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FAQs on Guppy Reproduction, Breeding 1

Related Articles: Guppies, Poeciliids: Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies by Neale Monks, Livebearing Fishes by Bob Fenner,

Related FAQs:  Guppy Reproduction 2, Guppies 1, Guppies 2, Guppy Identification, Guppy Behavior, Guppy Compatibility, Guppy Selection, Guppy Systems, Guppy Feeding, Guppy Disease, Livebearers, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies

A gorgeous Red Delta Guppy male

Overripe Guppy? - 04/27/2006 Hi Friends, <Hi, Paige> I spent several hours today online, looking for an answer, but alas, none to be found. So I turn to you. <I hope we can help.> 2 days ago I noticed that my pregnant guppy had given birth. I only found 1 baby, so I assumed she wasn't done.  Since then, it has been 2 days and I have seen no more fry. She continues to grow. She is so huge I think she will burst before too long. I have never seen a pregnant guppy so big.  Since delivering the 1 baby 2 days ago, she has had a thin white thread hanging from her, <Uh-oh> and her anal area is protruding so much, so swollen, and bright pink. <Oh dear....> It is huge and looks almost like it is ready to turn inside out, it is so distended.  Even though her belly is so huge, her anal area protrudes out from that even. <Very disconcerting....> I will be amazed if she lives till morning, with how huge she is. I added aquarium salt to her tank today. She isn't eating and isn't swimming around. She is in the tank with one other pregnant guppy. My husband said tonight, "maybe she will just burst and will come a bunch of babies" Oh dear. Can you give me any advice? <Some, yes....  I would urgently (like, NOW) add some Epsom salt (Magnesium sulfate) to the tank at a tablespoon per five gallons.  This may help her pass the fry; I fear she may have gotten a blockage....  I doubt the remaining fry are still alive....  but hopefully you can help her out.  Make sure your water quality is pristine (zero ammonia and nitrite, less than 20ppm nitrate), well aerated, and keep your fingers crossed.> Thank you so much for your time,  -Paige <Am glad to be of service; I hope for the best for her.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Guppy fry   4/28/06 I know nothing about guppies other than they are pretty and my kids enjoy having fish.      I woke up this morning to 16 little delta guppies.... I know from tanks I had when I was little that the mother, etc could eat them. I took the adults out of the tank and kept the fry in there.      Is there anything's special I should do...   How long do I wait to add the others back in so they are all together?? Do the fry need there mom to strive ???    <... a few weeks to grow more than mouth size and no>   How many days does it take the fish to become bigger ??    <Bigger all the time...>   Thanks      Trying to get educated unexpectedly.    <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppyreprofaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>      Stormie Munoz

Two Pregnant Guppies! Too little knowledge, planning!   4/18/06 Hi!  I went to the pet store yesterday and I got a 3g tank, live plants, one male guppy, and two females (This is the first time I've owned guppies, by the way).  I had an employee of the pet store advise me the whole way, to tell me what would be best, etc... So, thinking the woman at the pet store was right, I went home and set it all up <The tank? Needs to be up, cycled... generally for days to weeks ahead of time> and the guppies are fine right now.  The problem is, both females are pregnant and the woman at the pet store didn't say anything about the birthing of the babies:  how to prepare, how to take care of them...  So, I've been looking around on the web and I'm getting more and more stressed out because all the sites tell me different things to do and stuff. <Keep reading... the facts will surface> We called the pet store and they told us to put the male in another tank and, when the fry hatch, to get a 10g tank!  This is horrible because we don't have the space, nor the money for that kind-of thing.  I'm a little overwhelmed because I've spent too much money already but I want to do what's best for the fry.   <... next time... preparation... living things...> One of the females looks like she's about to have her baby very soon, she's still eating but she's very big and her gravid spot is pretty much black, so I've set up a separate bare-bottomed breeding tank, with two sections:  one for the mom, one for the fry.  I haven't put her in it yet, but I'm expecting to soon.  After she has her babies, should I put her back in the main tank? And then do the same with the second female? <... posted on WWM> Then, I was planning on keeping the fry in the separate tank until they mature (around one week?) and then give the females to the pet store and maybe some unwanted males... Because I wanted to end up with 5-7 males in my 3g tank. Is that a good number? Could there be more/should there be less? I don't think I want to keep any females, because now I know more about them and I don't want to keep getting batches of fry. But, if I do decide I want to keep one, would she be OK in the tank with all those males? Would the males fight over her? Thanks so much for your help! :) Summer <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppyreprofaqs.htm and the linked files above. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts here to learning enough to keep this system and its life going. You are learning some important lessons... mark them well. Bob Fenner>

Male Guppy and Tankmates - 05/16/2006 Hi, Summer again. <Hello, Bob the Fishman here as well> Well, I think at least one of my female guppies had her babies a while ago.  I (and the pet store) think the male guppy ate the babies in the middle of the night or while I was gone during the day. <Can/does happen> That's kind-of okay because I'm not necessarily breeding guppies but about a day after, the male's tail got pointed and he couldn't swim very easily.  Then the next morning he had died!  It was so weird.. And I've been trying to look it up but I can't find anything because there wasn't any fungus or anything! The employee at the pet store said he got sick from eating the babies. But I doubt that...  Both females have done fine and haven't had any problems.  Any comments? <Do take a look on the Net, your books re "Columnaris"... a seasonal (this time of year) complaint of many guppies, Gouramis...> One more thing, a couple days ago I got two small neon fish to be tankmates with my guppies.  They seemed fine but then suddenly died!  I don't understand any of this because the females never have any problems!  Our pet store isn't much help. <Mmm, well, Neon Tetras aren't all that "tough"... it might be that your water quality didn't suit this one fish...> Summer (P.S. My other (younger) female just had two babies yesterday! :) They are fine.) <Bob Fenner, who has friends who have a delightful young daughter named Summer as well>

Guppy Gestation Period    4/14/06 I need to know how many days it takes for a fancy guppy's gestation? <Found on the Wet Web my friend.  Please do not send questions when answers are available.  James (Salty Dog)>

