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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there and hiya,

I'm so glad to have stumbled on this site, just when I was about to start raving about guppies, fry and how I go about saving them all ( drooling was soon to follow, along with giggling hysterically and acquiring a talent in the art of basket weaving ) so good for me, bad news for the fiance, who was more than happy to say, "Well babe, maybe you should just reconsider this hobby thing". :crazy:

ANYWAY, I bred and raised guppies when I was....hmmm....MUCH younger than I am now, though nowhere near the quality of gupps I've seen and been lucky enough to purchase a few months ago, when to my delight, my 7 year old Dennis the Menace of a son expressed an interest in breeding guppies. So consider me and my personal tormentor of a son ( specializing in white hair and remarks such as, "Watch THIS!" ) a guppy hobbyist beginner.

I STILL maintain that I got back into this for him, not ME. No, REALLY. ;-) I'm trying to be practical and curb the impulse to buy everything I think I MAY need, but rather go about this calmly ( a trait unknown to me and totally foreign ) and therefore remain solvent in the financial area.

So...classic case of "Oh boy! I got great gupps! Yay! Uh....how do I keep them that way and manage to save a few fry?" sigh

With that said....I am here to learn. I've gotten several gorgeous Black Moscow guppies and wanna continue that line. Wish me luck, I imagine it's gonna be fun and patience inspiring!

Great to be here, will try not to pester and/or otherwise annoy everyone. Hey, I did say TRY!

:fish:MsNaFew,( guppy hobbyist in training)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hiya, thanks for the welcomes and yes, I do have guppies- my mind boggle of the evening and annoyance to my guy, would be several females conspiring and giving birth simultaneously- ( my guy just rolls his eyes as I flit back and forth, muttering darkly about this female eating that females fry and how they did this on PURPOSE, and so on. LOL So as the beginner guppy hobbyist, I'm not making te grade. Guess this would be a learning curve....

Yep and before I put you guys to sleep yammering on about how the heck am I to save fry ( I'm the best sleep aide out there) I also have a male and female Betta, which my son has determined to take on a his personal mission to breed ( good luck pal ) as well as a pair of black mollies and a pair of sunburst platies ( all in other tanks ) as well as an albino cat and a freshwater flounder.

We love aquarium fish out here in the boonies. I really like the info I've managed to find this evening, so much I didn't know and apparently, I'm complicating things wwayy more than they need be, going by a lot of the DIY projects that have me smacking my forehead as I realize how much money I could've saved. I just won't mention that fun li'l fact to my guy....
 

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Hiya, thanks for the welcomes and yes, I do have guppies- my mind boggle of the evening and annoyance to my guy, would be several females conspiring and giving birth simultaneously- ( my guy just rolls his eyes as I flit back and forth, muttering darkly about this female eating that females fry and how they did this on PURPOSE, and so on. LOL So as the beginner guppy hobbyist, I'm not making te grade. Guess this would be a learning curve....

Yep and before I put you guys to sleep yammering on about how the heck am I to save fry ( I'm the best sleep aide out there) I also have a male and female Betta, which my son has determined to take on a his personal mission to breed ( good luck pal ) as well as a pair of black mollies and a pair of sunburst platies ( all in other tanks ) as well as an albino cat and a freshwater flounder.

We love aquarium fish out here in the boonies. I really like the info I've managed to find this evening, so much I didn't know and apparently, I'm complicating things wwayy more than they need be, going by a lot of the DIY projects that have me smacking my forehead as I realize how much money I could've saved. I just won't mention that fun li'l fact to my guy....
I breed bettas, and it is something that requires lots of betta experience and months of research, not to mention worm cultures and jarring 200+ fry. Just be careful when trying this because ywith out properly conditioning them the female or male could be killed. Bettafish.com has a lot of good info on bettas, I highly recommend you take a took before trying to breed bettas. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi and you are right on that one, without a doubt. The way I see it is if I can't manage to save the Black Moscow guppy fry that three females have gleefully decided to drop on me, thereby officially annihilating what few remaining brain cells I have left in my possession, and judging by the info I've scanned on Betta breeding on this site as well as the one you so kindly provided...well, my son is gonna have to wait.

We ( he ) has a gorgeous red delta male and a brilliant blue female, both of which I'm quite fond of, their having been members of our little family now, for over a year and each with a personality all their own- I want no drama, fin rippage, or rampaging child who needs no assistance in that particular department, following a Betta demise after a lovers....disagreement.

Honestly, by the time I feel ready to try my hand at tackling breeding them, they'll be ready for the old fish home! So thank you for the link, it's been nice to peruse and lust after, all the different Bettas I've seen pictured.

