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FAQs on Platy Reproduction, Breeding 1

Related Articles: Platies, Poeciliids: Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies by Neale Monks, Livebearing Fishes by Bob Fenner,

Related FAQs: Platy Reproduction 2, Platy Reproduction 3, Platy Reproduction 4, Platy Reproduction 5,

Platies 1, Platies 2, Platy Identification, Platy Behavior, Platy Compatibility, Platy Selection, Platy Systems, Platy Feeding, Platy Disease, Livebearers, Guppies, Swordtails, Mollies

Female, Twin bar to almost Mickey Mouse Platy.

Pregnancy Issues with Two Livebearers  12/9/05 Hello there, I bought a pair of Mickey Mouse platies around a month ago. I found my female platy becoming fatter and fatter. I think she's pregnant but I'm not quite sure. She swims and eats just like other fishes. Until recently, she hides herself at the bottom of the tank between the space of the fake plants. My male platy keeps chasing her non stop. Once he found her and she swims away from him very quickly.  Today, surprisingly, I found her on the top of the tank, but she's not swimming most of the time. The Mickey Mouse pattern at her tail is fading out too. Is she sick or she's just pregnant? If she's pregnant, when will the fry due? (Attached are 2 pictures of her) < Looks pregnant. When they are close to giving birth, her vent turns dark she will be getting close and should probably be placed in a breeder net. Depends on the water temp, still looks at least a couple weeks away.> There's something weird with one of my female guppy (orange color) too. Yesterday, I saw her on the top of the tank and there's a round orange transparent color ball fall from her to the bottom of the tank. Immediately, another fish ate that. I thought my eyes could be wrong and that maybe just some food falling off from the plant. Today, I am sure I saw another orange transparent ball fall off from her to the gravel. It was not eaten this time, but I couldn't find it using my fishing net. It looks like an egg but why she's dropping egg instead of fry?!? <She is aborting undeveloped embryos. Fish are not really livebearers like mammals but withhold egg- like embryos in their bodies until they are fertilized. Under stress she could be releasing them.-Chuck> My aquarium is a 10 gallon tank at temperature around 80F and I have 3 guppies, 2 platies and one Chinese algae eater. I'm new to fish... Please help! Thanks, Floria


WWM is get reprimanded and platy fry info as well'¦  12/14/05 My platy was giving birth and she had reddish orange bubble looking things coming out of her butt. when she gave birth the fry were not moving! <Sounds like another query that Chuck answered today, I'll quote him, (I think I'm allowed to do that) 'She is aborting undeveloped embryos. Fish are not really livebearers like mammals but withhold egg like embryos in their bodies until they are fertilized. Under stress she could be releasing them.-Chuck.'> what is wrong with her!! <A '?' would be more appropriate here.> I already ask you people this and did not get a reply on it!!!! <'You people,' have to love the politeness of that phrase'¦.anyway next time please use punctuation and capitalize in the future'¦pain to proof read for posting'¦'¦. Adam J.>

Platy Reproduction - 11/15/2005 Hi, I have been looking for certain information on my tropical livebearers (platies). I have looked in many resources but could not find anything that solved my answer. I then came across your website and decided to ask you a few questions of my own.  I have two well taken care of and healthy Mickey Mouse platies. One I thought was pregnant, but it seemed to have her babies in 2 weeks time, so I am hoping for her to have another batch soon. Anyway, I do have a male in my 32 gallon tank as well so I am pretty sure she is pregnant again. I noticed that she was starting to looking plump after a week or two. But I am not sure If she is really pregnant. I have heard that platies and other livebearers  <<Livebearers (not "livebearers" in this case), those which produce young live, directly from their bodies, as opposed to egg-layers (should be self-explanatory).  MH>> have an indicator on the side of their tummy that is black, this is supposed to show when they are pregnant or not.  <<Cool!  You mean like those turkeys with the pop-up buttons? <grin> MH>> My platy does not have this. Instead she has a reddish spot near her tummy. Does this still mean that she is pregnant. ***look on Google on images and type Mickey mouse platy and you will see a silver Mickey mouse platy that has a reddish spot on her tummy the same as mine.  <I see exactly what you mean. This is the right spot, and usually will darken as fry develop in her. Watch for it to become darker in color.> If my platy is pregnant and does end up having babies, what foods so I feed the fry once they grow fast????  <You can feed them crushed up flake food, actually. They come out pretty big and can do fine on crushed flakes.> Well please write back quickly, I need your advice as soon as possible. From: Johanna We <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Proud Platy "Mama"  11/13/05 Hello. This is a picture of my platy fry. They are about 2 months old. I just let them go into the aquarium. They're finally big enough to not be eaten by the other fish. I'm so excited that they have an actual area to swim in now. I really wanted to share it with someone. Thanks for all your help! *Amee* <<Hi Amee, I think Sabrina may have helped you previously. You have Marina here today, and we all congratulate you on your newest additions to your household. Here, have some cigars, and are they boys or girls? Just kidding! We know, we know, both.>> 

They're a little small, so hard to focus on.

Raising a baby Platy -- Austin's Having Another Go  11/11/05 Dear XXXX, <Heeee!> <<For some reason he thinks he can get around us.. but we're too quick!  MH>> I have recently purchased 3 platys from the local pet store. Two adult platys, male red platy, female red waxy platy. The pet store said the baby is around 2 weeks old. We already had 3 danios and 3 cherry barbs and we have put the baby in a different (smaller) tank until he grows a little larger. We have tested the water of the tanks and every thing seems to be all right. I am wondering if there is anything I can do to help the baby grow strong and healthy.  Thanks Austin Wise   <Yes... do regular water changes, feed small amounts of food (likely dried, flake...) crushed between your fingers... a few times daily... and monitor water quality (ammonia, nitrite)... Oh, and move this fish to the larger system as soon as it is large enough. Bob Fenner>

Platy fry in guppy tank?  11/11/05 Hi,   <Hello> I have a Platy that I believe is pregnant in a 20G tank with 2 other Platies, one male (Sunshine) and one female (Spotty).  Spotty has been moved to a hospital tank and is being treated for gill disease.  My male Platy is now relentlessly pursuing the remaining female (Finley). <Better to have more females present...> I also have 3 Serpaes and 3 Red Eye Tetras in the tank. I'm fairly certain Finley is pregnant, and would like to move her so she won't be under so much stress.  My question is this:  I also have a 10G tank that currently has 3 Fancy Guppies in it (although I'm planning on getting 3 more soon).  I know I can put Finley in with the Guppies, but if I leave her in there until she drops her fry, will the fry be safe with the Guppies, or will they try to eat them? <The latter> I don't really have room in my house for another tank, and was hoping that if I put some baby hiding places in there, they may do ok with the Guppies.  Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated. <Maybe look into a "breeding trap" of some sort. The hang-on ones that are net-like are my fave. Bob Fenner> Can you please copy your response to this additional address: XXXX? <Sure> Thank you in advance for your time. Wendy M. Crocker

Re: Platy fry in guppy tank?  11/17/05 Hi, <Wendy> Thank you for getting back to me. However, I still have a couple more questions. I understand what you're saying about putting in a breeder box, etc. and that after the fry are born, to move the female out. But am I supposed to keep the fry in the box indefinitely? <Mmm, no... just till they're large enough not to be eaten by their tankmates> Can I put cover in there for them?  <Yes> How will I know when they're big enough to release? <More than mouth-size...> On another note; in my previous email I mentioned that my other female Platy, Spotty, was in a hospital tank being treated for gill disease (at least that was the only conclusion I could come to). Anyway after 4 doses of tetracycline she seemed to be doing better, was starting swim around the tank more and wasn't aimlessly wandering any more. So 2 nights ago I moved her back into the 20G tank with the other Platies.( I was hoping since she was feeling better it would distract Sunshine, my male Platy, and he wouldn't bother Finley (pregnant Platy) so much).  But I guess Sunshine can sense Spotty as being weaker and started to harass her to the point of nipping her tail fin. As a result she's regressed back to sitting on the bottom of the tank and wandering aimlessly around again (I can't figure out what's wrong with her). Any suggestions about how to "treat" her would be appreciated. <... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/platydisfaqs.htm and the linked files above> So last night I moved Sunshine to the 10G tank where I now have 6 guppies (2 of which I don't think are adjusting well, just acquired 3 of the 6 about a week ago). Well, they are so curious that they just gather around him and won't leave him alone. He seemed to tolerate it well for the night, but I noticed this morning that he's getting a little fed up with them and has started chasing them off. Will he be ok in that tank with the guppies or will he get overly aggressive with them? <Should get along fine... I would add some floating "grass" like plant here...> How long do you think I could keep him in there before he starts to get too lonely for other Platies? <A week or two> I put him in there because he was too aggressive with Finley and now with Spotty as well.  Thank you in advance. <A good move. Should reduce aggression, give the females time/space to rest. Bob Fenner> 

I Have This Platy...  11/10/05 Hello there, <Hi there> I have a couple of questions to ask you about? I have this pregnant Mickey Mouse platy and I am not sure when her due date is??? <Usually every couple of months... but there are such things as "false pregnancies"> She was pregnant before, but I think she already had her babies in the span of 2 weeks. All of a sudden she went really skinny. I was also wondering if she is really pregnant. She is showing no sign of the black spot in stead she has a reddish spot on her side. If you could help me out with these questions quickly that would be great?? <Not likely pregnant. Bob Fenner> 

Red and Red Waxy Platys reproduction  11/9/05 My Grandparent have purchased me two fish to go along with six others. The two new fish are 1 male red platy and 1 red waxy platy. I am wondering if they can mate or not? Thanks Austin Wise. <Ah, yes... these are the same species, just "sports" like domestic dog breeds... can/do inter-breed. Bob Fenner>  

Platies... same mating question, different wording  11/9/05 I have a five gallon tank the pH, and other water tests tell me the water is fine and stable. I have 3 zebra danios, 3 cherry barbs, 1 red platy (male) and 1 red waxy platy (female). I am wondering if the two platies can mate or if there has to be one specific type. I am also wondering if the platy becomes pregnant or shows signs do I need too move her to another tank (we have only had the 2 platys for two days). Austin Wise <The vent area (right behind the anal fin) will become dark and if you look close you will be able to see the young's eyes near parturition. Bob Fenner> 

