Male Guppies: Tail Transformation

when do male guppies get their tails

Male guppies develop their long, colourful tails during the juvenile stage, which begins around one month after birth. During this stage, male guppies also start to exhibit distinct colours, and their tails begin to show colour. By the time they reach sexual maturity at two months old, male guppies' tails will have elongated further, influenced by their genetic makeup.

Characteristics Values
Age when male guppies get their tails Between 2 and 3 months
Tail growth factors Genetics, diet, water quality, light exposure
Tail growth inhibitors Stress, fin rot, bullying, injury, inadequate water conditions


Male guppies' tails start showing colour when they are between 1 and 1.5 inches long

Guppies are live-bearing fish that do not lay eggs. Instead, the male guppy fertilises the female, and the baby guppies develop inside the mother's body for about 30 days before birth. Guppies are fully grown within 5-6 months of birth.

Guppy fry are naturally free-swimming from birth and their instinct is to seek shelter. They are very small, measuring about a quarter of an inch in length, and are often seen as prey by adult guppies and larger fish.

By around one month, guppy fry transition into their juvenile stage. In this stage, guppies begin to exhibit distinct colours, making it easier to differentiate between the sexes. The males' tails start showing colour, and the gonopodium in male guppies starts to form. Juvenile guppies measure between a quarter and three-quarters of an inch in length.

By approximately two months, guppies begin sexual maturation, transitioning into young adults. At this stage, they are sexually active and male guppies are separated from females by some breeders. The males' tails continue to grow and become more colourful.

Therefore, male guppies' tails start showing colour when they are between one and 1.5 inches long, which is during the juvenile stage, between one and two months after birth.


Guppies' tails can be damaged by bullying from other fish

Guppies are generally peaceful fish, but they can sometimes display aggressive behaviour. Guppies can be territorial and will protect their right to food and females. Guppies are also known to bully and chase other fish for mating purposes, which usually occurs between male and female guppies. In a tank with more male guppies than females, male guppies will badger and harass the female guppies, which can be exhausting and potentially fatal for the female guppies. Male guppies will also fight each other for the right to mate with female guppies.

Guppies may also bully each other due to stressful conditions, such as low water quality, lack of food, or the establishment of a hierarchy. Guppies can be territorial, and if the tank is too small or overcrowded, they may become aggressive to express their frustration.

Bullying behaviour can cause injuries to guppies' tails and fins. Guppies may experience torn fins and tails due to constant bullying, which can leave them vulnerable to infections and parasites that can lead to death. Bullying is especially dangerous in tanks with a small community of guppies, as one or two fish may become the target of all the tank's hostility.

To prevent bullying behaviour, it is recommended to maintain optimal tank conditions, provide hiding spots, ensure a healthy male-to-female ratio, and provide enough food.


Guppies' tails can be damaged by objects in their tank

Guppies are relatively hardy creatures, which is why they are so popular among fish keepers. However, they can be susceptible to damage to their fins and tails. Guppies are curious creatures and may end up damaging their tails by touching or colliding with objects in their tank, such as rocks, pots, plants, or any other sharp-edged decorations.

Guppies are social fish and are usually kept with other tank mates. However, this can sometimes lead to bullying behaviour, where dominant guppies may nip at the fins and tails of smaller or weaker guppies. This can result in minor injuries, such as frayed fins and split tails, or even the loss of entire sections of the tail.

In some cases, guppies may experience more severe injuries that can impair their swimming ability. If the damage is too extensive, their ability to regenerate their tails may be limited, and their quality of life may be affected.

To prevent tail damage, it is important to provide a safe and spacious tank environment for your guppies. Ensure that the tank is free of any sharp or hazardous objects that could cause injury. It is also crucial to monitor the behaviour of your guppies and their tank mates to identify any signs of bullying or aggression.

Additionally, maintaining optimal water conditions and providing a balanced diet are essential for the overall health and well-being of your guppies, which can help reduce the risk of tail damage.

