Guppies are the colorful freshwater fish. Since they are livebearer which means they do not lay eggs instead they give birth guppy fry. Unfortunately, they do not take care of their babies. So, in the end, these guppies’ fry is eaten by adult fishes.
If you are eager to give more life to guppies babies, then you have landed on to the right page. This article will cover each and every detail about how to take care of guppies fry.
How The Do Guppies Have Babies?
Guppies become mature at the age of 4 to 6 months however there are some guppies who are ready to reproduce even at the age of 1 month. Female guppies can give birth to 2 to 200 babies every month on an average if they are kept with a male guppy. The gestation period of female guppy is around 21- 30 days and it depends on female guppy’s health, tanks’ temperature and cleanliness. Let me tell you, your guppy fish can give birth to every month until or unless she hits 2- 2.5years of age.
As mentioned earlier guppies are livebearer so they give birth to fishes. When it’s time to give birth, the female guppy fish hides. The duration of labor could be from several hours to several days. But once the babies are born, they will start swimming everywhere around the tank. Initially, when they are released into the water they are inactive and deformed because they were in guppies belly for around 30 days. Slowly and gradually these fries start activating themselves. But you will always notice them that they are hiding behind some rocks.
How To Take Care Of Guppies Fry?
Well, guppies fry are often eaten by their parents and other adult fishes. This is what nature has decided for them. But you can give them a long life by separating them in another tank. If you don’t do so then there are high chances that these little fries will become someone delicious dinner.
But don’t worry. I will share some possible tricks and tactics that you could follow to save your guppy’s fry life. Let’s have a look.
Separate the pregnant guppy
As soon as you came to know that your pregnant guppy female is in labor, separate it in another tank. so that she will give birth over there in absence of other adult fishes. But where the shoe pinch is, how would you came to know that female guppy is about to give birth. Well here are some signs that might help you:
- The gravid spot will become dark maroon or almost black
- She will exhibit some changes in eating behavior- you will have to notice it carefully.
- The female fish will show some shivering motions during contractions
- You can clearly see that the female guppy is breathing very fast
- Most importantly, she is looking for someplace to hide in the tank.
These are the signs which more or less every female guppy exhibit. Once you see anyone these signs, immediately separate the mommy guppy fish in a separate tank. As soon as she is done with giving birth, transfer her in her own tank so that she will not be able to eat her own fry.
If you do not have any separate tank, you can do so by keeping the female guppy in a glass jar or plastic container for delivery purposes.
Buy a separate breeding box:
A breeding box can also be a helpful option when you do not have any separate tank. It is a small box made up of plastic or mesh, which you can keep inside your aquarium tank. The water will flow through the box keeping the fry inside the box. This is a quite simple and easy method, when the female guppy is ready to give birth transfer her in the breeding box, once it is done with the process, then extract her back into the tank leaving babies in the breeding box.
One of the best things that I really like about these breeding boxes is, you don’t have to worry about the quality of water, and the fry will get the same water which other fishes are getting.
Provide some places to hide:
If you also cannot afford breeding boxes which are way too cheap, then you can add provide baby fry to some places to hide in the water. Indeed this one is quite a cost-effective method.
Guppies’ fry is afraid of adult fishes that’s why they look for some places to hide in the water tank, until or unless they grow in size so that they can get along with the rest of the fishes. Therefore It is recommended to add some live plants and floating plants in your aquarium tanks such as hornworts, guppy grass, java moss or even roots of water lettuce.
Adding these plants will be really very helpful in increasing the life span of guppy fry, as it will provide them with lots of spaces to hide. You will need these plants for a maximum of two weeks after that these fries will become much stronger to defend themselves.
What To Feed Guppy Fry?
Guppy fry is too small in size about 6mm and has a very tiny mouth. This means whatever food you are going to give them, crush it before giving so that they can easily eat it.
These small babies digest food within 30 minutes which means their stomach is empty after every 30 hours. Wow! They have a great appetite.
Let me correct you don’t have to feed them after every 30 minutes, just feed them 5 -6 times a day only if you are a breeder and keeping the fry for breeding purpose. Otherwise twice or thrice a day feeding will be more than enough for babies.
Talking about their favorite food then let me tell you guppy babies are not at all picky eaters. They will eat and enjoy whatever their parents eat, but they require a small particle size of food as they have tiny mouths.
So you have a vast variety to feed them but feeding live food is a great idea indeed. You can serve them baby brine shrimps, micro worms, daphnia and etc. if you don’t have any live food you can serve them frozen food as well. Personally, I like to serve crush fish flakes to guppy babies since they are easily available and nutritious too.
If you serve a balanced diet to babies they will take a maximum of 3 months to turn into full adult fish with all colors on it.
How To Maintain Guppy Fry Tank?
Guppy fry is innocent and totally harmless babies. They do not need any special treatment if they are with adult guppies in the same tank. But if you have kept guppy fry in the separate tank then you need to check and follow certain tank maintenance parameters. These parameters are really very helpful for the speedy growth of babies.
Let’s have a look:
- Try to keep the water temperature a bit warm, because warm water speeds up the metabolism process. So I will advise you to maintain the temperature at 80F. It’s an ideal temperature for speedy growth of guppy fry. In short, you need a heater for your guppy fry tank
- I have seen some breeders who change the entire water daily. If you are a professional breeder then you can do this. But if you cannot do this, then I have a shortcut for you. You can change only 50 % of the water twice a week. Adding frequent freshwater will help in the growth of guppy babies.
- Also make sure you have a filter installed in your guppy fry tank as they need clean, fresh and filtered water for their growth.
- Besides this, it’s really important to have an air pump in the guppies fry tank. Guppies’ babies need oxygen to survive. For this, you need an air pump that agitates the surface of the water so that your babies will get more oxygen through water oxygen exchange.
- Furthermore, I have seen certain breeders keeping a low volume of water in the guppy babies’ tank. The reason behind this is, due to the high volume of water guppies’ fry are unable to find food effectively and this, in the end, affects their growth. So for their proper and speedy growth, keep them in the tank with low water volume.
- Lastly, it is advisable to keep the lights on for a good 16 hours. This will prevent any spinal deformities in babies.
Guppies are very vibrant and vivid fish. They love to live with peace. They are the fishes that can be easily kept by beginners. But their babies need lots of care and attention. Initial 3 months of their life cycle are very crucial. I will recommend you to give them high-quality food full of nutrition and maintain proper tank conditions so that your guppy fry can reach their adulthood and you can enjoy their swims.
Have fun with your guppy fry!