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Old 06-04-2014, 01:16 PM   #1
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Pregnant Fish Not Dropping - Ideas/Suggestions? (Long Read)

Hello

I have 3 pregnant fish in my 10G and my question is: why won't they drop their fry? I have 2 guppies that are well and truly over 30 days (more like 45 days) and 1 MM platy that is about 45 days too. I have researched breeding a lot and feel as if I am doing everything I can possibly do to make conditions right for my fish to give birth, but I find it strange that all 3 would continue to hold on to their fry.

Here is the rundown on my tank setup:
  • Heavily planted with lots of hiding places for privacy and fry to hide in if they ever drop (including floating plants)
  • Constant water temperature of 78 degrees
  • Feed twice a day - AM & PM - flake, small pellet, and crisps (give variety)
  • Tank is almost cycled. Mistakenly, I thought it was completely cycled when I placed my pregnant fish into it. For the past 2-3 weeks I have been doing PWC every day/every other day to keep ammonia/nitrite levels down and testing religiously. Seems to be working because my levels are now at 0-0.25 for ammo (or trace), 0.25 for nitrite, and 2.0 for nitrate for past 3 days.
  • Every PWC I use Prime and a little bit of aquarium salt. Sometimes I also use Tetra's EasyBalance.
  • I am using the same BioBag in the filter when I started cycling the tank about 6 weeks ago. I'm assuming unless the bag is falling apart or is dirty beyond belief, then it is OK to leave alone.
Now, here is a description of my fish and how they are acting:
  • Blue guppy and MM platy in particular are huge! Orange guppy is big too.
  • All of them look squared off.
  • All of them are still eating, except for the platy who seems to have gone off food a little bit in the evening for the past 2 nights.
  • My male guppy seems to have gotten more aggressive towards the females - shadowing them around the tank, bumping into them, nipping.
  • Platy has separated herself from tank mates, hiding among the plants, and at night she will lay at the bottom in the gravel.
  • Sometimes I observe platy flipping or spasming for a split second, then swimming normal again.
  • Platy has a white spot protruding from her anal area (past 2 days)
From my research I know that all of the above symptoms could be the beginning signs of impending labor. So why then will they not drop their fry? I've heard they will hold onto their babies, possibly abort, or even reabsorb them if they feel the conditions are not right. I feel like I am doing everything right but not getting results. Or am I missing something?

I know every birth is unique and yet they usually follow a similar pattern, however I just find it odd that not one out of my three preggers fish have dropped yet. Can anyone offer some assistance/guidance? I have included some pictures so you can see how huge they are. I have ruled out disease because they don't seem to fit the dropsy profile and they all appear healthy.

Any help is appreciated!
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:39 AM   #2
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It sounds to me like the platy should drop her fry within the next few days.


Guppies I'm not so sure, mine once gave birth and I couldn't tell. So just keep an eye on them.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:35 AM   #3
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Your Tank

Hello suz...

Three things for a healthy tank: Large, frequent water changes. A small tank needs half the water changed every three days, no slacking. Next, is a well planted tank. It's needed for added water filtration. Get some floating plants into the tank. Hornwort and Common water weed (Anacharis) are the best. Last, feed a healthy diet. Some frozen from San Fran Bay, freeze dried from Hikari or Tetra and a little flaked from Cobalt.

Do these things and your fish will be healthy and reproduce on a regular basis. One more thing. If possible, consider a larger tank. A 30 G at minimum. There's more water to dilute mistakes in tank management and cramped conditions will negatively affect normal fish reproduction.

Just a couple of suggestions to consider or not.

B
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:33 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Update: New Guppy Fry!!!

Hi All,

Well, I must be doing something right because last night when I went to do my regular water change I found...FRY!!!!!

I'm so glad I saw the little thing before sucking him/her up into my siphon. My tank is heavily planted but the fry was darting about in the open where any one of my fish could just gobble it up, so I decided to take all of the plants out, put all of my fish in a separate container temporarily, then I got my newly purchased turkey baster out and started gently sifting through my gravel. If I saw one fry, there was bound to be more, right?

Right I was! I managed to pull 7 from the tank and place them all safely into my separate fry tank. I then gave the gravel a good vacuum, replaced the water, and put all the fish back. I was so happy with my new babies!

So this morning when I went to feed my fish, I saw another baby in my main tank. I had to go to work and I know there could be a lot more hiding and I could be at it all day with my turkey baster so decided to let it fend for itself until I get home. I will post fry pics soon!
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:43 PM   #5
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Hey B,

Thanks for the advice. I have yet to invest in live plants, that'll probably be my next splurge. As for the water changes, I am already doing plenty of those so no problem there.

And I totally agree with you on the larger tank. That is why I am currently cycling a 55G. More than enough room for the fish in my 20G and 10G. Once I combine everything I plan on using my 10G as my exclusive fry tank.

Again, thanks for commenting! <))<
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:45 PM   #6
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Hi Kitty,

Found 7 guppy fry last night and got them out. Expecting more to pop up soon. Yay!

Thanks,
Suzi
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:51 PM   #7
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Great! Hope everything goes well with them.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:40 AM   #8
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Here are pics of my newest additions. 16 total and all are doing great!

Proud Mama


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Old 06-14-2014, 09:43 PM   #9
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Crazyhermitcrab's Complete Guide to Livebearer's
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