Baby Guppies, Hungry Mollies - 04/05/2006 Hi!  First of all, I would like to say what a great site this is for about everything I need!   <Thank you very much for these kind words.> I'm a starting aquarist with a non-planted, 20-gallon tank.  I bought 4 Dalmatian Mollies and 2 Female Guppies to start with, since I thought they appeared to be pretty sturdy, yet aesthetically pleasing fish.  I later found out that both of my guppies were pregnant, and both gave birth not long after.   <Not surprising!> My parents, being aquarium veterans, went out immediately to purchase a net breeder for my 25 guppy fry.  They've grown to about double their original length, and I know that they should probably do well in the tank with the now 7 Dalmatian Mollies, but I have conducted a couple experiments to test my theory, using some of my more agile fry.  Each time the mollies see my fry they try to eat them!! <They're tasty.  If they're small enough to eat, they'll be gone after greedily unless the tank has ample cover for the fry.  Might want to start thinking about plants.> The whole group is getting a little too large for the tiny breeder, and I'm beginning to worry that I may end up with 25 full-grown guppies in a breeder.  Their mothers are now dead (ammonia spike X( ), though I did buy 2 male guppies recently.  The males and the mollies get along splendidly, but I need to know if I can safely release my little babies!    <I would add a hearty amount of java moss to cover a good portion of the tank, maybe some floating, fine-leaved plants like Riccia - if there is ample cover for them, many of them will survive without ever having to use a breeder net.  Some might get picked off, but more than likely you'll have a good number survive, again IF there is ample cover for them.> (P.S.  I'm in the process of acquiring a couple more fish.  Any suggestions?) <I'd hold off on any additions unless/until you figure out what you wish to do with your overage of growing fry.  Aside from that, Corydoras catfish or smaller/less aggressive Botia (like B. striata) would be great additions for activity, personality, and janitorial duties.> Thanks! <Good luck with your fry, I'm sure there will be many more in your future!  -Sabrina>
Baby Guppies, Hungry Mollies - II - 04/06/2006
Sabrina, <Thass me!> My babies are doing very well!   <Ah, good.> I followed your suggestion, and purchased a veritable forest of kelp-like artificial plants (I have an under-gravel filter, so I wasn't keen on buying real plants).   <Ahh, I see.  Java moss and Riccia both will still fare quite well.  Riccia will float, and java moss will grow pretty much anywhere.  Neither of these are rooted plants.  I still highly recommend them.> The new setup works very well for my male guppies, but I don't believe that my babies are grasping the concept of "hiding".   <They'll probably hide a bit better if they have something floating at the surface.  Or it might be that they're big/confidant enough not to feel they need to hide.> Along with the aforementioned plants, I already had 3 glow-in-the-dark plants, one squat, wide-leafed plant, and a rock cave.  My mollies seem to have deemed the rocks as their own, and my male guppies have claimed the kelp forest, giving my aquarium the eerie look of an impending battlefield.   <Heh!  Neat!> My fry wander about the aquarium, and are a bit safer now that only two female mollies and one male remain (the others have been relocated to a smaller, more comfortable home).  One peculiar thing that I have noticed is that today, most of my fry have grown substantially darker.  I haven't changed their diet at all, and it seems to have happened over night.  Is this anything that I should worry about? <Probably not.  This is probably a response to their (more adequate) environment, and perhaps testament to their reduced stress.  I am not a fan of those hanging boxes; a dedicated tank or a heavily planted tank are my preference.  Seems the fry tend to prosper much better in these circumstances.> Thanks! <Glad to be of service!> Bonecutter <Yikes!> (P.S. That IS my real surname!) <Wow.  Reminds me of a doctor of medicine I knew whose surname was "Bonebreak".  All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Wooo Hoooo!  Guppy babies!  - 04/01/2006 I was gazing into my fish tank and saw a baby fish dart past me!  I couldn't believe it!  I didn't even know my female guppy was preggers!  I had been checking on her (almost) daily since I bought her (about 3 or 4 weeks ago) and she never looked pregnant.  I went out of town for a few days- could she have expanded and given birth in the 3 days that I was gone? <Sure> I had purchased a breeding net when I bought her, so I was able to capture the 3 babies and put them into the net before they became someone's dinner.  How long until I can release them from the net? <More than mouth size> Oh yeah, these babies seem quite large- or at least bigger than what I would have imagined them to be.  They're about a centimeter long.  Is this normal?  Or have they been around a while?  Thanks.   <Do "pop out" relatively (compared to egg-layers) large... ready to go... neoteny being what it is... Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppyreprofaqs.htm Congrats. Bob Fenner>

Fantail Guppies  03-21-06 Hello <Tom> My Fantail guppy has had 2 babies <I might suspect more> and the 3 males keep chasing her around the tank <Not at all surprised by this> and, she also keeps getting fat then skinny again. Is she going to have more? <I'd count on it> What do I look for if she is going to have more? <The "gravid spot" at the back of her belly will likely darken as fry mature. She may stop eating, hide away from the males (if possible), may brighten in color. A number of possibilities here. Observe and take note of different behavior/appearance.> Also, when the 3 males are chasing her it seems as though she doesn't like it. Is that a sign that she is ready to mate or that she does not want to be bothered by them? <Your ratio of males-to-females should be reversed. Far too stressful for one female to deal with three males. Could ultimately stress her to death.> Should I take her out of the tank and put her in my 5-gallon? <For her sake, yes. Having already mated, she may very well continue to have fry even without a male present, perhaps for the next few months. Be prepared to separate "mother" and fry.> They are in a 29-gallon right now. Thanks for your attention on this. Missy (You're most welcome. Tom> Hey again Tom, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer all my  questions. It was very nice of you. I know ya'll probably get a lot of them.  But anyhow, thanks again.. Missy <My (our) pleasure to help whenever possible. Tom>
Re: Fantail Guppies
  3/23/06 Hello again Tom, <Hello again, Missy> I just wanted to let you guys know that I have gone out and gotten 2 more females and I put the other female in a breeding box <Very good>, but before that she had 3 more babies <Congratulations :-)>. I saw them last night and she looks like she is going to have more <Not uncommon to spread out the birthing. Expect more as she matures, however>, but now she is not being stressed by the males because she is in the box <Well done!> and they have the other 2 females to chase around... <The guys, and gals, owe you a lot...one gal in particular> Thanks again, Missy <Thank you for the feedback and good work. Tom>

Sexing Guppy Fry  - 2/11/2006 Hello! <Hi there> I have a quick and easy question for you. I have 13 baby guppies that are about 2-3 weeks old. They are all in one breeding net, but I only have a 10 gallon tank, and would very much like to prevent any more babies. How early do guppies "mature" and start to take interest in one another? <As early as a month or two> I have also tried to look at them carefully to separate and it's pretty difficult! Any suggestions? Thanks so much! Amber Mitchell <Just close observation. You can see the slimness of the males, their pointed gonopodia, modified anal fins... as they develop/grow... and separate them at that time from the females. Bob Fenner>

Guppy eggs? - 1/6/06 I am currently cycling a 10 gallon tank, and I noticed in the aquarium glass small (1-2mm)clear sac-like structures. I cant really explain them so I attached a diagram of what they resemble. <Unfortunately the diagram didn't make it through.> In the tank there are around 5-10 guppies, which are very small and I don't think are mature yet, <Guppies are livebearers, not egg-layers> and 4 ghost shrimp. Just wondering if anyone knows what these things are. <On the glass, these are possibly snail eggs, but difficult to say without a more detailed description.> There are probably hundreds of them. thanks <You're welcome! Best regards, John.>

Guppy fry - 01/05/06 Hi, I am new to the site and find it very useful <Welcome!> My wife purchased a new tank for Christmas (an Aqua One CR320) where I housed my 3 pregnant female guppies. There are two large plants and two large rocks in the tank with an undergravel filter. There are no other fish in the tank. Two of the females had given birth this morning when I woke up and I could see only one fry swimming at the bottom of the tank along the gravel. As I was about to remove the females I saw one of them chase the fry and eat it. <Alas, very common.> I have placed the females back in my community tank and can't see any remaining fry. Please could you give me some advice as to how I can protect the fry without using a breeding trap as I do not want to cause the females too much stress. <First off, the undergravel filter will be far from ideal - the fry may end up in there. Sponge filters are great for fry. Add copious wads of Java moss and other plants in which the fry can hide from the marauding parents. Hope this helps. Best regards, John.> thanks Kevin Crainie

Guppy Labour - 12/25/2005 Hi there, firstly what a fantastic site, <Thanks!> and I apologies in advance if my question sounds dumb! <No worries.> I have a few pregnant guppies and one has just given birth to 4 fry (which was absolutely amazing to watch), but how do I know she is done?  Her gravid spot is still very dark and square looking (instead of that oval shape) And she still looks plump.   <She probably isn't done yet.  Depending upon her age and birthing experience, it could take her a while.> How long would you leave her in the trap?    <Mm, actually, I wouldn't use a trap.  I'd just let her be in with the fry, preferably in a 10 gallon tank with LOTS of floating plants.  She may eat some of the fry, but it would be less stress to her, and that's important.> Many Thanks  -Donna. <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

How Big the Guppy Spawn?  Or, How Many in a Litter of Guppies?  12/8/05 Hello, One of my guppies just had babies and I counted 7 of them. Is that the usual amount of babies? Thanks for the help. <That sounds quite reasonable, especially if she is young. Sometimes they have more fry -- up to 25 or 30 once they are a bit older. Good luck with all your new grandkids! Catherine.> 

