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How To Tell If A Guppy Is Pregnant

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Rainbowfish, million fish or Guppy, whichever name you decide to call them. One interesting fact is that it takes one pregnant guppy fish to make a lot of them overcrowding the fish tank. Little wonder they are sometimes referred to as million fish. Guppy is one of the most popular freshwater fish that will make a great addition to your aquarium. Not only are they beautiful creatures, but they are also quite fascinating to sight and easy to take care of.

If you are breeding both male and female guppy in your aquarium, then, be ready to host pregnant guppies. One thing is that these fish don't need the male counterpart to fertilize their eggs, they would rather have the eggs in their tummies themselves and then give birth to their cute live little ones called Fry. However, identifying and caring for pregnant guppies might not come so easily and it requires attention and effort. How to tell if a guppy is pregnant? What are pregnant guppy signs of delivery? How does guppy behave when pregnant? This article will help you in tackling your challenges and ensuring proper care is given to both your guppies and the young fry.


How to tell if a guppy is pregnant in the fish tank.

  1. Belly bulge

    The first thing you will notice when your pet is pregnant is the bloated belly. Just like humans, the fish belly will start growing bigger as time goes on and this is how to tell if a guppy is pregnant or it is just bloated.

  2. Eating pattern

  3. Notice the eating habits of your fish. Pregnant guppy may start having a ravenous appetite or will lose interest in food generally. This is a sign that clears your doubts on how to tell if a guppy is pregnant.

  4. Gravid spot

    This spot resides in the abdomen area, near the anus. The gravid spot changes from orange to darker color as the pregnancy progresses. This is a better and sure shot way to know if your guppy is pregnant. When the guppy is nearing the delivery stage, the spot will be very dark and the guppy becomes more bloated and bigger. At this stage, the guppy is ready to give birth to the younger ones.

  5. Pregnant guppy behavior

    Are you still confused about how to tell if a guppy is pregnant, then take note of the behavioral pattern. Pregnant guppy behavior varies. They tend to rub their body against the surface of things like glass, decor, plant, or ornament in the fish tank. Moreover, they become more frantic and aggressive and it seems that they are only swimming at one spot in the fish tank.

Pro Tip

 One thing is that these fish don't need the male counterpart to fertilize their eggs, they would rather have the eggs in their tummies themselves and then give birth to their cute live little ones called Fry. However, identifying and caring for pregnant guppies might not come so easily and it requires attention and effort.

How to tell if a guppy is about to give birth?

It is not only about knowing how to tell if a guppy is pregnant, having a knowledge of the delivery time and taking the right measures will ensure the guppy delivers safely.

  •  Your guppy is about to give birth when you noticed body contractions as the belly muscle tightens and loosens up. This might go on and off and it is a visible sign that the guppy is in labor.
  • The belly becomes bloated and the shape takes on the form of a box.
  • A Guppy in labor tends to go into seclusion, hiding in the plant or the ornament. This is unlike them and it is a clear sign that the guppy is about to give birth.
  • The Fry's eyes become more obvious, when you check around the gravid spot, you can see the Fry eyes glaring at you through the mother fish thin skin.Ensure the rocks are properly cleaned before introducing them into the aquarium.

Guppies Gestation stages and Period

To have a clear understanding of how to tell if a guppy is pregnant, it is vital to know the gestation period and how it works.

  •  Pregnant guppy general wellbeing, stress level, and the condition of the environment are the factors determining the gestation period.
  • On average, the gestation period is between 22-26 days, it is safe to say anywhere between 21-30 days.
  • Given the short gestation period, know when your pets are mating.
  • Mating in guppy is quick, the male chases the female and then simply thrusts the anal fin into the female underbelly and continue swimming.
  • Stress or fear of danger can lead to longer gestation period, just like humans, extreme cases can lead to miscarriage.
  • One amazing thing is female guppy can store sperm for up to 8 months in the belly. This allows them to keep producing Fry without having to mate.

How to care for pregnant Guppy

  1. Diet

    A balanced and healthy diet is very important at this stage. Ensure they are being fed various foods options like pellets, brine shrimp, blood worms and any other varieties that are beneficial for their health.

