[Quick Signs] How to Tell if a Molly Fish is Pregnant?

[Quick Signs] How to Tell if a Molly Fish is Pregnant?

[Quick Signs] How to Tell if a Molly Fish is Pregnant?: A pregnant molly fish develops swollen stomach and black spots near the center of her abdomen. In some circumstances, it may begin to get aggressive and eat more. Near the laboring stage, Mollies tend to hide away and stop eating. Before your fish get pregnant, there are several essential things to consider, like know what you can do to protect her fry. Here we provide a detailed guide about the How to Tell if a Molly Fish is Pregnant?

Should I separate pregnant Molly?

It is best to take the pregnant molly fish from the main tank and isolate it in another well-maintained, mature aquarium during birth. Some people have used the fish breeding box to separate the fry from other animals, but they remain in the same aquarium. You don’t have to purchase a separate tank filter and heater by this method, but it may be very stressful for mom. After some time, it’s possible to place your baby molly fish in the main aquarium.

How does Molly fish breed?

Molly fish are livebearers, and instead of laying eggs, they produce live fish. A female molly retains fertilized eggs to hatch within her body and only releases them into the tank after it hatches. Incubation time differs for molly species but is around 40 to 60 days on average. This difference also occurs in the production of chicks, where Sailfin Molly can give birth to up to 50 baby molly fish, while Giant Sailfin up to 200 and Black around 120 fry. Adult Mollies will eat the fry. Male Mollies stress the females by their ongoing efforts at pursuit.

[Quick Signs] How to Tell if a Molly Fish is Pregnant?

How do I identify a pregnant molly fish?

A few days before birth, she develops a swelling underneath the genital pore, making her shape relatively square and the surface of the gravid spot enlarged.

How do I tell if my Molly Fish is pregnant?

Mollies are livebearers. You will notice behavioral changes as the Molly keeps clear of other fish in water and moves slowly. Those changes are a vital sign if you see a dark triangular spot near the anal vent or a protruding belly.

Spotting the condition and the “Gravid Spot.”

The ‘gravid spot’ is a dark spot near the base of the anal fin caused by the stretching of the peritoneal walls. It is also identical to a womb, but the egg is not attached to the mother’s body, unlike mammals. Each egg is fully equipped to produce nutrients provided by the mother on which the embryos can thrive. The relationship between mother and fry it’s been a study topic for a long time.

How long are Molly fish pregnant?

Mollies are livebearers like guppies as they are the same genus but different species. They can keep their babies for about 6-10 weeks. Sometimes, it is better to leave the new mother alone in a separate tank for exceptional care and safety. During pregnancy, you can check the proper development of the fry through the female gravid spot.

Is Molly Fish about to become pregnant?

You may initially find it intimidating to breed these animals but don’t worry; it’s effortless and rewarding. This article can provide a quick and easy guide on looking at the signs of molly pregnancy.

How long does it take for a girl to give birth?

Molly fish will likely have a gestation period of between 6 and 10 weeks. Female mollies usually mature at 3 to 4 months. They get the first pregnancy and continue the cycle repeated; they can give birth to hundreds of fry throughout their entire life. In some cases, a gestation period has lasted more than ten weeks.

Molly Fish and the fry

After several weeks of pregnancy, a female molly can give birth to something between 20 to 60 fry. Unfortunately, like nature’s rules, Molly fries are prey to other fish or even their parents, and not all molly fry will grow into adults. Mollies are also easy to raise, keep in their tanks, and easy to care for. Here is all the information you need to know from Mollie on its previous posts. Read more about keeping pet fish on this site.

How do mollies fish act before giving birth?

Your molly fish will give you indications it is trying to give birth. You’ll know about this attitude as they try to be comfortably on the tank. They will try to be isolated and settle down in a peaceful and cooler water area. You’ll notice she doesn’t care about swimming. Female Molly can display aggressiveness right before birth. Your mollies should continue to show some signs even until the last minute.

The eyes of the fry and signs of imminent birth

As eggs are incubated, their eyes are sometimes visible at the thin walls of the gravid spot. To support the development of the egg, the maternal body enlarges, growing deeper and broader. The following day after birth, the female Molly develops a slight bulge in the underside of the gills, which has become square for him in this area.

