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littlelucy 06-13-2011 03:39 PM

Surprise Swordtail babies
Hi All,

We have been dabbling in fish keeping for around 4 months. We have not lost (that) many in our trial and error and as the children have lost interest, I have actually started enjoying it!

We have (don't all groan) a 60l Biorb. Currently stocked with a swordtail, a dwarf gourami and two tetra. I thought that the swordtail was ill with a tumour about 6 weeks ago but on doing some research decided she was probably pregnant (and had been when purchased). However the large bump disappeared and the children were stoical about the fact that fish eat their babies! I had gone out to buy a fry net but missed the birth :-(

So, 6 weeks on, a rather dirty tank desperately needing cleaned due to a holiday away and the loss of two tetra to whitespot (interestingly they were the only ones to get it and I thought they had been happily treated, hey ho). Due to the need to find the two tetra and remove them, I emptied the tank of all items of decoration and started removing the ceramic media at the bottom. For those not famkiliar with biorb, the media is really chunky unlike normal gravel and luckily for us, has lots of hinding places.

Imagine my surprise when 7, 0.6 ish cm long red mini swordtails start darting around. They have been hiding at the bottom, feeding on the left over food detritus (and possibly a tetra) for around 6 weeks. After fishing them all out in little glass dishes as the gourami and adult swordtail could obviously see lunch, I am now at a loss what to do.

I didn't feel I could just put them back in to go and hide at the bottom again as I felt their luck may run out. I have put them in the nursery net cage thingy at the top of the tank. However now they are not able to access all the food bits at the bottom.

Do questions.
1. should I just release them back into the tank and let them be?
2. If not, how often do I have to feed them? I gave them some flaked food that we use today and they seemed to be able to eat it by biting at it until it disintergrated.
3. Do i need to change the water more often now?
4. should I just set up another tank for them?
4a if so, would they cope with the cycling of the tank or would I be better to swap the exisiting filter over and put a new one in the existing tank?


Huge thanks for reading


littlelucy 06-13-2011 03:44 PM

here's the pic
1 Attachment(s)

alysalouise 06-17-2011 01:43 AM


Originally Posted by littlelucy (Post 699803)

Their to big to be living in the netbreeder or what ever it is that you have, A small tank like a 5 gallon would do until their bigger then the other fishes mouth, i would do about 3 and a half gallons of the water from the other tank and then a gallon and a half new water, at that size i have been able to keep my babies with the rest of my fish, but my fish arent that big lol

SeaHorse 06-17-2011 07:38 AM

If you move the filter you will cause a new cycle or mini cycle on your old tank. I have read in here that using the old water from the old tank is unnecessary but I think I would also be inclined to use some too. lol I'm all for more tanks !! so you would have to move some of the old filter media to the new filter to seed the new tank. Both tanks could mini cycle again... lots of live plants would help to minimize this.

They look bigger than just itty bitty babies and I would be inclned to leave them in the bigger tank and provide more cover... go get a few extra plants. Live or plastic if you don't have the space for another tank. They have managed on their own up until now right? Good luck... let us know what you decide to do. Hopefully others will chime in here too!

SeaHorse 06-17-2011 07:39 AM

Oh and Congratulations!!

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