Platy Fry Question!

Oliver111

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Hi!
I recently bought 1 platy for my community tank (pet store only had one platy remaining). I bought her home and put her in the tank, the next day I realised she looked quite fat and googled how to tell if she was preg, she was. I put her in a breeding box that floats in the tank and left her in there. Later that night she started to give birth. I have since removed her from the box. She only had 7 babies, which seems to be a relatively small number, why would this be the case?? Also I am wondering how to take care of the fry. They are still in the box and I have added a live plant and feeding them crushed flakes.
 

Colin_T

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

Young female livebearers (platies, swordtails, guppies, mollies) usually have smaller batches of young and as they get older they have bigger batches of young.

It's also possible the female ate some of the baby fish (called fry) while she was in the breeding trap. Most breeding traps are too small for a female livebearer to feel comfortable in and the stress of being confined can cause them to eat their babies when giving birth. The best thing to do if you want to breed livebearers is have the females in a well planted tank and let them give birth among the plants. They won't be as stressed and generally leave the fry alone. You can then use a small plastic container to scoop the fry out (in a bit of water) and move them into a breeding net/ trap where they can spend the first month or so of their lives.

The best plant for livebearers is Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalilctroides/ cornuta). It grows on the surface but can also be planted in the substrate. It has lots of branches and leaves for the females and babies to hide in.

Try not to lift pregnant female livebearers out of the water in a net because it can cause them to have a premature birth or the young can be damaged inside the mother. If you have to catch them, use a net to scoop them up but put a plastic bucket under the net and lift the fish out in a bucket of water. This way she stays in the water at all times and the developing babies won't be harmed.

The babies can be fed finely crushed flake food, microworms, newly hatched brineshrimp and basically the same things the adults eat but on a smaller scale.
The following link has information about culturing food for baby fish and might provide you with some ideas.
http://www.fishforums.net/threads/back-to-basics-when-breeding-fish.448304/

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Don't add any more fish to the tank until the babies are a couple of months old. This will give them a chance to grow and develop a decent immune system and they will be less likely to catch a disease when new fish are added to the tank. Also the baby fish might fill up the tank when they have grown.

The female will probably give birth in a months time because she will probably be carrying sperm packets from a previous mating, and she will use these sperm packets to fertilise batches of eggs during the next few months. So you won't need to get a male just yet either.
 
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