Red And Waxy - Take.... Four? - 11/09/2005 Hi Sabrina, <Hello, Austin.> I have recently purchased 2 new fish, 1 male red platy and one red waxy platy (the two kinds were kept in the same tank at the pet store and there were very young fish in there). I am wondering if the two can mate? <Yes.> Thanks! <Please don't send questions multiple times; we will respond as we can.> <<Bob's responded twice.  Austin, the only way your fish will mate is if you have a boy and a girl.  If you do, WATCH OUT!  You'll have more fish-babies than you'll know what to do with.  Marina, whose oldest son is named Austin.>> Austin Wise  <Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 

Platy Pregnancy Questions 10/25/05 Hello. My name is Amee.  <Hi Amee, Catherine here.> I have a question about my pregnant platy. I know you suggest putting platies in a separate tank with a single layer of marbles, but I haven't done that yet. I think I will do that tonight after school.  <There is debate as to the best course of action. If your tank has some plant cover, I wouldn't move her. I suggest using a turkey baster to suck up the fry once they are born and put them into a breeder net in the tank. I actually let my live bearer babies stay in my main tank. Some (more than I'd like) survive to adulthood; the rest make great snacks for the rest of the tank. Often, moving the fish causes her stress and she will reabsorb the babies or abort.> My platy was ready to give birth about three days ago, and it seems to me that she got too stressed and her babies are disappearing while still in her stomach. I was wondering if it was possible that she may be absorbing her babies back into her system? I know that dogs do that, so maybe she's doing it too. I would appreciate you're help. Thanks.  <Absolutely, she could be reabsorbing. You can keep watching her, if she's in good shape you'll be able to predict when she'll drop her babies after a few months. That way you can move her for the shortest amount of time possible. Good luck, Catherine>

The Super-productive Capabilities of the Platy 10/22/05 New tank owner was left with the house we just purchased.  <What?>  I went out and bought 2 gold platies, and I did not know they were live bearers (did not tell me this when I purchased them). So now I have 3 half inch new ones, 4 smaller than that, and now I just found 3 more little ones under grass and rock I have in tank. I went to the pet store where I purchased these platies and they told me to lower temp in tank or shut off thermometer? Is this correct? I just want them to quit breeding. They were also surprised they all survived! They have survived. And I only have a 10 gallon tank and that is all that I want. Help! What should I do to stop them from having any more fry? <If you don't want babies, don't have livebearers. Sorry, I know that's not very helpful. Honestly though, turning off the temperature may work, but only because you are making them stressed and sick. My suggestion is to work out a platy for something else exchange at your fish store. You could also keep males only, but they may pick on each other. Congrats on healthy fry -- it's a good sign your tank is healthy.> Thank you for your time and help.  <Sorry I can't prescribe platy birth control. Catherine> 

Visions of Mickey in a Platy's Tail (Leave Your Donations by the Door) 10/15/05 I have a question about Mickey mouse tail babies. My fish had babies in May 2005, how long does it take for babies to grow? They are still very small. <Platies often become mature at about 6 months. Yours should be nearly adult size. Poor diet, poor water quality, poor genes or inappropriate temperature can stunt growth. For more information, read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/livebearers.htm. Also, check out the archived platy questions. Catherine.>  Platy Reproduction - 10/09/2005 Hi <Hello. I must open with a request - PLEASE use capitalization, punctuation, proper spelling and grammar.... We cannot keep poor grammar on the site, and it is a major task to correct these in some dozens or so queries a day at times....> After some success and failures with birthing of swordtails I am now trying my hand with platies. I have 5 females and 2 males in a 30 gal tank. At least one f/m <Mm? What? f/m? 'Frequency Modulation'? As in AM/FM radio? Or what, you're not sure the gender of the fish?> has a very large belly. Trying not to stress her out I just put her in a breeding net tonight. How long should I keep her in the net??  <Actually, I do not / would not use this.> Also what is the best type of plants for platies??? <Many options, here; perhaps not so much with regards to platies, specifically, but your system/lighting/etc.... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTksSubWebIndex/AquariumGardenSubWebIndex.html .> Thanks <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Platy baby help  9/27/05 First off, your website is a lifesaver (fish saver?) to someone who did not have a clue what she was doing with her aquarium.  <Thanks!  We all start somewhere.>  I think I've read almost all your info on starting new aquariums with live bears.  <Wow!  Great!>  On to my question.   What I am pretty sure are three female platies have apparently dropped fry in my 30 gallon tank.  I know that they could have been pregnant when I bought them but that was five months ago! <They can store sperm for up to 6 months.  Now that your tank is in better shape, maybe one decided it was time to make more.>  Now I don't know how many they had because I have only found one.  Is it possible for them to just have one fry, or were there others that are now eaten/dead.  <Either is a possibility.>  I thought I was paying close attention to the tank and I think I would have seen lots of babies.  <You probably would have seen *lots*, but just a few can easily escape notice, especially if they are hiding.>  I don't really have much "cover", just three large leafy plastic plants and two caves.  I transplanted baby in a one gallon tank with bubbler but no filtration.  <That's okay if you do water changes daily.  I've had better luck in breeder nets or just letting the little fellow hide.  Feed him crushed flakes several times a day.  I'd also put some plant matter in for cover (like Elodea) and be sure the tank is heated.>  He/she is bright orange, not see-thru, and a little bigger then a grain of rice.  Is there any way to guess how old he/she is based on that info?  <My guess is a few days to a week.>  Okay, last question, if we get any more "surprises" how many babies can we keep in our tank when grown: 30 gallon with large carbon filter and air stone bar as long as the tank <Wow, lots of water movement.  Is the 30 gallon a 'waterfall' hang-off-the-back-type?> Water conditions within normal limits but needs monitored frequently due to quick deterioration.  <Normal should be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and less than 20 nitrates.  You aren't overstocked, so unless you are overfeeding, your tank shouldn't get bad quickly.> 3 male mollies 3 female platies <Your mollies may pick on your platies quite a bit.  You have room for several more fish in your tank.  When you can't keep the nitrates under 20 without doing more than 10-20% water changes weekly, you are slightly overstocked.> Thank you for your patience with this newcomer!  <Thanks for your questions!>  None of my fish would have survived if it wasn't for you website.  I won't even subject you to the number of beginner's mistakes I made! <The important thing is you're asking questions now and are learning.> Thank you, Kara <Hope it helps, Catherine>

Platy Mating Dances? - 09/21/2005 Hi there!   <Hello, Sabrina with you this evening.> I just bought some platies and they look very happy and excitable, but one of my males is acting funny and I am wondering what's up?  He swims around the tank and when he gets close to a female he freezes and his body goes into an "s" shape, like the picture I drew, and he twitches for a couple seconds.   <An excellent description, and a great drawing depicting this behaviour.> I find this kinda weird and am wondering if it's some kind of mating behavior. <It is, yes.  He's just trying to woo his girlie into providing you with baby platies.  Some males will go into this "S" shape or a bit of a "C" shape and list to the side.> I haven't seen the other male display this kind of behavior. <He will, with time.  He may not yet be as mature as the other male.> Thank you!  -Shelley <Sure thing.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Pregnant Platy?  9/5/05 Hi, there.  I'm new to aquariums, so your site has been really helpful to me lately in learning the basics of fish care.  I just recently set up a 10-gallon tank with 2 platies and 2 mollies (1 of the platies died during a 4-hour power outage, but the others pulled through).  Now, I have the tank set up in my dorm room, which is fine because I won't be gone for more than a few days at a time, during which I can use feeder blocks to make sure my fish get enough food. <I'd skip the blocks... more likely to pollute the water than nitrify your fishes> My main concern is twofold: getting pregnant fish and then having to move the fish out of my dorm room back home in the middle of December during the holiday break.  I believe that the larger black molly in my tank is a male because he's much more aggressive and will chase both the yellow platy and the white molly (I think they are both females, because they're more docile).  I'm worried that they might both be pregnant because their bellies are darker colored than the rest of their bodies. <I see> I'm not intending on breeding the fish, so I guess if my fish are pregnant, then their babies will have to avoid cannibalism in the tank if they are born.  But my question is how do I go about safely transferring all my fish from one town to another when they need heated water in the middle of December?  And what's more, how do I safely transfer the 3 adult fish along with dozens of tiny babies, if the female(s) give birth around that time? Thanks for all the help! <Easily done... with planning, a few tools, materials. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/movgaqfwfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

My Platy wont give birth... some don't 8/22/05 Hey! I have a ten gallon tank with two swordtails ( one male pineapple sword and one female sunset sword) one female guppy, one male ram, and two platies ( one male and one female Mickey mouse). my female platy was bought pregnant ( sure of it ) i got her WAY over a month ago and when i bought her she looked like she would deliver at anytime. she still hasn't delivered and i know her gestation period is 4 weeks and its been more like almost 8. can you help me to figure out why she wont deliver. also will my two swords breed? <Likely so> she just had a batch of 60 babies a little bit before i bought the platy.( i keep them in a separate 10 gallon take and i am very happy that i have only had a few deaths! ) i thought she would be pregnant by now from stored sperm or the male. if she has no sperm stored can the pineapple  breed with a sunset? any info would be a great help!   thank you a lot Lyle Maul P.S. your site has helped me so many times in the past thank you very much! <Welcome. Not a good idea to move livebearers when they are near parturition... one can only hope re births. Bob Fenner> Platy repro. Q's mainly 8/13/05 Hello! <Good morning> Thanks for all the help that you have given me so far, but I just have 3 more questions to ask you. 1. I was wondering how I should clean the tank with the baby fry in it, because I don't want to hurt them by sucking them up in the vacuum. <Use a piece of airline tubing to remove "mulm", and to replace water... and wait if possible to do much of anything else in the tank till they're grown a bit> 2. Is there any special food I should buy to feed the fry, that would help them and perhaps make them grow faster? <Yes... there are finely ground dried, prepared foods for livebearers... as well as the practice of grinding your own between your fingers, sieves for doing the same separation... important to feed small amounts, often... several times a day if you can. There are live foods that can be cultured, but...> 3. Around how big of a tank should I have for 2 catfish (the small ones, about 1" long) 1 molly, my 2 grown- up platies (hoping that the mama lives) 1 guppy, and about 5-7, maybe 8 or 9 fry? <... about ten gallons> Thank you for all the help you've given me before, and for this! Emily Smythe <You really would be better off having a complete "book" reference understanding... Bob Fenner>