Breeding traps as living quarters - 12/3/05 Let me start by saying that I think your site has the BEST information out there. I use it for every little curiosity I have, and have found it to be * extremely * helpful. <Me too!> I have searched for an answer to my question, but I'm not exactly clear on the result, so I thought I would just go ahead and ask you and try to get a more exact answer. <Sure> Anyway, I have an average size community tank (29g). I house tetras (Neons & what I guess to be albino skirts), and guppies of different varieties. (These started out as feeders for my then small Oscar , and grew on me when they didn't get eaten.) Well, as you know, guppies multiply faster than rabbits, so I have quite a few fry that have managed to survive. (About 10 guppies total. Each time a female is about to drop fry, I place her in a breeding net which usually houses a male Betta . So, my question is, will the Betta disturb the tetras and other guppies until he can be returned to the net (he seems to like it there), <Potentially, although this does depend on the Betta. Most Bettas take offence at the long, flowing tails of guppies, and will nip at them. But there are exceptions. You could try, and watch carefully.> should I get him one of his own, or should I find entirely different living quarters for the Betta ? <Well, this is what I was thinking. It can't be much fun for a Betta to live in a breeding trap. And I'm also not a huge fan of these traps for pregnant guppies - it stresses them out. (I have the nice experience of fry trying to squeeze through the netting of a trap of mine, only to get stuck and have their heads bitten off by the tank inhabitants.) Perhaps a separate "guppy tank" or two is in order?> I also have 2 Corys , 1 molly, 1 platy, and 2 med/large Plecos . I keep the tank pretty well decorated with lots of hiding spaces, also. Occasionally I have comets in there in holding until Oscar is ready for them. <Yikes... "feeder fish" are often raised in the worst of conditions and can carry a fair parasite / disease load. You're playing Russian roulette here, and the odds are not in your favour. I would not add them to your tank ... or indeed feed them, without a hefty quarantine. Your Oscar is not an obligate piscivore. It doesn't sound like you feed the Oscar solely on live fish, but I thought it was worth the heads up, just in case you do -- try feeding a range of foods> Sorry that I am so long-winded, I am just trying to give you the best possible description of the situation. Thank you in advance for any help you can provide. <No worries... Best regards, John> -Mandy 

Two questions from Justin - 30/11/05 Why do the tails of some of my guppies hang down and the fins are mostly closed? <Do a search on WetWebMedia for "clamped fins" for more information, and check your water quality.> How do I get certain guppies to mate? I had other guppies and they never mated. <Maybe they were not attracted to each other? Nobody wants to have ugly children. More likely, the answer related to your above problem.> Thanks <No worries... But please combine future queries into a single e-mail, and spend some time checking your grammar and punctuation. Good luck! Best regards, John> 

Girthy Guppy - Pregnant or Problematic? - 11/28/2005 Hello. <Hi.> I read through all of the guppy FAQS but could not find a specific answer to the question I have.  <Alright.> I have a female guppy who has been pregnant for about 8 or 9 weeks (maybe longer) now and has not had any babies yet. Her gravid spot is huge and is a dark brown color.  <There are other possibilities.... it may be that she's not actually pregnant. Some diseases can manifest as a swelling of the abdominal cavity.... Also, a very stressed pregnant female might hold "as long as possible". She is in a 55 gallon tank with 2 other female guppies (one is in the glass breeder have babies right now!!), 6 neon tetras, a goldfish, <Not compatible with warm/er water fish - and will grow large enough to eat the Neons and guppies as snacks.> 2 crayfish, <Can eat fish.> and 6 other almost mature fry (there is also a breeding net in the tank containing about 12 fry). The water is 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit.  <Ideally, this is too warm for that goldie.... and possibly also too warm for the crays; there are many, many species of crayfish over several genera, and some come from cool climates, some from very warm.> The water is also clean. Is she just a bloated fish?  <Could be.> There is another thing that I have noticed with her that I don't know is normal or not. I leave the tank light on all day and turn it off when I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning and turn the light on, her gravid spot is sometimes pink and slowly goes back to the brown color it used to be.  <Not abnormal - but I think it likely that this fish isn't pregnant.> She also eats when I feed her so I am guessing she is not close to giving birth because I have heard that when females are close to giving birth they don't eat. <Mm, some do, but usually, they just kinda hang in one spot and chase other fish away and don't take much interest in food for a day or so prior to giving birth.> Please help me figure out what is going on with my fish. <I would ad Epsom salt to this tank, at a rate of one to two tablespoons per ten gallons; this will help her pass any blockage if she is constipated, and should help reduce any swelling, as well. Might even help her pregnancy, if she is in fact pregnant.> Thank you!  <Sure thing.> Sincerely, A Curious Guppy Owner <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Very Pregnant Guppy - 11/07/2005 Hi! I have a guppy who is pregnant and she's had her gravid spot since I bought her about 6 weeks ago. For the last 2 weeks she's been absolutely enormous, she looks like a little balloon. Is it normal for her to be this big for this long or is she not able to release her fry. <Could be normal, could be bad.... I would dose this main tank with Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) at a rate of one to two tablespoons per ten gallons, to hopefully help her along....> She looks really healthy, plays with my other fish, she is the only guppy in there, and she eats normally. Everything in the tank is good, ph, quality, temp is about 82 degrees. I put her in a breeder net last night, but I took her out because she looked to be stressed out in there, trying to find a way out of it. <I would advise against the breeder net; as you saw, it can be stressful to her.> Thanks, in advance, for your help! -Shelley <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Clear Discharge From Pregnant Guppy - 10/20/2005 I have several female guppies with one lucky male in a large 40 gallon tank. One of the females, whom I knew was pregnant and about due suddenly just started having clear, heavier then water, almost oily looking discharge. I am going to assume this was a "miscarriage", so to speak. <I think I agree.> Is there anything that may have caused this, <Well....  it happened, so obviously something caused it....  but what is a mystery, especially with so little information about your system.  Hopefully it was nothing contagious or indicative of health problems.  If she is acting well and healthy, I would not worry at this point.> or that I could have done to prevent? <Not anything off the top of my head - but you may want to add Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to the water at a rate of 1 to 2 tablespoons per ten gallons to help her pass anything further that she might need.> Thanks for any help,  -Gail <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Guppy Pregnancy Complications? - 10/19/2005 Hi, I am new to your site.   <Welcome.> I have been breeding fancy guppies for about a year.  Very successfully.  This time however, one of my special females has gotten very huge.  She has seemed to be in distress the last couple of days and appears to be unable to birth these babies.   <Yikes.> She is an older female and has had many successful batches of babies before.   <It can happen....  especially with some of the more heavily inbred fancy varieties.> I really don't want to lose her and don't know if there is anything I can do to help her.  I did have a younger female die during fry birth before. Any advice? <I would try adding Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to the water, at a rate of one to two tablespoons per ten gallons....  This is a bit of a muscle relaxant, and may help her along, with all due luck.> Thank you, Patty <Got my fingers crossed for you.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Guppy Breeding / Culling / Genetic Deformation - 10/05/2005 Hi,   <Hello.  Sabrina with you, today.> I have a 10 gallon aquarium ph-7.7, ammonia-0, nitrite-0, nitrate-5 ppm, and alkalinity-~100ppm.   <All good.> My female guppy had 15 fry about 2 weeks ago.  I moved her to a separate tank a few hours after delivering.  I still have a clown Pleco and two small snails in the tank to control algae growth.  The fry have been doing well.  I feed them 3 times per day with crushed pellets and crushed flakes.   <Sounds perfect.> Two days ago I noticed that three of the guppies have developed bent tails, they bend upward from the base of the tail. One guy almost looks like a U.  They are still eating and seem to swim O.K. What would cause this to happen?   <Likely this is a genetic deformation - not uncommon in fancy guppies, I fear.> Will they live long in their condition?   <Not likely, but they may.  If they do survive into adulthood, I urge you to be sure that they do not breed and pass on their tendency for "bad genes".  It may sound like an awful thing to do, but you might consider culling the deformed fry.  Feeding them to another larger fish is my preference for culling.  In nature, this is what happens to baby fish that are not well formed - they never survive to pass on genetic deformities to their young, and the species remains strong and healthy.  It is best to try to keep the species as healthy genetically as possible, so at the very least, please try to see to it that the deformed fish do not reproduce.> Thanks. Stephanie <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Pregnant guppy, nose down  10/2/05 Hi! Maybe you can help..... We have a 10 gallon tank w/ a 20 gallon filter, 1 molly, 3 adf's & just got 2 fancy guppies. The next day the female gave birth & we caught 6 of the fry & have them in a net inside the tank. The female still looks extra pregnant & started hanging around nose down. She'll hide in the plants, not really eating. I've set up a 2 gallon tank w/ the same water from the 10 gallon tank. Tested the water everything is normal. Please help!! ~Rita <Mmm, best not to move livebearing (toothed carp) fishes during parturition. I do hope this one will recover. Bob Fenner>

