If you have a platy, then you might be wondering if it is pregnant. There are a few signs that you should watch for to let you know if your platy is pregnant and when she is about to give birth.
So how can you tell if your platy is pregnant? In general, the pregnant platy gravid spot will enlarge and become darker when she is pregnant. If your platy already has dark scales, you might have a hard time noticing changes; however, you may also see black spots appearing all over her body.
Spots are only one of the ways that you can tell if your platy is pregnant. If your platy is pregnant, then you need to be able to take care of her properly. There are a few points that you should keep in mind.
What To Look For – Pregnant Platy Signs
If you are wondering if your platy is pregnant, and there are a few different things you should watch for. Remember that platyfish are livebearers, meaning that when the mother gives birth, her babies start to swim freely. Therefore, you do not have to wait for any eggs to hatch. Some of the most common signs that your platy is pregnant include:
- Look for Physical Changes: In addition to the pregnant platy gravid spot, the entire coloration of your fish is probably going to turn a little bit darker. If your platy already has dark scales, you might not notice any color changes. On the other hand, if your platy is going to give birth to small white fish, you may see dark spots appear all over her body.
- A Swollen Abdomen: The eggs begin to form inside of your platy first. Then, her abdomen will start to swell. You may even notice that the abdomen begins to protrude. A pregnant platy will be much larger than the rest of the fish in the tank.
- Changes in Behavior: You may also notice that your pregnant female platy is undergoing some changes in her normal behavioral pattern. Even though some platy owners start to get concerned, these behavioral changes are normal. For example, platyfish that are about to give birth may begin following the father around. Your pregnant platy may also hide in a separate area of the fish tank to protect herself and her babies. Usually, this type of behavior takes place right before your pregnant platy is about to give birth.
- Bigger Meals: You may also notice that your pregnant platy is a bit more aggressive when it comes to feeding. Even though you may not notice that your pregnant platy is eating more food, you might see that she is aggressively pursuing food flakes that you drop in the tank, which is normal for pregnant platy. Remember that your pregnant platy is eating for her babies as well.
These are just a few of the most common signs you should watch for if your pregnant platy is pregnant. The average pregnancy lasts about 28 days. You need to make sure that you know how to take care of your pregnant platy as well.
My Platys are PREGNANT?! (Video)
Taking Care of a Pregnant Platy: Helpful Tips
When you have a pregnant platy, it is incredibly important that you know how to care for her. Following these tips will help you ensure that your platy gives birth to healthy, vibrant offspring. Some of the most important tips that you should keep in mind include:
- Invest in a Breeding Tank: To provide appropriate care for your platy, it is a good idea to invest in a breeding tank. A breeding tank is a separate tank that has been designed just for the breeding pair. In addition, the breeding tank will also serve as a protective tank for the fry (baby fish). Make sure that the tank is large enough to take care of all of these fish comfortably. While you do not need a large tank to take care of just the male and female, you will need a lot of extra room when the babies are born. A good rule of thumb is to shoot for a tank between 10 and 20 gallons in size.
- Add a Few Plants to the Breeding Tank: Once you have selected a breeding tank, it is a good idea to put a few plants in the aquarium as well. Duckweed and java moss are too strong choices for these fish. These plants do an exceptional job of oxygenating the water. They can even improve the health of the fish in the tank. If your fish would like to hide from the outside world, they can also hide behind the plants, making them feel more comfortable.
- Take Care of the Water Temperature: Depending on the size and location of the tank, the temperature of the water can vary widely. When you have pregnant platy, you should aim for a water temperature that is 77 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature of the water drops too low, then the breeding process might take longer.
- Place the Tank in the Sunlight: To encourage reproduction, you should place the breeding tank in direct sunlight. Therefore, try to put the breeding tank in a window. You may also want to invest in some extra life that you can use to light up the aquarium at night. These lights are important for keeping your platy healthy during the breeding and pregnancy process.
- Watch the Male Fish Closely: When you put your fish in the breeding tank, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the male fish. If you notice that your male fish is chasing the female fish around, this could be overwhelming the female fish, inhibiting the pregnancy process. If you notice this happening, take the male fish out and return him to the original tank.
If you are taking care of pregnant platy for the first time, it is normal to have questions. You want to make sure that your pregnant platy can give birth to healthy offspring. When you apply these tips, you place your pregnant platy in a position to give birth to vibrant fish.
The Birthing Process
You should expect your pregnant platy to give birth sometime during the night. Right before your fish is about to give birth, her cloaca is going to look dilated, a sure sign that the fry are about to emerge.
When the fry start to come out, you will notice that they are born one at a time. The fry will swim around the mother for a little while before everyone settles down. As the fry are born, you will notice the tails start to come out first. The birthing process can take a little while. Even though it usually only takes a few hours, it can take up to a few weeks for a pregnant platy to give birth to all of her offspring. Even though this is unusual, you should prepare for this possibility.
If you notice that your pregnant platy is about to give birth to her fry soon, then you should set up something called a breeding box, an isolated area within the tank that will keep the fry safe after they are born. If you do not protect the fry, then any adult fish in the tank could end up eating them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Some of the most common questions that people ask about caring for pregnant platy include:
How many fry will my pregnant platy have when they are born?
The exact number of fry that a pregnant platy will give birth to will vary from fish to fish. Some pregnant platy will give birth to as many as 40 fry. Remember that the temperature and softness of the water can impact the amount of time it takes for a pregnant platy to give birth. Sometimes, the birthing process takes a few hours. In other cases, the birthing process can take a few weeks.
What happens if my pregnant platy is refusing to eat?
Even though the vast majority of pregnant platys will eat more food, some pregnant platys may refuse to eat at all. Usually, she is refusing to eat due to stress. Think about placing your pregnant platy in her own tank. This could help her calm down and encourage her to eat.
How can I tell if my pregnant platy is pregnant versus sick?
In some situations, a platy that appears to be pregnant may be sick instead. Check the temperature and pH of the water. If the temperature and pH are a bit off, correct them. If this improved your pregnant platy, then she was just sick.
Take Care of a Pregnant Platy
You need to be able to spot the signs of a pregnant platy. The instant you notice that your platy is pregnant, try to follow some of the tips above and care for her appropriately. This will ensure that she gives birth to healthy fry.