Big Belly Platy? 8/13/05 Hi, i have 2 platies. 1 female, 1 male. my female is pretty small, she is 6 months old. she has a belly that hangs down really low. I don't think she's pregnant, because i read your other questions, and it sounds like when they're pregnant their bellies get really wide. is something wrong with her? Please help. Thanks in advance. From, Morgan <Might be... there are constipation, other issues one might encounter... have you read here?: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/platydisfaqs.htm Bob Fenner> Is my platy bloated or pregnant?  08/08/2005 Hi, I recently (about 1 month ago) got 2 platies. I thought that I had gotten 2 males, only (I think) I got one female and one male. <Easy enough to sex...> I'm not sure if my (female?) platy is pregnant, or just bloated. It is pretty big, and it has a blackish spot near its anal fin, only the scales on its back are sticking up a bit. This is my first fish tank, and I've only had it for about 1 month and a half. I have 2 platys, 1 guppy (female), 2 catfish, and 1 molly. I had 3 guppies (2 females and 1 male) but I gave one male and one female away because my tank was too small for them. My one guppy was pregnant before, but seeing as it was my first fish that was pregnant, I didn't know what to do and left it there. When I looked at it about a week later, it was back to being skinny, and I'm assuming all the little fish had been eaten. I would like as many fish as possible to survive this time. Pretending it's not pregnant, what would I do to cure it? And how can I even tell if it IS bloated or not? Thanks (in advance) for your help! Emily Smythe <Please read here re platies: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/platyreprofaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Is my platy pregnant or bloated? - more information  08/08/2005 Sorry to e-mail you again! <No worries> I just went up and looked at my platy and I'm pretty sure it's not pregnant.... There isn't any black on it (there was, but there aren't any baby platys in the tank, and it hasn't gotten smaller) and its scales are sticking up. Also, it's back fin (sorry, I don't know what it's called) is drooping down. I think it's bloated, but it's acting fine and it's eating well. I only feed it flake food though, and I'm not sure if that's part of the problem. I'm sure you've answered this somewhere before, but.... **sorry** I couldn't really find anything. <Again, not a problem. See the linked files from your previous post> So, sorry if you HAVE answered this, but if it is bloated, how can I make it better? One last question (sorry, I've been asking a lot of questions): If I treat it like it's bloated, but really it's pregnant, will it hurt the babies? Thanks a lot! (and sorry for not getting this all the first time!) Emily Smythe <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Platy non-illness 8/11/05 Hi there! <Hello!> Thank you so much for the help that you gave me last e-mail! I'm currently medicating my platy, and I do hope that she'll get better soon! <Me too> In the last e-mail I sent to you, I didn't know whether my platy (Tam'ra) was bloated, had dropsy, or was pregnant, but as of yesterday, I found out. It would appear that I moved a pregnant platy into a hospital tank... Only that platy ALSO had dropsy!! Yesterday she gave birth to at least 5 little babies (I couldn't see any more than 5, but I could've easily been wrong) <Ah, yes... why I shy on the side of caution in suggesting the use of "medicines" here... very, very often, these treatments cause harm> Now, though, I'm in a bit of a predicament.... The babies aren't being eaten my Momma (which is good, I guess, though it's bad that she doesn't feel well enough to be up to it) so I still have all of them from the birth. My problem is that I don't want the baby fish getting dropsy! They're too little and invisible to see, much less move, and if I move the mum, then the babies will still be in the contaminated tank! I'd have to clean it out with the babies in it, which leads me to another problem... <Not likely the fry will develop dropsical condition/s> My hospital tank is only 2.5G (very small, I know) and it's JUST big enough to get the vacuum started, with just the mom in there, who I can see and is big enough to move out of the way. I don't know how to clean the tank though, without hurting the babies. Any help on this would be great!! Thanks, Emily Smythe <I would remove the parent... let the young grow up to a larger size> P.S. It would seem that Tam'ra is getting better... Without the medication, she wasn't eating, but she's gotten her appetite back and is swimming around a bit and not just lying on the floor of the tank! Thanks for the help with that! <Real good. Bob Fenner>

Platy with Problem Pregnancy 7/26/05 I have a platy that gave birth to a single baby approximately 1 week ago (still living in the tank with the rest of the fish!). She still seems to have an enlarged belly (which is getting increasingly larger) and acts ski-dish. Is it normal to give birth to one fry and then withhold the remainder of fry? < It could happen. I would not be surprised.> Could we have a breech birth blocking the birth canal? If we do have a breech birth, what do we do? Thank You!! <  Female livebearers can store sperm for awhile and gestation times vary depending on conditions. The single birth was probably a delayed birth from a previous birthing or a premature birth from this batch coming up. Keep the water clean, warm and the female well fed and you should have fry in no time at all.-Chuck> Pregger Platy Hi! Bob, Thank you again for all the help you have given me. Dolly is my Red Wagtail Platy, a friend gave her to me like 2 weeks ago, she was already pregnant and last Thursday she had 18 babies (all are alive and well, thanks to all the information a got from you guys). My question is could she be pregnant again so soon? I know female platys are often pregnant and that if they mate once the can save the sperm for a year, but I just think is too fast!! Thanks again!! Annie <Quit common and normal for most healthy adult platies to spend their entire lives pregnant. A well conditioned female can drop fry every four to six weeks. Now that may seem too fast for you and me, but normal for her. Congrats on the fry! Don>  

Sick, pregnant Platy? Hello,      I wanted to know if Platies act ill when giving birth?  I have a 10 gallon tank with 4 Platies and 4 neon tetras.  One of the platies is folded in the middle and keeps swimming into the ground then back up to the surface, all the while it's on it's side.  Sometimes it just floats there at the top of the tank on it's side bent in the middle.  What's wrong with it?  I just found 2 fry but I'm not sure which fish it belongs too. Thank you so much, Deborah <This platy is definitely sick, not just pregnant, though they will become more still, reclusive near parturition. Yours is bent from age, nutritional deficiency, water quality issues... possibly genetics and/or infectious disease... Bob Fenner>

Pregnant Platy and Water Temperature Hi, Thanks a lot for such a wonderful website. I have four Mickey mouse platies and four black skirt tetra in my 20 gallon tank, which I set up 23 days back. One of my Mickey mouse platies seems pregnant. Her stomach is big as compared to others, but I can not see small black eyes or a dark triangle near anal fin. I am confused whether she is pregnant or just like that only. I also separated her to another tank so I can avoid fry eating up and give her some rest because of a chasing male in big tank. Is it ok? After transferring her to a new tank, she became a little shy and keeps hiding all times I go near the tank. It was not the case when she was in the previous tank. She also seems a bit stressed and water parameters are within range safe range. Is something wrong with her as she is alone in the new tank? <Normal for her to show fear right after a move. Also when alone. Leave the tank dark for a day or two. Make sure the water stays fresh. time will tell if she is pregnant. Good that you moved her away from the aggressive male> Because of hot summer days, the normal temperature in both the tanks varies between 84 F to 85 F. I did research and found from your information articles that temperature should be from 78 to 82F. Higher temperature level is because of the hot summer days here and I even turn off the heaters to lower the temperature. Turning heaters did not work as the temperature just lowered 1 degree. Is higher level of temperature harmful to my fish? If yes, then what I should do to reduce the temperature? <Add an airstone. The greatest problem with high temps is low oxygen content. The air will also help cool things a little.> Thanks a lot, Min <No problem. Don>

Pregnant Platy Hello. I have a 10 gallon tank, and I have multiple types of fish. They are all community. I believe that I have another pregnant one, and it is a Mickey Mouse Platy, a yellow and other colored one. I believe that I see eggs inside of her stomach. But, I don't know how long it is until she will have babies, if she is pregnant. I got her about a week ago, and she didn't seem to be pregnant then, so is it even possible for her to be ready to have her babies? And just yesterday I had a guppy have a baby or so- one is alive and in a live breeder net. The mother died, but I over half of her tail was gone. And I believe that the dwarf puffer fish I had in there were nipping at her, and the babies that weren't found. I moved the puffers into another tank, however. And should I get an algae eater for my tank? As of now, they seem to be okay with their filth and whatnot, so I am just wondering. It would be lovely if you could please reply to my email as soon as you can. I would appreciate it greatly, thank you very much. Britny <There is a very good chance your Platy is pregnant. Most healthy adult female platies spend their lives in that condition. Timing the birth is always a guess. Watch for her to start hiding away from the other fish. Good move to move the Puffer. No puffs in a community tank. I would not add an Algae Eater, as you are looking for a Filth Eater. No such fish. I would instead buy a gravel vac and use it to remove the filth and whatnot. Your fish are not OK with it. They just can't escape it. Don>

Baby Mickey Platy Fish I have about 25-30 baby platy fish who have their own tank. They are going into their 4th week! My question is, does WWM have a FAQ on the "life cycle" of baby platy's - when I can move them back into the main tank, when they can stop eating baby-food, when I can start telling their sexes apart, when do they start making their own baby's, how long do platy's live, etc? I've Googled both your site and the web, and I can't seem to find it. >> Dear Sandra, your platies can go back in the main tank at a size of around 1cm, or around 12 weeks old. That is when they are too large to be eaten by the parents (I assume you have only platys in the tank). They can take the same food of the adults already, if you crush it up fine enough. You can likely tell the males by their gonopodium at an age of around 4-5 months, and they will start to breed at around 6-7 months. If kept at temperatures around 75 degrees my best guess is that your platies may get around 7-8 years old, but some small aquarium fish can live up to 10 years.  That is of course a maximum lifespan, not an average age. Good Luck, Oliver

Pregnant Platies? I just purchased two female platys. They appear to be pregnant, but I am not sure. Their stomachs are large and they look like they are going to burst. I read other comments and questions on your site and read that quite a few people saw black spots inside, which were said to be the eyes of the fry. I do not see black spots inside mine. So I am a little confused. Since I don't see the eyes of the fry does this mean they are not pregnant? >> They likely are pregnant (if their stomachs are big and they are female). Some platy varieties are more pigmented on the stomach and the eyes of the young do not show through their bellies. If you want to raise the babies make sure that there are plenty of hiding places along the surface for the them after they are born, floating plants are ideal for this. Good Luck, Oliver<<

