One of the well-known and famous fish of aquarium is the Guppy fish. The guppies spread plenty of colours to the tank and are among peaceful, cheap and easily manageable type of fish.
The guppies are also known by another name like rainbow fish (due to different colours they are available in), the Millions Fish (due to their breeding rate).
The Guppies are distributed widely in the tropical region. The guppies are native of South America, but now they found almost every part of the world. The guppies are highly adaptable to the environment, and they flourish in different ecological circumstances.
There are several varieties of guppies and are almost 300 in numbers. Guppies are available in different colours, different size and different tail structure. R. Guppy initially discovered guppies back in 1866 and was taken to the British Museum.
Guppies are well-known because of their peaceful character, and they can live in the form of groups. Guppies are active fishes, and they swim actively. Therefore, if a guppy in hiding somewhere it is a good indicator that the guppy is not healthy.
The guppy females are grey while males have spots, which are of different colours. There is variation in the size of guppies, but the males range between 1.5-3.5 cm long while females range between 3-6 cm in length.
Selective breeding is a process to get different colour guppy varieties along with the variation in colour, size, shapes, fins, etc. The strains that are kept in aquariums at homes have morphological characters from the guppies that are in wild.
The domestic guppies are more significant compared to wild guppies. Guppies are sexually dimorphic, i.e. males and females, can be separated by physical appearance.
Guppy females usually have mating with many males and this system of coupling is known as “polyandry.” This mating system is beneficial for the males as the successive reproduction on the times a male guppy mates.
This system of mating is somehow is beneficial for the females too as by multiple mating female guppies can yield more offspring in smaller gestation period. The progeny of guppies have great ability to evade from the predators.
While this mating system shows some disadvantages on the females as they become more prone to parasitic infestation. One of the primary popular features of guppies is that they can breed in both freshwater as well as in marine water.
The pregnant guppies show large and dark spots near the anal vent. The eyes of the fry (offspring) can be seen through the transparent skin of the female guppy. During the birth occurrence, each fry is dropped in a series, and it may take up to six hours.
The adult guppies usually do not eat their offspring, but still, a safer zone is required for the young guppies. Many tanks are designed such as they have the birthing tanks within them so the pregnant female guppy and offspring can feel safe in it.
Such designed tanks are suitable for the females and young offspring protection. The container where guppies are kept should have an adequate supply of feed so that the adult guppies spare the offspring.
Guppies come in almost every colour and thus are named as “Rainbow Fish.” The general colour pattern of guppies is that they are paler from the top and upper half of the body while the back part of guppies is of intense colour and is brighter than the top portion of the fish. Some guppies give metallic appearance as some guppies have cells that do not reflect the light that generates shimmering effects.
Perfect Habitat and Tank Environments
Guppies have the natural habitat of South America, so it a vital thing to provide them with similar conditions in the tanks to make them feel natural.
The container in which guppies are supposed to live must be set up correctly, and the water should cycle in appropriate manners. This proper cyclization of water helps to have bacteria that convert harmful components into less toxic ingredients.
Generally, a tank of ten gallons capacity comes in usage for keeping guppies. However, a container of five gallons of water capacity can also be used. The tank should have a heater to keep the water warm and regulate the temperature between 75-82 O F. The heater is usually placed at one side of the container and a thermometer on the other side to have a check of the heat.
Food for Guppies
A special care should be kept in mind for maintaining guppies, and the diet provided to guppies must match the natural habitat as well as to the anatomy of the fish. Guppies fall in the category of omnivores and therefore eat both plants and animal matters.
Guppies should have a feed that has high protein like quality fish flakes. Any flakes that contain wheat and soy must be avoided. Guppies can even feed on live or frozen food like shrimps and blood-worms. They can happily eat vegetables like peas, lettuce, and cucumbers.
Guppy Tank Companions
The guppies prefer to live in the water, having a temperature around 25.5-27.8 oC. They can survive in the salty water of the sea that helps to live comfortably in freshwater tanks. Guppies prefer to live in the form of groups and should not be kept back as a sole fish in the aquarium as both genders of the guppy fish indicate the symptoms of shoaling.
The best and most common tank mates that a guppy can have are more guppies as many people prefer guppies due to their colour so it is thus recommended to keep only male guppies together to look. However, if someone wants to stay male and female guppies together, then a two to one ratio should be followed. The water quantity that one guppy require is 2 gallons of water.
There are many other types of fishes with whom guppies can live peacefully and in comfortable circumstances. These fishes include Corydoras, Platies, Mollies, and Peaceful tetras. Guppies can live happily with other live-bearers like endlers and sword-tails.
Guppies should not be kept with aggressive species of fish like sharks, barbs, aggressive tetras etc. as they eat guppies.
People May Ask
How long do guppies live?
The average life span of guppies ranges between 1-3 years. The fish undergoes multiplication at such a rapid pace that it reduces its life.