Guppy – Breeding and rearing

The guppies, millions of fish, which originate from the north of South America, are not only easy to care for. They can also be easily bred.

Necessary conditions for breeding

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One male and two to three females are selected for breeding. Females have a pregnancy patch in the lower abdomen and a fan-shaped anal fin. The caudal fin of male fish is pointed. From the age of six weeks the fish are able to have offspring. The breeding tank should have an edge length of 50 cm and an easy-care substrate.

The filter must not be too large, so that the young fish are not endangered. Ideal for breeding is water with a medium hardness, a pH value slightly above 7 and a temperature of 24 degrees Celsius.If males and females are kept in separate tanks prior to mating, mating usually takes place immediately after they are put together.

The courtship behavior

The courtship behavior is influenced by various environmental factors. The safer the biotope is and the fewer predators threaten the fish, the more colourful the males can present themselves. If the food supply is too low, the guppies feed cannibally. Young or weaker males are eaten by older fish. The female fish absorb the sperm, reproduction does not take place. During intensive courtship dances in the shoal the female decides on the choice of the male. The male fish are attracted by pheromones and start mating with the female.

The sperm are released through the genital opening and fertilise the eggs in the female’s belly. Once mating is complete, the dark spawning spot becomes visible on the underside of the abdomen. The male fish can be removed from the breeding tank at this time. If mating does not take place, competitive pressure can be created by another male in a neighbouring tank.

Spawning behaviour

The male connects via his gonopodium to the sex opening of the female and deposits a sperm package. The fertilised eggs remain in the belly of the mother fish for an average of four weeks. As soon as the female separates from the other fish, she should be transferred to a spawning tank. When the egg shells burst, the young fish are born. If the birth lasts several hours, up to 100 young fish can be weaned. There is no connection between mother fish and juvenile fish during pregnancy.

Signs of birth

    • white elevation at the anus
    • Secretion
    • the body appears angular

Brood care and feeding

Guppies do not perform brood care. The juveniles are considered prey. The first two days after birth the feeding is done via the yolk sac.

Breeding of the young fish

From the second day on the young fish need food. Small flake food, cyclops, Artemia and worms are well suited. Ready-made rearing food contains all the nutrients required by the young fish for their growth. Three to four feeds are given per day. Residual food must always be removed so that the water quality does not deteriorate. From the sixth week of life onwards, the young fish can be placed in a shared aquarium with older fish.

Food for young fish

    • Cyclops
    • Artemia
    • Microworms
    • Frozen food

>> Read on: Guppies – Attitude and Portrait

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