Guppies and Mollies Cross  9/29/05 Hello.  I have been reading your site for the past 6 months and you have been so very helpful. I have two questions....up until this point we have been doing the research ourselves and getting on well.   1.  One of my female Mollies had babies.  We have no males in the tank.  One is a black Molly and one a Dalmatian Molly.  I'm assuming the Dalmatian came pregnant because the babies are all white and there are two with black and white spots (not all over and one of them has orange spots as well)  Is it possible that our one male guppy had made these fry? < Depending on how long you have had the female it could have been the guppy or  a male Mollie prior to your purchase of the female.> 2. Due to this situation, which was not intended, we now have a 20 gallon tank.  We put the two female mollies, three female guppies and all the fry in this tank once it was cycled (and moved them over a period of weeks...not all at once).  In our old 10 gallon tank we left our upside-down catfish (all three), two tetra, and our only male livebearer....."Maddy" (our daughter named him prior to us understanding how to tell the gender apart) the fancy yellow guppy.  So our question is:  is he lonely?  Does he need a male friend or will he just fight with a friend? < While he still has a desire to breed the little tetras will keep him company.-Chuck> Thank you for any help and insight you can give. best, Rebecca

Guppy babes  9/16/05 Hey Crew! My guppy, Lady, just gave birth to 8 babies today. Sadly,  only 7 made it. I have a small 1/2  gallon, although I'm not quite sure,  and have put the babies in there with an air stone, I am looking for a  small heater that will fit that tank. I am planning on doing water changes every  week or every couple of days, though if I am not able to get a heater then I  will probably keep the babies in the breeding net that I have the mother in now  (just in case she has more in her, she still looks plump), and I was wondering  if that would be a good idea. Thanks a bunch!! Christine <Congrats on your new fry!  You have done the right thing by separating the fry from the mother since they will quickly become food if they are kept in the same tank, however those fry really should have a filter.  I don't predict they will do well in the half gallon tank with only an air stone.  A 5 or 10 gallon tank with a filter and heater would be a better choice for these guys.  To prevent the fry from getting sucked into the filter intake you place a piece of nylon over it with a rubber band.  I hope this helps and good luck! ~Heather aka LinearChaos>

Sex ratio of baby guppies  9/10/05 Are there environmental influences that determine the sex ratio of fry- such as salinity, hardness, pH, or temperature? <Yes, at least the latter> I ask because since we have set up our guppy/platy tank a couple of months ago (my first, I've always been a goldfish person in the past), we have had three batches of baby guppies, a total of about a dozen saved, and only 1 has been male. Pat. <Bob Fenner>

Guppy food question & a few other Guppy questions, esp. breeding traps  8/31/05 Tetra Min used to make "Guppy food Special Diet" (purple lid), but they no longer make it. It was nice since it was regular flakes broken up into Guppy size flakes and you didn't have to break it up with your fingers (which always seems to end up with dust and large flakes, and few flakes the 'right size'). You could just use it 'straight'. I've tried HBH 'Guppy bites', but my Guppies don't seem to like that, nor do I since the food won't break down small enough to be drawn into the gravel filter. Within days it decomposes and floats through the water. <I see> The only thing I've found is the regular tropical fish flakes. I'm currently using 'Nutrafin MAX Color Enhancing Flake Food' which, again, must be broken up. Since food is usually sealed and the pictures on the front are all the same and not at all indicative of size, I was wondering if any of you know a good quality small flake food (primary criteria) that perhaps also enhances color (secondary concern). <Mmm, am thinking of a couple of things... One, that you might have luck locating a set of "sieves" that used to be sold for sorting sizes/flakes for aquarium use, the other to advise having small catfishes (likely of the genus Corydoras) for "clean-up", fun as well with your guppies. Don't know of any given size/shape foods that might be better shaped... I would try Omega-Sea's fine line though> Second issue: I've just recently started up one of my 20 Gal tanks after a 15-20 year hiatus from having Guppies, so I'm not 'up to speed' on the details of pregnant Guppies (darn memory). I have one that had about 17 fry yesterday. It looks like she has another 3 in her, but it's been about 36 hours since she had the last one. <Likely done then> She was put in the breeder (another issue) a few times last week (I thought she was ready) but when she didn't start in 12-24 hours, I put her back in the main tank. She was caught starting and I immediately put her in the breeder where everything went fine except for the last 3 that she still appears to be carrying. Is this normal? <Happens> Is it possible she can't push them out right now, but will later? <Could, but not likely> I left her out back into the main tank about 4 hours after she produced the last one she had yesterday (a dilemma - is it better to keep her confined where she may feel, well, confined, or let her at the mercy of the males?) <When, where in doubt, I would wait, leave in the breeding trap> Third issue: I found 1 fry about a week after getting my initial stock (2 males + 2 females) about 4 weeks ago. I'm not sure which one it came from, but there was only one left (I'm assuming all others were eaten). About a week later, I found three more. I don't think they were hiding, although that is possible. Anyway, the point is that I had small fry in my breeder and didn't want to cramp them in, so I bought a second breeder, but the new one is built so poorly that the fry are getting through the cuts in the bottom plastic tray due to manufacturing tolerances, I think. It's not built anything like my old one, which does not seem to have that issue. The old one is made by Lustar. <Ah, yes... a fine company... no longer extant> I could not find that brand in any stores (incl some local fish stores, PetLand, PetCo, PetSmart, and another chain I forget the name of). The new one that is poorly made (for Guppies at least) is made by Penn Plax model "12345 Plus" (Cat #BT-5). Is there anyone who makes this type of breeder that is tight enough to not let fry swim between the plastic plates and the outer 'tank'? <Not as far as I'm aware. I would either go with net-types or use a separate tank entirely> I've been looking at some of the models that use air to 'suck' the fry into another section of tank. Your thoughts on those models? <Am not a fan... too much likelihood of damage to young> The ones I have are the type with the metal straps that fold over the top of the tank. I wouldn't trust suction cups in the long term. I saw a model with that, too, that was based on suction from an air line. BTW, I solved the above problem, or at least lessened it, by filling the bottom inch with gravel and spreading it up the sides where the 'rails' are on the 'tank' and the cutouts are in the bottom plate (which is the place the fry are getting through). I don't care for that solution much, but it's the best I can think of other than sealing the bottom plate with silicone. (would that even be recommended?) <Could be done... will "stick" enough, fill the void, be chemically inert...> BTW, including the fry, I'm up to about 26 guppies in about a month.  I suppose soon I won't care as much about losing some as 'food', but I'm still at the stage where I really don't want that to happen. One last question: It seems after about 3 weeks the fry are large enough that they don't get picked on by the adult Guppies. Does that sound about right? I waited until they were significantly larger than 'bite size'. <With good feeding... is about right> Also, found your site looking for info on sexing the fry. Haven't looked at the fins yet but I found some great info in your FAQs. Thank you for your time and help, Joe M. <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

New Female- 1 week from store and already had babies! 8/22/05 Hello <Hi Erin!> I just got two new guppies from the store- one male and one female. <When stocking a tank with livebearers, you want to have at least a 1:4 ratio of males to females...a 1:1 ratio like you have will cause the girl to be unduly harassed...these types of fish are always creating more little ones...they are like piscine bunny rabbits! After checking your water parameters to ensure everything is A-OK, I'd suggest adding a few more female guppies.>   They were getting along really well and then I got worried because she stopped swimming and just kinda stayed still at the top of the tank.  I came home one day to find three little guppies swimming around in the tank.  They pretty much steer clear of the mom.  They are eating (only a very little) but the mom seems to have gotten bigger...  Is she pregnant again? <Very possible...I mean it when I say bunnies! I don't keep guppies myself, but have platies and mollies...cannot tell you how many babies my livebearers have had over my three or so years of fishkeeping...>   I don't think there is a black spot on her.  I can't really tell.  Did the mom eat the other babies or did she only have three? <Younger females tend to have very few fry at first.  The older the mom gets, the more fry she will drop each time she becomes pregnant.  On the other hand, it is entirely possible that another fish ate some fry...almost all fish consider fry to be a rare treat and won't hesitate to pass up an opportunity to munch on them...> I have no other fish in this tank except an algae eater.  Also, was the female pregnant when I got her and how long is she pregnant before she has babies? <It is very likely the female was pregnant when you got her, especially if she was in a community guppy tank.  This is normally what happens with livebearers.  With regards to gestation period, it varies, but seems to be somewhere around 4-6 weeks.>   Thanks for the help! <You're welcome! Jorie> ~~Erin Guppy reproduction  8/16/05 Hey Crew! <Christine> I have two pregnant Fancy Guppies and I was  wondering how you can see the eyes of the baby guppies? <Yes... if you have very good vision> I have bought a pregnant  guppy before and could not tell if she was going to drop until the day after  when there were six fry in the tank.... Could you help me? Thanks in advance Christine <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppyreprofaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Pregnant guppy looking stressed 8/9/05 Hi WWM team, <Lachlan> I have 2 tanks, one 38 litre (approx. 10 gallons) and one 200 litre (approx. 50 gallons). The big tank is new, but has a large healthy community including multiple guppies. The little tank has been setup for nearly a year with excellent results (i.e. healthy fish). On the weekend just gone I moved my small community from the small tank to the big tank so my small tank was empty for a few days. I have just moved a pregnant guppy (I can see the eyes of the fry) into my small tank and after a full day and night she is still seeming a bit spooked. <Likely just the move, being by herself...> She is eating readily and looks healthy, but is darting round the tank from time to time almost like she's looking for a way out. I will do a 25% water change tonight, but is there anything I should be aware of/checking? Thanks in advance!! Lachlan P.S. I had a look at the FAQs, but couldn't find anything like this so I hope I'm not doubling up on a previously asked question!! <Thank you for this. I suspect this fish is okay... but you might want to move a bit of the larger tank water in for the replacement of the water you intend to change. The "smell" of the other fish will help to calm her. Bob Fenner (a very similar name, eh?)>

Revisiting The Ram, and Guppy Breeding - 07/14/2005 Hey it's Christine again (I know I'm a  groaner..) <No one's a groaner.> This time I was wondering how to get guppies to breed  because my last few attempts have not succeeded. <As Chuck would say....  "Just keep 'em wet."  Adhere to general water quality guidelines....  Feed them....  The breeding will happen on its own. So far I have 3 female guppies  and 2 male guppies in a 10 gal. with one ram and one Cory- <If guppy breeding is your goal, I encourage you to omit the ram.  He will do his best to enjoy the tasty little guppy babies.  Probably even as fast as they pop out.  I'd remove the ram, add gobs of plants, and let the guppies do their business.> I will be getting two  more Corys for my single one. <A good plan indeed.> Christine <Please begin reading here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppyfaqs.htm and make use of all the links in blue at the top of the article.  Wishing you and your guppies and your guppies' future progeny well,  -Sabrina>

Sexing Guppy Fry 07.04.05 Hi, I have successfully raised a batch of guppy fry to the age of 6 weeks.  I was wondering at what age should I be able to tell the sex because as of now I am thinking I have all females. I understand what  a gonopodium looks like and the differences between the sexes, I am confused because I have read that I should see them developing by 4-6 weeks, is that accurate? (All the conditions are within the normal ranges)  I was also wondering at what age would be able to mate/ become pregnant?  I would very much appreciate any info/advice. <The males anal fin should be pointier than the females, the females should also have a gravid spot below the tail where the fry will come out.  The females will be able to get pregnant at around 3 months old. -Gage>

Guppy Pregnant? Hello- <Saludo!> I have a five gallon tank with 3 female and 4 male guppies in it.  I have a female guppy who is excreting a long, clear string like substance from here anus.  She doesn't seem to want to eat anything---she kind of looks like she is attempting to, but isn't getting anything.  Her abdomen is somewhat swollen and is clear and you can see some red in it.  She swims around at the top of the tank and doesn't seem to want to have anything to do with the other fish.  Is this a disease or is she pregnant?  Thanks! Heather Veldman <More likely a disease... you don't mention how long you've had these fish, what sort of filtration, water quality, foods/feeding... Please see WWM re keeping this species. Bob Fenner>

Guppies Dying During "Child" Birth Hi there, I have had a look but couldn't see anything which answered the question.  I've got a 160l community tank, of which some of the populace are mixed male and female guppies.  Guppies being guppies we are getting quite a lot of fry being pumped out.  However, we have found that without fail, every single guppy that has given birth has died at or just after giving birth.  Now we are getting really worried because Sprat, the first fry to make it to adulthood is pregnant and we don't want her to go the same way as her mum and her aunts. Any advice you could offer?  We don't use any feeding nets or anything like that, we've just got a load of plastic plants and we let nature take it's course. Thanks, Andy. <Two things to try. First make sure you are feeding a mix of high quality foods. It takes a lot of energy to make babies. Also be sure she is not being picked on by the other fish. She will be weakened after giving birth and unable to defend herself or flee. Male guppies are very aggressive breeders, especially towards females that have just given birth. Don>

I Have Floaties in my Tank! Hello all... I have 3 freshwater aquariums... one 30 gallon tank and 2 10 gallon tanks. We decided to try guppies about 4 months ago after having just goldfish in the larger tank for about 4 years. We started with just a few guppies in the larger tank but could not seem to get any to live. We then started the 2 smaller aquariums as well and then added baby guppies into all three tanks from my mom's aquariums. These fish (unlike all from the pet store) have survived very well. A few days ago, I started noticing small floating things in one of the tanks. I didn't think much of it at the time. At the same time I noticed a couple of pregnant females.  I set about isolating these females. I then removed all of the other adult fish from this small tank and moved them to the other tanks to make room to put all of the baby fish into this small tank. I again noticed all of the small floating things. They are small tannish white specks that are either truly moving or my eyes playing tricks. I have no idea what these are, they are no bigger than the tip of a pencil and there seemed to be hundreds of them in this tank.  We took all the fish out of this tank and completely cleaned and reset it up. There are no fish in it for now until a few days have passed. My question is.. What could these small floating specks be and how did they multiply like that? Should I worry about my other tanks as I see now there are just a few in either of those, probably from moving the other fish around? Any help would be appreciated. <The small specks could be a number of "little life forms"... You've likely heard the term "infusoria"... there are many organisms that are labeled as such collectively. It is unlikely that the initial problems you had with store-bought guppies were/are related to this wee-life... But instead the quality of imported livebearers... is dismal... More the reason, rationale for our encouraging folks to "share the wealth"... for local breeders to sell, disperse their excess to other hobbyists. Bob Fenner> 

