Easy way to tell if livebearers are pregnant?

  • I’ve had this discussion with a few of my friends and they seem to think it’s pretty hard to tell the difference between a pregnant livebearer and one that is bloated. Can someone please explain the difference so I can end this debate? Thank you!

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  • Good question, with a somewhat good answer on how to tell if they are just bloated or if they are pregnant with some photo examples.

    If they are pregnant, you should be able to notice that they may appear bloated (tummy will be expanded out). Dependent on the coloration of the fish, if they are see-through you should be able to see a dark spot through them which will be the fry’s eyes (or their bodies dependent on the pregnant length). For those that are not see through, they will appear to be boxed out (when they are a week away from giving birth) and also may be breathing slightly heavier than normal.

    If they are bloated, they will just appear super round overall. If you stopped feeding for a day or two for example then the bloat should disappear (compared to a pregnant one, will not).

    It takes a good eye on telling they are pregnant or not, but in the photo examples these are both pregnant (which can be confusing since the platy looks bloated - but the boxed appeared is a key sign for it being pregnant).

  • Aquariu.ms September 23, 2021 at 2:55 PM

    Selected a post as the best answer.
  • They get plump! I have some fancy guppies and I can tell they are pregnant just by looking at them but if you look closely, in some livebearers, you can actually see the babies in their belly. So long as the mass is even and not closer to their chest/mouth (this implies bloat) then they are most certainly pregnant.

  • This is quite interesting and something I was unaware of. It has always been different to tell the difference between a livebearer that may be bloated or pregnant. I actually find it quite fascinating that if they are see-through you would be able to see their babies even though they may not look like babies at the time.

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