Showing posts with label Guppies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guppies. Show all posts


Breeding LIVEBEARERS - Guppies and Swordtails

Equipment Needed:

  • Breeder Box or Breeder Net
  • Breeding Grass
  • 5 or 10 gallon tank for the baby fish or a tank divider that you can use for your main tank.
  • A pair - 1 female and 1 male

Female guppy (Poecilia reticulata)
Guppy - Photo by tartaruga33 
Two of the more popular tropical fish for beginners has to be Guppies and Swordtails.  Guppies and Swordtails are livebearers which means that their babies come out swimming.  Like most livebearers, there is not much to getting your guppies or swordtail to breed.  If you have a male and a female then you will eventually have a pregnant female.  The gestation period for livebearers is usually 28 days but can range from 20 to 40 days.

Place the male and female in the same tank together and they will soon mate. You are probably asking, how can I tell when the female is pregnant?  When a female guppy is pregnant she will develop a dark triangular shaped gravid spot near her anal vent.  This will get larger and darker as the pregnancy progresses.  While you are waiting on the female to develop the fry it's time to make sure you are prepared for the delivery.  We use plastic breeder boxes and always have without any problems.  A breeder box is a small box plastic box about 4 inches long by 3 inches wide and 4 inches deep.  There is a removable "V" shaped trap in it which serves to separate the mother from the babies.  When the mother fish has babies they fall through the slot in the "V" into the bottom of the box.  

After the mother is finished having babies, you can remove the "V" trap so that the babies have more room to grow.  Some people have had bad experiences with breeder boxes and now only use a breeding net.  It is also a good idea to purchase some real or plastic breeding grass for the top of the aquarium.  The breeding grass is just in case the mother gives birth before you have a chance to put her in the breeder box.  The young babies instinctively will swim to the top of the aquarium and the breeder grass provides a great hiding place so they won't get eaten by the bigger fish in your tank.

To feed your new arrivals you can use finely crushed flake food.  Using your fingers, you can rub the flakes into a fine powder.  Some only feed live foods such as baby brine shrimp.  Live foods would definitely be the best way to go, but for most this is simply not feasible.  Crushed or powdered flake food will suffice.  Try to feed the babies 3 very small meals per day.  You will invariably feed too much and the excess food will drop to the bottom of the tank or breeder box.  To clean a breeder box we like to take a 3 ft. length of aquarium tubing and a small bucket.  Use the tubing as a siphon to clean the bottom of the breeder box.  Be careful not to siphon any baby fish.

Try to perform 25% water changes weekly for your baby guppies.  This will aid in the optimal growth of your baby tropical fish. After a few weeks in the breeder box your new babies will soon outgrow their home and you will need to move them either to a new tank or your main tank with a divider installed. By 8 weeks old your baby fish will most likely be able to return to the main tank without a divider.  However, it really depends on the size of the other inhabitants in your aquarium.  Use your best judgement before releasing them into the main tank.

Marigold Swordtails
Swordtails - Photo by Eric F Savage 

Whether you are going for that one of kind strain or if you simply find small fry swimming in the top of your tank one day after work, please be responsible with your fish.  If you have more than you can accomodate you can try trading them or maybe even selling them to a local fish store in your area.

Talk to your local pet stores beforehand to see if you can work out some sort of arrangement.  You can also use this opportunity to get your friends interested in fish.


Aquarium Care for the Freshwater GUPPY

Guppies are perhaps the most popular type of freshwater fish to keep in an aquarium.  Luckily, they are fairly easy to keep as well.  Guppies are hardy fish that can adjust easily to minor fluctuations in water quality.  However, don't allow these fluctuations to become common practice, as they do cause some stress to the fish.  The water temperature in an aquarium for guppies should be kept between seventy two and eighty two degrees. The P.H. level should be kept between 7.0 and 8.2.  As you can see these specifications are much more forgiving than those for certain tropical or marine fish. 

Guppies mature quickly and usually only grow to be about one and a half to two inches long.  There small bodies and feathery fan like tails add a lot of interest to the tank.  They are just fun to watch.

English: Pregnant guppy at about 26 days, name...
English: Pregnant guppy at about 26 days, named Betta, in author's aquarium (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As with any type of aquarium, there are three basic components to caring for the fish.  Diet is very important. Guppies should be fed very small amounts as often as three times a day.  Guppies will eat just about anything, but their main diet should consist of frozen or flake foods.  This should be especially regarded when there are baby guppies in the tank, because guppies will eat their young.  The next most important feature to caring for any fish is appropriate water regulation.  The specific temperatures are listed above, but it is also important to make frequent water changes. Usually every one to two weeks, depending on need.  If the water starts to smell or become cloudy, this is a good indication that it is time to change the water.  If water changes are made gradually, meaning change approximately one third of the tank at a time, then there is little disruption made to the fish.

Last on the list for keeping fish healthy, is to keep them happy.  Try to recreate their natural environment.  It is recommended to keep a variety of plants in the aquarium for guppies to seek refuge.  There should be about one to two inches of substrate in the bottom of the tank.  Colored rock or dead crushed coral make a nice addition to the aquarium, and may help to make the fish feel more at home.  

A few varieties of guppies are the Fantail, Flagtail, Spadetail, Deltatail and the Roundtail.  The names of all of these different types of guppies focus on the tails because they are so remarkable and unique.  The tail itself is usually about one third of the size of the whole fish.  It is possible to mix guppies with other varieties of fish. However be careful when mixing because, guppies are targeted as easy prey due to those fancy tails.  Guppies breed very quickly, usually about every three to four weeks.  They will interbreed amongst themselves, so the aquarium could very quickly become filled with many different varieties of color.  It is very feasible to have an attractive aquarium without having any other fish at all.  If you don't want the species to interbreed, simply keep them in separate tanks.