Small Guppy Spawn Hi my name is Emma. My fancy guppy just had babies last night but she only had 6 and 2 already died. I read that guppies usually have 20-40 babies so I think this is unusual. I don't think she will have any more because it's been about a day since. She still has a gravid spot but it isn't as big and her stomach isn't that big any more so I don't know. My tank is only 2 gallons so I can't put the four babies in a net so I put them in a little container with warm water and a plant next to my other tank. I still have the female in a separate aquarium because I'm not sure if she is going to have anymore babies. Thank you very much. Email me back as soon as possible. <Congratulations on the Guppy fry! It's not unusual to get a small spawn, not a worry. A lot depends on her age and size and how good a condition she is in. After 24 hours I would think she's done. Seems you have two tanks. I would free one up for the fry if possible. It's important they have room to swim and grow. Don> 

Guppy fry 3 days ago I found a guppy fry trapped in the filter of my BiOrb aquarium.  Now safely in a breeder tank how can I stop this happening again? <Screen the intake of the filter intake/s> Also do you think there was any more fry or maybe they were eaten for lunch? The mother guppy is still very plump. <Maybe... but guppies do "drop" their young sometimes over days. Bob Fenner>

2-Way Breeder Hey there WWM Crew! My Guppy female is about to give birth to her fry, and I switched her over to a Breeder net. She seems to not like it very much, as she's constantly trying to find a way out. I'm worried this will stress her to much and disrupt the pregnancy. <You are wise here> In my 10-gal I have 4 platy, and along with the pregnant female, 2 more guppies 1 female, the other male (They pretty much will grab anything that's floating around in the tank). Should I give the female her wish and let her out of the breeder putting the fry at risk or should I ignore her attempts and trying to get out of the breeder and risk pregnancy problems? <I do think it would be better to risk some of the young being eaten, have the female in your main tank, and provide live plant or faux "breeding grass" instead for the young to hide in. Bob Fenner> Thanks, KhooX 

Guppy Births Hi Bob, or to whom it may concern. It's Louis, I wanted to know how long does it take for a female guppy to fully grow the babies in her stomach, and when do I know if she's going to have the fry? Louis E <A female Guppy can give birth every four to six weeks. But that time can vary greatly. Watch for the dark spot on her underside to darken as she gets ready to drop. Don>

How pregnant is pregnant? Hi, I recently bought four guppies, three of which are pregnant. I have little knowledge of guppies and just need to know a couple of things. When should I separate the moms-to-be? <A week or more before parturition... when the vent area becomes clearer... the babies eyes visible> I bought them pregnant but have no idea how far along they are. So I am a little confused on when I should put them into the birthing net. I have read that you shouldn't leave them in the net for more than a couple of days. Yet, I really feel uncomfortable with the thought that she would deliver with all the other fish " looking for something to eat ". There is one female in particular that looks "almost" ready. She is fairly large, but not huge. Her gravid spot is dark but not "black". I am just confused on when to do what. I really appreciate all the help you could give. Thank you very much. A Hopeful Mom <You'll do fine. Bob Fenner>

How do I sex my Balloon Belly Guppies? Just purchased three balloon belly guppies today at a local pet store. Of course they were unable to tell the sex of them. We have five fancy guppies and they were easy to sex. Thanks So Much, Shannon <Sexed same way... females with fan-shaped anal fins, males with longer, pointed ones... and smaller size, longer unpaired fin lengths. Easier to tell apart when larger, older. Bob Fenner>

Disappearing Guppy Fry Hello! I hope you can solve this mystery. One female gave birth to 21 babies two weeks and now there are only 6 left. We removed the female right after birth leaving 21 fry. The tank is a 2 gallon starter that is stable. The filter is a disposable sidewall unit that appears not to be able to suck in the fry. We just added a Cory to pick up the white gravel. There were 9 this morning and 3 have disappeared over the course of the day. My grandkids are distraught. Could the fry be trapping themselves in the gravel? Thanks in advance. <No, guppy fry will not bury themselves in the gravel. At two weeks old they should be free swimming so the Cory would not be bothering them. I would check out that filter very closely. If you find them in there replace it with a sponge filter. Don> 

Sexing Guppy Fry - 04/01/2005 Hi, <Hello. Sabrina with you, this afternoon.> I am Destiny, a beginner at guppy breeding, but I have 19 from a month ago and a brand new one from a hatch just a couple of days ago... <Be ready for more soon! These are wonderful fish.> How can I tell the sex of my fry? <Same as with the adults, only to a lesser degree. Males will start to show color, and the anal fin will start to become more pointed. Just exactly WHEN you'll be able to sex them will vary. It depends on how much and what they're fed, as well as water quality. Just keep looking every day, and you'll start to see males developing. It is possible, however, that you ended up with all females - but that's not terribly likely.> I want to give some away and don't know sex.... <Just have patience, and keep watching every day!> Thanks <Any time. Wishing you and your guppies well, -Sabrina>

Guppy Eggs I have what I thought was a pregnant guppy.  <You thought she was pregnant or you thought she was a Guppy?>  She was in the breeding separator and today she dropped about 25 eggs?!??  <Really? We need to rewrite quit a few books!>  Does this mean that we put her into the separator before the male fertilized her?  <No>  I let her out of the separator after this and of course the male is all over her and she looks like she could still have more in there - what should I do? Thanks! <Assuming this is a Guppy, they are not eggs. They could be undeveloped fry that she aborted. Maybe from the stress of capture when you put her in the breeder. It could also be a water quality issue. It's normal for the male to mate with a female that just gave birth. That is why it's best to have several females to a single male to spread out his aggression. If he pesters her too much put him in the breeder or another tank for a few days. Don't worry about separating them if you want fry. She can have several broods from a single mating. Don>

Inducing Parturition in Guppies Hi I have a pregnant female guppy who seems to be have been pregnant for ages. She has looked like she is about to drop for the last couple of days but hasn't. is there any way in which I can induce pregnancy (birthing)? <have you considered playing Pop music non-stop for like 12 hours around the tank... that would make be lose control of all bodily functions and fluids> Thanks Mathew O'Neill <Hmmm... otherwise, let me share the observation that guppies have a short gestation. If it seems like yours has been pregnant for months... then what has actually been happening is that fry have been dropped (and eaten!) and the mother was promptly gravid again. Guppies like many livebearers store sperm and can/do have multiple broods (amazes aquarists that didn't know it after the male has died in the tank with each successive brood :) The birthing should NOT be induced or fry will be born prematurely. Slightly higher temperature speed up metabolic processes. Anthony>>

Guppy Babies Hi I have set up a 10-12 gallon tank, I added fish over the last few weeks and have developed a slight nitrite problem. I am using cycle and feeding fish every 2-3 days as advised. The nitrite level is dropping very slowly, the fish I have include, 2 Plecos 2 male, 3 female guppies, 6 neon tetra, 2 catfish (Something like Doradid or something I have forgot the name). The problem is one of the female guppies has just given birth to 43 babies. I just want to know if this will cause problems or as I suspect help to mature my filter as they grow. Also how long would it take for my set-up to mature properly. (I was told the problem would go in a week following the New Tank setup on the bottle of cycle.) This has not happened. I have already lost faith in their advice since they told me something which had led to the death of a couple of fish. <I am not a big fan of their fish selection either.  The guppies prefer hard alkaline water, while the Neons prefer soft neutral water.  The Plecos (depending upon species) will outgrow this tank in time.  If the tank is new it may still be cycling, hence the nitrate problem.  Cycle (the product) may help, but it will still take time to cycle (the process).  The babies will add additional fish load to this tank.  I would go with frequent partial water changes to get the nitrates and ammonia down.  Best Regards, Gage> Thanx a lot

