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My swordtails pregnant what should I do?

Barry Tetra

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I think fries will born in about 2 weeks, should I put my swordtail mother in the QT tank? the main tank have rams in it they might eat the fries, so what should I do?
 

Jan Cavalieri

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There is a section on breeding


Would be a good idea to get a little 5 gallon tank ready for them so you can catch them as they are born. Make the water about 1/2 from the parents tank and 1/2 fresh. Buy a filter and heater. On the filter media - still some from the parents tank and put it in the babies tank - that way no cycling of the tank is necessary. I just did this for 3 not so small gourami fry. They've had no problems with the water. We lost some unknown number before we noticed we had babies and were only able to rescue 3 - who knows how many were actually born. In hindsight I should have let them all get eaten - I have no room for more fish that will grow to 6" or more and are semi-aggressive.
 

Colin_T

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In the wild, female livebearers hang out in large groups consisting of between 20 & 50 (but sometimes up to 100 or more) females. These groups have a pecking order with the biggest most dominant female ruling the group and she has a group of girlfriends who back her up. All the other females live in the group but are lower down the pecking order.

The groups of females move around rivers and waterways looking for food and places to hang out. As the groups move around a few males follow the group and try to breed with any females. The groups of males have a pecking order too and the biggest male will bully his smaller mates.

In the confines of an aquarium, the males will constantly harass the females and try to breed with them. This puts undue stress on the females and if there are too many males constantly pestering the females, the females can get sick and die.

It is preferable to keep livebearers in single sex tanks (either male or female but not both sexes together). If you want a group of males and females then have 1 male and at least 6 females (preferably 10 or more females per male).

Female livebearers can carry up to 6 sperm packets from breeding with males and they use 1 sperm packet to fertilise each batch of eggs. The gestation period (from the time she fertilises the eggs to when she gives birth to free swimming babies) is about 1 month. After which she will fertilise another batch of eggs using another sperm packet. This allows female livebearers to produce young about once a month for up to 6 months without any males being present.

If you want to breed livebearers for specific colours, then have a tank with females and let them give birth and use up all the sperm packets they are carrying in their body. Give them a few months without being pregnant and then add a male to the tank for a week before moving him out, or move the female/s into a tank with a male for a week and let them breed. Then move the females back into their own tank.

The above information applies to most livebearers but female swordtails can turn into males if there is no male present for a long time. If you have a group of female swordtails and they use up all their sperm packets, and there is no male around, the dominant female will turn into a male and start breeding with the other females.

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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 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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Barry Tetra

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In the wild, female livebearers hang out in large groups consisting of between 20 & 50 (but sometimes up to 100 or more) females. These groups have a pecking order with the biggest most dominant female ruling the group and she has a group of girlfriends who back her up. All the other females live in the group but are lower down the pecking order.

The groups of females move around rivers and waterways looking for food and places to hang out. As the groups move around a few males follow the group and try to breed with any females. The groups of males have a pecking order too and the biggest male will bully his smaller mates.

In the confines of an aquarium, the males will constantly harass the females and try to breed with them. This puts undue stress on the females and if there are too many males constantly pestering the females, the females can get sick and die.

It is preferable to keep livebearers in single sex tanks (either male or female but not both sexes together). If you want a group of males and females then have 1 male and at least 6 females (preferably 10 or more females per male).

Female livebearers can carry up to 6 sperm packets from breeding with males and they use 1 sperm packet to fertilise each batch of eggs. The gestation period (from the time she fertilises the eggs to when she gives birth to free swimming babies) is about 1 month. After which she will fertilise another batch of eggs using another sperm packet. This allows female livebearers to produce young about once a month for up to 6 months without any males being present.

If you want to breed livebearers for specific colours, then have a tank with females and let them give birth and use up all the sperm packets they are carrying in their body. Give them a few months without being pregnant and then add a male to the tank for a week before moving him out, or move the female/s into a tank with a male for a week and let them breed. Then move the females back into their own tank.

The above information applies to most livebearers but female swordtails can turn into males if there is no male present for a long time. If you have a group of female swordtails and they use up all their sperm packets, and there is no male around, the dominant female will turn into a male and start breeding with the other females.

-----
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 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.
Thanks for the info as always Colin, never know they can change their sex like a clown fish.
 

TheTenthDoctor

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Okay here is what I do. I just leave the female in the tank. What I do is make sure it is heavily planted. That way the fry have lots of cover and places to hide and grow up. I have raised plenty of batches of fry this way, and most of them survive. Just as long as you can provide cover then you should be good. There are other ways, you could always remove the fry to a different tank, however using a net is not recommended. Try using a cup. Or you could put the female in a breeder box although that can stress the female.
VideoCapture_20191119-072209.jpg
 

utahfish

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Either way id remove the swordtails from the Tank with the RAMS.
Platys are hard water fish and RAMs soft water so...
 

emeraldking

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If you´re really worried that the rams will eat the swordtail fry, put those rams or the swordtail female in another tank. it´s the most simple solution in this case.
 

emeraldking

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In the wild, female livebearers hang out in large groups consisting of between 20 & 50 (but sometimes up to 100 or more) females. These groups have a pecking order with the biggest most dominant female ruling the group and she has a group of girlfriends who back her up. All the other females live in the group but are lower down the pecking order.

