My platy ate all her fry!
I'm so disappointed. My beautiful Twin Bar platy, who I was so excited about being pregnant, gave birth today and I saw her eating them just as soon as they came out. There was no way I could get them from her in time, as it happened instantly. I'd bought the baby hide-out plants, had caves, a coconut shell with holes, floating plants, natural plants and plenty of places for them to hide. All for naught..:-( What do you do when this happens?
I come here for advice, and this is what I get? I don't think I'll be posting on this board anymore. I thought that was in very poor taste.
Rocky, please excuse john and his silly remark. I'm sure it was a joke. Rather distasteful but I'm assuming a joke nonetheless.
Sometimes plates eat their fry and even when inside a breeder net, breeder trap or any other contraption it just seems that nothing can be done when this happens as live birth doesn't happen on a clock to which you can set a timer or alarm to.
When I have a fish that is showing signs of being pregnant and soon to give birth I place her alone in her own tank. I keep the lights off and drape a dark towel over the aquarium. This keeps her from being able to see her fry as they are born. If this isn't an option for you then through in a bunch of floating plants as the fry will hide in them before the mom can catch them.
.... my platy did the same thing when she had her first drop.... or so I thought.... about two weeks later I noticed that when I fed them, I saw about 5 little bitty ones pop out of the bushes for a bite then shoot back into them as soon as a bigger fish came around..... But don't worry , count about 28 days and she will give you more fry, and maybe she won't be as bad to eat them. I bet it was tough as I love to watch mine when they are giving life. Hang in, you may see some little ones in your tank in a few weeks that you didn't even know you had *S*
You'll eventually get babies. I have Twin Bars that are running me out of the house. As long as you have a good amount of cover and keep mom well fed, it's just a matter of time.
Thanks so much, you guys. You have been so helpful! OSagent, I didn't know a dark tank would aid in saving the fry! I will try that next time. I'll just move her into my 10 gallon quarantine tank, put a towel over it, and hopefully some will make it. And thanks, hallie, for giving me hope that there may be a few in there that I'm unaware of. I'll keep an eye out. Fish monger, you've also given me hope! My fish are well fed, but most of them are truly pigs. They will eat and eat, and you'd still think they were starving. Again, thank you for helping out this newbie!
Rackin...... Just remember.... you may end up with more than you want *LOL* The last time my platy dropped she had 46... all survived... and she is about to pop again in a few days. Good thing I have a lot of friends with tanks.... and family are going to take a lot when they are old enough..... I will be trying to sex them on Monday . they will be 1 month old then and I hope I can tell the difference. Otherwise I will have to open a pet shop and give them away!! *G*
Ah, I had a Silver Lyretail Molly that did this the first time she gave birth. I was so upset. I agree with OSagent23 with covering the tank and turning out the lights. I also learned the hard way that "Peeking" sooner than three hours was a bad idea as she would eat anyone she saw in an instant!
The babies sometimes need more than that first second to right themselves and swim off, so dense planting, not just shorter plants like grass, but larger plants that are thicker and keep mom from being able to shoot after them also help. I've found that very determined fish will dig in the shorter plants where they know there are babies until they get them. Even well-fed ones, if you have greedy fish like I do. LOL
I have also found it's better to move mom one or two weeks before she is ready, this allows her to acclimate to the new tank. Or you could move everyone else to a different tank if you have one. Less stress for mom, but then chasing around other fish with her in there would probably be about as bad...my fish are kinda dumb and were easy to remove without stressing everyone, they come right over...not everyones do that. So yeah, if you have a ten gallon tank, or even something bigger, you can use it as a nursery and/or a birthing tank. I had a ten gallon birthing tank, but since I have so many giving birth, I had to make the twenty gallon a nursery.
So in short, like others have already said...lights out, cover the tank, make it as dark and quiet in that area as you can for a few hours. Most likely after giving birth, she may sleep instead of trying to hunt in the dark, giving you a chance to quickly move her elsewhere. And many plants, big and small, tall and short, thick and thin. lol If you can't move your other fish or don't have another tank, you could divide the tank. However, you will have to make absolutely sure nobody can get by, baby or adults, as some babies can squeeze by the divider. I've found sometimes stuffing plants and rocks by all the bigger holes helps, but I've yet to find a way to make it absolute...even though I say try to. ^^;
I hope you have better luck next time. With platies, just like any livebearers, if they have one batch, they will most likely have another one within 2 to 4 weeks(Most livebearers can drop fry that often for several months without mating again). My Gold Platy dropped two rather large batches only two and a half weeks apart, and she did not have to mate again. I had no males at the time and purchased her pregnant. She's looking pregnant again, so it'll be three batches in two months, or so it seems!
Oh yes, just a tip in case you don't already have feeding plans! You may already know better. lol You should try to give your fry a variety int heir diet, all your fish really, and feed the babies three times per day at the minimum. Also, be sure to do a tad extra cleaning in their area, not a lot, just about 2% per day, suck up all uneaten foods and the like. This will help them grow faster, brighter and healthier! As for feeding, I have baby mollies, guppies, platies and swordtails...I've been breeding them just over two years...Boy do mollies grow fast in comparison to all the other livebearers! Ahem, anywho, I feed them baby brine shrimp, daphnia, minced up spinach(You have to really shred that stuff because it's hard for the youngins to pull apart when so small), romaine lettuce if they'll take it...and the frozen food Emerald Entree, one of my favorite things to give to my fish because it is full of different veggies and proteins. You have to pull the big worms and shrimp out though, they can't eat it...but it wont stop them from trying! And turn some tropical fish flakes into dust to give them at least one of those meals per day. It has calcium and other things babies need to grow well. The brine shrimp helps keep colors very bright to boot, and they love it! Give them more veggie matter than meats though. Every other day/every two days or so I give them a little shrimp or daphnia. =)
And also, keep the temp at about 79-80 degrees.
I know, I wrote a book! I hope some of the info is useful for you. I get babies in a lot and it never stops being exciting! :3
Well, it seems I have all the information I need, thanks to you guys. I did have some balloon Mollies born after I'd bought the mother. I was able to save six, put them in a breeder, and fed them the crushed veggie flakes and baby brine shrimp, and they are all still with me!
I've never heard of Emerald Entree--I will have to look for it at my LFS, or online. Sounds like a good thing for more variety for the babies. Thanks all, and I'll let you know how things go!
Congrats on the fry..... You will have to post pics of them when you can *S*
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