Guppy Fish Breeding And Keeping In Captivity

Guppy Fish Breeding – According to the form of reproduction, aquarium fish can be divided into two main groups: oviparous and viviparous (a more correct name is ovoviviparous). Their difference is that the former spawn, from which the offspring appear, and the latter “give birth” to the already formed fry. The most famous group of ovoviviparous fish is the Poeciliidae. In this article we will talk about breeding the most popular representative of this family – the guppy fish .

Guppy Fish Breeding

Getting offspring from a guppy at home is easy. These fish breed in both community and spawning aquariums in almost any water conditions. There is no need to create specific conditions for this purpose. But, if you want to preserve the offspring as much as possible, then it is better to follow some rules.

Guppy Fish Breeding

Guppy fish breeding in a common aquarium is fraught with the rapid destruction of offspring by both neighbors in the aquarium and the parents. The instinct of caring for fry in these fish is completely absent. They prefer to take by quantity. For most of the fry to survive, it is essential that the aquarium has enough space for the fry to hide. Bumps of moss, floating small-leaved plants (for example, hornwort ), a variety of artificial shelters, into which only “newborns” can get into, will be a good help .

A good option for guppy fish breeding in a common aquarium is to use special jigs. They are designed in such a way that fry enter a separate compartment through small slits and will not be eaten. After the return of the female to the aquarium, the fry remain to live in the jig, immediately feed and grow up until they are ready for life in the main aquarium.

If possible, it is best to place the pregnant female in a separate spawning aquarium. It is the chances of survival of the fry will be maximized. Water in such a spawning grounds is taken from the main aquarium. However, it is recommended to increase its temperature to 26-27 ° С. It is advisable to equip the container with a small filter and aeration system.

Read Also: Freshwater Aquarium Fish: The Ultimate Guide 2021

How To Distinguish a Female Guppy From a Male

Guppies are characterized by pronounced sexual dimorphism, so it will not be difficult to distinguish between females and males. The main sexual characteristic is the presence of a specialized organ in male guppies – gonopodia. It is a modified anal fin and has the shape of a groove. The purpose of this organ is to place the male reproductive products in the female’s body. It is where the eggs are fertilized.

How To Distinguish a Female Guppy From a Male

The female’s anal fin has a “classic” triangular shape. In addition, females are larger than males, but have a more modest body color and caudal fin.

How To Breed Guppy Fish

Puberty in guppies occurs at the age of 3-5 months. After that, the males begin to actively pursue the female. If the female reciprocates, then the appearance of offspring is not far off. It is worth noting that one male can fertilize several females. Therefore, it is recommended to maintain such a ratio in the aquarium so that there are 2-3 females per male. This will also avoid conflicts between males.

After spawning, the male’s milk enters the female’s reproductive tract, where fertilization takes place. The development of eggs also takes place in the mother’s body, which makes it possible to obtain at the output the fry that are already formed and capable of self-feeding.

Sometimes aquarists encounter such an interesting phenomenon when a female guppy sits in an aquarium without males, but continues to “give birth” to fry. This can be explained quite simply: females are able to retain the male’s reproductive products for a long time and use them for fertilization at the right time. Therefore, any female who has been at least a short period of time with males can become a potential mother.

Egg incubation usually takes about a month and is highly dependent on the water temperature.

How To Tell If a Guppy is Pregnant?

How To Tell If a Guppy is Pregnant

A female ready for “childbirth” can be distinguished by a number of signs:

  • The abdomen is greatly enlarged, becoming almost square
  • Near the anal fin, the so-called birthmark increases in size and darkens
  • The female begins to retire more and more often in dense vegetation or other shelters.

As soon as you notice these signs, it is recommended that the female be placed in a spawning tank.

Guppy Fry Care

Proper care of “newborns” is very important, because only by growing fry in comfortable conditions, you will get healthy and vibrant fish.

