Using a Breeder Compartment for Live-Bearing Tropical Fish

Fish that are born live in your tank can be really rewarding. Mollies, platys and guppies are among the kinds of fish that will give birth in a tank. However, it is possible to have a tank of live-bearing fish without ever seeing the newborn fry, because the adult fish will eat the babies as soon as they see them. This is prevented by using a breeder tank or net. A breeder net may be a simple mesh-covered framework that isolates individual fish in an aquarium. When fry are born in the breeder net, the only adult that can eat them is the mother.

Floating Plastic Breeders

These are compartments made of clear hard plastic, with narrow slits that allow tank water to circulate, without allowing fish to get through. Air compartments at each end allow them to float in your aquarium. A set of bars with wider openings is placed near the bottom of the breeder to allow newborn fry to get away from the mother. A lid keeps adult fish from jumping into or out of the breeder. Just place a pregnant female in the breeder, and as the young are born, they move through the grate to the bottom, where they are safe from the mother. When the mother has finished giving birth, you may place her back in the tank with the rest of the adult fish, and the babies remain in the breeder tank until they are big enough to not be threatened by the other fish.

Care of Baby Fish

You can get special food that is small enough for tiny fry to eat, until they are able to eat the same food as the other fish in the tank. By protecting and feeding fry, you can maintain a population of fish without having to purchase replacements for those that die. You can even give fish to your friends.

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