So out of nowhere, my favorite balloon molly girl died on Saturday. She started swimming erratically, and an hour later she was dead.
It's four days later, and all the others are doing well. Water parameters were perfect at the time of her death, and I hadn't introduce new foods or anything unusual. This molly was one of my very favorites, a white-with-black-speckles dalmatian that my nieces had named "Dot."
She was hugely pregnant a week or two before she died, but never gave birth that I was aware of (I found no fry, and never observed her doing the about-to-have-babies routine the others have done). So it's possible that she retained the babies and was attempting to reabsorb them, which can be deadly -- and unfortunately, there's no cure.
I'm keeping a close eye on everyone else, of course, but haven't seen anything troubling. The three fry continue to grow and thrive, and the smallest of the three, the one born a couple months ago, is almost large enough to introduce to the main tank with the adults. If I get any new fry soon (a couple of the gals are super-preggers), it will be officially time for him/her to make the move.
Really enjoying these balloon mollies, in spite of the recent loss of Dot. They're super-engaging little fish, swarming the front of the tank in a little knot every time I look at them. They learned to hand-feed easily (even the tiny little 5-millimeter fry are hand feeding!) and are very very active and tons of fun. This little tropical detour I'm on has proved to be a fun one indeed!
Not one of my girls, but they look just like this.