  2. waterStress minimization

  3. Ensure you are not stressing out your pet unnecessarily. remember, proper care should be given to them during pregnancy to ensure safe delivery. A stressful pregnant guppy can absorb the babies and have a miscarriage. An unstressed guppy delivers between 4-6 hours while it can take 12 hours for a stressed guppy to deliver.

  4. Maintaining the filter

    Simply rinse your filter media (foams, ceramic rings...) in the old aquarium water from the previous step. Sometimes, change the foam pads if they are too old; the ceramic rings can be reused for many years. If you use carbon media in your filter, it should be changed once a month to ensure the efficiency of chemical filtration.

  5. Put pregnant guppy in the breeding box.

    The earlier you put them in a breeding box, the more stressed they are. This is better done when they are close to delivery time as this can also cause stress. Watch for signs of labor and isolate them by introducing the breeding box. This is a safe place for them to have their Fry.

    However, if you discover the Fry is not forthcoming within 24 hours, put them back into the main fish tank.

  6. Warmer tank

  7. A tank of 72 to 79 Degrees Fahrenheit is better for pregnant guppy to hasten the gestation period. It will also be of great help in the delivering process.

How to care for Fry

There are some precautions and steps to be taken to ensure happy Fry that will later grow into beautiful healthy Guppy.

1. Safe environment

Put the pregnant mother in a nursery tank till it delivers. After the birth of the fry, return the mother to the main tank as they do find their babies delicious to eat.

If there is no separate tank, put them in a temporary glass container until they give birth. The normal birthing process will be between 4-6 hours. In rare cases, they give birth to a few fries and they resume delivering baby fry after a few days.

A breeding box is also a good option as it is made of plastic put inside the main tank itself. Hence, no need to worry about the quality of the water. After two weeks, the Fry is healthy enough and can stay alone without the mother guppy.

2. Feed the fry

Feeding the Fry at this stage is very crucial as they grow very fast and they require enough nutrients in order to be healthy. Feeding can be done 5-10 times per day the first four weeks are the developmental stages of their lives. Guppy Fry are still small, therefore, they require tiny food that will fit with their tiny mouth. Introduce freshly hatched brine shrimp and micro worms into their diet.

3. Nursery tank maintenance

If the Fry is kept in a private nursery tank it is important to clean and take care of the tank without stressing the baby fry.

  • An 80 degrees F warm tank will be great for them if you want their metabolism rate to increase, consume more food and grow faster.
  • Do a partial water change of 50 percent twice in a week. the water gets contaminated easily due to feeding frequently. For fry that is more than 100, conduct partial water change daily.
  • Expose them to light for 16hours per day.

4. Return the guppy to the main tank.

You can choose to return them to the main tank after they are matured. However, more Fry or guppy means more attention and tank maintenance.

  • To avoid an overcrowded tank, they will need a bigger tank to contain all of them. An overpopulated tank can cause stress and can make the guppy eat their fry.
  • To avoid bacteria or diseases that can terminate their lives, ensure the tank is cleaned regularly and the water is changed. Although the water might appear clean, that doesn't mean there aren't any bacteria in there.
  • Ensure all the guppy fry are healthy before introducing them to the main tank. Check them one after the other and look for any signs of illness to avoid a sick fry contaminating the rest of the fish.
  • Having good hiding spots will be of great benefit for the fry. Try adding more live plants in the fish tank as the fry will find them helpful to hide.

Video Introduction


Breeding Guppy is quite interesting and requires less effort. However, breeding the pregnant ones can be overwhelming but it is well worth it. With these tactics and methods, you will have a good understanding of how to tell if a guppy is pregnant and how to take care of them.

Overall, understand the gestation period, isolate the pregnant guppy when they are nearing delivery time, and ensure the tank is well maintained and warm. Moreover, caring for the fry is as well crucial to ensure they are healthy. Apart from protecting them and keeping them in a safe place, feed them with good nutrients, keep the water warmer and ensure there are hiding places for them to hide from prey even they appear bigger and stronger.

These amazing creatures can live up to 2 years and can have babies even a month after mating. It doesn’t matter whether you desire to have more fry or not. Know how it works and be prepared to take care of them. fish lovers enjoy having their pets around for years.

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