Guppy Fry: A Safe Home

where should I raise guppy fry

Guppy fry are easy to keep, but they require good nutrition and conditions to grow well. Guppies are livebearers, meaning they give birth to live fry, with a female guppy delivering 20-60 fry in a single birthing event. Guppy fry often face the danger of being consumed by their parents or other fish in the aquarium, so it's essential to provide them with a safe space to grow. This can be achieved by using a temporary container, investing in a breeding box, or creating hiding spots with live plants.

To ensure the growth of guppy fry, it is recommended to give them a separate tank with optimal water conditions, including warmer water temperatures of around 80 °F, regular water changes, and optimal lighting. Feeding guppy fry a high-energy and protein-rich diet is crucial for their development, and they should be fed small amounts multiple times a day.

In summary, by providing guppy fry with a safe and nurturing environment, optimal water conditions, and a nutritious diet, you can successfully raise healthy and vibrant baby guppies.

Characteristics Values
Space Guppy fry should have plenty of space to move around.
Water temperature Aim for 70-81°F to prevent fungal diseases and promote growth.
Feeding Feed high-energy, protein-rich food 3-10 times a day in small amounts.
Light Provide 12-16 hours of light daily to prevent spinal deformities.
Aeration Use mild air stones to aerate the tank and introduce oxygen.
Filter Use a sponge filter or cover other filters with cloth to avoid harming the fry.
Tank cleaning Change the water weekly or fortnightly, depending on the tank size.
Health Check for fry at the bottom of the tank, indicating poor water conditions.

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Water temperature

Guppy fry require a water temperature of 70-80°F (22-28°C) to avoid fungal diseases and maintain steady growth. The optimum temperature is 80°F (26°C), which encourages healthy eating and digestion and eases the abdominal muscles of female guppies during labour.

Guppies are tropical fish, so in the wild, they live in warm water and can withstand a wide range of temperatures. The minimum water temperature for guppies is 72°F (22°C). They can survive at 65°F (18°C) for a short period, but the chances of developing diseases are high.

If you live in a climate where the outdoor temperature drops below 68°F (20°C) in winter, you will likely need an aquarium heater. It is important to provide a stable water temperature to keep your guppies healthy. When doing water changes, adjust the temperature of the fresh water to be as close as possible to the temperature in the aquarium.

If you want to grow your guppies faster, opt for warmer water. Guppies will have a shorter lifespan but will grow much faster. In cooler water, guppies will live longer.

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Feeding schedule

Guppy fry are baby guppies that are born swimming and ready to eat. They require a nutrient-rich diet to aid their development, boost their immune system, and prevent diseases caused by nutritional deficiencies.

Guppy fry should be fed a variety of foods, including:

  • Live foods such as baby brine shrimp, microworms, daphnia, or vinegar eels.
  • Crushed flake foods or specialised high-protein powder foods.
  • Egg yolk paste, which provides an additional protein boost.
  • Freshly hatched brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms.
  • Homemade flake foods with ingredients like spirulina, dried kelp, fish meal, fish liver oil, soybean powder, and vitamins.

Guppy fry have a fast metabolism and can eat multiple times a day. Here is a suggested feeding schedule:

  • Feed guppy fry 5-10 times a day in small amounts to prevent overfeeding.
  • Start the day with baby brine shrimp as their first meal.
  • An hour later, add some flake food or freeze-dried bloodworm.
  • After four hours, feed them beef heart paste.
  • Continue with two more feedings before turning off the lights in the aquarium for the night.
  • Offer them live daphnia, vinegar eel, or micro worms, followed by flake food as the last meal of the day.

It is important to note that the lighting in the aquarium should be turned on for 12-16 hours daily to prevent spinal deformities in the fry, with 6-8 hours of darkness to simulate a natural resting period.

Additionally, guppy fry should be fed a mix of fresh and dry food, but if that is not possible, choose a high-quality dry food that provides all the necessary nutrients for baby livebearing fish.

Transitioning to an Adult Feeding Schedule

After the first 6 weeks, the feeding schedule can be adjusted to every 4-5 hours, or 3-4 times per day.

At around 3 months of age, when guppies have finished their intense growth period, you can transition them to an adult feeding schedule of once or twice a day, with at least one meal consisting of live food.

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Water cleanliness

Water Temperature

Guppy fry require warm water with a consistent temperature between 78-82°F (25.5-27.8°C). Any fluctuations in temperature can impact their growth and health. Use a reliable aquarium heater and thermometer to maintain this temperature range.

Water Quality

Guppy fry are sensitive to water quality parameters, so regular water changes and monitoring are essential. Aim to change 10-20% of the water weekly, or perform a partial water change every 15-20 days if you have a large tank. Use a water conditioner to neutralise chlorine and chloramine, and regularly test and maintain the correct pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.

