Freshwater Livebearer Fish
Livebearer fish are colorful and active fish that are suitable for everyone who wants to own fishes. Despite their delicate appearance Livebearer are hardy, easy-care fish that add great beauty to any home and/or office aquarium.
What is a Livebearer Fish?
These fish are called Livebearers because they give birth to live fry. Having lots of aquarium decor and live plants are a must if you want to give these fry some places to hide from their starving mother and other tank mates who will try to eat the fry when they see them.
They are so easy to breed that any fish keeps that has a male and a female in the same tank will likely end up with fry a couple weeks later if they have male and females in their aquarium tank. Fish keepers who own them will usually ends up with multiple aquarium fish tanks unless they separate the male from the females.
In nature, many Livebearer fish like Guppies and Mollies live in shoals, swimming in schools of five or more. Most Livebearers are schooling fish so you should keep more than one of each species. It is a good idea to have at least three females to each male. Otherwise the female fish will feel stressed out, as the male will constantly pursue her.
Habitat Requirements for Livebearer Fish
Majority of Livebearers favor moderately hard, slightly alkaline water (pH of slightly above 7). Water from your tap usually fits those parameters without a need to add any chemicals. Since Guppy and Livebearer are fairly hardy fish that can thrive in most water conditions, it’s easy for their owners to keep them.
If you’re looking to create a community aquarium tank with other species with your Guppies or Livebearer fishes, make sure all the fishes are able to live under similar water conditions.
Food and Diet for Livebearer Fish
Livebearers are omnivores so they require both vegetable and meat foods. A varied diet including algae-based flake or pellet food, vegetables, frozen-dried or live food like bloodworms, white worms, and brine shrimp will provide them with proper nutrition. Try feeding your fishes, frequent small feedings rather than infrequent large feedings to help them grow faster and disgust their food more easily.
Popular Types of Livebearer Fish
The four most popular Livebearing fishes in the freshwater aquarium hobby are: Guppy, Endler’s Livebearer, Platy, Swordtail and Molly.
Guppies are one of the most popular aquarium fish, these tiny fish are sociable and beautiful to look at. With each individual having different colors, the males especially vivid. There are many different types of Guppies, varying in their colors and fin tails forms. The males displays very dazzling bright colors and have big colorful tail fins.
Endler’s Livebearers are almost near extinction in the wild. They look a lot like a Guppy but they are a bit smaller in size than Guppies but their color and the pattern are different. Many hobbyists also feel that Endler’s Livebearers are just a different color variant of Guppies.
Due to their similarities with Guppies, their care requirements are almost identical.
Mollies have a short, rectangular body and upturned mouth. Their appearance is somewhat similar to Swordtail’s. The male Molly are much slimmer in shape than the females, they are distinguishable by their anal fin, which is used when they mate. Mollies can grow fairly big and are highly active.
Mollies come in a range of colors like black, orange and white and some come in various spotted coloration.
Platies are fast, active and highly sociable fish species that swims in all regions of the aquarium tank. They can interbreed with Swordtails if placed in the same aquarium fish tank. Female Platies are generally larger than males.
The Platy fish comes in range of colors and different types like the popular Mickey Mouse Platy, Tuxedo Platy, Neon Variatus Platy, Red Wagtail Platy, and other coloration.
Swordtails have bright colors and are energetic fish that likes to jump once in awhile so make sure your tank has a secure hood! Swordtails get their name from their distinctive sword-like extension on the male’s tail fin, which can sometimes grow almost as long as their bodies. They are the largest Livebearer species and adult Swordtails can reach up to six inches in length.
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