Basic knowledge: Guppies farming

A longtime aquarist provides a summary of the guppies' history and the qualities that make them a hobby staple.
Back to basics: Guppies farming

Many aquarists started out with their fish with just a small guppies tank and no requirements, but they got attached to life after seeing the little kids looking back at them. A longtime aquarist provides a summary of the guppies' history and the qualities that make them a hobby staple.

Breeding guppies as children and adults

Many hobbyists start their fish farming adventures at a young age with guppies Poecilia reticulata normally . Many of these young hobbyists have moved on to species that are more difficult to maintain and reproduce as they mature in the hobby. Often, their little aquatic friends from childhood have been ignored for years. But due to their overall appeal, guppies can still be enjoyable for us to breed and nurture as adults, even when we've reached the peak of our fishkeeping skills.

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It's never too late to start breeding one of the neatest fish to be found in the aquarium business. There is no other fish that is as brightly colored, hardy, easy to breed, and physically beautiful as the guppies. When large numbers are mixed in a community tank with other peaceful species, the results can be simply stunning. The fair prices of guppies in pet stores allow almost any fish-keeper, young or old, to be a part of the fascinating world of one of our oldest friends. .

Guppies are social, graceful fish

Another reason guppies have been so popular through the ages is their peaceful nature. Guppies are excellent community fish and are usually tough enough to withstand the potential mistakes that beginners make. Guppies are not known for being shy – on the contrary, they are often found swimming around in open areas of the tank, an aspect that makes them a favorite among children.

Guppies are a fish that has an entire hobby of keeping tropical fishes thanks to its popularity. They have an extremely long history and have been bred in the Americas for almost 100 years. Guppies remain one of the least expensive and most abundant of tropical fish.

Guppies history

Guppies are native to South America, including the islands of Barbados and Trinidad, and this wonderful little fish is farmed commercially around the world. In the past, the guppies' accidental escapes from commercial hatcheries have allowed the guppies to expand their wild habitat greatly. As mentioned before, guppies are hardy and will do well in new waters, so they reproduce and multiply quickly with little or no assistance.

The common name of the guppies is derived from Dr. Lechmere Guppy, who sent several specimens to the British Museum in 1866. Scientific name  Poecilia reticulata  was named for this species by an excited enthusiast named Wilhelm Peters in 1859 when he received his first shipment to Venezuela. guppies.

During the reign of the British Empire, guppies were purposefully released into the tropics to feed on mosquito larvae in an attempt to reduce the high risk of malaria. Unfortunately, this doesn't work and guppies often upset the local ecosystem. At a later date, instead, Gambusia holbrooki of fish  Islamic has been released. It is no longer effective at controlling mosquitoes but is much more aggressive and has brought many native species to near extinction.

Physical characteristics of guppies

Wild guppies have little or no resemblance to their preferred captive-bred counterparts. The wild guppies are very small and quite dull in color. Females of this wild species tend to be brown or grey, with little or no coloration in the fin areas. The skin of these females is covered with black pigment cells called melanophores, which help wild guppies quickly change color to avoid predators. When lying near the lightly sandy bottom, the guppies can quickly blend in with their surroundings. If the same fish moves over an area of dark rock, it will disperse the black pigment to the cells to darken its color.

Female guppies grow to a length of 2 ½ inches and start spawning generally an inch. Males average 1 ½ inches in length — much smaller than females. Males display different color patterns. Of the captive breeding lines, many have colored female fins and partially colored body.

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Guppies are bred for color, body size and fin shape. Colors vary from line to line and include a wide variety of solids and pastels. Tails come in a variety of shapes and sizes including lyretail (split tail), delta (fan shaped), slender (bandon shaped), sword (single and double) and round. Hormones were once common to artificially enhance the color of guppies, but this often renders them infertile and is known to cause changes in the secondary sex characteristics of hobbyists. aquatic use drugs. Today very few breeders use pheromones.

Suitable aquarium conditions

It should come as no surprise to those who have had the pleasure of owning guppies as they can live in a wide range of water conditions, including freshwater and saltwater. Despite the fact that guppies are very receptive to fluctuating water parameters, they will receive the best conditions we can offer. Guppies should never be kept in small jars or bowls. Always choose the largest aquarium your finances will allow. The right temperature for guppies is 72° to 78°F. The pH can be kept between 7.0 and 8.0. When you're ready to breed, raise the temperature to 2°F to 3°F.

Guppies love having one or two hiding places handy, so you can make them happy by building small openings in stone, then add a few spots of dense foliage with natural-looking gravel.

