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Pregnant Mickey Mouse Platy

Discussion in 'FreshWater Beginner Information/Questions' started by Mary Willie, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Mary Willie

    Mary Willie New Fish

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    I have a pregnant Mickey Mouse Platy. I'm getting a 2nd aquarium so I can keep the babies separate in hopes that the other fish won't eat them. I've been told by one website to not use a filter in the "babies" aquarium. Then another told me I needed to. One said to get a fish net to separate them, another said it would stress the mom out. One said to keep the water at 65-72 degrees, one said at 80. The only heaters I can buy around here cannot be changed, they are automatically set for approx 70.

    I'm very new to the whole fish-business, only had an aquarium about 2/3 months, and the pregnancy was a bit of a shock, both happy and "ACK!!!", but I'd like to make this fun for my kids so am trying my best to do things right.

    Can I get some info from some of you that are more experienced? Thanks.
     


  2. lauraf

    lauraf Superstar Fish

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    Hi Mary:
    I'm not an expert with raising livebearer fry, but here are two options if you want your kids to watch the fry survive and grow. If you leave her to give birth in your community tank, all the other fish will try to eat the fry once mum has given birth, and it will be hard to scoop them out and into the fry tank without damaging them.
    1. Some people buy a breeder box to float in the existing tank, putting mum in there. The idea is when she drops her fry, they go through a small opening and stay protected in the bottom section. You can eventually move the fry from that container into the fry tank, and mum back into the community tank.
    Now here's another idea - please let other, more experienced people here chime in to correct me if this is not a good option. It's just that years ago I found the small breeder
    box actually stressed mum out so much that she would die or birth stillborns.
    2. Set up the second tank with water from the established tank, bare bottomed. Put lots of java moss (which doesn't need substrate to live and grow) and maybe some little upside down pots. This is because you want to create hidey-holes for the fry, which will get chased and eaten by mum. And then before mumma gets too pregnant and easily overstressed, gently transfer her to the tank. Keep the water temp the same as the tank she is used to. My gut is the fry will acclimate to the water conditions they are born in. Watch mumma closely, feed her little bits of food and clean the tank of poop debris regularly. When she has given birth - and will start to hunt the babies - transfer her back to the existing tank - provided you don't have anything in there that is aggressive and might chase her.
    I'd actually be curious to hear from others here if the second idea is tragically wrong in any way?
    Welcome to the forum, you've come to a great place for advice, or, at least, a discussion ;)
     
  3. littletankbigworld

    littletankbigworld Superstar Fish

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    I don't recommend breeder's boxes because I prefer breeder's nets. If I were you, I would buy a 10 gallon tank at the very minimum to hold the fry. (20 gallons would be much better.) Transfer mom into the 10 gallon. (Please use an established media method and plenty of water changes to cycle the tank.) Monitor mom closely. You can put her in a breeder's net and when she has the babies, place her back into the original tank. Make sure she is totally done having babies. They will drop babies every so often for a couple hours. The reason I don't recommend any tank smaller than 10 gallons is because I once had to raise 40 fry in a 5 gallon tank. This was an experience I would not like to repeat. I had to do 75% water changes every day for months just to keep the fish alive. After a little while, I managed to sell the majority and transfer the rest of my fish to a 29 gallon. Anyway, java moss is a great suggestion. The babies need fed 5-7 times a day at first, and then you can cut down on feedings. Babies will eat Hikari first bites, baby brine shrimp, or crushed-up flake food. Also, for your tank, you would want to use a sponge filter. Hang-on-the-back filters are too powerful and would suck up all the little fellas. I would also purchase a tank divider to fit your tank. As the babies age, you will be able to sex them. You can usually tell the gender around 2 months of age. Divide the males from the females so that they do not breed.

    I agree your advice, Lauraf. :)

    I understand this is a lot of information to swallow and you probably have lots of questions, like, "What is cycling?", "What is the established media method?", and "How do you tell the gender of fry?" Unfortunately, I am in a bit of a time crunch and cannot answer these questions, but the other members of the forum would love to provide you with links and information. May I ask how many gallons is your current tank, what are the occupants, and is it cycled?

    Also, it is a good idea to move mom as soon as possible. If she has the babies in the current tank, it would be stressful to the fry to move them to another tank at such a young age. I made this mistake before and ended up killing 20 babies.
     
  4. Mary Willie

    Mary Willie New Fish

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    Well, I got a 20 gal to put the other fish into. Some tetras, platys, & mollies. I have mom-to-be in a 10 gal. I have a breeders box in there, but she's not currently in it. I'm hoping to "catch" her when she starts having babies and transfer her into it. If I don't catch her, I hope the plants on the bottom protect the babies. I keep telling the kids that there's no possible way she could get any bigger and that she has to have them soon. But, she keeps holding out and gets even bigger. Thanks for the info/advice.
     
