One of my platys is either having or has had babies! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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One of my platys is either having or has had babies!

I'm so new to this whole fish adventure that I really didn't know what to expect. I was kind of thinking 2 of my females are pregnant because they seemed to be getting rather rounded in the belly. Well, I just happened to be putting some new foliage in the tank tonight when, at first glance, I noticed something that looked like a piece of debris, i.e., food. I looked at it a couple seconds longer and realized it wasn't falling to the bottom like the food flakes normally do and on looking even closer I noticed a tiny red dot in it's center with a nearly translucent fin moving rhythmically at it's rear. It couldn't have been any bigger than a staple, if that.

I just about screamed but had to be careful because the kids were settling down to fall asleep. I kept saying, "Ken, come here!" and finally he came out of the computer room and was like "What?!" I told him there was a baby in the tank and I wanted to try to save it so he gave me a little plastic cup but in the time that I turned around to reach for the cup and turned back to the tank I lost track of it. I kept looking, and looking, and looking but to no avail. It must be fish food for one of the platys by now.

I feel so awful because I didn't know what to expect or look for so I missed it. For those of you who've raised platys, how many do they typically have at a time and is there a general timeline for the birthing process? As best I can tell it's only happened within the last 45 minutes. I'm wondering if I should get out there and look for more to be happening.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-21-2008, 11:48 PM
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I have seen live fish have 10 to 25 babies. Better get that breeder tank, Jo. It's fascinating. If you have floating plants, some of the babies might have made it. They are very small, though....smaller than a staple. If the gravid spot gets dark, it's time to put the female in a breeder tank.

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebinde ... rofaq2.htm

pictures:

http://fish.orbust.net/livebearers.html

breeding trap:
$3.79

http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/cat/inf ... tegory.web

Make sure you get one that FASTENS to the inside of the tank, not a floating breeder box. If it filled with water, it would lose oxygen quickly, and the mother fish would die. The other type gets oxygen from the air, and it's enough for one fish and some tiny fry. Take mother out when the breeding is done, or she might eat the babies (if they manage to swim up). I'd watch for about an hour.




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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jeanie
I have seen live fish have 10 to 25 babies. Better get that breeder tank, Jo.

I'd watch for about an hour.
Crud! At nearly 11:00 at night I can't get a breeder tank now. Will get one tomorrow.

About the "chubby" females' behavior... I have 2 females that I think are pregnant - my blue Mickey, or "Minnie" as it were , and my Rainbow. When I happened to stumble upon that baby in the tank, and then lost it as fast as I found it, I began to notice those 2 females just sort of free floating underneath the current from the return of the filter. Is that typical? They've been there now for at least a half hour.

Boy! Talk about an extreme of emotions... 4 weeks ago you couldn't have convinced me that having fish would be interesting and now I'm trying to save some babies I didn't even know were on the way!

****! This just had to happen in the middle of the week, too. I'm not exactly the happiest person in the morning without a sufficient number of hours of sleep but I can't seem to tear myself away from the tank.

One more question, Jeanie... if I'm not there to witness the birthing process, how quickly would you say the fry are snatched up and gone?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 01:11 AM
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One or two might make it up to floating plants, but the other fish usually follow the mother and eat the fry as they're born. When there's a male in the aquarium you can be sure all the females are gravid. (pregnant)




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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jeanie
One or two might make it up to floating plants, but the other fish usually follow the mother and eat the fry as they're born.
I kind of wondered about that. I noticed the 2 rounded belly females floating underneath the return flow from the filter and my one male was right there with them. They've all kind of gone back to normal activity now so I'm assuming it's all over with. I still cannot tell which of those 2 females had the babies but will keep a close watch on the tank as best I can in the next few days for more activity. We're leaving town for the weekend, though, so I'm afraid I might miss the next one as well. If what I read is correct, that platys can have babies monthly , then chances are I'll eventually get this whole process down to a science. I'm still sitting her absolutely amazed now that I know what platy fry look like! So tiny I almost mistook it for flake food.

I was doing some reading on that link that you posted, Jeanie, and one person talked of actually taking the mother out of the community tank when she knew it was "time" and placing her in a 5-gallon tank all by herself instead of using the breeding tanks. Knowing how I am, I'll probably be up half the night contemplating the pros and cons of those 2 options.

Thanks again for everything, Jeanie. Here's hoping for much better luck next time.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 11:13 AM
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I had a baby tank. Your power filter would suck them right into the filter. I'm not sure why the females are hanging out around the filter. I would keep the babies in the breeding box and let mother into the main tank.

When mine got a bit larger, easier to handle without harming, I put them in their own small tank with a foam filter or undergravel filter, and feed them baby brine shrimp. Later, you can crumble up some flake food. A box filter would be all right too, and very inexpensive.





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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, I never even considered the power of the filter. Sheesh! Thanks!

I guess I considered that having a separate tank to transfer the female to would possibly put less stress on her in case I guessimated her "drop date" too soon.

These breeder boxes, do you know if they come in varying sizes. The only ones I have ever seen face-to-face were in the aquariums at the pet store and I would have considered those kind of small, maybe holding 3 to 4 cups of water at best.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 12:51 PM
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Some are slightly larger. But there is plenty of air going across the top to keep the water oxygenated, and you can lift the box a bit to let some water out and in. Just avoid letting the mother out, because you don't want to stress her by using the net too often.

Mother fish will eat the babies too, so that's why I used the breeding box to let her drop the fry and for them to get a bit larger. If she's in a separate tank, she will probably eat her babies. I love black Mollies because they don't eat their babies. They prefer greens, but will eat regular flake food also.




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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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I love black Mollies because they don't eat their babies. They prefer greens, but will eat regular flake food also.
Don't give me too many ideas, Jeanie. I'd better quit while I'm ahead on this fish thing, at least until I get this tank stabilized and get the hang of how Platys birth.

A friend of mine suggested Mollies too but the thing she told me about them that kept me from going with them is that they are very frequent breeders. Well, little did I know at the time that Platys are just like that!

In all seriousness, though, I may get another tank within a few months to put something like Mollies in.

One more question for you, Jeanie... were you so good at predicting when the female platy was ready to give birth that you had it down to just a few hours? I hate to put the poor thing in the breeding tank too early to where she's stuck there for a couple days. I think it might have been you that said the breeding tanks can stress them out to the point where they abort all their babies.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 02:07 PM
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No, I watched her gravid spot and bulk. When she got really dark (the eyes of the fry) I usually had her in the breeder a day or two. On some occasions I saw her giving birth in the tank, and then hurried to get her into the breeder box. It's fascinating, Jo!




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