Female guppies in an optimal environment can reproduce as often as every 30 days. Water conditions, presence of males and the population of the fish tank can all influence this number, but this is a good ballpark number if you’re interested in breeding guppies.
This article explores how to tell when your guppies are expecting, how to handle the birth of the fry, and what factors can speed up or slow down the rate of pregnancies.
How Often Do Guppies Have Babies?
Female guppies can become pregnant as early as 1-2 months into their lifespan. They can have babies at least once a month, barring circumstances that may alter the length of the pregnancy.
They can continue reproducing for 1-2 years, on a monthly basis.
Males will dance around the females. A receptive female will approach the dancing male and allow mating to occur. Mating will occur several times to ensure fertility.
Over the next several days, female will gain weight.
When ready to give birth, the female will approach the bottom of the tank, or a hiding place. Over the next few hours, the female with give live birth to anywhere from 2-200 baby guppies, called fry.
What Are The Signs That My Guppies Are About to Give Birth?
The first sign is the increase in size of the fishes body. Female guppy will gain a boxy shape around the abdomen. Gravid spot will become steadily darker, to a near-black color just before birth.
They are likely to go off their food. They may stop eating altogether, or spit out their food.
They may seek out heat sources, or swim closer to the tank heating system.
They are looking for a safe place to drop their young. They may drift to the bottom of the tank, or start moving into areas with plenty of cover and weeds.
What Are The Longest And Shortest Lengths For Guppy Pregnancies?
The average length of a guppy gestational period is 24-26 days.
The shortest listed gestational period is about 21 days.
The longest noted gestational period is about 35 days.
If you think your guppy has been pregnant for longer than that, you may want to check for other potential problems.
How Many Babies Will My Guppy Have?
A female guppy can have between 2 and 200 children at a time. The number may be affected by the age of the female, or the population of the tank.
A larger tank population may result in a smaller number of young.
Are There Methods to Speed Up or Slow Down Guppy Gestation Periods?
While the normal period is 26-30 days, it can be altered. Various conditions can change the length of the gestation period.
Some of these methods are dependent on the health of the guppy. Others are factors that you can alter yourself.
What Factors of Guppy Health Can Affect The Gestation Period?
Most often, the most prominent factor is stress. Stress-related issues will prolong the pregnancy of the guppy.
Male attention, water conditions and diet are all contributing factors.
How Does Male Attention Affect The Frequency of Babies?
Too much attention can throw a female guppy off her cycle. Male guppies can be overly persistent, to the point that females extend or abort the pregnancy.
The best way to avoid that is to have fewer male than female guppies in the tank.
How Does Water Condition Affect the Gestation Period?
Warmer water can encourage the female guppy to give birth sooner. If the water is too cold, it will delay the birth.
Dirty water can cause health-related complications that can shorten, lengthen, or abort a pregnancy.
Some experts say the pH balance should be between 7.0 and 7.6. The recommended water hardness 7-12 dGH.
Controlling the algae buildup is also important.
What Does Diet Do To The Frequency of Guppies Having Babies?
Guppies with a good diet and plenty of protein will help your guppy give birth earlier. Diet does not necessarily need to increase. In fact, pregnant guppies may eat less.
How Can The Population of The Tank Affect the Length of Guppy Pregnancy?
Too many fish in the tank will provide an additional source of stress.
What Can I Do To Change How Often My Guppy Has Babies?
Changing the water, putting them in a different tank, and changing their diet in specific ways can increase the frequency of your guppy’s reproductive cycles.
How Does Changing The Water Change the Gestation Period of My Guppy?
You can shorten a pregnancy by gradually increasing the temperature of the water in the tank.
Experts say that increasing the temperature by 1 degree day can shorten the gestation period by as much as 7 days.
Increasing the water temperature too quickly may cause the pregnancy to abort.
If you are trying to prevent pregnancy for some reason, a sharp increase or a decrease in water temperature can abort the gestation.
Keeping the water cooler can extend the time up to 35 days, but this can be unhealthy for the female.
Experts say the optimum temperature for increasing the frequency of guppy procreation is between 77 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Kind of Diet is Best For Increasing the Frequency of Guppy Pregnancies?
To shorten your guppy’s pregnancy, feed them a high-protein diet. Bloodworms and brine shrimp are considered the best option for speeding up your guppy’s pregnancy. Experts recommend live, but frozen will also work.
You can also buy specialty fish food. You’ll only want to provide a small amount of food at a time, and monitor her intake.
As with warmer water temperatures, a high protein diet can shorten the pregnancy by as much as 7 days.
How Does Moving My Guppy Affect the Frequency of Pregnancies?
Once you are certain your guppy is pregnant, moving the pregnant female to another tank can make the pregnancy smoother and shorter.
An isolated tank will decrease the stress your guppy is under and help facilitate a smooth and quick birth.
The only risk is that an isolated female guppy may attempt to eat her babies if not returned to her regular tank, or not fed enough to recover.