Re: Pregnant Platies? Hi Oliver. Thank you so much for your reply. yesterday before I e-mailed you I purchased a breeding net for each female "just in case". I put them in and this morning we had 9 little fry in with one of the females. We are still waiting for the other female to have hers. Your website has been most helpful. But one more question. Are the fry too small at this point to eat baby brine shrimp? Should I wait a few weeks before I start feeding it to them? Thanks again for your help.. Sarah >> Hi Sarah, your platy babies will eat newly hatched brine shrimp and crushed flakes right away. Make sure to remove their mothers, they will eat their babies. I like to add some live plants or even plastic plants that have some algae growing on them as well, the babies like to pick at the algae. So if you have growing in your tank you can do that as well. You will be surprised how fast they grow. Good Luck, Oliver<<

Fry Grow-out Tank Hi. Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice you have e-mailed me, and posted on your website. I do have a couple more questions though. I put the fry in a small aquarium with a small filter and noticed that they seemed to end up in the filter. I lost a couple fry this way because I didn't find them in time to scoop them out. I unplugged the filter to prevent this, but I am afraid the ammonia will build up. Can I leave the filter unplugged and use a waste eliminator or should I plug in the filter and hope my fry learn not to swim up into it. My second question is that I know they like to hide so I have some plants on the bottom and also some floating at the top. I noticed some of the fry hiding in the gravel instead of in the plants, and this morning found one dead stuck between a couple pieces of the gravel. I think maybe it got itself stuck and that's why it died. I had to scoop a couple others out because they looked like they were having trouble getting out of their hiding spots. Should I take the gravel out and just leave the bottom bare?  Thanks again for all your help.   Sarah <I would keep the filter running and try to put a piece of nylon pantyhose over the intakes. And I would remove the gravel from a fry grow out tank. It makes clean up much easier. Also, add a sponge filter for next time. Bury one in the corner of your main tank and move it to the fry tank when needed. The simplest setup is the best set up for fry. With a bare bottom you will see how much waste they generate. Then every day siphon all the waste out and replace about 10 to 20% of the water. Once a week replace half the water. Keep up this schedule and you can overfeed a little and get your fry growing very quickly. Don>

Platies reproduction Hi, I looked through your site but couldn't find if this question has been addressed before. I just started my first fish tank about a month ago. After letting my tank cycle for a while, I got my first two fish, a molly and a female platy. It never really occurred to me that the platy might come pregnant and I wasn't planning on breeding. I guess she got knocked up in the store though, because now there are 2 babies in the tank. It's fine because I have the room, but I was wondering how long it takes for these babies to reach an age where they might start making their own babies? <A few months> They are not big enough to tell their sex yet, and if they are both female then I won't have to worry about it, but how long till they are able to breed? I don't really want any more babies and I have a friend with a tank that will take any males off my hands. Thanks! <Share the wealth, fun, experience. Bob Fenner>

Knuffels for the New Baby Dutch Platies! Dear WWM Crew, This weekend my Mickey platy had +/- 30 babies, and they've survived the first 24 hours! <Congrats!> Without your wonderful and informative website, I don't think we would have made it this far! Sandra Muys Terneuzen, The Netherlands <Glad to have been of service. Bob Fenner>

Pregnant Platy We have a pregnant platy that is black and cream/yellowish color. Lately she looks like she is bruising. It seems that she is having a hard time giving birth. She is still very active, but is also in hiding a lot. We just had another platy give birth and she has been separated into the community tank. We know the hiding part is normal, but is the bruising part normal? <Mmm, only a darkening around the vent area> The only other fish in our birthing tank with her are 2 male guppies, an algae eater (who likes to chase here once in a while), <A Chinese Algae Eater? These can be trouble> two frogs (very small non-fish eating) and a baby fry from Lucy, our other platy. Is there anything we can do to help her along? She has plenty of food, plants to hide and room to move around. I couldn't find anything on the website about bruising. By the way.....GREAT WEBSITE its added to my favorites. Thanks BOB, Signed Karen <Karen, do move that CAE... it could be a/the cause of the bruising (and worse) here. You can read about this species on the Net, WWM. Bob Fenner> 

Sexing baby platies Hi just wondering if you have any idea how to sex baby platies? I have about 25 2-3 week old babies and they all look female. (none have a gonopodium sp?) They are all growing really well. Do platies "change sex when they get older or am I stuck with 25 female platies?  Thank you. <Does take a while to be able to see the development of their anal fins... There are some "all female" batches... ways to manipulate the sex ratios, but I suspect your fish are just young. Bob Fenner> 

Platy Breeding Hello, I have a deep 44 gallon with an angelfish, 3 tetras, 3 platys, 1 Redtail shark, and a guppy. Two of my platies are pregnant and I do not want any of the fry to be eaten. I moved the two together to a 10 gallon tank. Was it ok to move them and is it ok to have them together in the tank? I have breeding grass floating at the top of the tank for the fry to hide in and will move the mothers back into the big tank after birth. Getting them out of the big tank was very stressful as I had to chase them around quite a bit to do it. As I am writing this, they are swimming around happily but for the most part, since last night when I put them in there, have been hiding in the breeding grass. Should I provide more plants at the bottom of the tank as well? Thank you very much. Crystal <Better to have each female alone, but better this way than in the big tank. The angels would surely have taken the fry. They may still take each others fry. But if you add plenty of plants they should be fine. Remove each female after she gives birth. Feed the fry crushed flake food. You could also hatch some baby brine shrimp for them. Don>

Pregnant Platies follow-up Thanks Don. I have them in the 10 gallon and one of them gave birth today to about 12 fry but both mothers still look very fat. One is staying at the top of the tank and in one place so I am assuming she is the one that gave birth but my questions is (and I searched on the site for the answer) How long can the actual birth process take? It has been many hours and I can not notice any decrease in stomach size. Thanks in advance and have a great night.  Crystal <Sorry about the delay getting back. The entire brood may take an hour or it may take a day or more. One of those things you just have to ride out. Don> 

Platy fry not eating Hello everyone, I had some platy fry born yesterday and followed the advise to crush up the food into a fine powder and put a tiny bit in tank but I have yet to see any of them take any interest in the food. They are in their own 5 gallon tank and I have a square of artificial breeding grass at the top that they pretty much stay in all the time. Should I worry about them not eating or give it some time? <Do keep trying the finely divided food... I would invest in some pre-made for this purpose as well... frequent (a few times daily) offerings per day is best> Also, I can't go out and buy anything to cover the filter tube so they don't get sucked up in it so I was wondering if I could use a piece of stocking/pantyhose to cover it or if that would prevent it from filtering properly. Thank you for your time, Crystal <The screening is a good idea... just keep your eye on this so that it doesn't get too clogged. Bob Fenner> 

Baby fishes, Help!!! Gods of Fish, I need help.  <Bob is a God... I'm just an imp... a sprite.. a mischievous gremlin of aquaria> I have a 10 gallon freshwater with a Penguin Bio-wheel mini, UGF, Profile Powerhead 600 and 125 watt heater set to 77 degrees. I use plastic plants, a large lava rock, and sea pebbles, not gravel, for floor cover.  <I'm a Sagittarian... I like slow dancing... chick flicks... and rubbing my belly like a Buddha> I have a strange asst. of fish. six serpae tetras, two goldfish, three platies, and one kissing Gourami.  <goldfish with tropicals?!?!... you really need smacked :) > My fish have grown quite a bit since I bought them. When cleaning the gravel yesterday I noticed four baby fish in the tank.  <the products of nervous sex from this bizarre mix of fishes> I relocated them to a small 2 gallon aquarium I bought. What do I do to ensure these babies can grow?  <I'm thinking food... yes, feed them> I can't tell what type o fish they are yet, but I think they are serpae.  <nope... platies my friend. Always bet on the livebearers> What do I feed them?  <crush the same food that you feed the parents> Water temp? I've seen those little net boxes used to keep them in, but is a separate small aquarium with only an air stone and small UGF enough? <the separate aquarium is better for a few months until they are ready for a bigger tank. Maintain good water quality... do frequent water changes and feeding to grow them fast. Use a small heater if necessary to keep a stable temperature> JayS <best regards, Anthony>

Mickey's Pregnant! I have a 12" x 12" x 18" tank. My Mickey Mouse Platy is pregnant for the 3rd time in 3 months. <They are quite prolific, aren't they!> First set of fry, 5 lived, the next set were eaten, this time we brought a breeder tank, to put her in. We moved her into it 5 days ago. She seemed ok. but this morning she gave birth to 38 dead fry. Does this sometimes happen or was it the stress of the breeder tank? <It is hard to point to a direct cause and effect, but it is possible. Perhaps for next time just load the tank up with some plants. Java Moss and/or Water Sprite are easy to care for and would work well. -Steven Pro>

Platy eating her babies I just purchased 3 platies  to start out my 29 gallon tank. I noticed we had 4 babies in the bag from the store. The next day they weren't anywhere. Then I saw one baby swimming frantically 2 days later and one of our platies ate it. How can I prevent this from happening? I also noticed a white string like feces coming out of one of my platys what is that and what can I do to make it go away? Thanks for your help .. EC <Hello, it is not uncommon for platies to eat their babies.  You could try separating the youngans, or providing hiding places for them.  Live or artificial plants work well.  The white feces could be an indication of an internal parasite.  I would watch them closely to see if this continues.  If it does you might consider a "de-worming" medication to kill the likely internal flagellates. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/poecillidfaqs.htm Best Regards, Gage >