Feeding Options for Baby Guppy Fry

You may want to see also


Guppies' tails can be damaged by fin rot disease

Guppies will display damaged fins or tails due to fin rot, which is common among guppies, as well as other fish breeds. A guppy living in constant stress due to poor tank conditions or bullying can experience a weakened immune system, leaving the fish vulnerable to bacteria and viruses, with fin rot being one of the outcomes.

Fin rot can have several symptoms, including fins or tails with frayed edges, the fin or tail edges turning white, black, or brown, inflammation at the base of the fin, and a part of the fin or tail rotting away or falling off. These symptoms are often accompanied by a loss of appetite, decreased activity, and the affected fish sitting at the bottom of the tank.

To treat fin rot in guppies, several steps can be taken:

  • Quarantine the sick fish immediately if the cause of the condition is unsure, to prevent the spread of the disease to other fish.
  • Ensure optimal tank conditions and perform frequent water changes, including daily water changes of up to 80%.
  • Use targeted medication such as antibiotics to combat bacterial infections, consulting a veterinarian for specific recommendations.
  • Treat the affected fish tank with medications such as Blue Planet's Tri-Sulfa Tablets, API Stress Coat, Melafix, or vet-prescribed antibiotics, following the product instructions.
  • Remove the active carbon from the filter during treatment.
  • Monitor the fish daily to check for improvement and regrowth of damaged fins and tail.

It is important to act quickly when treating fin rot, as it can become deadly if left untreated or reaches advanced stages. Guppies may survive without their tail fin, but their quality of life will be impaired, and euthanasia may be necessary if they struggle to swim or maintain buoyancy.

To prevent fin rot, regular tank cleaning, water changes, avoiding overstocking, using a filter, providing high-quality food, and quarantining new fish are recommended.

Guppy Breeding Partners

You may want to see also


Guppies' tails may continue to grow after they reach maturity

Genetics play a significant role in the development of guppies' tails. The length and shape of the tail are often inherited from their parents. If the parent guppies had long tails, their offspring are likely to develop long tails as well. Similarly, short and round tails are often passed on from parent guppies to their young. Therefore, the genetic makeup of the guppies contributes to the variation in tail length and shape observed in mature guppies.

Diet is another factor that can influence tail growth in mature guppies. A well-balanced and diverse diet that includes both fresh and dried food can promote maximum growth. A varied diet ensures that guppies receive a range of essential nutrients that support their overall health and development, including the growth of their tails.

Environmental conditions, such as water quality and tank setup, also play a crucial role in guppies' tail growth. Guppies thrive in optimal tank conditions with frequent water changes, proper oxygenation, and safe levels of ammonia and nitrites. Additionally, providing hiding places, maintaining a healthy male-to-female ratio, and minimizing size differences between the fish can contribute to a less stressful environment, which can positively impact the growth and regeneration of guppies' tails.

It is worth noting that guppies' tails contain organic matter that enables regeneration after sustaining injuries. However, this regenerative capacity is limited, and complete regeneration of a destroyed tail is unlikely. Guppies may regenerate their tail fins within 4 to 6 weeks if the damage is minor and not caused by fin rot.

In summary, while guppies typically develop their tails during their early life stages, reaching maturity within a few months, their tails may continue to grow and change even after maturity. This growth is influenced by genetic factors, dietary intake, and environmental conditions. Additionally, guppies possess a limited ability to regenerate their tails after damage, highlighting the importance of providing a safe and healthy environment for these fish.

Frequently asked questions

Male guppies start to develop their tails at around two months of age, and their tails will continue to grow bigger and more colourful until they are about three months old.

The tails of male guppies may elongate further over time, influenced by their genetic makeup.

The growth of male guppies' tails can be influenced by their diet, genetics, and environmental conditions. A varied diet that includes fresh and dried food can promote maximum growth. If the parents had long tails, the offspring are also likely to develop long tails.

Male guppies can partially regrow their tails if they are damaged. However, if the tail is completely lost, it will not regrow. Guppies can regenerate their tail fins within 4 to 6 weeks if the damage is mechanical, but fin rot disease can impede regeneration.

Written by
Reviewed by
Share this post
Did this article help you?

Leave a comment