Please excuse me, I've got to go back to saying discouraging words to my pesky females and their early morning breakfast. Really?! Is it too much to ask, to leave me a few fry?! LOL
 

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I breed bettas, and it is something that requires lots of betta experience and months of research, not to mention worm cultures and jarring 200+ fry. Just be careful when trying this because ywith out properly conditioning them the female or male could be killed. Bettafish.com has a lot of good info on bettas, I highly recommend you take a took before trying to breed bettas. :)

I totally agree. Breeding bettas is a whole lot more complicated than breeding guppies, platys, or mollies. Another good site for info on bettas (and other fish as well, including livebreeders) is UltimateBettas.

As for breeding the livebearers - here are some tips:
1) You need 2 or 3 females for every male, so your pairs of platys and mollies need to become trios or quartets of platys and mollies. Not that they won't or can't breed with only one of each (they can and will), but because the males will drive the females to distraction courting them ALL the time if they're one on one. With 2 or 3 females per male, they can spread their attention between them, which will make them all happier. By the way, male guppies are pretty peaceful with each other, but male platys can become quite aggressive to each other, especially if there aren't enough females to go around, and/or they are too crowded. I currently have 2 male and 4 female platys in a 47g community tank with mollies, guppies, swordtails, and various corydoras and otocinclus catfish, and the two male platys chase each other, but don't cause too many problems due to the size of the tank and 2:1 female:male ratio. Male swordtails can also get quite aggressive with each other.

2) Depending on the size of your tanks, you don't have to keep the three breeds separate from each other. Although mollies and guppies can crossbreed, they are unlikely to do so unless they don't have potential partners of the same species. Likewise for platys and swordtails.

3) Platys can have 20 to 40+ fry every 30 days or so. Guppies average 40 to 60, and can have up to 100 fry every month, sometimes every 3 weeks. I'm not sure about mollies - I haven't had any molly fry yet, and I haven't really looked into it, but since adult mollies are bigger than platys or guppies, they may gestate longer. My point is, if you try to save all the babies, you'll need to make a plan for their future, or you will soon have hundreds of each and you will either need lots more tanks, or your tanks will be seriously overcrowded, or both. Depending on the quality of your fry, you may be able to sell them (online, to a local petstore, or whatever). You ought to at least be able to give them to a petstore, even if you don't get any money for them. I'd check out the local stores before raising entire batches of fry.

4) To answer your first question last, the only way to ensure that the babies grow up is to separate them from their parents (and other fish big enough to eat them) as soon after birth as possible. This is especially true for guppy fry. Platy fry hide better, and move really fast when something big approaches them, so you may have a few platys grow up in the tank with the adults, if there is sufficent cover for them. One of my male platys was born in my tank, and is now the probable father of a new generation. However, he is the only fry of either species that has lived more than a week unless I separated them.

The easiest way to do the separating is to separate the mom just before she gives birth.You can put her in a breeding box or breeding net in the main tank, or move her to another tank. If you use a breeding box or net, you will need to move the fry to another tank almost immediately, within a few days at the most, or they won't grow well due to limited room to swim. Some people prefer to use a breeder net or box, because it may stress the fish to be removed from her normal environment right before birth. I've not had a problem with this. In fact, I currently have a batch of guppies and a batch of platys (both 37 days old) that I hadn't intended to raise, because the moms just happened to have been separated out of the main tank for other reasons the night before they both gave birth. Once separated, I couldn't see putting them back in the main tank to get eaten. Remove the mom as soon as the birth as possible. She isn't likely to eat much for the first few hours, but after that she'll be starving, so you want the babies out of her reach by then.

5) You will know when to separate the mom by keeping a close eye on the development of her pregnancys. Female guppies and platys both have what is called a "gravid spot" at the back of their bodies, above and slightly behind their anal fins. This is visible in guppies within 3 or 4 weeks of birth, or at 2 weeks if you want to use a magnifying glass to inspect each fry. When the guppy gets pregnant, the spot grows darker and bigger, as the guppy gets rounder in all directions. When she is close to giving birth, she will look like she's going to burst and you may be able to see shiny spots (baby fish eyes) through the mother's skin. The gravid spots of female platys and swordtails are is much less noticeable (at least in the darker colored fish - mine are all yellow-gold to red-orange) until later in the pregnancy. You will notice her belly expanding in all directions, and her color looking paler on the sides of her belly before the gravid spot starts darkening. When the gravid spot is big and dark and her sides look whitish, move her into her "birthing room."

