New platies

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dezdude

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I just got 6 new platies. One of them has a huge stomach and it is a female...does this mean she is pregnant? I have another female in there that has a large stomach, but not nearly as big.
 

BennyB

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One good way to tell if a livebearer is pregnant is if it has a "box" shaped stomach. When it is getting close to giving birth, they will have a large belly, that the front and back of come to a corner. Like they ate a tiny shoe box. It's that noticeable.
You could also look for a gravid spot that will appear above the fish's analfin.

Here is a blog I wrote about livebearer pregnancy. Hope it helps!
 

Kunsthure

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Chances are if they were in a tank with males, they're pregnant. And they can store sperm for 4-6 months so they can have fry about every month for a long time without a male around.

I think I have oddball fish because my platy and molly moms never got that boxy shape, my platy mom didn't even look pregnant to me, and neither of them had a gravid spot. The molly is a silver lyretail so you'd think I would've seen it!

If you can post a pic I'm sure someone would be able to tell, it's pretty obvious once you know what to look for.

-Lisa
 

BennyB

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They have been known to do that, it can be difficult. Full time breeders have been known to keep their females by themselves in smaller tanks so that when they give birth the babies can still be saved, even if the birth is unexpected.
That's what I would do, anyway...
 
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dezdude

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I will post a photo in a sec. Her belly is huge, but I don't quite see a "box" shape
 
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dezdude

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here ya go
 

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BennyB

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That's a Black Variatus. Still a platy though...technically...
Nice looking fish.
Not to criticize though, but do you think you could get a better focused picture for me? I want to see her better.

Okay, she is definitely prego. She may not be boxy, but like kun said, they might not always get boxy, and you obviously can't see her gravid spot...

What tank is she in right now? Is that your main 20 gallon tank?
If it is, you might want to get a second tank for her. $50 at Petsmart you can get a 2.5 gallon tank with a heater and filter like I have for my molly fry.

Anyway, what you'll need is a breeder trap, and either a net separator, or an second tank. If you end up going out tomorrow and getting a new tank, add water from your 20 to the tank so you will have aged water. Might want to start getting ready.

You can find a lot of helpful info in my blog I posted earlier.

Good luck!
 

Kunsthure

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Most likely she is but try fasting her for a day and see if she gets any smaller. You could also feed her shelled green peas, they're a great laxative. I keep on waiting my female platy to give birth again because it's been well over a month and some days she looks huge but if she gets peas or I fast her, she looks normal again. I guess she just pigs out on brine shrimp night and I know she gets to the corys food.

Do you want to keep the fry? If so, do you have a breeder net or floating plants for the fry to hide in?

-Lisa
 

BennyB

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Kunsthure said:
Most likely she is but try fasting her for a day and see if she gets any smaller. You could also feed her shelled green peas, they're a great laxative. I keep on waiting my female platy to give birth again because it's been well over a month and some days she looks huge but if she gets peas or I fast her, she looks normal again. I guess she just pigs out on brine shrimp night and I know she gets to the corys food.

Do you want to keep the fry? If so, do you have a breeder net or floating plants for the fry to hide in?

-Lisa
Actually, this could also be the case. Didn't think of that one.
But she is definitely pregnant, you should still prepare.
 
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dezdude

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I have her in a fry trap? Idk what it is called, it is like a floating clear box. I was thinking I could get a glass divider and separate a little from the main tank for babies.

Is it too early to put her in the box? I have no more room for a new tank, I was hoping I could just make it so the fry can get a little bigger so they have a better chance of survival.

I have a 20g, there are only 6 platties in there. nothing else. By the looks of it maybe 2 of them are male the rest female.
 

BennyB

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2:4 ratio is good, but those platies will eat the fry if they are loose in the tank. Not to mention other dangers such as being sucked into the filter.

This is a breeding trap, the exact same one I use.
A glass divider could work in keeping them separated if you would like to do that. Just make sure it has holes big enough for water to pass through, but are small enough for fry to not fit through.
 
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dezdude

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Ok, how long is it ok to keep my platy in the breeding trap? Should I still feed her normally?

How long can I keep the fry in the trap also? Around what age are the fry ok to join with the adults? I just bought them a couple days ago and the fish store owner scooped me up a really small platty for free, probably only a couple weeks old but doesn't get bothered by the other fish.
 

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the basic rule of thumb is they are ok to go into the main tank when they no longer fit in the mouths of the larger fish. For guppys/platys I usually wait at least 1 to 2 months depending on how fast they are growing.

And yes you can keep her in the breeding trap and feed her as usual , as long as she isnt freaking out in there then its no biggie.
 

