Guppy Fish Breeding – Time, Care, Chart, Lifespan

Guppy Fish Breeding

The Guppy fish is also known as rainbow fish or million fish. The Guppy fish species belongs to the family of Poeciliidae, and thus it is live-bearing fish. Also, it is popular as freshwater aquarium fish species, known for its attractive coloring and ease of care. These Guppy fishes are highly adaptable and can thrive in different environmental and ecological conditions. In this article we also covered the below topics about Guppy fish;

  • How to Breed Guppies
  • How long is a Guppy fish pregnant?
  • Do Guppies breed easily?
  • How often do Guppies breed
  • How do you breed Guppies successfully?
  • Guppy fish breeding time
  • Guppy fish care and Lifespan
  • Why are my Guppies not breeding
  • How can I make my Guppy give birth faster?
  • Does Guppy spawn eggs?

A Step By Step Guide to Guppy Fish Breeding

Guppy is one of the most well-known and popular fish for beginners. ‘Guppy’ was a popular aquarium fish introduced in various countries for mosquito control and often loosely called ‘mosquito fish’. It has been found to establish itself in fresh and polluted waters. Guppy fishes are one of the most colorful tropical freshwater fish in the world. They add plenty of color to tanks, are peaceful, relatively cheap, and easy to maintain. Guppy’s habitat is in freshwater and brackish water basins of Venezuela, Guiana, to the North of the Amazon River, on the North of Brazil, Barbados islands, and Trinidad.

Guppies originate from northeast South America but have been introduced to many environments and these are now found all over the world. Guppy fishes are highly adaptable and thrive in many different environmental and ecological conditions. Male Guppy fishes are smaller than females, have ornamental caudal and dorsal fins. Guppy fishes are used as model organisms in the fields of ecology, evolution, and behavioral studies. Guppy is a live-bearing fish and that means the juveniles are born fully formed and ready to swim. Sometimes the juvenile comes out inside the egg, but it gets torn and the juvenile starts to swim. Occasionally, the juvenile has a yolk bag which it eats fast.

You can choose between numerous Guppy fish variations, in terms of the body shape as well as the color of the fish. The common colors are red, green, and blue. Guppy fish variations include Veiltail Guppy, Lacetail Guppy, Lyretail Guppy, Flagtail Guppy, Bottom, and Double swordtail Guppy, Longfin Guppy, Fantail Guppy, Redtail Guppy, Triangle tail Guppy, Rounded Guppy, Fancy Guppy, Grass Guppy, Snakeskin Guppy, Mosaic Guppy, King Cobra Guppy, and Peacock Guppy.

Guppy Fish Breeding
Guide to Guppy Fish Breeding (Image credit: pixabay)

Characteristics of Guppy Fishes

  • Family – Poeciliidae
  • Origin  – South America, Captive-bred
  • Breeding – Live-bearer
  • pH level – 6.5 to 8.0
  • Hardness – 100 to 150 mg/L
  • Temperature level – 20 to 26°C

What Factors Contribute to the Lifespan of Guppy?

When it comes to extending the life span of Guppies, many important factors need to be taken into consideration. Here are some of them;

  • Good genetics of the Guppy fish
  • Feeding a good quality food
  • Maintaining proper and appropriate water parameters
  • Stress-free life
  • Good Quality Water

Then, these are a couple of factors that help to improve the life span of Guppy fish.

Water Temperature Requirement for Guppy Fish Breeding

Always select the largest aquarium that your finances will allow. The proper temperature level for the Guppy is 22 to 25°C. The pH level can be kept between 7.0 to 8.0. The temperature of the water has a significant impact on the life expectancy of Guppy fishes. The fishes can tolerate temperatures significantly higher or lower than that. While lower temperature levels tend to slow the fish down, and can eventually result in stress and possible illness, higher temperatures, around 26°C, provide a boost to their metabolism. Fish at these temperatures eat more and grow faster, but also they end up dying younger. A Guppy fish pregnancy can speed up by increasing the water temperature they are in and feeding high protein foods, like bloodworms or brine shrimp.

Selection for Guppy Fish Breeding

To prepare for selective breeding, the hobbyist first needs to select several Guppies with characteristics they believe can be intensified to produce true-breeding strains. Some of these specific characteristics can include long fins, unusual coloration, and unique patterns. Keep in mind the number of Guppy fish you want to breed, each fish’s coloring, and the shape of their tails. If you select two fish to breed who have the same color patterns, the fry will also have that color pattern. The same principle applies to fin shape.

Generally, you will want to select one male and 2 or 3 female Guppies for breeding. When there is a ratio of one to one, the male becomes aggressive, chasing the female around the tank. With a one to three ratio, the male’s attention is split between three females, making breeding a less stressful procedure for the females.

Color pattern – There are several Guppy patterns. These color patterns include Wild (grey or olive coloring), Albino (light colors or white with red eyes,) Blonde (light colors with black pigment,) and Blue (shimmering blue color.)

