Information on breeding livebearers such as guppies and swordtails.
Size Up the House and other Useful Amenities
Some basic equipment is needed to successfully breed livebearers. A couple of tanks or a large enough tank that you can place a divider in is the absolute bare minimum with size ranging from five to a ten-gallons. If you’re breeding show quality fish; a larger tank will give the animal more breathing and swimming space resulting in a healthier fish. A larger tank also assists the breeder in locating and removing fish as necessary. Consider other necessities such as breed boxes, floating foliage, tubing, and nets.
Genders are Not Equal in the Breeding Room
How many baby fish do you desire at the end of the breeding period? One male and one female will do the trick; but if you’re looking for population then consider a ratio of 1 male to 3 females or 2 males to 10 females. Boys will be boys and male fish will indeed make the rounds resulting in multiple pregnant females. A female is pregnant when a triangular dark and distended spot appears on her body; it will increase in size as the pregnancy progresses.
Fry Get Their Own Rooms (or how not to get eaten)
There are a few options when considering baby fish care and growth. Breeder boxes separate the little ones from the adult fish, but attention upon the breeding ground is required as mom will need to be in the box prior to labor. If breeder boxes aren’t your forte, place some fake floating plants or weighted spawning mops in the tank the newborn fry have a chance to survive through the time-honored tradition of hiding. Afterward, move the larger fish to another tank so they don’t get a free meal on your dime.
Speaking of Meals
Everything eats and these baby fish are no exception at 3 small meals a day. Acceptable foods consist of black worms, bloodworms, and brine shrimp which are “live” foods or nourishment of the flake kind which can be specifically formulated for guppies/swordfish, or consist of plankton, spirulina or liver flakes. Variety is said to be the spice of life and fry are no exception; the choice for livelier, healthier, and faster fish is to mix it up when it comes to food choice.
Guppies and Swordtails do better with a bit of salt in their watery abode. For every ten gallons of water add a tablespoon of aquarium salt. After the babies are born, the fry tank should have its water changed at a 25% ratio each week. Refreshing the water provides an optimal environment for fry to grow into healthy, beautiful fish.