I used to think that fry cannibalism (adult fish eating their fry) was the exception with livebearers. Now, after having bred 40+ species, I no longer believe that is the case. 

I now think that most livebearers will eat their fry given a chance! My background in the cichlid hobby taught me not to be afraid to pull spawns or strip mouthbrooders, so I determined to intervene to save more livebearer fry.

At the 2014 ALA Convention, I covered various methods to save livebearer fry, but I have included two slides below from my talk that describe the trap I built. You can add some floating plants after putting the female in to calm her down.

What you'll need


  1. With a pair of scissors, cut out the pieces of mesh to the sizes below.
  2. Use the zip ties at 1.5" intervals to assemble the trap. Don't tighten all the way until assembly is complete.
  3. Cut the Rigid aquarum tubing to the width of your tank.
  4. Zip tie tubing to trap.
  5. Tighten all connections, then cut off zip ties with scissors

Cutting Instructions

Livebearer Trap with resources


Fry Trap in the tank