If you have a platy fish, then you might be wondering if it is pregnant. There are a few signs that you should watch for let you know if your platy fish is pregnant and when she is about to give birth.
So how can you tell if your platy fish is pregnant? In general, the pregnant platy gravid spot will enlarge and become darker when she is pregnant. If your platy fish already has dark scales, then you might have a hard time noticing changes; however, you may also notice black spots that appear all over her body.
This is only one of the ways that you can tell if your platy fish is pregnant. If your platy fish 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 Fish Signs
If you are wondering if your platy fish is pregnant, and there are a few different things that you should keep your eyes open for. Remember that potty fishes are live bearers. This means 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 fish 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 fish already has dark scales, you might not notice any changes in color. On the other hand, if your platy fish is going to give birth to small white fishes, then you may notice dark spots that appear all over her body.
- A Swollen Abdomen: The eggs begin to form inside of your platy fish first. Then, her abdomen will start to swell. You may even notice of the abdomen starts to protrude. A platy fish that is pregnant is going to be much larger than the rest of the fishes in the tank.
- Changes in Behavior: You may also notice that your pregnant female platy fish is undergoing a few changes in her normal behavioral pattern. Even though some platy fish owners start to get concerned, these behavioral changes are normal. For example, a platy fish that is about to give birth may start following the father around. Your pregnant platy fish may also hide in a separate area of the fish tank in order to protect herself and her babies. Usually, this type of behavior takes place right before your pregnant platy fish is about to give birth.
- Bigger Meals: You may also notice that your pregnant platy fish is a bit more aggressive when it comes to feeding. Even though you may not notice that your pregnant platy fish is eating more food, you might notice that she is aggressively pursuing food flakes that you drop in the tank. This is normal. Remember that your pregnant platy fish is eating for multiple fishes at this point.
These are just a few of the most common signs that you should watch for if your pregnant platy fish is pregnant. The average pregnancy of a platy fish is about 28 days. You need to make sure that you know how to take care of your pregnant platy fish as well.
My Platys are PREGNANT?! (Video)
Taking Care of a Pregnant Platy Fish: Helpful Tips
When you have a pregnant platy fish, it is incredibly important that you know how to take care of her. Following these tips will help you ensure that your platy fish gives birth to healthy, vibrant offspring. Some of the most important tips that you should keep in mind include:
- Invest in a Breeding Tank: In order for you to provide appropriate care for your platy fish, it is a good idea to invest in a breeding tank. This is a separate tank that has been designed just for the male and female fish. In addition, this tank will also be used to take care of the fry (the products of conception). 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 that is 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 fishes 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 of the tank and where it is located, the temperature of the water can vary widely. When you have a pregnant platy fish, you should aim for a water temperature that is between 77 and 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: In order 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 fish healthy during the breeding and pregnancy process.
- Watch the Male Fish Closely: When you put your fishes 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, inhibit the pregnancy process. If you notice this is happening, then take the male fish out and return him to the original tank.
If you are taking care of a pregnant platy fish for the first time, it is normal to have questions. You want to make sure that your pregnant platy fish is able to give birth to healthy offspring. When you apply these tips, you place your pregnant platy fish in a position to give birth to vibrant fishes.
The Birthing Process
You should expect your pregnant platy fish to give birth sometime during the night. Right before your fish is about to give birth, her cloaca is going to look dilated. This is 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 fish to give birth to all of her offspring. Even though this is unusual, you should be prepared for this possibility.
If you notice that your pregnant platy fish is about to give birth to her fry in the near future, then you should set up something called a breeding box. This is 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 a pregnant platy fish include:
How many fry will my pregnant platy fish have when they are born?
The exact number of fry that a pregnant platy fish will give birth to will vary from fish to fish. Some pregnant platy fish 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 fish 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 fish is refusing to eat?
Even though the vast majority of pregnant platy fishes are actually going to eat more food, some pregnant platy fishes may refuse to eat at all. Usually, she is refusing to eat due to stress. Think about placing your pregnant platy fish in her own tank. This could help her calm down and encourage her to eat.
How can I tell if my pregnant platy fish is pregnant versus sick?
In some situations, a platy fish that appears to be pregnant may actually be set. Check the temperature and pH of the water. If the temperature and pH are a bit off, correct them. If this improved uploading of your pregnant platy fish, then she was just sick.
Take Care of a Pregnant Platy Fish
It is important for you to be able to spot the signs of a pregnant platy fish. The instant you notice that your platy fish 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.