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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, while I realize there are other threads about possibly pregnant swordtails, this is my first attempt (outside of goldfish when I was a kid) at a tank and I wanted responses that were specific to my fish and their tank (if that's understandable).

The tank is fairly new, having been set up around February 15th or so. It was a bit of a fiasco with the first fish I put in there - 2 Red Wag platies and 2 Green Tiger barbs - because the associate at Petco told me what he thought I wanted to hear instead of the facts that I needed to hear. Anyways, aside from that rubbish, the tank is much more peaceful now with 4 females and 2 males - all platies and swordtails.


(6 artificial plants, 1 live plant, 2 hiding spaces, and the greek columns.)

When I first got my two female Pineapple swordtails, they were very long and slender, like my female Mickey Mouse swordtail (who is still that way). Now, as pictured below (apologies for the shoddy quality), they both have developed a semi-large stomach bump.

(Click on pictures for larger images, if needed.)


The fish at the top is my female MM sword. Directly below her is both of the Pineapple females.


Here's another, better photo of the Pineapple sword you couldn't see as well in the first picture. She's at the top (don't mind the reflection of the water). The other female sword is at the bottom.

There is no gravid spot that I can see and I figure they aren't very far along to begin with, but I was simply wondering what to expect. I bought them for their look and personality, not because they are livebreeders, so I honestly have no idea what to do. And, since the males in the tank are both platies (sunset and red wag), I'm a little excited to see how the babies will look.

Thank you! :D
 

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I'd just let them do their thing and not worry about it. You have enough plants and structures for fry to hide in, so you don't really even need a breeder net or birthing tank.
You might want to get a couple more females of each species, though, so the mothers won't have all the attention on them once they give birth. They do need to recover somewhat. But wait until they are farther along before you do that, so the tank will have more time to cycle as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alright, sounds good. Thanks again.
 
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pineapple express???? :D aight! ok a gravid spot isnt necessary to be seen. some variants of the x.helleri gene poon do not display gravid spots but will be full blown prego. if you wish to keep the fry alive, i suggest u get ur self a birthing tank. the way i see it is that, yes, u do have plenty of plant, but not enough to keep ur fry alive. i see way tomany open spaces for fish to pick off any fry that might survive. suggested move time is 3weeks before she is ready to drop. swordtail, make no mistake, are very tempermental and can and WILL abort the birth or refuse to drop the fry if stressed or spooked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lol glad you like the name. Alright, because I thought for a moment (since there was no spot) that I might be overfeeding them, but I don't see how I would be. What about adding more plants - including floating ones - in lieu of a birthing tank? I ask because I don't have another properly cycled tank to put them in, unless you're talking about an in-tank birthing separator thing, in which case I would think of investing in one. Also, how would I tell if they're 3 weeks until dropping?
 
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i would not suggest an "in tank berthin seperation unit" or otherwords a birthing trap. they tend to stress the fish out even more. yes. go in for more plants esp the floatin types and try and go for live ones instead of fake plants.

how long has it been since u noticed the swell on the belly? once the fish starts looking boxy when you look down on her she is ready to pop. gestation period for swords are usually 45days but i had one that refused to drop her fry for well over 2 months. when she did they were HUGE!
 
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lol i just realised you pretty much named all ur fish apart from Alice after strains of weed LOL awesome! this is the 1st time i approve of namin fish! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I figured they would stress the fish, so I'm all for live floating plants. Though, I think I'm thinking (after reading another thread) that the aquatic plant I thought I bought at Petco is actually a terrarium plant. Ugh. I'll have to sort that out.

I think I noticed the swell earlier this week, perhaps during this past weekend. It hasn't been very long at all, I think.

Haha, yeah. It was a group effort with my roommate. We refused to name them until they were alive for longer than 2 weeks. Alice is Alice because of the Mickey Mouse head. I couldn't think of a strain name I liked for her, so I just named her after a Disney movie. The very first time? You've never named a fish?
 

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Well I didnt read all of Zakk's posts so forgive me if I repeat what he says.

Your females will get fat. Swordtails sometimes do not get a gravid spot, because they have more flesh than the smaller livebearers. A gravid spot is really just the color of the fish (specifically their eyes) showing through the mother's skin. The day before the mother will release her fry, her body will become a bit boxy (squarish edges of her belly). When she is about to release the fry, she will act very stressed out. My swordtails would find a hiding spot near one of the walls of the aquarium. They would swim up and down the glass until the baby popped out. The first few babies she chased, but the threat to the babies will really come from the other fish in the tank. The babies will go and hide in what ever you have. A few will be eaten by the other adult fish in the tank.

When your females get really fat, it is a good idea to give them a little extra food, but keep the tank clean. The releasing the fry is extremely stressful to them, and if the other fish decide to pick on her, it becomes even more stressful.

When I want to keep the babies, I usually take the female out a few days before, and give her her own tank. This will protect the babies, and the mother during the process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
He said similar things, but that's alright. Now, ALL of my females will get fat eventually? Not pregnant fat, but large? I'm not terribly concerned about that, I just couldn't help but assume the Pineapple swords were pregnant because my other sword is similar in size (length, really), but doesn't have as large of a stomach.
 
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i named a ghost knife who wound up dead 2 days later. a molly who died givin birth and black neon sword tail who swam into a shell and couldnt swim out and died in there.....so i stopped namin my fish.
 
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well there is a diff between prego fat and just plain fat and large.....when u look down on her from the top she would look boxish. if u seeing the swell start off recently it gives u ample time to set up your tank or a new birthing tank as well if you need to. honestly, i prefer a birthing tank to letting them drop the fry in display.
 

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Yeah, I haven't named a fish in years. Don't cry over them anymore, either. I think I'm just getting lazy. My sister named the cat, but I call it "Cat", "Kitty" or "hey you".
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's a pretty good reason to stop naming them. Like I said though, I don't really name anything until it survives 2 weeks. If it lives that long, then I suppose it deserves a little recognition. Lol

I'm still deciding between more plants and a separate tank. What's the minimum-size tank I should put the two of them in?
 
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