12-26-2008, 06:36 PM
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You will be able to tell when she is ready to drop when her belly takes on a squarish shape. Although putting a fish in a breeder net does usually work, it is very stressful on the mother fish. You need some sort of dense plant (real or fake) on the bottom to give the fry cover. There are some breeder nets that have an area where the fry fall after they are born so that the mother can't eat them. The best option however, is to put the female into a separate tank with dense plants (floating and sinking). Most of the fry will hide in the plants and when she is done giving birth you can take the mother out.
However, livebearers can give birth to 100 fry at one time. Unless you have room to keep them or at least a tank to let them grow up to a sellable size (you won't get much $$ for them, you may even have to give them away for free) you will soon be overrun. If you only want a couple fry I suggest that you let her give birth in the main tank. As long as you are around you should be able to catch a few of them (use a small glass as the fry will be too small for a net) and stick them in the breeder net until they are large enough to not become a snack. If you miss the birth this time and are not able to find any survivors, not to worry, she will give birth again in about a month.
I know it sounds cruel to let them be eaten (I have struggled with the same issue myself) but it is better to let nature take it's course and have a moderate number of healthy, happy fish, than an overrun tank which is not healthy for any of it's inhabitants.
Hope this helps.