The birth process of new fry

At birth, the fry sinks a few inches under the water but quickly straightens out and hides to a cover, like the vegetation. If they don’t appear right away, they sink beneath rocks, driftwood, ornaments, or even the substrate; and take refuge on it. They sit motionlessly and slowly start the life out of the mother.

Molly Fish Babies

Since Mollies carry live eggs, they do not lay eggs but rather release the live baby into the water. Unfortunately, the babies aren’t given parental care and are as likely to be eaten by the parents as the other fish in the aquarium. A breeding box will assist you with keeping your molly fry fish once the mother gives birth to them. Once the fry is released, they automatically fall into a different compartment away from the mother, where you can hold them until you catch and bring the adult fish into the main tank. Make sure to offer small pieces of food that fry may eat. Once they’ve grown enough and can cope with themselves, you can move them to the mains display.

Do Mollies eat their babies?

As with all of the fishes, cannibal behavior is standard. Mollies who give birth don’t take care of their babies and can even eat them. Small fry fish are usually fragile, making them vulnerable to the attacks of any predator. You may need to remove fries and keep them at another tank for safety reasons; you must take care of them separately for their wellness. Because the fries are weaker and smaller than other fish, they are suitable as fish meals. It may be necessary to protect your small fish from predation.

How do I save Molly Fry?

If you want to keep the fry in the same aquarium as the parents, increase the number of hiding places, and leave an area (if possible the entire tank) densely planted, a few babies molly will be leftover. In the case of putting them in a separate aquarium, set up a tank with everything the fry needs; anticipate the birth and get the aquarium already cycling to receive the offspring is a great idea; to do this, you must install some equipment and follow some basic steps known to any aquarists.

Feeding the fry

After the fry is born, most will feed on commercial fish flakes, just like their mother. You can also make some preparations to feed your molly fry as soon as they birth; homemade rations generally degrade the water a lot; when offering this type of food, perform a partial water change soon after feeding.

How do I feed molly baby fish?

Once the female has given birth, remove the fry and bring them to a new aquarium. You should feed the fry quality food such as baby brine shrimp, baby fish meal, quality flake, or pellet ground into a fine powder—feeding in small quantity and high frequency.

Molly fish eat anything.

The young born babies are tiny about the size of pellet food, and molly female can eat their babies after they’ve given birth; that’s why we keep them in a separate tank. Mollies fish are greedy, eating almost anything that fits inside their mouths. Breeding a fish provide an immersion in aquarium keeping hobby and provides a fantastic learning experience for young and older persons.

Tell me the best way to feed a baby Molly fish?

Your baby molly needs an abundance of good quality food to grow to adulthood. Crushed fish flakes will give your baby a healthy source of nutrition. You can also feed it baby brine shrimp. Crush some fish flakes until a perfect texture so the fry can swallow them. If you properly feed your baby fry, they shall be mature in some months. You’ll be capable of adding them to the larger tank. They can also be free and protected from attacks by other fish.

How long do I need to separate my baby mollies?

You have to remove baby Mollies from the main aquarium before they sink into the jaws of other fish. You can keep fish in different tanks anywhere from four to six weeks. After eight weeks of age, a fish will fit in an adult tank. The keeper must make sure that your fish are appropriately sized before releasing them in the main aquarium.


The easiest way to see if Molly is pregnant is by paying attention to the gravid spot. The fish will also display other signs of pregnancy. If you want to breed Mollies fish, then there are things that you should keep in mind. It was all easy to accomplish, and the best results were obtained, separating the mother and the fry in another tank later. You get all you want to know reading this guide How to Tell if a Molly Fish is Pregnant?. It would be best if you did some research before begin to breed fish.

[Ultimate] Balloon Molly Fish: The Complete Care Guide

Molly Fish

Dive into the under water world of Balloon Molly Fish with this ultimate guide that provides comprehensive insights and expert tips for best care and enjoyment of these captivating small fish.

Molly Fish are one of the most commonly kept fishes in tropical aquariums. These brightly colored, playful little fish are easily kept happy and live among the peacefully surrounding community fish.

