Surprise Spawn - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 07-20-2013, 09:18 PM Thread Starter
Surprise Spawn

Yesterday I woke up to ~3 to 4 what I think are platy fry in my DT. There had not been any attempt to breed. I had identified all the platys as female. LOL I only have more than one Platy. There is a single Serpae in the tank w/ the platys.

I apparently can't tell the difference between the genders!

There still seems to be several fry this afternoon. I can't find them when they are hiding. The only time I see them is when they go from one hiding place to another. One was moving in a particularly open space when he/she decided there was too far to go and turned around and scooted back. So I can't move them to a separate enclosure which I don't have but can get if it is warranted.

Question #1: What do I feed them after I get them isolated If I can)?

Question #2: Which breeder box is easier to deal with? Mesh in the tank or the Marina one that hangs on the outside of the tank?

Question #3: How long after insemination are the fry typically delivered?

Question #4: What should I expect from adding 6 Black Neon to the DT in two weeks? Will the fry have grown sufficiently to be able to fend for themselves?

I better quit silly questions while I'm ahead!!!!
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post #2 of 2 Old 07-21-2013, 06:50 AM
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HORRAY FOR BABIES!!!

Congratulations on what I'm assuming to be your first brood!

I've had so many Livebearer fry born on my watch, you'd think I'd be over it by now, but I STILL get excited every.single.time. Can't help but swoon for the teensy little things! ^.^

There is NO such thing as a silly question - I was asking these exact same questions not too very long ago myself - all of us started somewhere! Let me see if I can help with any of them. . .


Quote:
I apparently can't tell the difference between the genders!
This wasn't a question, exactly, but if you looked up the differences between male and female Platy, the gonopodium on a male is pretty obvious - so I'm betting you got it right. One of the fun things about Platy and other Livebearers is that they have the ability to 'hold' sperm from various matings for quite some time. When momma feels conditions are right to start popping babies out, she's all ready to go - even if there aren't any males in the tank with her!

The other fun thing about livebearers is that they are almost ALWAYS already pregnant when you bring them home - even if males and females were kept in separate tanks at the shop.

Quote:
Question #1: What do I feed them after I get them isolated If I can)?
As tiny as they are, Livebearer fry are pretty big compared to the babies of many other fish. I've always had really good luck feeding them the same fish flake as I feed the adults - but ground to a powder. If you're uncomfortable with that, Hikari makes a product called 'First Bites' that can be found almost everywhere - I know I've seen it at the chain shops, so it isn't hard to find, and it's usually fairly cheap, $3 or so for a little package. Small though it is, it's more than enough to get you through this and MANY future broods. I've always fed this by dipping a damp toothpick into the powdered food and then into the water. You'll want to be careful too keep the tank as clean as possible. The fine powder has a tendency of polluting the water, and you should feed the babies a few times a day while they're very small.

Quote:
Question #2: Which breeder box is easier to deal with? Mesh in the tank or the Marina one that hangs on the outside of the tank?
I only have ever had the mesh ones, myself. But if I were to GUESS, I'd say that even though having the breeder box hanging inside the tank is a royal pain (it is) it's probably safer for the fry. The main tank will have stable water parameters, as well as proper heating and filtration. If you use a box that hangs on the OUTSIDE of the tank - it would essentially be an uncycled, unfiltered, unheated tank. . . but again, I've only ever used the mesh ones. Hopefully someone else can chime in here to help!

Quote:
Question #3: How long after insemination are the fry typically delivered?
Because Platy have the magical talent to hold sperm makes this question difficult to answer! I'm sure there's some kind of general rule, but in my experience, it can be kind of random!

And since I'm betting you're going to ask, I'll go ahead and say that from what I've seen the size of the brood can vary greatly, too. I've had fish that only have a few fry, and others that have had dozens. Sometimes they're born all at once, and sometimes momma will have a few, then wait a few hours or days and have a few more. Livebearers are so full of surprises. Of course, the surprises almost always involve tiny live-bearers appearing out of nowhere!

Quote:
Question #4: What should I expect from adding 6 Black Neon to the DT in two weeks? Will the fry have grown sufficiently to be able to fend for themselves?
How quickly they grow can vary greatly depending on the environment they're being kept in, along with many other factors, but the mouth of a Neon Tetra is pretty small. The fry will be in more danger from the other Platy for a longer time than the Tetra would be a threat, I'd think. I'd think they'll be fine to mix with Tetra in two weeks, but you're going to have to wait and see. The rule of thumb here is that if the babies look like they can fit into the mouths of the larger fish, they probably can, and likely will.

As for fending for themselves, you've already noticed that the little ones are smart enough to head for cover and stay there. I don't try to 'save' the babies born in my Platy tank anymore (there have been too many, if I did, I'd be over-run by now!), but there have always been a few survivors who managed to make it out. A lot of that probably has to do with the plants and hiding spots in my tank, though, so a lot of this will depend on your setup -and if you manage to catch the little buggers and get them into a breeder box!


I hope that helps out a little bit. Good luck with your little ones, and congratulations again!

Last edited by Chesh; 07-21-2013 at 06:58 AM.
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