Guppies Stuff Hey guy. <<You got the girl today. :o) Ronni here.>> I just had one or two quick questions about Guppies. When guppies are pregnant, I've heard of something called a "Pregnant Patch" that appears on the guppies, what is that and where is it located? <<I haven't heard this term before but I'm going to assume that it's referring to the dark spot that appears on the belly of a pregnant female. If you look to the lower back of the belly you should see a dark spot, this is the babies that you are seeing thru the skin of the mother. Generally what you'll see will be an eye. Even if you can't see this spot (if you have a dark female you may not be able to) it's always pretty easy to tell when a female is pregnant just from the size of her belly. And odds are, if she's been with a male for even a tiny bit of time, she *will* be pregnant!>> Also, I hear that it's extremely easy to get guppies to breed and I would eventually like to have a tankful of them.   <<Definitely easy to get them to breed, they will breed no matter what you do!>> Is there any variable I can adjust to entice them to go about it quicker other than raising temperature? Because I've heard that that help in breeding almost any freshwater fish.    <<I've never even adjusted the temp in my guppy tank. I just keep mine at a normal temp. and my females are always having babies.>> Oh, and one more thing, Must I isolate the fry from the parents or the other guppies?  I'm half thinking they may be eaten. Thanx for your time guys. <<This is the hardest part but there are several options. The fry are so small that it's nearly impossible to catch them to isolate them. Once you see the babies you can catch the adults and move them to a different tank. Or you can use a breeding trap but these often don't keep the babies contained and can cause undo stress on the mother. My favorite option is just to put lots of plants in the tank and let nature take it's course. Some of the babies will undoubtedly still get eaten but many hide in the plants until they are large enough to hold their own. You can use either fake or real plants. Some of my favorite real ones for this are water sprite, duckweed, and elodea. Watch the water sprite and duckweed as they grow rapidly and can take over. Hornwort also works quite well and so does java moss but the moss is worse than anything I've ever seen about taking over a tank and once you have it it's nearly impossible to get rid of. Remember that diseases can be transported just as easily on plants as on fish so if you go with real ones a QT period is necessary.>>

And on to guppies. Thanks so much for the advice, now I've got yet another problem that something seems FISHY.  lol Anyways, I also have a 10 gal. with guppies and one of my guppy gals is pregnant I mean pregnant she is BIG very big.  I can see the eyes of the fry.  I've had her in the breeding box and nothing.. I've let her out to swim for exercise but the males harass her what should I do?  How can I help her have those babies??   The best thing of all to do is to have a completely separate tank for raising the babies in, and to put her in there to have the young.  At this stage in her pregnancy, do not net her, as that can damage or kill the young in her.  Instead, use a cup to scoop her up if you have to move her around.  In any case, for right now, it'd probably be best to keep her in the breeding trap and put some small floating plants in there, or a couple sprigs of elodea/Anacharis, just something for her to have some cover and hide, if she needs.  Don't let her in with those males, they'll drive her nuts, I'm sure!  It does sound like she's about to pop, so I wish you great luck with your soon-to-come little ones, and have fun!> Thanks again Love the site.  Keep up the good work.  Dena in Indiana. <And thanks again for the kind words :)  -Sabrina>

Baby guppies Hi Guys, <Hi, Dawn!  Sabrina here.> My name is Dawn. I am based in Hamilton, NZ.   <And a hearty hello to you, from sunny silicon valley, in California!> One week ago my 9yo daughter purchased 9 guppies (5 male, 4 female) for our 40 litre tank. The females were pregnant and we are now the proud parents (surrogate) of approx. 30 fry.   <Congrats.> We have partitioned off about a third of the tank for the fry to live in for now.  How often should we feed the fry and what would be best to use?   <There are commercial fry foods available, but guppies will grow beautifully on a small amount of crushed flake food a couple of times a day (crush the flakes into almost a powder).  Adding some floating Anacharis/elodea will help feed them as well, and give them cover to hide in.> How often should we do water changes now that the load has increased.   <I'd go for weekly, or more often, if you can manage it.  Just test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate regularly, and keep the ammonia and nitrite at zero, and nitrate as low as possible.> How quickly will the fry grow?   <Depends on water quality, feeding, etc. - should be pretty quickly, though.> We have also purchased a new filter for the tank which we are running concurrently with the existing filter. I am hoping to avoid going through the new tank syndrome by keeping the biological filter going in the old filter while the new filter sets up it's biological filter.  Will this work? <Sounds like an excellent plan.> Thanks for your time and for such an amazing, informative site.  Dawn <And thank you for the kind words!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina.>

Guppy pregnancy Hello. I have a female guppy that is/was very pregnant. I moved her into a breeding box and she immediately began dropping clear bubble like things. What are they? She slimmed up a little, but is still quite round and her black spot still shows. Help please!  Thank you,  Tami <It sounds like some (possibly all) of the young came out prematurely or were aborted or stillborn.  This could have happened due to stress from moving into the box, stress from being hassled by the males (men.... sheesh), possibly water conditions like ammonia, nitrite, nitrate out of whack.  Check your water parameters, and do water changes if necessary to correct.  Let's hope for now that she's still got forming young to have, and see how things go.  Good luck!  -Sabrina>

Have got some guppy fry (8) <Congrats on being a new parent.> - 4 are losing their tails? They are about 4 weeks old. Do you know why? & If I can save them. Thanks in advance, Di. <If their tails are looking sharply cut, then the larger male might be nipping the fins because he thinks they are competition.  But, most likely the fish are suffering from something called Fin Rot.  You can treat with Tetracycline (from Mardel Labs), which can be found at most pet shops.  Hope that helps. -Magnus>

Guppy Gender I recently just purchased 2 tequila sunrise guppies... I was wondering what the female looks like different to the male I think I have both males but their top fins look totally different! <The fin on top, the "dorsal" fin, doesn't really aid in determining guppy gender.  Guppies come in such a wide variety of color and patterns, the color of the dorsal fin doesn't necessarily have anything to do with gender.> On one it is orange with a little red on it.  On the other guppy it is just clear with very little pale pale orange on its top fin, so I was wondering if I had a male and a female tequila sunrise guppy? <Look at their anal fin, that's the fin on the fish's belly just in front of the tail.  If this fin is pointed and held next to the body, the fish is male.  If it is fan-shaped and spread open, it is a female.  Females will typically be less colorful overall than males are.  Wishing you and your guppies well,  -Sabrina>