  5. lauraf

    lauraf Superstar Fish

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    I'm not the best on advice for 'birthing' a livebearer, but I wonder if the stress of trying to catch her and then putting her in the breeder's box while she is in the middle of delivering her babies might be too much.
    It might be better to rely on the plants - add more if you can! - to give enough cover for the fry until mum has finished delivering her fry. Then move her back to the community tank.
    Just a thought.
     
  6. littletankbigworld

    littletankbigworld Superstar Fish

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    I agree with Lauraf.
    Also, keep in mind that once livebearers breed, there is no stopping them. Also, depending on how old your female is, she may have a batch of fry every month for a few months. After the first or second time, it will be very easy for you to tell exactly when she will have her fry.
     
  7. jennifercoop25

    jennifercoop25 New Fish

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    Is My Mickey Mouse Platy Pregnant

    Hello All! My daughter has some fish and 2 of hers are Mickey Mouse Platy and last night she showed me one and asked me If it was pregnant and I don't know much about fish to know If it's pregnant. Can someone please help me? And If she is pregnant can I put some Ivy plant in there for her babies? Thank You So Much For Any Help.:)
     

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  8. bassbonediva

    bassbonediva Superstar Fish

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    She looks like she's about to drop (deliver), actually. I wouldn't put ivy (not sure if it's safe for tanks). I'd put either java moss or hornwort (hornwort is a floating plant) in there. The babies will hide in it.
     
  9. aakaakaak

    aakaakaak Superstar Fish

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    Java moss, hornwort, anacharis, guppy grass, wisteria or just about anything else that has a bunch of little leaves for babies to hid in. One momma looks skinny again you can transfer the babies to a breeder net.

    Currently I'm using a clear plastic container with a foam filter for babies. A foam filter gives you little to no chance of the babies getting sucked into it. It's not really presentable, but neither are the itty bitty fry I have.
     
  10. Onyx!

    Onyx! Small Fish

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    Well, I know that there is a lot of advice out there regarding moving the mom, using breeding nets etc. Personally I just let my fry be born right there in the community tank. Mind you I have a heavily planted tank but even a simple ball of wisteria left floating works just fine.

    I think it partially depends on the age of the fish giving birth, but my female guppy actually has babies that are much too big for her to eat when they are born, and she doesn't actually go after them anyways. Some will, some won't, it depends on the mom. Apparently younger livebearers will have have smaller babies? In any case I find that with a ball of wisteria to hide in, most of the fry survive just fine. I currently am raising two batches of guppy fry, the first batch are over an inch long now and the second batch is coming up on a 3/4 of an inch. They were raised in a tank with platys, a male betta, and their mom. I'm going to move all of batch 1 over to my second tank pretty soon, they are all females so they will go into the "female" tank :)

    Mollies can get pretty big though and may be able to swallow even larger fry, so I think moving mom away from the mollies is a good idea :)

    Keep in mind that even if your female is not near a male platy (or sword, they cross-breed readily), she can actually have multiple batches of fry. Actually I think it's even possible for mollies to breed with platys but I'm not sure how commonly that would happen.
     
  11. aakaakaak

    aakaakaak Superstar Fish

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    Mollies can't breed with platys. They can somewhat breed with guppies, but the fry frequently end up deformed or if you get a good batch your gollies/muppies end up as infertile mules. A few survivors I've seen have looked good though.
     
  12. jennifercoop25

    jennifercoop25 New Fish

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    Well here is my next question for you guys now that you guys have informed me that our Mickey Mouse Platy is pregnant. We don't have any money to get any type of breeding net or plants for the tank so what do you guys advise that we can do so that the fry doesn't get eaten? I can get something in a few days but I'm afraid she may deliver before we get paid. The only plant I have around here is an Ivy and they say it's not safe for the fish. If you can help me it would be appreciated. Thanks! *ALL*
     
  13. lauraf

    lauraf Superstar Fish

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    Do you have any aquarium-safe decorations that aren't already in the tank? Particularly anything that has empty spaces in it? The idea is creating hiding spaces for the fry. And if you don't manage to save any of the fry from this birth, rest assured that you will most likely have an opportunity again soon . . . .
     
  14. jennifercoop25

    jennifercoop25 New Fish

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    I have the tank decorated now with some stuff but not sure If the fry can hide in it. I am posting 2 pics of the tank and you tell me what you think. Thanks
     

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  15. lauraf

    lauraf Superstar Fish

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    It's a little sparse. Maybe you'll be able to get some plants in there before your platy delivers - otherwise, you will have more fry again, I'm sure . . . .
     
  16. aakaakaak

    aakaakaak Superstar Fish

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    That coral plant in the middle will be helpful for hiding spots.

    Also, you can take a walk and pick up some random rocks. Scrub them off. Boil them for a half hour. Let them cool. Plop them in the tank in a bunch with spaces small enough your fish can't get in, but the fry can. Now your fry will have a network of hidey holes.
     
  17. lauraf

    lauraf Superstar Fish

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    Yup, absolutely. Just to make sure the rocks are inert and won't leach anything harmful into your tank, drop some regular white vinegar on them. If the vinegar doesn't fizz, the rocks are safe for the aquarium . . . .
     
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