Christmas day surprise.


Super Moderator
Long story behind this one but here is a short version....

Moved my pregnant leo before the 90 day mark to my 230 gallon to avoid the pups being eaten or bitten by the other adult rays. There was only 4 tank mates but eventually turned into only 1 tank mate in the end as I sold off the rest. The said female leo ate just like any other pregnant female for the first 3 weeks in the tank. At the 120 day mark she stopped eating and so did the tank mates but I wrote it off to her being ready to birth the pups and the tank mates being pansies and were scared of the big bad momma ray. After one week I got worried as still nobody was eating.
Tank has been setup for 14yrs+ and was being filtered with 2 aquaclear 110's, FX5,powerheads and the water was being changed every 4 to 5 days or sometimes sooner.

I contacted some ray breeders about my pregnant ray and tank mates not eating and it was suggested to test the water. I figured it should be okay as I do good water changes and it was being filtered quite a bit and not much for stock or so I thought. To my amazement after I tested it I found it was high in nitrates. So I began with the water changes and did more and bigger water changes until it was in check and then did more frequent water changes every 2 days. Also did a prazi dose to be on the safe side.

The ray and tankmates had now stopped eating for over a month and was past the 150 day mark of being pregnant. The pup movement went to nothing and her big belly had shrunk. I feared the pups had died and she was next.

Now for the good part....Fast forward past 150 day mark and over a month of not eating.

All of a suddend she just came around this past 1 1/2 weeks and she was eating 1 to 3 dew worms a day but nothing else until Christmas day where she ate 2 1/2 smelts. I came home in the evening on Christmas day to do some water changes and started on her tank. When I was filling up the tank low and behold I seen a tail behind the only object in the tank being a piece of driftwood. WOW a healthy pup was hiding so I scooped him into the floating bin. The leo still had a hump on one side so maybe she had more. Well couple hours later 2 more healthy pups born.

What a surprise on Christmas day and what a warrior this female was to keep those pups alive inside and to birth them when it was safe to do so.

Stupid me for thinking an FX5, 2 aquaclear 110's and water changes every 4 to 5 days where keeping the water in check and was enough for a pregnant ray

Lesson learned!!

Well here are the 3 healthy leo/hen pups. LOL and this was the short version of the story.

The first born

The group all together

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Super Moderator
Thanks guys. The female ate 3 smelts today and the pups are jumping on cut up dew worms already.

Hopefully the female can go to the bigger tank sooner then later as I don't think she likes the cramped space of the 230.

All that is in the tank with her is a small black gourami and my FRT that I just bought back last Monday. So stock is minimal and water changes are up and on my next days off I am going to add another FX6 to the tank to help out.