Platy Problem? <Ananda here, answering the freshwater fish questions> I have two pregnant females, now... what I am wondering is, HOW long can I keep them in the trap for bearing the fry?  Are they going to get overly stressed out in there? <They might. I dislike the use of traps for pregnant livebearers. It's better if you move the expectant mom into a different tank that has a single layer of glass marbles for substrate and some floating grassy plant material (fake stuff is fine -- I've used plastic "wheat grass" with success). That way the fry can hide from the mother and the mother is much less stressed, since she has swimming space and is not subject to the always-amorous males.> I can see the little eyes of the fry in there tummies... how long does it take for them to actually HAVE the babies? <Depending on the age of the female -- older females have more fry -- from an hour to a day or more. This is true of most livebearers. For example, one of my smaller female mollies had 10 fry last week...and yesterday one of the bigger/older ones had 38!> Thanks.... Oh... and if this gets answered WHERE do I look to find the answers? LOL <In your email account's inbox, and on http://wetwebmedia.com/daily_faqs.htm until it gets moved to the one of the site FAQ pages (probably here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/platyfaqs.htm).> Thx... <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Platy Problem? <Ananda here, answering the freshwater fish questions.> Thanks for the answers, It seems wherever I look on line, no one knows...lol I don't have another tank I can actually move these two pregnant platys into... that is what I bought the breeding trap. And I really don't want to leave them in there day and night, even their males they have paired off with were bugging them thru the plexi glass sides :-( I guess I want to know how long can I actually keep them in the breeding trap? I really don't want to over stress them, but I would like them to have babies... and it really isn't feasible to keep them swimming free in the tank... I have about 9 large Australian rainbows and two other male platys, and two Plecos... and if they were to have the babies out anywhere in the tank, any of these other fish will find them and eat them... So really the breed trap is my only other alternative :-(  if I actually want some of them to survive. <Where will you raise the fry? I tried a breeding trap once, when I was new to the hobby, and the fry got out through the small "ventilation" holes in the plastic. I've seen 4" Australian rainbows eat two-week-old mollies, so I do not think that you will be able to raise all the fry to a safe size with the breeding trap alone. It will very quickly become overcrowded. You will need another tank of some sort if you want to raise the fry. Note that this doesn't necessarily need to be a fish tank...a 5 gallon bucket or even a 3 gallon Rubbermaid container would do for a start. If even that is not possible, please consider allowing the rainbows to have a treat. Livebearers will produce many, many fry over their lifetimes, and, realistically, it is unlikely that you will be able to keep them all. By way of example... I have well over a hundred mollies in the house, and I am trying to decide what to do with the latest batch of 38 fry.... --Ananda>  

Platy Gestation Period Hi Bob, <Ronni here today.> I think that one of my Platies is pregnant.   <They always are.> How long is the gestation period?   <About 4 weeks> Do I have to separate the female from all of the other fish, until she has them?   <This depends on how much cover there is for the fry to hide in and also how many of the fry you want to live. Platies breed constantly so they will rapidly overcrowd a tank if there is lots of cover for the fry to hide in until they're big enough not to get eaten.> I have a 14 gallon tank, 3 platies, 6 neon tetras, and 3 red velvet swordfish.  I also have some artificial plants in the tank. <You probably don't want too many of them to make it because you're already at the maximum load for this tank.> I have only had my tank set up for 5 weeks. I am rather new at owning fish, and would welcome a little guidance. Do some research at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm for lots of info about Platies.> Thanks, Alice <You're welcome! Ronni>

Baby Platy Hi, I have a tropical tank with 6 platys, 3 zebra Danios and some panda Corys. Recently I spotted a baby fish (almost definitely a platy) <I agree> and so I rescued it and put it in a breeding trap, where it's been for a couple of days. I have been feeding it 3 times a day on crushed flake (same as parents) and Liquifry. Is this OK? <This is very good. Do keep an eye on your water quality as the Liquifry does tend to foul rapidly but it's an excellent food.> There have been no other signs of babies in the tank. When can I move my little fish to the main tank???? <When it is big enough to not fit into the mouths of any of the other fish. Try to provide it with some plants to hide in when you do release it. This will give it a place to escape the other fish who will most likely still chase it some.> Also, will I be able to keep Glowlight Tetras with my tank? <They shouldn't be a problem as long as your tank is big enough to handle the fish load. Ronni>

Pregnant Platy <Hello! Ryan here with you> Hi.. I've got a question regarding my recently purchased female platy of some sort, could be a Mickey mouse platy. <Not familiar with that common name- I assume this is Xiphophorus maculatus, or Southern Platyfish> She just gave birth to 2 babies about 2 days ago. But she has stop delivering, and I could still see the black spot (gravid spot?) on her. Is this normal? <To an extent> Is there anything I could do to encourage her to release the babies? I have placed her, a few days prior to her giving birth, in a breeding trap (DIY) <Very good.  Breeding trap highly recommended for platys> with lots of plants in it, placed in the same aquarium she was in before. And feeding her with a mix of live blood worms and dried Tubifex worms. <Just give it time-it's all instincts at this point.  You've done all you can.  Make sure you keep that water temperature constant!  Your fish is in a vulnerable stage.  Lots of great info on breeding these guys all over the WWW.>  Thank you in advance.. Cheers, Syl <Cheers! Ryan>

Red Wag Platy Fry I recently bought a fish nursery and placed it in the 55 gallon tank.  I then took the fattest female red wag platy and within 2 hours she let loose about 30 fry.  The nursery was designed with a vent that allowed the fry to drop to the bottom and be transported to another container thru the use of a venturi.  I now have 30 fry in the small container. <Congrats!> I guess my question is should I transfer the fry to a larger square net pen that I have or let then hang out in the smaller plastic for a while?  I have already fed then some finely crushed fry food that I have. <Whichever you prefer here. There are really no advantages to either one.> Also, some are more active than others.  Right now, they all seem to be resting on the bottom of the plastic enclosure.  The larger fish are hanging around the enclosure because some of the fry food is leaving the enclosure thru the circulating vents. <This is normal with fry. My guppy fry do this all the time.> I presently have the return from the wet/dry filter and a powerhead which together move a lot of water thru the 55 gallon tank.  Is this a benefit or detriment to the new fry?  They are protected in the plastic enclosure from the large water movement but make be jostled more in the larger fish net pen.  Any helpful hints? <It could be a detriment as they'll wear themselves out if they're constantly fighting the current.> I also have a 10 gallon tank in which I have 6 new black mollies and 3 Bala sharks.  They were purchased over the 3 weeks.  Should I move them to the larger tank and move the fry to the 10 gallon to mature? The 10 gallon tank has only been set up since the last week in February.  Is it capable of supporting fry?   It has a Whisper 30 filter, heater (set at 78) and air stone.  There are a few plastic plants in there also. <This would be the best option. Especially since the 10g is currently overcrowded. Make sure all of the water parameters are the same (0 ammonia/nitrites, same temp, etc) and then move the Mollies and Balas into the 55 and the fry into the 10. Everyone will be much happier and the fry will be safer.> Any suggestions to help the fry survive would be much appreciated. Kevin, NY <Hope this helps. Ronni>

Pounds of platys First time to write y'all. <And the first time we'll answer! Ryan today> We inherited a few platys from a friend of ours three months ago to help stock our new 28-gal. tank and have been gradually adding other fish to fill out the tank.  Last month we had a rash of baby platy fry (around 8) suddenly appear and everyone's pretty happy right now. <Sounds like you've done a good job thus far.>  However, I'm beginning to become concerned about overcrowding in the tank as it is relatively small and we are not going to upgrade any time soon. <Very smart.  Thinking ahead will certainly have benefits.>  I'm afraid that if we have more fry appear and grow to maturity our tank will soon be overwhelmed with platy. I'm curious if there are ways to keep population down without having to "give away" or kill the young fish, or separate the male and female adult platys. <What else have you added to the tank?  There are thousands of fishes that would eat this fry.> Alternatively, are there predator fish that may be able to limit the number of fry that reach adulthood to set up a balanced ecosystem without fear of overcrowding? <Limit? Not likely.  Skip the predators, and put your platy in a breeding trap when it's ready to bear young. This way, you can limit how many enter your display tank.  Then take the remaining platies to your local LFS for some hard earned store credit!> Thanks, Leroy <You're welcome-Ryan>

Pregnant Platy I have a Mickey Mouse Platy, a Sunset Fire Platy and two Tequila Sunrise Guppies in a 10 gallon tank, and also I have a mini crab.  I started with the Mickey Mouse Platy and two other platies. One of the platies died, I got two glass fish which one of the platies kept biting at, so I got rid of that platy, the two glass fish died because they were painted, so I got the Sunset Fire Platy and the Guppies about a week ago.  The guppies seem to be trying to mate with the Mickey Mouse platy, who I am told is the only female in the tank.  The other platy doesn't seem to take much interest in her when I'm looking, at least.  I noticed this morning that she seems to be pregnant, her belly is very large and hangs down.  Is it possible that she has been impregnated by the guppies?   <Nope, she was probably already pregnant when you got her and you just couldn't tell it yet.> Also, when I noticed that she may be pregnant, I moved her into a medium sized cricket-keeper with a little bit of rock and I put an artificial plant in there with her.  Is this a good place for her to be right now?   <Not unless there's a filter in there.> Should I just buy some real plants and put it in the 10 gallon tank?  Would the fry be safe with the crab if I put more live plants in the tank?  Thanks. <You'll lose some fry to other fish and the crab but the mommy and the babies will still be much better off with lots of plants in the main tank. Ronni>

Pregnant Platy Questions (08/18/03) Hi! <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I have a 37G aquarium with 8 female and 2 male platys (small), 1 neon  tetra, 1 male beta, and 1 keyhole cichlid. I know that a couple of my platys were pregnant, since I see the gravid spot. Yesterday, I cleaned the tank AND did a good gravel-vac since we have impending births.  Last night, I saw a baby, then it disappeared. <Your cichlid probably enjoyed a "snack". Don't blame him -- with that many female platies, you may come to appreciate his "snacking"....> Trouble is, the platys that I know are pregnant, are still pregnant. <And can be, even six months after having no males around...> Questions abound: 1. If platy "A" starts having babies, when does she stop? How long does it typically take from start to finish? <That depends partly on the age of the platy: the older the fish, the more fry it will tend to have in a batch. But probably no longer than a day or two.> (Since I saw the baby, the fattest platy has been moved into a 20G tank for rest and relaxation while we wait) <Definitely less stressful for her, though better if you can move her a day before she has fry. And let her rest there for a couple of days after she's done having fry.> 2. I read where people say that they can see the babies eyes, inside their platys bellies.. is this JUST the gravid spot, or are they actually seeing eyes?? <In a way, yes to both. The gravid spot is dark because it's the eyes of the fry all concentrated in one area.> (My fattest platy is a dawn platy, very light colored, and though I can clearly see a VERY large gravid spot, I sure don't see any eyes.) <You won't see the eyes individually until after the fry are born.> thanks a ton!  Whoo <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Platy love My sister and I currently have two gold Mickey mouse platys in our 20 gallon tank (been cycling for almost a week) . <Have you been testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate during the cycle?  Sounds great so far> We've had them for about a week now and so far they've been doing fine. Recently however, the male has been constantly chasing the female around the tank and nipping her tail. <Ahh.  He's in love!> Why does he keep on doing this and what can be done to prevent it? <Well, he's doing this because, well, she's a girl and he's a guy - male livebearers almost constantly harass the females, trying to mate.  Chances are, you'll have a pregnant female platy soon!  Please do consider getting another female or two for him to chase around, so no one female is getting harassed too much.> Also, we've been thinking about getting more fish, Danios, some Kuhli loaches, and Hatchetfish. <If you get Danios, stay away from 'giant Danios' because they grow too large for a 20g.  I find the long finned zebra Danios very beautiful.  A trio is the minimum on these fish, as they like to school.  Also, keep an eye on them in case they decide to nip the fins of your other fish.  Kuhli loaches are one of my favorite fish - so much fun!  Again, they like to school.  They also are escape artists, so make sure you have a cover on your tank.  As for the Hatchetfish (another schooler), well, they can be pretty sensitive, so you may want to wait on them for a few months to let your tank mature.  They're another gorgeous, interesting fish.> We've read that adding salt is good for the fish, is this is true for all fish, and if it is how much do we use? <This is true of many fish, but not all.  All of the fish you've mentioned will benefit from it to some degree.  I use one tablespoon of aquarium salt per ten gallons of water.  Some people like to use one tablespoon per five gallons.> Thanks so much for your time! <Sure thing! -Sabrina>

