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Ideal temperature/tank requirements for encouraging livebearer pregnancy

Ianvaldius

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I currently have a number of platies, mollies, and a swordtail in a 55g community tank with a number of other fish set at 78 F. Is this an ideal temperature to encourage pregnancy or should I increase it to 79 or 80 degrees? I'll likely place any pregnant fish in a breeder net and then transfer the fry to a separate tank. I'm just kinda looking for something to invest my time and energy into during the quarantine.
 

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80 degrees is great for mollies, I bread them years ago and they over ran my tank with fry. You will stress the mother by placing her in a breeding net, I prefer to catch the fry in a cup and put them in the net or better yet another tank just for them.
 
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Ianvaldius

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80 degrees is great for mollies, I bread them years ago and they over ran my tank with fry. You will stress the mother by placing her in a breeding net, I prefer to catch the fry in a cup and put them in the net or better yet another tank just for them.
Thanks! Would the fry be especially difficult to catch and/or find?
 

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The trick is to make sure all the fish in the tank have plenty to eat so they will not go after the fry. With full bellies they should leave the fry alone giving you time to catch them. At first they are not to hard to catch.
 

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I had floating plants (plastic at the time) and many would hide there which were easy to catch. Some people use a turkey baster to catch them, it works well.
 
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Ianvaldius

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I had floating plants (plastic at the time) and many would hide there which were easy to catch. Some people use a turkey baster to catch them, it works well.
oh nice! I just bought one to assist with the feeding of my African dwarf frogs, the half-blind little buggers lol.
 

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I had one years ago, did not know at the time it was best to keep them in their own tank, he did not last long :(
 

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A good temperature is 26-28C.

It is preferable not to move pregnant fish because you can stress them and even damage the unborn fry. If you have to move pregnant females, carefully catch them in a net and then use a plastic container to scoop the female and net up in some tank water. Move her (in the net in the bucket of water) to a new tank and then carefully pour her into the new tank.

If you move the female to a smaller aquarium or breeding net/ trap, that would stress her.

If you used completely new water in the new tank it would stress her. If you set up a new tank for her you should fill the new tank with water from her current tank, so the water is exactly the same.

If the new tank does not have any plants in it will stress her. Put some plants in with her. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) is the best plant for livebearers. It normally grows on the surface but can also be grown in the substrate where it grows into a lovely light green shrub.

If you don't have any live plants then add a heap of artificial plants to provide her with shelter when she goes into labour, and to give the fry somewhere to hide when they are born.

Make sure the new tank has an established filter in it so the water stays clean.

Do not put the female into a tank with males until at least 1 week after she has given birth otherwise the male/s will stress her out.

Try not to move the female for at least 1 week after she has given birth so she can heal up. If you have to move the female after she has given birth, use the method above for moving pregnant females.

Most female livebearers do not eat their young if the female is well fed and there are plants in the tank, but will eat them when they are confined to a small breeding trap.
 

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I currently have a number of platies, mollies, and a swordtail in a 55g community tank with a number of other fish set at 78 F. Is this an ideal temperature to encourage pregnancy or should I increase it to 79 or 80 degrees? I'll likely place any pregnant fish in a breeder net and then transfer the fry to a separate tank. I'm just kinda looking for something to invest my time and energy into during the quarantine.
There is no need to increase temperature 78f is fine, however a lower temperature for the platies and swordtails would be more suitable, has already been mentioned making sure they have plenty to eat if you want to get the best from your livebearers some live food should be added to their diet
 

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Seeing that you have livebearers, you might consider entering our Fish of the Month contest starting in the middle of April. This month we will be featuring livebearers only. So take a good pic of one of your livebearers and be ready to enter our FOTM contest!
 
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Ianvaldius

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A good temperature is 26-28C.

It is preferable not to move pregnant fish because you can stress them and even damage the unborn fry. If you have to move pregnant females, carefully catch them in a net and then use a plastic container to scoop the female and net up in some tank water. Move her (in the net in the bucket of water) to a new tank and then carefully pour her into the new tank.

If you move the female to a smaller aquarium or breeding net/ trap, that would stress her.

If you used completely new water in the new tank it would stress her. If you set up a new tank for her you should fill the new tank with water from her current tank, so the water is exactly the same.

If the new tank does not have any plants in it will stress her. Put some plants in with her. Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta) is the best plant for livebearers. It normally grows on the surface but can also be grown in the substrate where it grows into a lovely light green shrub.

If you don't have any live plants then add a heap of artificial plants to provide her with shelter when she goes into labour, and to give the fry somewhere to hide when they are born.

Make sure the new tank has an established filter in it so the water stays clean.

Do not put the female into a tank with males until at least 1 week after she has given birth otherwise the male/s will stress her out.

Try not to move the female for at least 1 week after she has given birth so she can heal up. If you have to move the female after she has given birth, use the method above for moving pregnant females.

Most female livebearers do not eat their young if the female is well fed and there are plants in the tank, but will eat them when they are confined to a small breeding trap.
I purchased the Aquatop nursery box awhile back because it has holes in the bottom that the fry can escape through and it can rest in the tank. So you're saying that isn't recommended. I currently have 3 platies (1 male), one swordtail (my male bumblebee platy has been especially interested in her, so she's likely been fertilized if she wasn't already), and 5 mollies (1 male) in a 55 gallon with other community fish. Is it recommended to separate the females from the males now or just leave them in the tank? I have a 10 gallon that has been cycled I could potentially put them in, but I worry it might stress the fish out in the move and be too cramped for them. I assume it would, however, ensure that many more of the fry survive than would in my community tank.
 

Colin_T

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Breeding traps are horrible things and stress the females that get put in them.

If you have a spare tank, you can either move the pregnant/ gravid female/s into it and leave them there to give birth, or you can move the males into the spare tank so the females can have the bigger tank to live and give birth in.

A 10 gallon tank is fine for a female livebearer to give birth in. Have lots of plants in the tank and feed the female well and she will have lots of babies and most should survive. If the females are not fed well, they will sometimes eat their young.

Don't use a power filter in the baby tank because the fry can get sucked into the filter. Use an air operated sponge filter instead.
 
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Ianvaldius

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Breeding traps are horrible things and stress the females that get put in them.

If you have a spare tank, you can either move the pregnant/ gravid female/s into it and leave them there to give birth, or you can move the males into the spare tank so the females can have the bigger tank to live and give birth in.

A 10 gallon tank is fine for a female livebearer to give birth in. Have lots of plants in the tank and feed the female well and she will have lots of babies and most should survive. If the females are not fed well, they will sometimes eat their young.

Don't use a power filter in the baby tank because the fry can get sucked into the filter. Use an air operated sponge filter instead.
Thanks, that's very helpful. Would a sponge over a power filter work the same way? I have one in my 55 currently and one I can put over the power filter in my 10G to prevent plants from getting sucked in. I assume it's the same concept, right?
 

Colin_T

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A sponge can help but if the power filter is producing a strong current, the fry could get drawn into the sponge.
 

I nEEd mEnTAl HeLP

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Your temp is perfectly fine, guppies will breed at almost any temp that they are still alive in(of course there are exceptions, but they should breed anywhere from 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit) . Also like others have said you don't want to move the female somewhere else. The fry will be pretty difficult to net out... I would just get lots of floating plants like frogbit, hornwort, java moss, and giant duckweed for the fry to hide in. Keep in mind tho that once you have the guppies breeding, your tank might get overrun which will require ANOTHER tank and lots of water changes.
 

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