Mollies are a great first fish for newcomers to aquariums. This guide introduces you to the beautiful and exotic Balloon Molly, including a helpful care guide with the ability to keep your new fish.

What is a balloon Molly fish?

The balloon body Molly is a result of artificial selection through crosses carried out by breeders. This type of Molly is man-made and won’t be found in nature. Balloon Mollies are peaceful fish. Easy to maintain and offer an easy and safe option for beginners.

What is a Balloon Molly?

Molly Fish

Mollies are freshwater fish species that belong to the Poeciliidae family. There are about 300 species of Poecilia. Molly fish is native to North and Latin America and mainly lives in warm, dry tropical rivers, streams, ponds, and mangroves. They are livebearers. When kept in the right conditions, mollies may be held for up to five years. Alternatively, mollies may be kept in brackish and even saltwater.

Molly Fish Care Guide & Species Profile

The Molly fish has been one of the most bred by ornamental aquaculture for many years and is also a best seller in the sector’s stores. Molly fish come in a variety of colors and shapes. These are simple ways to add this beautiful fish to your tank. This article covers the popular balloon variety and explains their ideal setups, diet, and much more.

Balloon Molly Fish Characterization

This species resides primarily in Central and South America, mainly in salty and brackish waters. These little fish typically get color in white or silver. In natural environments, an average fish can reach 12 centimeters (around 4 inches). In the aquarium, they reach about 6 to 8 cm, 2.3 to 3.2 inches. The lifespan of this type of fish in captivity is usually 3-4 years.  Mollies present sexual dimorphism, being distinguished by a rounded anal fin in females and conical males. They have internal egg incubation, give birth to larvae, and are viviparous. They have a compressed body with a big belly, and even though they look like it, the organs are not contracted in the internal cavity.

Balloon Belly Molly Fish Body Shape & Size

Adult Mollies have a two-inch length, while their size is at most three inches or 7-8 centimeters. They have an arch-back and a rounded large belly with a lyr-shaped caudal fin and are unique in their character. It’s the smallest of all kinds of Mollies and the smallest of all types of fish. The maximum size is four inches, and the maximum can be almost five.

Poecilia sphenopsis

Molly Fish

Poecilia sphenops is a species of the Poecilia genus of fish known by the common name of Molly. They live in freshwater streams and coast brackish and sea waters from Mexico to northern Venezuela and Colombia. Wild-type fish are dull to dark silver-like in color. Male Mollies resemble a mild aggressive person. Mollies rank as one of the most popular feeder fish due to their high growth rate, birth size, reproduction, and brood numbers. Generally, the Molly can yield fertile hybrids with many species, the most significant being the Sailfin Molly.

Types and appearance

There are many species and types of Molly fish – most of them are very similar to common Molly Poecilia sphenops. Females have an anal fin spread into a fan, whereas males have a pointier tip. Males grow to 3 inches, and females become larger. Pregnant females will always look more significant than other ones. In addition, their bellies will get bigger as they become older.

Balloon Molly Fish: Care, Feed, Breeding, Tank Set

Mollies are among the best freshwater fish for beginners because they are hardy, fun, and easy to care for. These cute little creatures are just lovely embellishments for your aquarium. Here you can discover more about balloon mollies.

Molly Fish Care

The Balloon Molly fish is a tropical fish that originates from salty and brackish water but is easily adapted to freshwater. A teaspoon of salt per five-gallon of water can help them with some problems. The balloon trait is obtained by selectively breeding fish who develop scoliosis (spinated spine). Balloon Mollies often have a reduced lifespan because of the inefficiency of the body shape, low-quality offspring, and possible genetic problems.

Balloon Molly Fish Lifespan

We can extend the lifespan of our fish by organizing and improving their environment, making maintenance and water changes regularly, keeping the water parameters optimal for the species, and offering high-quality food. It’s easier to avoid diseases than treat them. Therefore, everything mentioned above contributes to maintaining the fish’s immune system, reducing occurrences. So if you buy a new fish or plant, place it in a quarantine tank first, then release it in the main aquarium for some days. If you want to introduce newly acquired fish in your aquarium, quarantine them for up to two weeks.