Platies I recently bought a few platies and I was wondering how you tell the difference between the male and females. <normally the males are more colorful and have larger more attractive fins. the females are more drab in their coloration and have short fins. IanB> thanks <<Mmm, and as livebearing toothed carps with internal fertilization, the males have modified anal fins (the one underneath their bodies, behind the "belly"). On males these are tube-shaped and on females they're fan-shaped in profile. RMF>>

Pregnant platy Hi Crew, <Hi, Melanie, Sabrina here today> I have an Eclipse System 12 tank with two mollies, two platies, and one male Betta. They all get along fine and the Betta even "schools" with the other fish. My problem is this: my female platy seemed very fat about three weeks ago, but without a gravid spot that I could see. Then she gradually became less fat but without my seeing any fry. (This was before I got the Betta, or I would have suspected him of eating them.) <Well, especially if the tank is well planted, it could very well be that there *are* fry that you're just not seeing yet.  If there're spots to hide....  Also, most adult livebearers will eat their young, so it's also possible that everyone chowed down on 'em before you got a chance to see 'em.> Now she is even fatter than before, rather suddenly, but I still can't see any gravid spot. Is this just some sort of normal cycle for platys, or do you think she was pregnant but aborted the pregnancy and is pregnant AGAIN now, or what?   <Could be that she's pregnant.  Platies are quite prolific, that way.  But there's also the possibility of constipation, though I'd think it likelier that she' pregnant.  Keep an eye on her, see how she's doing.> Also, if my platy is indeed pregnant, do I need to do anything special for her? Would it be better to take the Betta out and let the platy birth her babies in the main tank, <The Betta's no more of an issue than the adult livebearers, really; fry will be consumed no matter how it works out, if they're in the main tank.> or to take the platy out and let her birth in a smaller tank by herself, or put the platy in a breeding net? <Either of these are do-able.  Do keep in mind that the mother fish will eat the young, as well.  Also, start figuring out what you want to *do* with all those babies.  It might be best to leave the mother fish to have them in the main tank, and those that survive, well, lucky them, and maybe you'd have room to keep 'em.> The main tank is heavily planted, <Definitely improves their chances of surviving to an un-eatable size.> I change about 20% of the water each week, the temperature stays at 80 degrees, and I feed crushed flakes and bloodworms.  Thanks very much, --Melanie <All sounds great, and even leaving her in the main tank, I bet you have a few survivors.  Hope all goes well,  -Sabrina>

Pregnant platy... <Hi! Ananda here tonight> This past weekend I purchased a female platy I thought was pregnant.  Last night her stomach no longer looked as big and the black gravid spot was barely noticeable.   <Sounds like she dropped the fry....> I have not seen any fry and I have added places for them to hide.   <When did you add the hiding places? Is it possible that they're hiding so well that you can't see them?> Could it be that she aborted the pregnancy due to stress from changing environments?   <Possibly.> How does this happen and what happens to the fry inside her?   <At that point in the pregnancy, if that's what happened, they were born before they were viable. They would have become fish food.> She seems to be acting normal in every other way.  FYI - I have had my 20 gallon tank for almost two years and regularly change the water and check for any changes in it.  Everything seems to be fine.   <Keep an eye on the tank... the fry may yet appear. On the other hand, the female will be pregnant again.> I have three bottom feeding Corys, six neon tetras and three female platies and one male platy. <A 20 gallon tank is too small to keep that many fish *and* the many fry the female platies will give you... do you have a plan for dealing with all those fry?> Thanks for any help you can provide. Jeff Hilzinger <You're welcome! --Ananda>

RE: Pregnant platy (10/10/03) Thanks again. <No problem!> The pH has been very steady never moving out of the 7.0-7.2 range.  Should I reconsider what I keep in the tank with the Platies?  Is there another bottom feeding fish that likes a higher pH?  Jeff <That pH is at the low end of what the platies prefer, at the high end for the Corys...both should be fine in that pH. I'd stick with what you have. --Ananda>

RE: Pregnant platy Thanks Ananda, I appreciate your comments.   <You're welcome!> I have been floating breeding grass at the top of the tank and there are also several plants at the bottom. <Sounds good> I had a platy drop some fry last December and they seemed to enjoy hiding out in the breeding grass so that's why I am using it. I have looked very close and I doubt they are hiding so well I cannot see them. <Probably predation, then, by the other fish.> I agree the tank is too small if I have lots of fry. Since I have been keeping platies for almost two years now and only had fry appear once, I had honestly not given it a lot of thought, my mistake. <No worries if you are willing to learn...> Is there something else I should be checking on the water quality since I have not had much luck with my Platies reproducing? <What pH are you running at? Platies and other livebearers tend to prefer a higher/alkaline pH, while the tetras and Corys prefer a lower/acidic pH.> Thanks Jeff <good luck with those livebearers... --Ananda>

Baby Platies (1/23/04) <Hi! Ananda here tonight...> I have a 10-gallon community tank, which had dwindled down over the months to a population of only one female Platy. She had babies and I put them in an isolation net. They have been in there for about one month, and a few of the tiniest ones have died. I feed them crushed flake food 2-3 times per day. There are 8 babies left. If all of them survive, will the tank be large enough to support them all? <Not on a permanent basis, unfortunately.> They are still pretty tiny. How long will I need to keep them in isolation? (It seems easier to feed them in the net because the uneaten flakes collect at the bottom of the net, so they can pick at it later). <I would get some fake wheat grass or something similar for the tank to give them something to hide in. Then you can let them into the tank. Keeping the fry in the isolation net for a long time is not healthy for them. If you feed them directly over the stuff they hide in, they can pick at what falls to the gravel.> Thank you, ~Cynthia <You're welcome. --Ananda>

Platy sex change Hello,     We have a ten gallon freshwater tank with over 30 fish, ranging in age of 5 months - 5 days, black mollies and sunset platys, and only one of our fish is store bought, due to reproduction and dying out. I noticed something very strange with one of our 2-month old female platys.  She was the biggest, most beautiful female platy in the tank, and she has a very pretty light golden orange coloring.  Something very very strange happened: over the past week, I've noticed that she has acquired the anal fin, gonopodium, that is characteristic of MALES!!  How strange is that?!  What is going on?  And I do know that before, she did not have the male sex organ.  She always a female until recently.  Also, her coloring is more similar to that of the other 2-month old females than the coloring of the males.  The males have yellow heads and they become orange, then red further down to the tail.  This fish has nothing of the sort.  Have you any idea of what is going on?  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks. ~Confused aquarium keeper <<Dear Confused; Hello. Chances are that you bought this platy at a young age, and she has finally matured sexually. In other words, she didn't change, she was probably a "he" from the beginning. It's hard to say without seeing the fish beforehand. It could be you didn't notice the gonopodium. At any rate, I have heard tales of people's swordtails and platies changing their sex, I would again put that down to juvenile fish becoming sexually mature. Keep in mind most platies sold in stores are just a few months old. Also, I would like to address the fact that you have 30 fish in a 10 gallon tank. This amount is excessively high. I would highly recommend you buy a nitrate test kit, and start keeping track of your nitrate levels. Nitrates should be kept around the 20-60ppm range. Higher nitrates mean you need to do more frequent partial water changes. You should not have any fish "dying out". Healthy platies can live for 5 years or more. Please do your water changes twice a week, approx. 25-50%, until you can give some of your fish away, or buy them a bigger tank. Otherwise you will find that you are continuing to lose fish, and eventually everything in this tank will sicken and die off. Sorry to be a party pooper, but the long-range forecast for such an overstocked tank is not good at all. -Gwen>> New platies My roommate and I recently bought two red wagtail platies and we know next to nothing about fish. They seem to have gotten increasingly "twitchy" over the past few days. We are worried that there might be something in the environment we established that is bothering them. We feed them a pinch of tropical fish food a day, have a new filter running, and the water is at room temperature roughly 70 degrees). We have grown very attached to our new fish: please help >>Dear Jennifer; what size is the tank they are in? You are right, there IS something in the environment that is bothering them...their own waste. I recommend you take a sample of your tank water to your local fish store, and have them test it for ammonia. You should get into the habit of testing your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. Buy some test kits, or hopefully the fish store is close by :P If you cannot get your water tested right away, then do a small partial water change...remove 20% of the water, and re-add some new water at the same temperature, that you have dechlorinated. I assume you have some Dechlor, if not, buy some at the LFS when go to get your water tested. You might want to add a heater, also. I also recommend you read this: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwset-up.htm Good luck! -Gwen<< Thanks so much for your help. It is a five gallon tank and I actually went ahead and replaced some of the water today. I am planning on going out tomorrow and getting it tested and buying the test kits. I am wondering though if the waste could have built up that much in such a short amount of time? We have had them only a week. Thank you again, Jennifer >>Hello :) To answer your question, yes, the waste could have built up that fast! This is why we recommend to begin testing the water once fish are added to any new set-up. Depending on tank size and amount of fish added, the waste can build to lethal levels very fast, because there are no beneficial bacteria yet. Partial water changes are required to reduce, and therefore control, the waste levels until the tank "cycles", which means until there are enough nitrifying bacteria to support the amount of fish in the tank. Basically, "cycling the tank" means growing bacteria in your filter, the "good" bacteria that colonize there will break down ammonia and reduce it to nitrite, then finally to nitrate. Which means that we can go longer periods between water changes than if we had no bacteria, because nitrate is less toxic than ammonia and nitrite. So once your tank is fully cycled your levels of those two things should be zero, while the nitrate levels should be kept as low as possible with water changes, say below 50ppm or so. There are no bacteria that remove nitrates, we have to do that ourselves :) -Gwen<<

