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Live Bearers

Information on Keeping Live Bearing Fish

Live bearers are a very popular type of freshwater aquarium fish. These fish are called live bearers after the manner in which they reproduce. Female live bearing fish give birth to live fry after a short gestation period that is usually between 3 and 6 weeks. Unlike other aquarium fish which lay eggs, a female live bearing fish will carry the fertilized eggs inside her after fertilization till the eggs hatch and then she will give birth to free swimming fry.

Neon-Blue Guppy

The unique trait of giving birth to live fry offers protection to the eggs while they are developing. But because they do carry the eggs inside them, live bearing fish do not give birth to as many fry as other fish that lay eggs do. The size of brood usually ranges between 25 and 100 fry depending on the size of the female.

Live bearing fish have another trait that is more of the opposite of the protection that carrying eggs inside them offers. Females tend to try to eat their babies shortly after they are born. In the wild the newly born fry have to seek hiding places right after they are born or they will become their mother's next meal. When breeding live bearers in an aquarium, plants and rocks can be used to provide places for the newly born fry to hide. There are also commercial breeding traps available at most pet stores that can be used to separate the fry from the mother when they are born.

This website contains information on the 4 most popular of the live bearing fish. They are guppies, mollies, platys and swordtails.

         

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