Black Molly stuck in labor?

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Poe_23

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I have a black Molly fish that gave birth to only one fish last week. I am home all day and have been keeping an eye on her and I haven't seen any other fry. She is acting the same as she was right before she went into labor. She's either wagging her tail fast near the heater or swimming around it.

She has been in a 10 gallon tank for awhile now, so no other fish are around. She's still pretty big, too. I just cleaned her tank on Monday and she gave birth to the one fish on Tuesday. She's eating normal, the water is at 77 degrees. I don't know what else to do. She also has a white dot on her underside that is still there and as big as it was when she gave birth. Nothing is sticking out of it (except she poops almost non stop).

Should I be worried that she still seems like she's in labor?
 

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She does look gravid, @emeraldking is our livebearer expert, seems like a case for him.

When did you move her to this tank alone? Do you know whether this is her first batch of fry?
 
I can’t see a gravid spot because she’s black. Here’s a picture of her backside and her stomach.
 

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I can’t see a gravid spot because she’s black. Here’s a picture of her backside and her stomach.
No, when I said she looks gravid, I mean she's shaped like she's carrying fry. I keep black mollies too, they're a favourite of mine :)
@emeraldking can give some help, since he's incredibly knowledgeable and well regarded in the livebearer community. If anyone knows more and can help, it's him.


But in the meantime, it would help to know more about the fish and the tank. especially when you moved her into this tank, whether this tank is cycled or not, how long you've had her, etc etc. The more info you can provide, the better chance that he'll be able to help!

Sometimes netting and moving a gravid (pregnant) female can cause damage, or the stress of being moved to a new tank, can cause a female to self abort or have problems birthing, which is why I'm asking about why she's in a tank alone, and when you moved her there, in case that might be a reason for her pausing labour, and she might later pop out a load more.
 
I got her in July. I recently noticed she was pregnant. My other male Molly fish kept chasing her around and poking at her so about a month ago, I separated her.

I have a very basic filter system, but I got the water tested recently and everything looks fine. I usually change the water about every 10 days. It’s due for a change right now, but I don’t wanna mess with her too much.
 
She still looks gravid. But if she drops one or just a couple of fry while she's still pregnant can mean two things... She was stressed and dropped just this fry earlier or she had an egg with more nutrients in there in comparison to the other eggs. Because of more nutrients, an embryo will develop faster and will be born sooner. Ovoviviparous livebearers such as mollies know pre-fertilization. Pre-fertilization means that the developed eggs will be provided with nutrients in it by the female herself. These nutrients are needed for the embryos to grow for fry of such livebearers are not fed by an umbilical cord like it's the case with viviparous livebearers such as goodeids and halfbeaks for instance.
 
Thank you for this information. This is how I found her when I woke up this morning. I haven't been home to check on her yet. She was swimming around pretty fast. The string is red and then white in the middle and then red again. I watched her for a bit. This will break off and then another one will grow pretty quickly after.
.Screenshot 2023-11-13 at 12.44.20 PM.png
 
I'm not sure what that is, but it's not normal, and doesn't look good... looks like a prolapse to me. Could give her time to see if she survives it, but might have to consider euthanising her I'm afraid. Males would continue to harass her, and she'll be very vulnerable to secondary infections if this is a prolapse. @emeraldking @Colin_T it got worse... :(
 
Thank you for this information. This is how I found her when I woke up this morning. I haven't been home to check on her yet. She was swimming around pretty fast. The string is red and then white in the middle and then red again. I watched her for a bit. This will break off and then another one will grow pretty quickly after.
.View attachment 330468
Just let her be for the moment and see how often the waste will be so long and if it will still change color.
 
Still no more babies. Just the one. She’s beginning to act more normal. I’m attaching a picture of her the day before she had her one baby 9 days ago and then a picture of her tonight. Do you think she still looks pregnant?IMG_0985.jpegIMG_0986.jpeg
 
Should I be worried? I guess there’s nothing I can do either way.

She looks okay in the photos you've uploaded, not fin-clamped or deformed in any way, so try not to worry! To be honest, if something goes wrong in labour, there's little we can do about it, you're right, but mollies are usually pretty hardy!

Livebearers have all sorts of clever tricks that allow them to store sperm packets and release them as they choose, including releasing sperm packets from different males to fertilise eggs in the same batch of fry! They can delay birth if they feel the time isn't right (if they're stressed, for example) or can self abort. The amount of fry they produce varies too, it's not uncommon for the first batch or two of fry a female produces to be small, 2-3 isn't unusual for a female's first batch, I've had that happen often. Then as they grow and have more, they produce on average more like 20-30 fry, but they can have even more!

It's possible that your female only produced one this time, or she had 2-3 and ate the others before you were aware.
You could take a minute or two of video of the female if you're still concerned. We can see more about how she looks and how she's moving in a video clip than a still photo. Unfortunately, the video upload feature on this forum doesn't work, but if you upload to youtube and link it here, we can see it that way.

@emeraldking is a well respected livebearer expert, so if he isn't concerned, then you can rely on his opinion for sure! :)
 

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