Filtration

A good filtration system is critical for maintaining water quality in a guppy fry tank. Choose a filter that is appropriately sized for your tank and can handle the bio-load of the fish. Regularly clean or replace the filter media to prevent debris buildup. Sponge filters are an excellent choice for fry tanks as they provide gentle filtration and a surface for beneficial bacteria to thrive.

Lighting

Guppy fry benefit from a photoperiod of 10-12 hours of light daily, which stimulates growth and regulates their internal biological rhythms. LED lights are energy-efficient and can be dimmed as needed. Avoid over-illumination, and consider using a timer to ensure consistent lighting duration. Blue light is beneficial for nocturnal observations without disturbing the fry's sleep.

Water Testing

Keep a water testing kit on hand to monitor ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels regularly. This will help you identify any issues and make necessary adjustments to maintain optimal water conditions for your guppy fry.

Hiding Places

Provide ample hiding places in the tank, such as live or artificial plants, rocks, and other structures. This will help reduce stress levels and give the fry a sense of security. It also encourages exploration and swimming, which is essential for their physical development.

Cleanliness

Keep the tank and decorations clean and free from debris and algae buildup. Remove any uneaten food promptly to prevent water pollution and ammonia spikes. Regularly clean or replace live plants if necessary.

Observation

Closely observe the guppy fry for any signs of stress or health issues. Look out for erratic swimming, loss of colour, refusing food, isolating behaviour, or visible signs of injury or infection. Early intervention is key to ensuring their well-being.

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Lighting

Guppy fry require a daily lighting duration of 12 to 16 hours. This consistent lighting helps prevent spinal deformities in the developing fry. However, it is crucial to also provide a natural resting period by ensuring 6 to 8 hours of darkness each day. You can use an automatic timer to regulate the lighting duration and provide a consistent light-dark cycle.

While intense brightness is not necessary, a strong and bright light can be used to stimulate the growth of guppy fry. This is a technique employed by guppy breeders to encourage faster growth rates.

Type of Light:

LED lights are recommended for illuminating your guppy fry tank. They provide sufficient illumination without significantly affecting the temperature of the tank. Additionally, LED lights help prevent excessive heat and potential stress on the fry. If your tank contains plants, ensure the LED light provides the light spectrum needed for photosynthesis, or the plants will eventually die.

Natural Light:

While artificial light is essential, natural light can also be beneficial. However, avoid direct sunlight, as it can raise the temperature of the tank and increase algae growth.

Impact of Lighting:

Insufficient lighting can lead to spinal issues and weakness in guppy fry. Adequate lighting helps them grow strong and healthy. Lighting also plays a role in maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm for the fry, enabling them to differentiate between day and night, and regulating their sleep-wake cycles.

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Fry protection

Use a Temporary Container or Breeding Box

If you don't have a separate breeding tank, you can use a larger glass jar or plastic container as a temporary refuge for the pregnant female guppy when she is about to give birth. Alternatively, invest in a breeding box, a small mesh or plastic container that can be placed inside the main tank. This allows water circulation while keeping the fry safe inside.

Create Hiding Spots

Enhance your tank with live plants like guppy grass, hornwort, java moss, and water lettuce roots to provide essential hiding spots for the fry. These shelters can protect them from adult fish for a few weeks, giving them time to grow stronger and more agile.

Separate the Fry from Adults and Older Fry

It is recommended to give guppy fry their own tank, away from adult guppies and older fry from a different batch. This reduces the risk of cannibalism and gives the fry a safer environment to grow.

Use Breeding Traps

Breeding traps, such as small containers with mesh openings, allow the young fry to escape from their mother, preventing cannibalism. The fry can live safely in the breeding container during and after the birthing process, while the mother is removed.

Avoid Heavy Fry Protection Traps

While some breeders use heavy fry protection, these can cause claustrophobic stress on mother guppies, and they may try to jump out. Instead, use containers with small feeding openings that allow for adequate ventilation.

Monitor for Deformities and Health Issues

Early culling for deformities is crucial, and it is important to observe the overall health and strength of the fry daily. Look out for signs of stress, such as clamped fins, especially if the fry are born to a stressed or recently shipped mother.

Maintain Water Quality

Keep the water clean and well-oxygenated. Use a sponge filter or mild air stone to aerate the tank, and perform regular water changes to remove waste and maintain optimal water quality for the fry.

Guppies' Frozen Food Guide

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Frequently asked questions

The container should be placed in a quiet area of the house, away from loud noises and vibrations, which can stress the fish.

A 10-gallon tank should be optimal. If you’re planning to have five or more baby guppies, you’ll need a bigger aquarium.

The ideal temperature for guppy fry is between 70-80 Fahrenheit.

Guppy fry will eat anything adult guppies do, as long as the food is crushed into small enough pieces. Live foods, such as baby brine shrimp, microworms, daphnia, or vinegar eels, are optimal for fry.

Guppy fry have a quick digestion cycle of 20-30 minutes and are often ready to eat every half hour. For optimal growth, consider feeding them 5-10 times daily.

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