The Guppy is one of the most well-known and popular aquarium fish for both beginners and seasoned aquarists alike.
They add plenty of colour to tanks, are peaceful, relatively cheap and very easy to maintain.
Depending on conditions and genetics, female guppies can grow up to 3-4cm, while male guppies to 3.5cm. They reach full-size maturity in about six months.
They do not produce much bio-load, so they do not need much space to live. However to keep them healthy you need offer them a minimum amount of space.
In the aquarium hobby there is a very common method of calculating how many fish you can keep in an aquarium: 2.5cm fish / 4L of water.
If you follow the above rule, in a 20L aquarium you can keep up to 3-4 guppies.
You can increase the number of fish you put in your aquarium if you add filtration and live plants. Filtration and live plants will help eliminate the toxic fish waste from the water column, this way you can keep more fish without the need of changing the water very often.
Having filtration and plants in your guppy tank will not save you from changing the water. You still need to do your weekly water changes, to keep the fish healthy, but you can keep a bigger stock of fish in the same amount of water.
Now that you know how many guppies you can put into your aquarium, you need to choose the male to female ration.
This is very important, because male guppies chase female guppies all the time to reproduce. Female guppies can be exhausted in this process. So it is wise to choose a 1 to 3 ratio, one male to three females. This will give the females enough time to rest and recover.
You can also setup a males-only or females-only guppy tank. This way you will avoid all the harassment of the females and overpopulation of your aquarium. Guppies that are not reproducing can live a longer life.
Guppies prefer harder water. Usually the water hardness increases with the pH level. In most areas the tap water has a pH of 7.6, which is perfect for keeping guppies.
However be careful when using tap water for your fish. Tap water usually contains chlorine and chloramine, which is low quantities, is not harmful for human use, but can cause significant damage in your fish, or even death.
Feeding fish is always fun, especially guppies. When approaching your aquarium, all the guppies will gather to the surface, waiting for food.
Guppies accept a high variety of food. You can give them vegie flakes, spirulina tabs, frozen food and live food. When you are feeding your guppies, make sure you offer them a variety of food in order to keep them healthy and colourful. Feeding them once a day is enough. You can also feed them multiple times, but avoid giving them too much food. Offer them only the amount of food they can eat in about one minute.
Overfeeding is the most common problem of fish death. Feeding your fish too much food, will result into ammonia spike, which is highly toxic for your fish.
Do guppies need a heater? Yes, you need a heater, unless you live in a tropical climate. Guppies are tropical fish. They are originating from the Amazon River, where the annual maximum temperature is 32°c and the minimum is 23°c. If you keep your fish in your home, most likely your room temperature will be lower in the winter. This temperature can be tolerated by your guppies; however you are exposing them to diseases. It is highly recommend getting a heater, because your fish will suffer from low water temperature.
Thankfully, guppies are incredibly easy fish to breed- even for beginners.
When they’re ready to spawn, males will approach females from below and extend their gonopodium (a thin rod near the anus), initiating the mating process.
Females can store sperm inside them for up to 3 months, which is quite impressive. It also means that they can have up to 3 births per single mating session.
The gestation period typically lasts for around 28 days but can range from 21 – 40.
Females can give birth to 20 – 200 fry per spawning, depending on her age and size.
Pregnant females develop large, round patches on their stomachs known as gravid spots.
Whether in a communal or isolated tank, fry should have plenty of cover and places to hide for comfort- and to avoid being eaten by tank mates.
Java moss is a thick and dense plant and makes a great hiding space for guppy fry.
Immediately after being born, guppy fry will eat anything and everything they can.
Freshly hatched brine shrimp and powdered dry food make for great, nutritious food sources to sustain your newborn fry.
You should always be wary of overfeeding. Excess food can upset your tank’s water quality and kill younger fish.
As your fry grows, you should make an effort to conduct regular water changes in order to maintain water quality and encourage growth.
- Species – Poecilia reticulata
- Common Name – Guppy
- Origin – South America, particularly in countries such as Brazil, Barbados, and Guyana.
- Diet – Omnivorous
- PH Range – 6.8 – 7.8
- Temperature – Tropical and Coldwater 22°c – 28°c
- Breed Type – Livebearer
- Current Size – approximately 3cm (Grows up to approximately 4-6cm)
- Sex – Un-sexed