If you are new to the world of fish breeding then Guppies are the perfect starting point. These small fish can live well in small fish tanks and a 10 gallon fish tank is just enough for them to thrive. This article will provide you some advice to keep your Guppies in top condition.
- About Guppies, varieties, behavior
- How to care for Guppies
- Breeding Guppies
About Guppies, varieties, behavior
Guppies are highly prolific livebearing, they are also one of the most popular fish kept by fish hobbyists in the world today. This is largely due to the fact that they are simple to take care of, prolific breeders and striking in appearance.
- Scientific name: Poecilia reticulata,
- Origin: Barbados, Brazil, Guyana, Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands and Venezuela,
- Common names: Fancy Tail Guppy, Rainbow fish, Millions fish,
- Maximum size: 2.5 inches,
- Lifespan: typically around 2 years.
Behavior: Guppies are usually peaceful fish, but some will exhibit aggressive tendencies and they will chase other fish around the tank. Some will also tend to be fin nippers, so any fish with long flowing fins should be carefully watched for any injuries.
Genus distinguish: Very easy, females are larger than the males in their size, have a rounder anal fin and are not as brightly colored as the males. The females are pregnant and give birth almost their lifetime.
Color and varieties: Guppies come in a wide variety of patterns or strains as well as a multitude of tail shapes. They have been bred for a variety of colors, patterns and fin shapes and are generally named for the color of their tail, tail shape, and body coloration. Male guppies can have almost any color variations, from red, yellow, blue, black, gold and green. They are much more colorful than the females which are usually a plain color such as gray or brown. Occasionally though, females can have some brighter color variations.
How to care for Guppies
Set up a fish tank for Guppies
Guppies prefer dark graveled tank bottoms and lots of leafy plants that provide them some vegetable foods from algae and are needed to protect the young from being eaten. A female may also retreat to the plants when it’s time to give birth.
Guppies in 20 gallon community aquarium with Mollies and Plecos
Guppies are peaceful fish that can get along with almost any other type of fish. Being a schooling fish, it does best when housed in groups of five or more of the same species. Does best in a planted community tank with no fin nippers. Besides, they should be kept with fish of the same size range, large fish will often eat guppies.
- Tank size: at least a 10 gallon aquarium,
- Temperature range: 66 – 84°F,
- pH range: 7 – 8.5,
- Water hardness: moderate – hard,
- Temperament: peaceful.
Guppies prefer a hard water aquarium with a pH of 6.8 to 7.4, kits to test both pH and hardness can be purchased from your local aquarium or pet store. One tablespoon of salt for each five gallons of water should be added if you have very soft water.
The water in which you keep your guppy should be changed about once a week. This involves siphoning about 25% of the water from the tank using a vacuum tube, the vacuum tube allows you to also remove any debris from within the gravel.
Feeding your Guppies
Like all fish it is important to feed guppies a varied diet that will actually help in enhancing their colors. As well as standard tropical flakes you should also include freeze dried foods or live fish food such as brine shrimp, brine eggs and worms into their diet. Besides, they are also quite fond of plant matter.
Feed your fish small amounts three times a day. It is important to not overfeed your fish as the uneaten food will rot and effect the quality of your water. If you have young fry a diet high in protein is important, extra protein can be introduced to their diet by boiling an egg yolk and slicing it finely.
Guppy common diseases and treatments
Ichthyophthirius: A parasitical disease that appears on the fishes body as small white spots. You may notice the fish rubbing up against objects in the tank in an attempt to remove the parasite. There are numerous commercial treatment available for treating Ichthyophthirius.
Fin Rot: Fin rot is a bacterial infection that generally occurs on the guppies large tail fin. The disease is often started when a guppies fins are nipped by another fish, leading to infection. If you are having problems with fin rot try to locate any fish that are nippy and remove them to another tank. Speak to your local fish shop expert to find a commercial treatment for fin rot.
Hemorrhagic Septicemia: A bacterial infection that can be identified by red streaks on the fins of your fish or red dots on the body. This disease is caused by excess levels of nitrate and ammonia in your tanks water, you should perform daily water changes with conditioned to get these levels under control. Fish infected can be treated with an antibacterial solution to reduce the symptoms.
Ammonia poisoning: Fish suffering from ammonia poisoning can be seen gasping at the surface of the water and their gills will appear red and inflamed. Ammonia poisoning is common in new tank setups, water should be replace with conditioned water and additional aeration should be provided.
Little effort is needed to breed guppies, the females seem to almost stay pregnant. To relieve stress on one female, there should be at least 2 or 3 for each male. Both males and females will eat the fry, so plenty of plant life is needed for the young to hide in.
Guppies are able to start breeding when they are only three months old! They are livebearers with a gestation period of between four and six weeks. Each female can give birth to between 20 and 100 young at one time, however around 30 is more the norm.
Interesting Notes: Female guppies can actually store sperm for several months for later use! Females can continue to produce several broods long after the male has been removed from the tank. It’s a process called superfoetation!
For more details about breeding Guppies as well as caring the fry, you can read here: https://lovefishtank.com/breeding-guppies/.