How Platy fry can survive in a community tank
I have bred Platy fry for awhile and have more on the way! I have learned how to increase the chances of survival for Platy fry survive and then thrive in a community tank. Placing the female in the breeder trap can be hard and stressful depending on the size of the aquarium and what's in the aquarium. I have a 110 gallon tank and I couldn't get her in the trap because she kept swimming to the back near the bottom. So at this point, I've decided to take my chances and let her breed in the tank. The fry are about the size of the average ant when first born, this should give you a good idea or two of what expect as far as providing cover for them.Please view the images below taken from my aquarium to get a better idea of what I'm describing!
Stock the aquarium with lots of plants
This gives the fry shelter when they come out the mother. The fry are the size of small ants. Grass is good but fish with slim can possibly swim through the grass and may find and eat the fry. Foxtail plants and any other plants similar to that are good as well. Put some plants to float at the service. Best if they don't move in the tank. If they stay in one place, the fry(if any can make it there)will hide there til they feel safe to come out. Torn plastic amazon sword leafs placed with the floating plants gives even more protection. A plant I would also recommend is one called "Ambulia", you can find it in any fish/petstore. A similar one might be "Foxtail". Having them tightly group together gives the fry a good place to hide. I've noticed they stay hidden and only come out when food is near by.
Flower pots turned on their sides
Small clay flower pots on their sides can be used as a cave. Even upright for a hut type shelter. Make sure there is a big enough hole for them to slide through. Don't make it bigger than the size of a pea. If you make it bigger, fish will try their hardest to get to the fry. Put plants around the flower pot so other fish do not see the fry swimming outside the pot. Also the plants around it can be used a temporary hiding place til they can move to the pot.
Don't overlook "something moving to the surface"
Earlier this year, one evening, I was observing my tank as I always do and I noticed something moving to the surface. A small white object. I thought it might be aquarium waste or something like that. I thought nothing of it after a few minutes, but I noticed it again and again! I soon realized fry were being born! So I quickly grabbed the biggest net I had and tried to save as many as I could. I rescued about nine out of maybe 30 or so. I could of rescued more but my net couldn't get to them and some were eating by the other fish! So my point in this bullet, is that whenever you encounter something like what I encountered, don't overlook it and be sure to quickly grab your net! Be sure to have a breeder box or a small spare aquarium to place them in!
Rocks, stones and petrified wood
If you have these setup in a "bundle", sort of like to the point where you can form little places between these so that Platy fry may hide for while. I've noticed that they hide for like a day or so and appear when food comes near them. Don't try to catch the fry if you see them for the first time. The reasons being is that they are already safe and they grow quicker being free in the aquarium. I've seen what difference this makes and keeping them in the breeder box. Having some plants along with whatever you're using,(stones, rocks, wood, etc)gives them even more hiding space. Take a look at my image of the flower pot turned on its side as an example.
darshini on January 15, 2015: