Guppy nursery tank questions. PLEASE!!!
I recently bought my daughter some fish. We have guppies, a goby, some mollies,a Chinese algae eater,a bamboo shrimp, and a few random snails. All in a 29 gal tank. I noticed one of my guppies is obviously pregnant, so my first move was do some research. After learning that guppies may eat their young, I decided to try to save the babies. I went back to the pet store and asked lots and lots of questions. The person there told me to invest in both a breeding box and a nursery tank. Incase she was farther along than suspected he said to put her in the breeding box, and (ideally) have the nursery tank set up, for her to live in until she has the babies and remove her once she appears to be done laboring. Following him around the store I bought a 1 gallon tank equipped with a small under gravel filter and some small live plants. When we got home I put water from my "home" tank into the 1 gallon (along with a handful of the gravel from that tank), planted the plants, plugged that bad boy in and thought I was just going to be moving mama fish in a day or two (he said 24-48 hours). I came back online to find out how to tell when she is going into labor and ending labor, and I am reading that I need a 5-10 gallon, no under gravel filters, no gravel, don't move mama, I need a heater and I'm just so confused!!! I don't plan on becoming a breeder, just save the occasional batch of fry, maybe sell/give away some to those who feed their fish fry... I don't know. All I know is I told my daughter the fish was having babies. PLEASE HELP!!!!
Hi Guppiesformybabies! Well I myself have never owned Guppies... but you seem very worried and wanted to help. Well I'm glad you came here to TFK. Welcome. And yes we all get bad advice from the LFS. Local Fish Store.
Now a couple of questions... Fish Mom's eating their babies happens sometimes. It's a part of life... are you trying to spare your kids this lesson? She may not eat them... Also if you have lots of plastic plants or real plants/ places to hide, then the hardiest will survive. You want hardy fish. I think you will find by reading posts in here that Guppy babies do quite well. You can also use breeding grass.
I'm glad you have a 29 Gallon, that is a good size. But even by putting Mom and babies into a 10 Gallon is not going to last very long. I'm shocked at the 1 Gallon suggestion. I would not even put a Betta in that! My Betta has his own 10 gallon to himself. I don't believe in housing fish at a minimum size. but that's me.
Is budget an issue? Can you do a 10 gallon and return the 1 gallon? I would at the least. A kit usually runs about $50.00ish. And that 1 gallon does not have a heater. Guppies need warm water as far as I know.
Also there is the issue of all tanks needing to go thru an ammonia, nitrite and nitrate cycle which takes about 4-8 weeks depending on how you do it. Are you familiar with the ammonia cycle?
I understand that sometimes the mama's eat the babies, but my little girl is 3, while I value teaching kids the circle of life, I think it may be a bit traumatic for her to watch a baby fish get eaten, she stays glued to the glass watching her "bishies" swim .... She's already a bleeding heart animal lover, I squished a spider and she cried. (oy vey) Yes I am familiar with the cycling process - no way as seasoned as so many of you this is my first tank besides the fair fish I got as a kid. In my main tank I have some (not a whole lot) of plants that are grown and about 6 bulbs that I recently added and am hoping will spruce up the joint. But no breeding grass. The "genius" at the fish store said that using water and gravel from my main tank would speed the process so Mama can be put in there... Money is a bit tight, not so much that I "cant" get a bigger tank but that I'd be really bummed if I spent the money and its basically useless. I'd have to check with the specific store's return policy on their tanks - is there maybe a different kind of fish that would like it? I'm actually having fun building these tanks. :) Also my water is very hard so if there is a small fish that would like a cozy little tank he'd have to be tolerant to that as well.
Even tho you are familiar with cycling a tank, I am posting this for reference for you. I can never find the thread when I'm looking for it. http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/
It is always good to have a resource/reference but you have to be able to find it. !! It's just me.
Now the little tank could be kept as a hospital tank/quarantine tank for temp purposes but there is no heater in it, they are plastic. It's nice to have a location when you need to remove a sick or dying fish, then your daughter doesn't have to see is.... ooops he's all gone... I don't know where he is.... ?
A Betta can go iin it but it's really small, they should have at least 3-5gal, but lots of people go smaller, and they do like warmer water too. ( I am one of those that don't believe in housing at a minimum thus my betta in his own 10 gal. ) JMHO
I've had two Sword pregnancies but still have not seen any babies. (And putting my swordtail into a birthing box.... omg she went nuts. She was so upset she kept trying to knock the lid off and final moved it. she would have stressed herself and died so back into the big tank she went.) I have 2 birthing boxes now, a net one and a hard plastic one and never used either for that purpose. My Swordtail is pregnant again....
We all spend money on this hobby that seems to go no where..... And we all make bad purchases, sometimes it's fish that were just wrong for our set up. We are all learning as we go... And who knows where this hobby will take you, it's an addiction you know. lol Good luck, hope the Guppy babies all works out. Let us know what she thinks of them!
It's always fun with guppies, they are always pregnant.... My kids got 5 originally and now we have about 30 of them. One cost-effective option might be to put lots of plants (plastic, or live if you have the right lighting) in the 29. They sell grass-like breeding mats that float, but I find any "plant" material that floats and is relatively thick keeps the adults away. Arrange plants in one corner really, really thickly for a fry refuge, making sure the hiding places reach from bottom to top of the tank. If you have enough hiding places, there is a chance some of the babies will grow large enough to avoid being eaten. Admittedly, there is high risk of predation. It also helps, to a degree, to feed the fish more frequently. Then the water quality is an issue though.
You could always show you daughter "The Lion King" a few (more?) times :lol:
I had the same problem when i started my Molly/Platy tank. I bought a lot of unnecessary equipment that i later took back to the pet store. The best thing i did was to put a tank divider in the tank and let the Females give birth without moving them from tank to tank an stressing them further.
You can buy a tank divider from your local pet store but i decided to make mine from this link : - http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/d...ividers-21866/
It cost just over $2.00 and its a lot better than setting up another tank, filter,heater etc etc.
All of the things said here is helpful what I have in my 100 gal. the guppies are haveing babies all day evrey day and I just let them and in my smaller 20 I had it filled with fake and live plants I had caves and no breeding tank they should be good.:-D
Loved the link to the DIY Tank dividers. WOW!! Thank You!
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