Livebearers breeding - any help appreciated

guppies galore
  • #1
Hi, I am new at this livebearers breeding. I had 2 female guppies, 1 male guppy, 3 female platies, and 2 male platies. One of my guppies gave birth to 9 fry. I moved them into a 10 gallon aquarium, and they are doing wonderful. Yet the mother died. The other female guppy appears pregnant. As well as 2 of the platies.

My question is, the female guppy whom appears pregnant is huge. I actually thought she would give birth before the other female. In 2 days that will be 3 weeks ago. I do a 25% water change weekly. The pet store told me to increase my water temperature 2 degrees to speed it up, and I have tried that but still nothing. She just looks like she is ready to pop open. I want to try to save as many fry as I can, so any help would be appreciated. Does anyone have any answers? ???
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #2
Don't fret about the guppies/platies looking like they will absolutely explode in the tank. That is actually pretty common. The guppies gestation period is 28-32 days normally. However, they are able to hold their spawns for upwards of 6 months if they feel conditions in the tank are too unsafe.

Guppies also stay looking large after they have had the fry, so it could be possible that she dropped already but the others ate them. If your tank has little in the way of plants I would suggest getting guppy grass, as well as a plant you can put in a small pot with basic top soil and a layer of rocks (to keep soil in pot rather than spread through the tank). The more plants the fry have to hide among the more of a chance the females will goahead and drop.

As per my experience with all of the guppies I have, once the females have dropped a batch or two of fry they tend to not have a problem in the future with holding back the fry, even if plants are removed. I would suggest the plants stay though.

Also. I have one strain of guppies in particular that used to eat every fry in the tank so I'd start pulling them, but would leave a couple in the tank. Now, about 4 or 5 months later they do not bother the fry at all, and we are able to leave the fry in the tank unharmed. (Not sure if the platies would respond to the guppy fry that way, but who knows.)

So basically, if you are low on plants try to put a few more in the tank, maybe feed a little more protein heavy foods (dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, etc), and continue to do 20-25% water changes a week.



As for the female guppy passing away. It could've been stress of having the fry, stress in the tank, or the male could've harassed her to death. Usually if he has 2 females that doesn't happen, but it could still happen, I suppose.

You sound like you are doing awesome though! You got the proper number of guppies (trios). Best of luck to you in your fish breeding and keeping, and keep up the good work!
 
COBettaCouple
  • #3
that's a shame about the one that died, but not uncommon with the livebearers. CW's given you the best advice for them and mainly it's about keeping the momma as relaxed as you can so she'll feel comfortable dropping the fry and stronger in recovering. when we had a platy dropping fry, she'd drop most the 1st day but over the next 5, she'd drop some every day usually.
 
guppies galore
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Thanks for the replies. I was so sure she would drop the fry last night, I sat up with her until 5am this morning. I tried to get some pictures with my camera but they all appear blurry. I do have guppy grass in the tank. I have some on the bottom and also some floating on the top. (Read somewhere to make sure to leave some floating as the guppies have a tendency to win upward.) I have other plants as well.

Another question, about my baby fry. They will be 3 weeks tomorrow. When should I return them to the community aquarium? How old are they before they start giving birth?

I hate to be a bother but all of this is so new to me. I am in a learning phase and just curious about all I can find out.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #5
they're usually able to go back in when they're too big to be mistaken for food. i'm not sure how old guppys can give birth at, but I think it's 3-4 months or when you're able to sex them almost.
 
guppies galore
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thanks again. Let me ask you this. What do you think about moving the female guppy into a tank by herself. Would it be less stressful on her to speed up her delivery. I am just really concerned about how big she is, and the look of busting open.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #7
that'll be a judgement call. it's not a bad idea to move an expecting livebearer to a 'birthing tank', you'll just want to be sure she's not too close to delivery that the moving would stress her out.. you could even get methylene blue or fish protector for that birthing tank to help her and the fry out.
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #8
We use a birthing tank sometimes with out half black guppies. (Butterfly and Dino and I had a conversation once about fish with black coloration seeming to be more aggressive.. but that is for another topic another day. )

If you -really- plan to use a birthing tank every time my suggestion would be to leave the two hens with the male about a week then put them in birthing tanks (try not to leave a female alone with the male, he will probably sexually harass her to death, or near it) for the remainder of their gestation.

But we have had great success doing it up to the day before she dropped, long as it is well planted, has filtration, good clean water.

