Guppies: Live-Bearing Fish Species

are guppies livebearers

Guppies are livebearers, which means they give birth to live young. They are one of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby due to their brilliant colours, lively personalities, and ease of breeding. Guppies are native to the southeastern United States, Mexico, Central America, northern South America, and many islands in the Caribbean Sea. They are typically found in streams, rivers, pools, lakes, and estuary environments. Guppies are known for their vibrant hues and intricate tails, and they can display almost every colour, pattern, and fin type imaginable.

Characteristics Values
Livebearer type Guppies are livebearers, along with mollies, platies, and swordtails
Habitat Streams, rivers, pools, lakes, and estuary environments
Native regions Southeastern US, Mexico, Central America, Northern South America, and the Caribbean Sea
Water temperature 74-79°F (24-26°C)
Water pH 5.5-8.5
Water hardness Thrive in hard water but can survive in a wide range
Water salinity Brackish to full marine
Diet Omnivorous
Breeding Easy
Fry survival Need hiding spots to escape predation by adults


Guppies are livebearers

As livebearers, guppies have some specific care requirements. They are typically peaceful fish and do well in community tanks with other non-aggressive species. In terms of water conditions, guppies are adaptable and can thrive in a wide range of environments. However, they prefer water temperatures between 74° to 79°F (24-26°C) and a pH level of 7.0 or higher. It is important to provide hiding spots for the fry, as both the parents and other fish in the tank may try to eat them.

Overall, guppies are livebearers that are known for their vibrant colours and fascinating breeding behaviour. They have become a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts due to their hardiness and the convenience of livebearing, making them an excellent choice for those looking to breed fish without the complexities of egg-laying species.


Guppies are not a beginner fish

Guppies are highly inbred to get those amazing colours, mass-produced in many countries, and kept in very crowded conditions that make them more susceptible to disease. By the time the guppies get to you, they may need a lot of care and attention. Be prepared to give them nice, clean water, a good diet, and possibly medications to treat illnesses and infections.

Guppies are also prone to two common diseases: Capillaria, an intestinal worm that typically manifests as a hollow belly, arched back, wasting, spitting out food and intestines popping out; and Tetrahymena, a small skin parasite that typically either looks like ich or appears as a white patch on the forehead of the fish.

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Guppies are native to South America

Guppies are native to northeast South America, specifically the countries and islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Brazil, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. They are also found in Suriname. Guppies are one of the world's most widely distributed tropical fish species, and have been introduced to many environments, now found on every continent except Antarctica.

Guppies were first described in Venezuela in 1859, and as Lebistes poecilioides in Barbados in 1861. They were named Girardinus guppii in honour of Robert John Lechmere Guppy, who sent specimens of the species from Trinidad to the Natural History Museum in London.

Guppies are highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of environmental and ecological conditions. They are found in freshwater streams, but also in estuaries, irrigation channels, lagoons, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs at many elevations. They are the only species found in heavily polluted bodies of water, and can withstand a wide range of temperatures and salinity levels.

Guppies are used as a means of mosquito control. They were introduced to many non-native ecosystems, and this has resulted in their near-global distribution. They are very tolerant of new environments and can consume multiple food sources, including mosquito larvae.

Guppies are an invasive species in nearly every continent, and this has led to the decline of native fish populations. They have been found in many US states, and are considered established in Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Wyoming. They have been implicated in the decline of several subspecies of White River springfish in Nevada, the Utah Sucker in Wyoming, and damselflies in Oahu, Hawai'i.

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Guppies are bred for colour

Guppies are one of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby, owing to their brilliant colours, lively personalities, and ease of breeding. They are renowned for their vibrant array of colours and patterns, including blues, reds, greens, yellows, blacks, and oranges, which often appear in dazzling combinations and mosaics on their bodies and fins.

Guppies have been bred to display almost every colour, pattern, and fin type imaginable, and this breeding for colour is a fascinating aspect of guppy ownership. The colour of guppies is primarily determined by their genetics, with each colour associated with a specific set of genes, which can be dominant, recessive, or co-dominant. Through selective breeding, enthusiasts can cultivate guppies with specific colour patterns. For example, Endler's Guppies are known for their bright neon-like colours, often displaying a mix of bright orange, green, and black.

Environmental factors can also influence guppy colouration. A diet rich in carotenoids can enhance colour vibrancy, and optimal lighting can bring out the best colours. Additionally, stress reduction and maintaining optimal water conditions can help guppies exhibit their best colours.

Male guppies with brighter colours are more highly preferred by female guppies, and both sexes have been shown to be attracted to the colour orange. This preference for orange over blue has been demonstrated in experiments, where guppies spent more time in the association zone of an orange stimulus than a blue one.

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Guppies are easy to breed

Guppies are livebearers, meaning they give birth to live young. They are one of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby because of their brilliant colours, lively personalities, and ease of breeding. Guppies are not a beginner fish, as they have been "line bred" for hundreds of generations, with brothers being mated to sisters. This has resulted in many guppy strains having very weak immune systems. However, they are still easy to breed and are a great fish to start with as they are hardy.

Guppies breed rapidly and will breed very quickly with little or no help. They can be bred in either a selective or community tank. Selective breeding allows more control over the conditions and how the offspring will turn out, whereas community breeding is a more unpredictable process as you won't know how the fry will turn out until they are born or older.

To breed guppies, keep male and female guppies together in a well-maintained tank. Guppies breed rapidly on their own, so you don't need to do anything special to get them to breed. Just make sure the conditions in the tank are suited for guppies. Keep the tank between 75 and 85°F (24-30°C), and set up a gentle filter in the tank to keep the water clean and ensure the baby guppies (fry) are not sucked up. Guppies like to have a handy hiding place or two, so you can make them happy by building small openings with rocks and adding spots of dense foliage.

The gestation period for guppy fry is 21 to 31 days. You will know a female guppy is pregnant when a spot called a "gravid spot" behind its anal fin gets darker and its stomach starts to grow. When the female is about to give birth, her stomach will be very large and her gravid spot will be deep black. She will also hang out near the heater and may change her appetite.

Once the fry are born, remove the mother from the tank so she doesn't eat them. Guppy fry are born fully formed and able to fend for themselves, but you will need to feed them brine shrimp, micro-worms, or powdered flakes. They should be fed twice a day and given plenty of plants to hide in until they are big enough to be moved to the normal tank.

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Frequently asked questions

Livebearers are fish that give birth to their young instead of laying eggs. Guppies are livebearers, as are mollies, platies, and swordtails.

Livebearers are omnivores and need a mix of vegetable matter and meat-based foods. They will eat tropical flakes, spirulina flakes, and betta treats.

Livebearers can breed as often as every four to eight weeks, depending on water conditions, temperature, and diet.

A female livebearer will develop a large, round belly and a larger dark patch near the back of her belly called the "gravid spot".

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