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Livebearers Questions and comments about livebearers

 
 
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GingerKoala GingerKoala is offline
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Default Is this platy a boy or a girl?

I know this is a stupid question but let me explain my confusion...

When I first set up the tank just over 3 months ago I brought home the red wagtail platy and three mollies. I looked up how to tell males from females and I was sure the platy had a gonopodium that looked just like the photos of male platies. However, he/she hid behind the decor most of the time and seemed stressed until I brought home the second platy (obviously female with a rounded anal fin). The two of them became inseparable friends and now the anal fin of the red one appears somewhat triangular, with a definite point on the lower portion of the fin. I have attached photos.

I have never seen any mating activity or aggression between them, and I have never seen any evidence of pregnancy in the red one (no fat belly, no behavior changes, no gravid spot, no fry). I'm pretty sure the gold one had fry about 5-6 weeks ago that didn't survive - she got big, with a gravid spot, then one day I saw a tiny orange thing darting in the corner of my eye (never saw it again) and then she was small again and the spot was gone.

Now it seems like they are both getting bigger, and I don't know if this is just because they can eat in peace now that I moved an aggressive molly to another tank? I know the gold one might be pregnant again. But I don't know what to expect from the red one. I was hoping someone had an opinion...
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16 gal bowfront: 1 Gold Mickey Mouse Platy, 4 Molly Fry (AKA the Fishlets)
14 gal rectangular: 1 Dalmatian Molly
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Default Re: Is this platy a boy or a girl?

They both appear to be female.....Some livebearers can produce a number of spawns from one fertilization or maybe the male Molly did the deed.
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Default Re: Is this platy a boy or a girl?

Thanks Dano - she just doesn't have the typical rounded fin I guess. Maybe it was clamped from stress when I first brought her home?

I think the gold one came pre-fertilized from the LFS already.

So at this point then there shouldn't be any additional fertilization going on since there are no males in the tank now and eventually they should stop having fry I would assume...
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Default Re: Is this platy a boy or a girl?

Hi if platys are like mollys then they dont need a male they will keep haveing babys & your platy is definatly female from your photo
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Default Re: Is this platy a boy or a girl?

Quote:
Originally Posted by juju View Post
Hi if platys are like mollys then they dont need a male they will keep haveing babys & your platy is definatly female from your photo


Actually this is a myth. What really happens is that some livebearers (swordtails, platties, mollies, etc...) can store the sperm for long periods of time... so a male has to have been present at least once.

Dave
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Default Re: Is this platy a boy or a girl?

I have read this also about livebearers storing sperm, and I'm sure they were both fertilized at the LFS (the tanks there were very crowded). However, I have also read that after about 6 months without another male around they eventually use up the stores and stop having fry. Is this true?
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Default Re: Is this platy a boy or a girl?

I have heard the same thing....Might be good to google breeding live bearers just to see what you can find.
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Default Re: Is this platy a boy or a girl?

I found estimates that were all over the place... One article said they can drop 3-4 batches of fry from one mating. One mentioned one fish that was observed to have 11 batches. This article says it is around 7-8 batches. So I guess no one really knows.

http://www.tropicalfauna.info/breeding-livebearers.htm
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Default Re: Is this platy a boy or a girl?

I'm guessing it depends on the surroundings of the fish. If there are a lot of it's type then it does not drop the fry or has a smaller batch due to stress. The females might still have stored sperm because as you said it's only been 3 months. We'll have to wait and see. They might not even have fry in the end.

Just one question: Do you want to have fry? Or would you rather keep it the way it is right now?
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Default Re: Is this platy a boy or a girl?

To be honest I wouldn't mind a few more surviving fry, and if they do have more I will probably do the same thing I did for the mollies, but I would be happier keeping things as is. If several survive I suppose I could find homes for the ones I can't keep, but now that I know they are both female, I don't plan on adding a male platy to the tank. I am actually wondering if they might live longer when they aren't constantly having babies. It seems like giving birth is very stressful for them.
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