You totally have the right idea with having floating plants as well as plants on bottom. Guppies tend to (or the ones I have do) give birth in the floating plants. I've even noticed the females chase everything from a corner of the tank then tunnel into thick guppy grass and look like she is almost using it as a hammock.

As for the time to put them back in with the adults. We've usually waited until they are sexable. By that time they are well large enough. They are sexable soon as you can notice the purplish crescent moon shape on the females "lower" belly. (right where the body starts thinning out to go to the tail)

FLbetta was right, 3 months is the earliest I've ever heard of guppies spawning. (spawning is the act of impregnating, or "fish sex") It does depend on tank conditions however. The more waterchanges, better protein foods, well fed, less stressed a fish is the faster it will grow. That's why a lot of people that sell fancy guppies as a source of income do daily water changes. Fish produce hormones that inhibit growth. (A method to disallow them to grow too large for their native homelands to be able to support them, I theorize.)
 
guppies galore
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Thanks greatly to each of you whom have replied. I did a check today on my water and had a small trace of ammonia. So I did another water change about 30% this time. (I had done one yesterday.) I am not giving up by any means. My baby aquarium is fine. Everything checks out perfect with it. Do I have to many fish in the 30 gallon aquarium? It consist of 3 guppies and 5 platies. I have a 5 gallon tank on its way to set up beside the community tank. I will take the advice above and use this for a birthing tank. I hope I am not pestering you guys to death, just wanting to do something and seems I am struggling in the process. Thanks again for all the replies and help.
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #10
no no no, you have understocked the tank, and it makes it easier to deal with! You are the type of newbie fish keeper we all love to see; the type that cares, airs on the side of caution, and is very fast to take care of anything that arises. I hope your fishkeeping turns out to be everything you hope it will be. (Some people use the 1" of fish per gallon rule, but it only holds true with low-bioload fish.) Your current stock would be pushing it for a 10 gallon tank with good filtration, but a 30 gallon with good filtration... what lucky fish.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #11
yea, you're doing great
 
guppies galore
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
??? Would you believe my guppy still has not dropped her fry. I noticed the male chasing her alot. So I went yesterday and got 5 more female and 1 male. I felt maybe she was just stressing her so bad that she wouldn't drop the fry. I added several live plants and took out some of the plastic plants. I am going today to get some more live plants and get away from the plastic altogether.

I am so faithful about doing my water change each and every week. I noticed ammonia so I did another water change and even added a little ACE. I am almost sure that fixed the ammonia problem. Now I am worried that she has a bladder problem instead of being pregno.

Any suggestions?
 
guppies galore
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
this is a picture of her, she looks hugh
 
COBettaCouple
  • #14
the male chasing her would seem to indicate she's ready to drop soon and she looks it. she just needs to be in the most stressfree environment that you can give her and she'll drop them when she feels it's safe too.
 
guppies galore
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
the male chasing her would seem to indicate she's ready to drop soon and she looks it. she just needs to be in the most stressfree environment that you can give her and she'll drop them when she feels it's safe too.

Am I doing anything wrong? Maybe I need to give her some other kind of food or what? I can't understand it. As you could see she is HUGH. LOL Maybe I have done something she doesn't like. If she is stressed, how can I make her stress free?
 
COBettaCouple
  • #16
she just needs to be in the most stressfree environment that you can give her and she'll drop them when she feels it's safe too. a small isolation tank for her with plants for cover or dividing the tank so she can not be harrased and giving her a heavily planted area would be helpful.. the main thing is to not have the male chasing her.
 
Chief_waterchanger
  • #17
I tend to notice with most of my fish, if I feed them a bit of brine shrimp cube, or bloodworms it kicks them into breeding. But unsure if that would kick them into carrying to term. I think you've done awesome by the gal, perhaps it is just a wait and see game now?
 
guppies galore
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Thanks to all who helped me through this. I ended up moving her into the 10 gallon aquarium I was using for my month old fry. She dropped her fry on Tuesday morning. She is now back in the big aquarium along with the month old guppies (I had to moved them because they were chasing fry.) I am not sure how many fry we ended up with I have counted 10 or so, but it seems like they just keep popping up from no where. LOL I am one happy guppy breeder now. Momma and fry is doing great. THANKS again to all............
 
COBettaCouple
  • #19
yea, the only way to find them all it seems is to carefully take EVERYTHING out of the tank.. they're such great little hiders.
 
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