In a general aquarium, neighbors pose the most terrible danger to guppy fry . Therefore, do not forget to provide babies with as many shelters as possible, the best of which are live plants: hornwort , nayas, elodea , Javanese moss , pistia , riccia .

Guppy Fry Care

Ideal for rearing guppy fry is a separate spawning aquarium. Some amateurs try to get by with an ordinary three-liter jar for this purpose, but such a capacity is not the best choice. A 10-15 liter aquarium with a Tetra Brillant Filter airlift is suitable as a spawning ground. Water is poured from a common aquarium to prevent sudden changes in parameters. The bottom is usually left clean, which will make it easier to care for the spawning grounds in the future.

You will also need a small heater. The first three days after the appearance of fry in the spawning aquarium, it is recommended to maintain the temperature at 28 ° C, gradually lowering it first to 24 ° C. Change 20-40% of the water volume in the spawning tank regularly.

Sometimes it happens that the female “gives birth” to underdeveloped fry, they can be easily identified by the presence of a yolk sac. Most often, such incidents are observed with poor care. Most of the premature fry die.

The coloring of fry does not occur immediately, it all depends on the specific breed.

How Many Fry a Guppy Gives Birth

The fertility of one female depends on her age and functional state. Usually 20-40 fry are born, but some females in their prime are able to bring up to 100 babies. Often there is “portioned birth”, when the female throws the fry in groups, and it can take several days between the two stages. After the completion of the “birth”, the female should be removed from the spawning aquarium so that the mother does not feast on her own offspring.

How You Can Tell Guppy Fry Sex

You can tell the sex of a guppy already at the age of 1-3 months. If you watch closely, you will see how the male anal fin lengthens and folds as it develops, forming a gonopodium.

As soon as it becomes possible to distinguish between males and females, they should be placed in separate aquariums. On the one hand, this reduces stress in young females, because rapidly developing males often chase them and literally give them a pass. On the other hand, it will not allow any one male to fertilize most of the females. This is especially important when breeding purebred guppies, otherwise you will not be able to maintain the traits you want, such as the shape of the fins or the line of color.

The First Days Of The Guppy Fry

Guppy fry are born already formed. Their size at birth is about 5 mm on average. First of all, the fry rises to the surface of the water and takes a breath of air to fill their swim bladder.

After that, most of the time, the kids hide in shelters, eat well and grow quickly. For the first five days, the fish must be abundantly fed and provided with round-the-clock lighting.

What To Feed The Fry

Full growth and development of guppy fry is unthinkable without proper feeding. A big advantage of guppy babies is their rather large size. From birth, they are able to swallow large enough food particles.

What To Feed The Fry

During this period, it is very important that the fish receive adequate nutrition with a full range of nutrients, vitamins and trace elements. TetraMin Baby is perfect for the initial feeding of guppy fry. This finely ground food is ready-to-eat and contributes to the balanced and healthy growth of young guppies.

As soon as the fry exceeds one centimeter, you can switch to TetraMin Junior Mini Flakes. If you do not have the opportunity to purchase these feeds, then do not despair. Guppy fry also perfectly eat the TetraMin universal flake food, only it must first be chopped by hand.

It is necessary to feed the fry in the first week after birth 6 times a day, in the second – 4 times, and then you can switch to three meals a day until the moment when the fish are two months old.

After feeding, it is advisable to siphon off uneaten food residues to prevent water pollution. A healthy guppy fry is mobile and has a rounded abdomen. Poor appetite in fry may indicate poor water quality. In this case, be sure to use tests and check the concentration of nitrogenous compounds (ammonia, nitrites and nitrates).

How Many Fry Grow

The growth of fry is individual in each case and depends on a number of factors: conditions of keeping and feeding, water temperature, genetic characteristics of the breed. Fry, which have reached a size of about 1.5 cm, can be planted in a shared aquarium. Adult fish will no longer pose a serious threat to babies.

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