BennyB

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That's a surprise. Really, they only have to be bigger than the fish's mouth. But you only keep the fish in the trap until it gives birth. After you think it's done, leave it in for another half hour to make sure it done, then take it out.

Yes, feed it normally, it may not eat because it is stressed out in that tiny plastic box, but you can and should still try.

If there are no other fish in the tank or separated area, you can let them right out after they are born. But if there are other fry wait a few days for them to get stronger so they won't get picked on as much by the older fry.
Also, if you keep them in a different tank like I did for a while with my molly fry(had the mother give birth in a breeding trap in my 20 community, didn't have the 2.5 fry tank ready yet) I left the babies in the trap for a few days so they could get stronger and survive the stress of acclimation and relocation. It worked out fine. What I'm doing for now on is moving the mother to a breeding trap in the fry tank, so I can just let the fry out when the mother is done, or keep them in the trap for a few days if there are other fry.

I wouldn't introduce fry to larger fish for a month, at least. They could be about an inch long by then, and should be strong enough to support themselves and eat flakes if necessary.
I would keep them in the fry tanks for a grand total of 2 months. They should be much more mature and able to take care of themselves by then. Keep feeding them live foods until they are no longer in your hands(if you plan to sell them) You can feed them flakes when you introduce them to your main tank if you want to keep them.
 
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dezdude

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Why do I need to feed them live foods and not flakes? I intend to trade in platties to my local store for a while so I can build up enough store credit to help me out on getting a bigger tank or maybe getting enough money to try breeding rams.
 

BennyB

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Sounds good, but trust me, if you are going to breed fish, you have to...have to give them live foods to get them to the most healthy conditions. While they grow up is the stage where their bodies are most effected by what to put into them. Flakes will keep them alive, but live foods will make them thrive. It is a good idea to feed them a combination of live foods and flakes. I feed my molly fry live brine shrimp three times a day, and some HikarI First Bites every once and a while.

If you plan on selling or trading the fish in, you will want them to be as healthy as possible, and live foods will insure that. The store owner will be impressed and all the more interested when you tell him that you raised them on live brine shrimp. Trust me.
 
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dezdude

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Does it cost a lot to start the brine shrimp thing? I am low on $
 

jetajockey

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golden pearls are a viable alternative also (cheaper than hikarI first bites too I think), commercial breeders use them with great success.
from
GOLDEN PEARLS:
"Golden Pearls" - A New Brine Shrimp Replacement Diet
Golden Pearls is a revolutionary new larval diet that has successfully replaced live Artemia naupliI in marine fish hatcheries in Europe. A patented processing technique (agglomeration of micro-encapsulated particles) resulting in feed particles or "clusters" that resemble raspberries (under the microscope). Golden Pearls have tiny air pockets that keep the feed particles in the water column, not on the bottom of the tank, and mimics live brine shrimp nauplii.
Ingredients: Brine shrimp, squid, shrimp and fish protein, animal protein, purified fish oils, phospholipids, astaxanthin, vitamins and protected minerals, antioxidants, and immunostimulants.
 

BennyB

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Not much at all. Here is a video that helped me a lot when I started my brine hatchery. Really, all you need to afford is the eggs, and an extra air pump if you don't have an available one.

I got a vial of dehydrated eggs for $5 at my LFS, don't use ebay like the guy says to, you don't need to do that, and a new air pump for $10.

EDIT: This isn't the video that says to use ebay, sorry, I got confused with another video.

jetajockey said:
golden pearls are a viable alternative also (cheaper than hikarI first bites too I think), commercial breeders use them with great success.
from
GOLDEN PEARLS:
"Golden Pearls" - A New Brine Shrimp Replacement Diet
Golden Pearls is a revolutionary new larval diet that has successfully replaced live Artemia naupliI in marine fish hatcheries in Europe. A patented processing technique (agglomeration of micro-encapsulated particles) resulting in feed particles or "clusters" that resemble raspberries (under the microscope). Golden Pearls have tiny air pockets that keep the feed particles in the water column, not on the bottom of the tank, and mimics live brine shrimp nauplii.
Ingredients: Brine shrimp, squid, shrimp and fish protein, animal protein, purified fish oils, phospholipids, astaxanthin, vitamins and protected minerals, antioxidants, and immunostimulants.
You have to order off the internet?
I like raising the brine shrimp anyway...The main point of using live foods is that it is fresh, and not preserved like or freeze dried like packaged foods. Such as First Bites, or Golden Pearls.
 
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dezdude

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O sick, sounds good
 
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