Guppies are livebearers that reproduce very easily. When guppy fry are born, they are already developed and start moving on their own.
Adult guppies don’t take care of baby guppies, and they are left by their parents.
So what is the best way to make sure the fry survive?
How Do You Keep Baby Guppies Alive?
To keep your baby guppies alive, you must ensure that the water parameters including temperature are suitable. Feed them properly with variety and healthy food as often as required in an easy to consume size.
Likewise, you should separate baby guppies from adults, including the mother or else they will feed on them.
These plants will prevent the adults from eating all the baby guppies because it will provide hiding and resting place for them. Nevertheless, this method does not guarantee the safety of all the guppy fry, but some can still escape.
Do Guppies Eat Their Babies?
Yes. Guppies are known to eat their babies and it’s best to separate them at best. You may notice your guppies being the most peaceful and easy going fish in your tank, but this can quickly change after they have babies.
The activity that you are witnessing is known as filial cannibalism. There are multiple methods of being able to prevent guppy adults from eating their babies.
A simple method could be to drape a towel over the tank to create a dark enough atmosphere when you’re not around to prevent guppy adults from eating or even seeing their babies to prevent them from getting eaten.
Another method is to create more hiding spots in your tank with heavily planted areas where baby guppies can safely avoid being eaten or noticed from the adults.
Adult guppies should spend most of their time looking for food that you are delivering often into the tan which keeps them full.
How Do You Stop Guppies From Eating Their Babies?
Adult guppies (Including the parents) will eat guppy fry when ever they can. There are a few things you can do to keep guppy fry alive which include
Add Plants To The Tank
By adding aquarium plants this gives the guppy fry somewhere to hide from predators. You can use live plants or artificial plants.
Separate In To Another Tank
You could also separate the guppy fry and place them in a different tank until they are big enough to not be eaten. You should separate them for around 2 weeks.
Another option is to add a birthing box to your tank (Available on Amazon) . A birthing box can be attached to the side of your tank. Typically you would put the parents in to the box and the guppy fry can escape through small holes in the box.
How To Care For Baby Guppies
Once fry are born they will need to look after them self and will be vulnerable to many threats including being eaten by their parents.
There are many things that you can do to care for the babies which include
- Put them in a separate tank as soon as they are born
- If you can not place them in a separate tank add lots of plants to the tank
- Make sure the water temperature is between 75 and 85 F
- Feed them five to ten times a day
- Test the water quality where they are being kept
- Change the tanks water every two weeks
If you do the above tasks this will give the babies a much higher chance of surviving
What Do Baby Guppies Eat?
It is very important to feed baby guppies high protein food as this will give them the highest chance of survival.
They will also need to be fed 5 – 10 times a day. Feed them enough food that they can eat for roughly two minutes, if they need more time to eat the food you are giving them then you are giving them to much to eat.
It is recommended to feed them the following for the first 6-8 weeks
- Crushed Fish Flakes
- Baby Shrimp
- Micro Worms
How Long Do Guppy Fry Need To Be Separated?
You should separate guppy fry from adult fry for about 6 to 8 weeks after they have been born. At 6 to 8 weeks they are then big enough not to be eaten, The adult guppies will also not see them as a food source.
When adding the guppy fry back with the adults you should give them plenty of places to hide by adding plants to the tank.
How Many Baby Guppies Will Survive?
The amount of guppy fry that will survive depends on certain environmental conditions such as do they have enough hiding places, Do they have access to food.
Under ideal conditions you can expect around 20% to 30% of guppy fry to survive.
If you want more guppy fry to survive you will need to put them in to a separate tank or add a birthing box to the tank.
Why Is My Guppy Eating Her Babies?
The parent guppies will eat their babies to weed out the weakest guppy fry. This will then give the stronger guppy fry more chance of surviving in to adulthood.
The parents will also eat the offspring simply because they are hungry.
How Are Baby Guppies Born?
Guppies are livebearers, hence they don’t lay eggs. They give birth to their young ones alive without external fertilization.
The pregnant female guppy usually hides when it is time to give birth. The female guppy can be in labour for a few hours, and in some cases, they can spend up to a day or two.
At birth, the guppy fry are deformed and inactive. It however takes a couple of hours before they straighten up and start swimming freely.
Once the guppy starts swimming, they will constantly look for hiding places to rest at intervals. They are also seen to be in constant search for food to keep up with their rapid metabolism and growth.
It is important to separate guppy fry from mother and other adults to prevent them from being preyed on.
How Do You Save Your Guppy Fry From Adult Guppy If You Don’t Have A Separate Tank
The generally recommended method of keeping your fry from being fed on by adults is by keeping them in a separate tank. You can also seek alternatives if you don’t have a separate tank or you can’t afford one.
You can make use of a bigger glass jar or plastic container to separate the pregnant female from other adult guppies till the fry are born.
Alternatively, you can get a breeding box. You can insert this breeding box in the tank and you don’t have to worry about separate water maintenance. You should however extract the female guppy after giving birth and only the fry will remain.
Also, you can protect your fry by providing them with hiding place in the tank. Live or artificial plants are often very suitable for this hiding place. The plants will provide cover for them for about 2 weeks until they are bigger and stronger.
Breeding guppies and raising fry is easy, but it is quite important to protect your baby guppies from adult guppies till they are big and strong enough.
Good food, good water parameters, and protection from adult guppies are sufficient for you to raise a healthy and colourful guppy from fry to adult.
In fact, adult guppies including their parents feed on guppy fry. Therefore, it is important to take some precautionary steps to keep your baby guppies alive and safe.