Platis fish ("Xiphophorus") is a common variety of fish that can be found in different colors and is easy to care for. Platis are prolific fish, meaning if you have both males and females, there is a strong possibility that you will end up with baby fish (also known as offspring). Platys chicks are born almost fully developed: they hatch from eggs inside the mother's body. So it is not difficult to take care of them. However, it is very common for adult fish to eat the young, so if you want most to survive, follow these Steps:
Part 1 of 2: Making Preparations for the Puppies
Step 1. Look for gestating fish
Pregnant platys are easy to find, just keep an eye on them. A pregnant plati will develop a visibly swollen belly.
It is also common for a pregnant female to develop a dark spot near the hind fin. This is caused by the pressure from the eyes of the unborn pups on the mother's scales
Step 2. Have a large enough aquarium
For some adult platys, an aquarium of approximately 35 liters is usually sufficient. However, if you plan on breeding the fish and keeping the chicks, you will need a much larger tank.
A tank of at least 110 liters is recommended if you plan to let your fish breed without eating their young
Step 3. Consider having a separate aquarium
As platypus eat your chicks, you'll have more surviving chicks if you buy a separate aquarium for them to live as they grow.
You can find a separate aquarium for your puppies at most pet stores. This aquarium must have at least 18 liters (or more, depending on the number of offspring produced by the mother)
Step 4. Buy plants or a breeding trap
To survive, whether in a community aquarium or in a separate aquarium with just the mother, your cubs will need hiding places to escape to. You can use a good amount of plants or a breeding trap.
- Plastic plants will do, but live plants often also act as an extra source of nutrition for your fish, who can take in bits and pieces of them to supplement their diets.
- There are many types of live plants that platys like, which will likely be available at local pet stores. Good alternatives include bunch plants like anacharis and cabomba, floating plants like hornbeams, and mosses like java moss.
- Many (but probably not all) of your hatchlings will survive in a community aquarium if there are enough hiding plants in it.
- A breeding trap is a plastic box with small holes that goes inside an aquarium. The mother is placed inside the breeding trap, and when the chicks are born, they can escape through the small holes to prevent them from being eaten. The mother will not be able to follow them.
Step 5. Separate the mother from the community aquarium and wait
If you've opted for a separate aquarium to keep chicks isolated from adult fish, separate the mother as soon as possible after you realize she's in the gestation.
- You usually have between 24 and 30 days to make adjustments for your new offspring, once the mother shows signs of pregnancy.
- Once the mother gives birth, you can expect to have an average of 20-40 new offspring. Sometimes this number can reach 80.
Part 2 of 2: Care and feeding of platypus puppies
Step 1. Separate the mother from the community aquarium and wait
After the mother gives birth, you can return her to the community aquarium (assuming you have left her separate). The offspring will now be free to develop without the threat of being devoured.
Step 2. Feed the cub
The platypus puppies do not require different foods than the adult platypus. You can feed them the same granules or flakes as the adults, as well as freeze-dried blood worms and tubifex, and brine shrimp.
- Feed the fish in small amounts several times a day, enough that they can eat in three minutes.
- Some platyr owners like to crush or grind food into granules or flakes before feeding the offspring as this will make feeding easier.
- In order for platy fish to develop the bright colors that make them so beautiful, they must be given a varied diet early in life, containing both protein and vegetable based foods.
- Special formula foods are commercially available for platypus puppies, but are not necessary.
Step 3. Keep the brood tank clean
As with adults, you will need to keep your puppy tank clean.
It is usually adequate to change 25% of the water every two to four weeks, but this depends on the number of fish. If the water becomes cloudy or has a lot of debris, it should be changed more often
Step 4. Introduce new fish to the community aquarium
Once the chicks are old enough, you can move the young fish to the community aquarium along with the older ones.
Platy fish reach their maximum size after about four months. If you decide to introduce them to the community tank before then, keep an eye on them to make sure they aren't being eaten by adults
- Crush the granules or flakes to facilitate feeding the puppies.
- If the aquarium water becomes cloudy, it could mean that you are putting in too much food.
- Do not keep the mother with the baby for too long. Otherwise, if she gets hungry, she might even eat the baby.
- A pregnant platis will have a black or brown spot at the end of the stomach.
- Put lots of plants in the aquarium if you don't want to separate the chicks from the adults. Thus, the cubs will have a place to hide…