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Old 06-08-2014, 07:57 PM   #1
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Breeding Trap ideas for livebearers

Please share your home made breeding trap ideas. My swordtails are too large for retail traps and dense plants are not enough.

The only time I've succeeded is using a 30 gallon with mesh separator. Otherwise the moms are eating or killing ALL of their fry even when well fed in a densely planted tank with live adult brine shrimp swimming in the tank.

Just wondering what others use specifically for large swordtails.
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Old 06-13-2014, 10:29 PM   #2
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I would make a cage out of eggcrate with a netting along the sides to keep the moms in and keep the bottom open with a slightly smaller extra piece of the eggcrate positioned to make the holes smaller so that the females can't go through them but the fry can. This way, you can make the cage as large as you want and can add some plants in there hopefully to give the fry a chance to escape before being eaten. To go the "extra mile", you can also make and put a plexiglass V in there to try to help usher the fry out the bottom.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:54 AM   #3
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How do you build an eggcrate cage? Also the holes are too big, the fish will get its head stuck in the holes.

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Old 06-14-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
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How do you build an eggcrate cage? Also the holes are too big, the fish will get its head stuck in the holes.

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You can get different sized grates (1/8", 1/4", 1/2") but the most common in the home depot type stores is 1/4" holes. Assuming you have the 1/4" size, cut the crate and use plastic zipties to hold the pieces together. Line the inside of the cage with screening or netting along the sides to prevent the fish from getting stuck in the holes but will allow for water to flow through it. Cut a separate piece of grate for the bottom that is approx. 1/8" smaller then the plate you have for the bottom and line that up so that the 1/4" holes are now 1/8" holes and use zipties to hold that in place. Now, your big fish can't get out and your fry can now go through the bottom of the cage.
If you can get the 1/8" hole size, you can skip the netting ( if your fish are large enough to not go through that size hole) and the separate bottom grid.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:49 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for those tips. My Home Depot only had the ones with 1/2 inch holes. I'll check amazon and eBay. I think 1/4 inch holes are small enough to deter my large swordtails.

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Old 06-14-2014, 09:04 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for those tips. My Home Depot only had the ones with 1/2 inch holes. I'll check amazon and eBay. I think 1/4 inch holes are small enough to deter my large swordtails.

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You can also check any places that sell ceiling tiles. That is what most use eggcrate for.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:47 AM   #7
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Why not just get a 5-10 gallon fry tank?
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:57 AM   #8
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Why not just get a 5-10 gallon fry tank?
You mean put a ton of plants in a 10 gallon tank and let the mom swim freely? With albino lyretail swordtails most or all of the fry will die if you do that. Mom is a voracious killer that will eat or kill all fry even if she is not hungry and there are live adult brine shrimp swimming in the tank. Happened to me many times already. A real barrier is needed if you want to save more than 10% of fry. Unfortunately when swordtails were line bred for their appearance they also inadvertently got line bred for cannibalism and killing spree behavior. This was true 25 years ago and it's still true today, most of the aquabid vendors seem to agree on this challenging aspect of albino lyretail swordtail breeding. That's why they are relatively rare and pet stores almost never sell them.
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Old 06-16-2014, 06:31 PM   #9
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You mean put a ton of plants in a 10 gallon tank and let the mom swim freely? With albino lyretail swordtails most or all of the fry will die if you do that. Mom is a voracious killer that will eat or kill all fry even if she is not hungry and there are live adult brine shrimp swimming in the tank. Happened to me many times already. A real barrier is needed if you want to save more than 10% of fry. Unfortunately when swordtails were line bred for their appearance they also inadvertently got line bred for cannibalism and killing spree behavior. This was true 25 years ago and it's still true today, most of the aquabid vendors seem to agree on this challenging aspect of albino lyretail swordtail breeding. That's why they are relatively rare and pet stores almost never sell them.
Oh. Ok. I have an idea?
Make a box that has plexiglass sides and a egg crate bottom. Put it in the fry tank
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:31 PM   #10
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I think the egg crate idea will work, but they are nowhere to be found. Amazon does not carry them. Home Depot and Lowes only carry large holed versions (1/2 inch hole). Where can I buy egg crates with smaller holes?

A search for egg crate gives mostly sponge material crates.

In the past (20 years ago) I used fishnet fabric which had 1/8 to 1/4 inch holes. These are fabrics designed for manufacturing koi and tilapia nets. I am having a hard time finding these on eBay now. With these nets you basically replace the fabric of your standard 8-inch aquarium net. You simply prop the net on the aquarium rim. Secure with plastic clips. Perfect breeding traps!

Where can I buy egg crates or fishnet fabric? Searched Michaels and AC Moore too...
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