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:
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!!!
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.
if you lived closed i’d bring you a few 🙂
🙂 you can borrow some for marblehead in the spring if you want!