OMG Fish Babies!

OK, so a few years ago I bought some assorted adult fish at the pet store and it turned out the female gold-dust Molly was pregnant and had a fish baby [she probably had a lot more but they all got eaten by the mom and the other adults]. The Fish Baby was the cutest thing ever:

baby golddust molly fish

Unfortunately she and her mom died a few months later.  It’s hard to maintain fish tanks and I’m always so sad when I end up accidentally killing them for some reason or another 🙁  I hadn’t cleaned the fish baby’s tank in months because I didn’t want to stress her out, but I guess I waited too long and changed too much of the water or something.  Meh.  Anyway, this past May we were in need of new fish.  I decided to get 2 adult gold-dust Molly’s, a male & a female:

I was hoping that maybe they’d get pregnant and we’d have another fish baby. In mid-August I noticed he would not leave her alone – he tailed her everywhere and drove her completely bonkers:

        

It got so bad I finally cut a piece of polycarbonate roofing tile down to size and slid it between them:

The male was PISSED.  All he did for 2 days was swim up and down the partition – up and down, up and down, a zillion times.  But the female was like “FINALLY!” and spent her 2 day vacation lazily swimming around and sipping fish-sized piña coladas [at least in my head she did].  After he calmed down I removed the plastic partition and he behaved himself.  What I didn’t realize was he’d already knocked her up.  She had her first batch of babies in mid-September:

      

They were SO CUTE!  First I saw 1, then 2, then 7, and by 2 days later I’d counted 11!!!  OMFG!!!  I knew Molly’s had large litters, but most of the babies get eaten right after birth.  I was hoping 1 or 2 would make it, not 11!  I went to Petco and bought an identical tank for the dad and separated him out so we’d have no more fish babies:

But a few weeks later the mom popped out MORE babies!  3 more survived to the “too big to eat” stage…  and then last week we found 2 more!!!  WTH?  Jim theorized that she gave birth a few at a time.  I told him that was nonsense.  But I just learned he was right [sorry, hubby].  From aquariacentral.com:  “Even with no male in the tank your female [Molly] can continue to have fry [babies] for up to six months due to eggs that have been previously fertilized”.  GAH!!!  We ended up with 16 babies, but 2 have since died.  And, in sadder news, the mom died last weekend, so she won’t be having any more babies 🙁

When Molly’s are born [live birth] they all look female.  It’s not until they’re a couple months old the males sprout “spikes” in their nether regions.  So far I’ve been able to separate out 5 males.  Some are still too small to sex.  Thankfully hubby came home from work last week and said his coworker Jeff agreed to take four babies, 2 boys & 2 girls.  Yay!  So yesterday after work I bagged up 4 of the largest babies, one per double ziplock bag, and put them in a box for transport:

I zipped the bags then drove them 20 minutes to hubby’s office where Jeff met me to take home his new pets 🙂  That leaves us with 10 babies and the dad.  We’ll manage 🙂  As long as I make DOUBLE TRIPLE SURE that the males are in one tank and the females are in the other.  If anyone in the local area wants a fish baby let me know 🙂

Here’s the girl tank, the 2nd pic shows one of the newest babies – tiny!:

       

And here’s the boy tank [the dad is in the lower right]:

Happy Fall Everyone!!!

      

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6 Comments

  1. Such a funny story! I’m impressed some babies have survived and you’ve learned to sex them. Your aquariums are beautiful! I had a big one many years ago … kind of miss it but they’re a lot of work!

    • They are a lot of work, even the 5 gallon tanks like what I have. It’s easy to sex fish once you know what to look for 🙂 spikes vs. a fin in the nether region.

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