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GothFishKeeper

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Feb 29, 2024
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Morris IL
Hey guys! So I’m a bit concerned/confused about my gold nugget molly named July. I got her about 6 weeks ago, and then about a week later I got a male Lyretail molly (named Ember). July was most definitely a female up until today, as you can see from the first picture of her. Ember definitely got her pregnant shortly after they had been united. Her belly kept getting bigger and bigger throughout this month, along with becoming squared off like pregnant mollies do. Plus I literally saw him breed her. One of my other females had fry a few weeks ago and none of my mollies ate a single one of them. Last night July was definitely acting like she was ready to release her fry, sitting at the bottom of plant stems, backing up to the java moss, and also sitting in the rocky substrate. When I turned their light off and went to bed last night, I expected to wake up to double the fry in the tank. But to my surprise, there was no new fry. She also doesn’t look nearly as big anymore. She’s been sitting right above the heater for most of the day today, except for during feeding time. I also noticed her anal fin is the anal fin of a male now, as you can see in the second picture. I know it’s not just clamped either because it does the thing where it flicks out from time to time. The other day I got rid of the hornwort in my tank and replaced it with some long leafy rooted plants, which makes me think she may not have been very comfortable when trying to give birth last night, like she thought she would have originally when the hornwort was there. I’ve heard of mollies changing sex, but still am not sure if thats what happened or if it was because she was uncomfortable during birth. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
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The water is milky cloudy and you need to check the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH and do a water change.

Young male livebearers like platies, swordtails, guppies and mollies have a fan/ triangle shaped anal fin and resemble the females. When they become sexually mature the fan shaped fins changes into the long thin gonopodium of the adult male.
 
You need a water change of at least 30% every week. As @Colin_T noted, that water looks milky.

It can take a long time for livebearers to show their sex. You wouldn't be the first to think you had a female and to get a surprise. There are early and late bloomers.
 
The water is milky cloudy and you need to check the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH and do a water change.

Young male livebearers like platies, swordtails, guppies and mollies have a fan/ triangle shaped anal fin and resemble the females. When they become sexually mature the fan shaped fins changes into the long thin gonopodium of the adult male.
That first picture is from when I first set up the tank, it’s the bacteria bloom. I also just did a water change last night as I do every Saturday night. I test the water every day and it was perfect this morning. Also, if he was always a male then why did he look pregnant for the last 3-4 weeks?
 
Your gold molly was just a late male. Does sex change also occur in mollies? Yes, that's possible. Not all female mollies show a gravid spot because of a too dense concentration of color cells on that location where the gravid spot should be. But in gold mollies, the females do show a gravid spot. Someting your gold molly hasn't shown. So, this is just a late male.
As long as a male hasn't shown its male characteristics, another mae may think that it's a female and will chase it and try to mate. But how often another male will direct his gonopodium to the other late male, there's no actual mating taking place.
 
I had one swordtail species, X mayae, that I would have sworn were all females. I had seven from fry, and they grew huge. At 11 months, I suddenly saw I had 3 males. Livebearers are often in no hurry to grow up.

Mollies were quicker here, but they weren't quick compared to guppies, for example.
 
That first picture is from when I first set up the tank, it’s the bacteria bloom. I also just did a water change last night as I do every Saturday night. I test the water every day and it was perfect this morning. Also, if he was always a male then why did he look pregnant for the last 3-4 weeks?
He has either eaten a lot or is full of worms. If his weight doesn't go down then deworm them.

Section 3 of the following link has info on deworming fish.
 

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