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
- Nylon Zip ties (available from any hardware store)
- Two sheets of 5-count Plastic Mesh screen (available from most craft stores)
- Rigid aquarium tubing
- With a pair of scissors, cut out the pieces of mesh to the sizes below.
- Use the zip ties at 1.5" intervals to assemble the trap. Don't tighten all the way until assembly is complete.
- Cut the Rigid aquarum tubing to the width of your tank.
- Zip tie tubing to trap.
- Tighten all connections, then cut off zip ties with scissors