Tail shape – The tail shape of Guppy can range from a rounded back fin to a sword-like shape. There are many different shapes that Guppy tails but the most common are the Delta (which is a large triangular shape,) the Fantail (which is shaped like a fan,) and the Round tail (which is a small, and round shape.)

Gender Differences – There are a few gender differences you will need to master to keep male and female populations separate. Male Guppies tend to be smaller and more vibrantly colored. Female Guppies tend to have brown coloration and are larger and rounder. On the underside of the fish, the anal fin of the male is longer and tapers to a point.

Conditions for Guppy Fish Breeding

Ideal Conditions for Guppies Breeding are;

There’s not too much you need to do if you want to encourage Guppies to breed. Just provide the below conditions.

  • Guppy fishes are tropical fish, and they do best in temperatures between 23 and 29°C. Aim for a constant water temperature of 26°C, and this will help inspire your pets to breed.
  • Guppies like hard water, so maintain the pH level between 7.0 and 7.6.
  • Offer your Guppy fishes some fresh or frozen brine shrimp in addition to their regular flake diet. Feed your Guppy fish twice a day, and monitor how much food they eat. You should never offer more than they can eat in 5 minutes.

Three techniques are used in Guppy fish breeding ;

Inbreeding – Mating close relatives such as brother to sister, mother to son, and father to daughter, etc.

Linebreeding – Breeding two separate lines branching from the original trio with eventual backcrossing or the breeding of distant relatives such as half-siblings, and cousins to cousins, etc.

Outcrossing – Mating two different pure strains that are compatible and this could mean fish of the same color that is obtained from two different breeders.

Guppies are live-bearers, so the female will give birth to 50 to 100 wiggling fry per birth. After breeding together many generations of the same population, you can notice an increased number of fish with congenital abnormalities, such as crooked spines or shortened lifespans. Inbreeding is a common occurrence in isolated fish systems with a simple solution to add more diversity. Many hobbyists will elect to trade fish with a fellow Guppy keeper or purchase new fish to add once they have cleared quarantine.

Gestation Period in Guppy Fish Breeding

The gestation period for a Guppy varies and depends a lot on the environment. The average length of pregnancy in Guppy fish is between 22 and 28 days. However, a female can remain pregnant even longer if her water is too cold because it slows the development of the baby is also known as fry.

Guppy fishes need light during the day; overexposure to it can be fatal. So, it is advisable to switch off the lights for 8 hours every day. See that your tank has small caves, which can help the Guppies to relax and such hideouts would be able to simulate a real-life situation.

Ensure that you have adequate stocks of flakes with protein content to give a balanced diet for Guppies. It is advisable to feed the Guppies with flakes once or twice per day. Avoid over feeding the fish, as it could be fatal so if you find they are not eating all the flakes provided, it is better to skip a meal. Feed the Guppies with small amounts of live frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, mosquito larvae, and earthworms, etc.

How Long Does it Take to Breed Guppies or Guppy Fish Breeding Time

Though it is pretty easy to breed Guppy fish, how long it takes before your Guppies can start, and the time it takes between one breeding cycle and the other, is determined by the fish’s natural reproductive cycle.

Typically, the gestation period of a Guppy is anywhere from 22 to 28 days. Also, female Guppies can become pregnant again immediately after giving birth, which then means you can have a group of newborns every month, and more when you breed more than a single female.

Once you put your male and female Guppy in a breeding tank, you can expect the female to get pregnant a day after but may take up to 3 days with a male that has not bred before. Usually, the breeding is quick but happens numerous times to ensure the female gets pregnant.

Right Water Parameters for Guppy Fish Breeding

Water parameters are probably an important factor for keeping healthy and long-living Guppies. Guppy fish are hardy and can support a wide range of water parameters. Here are the ideal water conditions for Guppy fish breeding;

Water temperature – 22-28°C

Water pH – 6.8-7.8

Water hardness (dGH) – 8-12

0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, and a maximum of 10 ppm nitrates

In most cases, tap water is great for keeping Guppy fishes. But be careful with the tap water. Tap water has heavy metals, chlorine, and chloramine in low quantities, which are safe for human consumption but are very dangerous for your fish.

Guppy Fish Life Cycle

Fry Guppies – Guppy fry are free-swimming from the beginning. As soon as the fry are born, they will begin to look for a place in which they can hide. Right after birth, the shape of their bodies is deformed, but a few hours later, their bodies straighten out. They then become strong enough to begin feeding. The fry is tiny and they have a length of about ¼ of an inch or 0.6 mm. To save the fry from such a fate, try separating a pregnant Guppy from another Guppy fish. Baby Guppy fishes share the same diet as their parents. Guppy fry becomes juvenile Guppies at about the 1-month mark.

Juvenile Guppies – Juvenile Guppies begin gaining color and the male and female become distinguishable. This is a very important stage in the Guppy life cycle in which the best water and food should be supplied to them. The length of juvenile Guppy fishes is from ¼ to ¾ inches, or 1.2 cm to 2 cm. When they are approximately 2 months old, and they are considered young Guppies.

