We are being overrun...

monicasometimes(z5 NY)October 19, 2004

My 6 yo and I decided to start an aquarium. It is a 40 gallon tank and we adopted 2 dalmation mollies and 4 swordtails to reside there. One of the Dalmation mollies died shortly after moving in as did 2 of the swordtails...we were having a problem with our filtration system and the water was nasty. We have since corrected the problem, but are now faced with an over population issue. It seems the one remaining dalmation molly is laying eggs which must be being fertilized by the swordtails as we now have 6 generations of Dalmation/Swordtails in our tank. How many fish can this tank sustain? lol At this point, we have approximately 30..we recently adopted out 12 to a loving home, but don't know anyone to provide homes for the others...it seems there are newbies in there every 6 weeks...The mollies' tummy gets really wide and poof, suddenly 6 weeks later we have a whole new batch of minnows. I'm considering buying another smaller tank to house the 'fertile' one, but wonder if she would be lonely? lol

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mollies lay eggs? please clue me in on this one. i thought all mollies were livebearers. i do agree that swordtails will breed with them. how large are your mollies? are they sailfins?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 8:25PM
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monicasometimes(z5 NY)

I was under the impression they lay eggs, but after leaving this site, I did a bit of research and yes they are livebearers...that being the case, this little mama has had a hell of a lot of babies in the past 5 months. All of the offspring are silver in color with the black spots. Along with the original 3 adult fish we now have approximately 30 newbies of various sizes...the largest of the offspring are approximately 3/4 inch long...I can't imagine them all surviving in this tank once they reach maturity...is this assumption correct? Should I add an additional tank? I don't want these little characters to start dying before I realize I have an overcrowding issue.
I have been looking for pictures of Mollies to find out whether she is a sailfin...I have been unsuccessful in locating one...what does a sailfin look like? Can you recommend a site where I could identify the type of mollie she is? Thanks

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 8:14AM
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i dn't know of any sites offhand. i think it is the male that displays the sailfin, but she would carry the dna for it. i asked about sailfins because i think they get much larger than swordtails, which would be considered in how many the tank could support. do you have a "mom and pop" pet store around you? thse are my fave. many will accept your extra fish in trade. chain pet stores in my experience will not.
option2- see if your area has freecycle set up www.freecycle.org . if not, you can start one by offering free fish. worst case- food for larger fish. sorry to suggest that, but sometimes necesssary if you can't afford another tank.
the parents will sometimes eat their babies as well. be sure to have plenty of plants as hiding places- real or fake.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2004 at 9:15PM
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you could put all the females together into one tank. males into another. if you keep them all together, you should have many females to one male. that is not what you want because you don't want many babies, but otherwise the female would be harassed continuously.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2004 at 9:19PM
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female livebearers can store viable sperm for months - isolating a female will not necessarily keep her from having babies

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 12:35AM
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oops, i forgot about that part. thanks for the corrrection!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2004 at 7:39PM
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mollies are livebearers

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 11:33AM
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im having the same prob wth guppies. and my lttl bros decided to drop a large rock in the bottom of my spare tank, so i cnt just seperate them.....i can live with strainging out males for 6 months...if i had the tank...o well, im rambling....

    Bookmark   July 29, 2006 at 2:23AM
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stores recomend 1 on inch fish for every gallon though i think for forty gallons you can definatly keep up to 45-50 of those fish. when the tank gets overpopulated the fish may start dieing off. i had about 40 fish in a twenty gallon tank and upon going away for app. 4 days i lost all but two of the guppies and 4 platties and two danios. if they start dieng off i would reccomend to change from 25 - 50 % of the water and hope for the best. i bred these fish to feed my catfish once in a while so i somewhat controled the population that way.and a freind of mine resorted to not feeding them and that method was far more succseful than mine

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 8:40PM
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