Your Questions About Frys

Sharon asks…

What should i buy to save the platy frys?

I have 2 guppy, 2 mollies and 1 pregnant platy and 3 other platies in a 10 gallon tank. What should i buy to keep the platy frys in the tank or should i just buy another tank, but what size?

John answers:

For now, add one nice-sized bunch of hornwort, the largest you can get at your petshop. It is fine leaved so it will have lots of hiding spots for the babies. It needs to float or be lightly weighted down as it does not form roots to anchor it to your substrate (gravel). So don’t try to plant it.

It is inexpensive and easy to find at most shops, even places like Petsmart. It doesn’t require high-powered lights; the typical fluorescent strip light that comes with tank ‘kits’ will do fine, as long as you keep it on for about 12 hours a day. It doesn’t require fertilization or other special attention.

Your adult fish will like the sense of security that it will provide and it will help add more oxygen to your water as it photosynthesizes.

Please don’t use a mesh or plastic ‘breeding trap’ as they upset the mother and lack the space or good water circulation that the fry will need after a few days. Hornwort is cheaper and healthier for all the fish.

If you expect to raise them all, you should start on setting up an additional tank soon because your other fish are all livebearers too and it won’t be too long before they have baby fish too (usually every 28-35 days or so). New fry in a separate tank require several feedings a day and partial water changes every 1-2 days. It’s a lot of work!

Good luck. Even if not all of your fry survive, you will enjoy watching those which survive grow and develop.

Joseph asks…

how do i stop my angal fish from eating the frys after they hatch?

can i move the frys to a new tank if so how do i keep them alive?and when do i move them?

John answers:

Do not use any sort of breeding net, if this was a viable option someone like me would be doing it instead of having a rack of 5 & 2.5 gallon hatching tanks.

You will have to get a baby brine shrimp hatchery up & running, newly swimming fry need the motion of live food to stimulate their feeding instinct. Once again, if something worked better I would be using it.

To keep me from having to key in 6 pages of info, check out this article I wrote a few years back;

Robert asks…

How do I get rid of frys without killing them?

My dalmation molly had six fry’s but I don’t want them anymore.My 25 gallon tank has the dalmation her frys another molly and guppies.I wanted to put in another fish but now I cant because it will be to crowded.Our pet store wont take them because they have to many and the get shipped to often for them to be out of stock.My neighbors don’t want them either.Any ideas how to get rid of them.

John answers:

This is for bettas but it works the same:

Sell Them
Some pet stores will take your extra stock from you for about a dollar per fish, or in exchange for store credit. The internet is also a popular venue for selling bettas, with resources like online aquatic auction houses available at cheap (or free!) listing fees. If your skills as a breeder become good enough and your reputation as a seller grows, you can also try your hand at selling surplus stock from your own website. Be prepared with the proper shipping boxes, bags, and heat packs, and invest in a decent camera. All potential buyers would much rather see a photograph of the actual fish in question than a stock photo representation that ensures them their fish ‘Looks something like this’. More times than not, the fish they receive looks nothing like the one used in the ad, leaving the customer disappointed. And disappointed customers are not return customers!

Cull Them

For the purpose of this section, I’m far more comfortable using the term ‘cull’ than ‘kill’, although that is essentially what most betta breeders mean when they refer to culling their spawns. Although it may seem brutal and heartless to kill a perfectly healthy betta just because it may not show a trait you want, or you do not plan to use it in your future breeding program, breeders who face the problem of hundreds and hundreds of bettas and no outlet for them may have to consider their options. Until a new breeder gains enough experience, I wouldn’t recommend culling for anything except poor health or physical deformity until the fish finishes developing. Many times a young betta will not look like it will amount to much, then suddenly develop into one the best fish from your spawn. You will develop an ‘eye’ for what to look for as you look at enough baby bettas, but until then just look for the usual problems — crooked spines, swimming problems, weakness, deformities, excessive color wash, etc. Although I’ve always been of the opinion that an ethical breeder should take responsibility for the lives he or she brings into existence through intentional breeding, any breeder who is so overwhelmed through sheer numbers of bettas to care for that they can’t take proper care of their fish needs to find a way to cut back on their numbers. If you can’t sell them or give them away, euthanization is an option.

There are several methods of euthanization. Out of all of them, I think feeding them to a larger culling fish is the least painful, quickest, and best way of destroying an unwanted betta. Oscar cichlids are great for this job. Get one at least 5 – 6 inches long; at that size they can handle anything up to medium-sized adults in one quick gulp. Keep in mind that Oscars can reach a size of twelve or so inches, regardless of the size of their tank, and produce a lot of waste. An adult Oscar will require a tank of at least 40 – 50 gallons and weekly partial water changes.

I have used freezing as a method of euthanizing fish that were sick beyond recovery and suffering. Just place the fish in a small cup or bag of water, place him in the freezer, and try not to think about it too much. I know a breeder that culls all his fish this way, taking his young culls and putting them all together in a large bag and then freezing them. Supposedly their temperature drops and they just go to sleep. Well, it seems a blessed relief for sick fish (they truly do look like they just quietly and peacefully die), but keep in mind that young, healthy fish have been observed to struggle during the freezing process, which may not make this as humane an option as originally thought.

If you have access to clove oil, you can put the fish to sleep seemingly painlessly. Mix it with water about 3 drops oil per 1 liter of water. This is sufficient to put the fish to sleep, and once it is unconscious add 3 more drops to kill it. There has been some suggestion of using clove oil with vodka, but vodka is an irritant to the fish, it seems to hurt the fish, and it isn’t necessary. You can get clove oil at your health food store, or in the toothpaste section of most pharmacies.

Whatever you do, never flush a live betta! This is the cruelest and most inhumane way to dispose of a fish. Contrary to popular belief, sewage treatment doesn’t typically involve harsh chemicals on the outgoing side of things. Furthermore, the majority of the waste product running through sewer pipes is water. It is not only possible, but also probable that the fish will survive the flushing only to die a slow and painful death in the sewer. Flushing a fish is also not an environmentally sound practice, so don’t flush the dead ones either. Your best bet is to put the dead ones in a bag of water and throw them away, or give them a nice funeral in the garden.

Betty asks…

When can I introduce baby frys into the tank?

I have marigold platy frys. They are a little over 2 weeks old now. What age can I introduce them into the tank without being eaten?

John answers:

I have breed fish millions of times and i usually wait until the fish are a little bigger then the head of your fish, just to be safe. It can’t hurt to wait a little longer, but it can hurt to rush this.

Make sure you have plenty of hiding places for the babies, floating plants, hallow rocks, that kind of stuff.

Michael asks…

When is the catalog for frys black friday comming out this year?

When does the catalog come out and where can i find one? do they only have the catalog at frys? do they have one online i can dl maybe a pdf version or something. thanks.

John answers:


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