Question Pregnant Platy

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jillpenta

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Hi everyone. I am new to FishLore.com .... Yiiipppeeee for me. I had a question about my pregnant platy. I have her in a 5 gallon tank by herself, everything needed for the fry when they arrive, it's been 4 weeks tomorrow and yet no babies. It's obvious that she is pregnant because I can see them through her tummy. Anyway, my question is.... Is it normal for them to not want to eat or eat very little prior to giving birth? She has been like this for two days now. any advice and or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
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jillpenta

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Water termp is at a constant 70 degrees. the PH test kit shows it at 7.0 as for the ammonia, nitrates, nitrites i havent checked those. What do i need to get in order to make sure its all good in her tank. My platy has been hanging around the bottom and mid way up the tank. She has been in breeder net for 5 days and has been healthy, She swims around and stuff but just doesnt seem to want her food as she use to. Please forgive me if I sound like a total Dum Dum, as I had said I am new to all this and would really like to make a go of it. Thanks for your help. (Apparently I didnt research enough) LOL..
 

bass master

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ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are the three most important chemicals in keeping a healthy aquarium. Do you know about the nitrogen cycle? Click the underlined words and it will bring up a very good link explaining the nitrogen cycle. Often times livebearers simply wont give birth if they are stressed out, how many other fish are in the 5 gallon with her? 5 gallon is a little small for platys and with too many other fish that could be stressing her out. Also a smaller tank means toxins like ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate can build up faster and will stress your fish out unless you are very persistent with your water changes and change 30-50% each week. If you could fill out the section for your aquarium information that would help a ton in diagnosing the problem.

Forgot to add, sometimes livebearers like platys will isolate themselves from the other fish when they are about to give birth, although mine never really stop eating
 

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Hehehe, you're ok! My first platy fry, I didn't even think to get a breeding set up

Here's a piece of research which it helps to learn three or four times!
https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm

How might this be affecting your platy? If your 5 Gallon tank is not cycled (does not contain adequate good bacteria) ammonia from fish poo, old fish food, etc. will not be broken down. When ammonia is left to build up like this, it causes Ammonia Poisoning. The first signs of this are stress and loss of appetite. This is just one theory, which can be proven true/false with an Ammonia Test Kit. Change the water and siphon up any fish food she hasn't eaten and see if she improves.

Best of luck!

EDIT: Oh and when the time comes, you will be able to see a light orange/white spot on her "bum" and she'll make a very cool-looking vertical wave with her tail.
 
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jetajockey

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in my experience with livebearers, raising the temp helps induce labor. Where in that profile does it say they prefer cooler temps? They definitely have a larger range of temps but I still wouldn't keep it below mid 70s unless it was a species only tank or if I didn't have a heater.
 

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the temperature is listed as 65-78 one the profile, Ive never really noticed my livebearers not giving birth do to low temperatures, but Ive never tried raising the temperature either, I just let nature take its course. The main temperature problem I get with livebearers is gasping if the temperature is much over 75 and there is not proper aeration
 

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i don't use a heater with my livebearers either, but the ambient temperature in the room keeps the tanks between 74-76 all the time. I do know that if things aren't right for them they won't drop, just like egg layers won't go through their breeding process unless they are comfortable. I've kept a couple of guppys in 8.2+ ph water and they acclimated fine but they didn't drop at all while they were in there.
 

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I don't see the purpose trying to induce labor at this point in time as there are other aspects of the tank to examine. If she's having trouble due to other factors, increasing the temperature won't aid her. Platies are a resilient species and will survive at any of the above mentions temperatures happily enough.
 
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jillpenta

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Thank you all for your advice and suggestions. You have been very helpful. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that her eating habit will turn around. Thanks again for the info.
 

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Jill,

As Zenial posted above, definitely test your water parameters, lethargy is a common sign of ammonia poisoning. How often do you change the water in the tank? How long has it been set up?
 
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jillpenta

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I try to change the water every 3-4 weeks, is that to long of a time period ? The tank has been set up for roughly 4 months, originally I had 2 female mollies and 2 platy in there, but i guess i didnt sex them correctly( hence forth the fry on the way). Anyway, i drained the tank last night leaving about 1/3 of the old water in it. She seems ok today, she ate, so I dont know what was going on. Running to walmart to get some test kits. I absolutely love this website, it and everyone on here has been a big help. Thank you
 

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Let your nitrate levels be your guide in water change frequency. Ideally, you want nitrates under 20ppm. So when they get to about 20ppm it's time for a water change. But I wouldn't go longer than 3-4 weeks even if the nitrates were under 20. New water contains more oxygen and trace minerals which are good for the fish.
 

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you had 2 platys and 2 mollys in the 5g ? or another tank?

Smaller tanks, in general, require more routine maintenance like vacuuming and water changes because the water parameters can get way out of wack very quickly.

Get the liquid kit if you can, its much more accurate than the strip tests.
 

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Great advice from jetjockey and jdhef

The general rule of thumb is 20% water change once a week, but in the short term you may need to do it more often to reduce your ammonia and nitrites to 0.

Ideal readings(ppm): -
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates <20
 
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what do I do if the Nitrates are over the amount you suggested, even after the water has been changed and its been over 24 hour period ???
 
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jillpenta

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Ok did a test and here are the results. Please don't yell at me, as I said before I am new at this. in my 5 gallon tank where my pregnant platy is, after doing a water change 1 1/2 days ago, here are the readings. Ph 8.4 ( too high I know this ), Alkalinity is 180, Hardness is 300, Nitrite is 0 and Nitrate is 20. She is doing alot better, eating and swimming around, she does like the bottom of the breeder net where the fake plants are, but I figure that has to due with having her babies soon, Am I right ? The test were done with strips and not liquid. ( thats all I could get at the time, but it gives some kind of base line ).
 
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