Livebearers in the pet store

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apastuszak

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Jun 2, 2015
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I'm a big fan of livebearers. They're small. They're colorful. And they tend not to hide when you come hear the tank.

The problem I have with them is that when I go to the LFS, the livebearers always look like crap. Mollies sitting there with their fins clamped down doing the molly shimmy. Swordtails also with clamped find. When I buy them, it's 50/50 if they're going to make it.

Is there some quarantining technique I should use with these fish to help up the odds of success? Should I use medicated fish food with them? Add salt to the water?
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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I would think your water is hard enough for livebearers, ours was in DE. QT is always a good idea, I'm sure you know that. I often worm new fish but I haven't kept livebearers in a gazillion years...

Aren't you close to Philly? There should be several clubs near there.
 

dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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Dare I ask which fish store you are going to?

If you know specifically what you want, it might be easier to find.

But there's SJGG in South Jersey who specialise in guppies, also check the annual auctions of BCAS, DCAS, NJAS, maybe PVAS. Or monthly meetings also.

BVAS have a picnic on Saturday, I think late morning through the afternoon at Playwicky park. It's on Facebook if you need, or I can get more info for you if you prefer.
 

FreshyFresh

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Andy, in regards to the LFS thing. I hear you. It's not common to see this type of fish happy and thriving in a sale tank. IMO, best you can do is acclimate them into good water and a proper environment for their needs and hope for the best.

From what I've seen, if they make it past that first 2 weeks or so, they're going to be with me for a long time. Well... unless they wind-up in a huge pond like my goldfish. lol
 

apastuszak

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F fishorama I am in Bensalem, right next to Philadelphia.

D dougall I've been trying to make a BCAS meeting since May. Something always comes up on the first Thursday of the month. I will be trying again next week.

FreshyFresh FreshyFresh I think that's what I will have to do. I'm seeding a filter now in my 55 gallon. Once it's seeded, I will quarantine some mollies and swordtails and see how it goes. I just read a blog on the Aquarium Co-op website talking about livebearers having all sorts of inbreeding problems these days, as well as being raised in brackish water by fish breeders. Seems a lot of the fish look like crap in the pet store because they're in osmotic shock.

Here is the article:

https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/aquarium/13023317-livebearers-are-becoming-weaker

Local guppies are pretty easy to get. Fancy guppy breeding has been going on forever.

I used to buy livebearers when I was a teenager and they were extremely hearty. The ones I buy these days are pretty fragile.
 
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dougall

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Mar 29, 2005
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Depending on what your plan is with the fish, you could try to maintain a few endangered species also.

check out the Goodeid Working Group
http://www.goodeidworkinggroup.com/

Or the C.A.R.E.S. program
https://caresforfish.org/


You would be ensured of getting good stock, and a known wild line of the fish.

You wouldn't get any of the fancy line strains or hybrids though.
 

jm1212

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Jul 22, 2006
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you know what's interesting?

for all of the flack that PetSmart gets on here and SO many other websites, the highest quality, longest lived, cheapest, most colorful, and healthiest (post-QT) livebearers I have ever bought have been from PetSmart. I had some red wag, sunset, yellow wag, and blue platies that lived quite a normal lifespan. same with sailfin silver and dalmatian mollies, and a ceamsickle molly.

went to one of those specialty fish stores for guppies and platies once and none lived past about 6 months.

so honestly, especially with the platies, I would just wait until they have a sale on them and go pick out some great colors. platies are hardy, peaceful, and personally my favorite "common" livebearer. if you're wanting something flashier and bigger, get some sailfin mollies...but make sure to keep one male per three female OR only one large male per tank (same rule goes for swords). sometimes there is a small risk with ich, but I have found that especially lately the incidence of ich has been no different in PetSmart than the other independent LFS I go to.

It's a shame you aren't near Austin or San Antonio; you can find feral fancy platies in Waller Creek (in any color you can think of) and naturally wild sailfin mollies all up and down the Guadalupe and San Marco rivers.
 

fishorama

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I like petsmart & petco fish too. They don't really QT them but usually treat with at least salt or a dye...& their 2 week guarantee is awesome too. The only time I bought fish that had a problem (otos), they refunded my entire purchase although 1 hadn't actually died yet.

Both seem to have better fish choices for many common types of fish than they used to. Fewer common plecos & more BNs; roseline sharks & kubotai loaches are also welcome sights.

I hear there are also lots of livebearers in FLA in case you vacation there & can bring them home easily, too many rules these days. Check first!
 

FreshyFresh

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I haven't been in a Petco for some time, but some of the fish I currently keep are Petsmart purchases. Some 5yr/old silver hatchets for example, one 3yr/old female "sunburst' platy and a couple of fat tiger barbs. A couple of blue female bettas too.

Last time I saw them unloading fish, the boxes were from Segrest Farms out of FL, just like the every other store uses in my area.
 
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