Minnie Mouse Mom Hello! I have a "Minnie" Mouse platy who is certainly pregnant (I think). She's been fat for about four weeks, and she is very dark in her stomach area. I moved her to a plastic breeder last night. She's eating blood worms and she hasn't aborted her babies, but she won't drop them. She doesn't seem to be stressed, but she was a little stressed when I moved her, then later settled down. I think I can see the fry's eyes, they look like little black speckles in her stomach area. How long will it be before she drops the fry and how can I help her if she doesn't. She looks as if she could explode! All of the water levels are fine! Rachel P.S.- thanks Gwen, for the help with my midget platy fry! I let her out last night to swim with the big fishies! :) She's doing great!!! <<Rachel, you are welcome :) and she should be producing fry any day now. You seem to be taking good care of her, so probably just patience is required at this point. I'm sure she will be fine. Keep up the good work :) >Gwen

Help... responded to query re platies I sent a question April 24th and have not got an e-mail & can't find the answer to my question.  Where do I look for the answer?  My firs message was called "Please HELP our Platy fish has had babies"  Thanks Lisa <<Dear Lisa; your reply would have been posted on this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/daily_faqs.htm However, you will need to read thru all the FAQ's pages to find it now, as it would have only been on the dailies for one day. If you wish, you can re-send me your info, and I can reply again. Thanks, Gwen>>

Please HELP Our Platy fish has had babies. Please help our Platy fish has had babies on yesterday.  I bought a fish net thing to put the babies in.  We only started our tank about 2 months ago. And really have had a hard time with fish living in it.  All the fish have died at some point or a another.  It was not quite a week ago we got 2 more platy fish.  One died on Wed, the other had babies on Friday.  There are 4 live babies (about 6 were dead) What do I feed these little ones. < Baby platies are actually pretty good size when they are born and should do ok on crushed flake food.> How big do they have to be before I can let them out with mom. < They should be too big to be eaten by the other fish. At least 1/4 to 1/3 the size of the others.>  She is the only fish in there. We have a 5-6 gallon tank.  The mom seems fine with them, she is constantly at the net with them.  We were told at the pet store to only feed the platy every other day.  I have read some on your website saying 2 times a day.  What is right? <It sounds like you have had some ammonia problems so a reduced feeding strategy sounds like a good recommendation. But now that you have fry, you need to feed at least once a day enough food that she will only eat for a few minutes.> The mom was fed yesterday but did not eat.  How many days after birth till she starts to eat again? < If everything is ok then she should be eating all the time. She may already be full from eating other fry. I think you have other issues here besides the fry. You need to get your tank stabilized first and things should take care of themselves. -Chuck.>  Thanks Lisa

Platy Fry slow Hello, Rachel here. I don't know who will answer this, but thanks, Gwen, for all of your previous help! Now I have another problem. I have a platy fry that is EIGHT weeks old, she has been in a plastic breeder since the beginning of tank set up, one of the female platys popped her out a week after I put her in there. She grew fairly fast and then has been the same size for five months. It is probably the same size as a short pinkie nail. I have gold dust molly fry that are two weeks old and are almost bigger than she is, some a little bigger! I am feeding her powdered flakes, a little of bigger crumbled flakes and a little bloodworm once or twice a week. What is wrong and how can I fix it? The water quality is O.K.- nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia are 0, and Ph is 7.4. Another question is, the fry (gold dust) are big enough to see the anal fin. So far, they all have normal female fins, can they develop the rod like male anal fin later? THANKS so much for all of your help! <<Hey Rachel, sorry for the response time, I've been under the weather lately. Speeding up fry growth consists of three things: regular water changes (every other day is good, if not more often), high quality foods, and adequate space for exercise. It sounds like you are doing everything right, though, so my best wishes to you, and by all means, keep us updated as to Baby Platy's progress! -Gwen>>

Surprise Platy Baby! Good Afternoon! First of all, thanks for all your help in the past with our platies and our very small tank. I currently have a 5 gallon tank set up with 3 platies (2 female, 1 male). The male we've had for a month, and previously resided in a 1 2/3g tank my son got for his b-day.   The 2 females are red wags and we've had them 6 days now.  The 5g has a bio-wheel filter and seems to be doing great. Water quality is great and I do regular partial water changes w/gravel vac.  All is well in our tank and the fish all get along great (and entertain us well.. they are such piggies at feeding time!).   Anyway - yesterday at feeding time, we got a big surprise. Or I should say a TINY surprise!  One tiny baby fish showed up looking for food!  I can't tell which female it came from since neither was obviously pregnant, nor have either really changed in look/shape since we got them. I don't (and didn't) notice a gravid spot.  No sign of any more fry either (I've really searched). I have breeding grass in the tank already but the little guy hasn't gone near it.  He did spend a lot of time in the small "flower" of a floating artificial plant, but when he ventured out the adult male noticed him and made a beeline. A small tap on the tank distracted him and I scooped that baby out and put him in our small tank.  He's been in there over 24 hours now, and seems to be doing great. I feed him flakes & granules that I've ground to a powder and have seen him eat it.  But he's so tiny!  Like a little grain of rice!  He's nearly all clear with just his eyes and some orange/red area in the middle where we see his "insides".  I'm guessing he's just a day old, since I saw no sign of him before - but I guess he could be up to 5 days old since that's how long we've had the females.   I figure either she had just one fry, or ate the rest. Or maybe more are on the way. My biggest concern is caring for the baby now.  Anything special I need to do? He's in an already cycled tank, and seems to be doing great - but what do I know?  The adult fish are all going about their normal business and happy as can be. But since my 5 year old son has already named the baby fish, I want to make sure to give him the best chance for survival. Will he be alright alone in that tank? It seems so huge for such a little guy (and it seemed so small with our adult platy in it).   Also, the water is a bit of a concern.  We have well water and it's extremely hard (the test kit literally shows it as "Very Hard" on the strip, approx "300"ppm? ), and pH & alkalinity are very high as well. (Nitrates/nitrites & ammonia are "0")  The platies have been doing just fine, but I know babies are more sensitive.  Would it be better to get softened water from my tap?  (making the change gradually of course)  Right now I use the outside bypass valve to get the water unsoftened.  I'd prefer to use water right out of the tap if that would work. (our water is softened with salt, not potassium).   I also let the water stand 24 hours to come to room temp since it come out of the outdoor tap very cold.  The tanks are about 76 degrees, without a heater (I figure I can invest in a small heater before the weather starts to turn cold). I'd appreciate any tips for making my baby's environment as safe/healthy as possible (and the adult fish too of course). < All sounds good. Definitely use the well water instead of the water softener water. Platies actually prefer hard alkali water. Try not to over feed the baby fish. Sometimes it is hard when you see a little fish and wonder if he  or she will get enough to eat. You put the food in an it goes all over the place. Remove any uneaten food after a couple of minutes or it may foul the tank.-Chuck> Thanks a million!! Jennifer

Re: Ok, NOW I need help! More babies Hi, and Thanks Chuck for the advice on my new addition.  However, I was wrong about having only one survivor. Last night (3 days after I found the first baby platy) I discovered there is a brood of them living UNDER the breeding grass.  One ventured out at feeding time again and totally freaked me out. I'm glad to know more than one survived, though now I'm paranoid about them. I worry they'll be sucked into the filter (found one in there the other day), or eaten by adults.  Do you think I should leave them alone or try to move them to the "baby tank" where I have their single sibling? < If you move them the you know you have them. If you don't then you will drive yourself crazy worrying about them.> By closely observing my 2 females, I believe that the smaller of the 2 dropped the fry that we have now (she's starting to look thinner... shaped more like the male now) and that the other one is quite pregnant.  Our male fish seems to have been given an aphrodisiac, and chases the females incessantly - spending more time with the smaller female.  Could he sense that she is no longer pregnant and wants to breed with her now? < The male will always be trying to breed with any available female.> pregnant female gets, er... ticked off, at him when he tries to sidle up to her. He's VERY obviously courting them - kind of funny actually. He chases the females but doesn't nip at them, so I'm not too worried. But could this stress the pregnant female too much? < It could but that's why the females are larger so they can handle some attention. If it gets to the point that she is not eating or is being so stressed that she is hiding in the corner then she should be removed to another tank.> She tries to "hide" between plant leaves and I notice she gets real still when he gets near her, but takes off if he tries to get too close. And here's a bigger question... I've been reading other responses on your site about an internal parasite causing "pale feces" in fish.  At least 2 of my 3 adult platies have had white or clear feces for the past few days. Not every time, because I do notice they have normal looking ones as well. But sometimes they are thin and white or clear.  Does that indicate a parasite? < It could but if everything is Ok then I wouldn't worry about it too much unless there are other symptoms. I think it rejects what they have been eating.> And to go about treating it (my extra tank is a baby tank now - can't use that) what would it do to a) the babies hiding out under the grass; b) the bacteria in my nicely cycled tank? < I would not treat at all. The fish are breeding and very active. I would only treat if the fish look like that are becoming very thin an lethargic.> To refresh, I have a 5 gallon with a filter that has a carbon pad and a bio wheel.  (I think based on what I've read that if I just rinse the gunk off the carbon filter cartridge once in awhile I really don't need to change it?).  I have a bottle of CopperSafe that I treated my previous tank with for velvet (worked great).  Can I use that?  Should I take the bio-wheel or the filter cartridge out when I treat? My other option would be to move the baby back into the main tank and my 3 adult platies into the small tank (1 2/3g) for treatment, though I know it's quite small for them - at least it's temporary. Please... any advice would be great.  I appreciate all the help I've gotten in the past. < Anytime you medicate a tank you run a risk of affecting the good bacteria. Luckily the Bio-wheel can be removed while the tank is being medicated and replaced when treatment is over. Keep the BioWheel moist in some aquarium water and it will be all right for days.-Chuck> Jennifer