Doing water changes for Balloon Mollies

Perform weekly water changes in your aquarium, changing at least 30% of the total tank volume. By changing the water, we remove pollutants and toxins that the plants and bacterias will not cycle. When you use tap water, treat it with a water conditioner. Tap water has chlorine, chloramine, and other substances that can be harmful to the aquarium and fish, so you must treat it. In each maintenance, the substrate must be cleaned perfectly, vacuumed, siphoning all the dirt; the aquarist must pay special attention to decorations and spaces where dirt can be trapped.

Aquarium size for balloon mollies

A 20+ Gallon water container should be able to hold around 12 fish. Mollies, especially those that resemble balloons in size, do produce vast volumes of waste. They need a lot of swimming spaces to remain healthy and grow to their full size. A larger tank will offer fewer risks and provide an even wider range of habitat. There are plenty of other factors to think about putting more than two Molly fish in each gallon of water; the more important is the filtration and your maintenance schedule.

Aquarium Setup For Balloon Molly Fish

Unlike other aquarium fishes, some setups are somewhat debatable topics. We will discuss the various aspects of every part of this.

How do I care for balloon mollies?

Balloon Mollies can be pretty easy to keep. They stay comfortable using the standard tropical tank arrangement.

Do balloon mollies need a filter?

Balloon belly Mollies like to stay in the water in larger aquariums without filtering, but you should always add a filter in the tank. Choose the filter that best suits your system, and remember to mainly use biological filtration, well-sized, with the use of ceramics or sponges or suchlike. The biologic filter also ensures the ability to fully cycle its tank and protect water against ammonia surges daily. Thicker substrates may help create an anoxic region that nourishes some types of beneficial bacterias, but that’s a subject for another article; stay tuned.

Do balloon mollies need live plans?

Mollies don’t necessarily need plants, but they like them and use them for food and hiding. Live plants also help with aquarium nutrient cycling and beautification. Plants can also improve water cleanliness by removing nitrous-based contaminants from the water, using it as fertilizer to grow. If you want a straightforward setup without the expensive CO2-based system, you can choose easy-to-care plans like those known as low-tech. This plant does not require intense light and the addition of a CO2 system. Sometimes you may want to help them with liquid fertilizers.

Do balloon mollies need a heater?

Heaters, as well as filters, are always necessary for the proper maintenance of any fish. Heaters will keep the temperature stable. Fluctuations in parameters cause a drop in the efficiency of the animals’ immune system. Balloon Belly Mollies are especially susceptible to these fluctuations.

Balloon Molly Fish Tank Mates

It would help if you didn’t mix balloon Mollies with Cherry-shrimp; otherwise, they will turn into a snack. Amano shrimps can grow to 3 to 4 inches in size and can’t breed in freshwater aquariums, and, being pacific, are an excellent choice for a tankmate. If you like snails in your aquarium, you can choose some apple snail or ramshorn. If in a community tank for other fish species, you should select calm and small fish only.

Tank Mates

Large fish may eat your mollies. Betta fish are too aggressive as they fight or harass your fish. Cichlids are a group consisting of diverse bad cases. Most invertebrates live well in the same tank as mollies, but some turn into food. Shrimp and snails are popular options, and there are many species to choose from. Most small peaceful community fish are okay; fish to avoid are large or aggressive.

Are Molly fish suitable for an aquarium?

There are no reasons not to get Mollies. They are perfect for community aquariums. It would be best if you avoided large and aggressive fish as tankmates. Their health depends on the conditions of the tank that should be within their prescribed parameters. Mollies can tolerate a vast range; therefore, you could put them in various types of tanks. They are easy to care for and easy to breed and they have many colors and are very active in the tank.

Balloon Mollies by colors & fins

They are usually different sizes and shapes compared to the other Molly fish. Their fundamental disparity occurs due to body shape and size. The different types of balloon fish can be categorized according to the style of fins. Some fishes have sailfin dorsals or lyretail fins.

Balloon Molly Shape Color & Size

Balloon mollies are about 2 to 5 inches in size. The balloon molly’s namesake was taken from their round, “overweight” form. Balloon mollies come in a variety of colors: silver, black, orange, white, etc. Like typical black Molly, females have a little larger belly than males. The fins of the Ballon Molly females are rounded, while the males have a sailing-like dorsal body.

