Pregnant Molly with Babies?

molly babies

The first sign of your Molly being pregnant is going to be a swollen stomach. Maybe you took a second glance at her and wondered if something was wrong or… “OH WAIT, she is pregnant!” Haha. It’s always an awesome feeling to know that your fish are healthy enough to call that tank home and breed their children there.

Option 1: Let’s Take Care of These Babies!

I can see the passion behind wanting to keep these cute babies. It’s a super fun process and is pretty easy at the same time. I would especially like to have children be involved in this beautiful process. It just seems like a great moral for children to learn about. Let’s give a quick guide on how to take care of these babies on the way.

1. Need to Stop Fish from Eating Them

Most fish are going to want to eat these small little babies! To do this we watch closely for the pregnant Molly female to get super close to dropping her young. It is said that there will be a “V” shape at the bottom of her stomach right before laying.

2. Buy a Breeders Box

A breeders box is a little cage that sits on the top of your aquarium. When the female is close to giving birth you put her in this little cage. The breeders net is designed so that the babies fall through these small holes and the mother cannot eat them. These things are engineered perfect and work amazing! It’s just a clear plastic box so it’s super cheap in cost too. Here is a link:

Marina Hang-On Breeding Box, Medium
List Price: $9.28
Price: $9.28
Price Disclaimer

4. Caring for the New Babies

The hard part of getting the babies safe is now over. Caring for them is pretty easy. Make sure your filter intake or any hazard for these TINY fish is gone. Sponge filters work well! Feed them regular flakes but mash them up so they are smaller because their mouth is smaller. The water parameters all need to be the same as regular Mollies. Remember to have a heater if your new fry are in a different tank. We need them in tropical temps too. From there on.. you will care for them tell they hit adulthood. They do grow quite fast and it’s fun to watch them mature.

I wanted to create this help guide on different aspects Molly fish owners can take on their fish being pregnant. There are a couple different paths you can choose to go down. I like to give two routes in this situation. You can choose to not care for the babies on their way or you can choose to keep some of the baby fry and watch them grow into adults.

OPTION 2: Choosing Not to Care for Babies

Here’s the deal. Even though the female Molly is pregnant and going to give birth to numerous babies, other fish and even the parents will feed on them as soon as given the chance. YES it’s a gruesome thought but that’s Mother Nature. So by doing nothing in your tank, the female will birth her baby fry and they will be eaten.

Heavily Plant Your Tank for Hiding

This route is the middle of the road route that I usually take. I can’t keep up with all my tanks and new baby fry so I let nature take its course. I heavily plant an decorate my tank and this gives the babies a higher success rate of living because they can hide from predators. I will attest to having babies survive and living strong lives. This is a great route to take that doesn’t involve too much work.

Plants with big leaves work really well because they have a lot of coverage for the fish to take corners in and hide. Here is a plant that we order for our tanks. It’s a tall sturdy plant and¬†worth the cheap price!


Tell Us Your Story!

Posted by Jessica Miung:

I’m pretty sure my fish is pregnant because she is acting all weird just sitting by the heater and she has never done that before.. It’s almost like she wants nothing to do with the other fish and I don’t blame her! When I was pregnant I felt the exact same way ūüôā I think were going to take care of the babies and try to put them in a separate tank for my daughter. She is super super super excited. Great guide by the way here. Maybe seeking another article on taking care of the fry more in-depth.
Reply from Admin Chris:
Great idea on another article for in-depth care on new baby fry. I sometimes have issues getting past the small stuff that beginners need to know. I am always trying to make my writings as simple as possible but I do still pass by a lot of info that is needed. My apologies, I will try to get an article up and going for caring for new baby fry.

  • Is it possible that a mother molly will give birth to only one fry? I got three mollie gave birth yesterday at the same day. Molly no. 1 gave birth to fivebabies, molly no. 2 gave birth to 4¬†babies¬†and the third one gave birth to only 1 fry. I waited all day long if she will have more but nothing came out. Just wondering.
  • I’ve had mollies for a while now and still don’t know jack ! I watched my male bread my female , marked my calendar a month out, witch should have been time for fry ! She stayed in the birthing box for a full week, not one baby¬†. Now 3 weeks later I find these 5 little bundles of joy ! What the heck ?
  • I have a 10 gallon tank with¬†babies¬†in it…what can I do about the filter? I want to bump up all the poop and everything but don’t want the¬†babies going in with the poop…I put a panty hose over the filter but I’m not so sure it will clean the tank well (the poop is all stuck to the panty hose).¬†
  • ¬†Just get a gravel vacuum and suck the poo out that way. Thwn when your dumping the water out of the bucket look and make sure theres no one swimming in there lol. I do it with my baby tank and sometine one curious one gets in there but they are easy to see and net back out.
  • You still need to vacuum your gravel when you use a sponge filter. You should do it every few weeks and remove 25-50% of the water.I think both would be a great idea¬†ūüôā¬†Check amazon and ebay. Thats where I buy most of my stuff.
  • Absolutely not! Not to be one of “those people” but if you have only one molly at least give it 10 gallons of space. You’re more that likely slowly killing your fish. If not by poor water quality (larger aquariums allow for more leeway in things like overfeeding and poor water changes) then you are suffocating it in a more theoretical sense. By putting it in such a small tank you’ve basically limited it’s territory. A molly will do best with at least 10 gallons of space, even if it’s only one.
  • I have two ,one Dalmatian and another orange spotted one they seem to be doing good however my Dalmatian likes to sit beside the heater at the top of my tank for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. He’s been eating good and is swimming but in between that he sits in that one corner ,hope that’s normal. I just got them today hopefully he’ll stop, the other one doesn’t do it he doesn’t seem to be as shy the Dalmatian molly.
  • I have a question…
    How can one tell if their molly aborted her fry? I am only asking this because the other day, the male I had in the tank with her was nudging her butt constantly, never leaving her side, and I read that this means a few different things. I removed him, but it’s been a two days and I was sure she would have her¬†babies¬†that night, but still no¬†babies¬†and she just keeps pacing up and down the walls, from one side of the tank to the other, almost as if she got a burst of energy, but she has been doing this for a couple of hours. I was told yesterday that she should have about a week to go, but then I started wondering about her aborting her fry because of the male nudging her so much the other day. And it’s kinda hard to tell, but I think her butt is now white. What does this mean?
  • ‚ÄčThank you so much for the add. I purchased 2 Mollies about 3 weeks ago. One male, one female. I believe they will be having a family soon, lol. I have been watching the female very closely, watching all of her changes, etc. Now her belly is huge and you can see what looks like eggs or the¬†baby’s sacs or something in her belly. I read online on a few different sites that when a female is very close to giving birth, that the other fish in the tank might nudge her butt. The male¬†I have began nudging her butt the other day, but very seldom. But today, he hasn’t left her alone. He just keeps following her everywhere, nudging her butt constantly. I put the male in the breeding box a few minutes ago to keep him from eating the¬†babies¬†if they were to be born while I was sleeping. The tank has plenty of hiding places for the¬†babies. If I was to move the female, it might cause stress and I don’t want to cause her any stress this close to birth. If there are any¬†babies when I get up at 5:30 am, I am going to move mommy and daddy to the other tank while I safely move the¬†babies¬†into the breeding box, and then I will put mommy and daddy back in the tank. The tank is a 5 1/2 gallon tank, so this is just the easiest way I can do this. What do you think? How will I know when she will drop her fry? Are there any other signs to let me know how long she might have left?