I am a first time breeder. I went to the store to buy a male and female swordtail (I had only one female swordtail before adding the new ones) and I also bought a breeding net.
All of a sudden, my original female swordtail that I had for about 4-5 months suddenly started giving birth! So, I quickly assembled the breeding net and cleaned it out and caught 3 of the 10 fry (they move so fast and hide so well!). She must have either stored sperm for at least 5 months (it was one of only 5 swordtails, all females that shipped to the store that week, and I bought it about two weeks after shipment) or hybridised with my platy.
With this unexpected birth, I am not 100% prepared for fry yet.
Should I do more water changes than my usual 25% once a week?
Should I clean out the breeding net? If so, how?
Should I avoid adding any blackwater extract to my tank (it's a 25 gallon community aquarium with a mix of livebearers and some other blackwater/softwater biotope fish)?
Any other ideas/suggestions are fully welcomed as well.
Having a female give birth after 4-5 months of being alone, would be a big shock!
I think your normal water change routine, will be fine. If you accidentally over feed the fry, easy to do, extra water changes will not hurt.
I clean out the breeders net when the bottom start looking a little dirty. I net the fry, put them in a small container with some of the tank water. I spray the breeders net clean in the sink. Put the net back into the tank, return the fry.
I have never used blackwater extract, but I have read about it being used in tanks with breeding wild bettas. My guess would be that it is fine to use, but I am not positive. The bottle say anything about use with fry?
Sorry for double post!
A friend of mine who used to breed livebearers recommended to take the fry out of the net once they are 2-3 weeks old (depends on size). Is this okay, and are there any other recommendations? My biggest fish is a peaceful pleco who is 4.5 inches long.
The blackwater extract is a mix of trace minerals and nutrients and tries to resemble the water of places like the Amazon, so I am unsure if this is fit for swordtail fry or not. The bottle says nothing about fry. It is most likely safe, but I don't want any risks ^^
What's safe for adults is most probably safe for fry, as these live in the same environment in the wild.
However, I haven't heard of using blackwater extract with livebearers before. IMO it's unnecessary, as generations upon generations of livebearers have been raised and thrived without it. It might even do more harm, for all we know. I'd reserve blackwater extract for fish that are commonly used with it, such as bettas and some tetras. At least we have the benefit of popular experience here.
I have been crushing up a mixture of Tropical Flake Food and BettaMin flakes (for the protein) and feeding hardboiled egg yolk. I do not *think* I am overfeeding, as the bits are so small that they float; I remove floating food after a few hours because the fry nibble at it.
What's the likelyhood of these 4 fry (caught another!) living in this net? With the amount of food, will they eat well? How easy is it to pollute the water? I have the breeder net by the filter.
I am also leaving the rest of the fry that I see outside of the net. There are 3-8 fry swimming around in the community. They seem healthy, I am doing this to see how well I can do with both. Will they be fine too (apart from predators of course)?
Even though your female has been alone for a while, some females will hold fry for sometimes weeks before dropping all of them. The female guppy has drops of between 2–100 fry, typically ranging between 5 and 30. Generally 'virgin' pregnancies yield lower numbers of fry. From the moment of birth, each fry is fully capable of swimming, eating, and avoiding danger. After giving birth, the female is ready for conception again within only a few hours. In fact, guppies have the ability to store sperm, so the females can give birth many times, after only once breeding with a male.
How can I be sure the fry are eating the food? Sometimes pieces are too big for them and they don't eat it. They were born on Saturday evening, it is now Tuesday afternoon. All are still fine and active.
Any sure-fire way to make sure they eat?
Once they nibble, they are sure to be able to get some food on their own, so you wouldn't need to worry.
If you've separated the fry, you can grow algae on rocks and place it with the fry to provide them with a nice continous and natural diet. Just get a jar and put some rocks, fill it with some water from your aquarium, place some fish food in for an ammonia source, and put it where it can receive at least 5 hours of sunlight a day The more sunlight, the better. After a few days, you'll have a nice growth of algae on the rocks. Just place the rocks with the fry and they'll nibble at the algae on their own. Keep on growing so you'll just need to swap rocks once they eat up all the algae.
My livebearer fry do that on plant roots, rocks, and driftwood and I don't worry about feeding them for the first few weeks.
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