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pregnant platy giving birth VERY SOON, need some spare tank advice
Hello, my name is Barb and I'm new here... I recently got a few sunburst platies for my 14 gallon tank. One of the females, I found out soon after, was pregnant. I did not do anything about it, and one morning when I woke up, I discovered about 10 fry squiggling around. By the next day, they were all gone, never to be seen again. Now another female is pregnant (I know cause I can see some eyes in her belly- a little creepy lol) and I want to do this right. I have a spare 5 gallon plastic goldfish tank that I am not using. I have never done this before so I need some advice on what to do exactly. I'm assuming I should put water in the spare that is from the 14 gallon...should I put some gravel in there too? I only have a couple plants I could put in there for hiding... When should I put the mama in there? And when do I take her out? Will the fry be okay in the spare tank with no tank light or heater? How long do I keep the fry in there? Until the fry are big enough seems to be the "well, duh" answer, but about how long in time language is that? Any help would be greatly appreciated, since I really kind of need to set this up sooner than later.... before she blows, haha. please and thank you!
I know nothing about Platies, but you can use your 5 gallon to put them in, but you'd have to be keeping an eye on ammonia levels to keep them safe, since you don't have a filter. If you think you're gonna do this a lot, go buy a small filter, take filter material out of your existing, add water from the 14 gal, and clean water, treated of course.
Check the profiles to see what temps Platies need to be kept at. You'll probably need a heater, unless your house temp is high :)
You can buy food for fry at any fish store. Or, go get a big bunch of java moss, and put in tank, and let the babies hide in it. Survival of the fittest! Some may get eaten, but if they have a good moss to hid in, could work. They probably grow pretty fast, and as long as they are big enough not to fit in someones mouth, they can go back in the main tank.
Oh, and welcome to the forum!
Well, I don't think that the tank could cycle very well that fast, but then again, fry do not have a big bio-load. I would recommend filling the tank with 80% new water and 20% water from your established tank (get the water when you do water changes). Put some plants in there or other hiding places. Gravel is not neseccary, but might help with the plants. I have heard to put mama in there when she looks like she is about to pop, but if she has babies before she is transfered, no worries. Platies normally have more than one "batch" in one pregnancy. But am concerned that there is no heater. A heater would be needed because platies are tropical. It might be easier for you and your fish to get a breeding trap. You can buy them at almost any pet store. do some research on the type that you want. They are like a small small tank that goes in you aquarium and has holes so that it shares the same water. They separate the babies from the mom so that they dont get eaten. Good luck!
Thank you for your help guys! I set up the spare tank last night, using gravel and some water from the original tank, along with fresh clean water and a couple fake plants for hiding. I came home from work today to find 1 baby, so I have kept all lights in the room off and keep checking back once every hour. So far I see 3 baby fry, hiding in the gravel. There may be more that I can't see, but the mama does not look like she's finished. So, I'll be leaving the room alone tonight and sleeping in another room to give her some peace and time. I have not yet bought a heater or filter for that tank, but I get paid tomorrow, so I'll be heading to the pet store first thing in the morning! Thanks again for all your help!! :)
Hi Barb, welcome to the forum.
Since your girl has given birth, this is for future reference. Live bearers usually give birth once a month. So if you keep note on today's date, you can predict aprox when your girls will give birth again (give or take a week or so). To determine when to isolate your girl, look at the anus (?) of your girls now and try to remember the size. When it gets bigger, your girls will give birth soon (between hours or days-this applies to all live bearers). If viewed from above the body of your girls should be rather square rather than round (the belly area).
Live bearers are probably the easiest to breed and rear. You don't need to do anything, they will breed on their own. In fact a once fertilized female will often keep giving birth for the next few months without a male. But usually the interval is more than a month and fewer fry. if my memory serves me right, the average birth is between 15 - 50 fry depending on the type/size of platy. Your girls should give birth to an average of 20-30 fry.
You don't need to do much for the fry either because they are very adaptive and will most probably take any kind of food, incl bread crumbs and algae. Unfortunately these aren't too nutritious and wont make them grow that fast. It would be best if you got them fry food. They don't need any gravel or any kind of substrates nor do they need hiding places in a tank of their own (though all of that would be nice). And they won't need a filter during the first few weeks (in a 5g), though filters will make them healthier. They only need heaters set between 26 - 28C is best. They can survive in lower temps but will reduce/slow down their metabolism which in turn will reduce growth.
In terms of time, you can mix them with adults after a month. Make sure there are hiding places so if adults decide to pick on them (they're still very small), they can hide. Keeping them in their own tank would be better (until 2-3 months). If you don't plan on producing hundreds of them, separate males from females as soon as you can sex them.
I am learning a lot more than I thought I would! I am definitely taking notes over here! That was a lot of useful and very helpful information! I did go out to the store yesterday to get a mini filter and heater, which I couldn't wait to hook up when I got home. Unfortunately 2 of the fry had died, so now I'm trying to support the life of the only survivor, who does not seem to be eating. He is still swimming after 2 days though, so I must be doing something right. I have a lot more information now than I started out with, and I am better prepared equipment-wise too for next time! Thanks a lot guys! :)
I breed swordtails for my LFS. I broke down and bought a 20g tall, an air powered box filter, and made a simple light to sit on the glass canopy. Inside, I have a couple fake plants, a big knot of java moss, and 3 square baby hiders.
the baby hiders are probably 5 x 5 inches square, and are meant to be buried in the foreground of your aquarium. I float them upside down, 3 wide on the surface.
On average, im guessing a good 40 fry at a time survive, more this batch :) I dunno how big platy litters get, but everything you can do to increase their odds is going to help.
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