Breeding Livebearers

All livebearing fish carry their embryos until the embryos are capable of surviving on their own. No parental care is provided by the adults past birth.

Since livebearers do not form pair bonds, males are capable of fertilizing many females, and males are persistent in their attempts to breed, they are usually maintained groups with fewer males than females. Females nearing time to drop fry can be removed to a small individual tank with floating plants for fry protection. Females giving birth rarely eat their fry, but the fry are more comfortable with cover.

In most species of livebearers, the females deliver fry approximately once a month. This is dependent upon many factors, especially temperature. Poeciliidae females are considered capable of storing sperm, so don’t need to mate each cycle. Other livebearers such as Goodeidae don’t store sperm and must mate each cycle.