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Old 06-08-2014, 12:14 AM   #1
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Is my fish Pregnant? A newbie "must read"

I'm sure we have all seen this header on a lot of threads. It's a common question by new or newer aquarists first keeping fish. Thanks to the folks at Tropical Fishkeeping.com, I'd like to share their post so that we can clear up this question once and for all.

"We need to give a little insight on the difference of a terminology here. I have seen many post saying, "My fish is pregnant." . Well, this may or may not be true. First of all, egg layers cannot become pregnant. Have you ever heard of a pregnant chicken? I have not. Egglayers, fish that either lay or scatter eggs include cichlids, danios, rasboras, goldfish, tetras, catfish, and anabatids, become gravid. That is they become full of eggs which are laid and fertilized externally.

Livebearers, on the other hand, become pregnant. The eggs are fertilized internally inside of the female by the male. The young are born alive and are free swimming in a short period of time. Fish that can be termed as pregnant include guppies, mollies, swordtails, platys, pike livebearers, and a few others that don't come to mind at this moment. (
I'll add Endler's Livebearers to this list.)

So, when you post about your fish, you now know the proper terminology."


And to further answer the next questionyou are probably thinking, if your fish does become gravid, there is nothing you HAVE to do for it. Fish can go an entire lifetime without breeding and just carry or reabsorb their eggs over time. So unless you are actually trying to breed your fish, there is no need to be concerned if your fish is gravid. Just enjoy their plumpness.

Hopefully, this will end the multiple threads of "is my Tetra, Barb, Danio, Gourami, etc. pregnant?" The answer is always going to be "NO, they are not." If you are not sure if your fish is a livebearer, ask your salesperson when you buy them. If they don't know, that should be a clear indication that you shouldn't be buying your fish from there. They should know this the day they started working. (IMO)

Okay, class dismissed. Go enjoy your fish now.

PS: This thread is not intended to insult or demean anyone who has posted this question but to educate all on the subject of proper fish terminology.

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Old 06-09-2014, 10:53 AM   #2
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I hope the powers that be make this a "sticky" so it doesn't get lost in the mix of threads.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:16 AM   #3
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Is my oscar pregant? I just fed it a whole box of donuts and it looks all round and fat now nice work sir Andy!

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Old 06-09-2014, 12:22 PM   #4
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Is my oscar pregant? I just fed it a whole box of donuts and it looks all round and fat now nice work sir Andy!

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Well I'm sorry but "NO, your fish is not pregnant" It's just fat!!! (from the donuts )
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Old 06-15-2014, 09:54 AM   #5
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Anyone find this information helpful enough to make it a sticky so everyone can read it when they open this forum? Please chime in.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:58 PM   #6
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Only a handful of fish in the aquarium trade are livebearers. So if your fish is not a Guppy, Molly, Sword-tail, Platy, Endlers Livebearer or gambusia(mosquito fish), chances are, rest assured your fish is not pregnant, but may at most, be gravid.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:12 AM   #7
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Thank you Andy, if this gets made into a sticky we should post pics of pregnant livebearers and signs of pregnancy, gravid egg layers and fertile eggs so that hopefully all those types of threads might slow down, they seem to be a plague in this section.

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Old 06-25-2014, 07:59 PM   #8
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Crazyhermitcrab's Complete Guide to Livebearer's
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:46 PM   #9
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Anyone know how to make this a sticky? I would hate for this to get lost in the back of the list.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brookster123 View Post
Is my oscar pregant? I just fed it a whole box of donuts and it looks all round and fat now nice work sir Andy!

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Haha that's great. I would love for this to become a sticky. Be very helpful to all the newcomers.
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