In any tropical aquarium, the staple will likely be guppies, which is true for both newbies and experienced fish keepers. Guppies are widely popular and are widespread outside of their natural locale. So you want to breed your guppies, but the question is, “Are they easy to breed?”
Guppies breed freely, and there is little work to be done. An aquarist or a hobbyist can go from having a pair to over a dozen in no time. Female guppies are generally able to birth between 30 and 40 fry per month. Be sure to keep in mind that once they start breeding, they are unlikely to stop.
So as you can see, it is a simple matter in terms of getting your guppies to breed. Still, some things need to be considered if you hope to do so effectively and to ensure against things like the adults eating the young and having improper water parameters that can cause problems. So if you hope to find out more, be sure to read on.
Preparing Your Aquarium
If you know guppies, you are probably well aware that they are relatively hardy fish and will survive in pretty much any sort of environment, with some even surviving in both fresh and saltwater.
However, even so, there are ideal conditions that you should consider placing them in, and the first is that they should never be kept in small bowls or tiny tanks. The second is that the correct temperature to keep them in is between 72° to 78°F, but when breeding, it is advisable to increase the temperature by 2° to 3°F.
Finally, although they can survive fluctuating water parameters, the ideal pH you want to keep them in is between 7.0 and 8.0. So consider investing in a pH testing kit and speak to a local aquarium store about ensuring that the pH remains constant.
Another thing to consider, which is not vital, but will make your fish happier, is if you stock your tank with foliage and ornaments. This is because they like to hide; this is especially vital if you have no option but to leave your fry in the same tank as the adults, as they will be able to evade being eaten.
What Is The Quickest Way To Breed Guppies?
Guppies are livebearers, and the females give birth to pretty large numbers of fry at a time. One of the issues that breeders find, though, is that the adults are known to feed on their young.
Therefore, it is an excellent idea to separate the other adults from the female, and then once they are birthed, remove her from where the fry are. There are different ways you can do this. One is to use what is known as a breeder box, which is a small container that rests in the tank.
Generally, the female will be placed into the box when it is almost time for her to give birth, and the babies then fall into a chamber to keep them safe. You will then retrieve the mother and place her back with the adults. Alternatively, you could have a separate tank in which to house them. But be sure to remove the mother as soon as they are born.
Coordinating The Mating
To truly capitalize on your breeding, it is a good idea to have at least two to three females per male guppy. This is so that while one of the females is pregnant, the male can breed with the other females in the meantime.
This will also give the pregnant guppy some peace while still in the tank with the others because the males will not chase after her, wanting to mate. So, in short, be sure that the ratio between male and female leans more towards the feminine.
Ensuring There Is Food For The Fry
When there are fry in your tank, especially if you have the luxury of keeping them in a separate tank from the adults, putting a sponge filter in your aquarium is advisable.
A sponge filter will ensure the development of healthy bacteria in a quick and hassle-free way. These tiny particles will stick to the sponge and will offer your fry a good source of food.
Another good reason to choose a sponge filter over alternatives is that the small fry will not get stuck in the filter. Resultantly, more significant numbers will ultimately survive to adulthood.
Another point we need to bear in mind is that these fish are omnivores and need to be fed accordingly. Now you should be aware that the bacteria on your sponge filter may not be sufficient to keep them nourished. Therefore, it is recommended to feed them baby brine shrimp, microworms, and tubifex worms roughly four times per day. There are also certain fish foods that can be used to offer them a well-rounded diet.
How Long Will It Take For Them To Start Breeding?
It has been noted that breeding guppies is a relatively simple task; however, how long it takes for them to start birthing fry depends on their reproductive cycle. Once you have placed a male and female into a breeding tank, the female will likely be pregnant within a day, especially if the male has bred before.
The expected gestation period is roughly between 21 and 36 days, with the average being 28 to 29 days. Another bonus is that once you place the female back with the other adults, she can become pregnant almost immediately after giving birth.
Time It Takes For The Fry To Mature?
The fry are typically a quarter of the size of the adults when they are born and are thus very susceptible to being eaten by the adults; hence our advising you keep them separate.
You will find that guppies mature rather quickly and reach full growth in roughly six months. However, you can transfer them into the tank with the adults once they are approximately an inch long.
Thankfully guppies do not require the input of their parents to grow and are entirely self-sufficient from birth. For the fry, you will want to keep the tank at a slightly higher temperature of 80°F. This keeps their metabolisms up while growing, but once they mature, they can be placed in a tank where the water is a few degrees lower.
So in closing, you will have found that these fish are typically not incredibly temperamental and can survive in an array of environments, but that there are ideal conditions in which to keep them.
If you want the number of your fry to increase rapidly, be sure to have at least 2 to 3 females per male in the tank. Once the female is ready to give birth, be sure to separate her from the other adults in a breeding box or place her in a separate tank, but also be aware that the mother may eat her own young.
We hope you feel better equipped now for the task at hand and wish you every success in breeding your guppies.