In the confines of an aquarium, the males will constantly harass the females and try to breed with them. This puts undue stress on the females and if there are too many males constantly pestering the females, the females can get sick and die.

It is preferable to keep livebearers in single sex tanks (either male or female but not both sexes together). If you want a group of males and females then have 1 male and at least 6 females (preferably 10 or more females per male).

Female livebearers can carry up to 6 sperm packets from breeding with males and they use 1 sperm packet to fertilise each batch of eggs. The gestation period (from the time she fertilises the eggs to when she gives birth to free swimming babies) is about 1 month. After which she will fertilise another batch of eggs using another sperm packet. This allows female livebearers to produce young about once a month for up to 6 months without any males being present.

If you want to breed livebearers for specific colours, then have a tank with females and let them give birth and use up all the sperm packets they are carrying in their body. Give them a few months without being pregnant and then add a male to the tank for a week before moving him out, or move the female/s into a tank with a male for a week and let them breed. Then move the females back into their own tank.

The above information applies to most livebearers but female swordtails can turn into males if there is no male present for a long time. If you have a group of female swordtails and they use up all their sperm packets, and there is no male around, the dominant female will turn into a male and start breeding with the other females.
-----
If you move the female to a smaller aquarium that would stress her.

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.

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.
Livebearer females hanging out in groups in the wild depends totally on the species.

Males harassing females in a constant way in a fishtank depends on the livebearer species.

The male:female ratio with livebearers depends on the livebearer species. There are sufficient livebearer species that can be kept at a 1:1 ratio without the harassment of the male.

The sperm packet storage is an ability of most (so, not all) female ovoviviparous livebeares. Viviparous livebearer females however, can not store sperm packets. They need a new mating in order to establish a new pregnancy.
The sperm packet storage can even be over a year and not just a couple of months. So, even after a couple of months it's not a guarantee that such a female is clean. The number of sperm packets depends totally on how well the male has donated.

It's good that you referred to the remark: The above information applies to most livebearers.

Depending on how small the new tank will be where one would place a pregnant female in "could" stress her but again depending on the size. For if it's still large enough to let her move around, there will hardly be some stress involved till even none.

The new tank doesn't need to have plants or any other coverage to avoid a pregnant female to get stressed if she's just by herself.

There are literally livebearer species that don't eat their fry by all means. And there are livebearer species that "might" eat their fry. And there are livebearer species that totally like to eat their fry without a doubt. If I have to refer to fancy swordtails (so, no wild ones), it really depends on the species or the individual character wether fry will be eaten or not. Not so long ago, one of my black swordtal dropped fry and again not a single fry was chased or even eaten.
IMG_7099.JPG

Nor were they eaten by other adults. This happens so often.

I just wanted to put this out here...
 

JuiceBox52

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Livebearer females hanging out in groups in the wild depends totally on the species.

Males harassing females in a constant way in a fishtank depends on the livebearer species.

The male:female ratio with livebearers depends on the livebearer species. There are sufficient livebearer species that can be kept at a 1:1 ratio without the harassment of the male.

The sperm packet storage is an ability of most (so, not all) female ovoviviparous livebeares. Viviparous livebearer females however, can not store sperm packets. They need a new mating in order to establish a new pregnancy.
The sperm packet storage can even be over a year and not just a couple of months. So, even after a couple of months it's not a guarantee that such a female is clean. The number of sperm packets depends totally on how well the male has donated.

It's good that you referred to the remark: The above information applies to most livebearers.

Depending on how small the new tank will be where one would place a pregnant female in "could" stress her but again depending on the size. For if it's still large enough to let her move around, there will hardly be some stress involved till even none.

The new tank doesn't need to have plants or any other coverage to avoid a pregnant female to get stressed if she's just by herself.

There are literally livebearer species that don't eat their fry by all means. And there are livebearer species that "might" eat their fry. And there are livebearer species that totally like to eat their fry without a doubt. If I have to refer to fancy swordtails (so, no wild ones), it really depends on the species or the individual character wether fry will be eaten or not. Not so long ago, one of my black swordtal dropped fry and again not a single fry was chased or even eaten.
View attachment 100639
Nor were they eaten by other adults. This happens so often.

I just wanted to put this out here...
Cool info never knew a lot of it
 
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Barry Tetra

Barry Tetra

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Thanks everyone for info, any recommended filter? last time HOB filter suck all fries in and died. :(
 
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