For both guppies and platys, other indicators that birth is going to happen within the next few hours include: the pregnant fish separating herself from the other fish - mine usually take up a position at the top of the water near a corner, and/or in or near a plant; clamped fins; slight rocking side to side when swimming (not a lot different from a woman's "waddle" in late pregnancy); decreased interest in food, sometimes not eating at all for the last 24 hours. In a nonpregnant fish, these changes would indicate something wrong - a parasite, bacterial infection, virus, whatever. In a very pregnant fish it is often just the pregnancy.

After birth the boys will be chasing the new mama A LOT, because for the next 24 hours she is putting out a pheromone signalling that she's done with the pregnancy and ready to start the next one. If you notice that behavior from the males, start looking for fry, because you've probably missed the birth.

As noted above, platys are pregnant for approximately 30 days and have drops of 20 to 40 on average, but can be less (especially if it's her first drop) or more. Guppies period of gestation is a little less. Most of us see fry about every 4 weeks, though I know one breeder who says her females drop every 3 weeks.

Good luck with your breeding projects, and have fun!

Edit: the dark orange/red platy on the platy profile page is probably pregnant. Notice how much her belly is bulging compared to the other platys pictured, as well as the lighter color on her sides. I can detect a slightly darkened area behind the paler sides, which would be her gravid spot. From another angle it might be darker, or it may just be starting to darken.
 

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Hello and welcome to TFK :wave:

It sounds like your addicted to fishkeeping already and you'll find a lot of folks here with the same ailment.

Good luck with your gupps and post some pics. when you get a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Amethyst,

Wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you-for all of the great info! I never expected more than a few welcomes and hey howaya's, when I joined the site and I gotta say, I'm blown away. I realize now that what I THOUGHT I knew, about fishkeeping is either outdated ( NO old chick jokes please-I'm still 19...in my mind anyway ) or just completely wrong.

This site is great! I haven't been so into a hobby since....well, when I was about 12 and breeding and raising guppies ( back when we wrote on stone tablets ) in a ten gallon tank with a few gallon bowls for babies! LOL

All I can say is I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies ( guppies anyway ) And this was supposed to be a relaxing hobby, to help me de-stress after taking care of persnickety patients all day. I was up until 3 am this morning, me, a grown woman of the advanced age of 37 (sshh) peering into a tank, anxiously waiting for these gupps to drop. They haven't, by the way....probably waiting until I'm not standing over them. ;)

Thank you for all of the info, the black mollie is definitely ready to pop and now chasing her mate around. My platies, well um, I know I have a male and female for certain but she' just isn't into him' I guess, because he doesn't court her and she doesn't even notice him. Oh well. LOL Such is life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi, I'm MsNaFew and I'm addicted....to fishkeeping and have a multi tank habit.... LOL
Thanks and pics are coming! Can't wait to show my fish off to everyone!
 

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Hi, I'm MsNaFew and I'm addicted....to fishkeeping and have a multi tank habit.... LOL
Thanks and pics are coming! Can't wait to show my fish off to everyone!
Ha ha...

You'll see "MTS" alot on this forum. It's called Multiple Tank Syndrome :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Guilty as charged! LOL

Whoa.... Speaking of charged....got to grab the mailman before he knocks on the door, thereby alerting my poor beleaguered guy to another tank delivery! And condemning me to another round of " But babe! Just where do you think you're gonna put THAT one? Seriously?!"

Gotta run!
 

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Amethyst,

Wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you-for all of the great info! I never expected more than a few welcomes and hey howaya's, when I joined the site and I gotta say, I'm blown away. I realize now that what I THOUGHT I knew, about fishkeeping is either outdated ( NO old chick jokes please-I'm still 19...in my mind anyway ) or just completely wrong.

This site is great! I haven't been so into a hobby since....well, when I was about 12 and breeding and raising guppies ( back when we wrote on stone tablets ) in a ten gallon tank with a few gallon bowls for babies! LOL

All I can say is I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies ( guppies anyway ) And this was supposed to be a relaxing hobby, to help me de-stress after taking care of persnickety patients all day. I was up until 3 am this morning, me, a grown woman of the advanced age of 37 (sshh) peering into a tank, anxiously waiting for these gupps to drop. They haven't, by the way....probably waiting until I'm not standing over them. ;)

Thank you for all of the info, the black mollie is definitely ready to pop and now chasing her mate around. My platies, well um, I know I have a male and female for certain but she' just isn't into him' I guess, because he doesn't court her and she doesn't even notice him. Oh well. LOL Such is life.
You're welcome. By the way, until last summer my experience with "breeding" guppies was older than yours - probably older than you (37 is still 19, isn't it? but then, I'm almost 52, and I don't care who knows). I was able to get back into the hobby last year because I moved my office into a house that had a 47g empty tank in it, complete with stand, glass cover, and light fixture - even the bulb was still good. They told me they'd haul it away, unless I wanted to keep it. I kept it, added a filter (the one there had died) and a heater, and fish! I wanted guppies because I had them as a kid, and we tried to save all the babies - yes, in bowls, without heater or filter - I'm surprised any of them lived! I discovered platys and cories while investigating compatible tank mates, and I was off and running.

