A pregnant molly fish can be an adorable sight to behold, as long as she’s not trying to hide from you! Although the term pregnant sounds simple, it doesn’t actually apply to all female fish that look like they have bulging bellies. Before you assume your molly fish needs more space or some more food, it’s important to consider why she might be hiding in the first place and how best to help her with whatever’s going on with her body.
When the time for giving birth is approaching, molly fish hide. They typically adopt this behavior to avoid danger because it is when other fish may harm them the most.
As we progress, I’ll show you what you should do if you notice your pregnant molly fish hiding all the time. This will provide a stress-free environment and boost the likelihood of delivering healthy fries.
Possible Causes of a Pregnant Molly Hiding
While many of us don’t think twice about having pregnant mollies in our aquariums, we should probably spend a little more time thinking about what it means to have a pregnant fish.
When they’re expecting, some female fish will start hiding and spending less time swimming around with their other fish friends. In extreme cases, they can become a bit aggressive or downright even to their own kind!
Luckily, there are several causes of hiding pregnant molly that can be easily fixed or at least addressed as your molly goes through her pregnancy.
The first thing you want to do is ensure that your tank is properly cycled before adding any new fish. A lot of stress on a new tank can cause pregnant mollies to hide for long periods of time than normal.
Also, make sure you have plenty of live plants for them to hide behind if they need a break from everyone else in their tank.
2. She Probably Needs More Space
If you notice one particular pregnant molly hiding much more than usual, try moving her out into another tank temporarily until she gives birth and returns back to normal behavior patterns. It could also be because she’s scared of something in her environment. Whether it’s a predator, an object, or just another fish, try removing whatever might be causing fear for your pregnant molly and see if that helps her feel better about staying out in public again.
Related Post: Pregnant Molly Fish: Behavior, Duration, Care & More
3. She Might Want to Give Birth in a Private
It could also be because she wants to give birth somewhere private where no one will bother her. Make sure you provide ample areas for your pregnant mollies to hide when they feel like being alone and make sure you check up on them often so you know when it’s time to help deliver babies.
4. She Could be Sick
Lastly, pregnant mollies sometimes hide because they’re sick. Keep an eye out for these symptoms: clamped fins, listlessness, decreased appetite, swelling near the gills or eyes, reddened fins (especially around their bellies), cloudy eyes (could indicate ammonia burns), redness along body contours (could indicate internal parasites), swollen abdomen (could indicate internal infection). These symptoms should all be checked by a vet right away! Even though most hiding pregnant molly isn’t anything to worry about too much once you’ve made sure everything is okay with your tank and there aren’t any outside stresses making her uncomfortable, keeping watch over your female fish throughout her pregnancy will help you catch problems early on before they get worse.
How Bad Tank Conditions Can Cause a Pregnant Aquarium Fish to Hide?
Bad tank conditions do not necessarily mean dirty water parameters. A fish tank’s conditions are bad when its inhabitants are uncomfortable, and hence, prone to diseases. Overcrowding, excess ammonia, and dirty water are examples of bad water conditions.
If your aquarium has bad water conditions or you don’t clean it enough, it can cause pregnant aquarium fish to hide out of fear. Fish such as pregnant mollies can become stressed and hide in a less traveled area in their tank to prevent themselves from being attacked by other fish, or from being harmed by poor water conditions.
In order to help your aquarium fish become more comfortable with their environment, it’s important to keep an eye on its tank conditions and also give them space by not adding too many fish at once.
Causes of Bad Tank Conditions
- Overcrowded fish Tank: Some females prefer being alone during pregnancy because of stress caused by too many other fishes trying to nip at their fins or even their bellies (causing early labor). This causes them to hide and will often result in early labor if left untreated.
- Poorly maintained fish Tank: Are you keeping all necessary equipment like heaters and filters clean and maintained properly? Are water temperatures stable throughout the day and night? If any of these factors are off, that could be why your fish is hiding.
- Temperature fluctuations: Temperature fluctuations are another common culprit behind bad tank conditions, since fish are sensitive to water temperature a sudden change in temperature can cause unwanted stress, which encourages your molly to hide out.
The Most Common Signs that a Pregnant Female is Hiding
One of the most common signs that a pregnant female is hiding is if she moves into one specific spot within her home aquarium and refuses to move anywhere else. She may remain hidden for days before becoming visible again so patience is key when trying to locate her again.
Also, keep in mind that while it’s normal for your pregnant fish to hide from time to time, if you notice she stays hidden all day long every day, then there could be something wrong with your tank conditions or it could be something more serious.
How to Prevent Bad Tank Conditions?
Testing the water regularly: Aquarium owners who are seeing these symptoms should try using an ammonia test kit on their water and monitor how high their levels are throughout the day. If your tank’s ammonia levels are high, then you’ll want to use a de-chlorinator to remove them from your aquarium.
Saltwater conditioner: You can also purchase a saltwater conditioner that will help improve your aquarium’s water quality, as well as bring down any nitrates or nitrites that may be present in your tank.
Moving pregnant fish or removing extra fish: If you notice that your pregnant fish is starting to hide again after adding new fish or changing out some of her decorations, then it could be a sign that there is something wrong with her environment and she needs more space or less activity around her tank to feel comfortable again.
How Does a Molly get Pregnant and How to Deal With It?
The stress of having a new tank and its inhabitants added to her old tank is one of the most common causes of pregnancy in mollies; after all, breeding is an instinctive behavior,
and she wants to protect her potential young. Giving your fishy friend a little space might help reduce some anxiety—but you’ll have to monitor closely for signs of eggs in order to avoid dealing with unwanted babies later on down the line.
What to Do If You Find Mollies Eggs: If you see any sign of eggs in your pregnant molly’s tank, get ready for some newborns! To ensure that both mom and baby are healthy (and not going hungry), it’s important to add food that has been crushed into tiny pieces or flake form—this makes it easier for smaller mouths to eat. Additionally, use a high-quality liquid diet specifically designed for pregnant fish as well as clean fresh water daily.
Avoid copper-based medications at all costs! They can cause birth defects and harm developing fry.
What to Do If You Find Baby Fry: While watching over a group of newborns is an exciting experience, make sure you don’t let things get out of hand. Be sure to provide plenty of oxygen by adding more aeration and don’t overcrowd your tank.
Within two weeks, you should be able to tell if any other females are carrying eggs; if so, separate them from your existing brood by setting up another nursery aquarium away from where they were born.
The Bottom Line on Why is My Pregnant Molly Hiding?
If you don’t want your pregnant molly fish to hide, it’s important to provide her with a place where she feels safe and secure. That means keeping her tank in a low-traffic area and keeping other noisy pets away from her. By setting up a hidey-hole for your fish (such as an old cup or flower pot), you can encourage her to stay out of sight when she feels stressed. You should also avoid adding new fish to your tank until after she gives birth—and make sure that any new additions are compatible with your molly’s temperament.
In addition, if you notice that one of your fish is hiding more than usual, it could be because he or she is sick. In that case, schedule a trip to see your local pet store employee right away! They can help diagnose any potential health problems so that they can be treated before they become serious.