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  1. I promise I'll take pics of the fry soon. Their transformation in the last week has been astounding! About half of the previously all-white fry have developed black spots, so hooray -- Dalmatians! And I'm starting to see the belly curve developing on many of them, so it appears the majority of them will indeed be balloons. Still feeding the NLS fry food and baby brine shrimp exclusively, though I think they're almost big enough to start picking at some regular thawed brine shrimp soon. They eat like nobody's business! There are several runts, but they're holding their own and continuing to grow, just more slowly than the rest. My favorite LFS has agreed to take whichever ones i don't keep once they're a few months old and colored up nicely, so it's a relief to know they'll have somewhere to go. I'd love to keep them all, but I'd need the world's biggest tank to do it (and for them to cease all breeding activity, which ain't gonna happen, ha!).
  2. Got a 15 gallon bowfront set up for the Noodles (our balloon molly fry) last night and moved them over this morning from the two smaller grow-out tanks they'd been in since birth. They look practically microscopic in their luxurious new digs, but it won't be long before I'll be needing yet another tank for them if they keep growing at such an astonishing rate. I'm so glad I remembered to get a sponge cover for the filter intake. They'd been in unfiltered tanks previously, with large daily water changes, so it's time for them to learn to swim with some current in the water. But I don't want any of them getting accidentally sucked in, yikes! The fry were three weeks old a few days ago. They eat like little piglets (baby brine shrimp daily, and NLS fry powder) and are pooping machines. Have only lost one, a tiny runt, about a week ago, leaving us with 21 babies. Watching them grow and change is downright addictive!
  3. Divided the Noodles (our 22 balloon molly fry) into two tanks tonight, 11 in each, to give them maximum room to grow. They've already doubled, possibly tripled, in size in just over a week. They eat voraciously, and get both crushed/powdered tropical flakes and thawed baby brine shrimp each day. I'm going to have to keep an eye on Craigslist for a decent sized tank or tanks for them. Two 20 gallons would be about right, but I don't know where I'd put them. I'll figure it out though; maybe I can find one with a stand. I'm not entirely sure I want to turn my bedroom into a balloon molly breeding factory, so I'm not certain I'll do the fry thing again on a large scale like this. But this first time is really fun, and there's no telling what the future will bring.
  4. It's now five days since our gazillion (well, actually 20, but they look like 10 times that) balloon molly fry were born, and we still haven't lost a single one. Knock wood, etc. As soon as Gem, the mommy molly to all these fry, is finished with her QT and moved to the main aquarium, I'm going to transfer half the fry to that tank, and will have two fry tanks going simultaneously. I want them to have maximum room to grow -- not that they're having any trouble in that regard. I swear they've already doubled in size in just 5 days. I'm feeding them powdered flake food several times a day, and they also get defrosted baby brine shrimp once daily. I didn't realize how absolutely microscopic those baby brine shrimp are! It's just a pretty orange cloud in the water, and you can hardly make them out. But the fry go nuts when I feed them shrimp, and end up with beautifully round tummies about 15 minutes later. The babies are extremely varied in their coloration, and I'm super-curious to find out how that changes as they grow. But whatever color they are, they all kind of look like sardines right now. Here's a side view of one of them: Could those eyes BE any bigger?