Young Guppies – Guppy breeders will often separate females from males when they are in the juvenile stage. The separation promotes fish growth because they will be focused exclusively on feeding, not on reproduction. Young Guppies need a slightly different diet; their fat intake should be lowered, and they should receive more greens and more protein. Young Guppies turn into adults at approximately 6 months of age.

Adult Guppies – The growth of an adult Guppy will slow significantly or stop. Male Guppies’ tails and fins continue to grow over time (it depends on their genes). Keeping Guppy fishes colorful and healthy requires supplying them with a varied diet. Guppies can survive for 2 to 5 years. Once an adult Guppy is about 1 ½ or two years old, it is usually infertile and can no longer reproduce.

Guppies have a simple lifecycle. About 2 or 3 generations of Guppies per year occur in the wild. Guppy fishes are well developed and capable of independent existence without further parental care by the time they are born. Female Guppy fishes first produce offspring at 10 to 20 weeks of age, and they continue to reproduce until 20 to 34 months of age. Male Guppies mature in 7 weeks or less. The total lifespan of Guppies in the wild varies greatly, but it is around 2 years.

Guppy Fish Breeding Age

Most female Guppies first produce young ones between 10 to 20 weeks of age, while males can mate and breed at 7 weeks.

After the first breeding, Guppies can reproduce after every 30 days and continue reproducing up to around 20 months of age, which closely coincides with Guppy average lifespan.

A Guppy fish age also correlates with its body size with males typically growing to between 0.6 and 1.4 inches long, while females are 1.2 to 2.4 inches in length. Normally, the fishes attain this size at around 6 months, at which point, they are already fully developed adults and can breed.

The Fastest (Easiest) Way to Breed Guppies

  • Guppy fishes are livebearers, and a female can give birth to a considerably large number of babies, which is quite easy and fast to achieve. Though, most breeders lose many of their fries to adult Guppies, which are notorious for feeding on their young’s. Therefore, separating an adult from the young is the fastest and easiest method to ensure you get the most out of your breeding Guppies. Then, to keep them from each other, consider breeding them in a breeder box.
  • A breeding box is also called a breeder box or a breeding net is essentially a small container that sits in a fish tank and isolates a pregnant female Guppy from the rest of the community.
  • Generally, the female is put in the box when she is close to giving birth. Once she delivers the live Guppy babies will fall into a small chamber where the mother can’t reach them.
  • Another easy and quick method to ensure success, in case you do not want to use a breeding box, is to breed your Guppy fish in an aquarium with loads of hiding spots. You can use live or fake plants like Guppy grass to create safe spaces.
  • Also, recommend having 2 or 3 females for each male Guppy you have instead of a single pair. This way, one of the females is pregnant; the male will breed with the other female. This will then give the pregnant Guppy fish an easy time in the tank without the male chasing her trying to mate again. Also, when you have fry in your tank, add a sponge filter in the aquarium.
  • A sponge filter will develop healthy bacteria fast and easy and small food pieces will stick on the sponge, and fry can feed on it. One other advantage of a sponge filter is that fry won’t get sucked in hence a large number will survive and get to adulthood.

Care in Guppy Fish Breeding

In case if you miss this: Backyard Quail Farming.

Guppy Fish Care
Care in Guppy Fish Breeding (Pic source: pixabay)

These are some tips that you want to follow if you want to increase the life span of Guppy fish.

  • Guppies are great beginner fish. The fishes are low maintenance and can tolerate some beginner mistakes. Bigger tank size is recommended since Guppies are active fish.
  • Frozen and live food is digested easier than flake food, so can be fed in larger portions. As a guide, if fish do not eat all the food you put in the tank in 2 minutes, chances are you’re overfeeding them or they could be ill.
  • If you over feed your Guppy fishes, the excess food passes through the gut without being properly digested and will foul the tank. Try to avoid feeding a diet rich in protein as this can cause constipation, and causing a build-up of toxins in the fish’s gut.
  • Do not over feed them.
  • Don’t be ignorant about the breeding time of the Guppy fish. Generally, the gestation period will take 22 to 28 days.

Feeding in Guppy Fish Breeding

  • Guppy is easy to feed. It eats various foods like artificial, frozen, and live. The fish feeds on flakes, pellets, and other artificial food, but it’s better to choose food of famous trademarks.
  • Therefore, the best thing is to feed 2 to 3 times a day with portions that the fish can eat in 2-3 minutes.
  • Apart from good genetics, you want to make sure that you are feeding Guppy fish with quality food.
  • In the case of commercial food, make sure to use a reputed brand for Guppy fishes. Make sure that they get a proper quantity of necessary vitamins and minerals when you give them food. You can find a vast range of food stores for Guppy fish on the internet such as veggie pallets, spirulina tablets, frozen dried brine shrimp, and bloodworm, etc.
  • Also, Guppies love cooked vegetables like cucumber, spinach, green beans, and carrots, etc. Many live foods like daphnia, vinegar eels, or brine shrimp are important to give them a healthy life. Though these foods are not very easily available. 


  1. While breeding guppy when we have to remove male from breeding tank ,my female stomach is large now I can remove male guppy…


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