Habitat and tank conditions

Mollys are found living within different habitats in the wild. They most commonly occur in deep rivers and streams in North, Central, and South America. They have adapted easily over multiple environments. Plants would also be plentiful; they mainly use them to hide, but they are also crucial for reproduction. This lake is in tropical climates bringing ample amount of sunlight for plant growth. The water would be warm and slowly moving. pH is upon the alkaline side.

Sickness & Disease

It is recommended that you be attentive to Molly’s behavior. Always looking and noticing the animal’s misbehavior can help you save it. If the balloon’s belly rubs on the rocks, then a potential cause of the problem could be fungal or external parasite infection. If it swims upsidedown, you need to change the water immediately since it means poor water quality. There may be many reasons for this happens. Before giving any other conclusions, you have to seek advice from your local aquarist.


Mollies are livebearers, so their eggs are incubated into the body till the fry be released. These are also some of the most accessible fish groups to grow in captivity. Conditions inside breeding tanks must be perfect, and the water should be clean. It may be easier or better to raise the temperature for mating, but not much above 78° F. Male performs a courting show for females, and when they are ready for mating, males fertilize their eggs. After fertilizing, it takes 3-4 weeks for fry to be released.

Breeding: Things to do for successful mating

Mollies are a livebearer because they don’t lay eggs. During the reproductive period, female Mollies give birth to over 100 tiny Molly fry. You can keep three males for two females for breeding purposes. The male shall use his gonopodium or pointed fin when breeding. You can separate the fry for the breeding group.

How do you tell if a balloon molly is male or female?

Both male and female Mollies have rounded or pointed dorsal fins that separate them from each other. Do not leave the molly fish alone. Keep at least a group of Molly fish together because, if not, it can increase the chance of bullying or injuries. Make sure it stayed in at least pairs. You should also maintain the gender ratio between the men and women in 2:1 inside the tanks.


Almost all varieties of mollies are available in fish shops. They are easily affordable at only a few dollars per fish. The most unusual kinds are more expensive.

Best tankmate for Balloon Belly Molly

Molly fish is a fish with a peaceful temperament who prefers to live with fish of the same kind. A pair could happily live with other fish. Female Mollies most commonly have calmer characters than males. Males are often quite aggressive if they have other males in the tank. Their best fish buddies would be others livebearers’ fish since their smaller size allows their compatibility with some different fish of the exact nature.


Mollies are generally healthy, robust fish, although they can suffer from typical tropical fish diseases. Poor water quality is a determinant factor of illness. To keep the water clear, you need to install a good-quality mechanical and biological filtration system and proceed with weekly partial water changes. Check Ammonia and Nitrite amounts with a test kit.

Balloon Molly Diseases Parasites and Remedies

The most common diseases in balloon molly fish are ich/ick(white spot), velvet(gold dust), fin rot, and flukes. Unfortunately, some conditions are harder to treat, like dropsy, swimming bladder disorder, bent spinal, or tuberculosis. You can find out more about the most commonly known parasites and diseases in another very detailed article. As long as the animals are eating good quality food and the water conditions in the fish tank are good, the fish should have no problems.

Male to Female Balloon Molly Ratio

Female mollie gives birth to fry every three-and-a-half weeks. In your community tank, you should have one male to more than two females. So the females will get time to rest and stay calm without the continual harassment by the male. It would be best to keep the ratio to 1 male to 3 females, thus reducing the stress placed on females by eager males.

What should I feed them?

Molly fish eat only vegetable origin feeding. Algae are a significant portion of their diet. They remove them with their lips. It is also important to have vegetables. If you introduce carotenoids to the food, it should keep your Molly Fish vibrant with colors. Live and frozen food provide an excellent source of protein. In this respect, bloodworms and brine shrimp are happily accepted and recommended. Feed them twice daily. This helps their immune system process their food.


Most strains of Molly fish are fun and easy to keep in an aquarium. Their only prerequisite is a large tank, which often exceeds 30 gallons. A few types require you to add a small quantity of salt to the water, so you need to ensure your fish are living well.