Monday, 19 August 2013

Breeding Tropical Fish: Swordtails

Well as you may have read from prievious blog posts that I have made, I have been keeping tropical fish now for quite a few months (I think May 2013 I bought my first fish tank). Over these past few months I have learnt a lot about the different types of tropical fish, how they progress through their lives, species personalities, reproduction, injuries and disease.

Fish Diseases:
I have not really come across many diseases so far, when I had my Siamese Fighting Fish he managed to get "rubbery fins" I am not sure what the name of this illness was but it never spread to my other fish as when he got it he was in a tank all to himself.

I have a female black molly who a couple months ago had swim bladder problems, she would uncontrolably float near the surface. I looked in shops and found "swim bladder" treatment but never bought it. Instead i fed her defrosted and de-shelled peas. This worked and she was back to her normal self in 4 days.

Fish Personalities:
I have had many different types of fish and still have a large selection in my 60ltr tank. Most of the fish that I own are very passive these are, Neon Tetra, Cardianal Tetra, Glowlight Tetra, Swordtails, Dalmatian Mollies, Black Mollies, Silver Mollies, Guppies, Sailfin Pleco. All of these fish get on together really well. However obviously they will have their moments such as a pregnant molly chasing another away, or a female swordtail getting very annoyed at her mate constantly showing his affection towards her.

I have however discovered that Silver Algae Eaters (Sucky fish) do not like sharing a tank (no matter the size) with dark coloured fish, including black mollies, Sailfin Pleco or Siamese Fighting Fish (Bettas). As the Silver Algae eater grows it will become more aggressive (even thought they will keep the green algae from growing on your glass). In addition Betta's (Siamese Fighting Fish) from my own personal experience will attack and display to anything that he might consider a threat of his territory, my siamese fighting fish killed two adult dalmatian mollies and 12 guppies. My Siamese fighting fish was so aggressive he would display to your own finger on the side of the tank, and if you show him a photograph of another fighting fish he would attack the side of the tank in an attempt to kill the picture of the fish.

Breeding Fish:
I am only now starting to experience the joy of baby fish. I have three female mollies (silver, black and dalmatian) in addition to two female guppies and a swordtail. Not to mention the two female neon tetra and one female glowlight tetra.

Mollies, guppies and swordtails are livebearers. My first experience with baby livebearing fish was with my Black molly, she was in a breeding trap as the sucking loach at that time was attacking her any my pleco at any chance he got. When I came down one morning I noticed five still born baby molly fry and an orange embryo on the bottom of the trap. This was her first batch of babies and unfortunatly the all died.

A few weeks later I saw that my other mollies and swordtail were getting very large and were heavlily pregnant. I setup a 10ltr tank in my kitchen with a mesh floor which had a lot of swim space for the adult females above. (complete with pump and heater). One morning I came down and saw lots of little orange babies swimming around. I put the mother swordtail back into the main tank and placed the babies into a breeding trap which i floated inside a fry net to stop my annoying angel fish from sucking them through the bottom. I found 14 baby swordtails at that time. A couple of days passed and i spotted a little dark grey baby fish swimming in my main tank and still to this day I have no clue what this "mystery baby fish fry" is. All the babies have now been moved into their own nursery tank, the swordtails are becoming bright orange and at 7 days old they are 1cm long. And the mystery fish is getting bigger too.

The dalmatian and silver molly that I expected to give birth last week are still holding onto their fry and I will keep you updated as and when things develop.

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