Guppy breeding really could not be made any easier even if you tried which is what makes it the best fish to start you fish breeding hobby. Guppy breeding can be done a few way which I will talk you through the pros and cons of each as with most fish keepers space, time and dedication can be a limiting factor to the setup you chose.
So what are the ways you can breed guppies well to start with you can keep them in their own dedicated spawning tank which has many upsides but you could also just as well breed them in your regular community tank with other fish.
Dedicated Breeding Tank
This is a very good route to take if you would like to keep as many fry alive as possible, it is also very good for being able to chose which pair of guppies you would like to breed at a time, trying to get a nice color of fin shape. There are also advantages to separate tank for the female being less stressed during labor not being chased and pestered by other fish. The biggest down side to think method is space issue and that some enthusiasts call it a waste of a fish tank for a couple of such small simple fish but overall it really is down to your own personal preference and no one else.
Breeding guppies within a community fish tank is probably the easiest thing you can do apart from the essential of keeping them alive. This method is as close to the natural way as you will get in your home because your tank will have a variety of different fish as they would in the wild. There are more down sides to breeding in the community tank over the dedicated tank one of which is not being able to control who breeds with who in regards to coloration but you could end up with some fabulous combo you just never know. Another down side is as soon as the fry are born they are at high risk of being eaten by their fellow tank mates meaning a lot less fish will survive when compared to the dedicated system but one flip side of this is it will be survival of the fittest and the babies that do grow should be really strong good stock guppies.
Guppy breeding like I have said really is easy but there are a few things that you should keep in mind that will make your spawns better, bigger, stronger and make your guppies happier overall. Lets start you the temperature of the water in you tank which ideally should sit between 23°C – 28°C which is 74°F – 82°F, you should try and aim for a pH level between 7.0 – 8.5, this will be perfect for your fish. We don’t need to get really scientific when it comes to the water quality as long it is treat and well filtered they will be fine and happy for years to come.
When it comes to guppies mating the male will chase the female repeatedly from below and behind her and repeatedly extend his gonopodium and mate with the female. This act can and will happen almost all day everyday of the fishes life and not with just one male, many different males will come and mate with one female so unless she was separated and just left with one male you will never know who the true father of the baby fry is.
And pretty amazing thing female guppies can do once mated is store sperm from the male of one breeding for up to 4 months! This means that if you allow a female to male just once and then remove her to her own tank she could in fact have up to 4 different spawns all from that one mating. This has to be remembered if you are trying to selectively breed your guppies because you don’t want to try her with another male while she is still carrying sperm from the previous.
Guppy Gestation is a very short period when you think about it being only 20 – 40 days all of which depends on her age, size, health and if she was conditioned before breeding. The amount of fry that a female guppy can have can vary dramatically ranging from a mere 5 to 100, although the average guppy usually has 20 – 50 but there have been records of a guppy having 200 live babies which is truly amazing.
As with and pregnant female being the female guppy will get considerably larger which she is carrying fry particularly in the back end of the belly, you will also see a dark spot which is all of the living fry that are currently growing inside of her and most commonly known as a gravid spot.
When you have got pregnant female guppies you need to try and cause as little stress to them as you can as too much can cause her go into labor prematurely which could cause death to all the fry. Female guppies have also been known to absorb their fry instead of giving birth to them when they feel too stressed.
To help with the survival rate of the guppy fry you need to make sure that there are plenty of places for the babies to run and hide to, things like good rockery and aquarium plants are the best for them, the ultimate fry saver plant is java moss as this tends to be very dense preventing any of the other bigger fish getting in there to eat them, also don’t think you don’t need any hiding places just because its mum and here babies in the tank because she too will eat them so it is essential in all tanks.
If you have got plenty of plants in the tank not only will this help to hide them but it will also give the babies a good source of food to eat and promote growth. Other than plants you can feed the babies on pretty much anything that regular fish eat just crushed as they will scavenge for anything they can get although there are some specific foods out there such as liquid fry for livebearers which will help them wonders.
As you can see guppy breeding really isn’t anything to worry about now is it and can be a greatly interesting and enjoyable hobby for many years to come.