I noticed today that a couple of my danios are big and fat....could they be pregnant? If so, how long do I have? I assume I should move them to another tank (with marble substrate), wait for the birth, move them back then raise the fry?
Danios are egg scattering fishes, and if this is a community tank with other fish, the eggs are likely to be eaten quite fast. Danios will also eat their own eggs if given the chance. The term for a female danio with eggs is called "gravid", and in many cases the female body will simply reabsorb the eggs unless there is a mature male to fertilize them.
You won't see "live babies" like with mollys, swordtails, or other livebearers.
Does this help?
Yes it does. So, even though she defintely has eggs in there, she won't lay them until they have benn fertilized? I have 4 danios total, two are definitely female, one is unknown and one is most likely maile. The male is currently chasing one of the females around like crazy....he must be trying to work his magic. The only other fish in here is one pleco (snails, shrimp). What should I do? I would love for them to have babies and would want them to survive. Should I move them to my breeding/hospital tank?
It may also just be fat. Danios are fast swimmers and always get to the food first. I also had danios and thought they were fat with eggs, but after about 6 months, I just realised they were just fat from food. I gave them up since my loaches got stressed from them.
Sure, weird thing is that this one in particular seems to have gotten huge over night....
If wanting to try to breed the danios, then I would make sure they are the only fish in the tank, keeping them in their "group". If you see eggs, then you can move either the fish to another tank or the eggs to another tank... depending on how widely they are scattered. A pleco, shrimp, snails... will all eat the eggs as soon as they find them.
Most breeders of egg scattering fishes will keep the adult fish in a tank until they see eggs, then move the adults to another tank to keep the eggs safe until they hatch.
Another word of caution, be prepared to feed the fry, and flake foods won't do it. I would suggest baby brine shrimp, newly hatched, for at least the first few weeks. Be careful when siphoning it that you don't get egg shells mixed in, as your fry will choke on any shells they try to eat.
There are a few products on the market, powdered foods to be mixed for fry of egg laying fishes... be sure to keep the water quality extremely good, or the fry won't survive. This will mean frequent small water changes.
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