I've had I don't know how many babies since then - until recently I only pulled a few out now and then. At the moment I have about 135 platy and guppy fry - two drops of each - between 3 and 6 weeks old. Most, if not all, will be going to a locally owned petstore in another couple of months.

Anyway, even though I'm sometimes up till all hours changing tanks, trying to get a parasite outbreak under control, or sewing moss onto plastic canvas to make tank dividers, it is very much a relaxing hobby. I can sit and look at my fish for hours. They all have names, except the fry and the neon tetras. I'll no doubt name any fry I decide to keep, but I can't tell the neons apart well enough to name them. Have fun with your new hobby! If you spend time watching your fish, they will teach you most of what you need to know, and you'll be an expert before you know it.

By the way, I haven't had any molly fry yet, so let me know if what I've said about guppies and platys holds true for mollies, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You sound very much like me! I am up and running hither and yon, to the amusement of my guy and my son is usually my willing helper. I have treated outbreaks of parasites and dropsy, learning about all sorts of things the hard way. LOL but the way I see it, I haven't lost any fish and I will remember the things I've learned. Well....except for remembering to balance my MTS habit with that of my bank account.

I can and do watch my fish for hours on end, so very relaxing unless I'm on fry patrol. This has definitely provided me a chance to focus more on fish and less on work related stress. As for tank mates, I'm wondering about the theory I read somewhere yesterday, I cannot remember where, that mollies are less likely to eat their fry. Hmm....guess I'll find out shortly!

As a hobby, I couldn't have chosen better, as it has drawn my son in, away from video games ( bleh ) and provides both us an outlet, as we both suffer from mexican jumping bean disorder ( ADHD ) ;) So all in all, I only wish I had done this sooner!

Still, I just wish I could convince these females to drop and get on with raising the fry and encountering, I'm quite sure, a whole new challenge, such as- where to put them, who to cull and who to breed. LOL I love it!
 

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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. As you've already found out, there are lots of helpful members here.:-D

Byron.
 

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hello

welcome aboard...this is it when it comes to friendly informative peoples...MTS sure is hard to control isnt it..especialy with live bearers...at least you have a partner in crime.see yah around the forum.ADIOS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey thanks! LOL Yes, a willing partner and often an accomplice! My son often whispers to me, "Mom, we just really NEED t and I won't tell if YOU won't!"

My son will look with me at different strains of guppies on AquaBid and other places, to get ideas ( We currently have a powerful lust that's hard to deny for these full platinum guppies, they are SO gorgeous and I MUST have, I mean, WE must have them, and the other 20 gal long, and the...where was I? ) as well as to best plot and plan on the DIY stuff, to hopefully save money.

I've come to the conclusion that being a nurse doesn't adequately support my, I mean OUR habit!
Yes indeedy, I couldn't have picked a better mother-son bonding hobby if I had tried, and to me, that's worth everything. Now, about these full platinum guppies....
 

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Wow, we are a lot alike - I even share your diagnoses - ADHD and MTS both. They aren't a good mix, because the impulsivity of ADHD makes it even harder to control the MTS.:p

Fry patrol - ain't it fun? I separated another guppy mom yesterday, and now I have another 18 guppy fry, in my 3g quarantine tank, in addition to about 100 in my 20g long and another 30+ split between two other tanks. (I moved 14 of the oldest guppies (6 weeks old Monday) to my 10g a few days ago, since it was only housing 2 adult guppies and one very small but adult male platy. I moved another 2 dozen or so to my 14g with my 7 neon tetras yesterday.)

Then I went out and bought a 66 quart (16.5g) Sterlite bin for 6.99 at my local grocery store as a second grow out tank. I have it full of water, as well as filter media and gunk from the tanks I changed recently - 2 Saturday, 3 Sunday, 1 to go - to start the cycle. If I can manage to stop myself from raising more fry until these are old enough to sell, then I can breed the guppies I bought specifically for that purpose without needing more tanks. Maybe the bin could even hope to be used as a bin for something other than fish someday. Maybe. ;-)
 
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