The abdomen of the pregnant platy female will keep growing larger and it will give the appearance as if it may burst. This is one of the signs that the female is closer to giving birth to fry.
The pregnant female platy fish, with the advancement of pregnancy will tend to be slower in movements and this is one of the signs that it is nearer to giving birth to babies.
The enlargement of the genital opening can be noticed when the ornamental platy fish is about to releasing babies.
Just before giving birth to the fry, the female will prefer a secluded spot and undergo cramping movements (contractions) putting pressure on its abdomen. With a few ‘contractions’ the young ones start getting pushed out; one or two for each ‘contraction’.
The process of releasing may last for about one to two hours. Slow increase of temperature of the water by 2° – 3° can help in giving birth when there is delay in the birth process.
Do not disturb the ornamental platy while giving birth to babies. The female ornamental fish should never be disturbed while giving birth. Disturbance may cause the platy fish to hold back release of fry for some time.
It may also cause the death of the fry in the abdomen due to delay in birth and release of dead babies later. In some cases the death of babies and their non-release may cause sepsis of the abdomen and death of ornamental female.
Ornamental Platy fish babies
Soon after birth the babies tend to fall to the bottom. Then they start wriggling movements. This is a crucial time. If there are any other fish in the ornamental aquarium, the babies may become easy prey.
If the bottom is silty the babies may get buried in the silt and choke and die. After a minute or two they wriggle upwards and try to hide among the plant cover on the surface.
After a few minutes they swim with darting movements. Now the danger to fry is from their mother; it may start eating them. When you are sure that the birth of fry is complete you can remove the female to another tank and allow her to rest and recover.
The first brood of fish is usually small and when the female has grown well you can expect birth of even more than 100 babies.
Feeding platy fry
Feeding fry of platy is a serious affair. The better growth is ensured when you feed them better food. The fry may start feeding after the birth and finely powdered high quality parent feed may be spread on the surface for the babies to feed; only use the quantity that can be consumed in 5 minutes.
To get good growth and survival rate feed the fish fry 4 – 5 times daily. Feed the platy fish fry with live feed also; brine shrimp nauplii, water flea and microworms are very rich protein diet.
Keep removing the scum formed on the surface of ornamental tank due to decaying remnants of food. Do not overfeed the ornamental platy fry as overfeeding can cause diseases and death of young ones.
Growing out ornamental platy fish babies
Properly fed platy babies grow up to one inch in a month time. For faster growth of fry, maintain the temperature between 75°F – 80° F.
From the second month onwards keep checking the ornamental platy babies on daily basis for maturity and keep removing the male fish to separate tank.
This way you can get a virgin stock of ornamental males and females from the young ones.
After three month of growth look for unique characters and you can select the breeding pairs with the same trait for getting quality ornamental platy fish.