Platy fry and platy breeding question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-01-2011, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Platy fry and platy breeding question

Hi All,

First of all i wanted to thank you all for the valuable information you have provided for fish care. I just recently got into the hobby and set up a new tank with some platy's. I noticed that one of my fish was pregnant and i woke up today and found two fry hiding in a plant in my tank. i went and bought a breeder box and netted them and have moved them into the box so as they are not eaten by the other fish. My question is the mother sstill appears to be this normal are all fry usually born at the same time or can the mother give birth to the fry at different times. i have included pics of the fry and the mother, any info you could offer would be appreciated.

Thanks again!
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-03-2011, 02:09 AM
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It is common for a female to give birth over a period of a few days. Be sure to do daily water changes for that breeder box, or you will end up with dead fry. Is this the net type or the hard clear plastic type? It is healthier to plant the tank heavily at all levels (bottom, middle, upper) of the tank and let the fry hide within the safety of the plants. If not all survive, wait a month and you will have plenty more. Platys, mollys, swordtails, guppies, etc. can have 50+ fry every 30 days if male and female reside in a tank together. A female coming from a store tank of mixed male/female is likely pregnant and can produce up to 3 months worth of fry without exposure to a male. They have the ability to mate with more than one male and have fry fertilized by more than one male in a single spawn, and then retain enough milt in their bodies to fertilize future eggs for up to 3 months. They are prolific breeders if they are healthy and will quickly overpopulate any tank if allowed to breed freely.
Fry are also sexually mature within the first 6 wks or so, and will breed with each other if kept together, and male fry can also breed with the original female as soon as those fry are mature enough to do so (6wks) and the same applies for original males and female fry.

Hope this helps.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-03-2011, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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thank you for the info...the breeder i have them in is the hard plastic type...should i let them go back into the tank? i do have alot of fake plants for them to hide in.
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-03-2011, 01:19 PM
If you want to keep them, I'd suggest an inexpensive net breeder or getting a tank divider. If you let them go, even in a moderately heavily planted tank, they are food and they will quickly flee, but before they are too large to eat, the risk is pretty high.
(I have 20~ red wag platy fry in my 10g tank - some growing like weeds, others not so much)

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post #5 of 5 Old 05-03-2011, 05:50 PM
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Can I ask what size this tank is? What other fish are in the tank?
Unless you already have a game plan on what to do with the fry, letting them into the tank to fend for themselves in the shelter you provide us usually the best option overall. The the tank is not over populated or heavily stocked with other fish, there is a good chance of plenty of fry surviving... which will increase the tanks population. If you plan to sell or trade the fry to a lfs or a fish club, etc. once they are big enough, then 2 extra tanks should be considered, 1 for the male fry and one for the female as soon as they are sexable, usually by 3 wks of age. This will help to avoid the excessive breeding I mentioned in my earlier post until you have the opportunity to rehome them.
While the breeding net that was mentioned is preferable to the hard plastic breeding shelters, it still poses much of the same problem with lack of circulation and filtration within the breeding container. Oxygen depletion is another concern. I am not fond of the breeding containers, especially for livebearing fish, unless it is temporary to confine them until they can be moved to another tank within the same day or by next day. Long term in these breeding nets/containers is not a healthy environment for them beyond that 1 - 2 days.

While in the breeding cup/net you will need to do some water changing from tank to the breeding container to help remove excess waste (food and solid fish waste) and to replenish O2. Using an airline tubing will give you the most control for siphoning solid waste out of the breeding container while not sucking up the fry, and then adding water back to the tank, making sure it is replenished to the breeding container during the process (don't add fresh tap water directly to the breeding container, only "tank water") would be the best way to keep things healthy and stable until the fry can be moved.

After 20+ yrs of breeding livebearers of all types, I still prefer to heavily plant the tank at all levels at least on one end and allow the fry to hide and survive on their own. Their growth rate tends to be faster and their overall health tends to be better this way. As the fry grow larger then they can be moved to another tank, sold, or traded... whatever you wish to do with them. If you don't wish to be overrun with fry in a short period of time then a 2nd tank can help, allowing you to mix male/female only when you are ready for breeding to take place. (this is called controlled breeding)

Best of luck to you!

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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