Re: Ok, NOW I need help! More babies Thanks for your advice. I believe my 2nd female had her babies, since she looks much less plump today, and I see more and more tiny fish hiding out all over the tank. Yesterday I managed to scoop out 2 more babies that ventured to the top and put them in the 'baby tank'.  I may try to grab up the rest of them tonight just to be sure. At least then I'd know they are eating - I think they are venturing upward because there isn't a lot of food getting down to their level (the big fish are pigs)  And you are right... I am obsessively worrying about them in the big tank (though I try to tell myself to let nature take it's course and be happy that I've saved at least 3 of them). I am probably more worried about them getting sucked into the filter than anything else. The clear/white feces of the adult fish could be from eating a bunch of newborn fry? < No mainly from foods that are low in fiber.-Chuck>   That would be my guess anyway.  They are acting fine and eating great. Both females are out of hiding and energetic.  They all seem happy, so I'll just keep a good eye on them for now. Thanks a bunch!  I'm much less stressed now. :) Jennifer

Platy fry not growing Hello Crew, first, let me thank you for such a fabulous site, its been of great help to me, there is so much I have learned and so much still waiting to be acknowledged, exciting. Ok, on to the problem, I have 8 week old platy fry and molly fry, the matter is that molly fry are growing fast, but platy fry are just not, why could it be? I feed both batches the same food, and once or twice a week live food.  Is there something else I need to know about platy fry? or am I doing something wrong? Ok, just for the record, mollies are separated from platys. < Fish like clean water and it is essential for young fish to have water with no ammonia, nitrites and low nitrates. Check these levels and make the needed adjustments. Different fish have different tolerances to waste products. Giving them some live food would help too.-Chuck> Hope any one can help me. Thanx Miguel

Telling platy preggers Thank you for your very informative site.  I am a fish novice, and have just two platies.  I am thinking that the female is pregnant, but I am not sure.   How can you tell? < The female should be round, fat and still eating well. The back ventral area should be dark from the eyes of the fry. No scales should be protruding and she should be behaving normally.>   She looks plump, but are there any other tell tale signs or behaviors that I should be looking for? < If she is fat but listless and the scales are protruding then it could be bloat and she would need to be treated with Metronidazole medication.-Chuck> I appreciate any information you can share.  Thanks! Lissa

Platy is Preggers Yesterday I bought two platy females. (I know for a fact that's their gender) I already know they are live bearers. <Yep> One of them has an enormous belly. I think she could be pregnant but I'm not sure. What are the pregnancy signs of platies? Please email me back at xxx@xxx.xxx <Hi Margaret, Don here. For platies the only way to tell is by the size of the belly. You may see a large black area develop near the anal fin if her normal coloring is not so intense as to wash it out. Good luck with them> A question re Pregnant Platies. Hi, I wonder if you can help me. <This is Jorie...I'll try to help!> I had two pregnant platies.  I removed them from the large communal tank and put them in a tank on their own.  They seemed to have got on well although one was quite dominant over the other and there was a bit of bullying going on.  Thinking back, I should have separated them instead of putting them both in the same birthing tank. <Depending on how big the tank was, this may have been a good idea; another thought, though, would have been to provide more hiding spots perhaps? It's all a learning experience, don't beat yourself up.> Eventually, babies were born - approximately 9 fry only.  Once I was satisfied that they were no long pregnant I returned the mothers to the communal tank.   Within the next two days the weaker mother was dead. <This is really not that uncommon...she may have gone through a particularly difficult birth. I've had it happen to one or two of my molly mommies at different times.  Really not much you can do about it. Again, don't blame yourself.> It looked as though she'd taken quite a battering from the other fish. I feel sad about that. <Chalk it up to learning...that's how virtually all of us have gained the necessary knowledge and experience about this hobby.  You certainly didn't do it out of malice.> On a happier note, I now have a nursery tank with the 9 babies. <Yay!> Then a day or so later I noticed several white spongy things attached to the glass.  I can only describe them as slithers of white slimy stuff that looked like bits of string measuring approx 3mm in length.  I thought nothing of them at the time but then one day I noticed they had gone and some tiny, tiny creatures swimming around in the water.  They are so small that I can't make out what they are.  You could probably get 2 or 3 of them onto a pin head. I was wondering if you'd ever heard of anything like this.   I'm thinking that the white stuff attached to the glass was eggs!  But Platies are livebearers, aren't they? <Yes indeed, platies are livebearers, just like mollies and guppies.  Perhaps these are water fleas...a few of them won't hurt anything, and in fact will be good food for everybody, but if you have an over abundance of these guys, it's a sign of poor water quality.  Consider stepping up your water change schedule.  Try to siphon some out when you do the water changes.  Also, consider changing your filter media if you haven't done so recently.> I've spoken to my local aquarium shop and they've never heard of anything like it. The creatures are still in the tank with the babies and I'm worried what they might be and whether they will harm the babies. I hope you can help me. <Just be sure to keep your water quality pristine for the babies.  If they are anything like molly fry, they are much more sensitive to poor water quality than their older, more mature parents...keep temp. and pH as stable as possible when switching old and new water.  Do check the water parameters frequently as well.> Look forward to hearing from you Regards Angela Robinson in England <Good luck with your new fishies, my friend! Sounds like you are very diligent in tanking good care of everybody, so things should be just fine.  Just keep an extra eye on the water quality in the babies' tank, remove as many of the little water-flea type creatures as you can with a siphon, and be sure not to overfeed the tank.  Take care, Jorie.>

More pregnancy questions about Platys First off,  I must say that you folks are the most "common sense" informative site out there. I've been searching ("Googling") around a lot since I started my tanks up again, and I keep coming back to you for my info and to just keep up with it all. Great job!!! <Why thank you very much! WWM is how I got started in the aquarium hobby, so I owe them a great deal of gratitude myself!> And many thanks too! <Thanks for taking the time to care enough about your fish to wind up here...it goes both ways!> Here's the questions: I've got a Platy that was obviously pregnant ( a fat, light colored fish with the "dark pregnancy area"  when I got her (about 2 months ago). <Called a "gravid spot".> She is getting bigger and bigger, is happy, healthy, eats like a horse, but never delivers. Will she? <It's very hard to say exactly when a livebearer will deliver, but typically the gestation period is around 3 mos.  Just keep her comfortable and stress-free and everything should be just fine.> What are some reasons she hasn't? <Gestation period isn't over?> She is by herself (for about three weeks now) in an aerated 1 gallon (specifically for delivering those babies - if and when she has them, she'll be moved back with the others in  larger tank and babies can stay here for a while). <Sounds like a good setup to me...just make sure to keep up with the water changes, as platys, like other livebearers, tend to be pretty big waste producers.  Also, make sure she has some cover (i.e., plants, decoration, etc.) to keep her comfy and stress-free.> Also, I have two other light colored females that don't exhibit the black pregnancy spot, but instead have what looks like large clear-ish eggs developing in that same area (the area is sort of see-through and the eggs(?) are more reddish and look about .5 to 1 mm). <Well, platys are livebearers, which means that they won't lay eggs, but rather will give birth to adorable teeny tiny little fry when the time comes. Perhaps the little spots you are seeing are the fry's eyes...> These ladies are also fat, happy, eating well (sometimes frantically so) in a 7 gallon tank with two other females and a male. I have not seen the male pursue them as I have other males, (he was so aggressive with two other males that I removed them to their own tank. Could he be infertile? <I suppose that is possible, but wouldn't jump to that conclusion yet.  How long have these fish been together in the 7 gal. tank?> He was the prettiest, so wanted him to be "dad") <Cool. Do keep in mind, though, that if the platys came from a fish store where everybody was kept in a community tank, it's anyone's guess as to who the "daddy" is! Female livebearers can actually store the male's sperm for up to 6 mos., and give birth pretty much "anywhere, anytime", so unless you raised these guys from birth, you won't know for certain who the fish daddy is.> Any info would be great. I've been searching and stewing for a while now, and not finding answers decided to "bug" you. <We definitely don't consider it to be "bugging" - we are here to help folks like you out!> Thanks so much! Deb <You are welcome.  Jorie> Platy Pregnancy Problem Sorry if this has already been answered, but I'm new to this breeding deal and my boyfriend and I are at a loss. <Don spits out coffee> I purchased a couple of platies about a month ago. About 3 weeks ago I noticed my female Mickey mouse platy was pregnant, her stomach is swollen and she has the black dots within her stomach. I want to keep the fry but I have no idea when she is going to drop them. I have one of those breeding containers, where you put the female in and the fry drop to the bottom, and it says to put her in 1-2 days before she gives birth. How will I know when she is going to? How long does it usually take before the platies give birth? I saw in one place you said they drop fry every 3-4 weeks, and somewhere else you said something about 3 months. I don't want to put her in the container too early and then have her die from the close quarters. Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated! Thanks! Kelly <Hi Kelly, Don here. I've seen, and laughed at, that same instruction. There is no way to be sure exactly when she will give birth. Watch for the dark area above her anal fin to darken as she readies to drop. If the breeder allows a good flow of tank water she will be OK in there for a few days. A mature healthy female platy can give birth every month or so. But that does  mean they all do. Temp is also a big factor>  

Slow Growing Fry Hi, I have baby platys that have been in their own tank for nearly two months. They are growing slowly, but steadily. Since they are still small and almost "see-through," I have noticed that their belly area is much darker than usual. They are platys, and their mother is a "Minnie Mouse" platy, but these are not spots on the outside, but rather darkness around their abdomen.  Is this some sort of disease?  I have looked through almost every entry in the FAQ, but found nothing about this sort of "disorder."  Please advise as soon as possible. Thank you, Elaine <It may just be food you are seeing. If they seem active and healthy I would not worry too much. My concern is that in two months they should be past the "see thru" stage. You may want to take a look at the diet you feed. Try hatching some baby brine shrimp. If they are large enough to take them, frozen bloodworms or other meaty foods may get them growing. Don>

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