Breeding guppies

Providing good water conditions, proper filtration and a natural looking environment will reward the aquarist with years of enjoyable breeding and fish farming. Even when abandoned, guppies reproduce very quickly. Therefore, consideration should be given to future tank size considerations and adequate filtration capacity. It is always wise to leave more tank space for future generations of guppies.

The fast maturation rate is one reason guppies are so popular for breeding. Guppies are carnivores and internally fertilized. The fry are born fully formed and able to fend for themselves at birth, and the brood does not contribute to their needs thereafter. This lack of parental nourishment does not seem to affect the fry, which eagerly feed themselves as they rapidly grow towards adulthood.

The anal fin of the male guppies develops into a sex organ known as the gonopodium. This specialized and unique organ transfers sperm from male to female through her cloaca. Gonopodium is the result of the fusion of the third, fourth and fifth rays of the anal fin. On the top of the gonopodium there are several small hooks that allow the male to hold the female firmly during copulation.

The average brood for a female guppies ranges from 20 to 40 fry depending on the size of the female. In general, the larger the female, the larger her parent fish. The world record for fry born to a brood is held by a guppy at the Chicago Shedd Aquarium, which produced 244 fry in a litter, of which 238 survived (Hemdal, 2003).

A unique feature of female guppies is the ability to produce multiple litters in a row without the male fertilizing each time. This can happen because of special folds in a woman's genitals that store sperm until it's needed for later fertilization.

Breeding guppies selectively

To prepare for selective breeding, guppies should first select a number of guppies with characteristics that they believe can be enhanced to produce true seed lines. These specific characteristics may include long fins, unusual colors, and unique patterns. It is important to purchase a female of the same lineage as the male of your choice to strengthen the lineage and save valuable time that could be better used in the pursuit of a new type of variation. Although females do not exhibit many of the traits seen in males, they partially carry genes that express these traits.

Since there are very few purebred lines (producing identical fish from generation to generation), chances are you will have a new trait. New variations can also occur through mutation. When it comes to the livestock sector, nearly anything is possible.

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Both line breeding and inbreeding are used to produce pure guppies lines. The first step of this process is to select a male and female with some similarity that you find interesting. If you don't want to just let them spawn in your main tank, place a spawning pair together in a 10-gallon spawning tank that contains a sponge filter and floating plants, which will give the fry an immediate hiding place. after birth. Some guppies parents are cannibals and will eat their young. The males should be removed before the fry are born, and the females should be removed immediately after the fry are born. Regular water changes are crucial to producing quality guppies.

Since a single fertilization can produce a series of broods, it's best to separate the sexes as early as possible so you can control which male is the father of the next generation of guppies. New fry can be ready to spawn in as little as three months in some cases. Early mating can be completed by noting the distance of the anal fin from the pelvic fin. The anal fin of the female fishes away from the pelvic fin, while the fin of the male fish continuously moves forward until it rests between these fins as an adult.

It is easy to determine when a woman is pregnant by her body shape. Females will be much larger and develop a gray spot on their abdomen, which becomes darker as they near birth. After birth, it will be ready to give birth to another litter in a month's time.

Don't be afraid to use inbreeding to overcome your stress. A scientist in Denmark has been breeding guppies for 24 years without adding any new blood. The end result of this experiment was a larger and stronger line of guppies with no obvious damage or weakness due to inbreeding! If you notice a decrease in the quality of your fish, you can always outbreed with another strain.

As new generations are born, watch out for any males born with distinct traits that are likely to develop into new lines.

Feed the fish

Newborn fry should be fed with newly hatched brine shrimp to ensure maximum growth potential. Make sure to provide plenty of vegetation (roots and floaters) so that the fry can hide until they have consumed enough food to increase their body size and avoid predation if you are not using the tank.

Guppies are omnivores and prefer a diet that includes both meat and vegetables. A complete diet should include vegetable flakes, standard flakes, live brine shrimp, and live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods. Small offerings of boiled water spinach or chopped fresh dark green lettuce would also be appreciated.

Feed twice daily. Remove all uneaten food within a five-minute period. Remember that guppies have small mouths, so don't feed them any rough food. Guppies have long intestines and usually only eat a small amount at a time.


Although guppies are hardy, pregnant females are susceptible to cold, which can cause ich outbreaks. The temperature in the spawning tank should remain between 78° and 80°F.

It doesn't require much expense or knowledge to keep and enjoy guppies in your home. Beginners as well as experts can enjoy the excitement of giving birth to one of our oldest and dearest aquatic companions. Guppies have remained a favorite for many years and will continue to do so for generations to come if we take the time to breed these beautiful, interesting and wondrous creatures.

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