank. The best place for an aquarium is in the lounge room where people walk past it all the time.
 
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Jackee

Jackee

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You need to gravel clean the substrate every time you do a water change. If you do water changes and gravel cleans every week or even several times a week, the fish will get use to them and won't be stressed when you do it.

If you don't gravel clean the substrate, you risk the fish getting protozoan or bacterial infections and dying.

Don't stay away from the tank either. Fish tame down much quicker when people and animals are moving around the aquarium all the time. Fish become shy and nervous when people don't go near their tank. The best place for an aquarium is in the lounge room where people walk past it all the time.

I ALWAYS vacuum the gravel with water changes; this is an exception for me. I am not going to do this while the fish are in labor and they are already clearly stressed since they have been holding their fry in for a very long time. They are likely not yet used to the siphon/gravel cleanings and I do not feel that now is the time to expose them to the stress to 'get them used to it'. Also, my tanks are in my living room and we are a family of 5, so we are always *near* the tank. What I am saying is, that I am no longer going to literally pull a chair up to the tank and have my face be 2 inches from the glass, just staring at them, waiting for babies. You said previously to not stress them, keep them calm, and do not move them (which I was already aware of anyway....). now you are saying that submerging a siphon and disrupting the entire tank is okay? Seems contradictory. Sorry, I respectfully disagree.
 
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Jackee

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If it wasn’t for their bellies, I’d never know if they were getting close to delivery. Once they squared off, it was a matter of days. They usually were pregnant about 21-28 days. I never saw them give birth. I always just found babies in the tank. Only sign I got was that the female would hide more in the corner or under a plant before delivering. Are you sure the females are pregnant and not just fat?

Hi! Yes, definitely pregnant. We have 4 fry, but labor has stalled since my original post.
 
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