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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “When baby fish appear in your tank, kill ’em or keep ’em”

    As an 18-year-old college freshman, I am about to become a great-great-great grandmother.

    To baby fish.

    A fish tank containing four orange platyfish sits on my desk. One of them, Shasta, is pregnant. I bought my first three fish over a year ago. About a month later, there were baby fish swimming in my tank. And about once every two months, new schools of fry appear in the tank.

    As an amateur fish owner, the first baby fish were a surprise. I had never noticed that any of the fish were pregnant. I couldn’t even tell a male platy from a female at the time. So, not knowing what else to do, I removed those first baby fish from the tank and gave them their own tank. Luckily, my thinking was correct. They flourished and continued to make my fish population grow – at one point reaching 12 fish total in three tanks.

    Although I thought my situation was rare, I later discovered that many small, inexpensive feeder fish come pregnant from the pet stores. If a pet owner doesn’t wish to have more fish, he can just leave the adult and baby fish in one tank, and most times the fry will never be seen again.

    However, special actions should be taken if the fry are to live to adulthood.

    First of all, pregnant fish should be comfortable. Many fish will not lay eggs or give birth if they don’t feel their fry will be safe. If a tank has several fish, the mother could be harrassed or stressed, which would prevent her from producing fry.

    Once the fry are born, they can’t stay in the tank with mom and dad.

    “”You’re going need to get them out to a different tank,”” said Chris Bailey, manager at Petco, 4625 N. Oracle Rd. “”Otherwise they’ll be eaten.””

    If you’re willing to spend money on your baby fish, you can get a special contraption to keep them alive.

    A two- or three-way breeder separates larger fish from the fry, protecting the little ones from harm. The breeders can be found at local pet stores, or online.

    Although fry can eat the same food as adult fish, it must be prepared in a different way.

    “”Just crush up the food into small pieces,”” Bailey said.

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