Any Of These Mollies Squared Off Yet?

adizzle620

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Hi there guys! I've had these mollies for a little while, and I'm just wondering. Do any of them look like they're squared off? I don't have a lot of hiding places in my tank yet, so I wouln't feel comfortable just letting nature take its course. AND, I have black gravel :/. I have a netted breeder box--waiting for the clear plastic one with slots in it to come in.
 
Here's some pictures!
 

 
 
 

Mamashack

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They don't look squared off to me.
You can't raise fry in a plastic breeder box as the water quality would be very poor since the tank water wouldn't be exchanging with the box water.
For my money you'd be better spending the next week or so getting some plants even if they are fake for the fry to hide in and it would also be less stressful for the mums not to be chased by a net to get them in the box. 
 

the_lock_man

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I agree with the lovely Mamashack, they don't look particularly squared off to me either.
 
Now, about this whole "breeding" & "letting nature takes its course" thing.
 
Livebearers have loads of fry for a reason. They take zero interest in rearing their offspring, and its often the parents that eat their own fry. Therefore, they produce loads (circa 30 each month or so), so that some will survive.
 
Mammals, on the other hand, take a huge interest in rearing their offspring, they nuture until the young are able to care for themselves. But then you know that, you are a mammal yourself.
 
The issues come when we mammals project our mammalian instincts onto a different class of species, in this case fish. Sometimes, we try our hardest to ensure that every fry survives, because we don't like to think of a baby animal dying. So, we ensure that they don't die. Which gives us 30 new fish. But then, a month later, another 30 fry are produced. Well, we've got to ensure that they all survive, too, don't we? So then we have 60 fish. And then, another month along the line, another 30 fry are produced , so we have 90.
 
Hold on a mo! You've got two females. So actually, in 3 months, we have 180 fish. And in 4 months, we've got 240 fish.
 
It's only at 4 months that you can start to think about rehoming them - people want to buy mature fish, and any LFS who agree to take them won't be able to sell fry, so they will only take them at about 4 months.
 
Let's be generous, and assume that you have an LFS who will take your sub-adult fish off your hands on a regular basis, you still need to have the spare tank space to house 240 fish, and the time to care for them properly.
 
OK, now let's consider what happens if you can't rehome all of those 4 month old sub-adults. They are starting to reach reproductive maturity too. So instead of 2 females, you've suddenly got maybe another 15 (ie half of the first batch of fry). So instead of 60 fry every month, you are going to be looking at something in the region of 500 fry every month. And then next month, another 15 females reach maturity, so that's pushing 1000 fry every month, and so on.
 
Can you cope with that?
 
Ultimately, it's your decision how you maintain your tank. Clearly, there are other options, the main one being to get a few hiding places into the tank, in the form of plants. That way, a few of the strongest, bravest, fittest fry will survive to maturity. Remember, it's not "cruel" to allow fry to be eaten, it's what has happened every day in the wild for several million years, far longer than humans, or even mammals as a whole, have existed.
 
Good luck!
 

Mamashack

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It is exciting when they have their first batch of fry and maybe even their 2nd, 3rd and 4th, but I can confirm that LFS are not really interested in taking juveniles off your hands. I have platies which are also live-bearers and let nature take its course. After a few months I had too many fry for a 60L tank even tho only a maximum of 5-6 survived each batch, sometimes it was only 1 or a couple. My LFS only took half a dozen on a couple of occasions at 4 months because I was desperate and they didn't give me anything for them. I didn't want anything anyway, but they won't always take something that isn't from a bone fide breeder. 
I hope you enjoy your fry, but unless you can afford and have the space for a new tank every month, it may be best to let the parents cull a few of the slower ones which is what they'd do in nature. The faster ones will be able to hide and will live of micro-organisms in the tank.
 

DeanoL83

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the_lock_man and mamashack have summed it up perfectly.
 
I have a tank for the first time and have platties and mollies, I am in the process of rearing my first batch of fry and realise that it is a very exciting stage seeing them grow etc.  My natural instinct has been to scoop up any fry I see and put them in the breeding net I have in the main tank. 
 
I am fully aware that I can't keep it up as I will be over-run with fry, I just wanted to have maybe half a dozen survive the first time so that I could see them progress through the different stages of growth - it's quite cool to see the young ones swimming around :)
 
So yeah, think about it carefully before you save all the fry.  I have about 10 in the breeding net now letting them grow a bit and will release them shortly to see what happens.  From then on, I will definitely let nature take it's course as I cannot afford new tanks at the moment.
 
Good Luck with it :)
 

the_lock_man

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That is a good compromise, Deano.
 
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