  5. The niecelets and I hit a new-to-me LFS this weekend that I hadn't realized was only 15 minutes from my house. It was huge, with lots of really beautiful fish. We were hoping to find a new balloon molly (of course), after the unexpected loss of one last week. No luck, but we stopped at one of our regular LFSs afterward, and lo and behold, they had an absolute stunner, an almost all-black beauty with white speckles and highlights that the 6-year-old niecelet promptly named Gem. Gem. Isn't she a beauty? Got the QT tank set up for Gem at home, added water, heater and ridiculous decor the girls insisted on (I'm a sucker, what can I say?), and gently placed Gem in her temporary new home. Seconds later, the 9-year-old niece screams, "A baby just came out!" Yep. Gem had dropped an adorable little fry. Because we'd seen how eagerly the other mollies consume their offspring, there was much chaos as we netted the new baby and transferred it to the fry tank with the existing 3 babies. But baby oh baby, Gem was not done! We had a tense 5 minutes or so when a half-in, half-out fry, being born tail first, appeared to be stuck. He was HUGE when Gem finally got him out. After that, babies were coming fast and furious. We would give Gem a break for 10 minutes or so, and leave her alone in the dimly lit room, only to come back to 5 ... 6 ... even 7 more fry at a time. One of our many fry. She had TWENTY BABIES altogether! The fry tank is positively swarming now, and they've been nicknamed The Noodles. Our very first fry, Cutiepie (born about 8 weeks ago, gender still unknown), was promoted to the big tank, lest he consume his new pseudo-siblings, and has settled in happily. The remaining 22 are all, miraculously, alive and well. There's a real variety of color in this batch. Several dark ones, some white ones, some striped ones, and the one and only all-black fry, the little whale who got stuck during birth (he's now known as "Shaft"). They gobble powdered flake food, and tonight had their very first meal of defrosted frozen baby brine shrimp. Many adorably round tummies! Another one. They're all the colors of the rainbow. I had expected a little die-off at the start, but 48 hours in, all appear healthy. I already have a routine going, using a turkey baster to siphon uneaten food from the bottom of the tank, then draining and replacing a little over 75% of the water daily. Once Gem has completed her QT, I plan to use her vacated tank for half the fry, to give them all maximum room to grow and to maintain good water quality. Poor little thing was exhausted after delivering all those babies, and refused food for 24 hours. Now she's eating like crazy and zooming all over the QT tank, being a typical little balloon molly. If she doesn't break with ich or anything else funky in the next week or so, she's going to join her new girlfriends in the big tank. I asked for it, and I got it! We have oodles of Noodles and couldn't be happier! Back shot!
  6. So a few days ago, I noticed one of the balloon molly gals was a bit withdrawn, hanging out in the "birthing tunnel" ornament I put in the tank (it's like a bridge covered with artificial grass, so the birthing mama can hide a bit while she's in labor and the fry can swim up through little holes in the ceiling and hide in the grass). It was Creamy (remember, all fish named by young nieces!), the light yellow female, who had been looking ridiculously pregnant for days. I've read that livebearers tend to have their babies in the wee hours of the morning, and as it happened, I was up extraordinarily late and checked the tank before going to bed. I could barely even register what I was seeing when a teeny-tiny pair of eyes with a tail fin emerged from the fake grass and started swimming upward. The whole sequence took less than one second: Omigod, it's a -- CHOMP. Yeah, one of the other molly gals practically inhaled the baby before my eyes. And then she did it again with another one. I didn't see any others, and Creamy was swimming around like usual and no longer looked ... birthwardly inclined. I went to sleep pretty annoyed with Shiny, the perpetrator. Shiny's the white molly who weeks earlier had given birth to the lone fry in my fry tank. It's hard to be mad at a fish (I mean, she was just doing what nature dictates, you know? If it swims, and it fits in her mouth, it's food). But I was still pretty p.o.'d. I've got fry food, I've got a lovely heated fry tank, I am so freakin' ready to raise up some baby balloon mollies. The next day, my eagle-eyed six-year-old niece spotted a rogue baby hanging out near the surface, and we safely dispatched it to the fry tank. The fry born a month earlier, Cutiepie (remember, she names the fish), looked enormous next to the newbie, but not big enough to gobble it up. This morning, Creamy was doing the hiding-in-the-tunnel routine again, and I found one more baby. So now I have three fry, which sounds kind of pathetic given that mollies are unbelievably prolific, but I'm over the moon. Hoping to find more babies tonight, if I'm lucky.
  7. I was wondering if anyone has had luck with Telescopes and Mollies. I was hoping to get some lyretails and balloon mollies and I wanna know if I should wait to get my 20 back up and running or if they would be ok with my telescopes. I have never had fancy goldfish and I know that people in the real world have better advice than petco haha. Right now my telescopes are sharing their tank with 3 little feeder fish and there haven't been feeding or nibbling issues. The telescopes are pretty fast and the food gets pushed around with the filter outflow. I plan on possibly getting a ranchu or an oranda. My guys are about 1.5 to 2 inches.
  8. Today, being that my fiance is sick, I was feeding my fiances molly tank. I noticed that one of the mollies died from what it appears as starvation and another is VERY skinny. The female dalmation and the male silver lyretail are VERY aggro mollies. I was going to move the black male with my temp Creamsicle (she's supposed to be in my fiance's tank) and the three male guppies, but i wanted to know if there are any dieseases that could be the reason for his mal-nutrition. Oh and the Creamsicle is such a sweetie i'm probably not going to give her up
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