20 Gallon Tank Livebearers are not breeding

Mcr123

Member
Hi everyone,

Apologies for the long winded post, but I want to give as much information as I can to hopefully get the best answers possible. I currently have a 20 gallon tank set up. I’ve kept tanks on and off for years. This tank was set up in November. It contains livebearers as well as live plants (Annubias, Java ferns, ludweggia, and one or two others. I may have botched the spelling).
The filter is an aquaclear 50.
A problem I am currently having, and have always had in this house with livebearers, is that the livebearers will not breed in my tank.
I currently have 2 female swordtails (I know I need to pick up a male), 1 male and 1 female tux platy, and one male and 2 female black mollies. I also have a yo-yo loach that’s serving as my catfish since they can handle higher ph, as well as an algae eater. I just added the swords and with no male, obviously I’m not concerned about them specifically. But the others won’t breed and in the past, neither would other swordtails and livebearers Ikept. I’ve tried different ratios of males and females but no luck.

I have had enough experience in keeping tanks that I am 100% positive in identifying males and females so I know when I have both. I am also aware of the signs for a pregnant fish, which I haven’t been having, so I think I can pretty much rule out the idea that they’re giving birth and the babies are being eaten before I can find them.The fish are active, eating, and otherwise look healthy, but refuse to breed. The male platy completely ignores the female. The male molly will occasionally chase the females for a quick second and then gives up.

Water parameters are as follows.
Temperature: 79* F
pH: 7.5
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20ppm or less
KH: Around 40ppm
GH: Around 120ppm
I am using aquarium salt as directed.
Tap water is treated so it is de-chlorinated.

I feed a mix of a couple different types of flake food, usually 2-3 times a day. I am not over feeding.

Thank you for any and all suggestions!!
 

chromedome52

Member
Your water is rather soft, and you are keeping them quite warm, temp should be closer to 74-75 F. "Aquarium salt as directed" is usually not a good idea, except with mollies.
 
  • Thread Starter

Mcr123

Member
chromedome52 said:
Your water is rather soft, and you are keeping them quite warm, temp should be closer to 74-75 F. "Aquarium salt as directed" is usually not a good idea, except with mollies.
Thank you! What do you recommend to make the water harder? Is there something I can use that won’t kill my plants? I’m thinking of maybe putting some crushed coral in the filter. Is this a good idea? Also, is it the GH or KH I want to raise? Or both? Thanks again
 
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