Gobs of Guppies Hello, about a year ago I started out with 4 baby guppies.... 4 male and 1 female.  Well... today I've got about 15 full grown males and about 10 females.  I currently have a 10 gallon tank with nothing but babies, <Guppies might be a great tool for explaining exponents....> a 15 gallon tank with the females and just recently moved the males to a 39 gallon tank.  How many guppies would be a good number for the 39 gallon tank?   <20 adult guppies or so would probably be comfy, if it's well filtered.  If you are extremely diligent about water quality, maintenance, and have it heavily filtered, you could probably keep more than that.> Also at what age should I be sure that the females are removed from the male tank to prevent unwanted breeding? (I just put about 15-20 larger babies in the big tank with the males).    <As soon as you can recognize that they're females, it'd be best to pull them out.> In another 5 gallon tank I have 4 Long Fin Leopard Danios and 3 Danios that I'm uncertain what they are.  Their entire bodies are cream color and their bodies are much bigger then that of the long fin leopards.  Any idea on what type of Danio that these fish are?   <They sound like giant Danios - these will very, very quickly outgrow a 5g tank - I would consider the tank "full" with the four leopards.> How do I know what gender the Danios are?   <That can be very, very difficult.  Once mature, females will be a little more robust in the belly, and males a little more slender.  Pretty tough to tell.> Also, I know that the 5 gallon tank is not big enough for the Danios and have considered putting them in with the male guppies in the 38 gallon tank but.....I'm unsure if they are compatible with the fancy tailed guppies.....   <Danios are pretty nippy, but for the most part, they keep it to themselves.  I think you could try this.  Be prepared to remove them, though, if it doesn't work out.  Just watch for aggression and nipped guppies.> I how have an empty 20 gallon that I was going to use for the babies....I guess I could use that for the Danios if they would not be compatible with the guppies.   <A good idea.  Might want to try them with the guppies, and fall back on putting them in the 20 if it doesn't work out.> What larger fish would be a good tank mate for the male guppies?   <You could try dwarf or pygmy Gourami, or if you want some active bottom-dwellers, loaches, Botias, and Corydoras catfish are all nice.  In the 39g tank, a few weather loaches might be a lot of fun!  Do keep in mind that any fish you add to the 39g tank will reduce how many guppies you can fit in there, as well.> Every time I get a tank I intend to get rid of one of the others.....it's not happening.... always seem to need the extra one :-)  Thanks,  Donna <That's certainly the way with guppies!  Why not consider trading in/selling some of the guppies at a good, reputable local fish store?  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina

Expectant Mother Guppy - 03/12/2004 I recently purchased a female guppy who I thought was pregnant. When I got her home, I noticed her gravid spot was a red color. It seems to be getting darker, and she looks like she is going to pop. Is she pregnant or is she sick? Please help. <Sounds to me like she's pregnant.  Hopefully she'll be providing you with some babies quite soon!  They do tend to get utterly huge before finally giving birth, so what you're describing sounds normal, no worries.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Pregnant Guppies Hi, I have two pregnant guppies (it was three) that I have had for about 4 months. I bought them when they were very pregnant.  They still haven't had their fry.  My water temp. is 76 F. I have been feeding them every once and a while frozen brine shrimp.  I try to change the water every week.  Please help. I think one more is on her way out. <<Dear Jacob; Pregnant guppies do not always mean fertilized guppies. The females will grow eggs in their bellies, but without sperm, the eggs are simply re-absorbed back into the females body. Then she will grow another batch, until a male comes along to fertilize them with his gonopodium. Some males will attempt to impregnate the females, but they could be sterile males. If your females are dying, you need to check a couple of things; first, are your females getting enough protein in their diets? Female livebearers are constantly making eggs, this requires a varied diet using high quality foods. Read the labels! And buy good quality, you get what you pay for, cheap foods are made with cheap ingredients! Also, make sure your water quality is good. Ammonia should be zero, nitrite should be zero, and nitrates kept as low as possible with regular, partial water changes. If you don't have test kits, get your LFS to test the above parameters for you, and keep track of what they are. I would recommend you at least buy a nitrate test kit, and use it to figure out how often to test your water. Nitrates should be kept around 20-60ppm for guppies. -Gwen>>

Guppy Sex Dear WWM, How or when can I find out the sex of my baby guppies? I have three that survived to be big enough to roam around and I don't know how to tell male from female. I'm not a breeder, I just have a female that is popping them out like crazy! Please let me know if there is a way. Thanks, Aube <<Dear Aube, yes there is a way. If the fish are mature enough, the males will be smaller, their bodies more colorful. The females will be much bigger, with full, round bellies, and a dark spot under their bellies, near the tail. Females also have much less coloration, most are solid gray, but the more fancy species have colored tails with gray bodies. -Gwen>>

Fish Fry  hi chuck its Anthony again you know you said that I should get a male guppy well I have I had 3 all ready and she still hasn't her fins are turning blue which is a big difference and she has been going in the castle and the it is very dark could it mean she is going to give birth? <It could be or else she is sick and trying to find a calm spot to rest. Only time will tell.> I have 1 other swordtail but this one is red and she was small this morning and now she is very big I put in a breeding trap and she swam to the bottom with it and got out can you tell me which is better let her give birth in the trap or let her give birth in the tank I did with my other one and I found 17 to start with then I found 2 others then I just found 1 other now I have 20 < If your fish are well fed and there are lots of hiding places for the fry, like lots of floating plants then it would be ok to let her give birth in the tank. If your tank doesn't have much cover and lots of fish then I would place her in a breeding trap. Chuck>

Guppy Sex Hi there, A guppy of mine has recently spawned some fry, and I was wondering; at what age can you tell if they are male or female. At the moment all the baby fish seem to have normal anal fins. Does the fin modification occur later in life? Thanks, Liam <<Dear Liam; male guppies will develop gonopodiums later on, at sexual maturity. I can't really say at what speed they will grow. But with frequent partial water changes, good nutrition, (proper husbandry), the fry should grow quickly. -Gwen>>

Boy Guppy + Girl Guppy = Baby Guppies! you know you said that I should get a male guppy well I have I had 3 all ready and she still hasn't her fins are turning blue which is a big difference and she has been going in the castle and the it is very dark could it mean she is going to give birth? and how long does it take until I get your emails? >>Hello. I just placed a reply to your message last night, Chuck I believe was the person who gave your message attention. I must ask you to please punctuate with proper capitalization and periods, commas where appropriate, as you're making our job more difficult by forcing us to retype the queries. All message get archived onto the site, and for uniformity and readability sake we much prefer proper punctuation (this site is an international resource, and lack of punctuation can make reading very difficult for non-native English speaking folks). Also, if you would please, look on the Daily Questions/FAQ page. There you will see a notice I have put up regarding our crew and current status during this year's Interzoo show in Germany. We are operating with a fraction of the normal number of volunteers, and cannot give non-emergent messages priority status. A guppy that is not making babies is not a priority for us, even though I'm sure it's causing you some worry. Please understand that we are all doing our best to keep up with all queries, that this will not be a permanent situation, and that, as an all-volunteer crew, we must spend only a certain amount of time each day on messages. We all thank you very kindly for your understanding. >>Now, to more specifically address your question, you may very well have an IMMATURE male guppy in your tank. There are new strains coming out all the time, and you may be forced to rely solely on the anal and pelvic fins, as well as coloration of abdomen of the fish in question to determine sex and whether or not it's gravid. Female livebearers ALL have rounded pelvic and anal fins, whereas ALL males of the group have very pointed fins (to aid in delivery of sperm). There should be pictures and/or illustrations to be found via Google (though I'm not sure if we have such on site) showing very clearly what this looks like to help you determine sex of your fish. Believe me, if you have even ONE female guppy in a tank with even one male, you WILL have baby guppies coming out of your ears before you know it (unless you also have certain types of catfishes and little cover for the babies). I've never seen guppies demonstrate furtive or secretive behavior prior to birthing, as, say, horses do, I think the fish in question just likes the cave. If you don't have about 2/3 of the tank thickly planted, this will continue. I always strongly recommend that folks thickly plant their tanks, either real or faux plants, in order to see most natural, comfortable behavior for their tasty little fishes. I hope this has helped, and again, I and the rest of the crew thank you and everyone else for their understanding when messages aren't answered as quickly as hoped for.  Marina and the WetWebMedia Crew

Boy Guppy + Girl Guppy = Baby Guppies! - II >Sorry for the trouble I have caused but I am not Fiona I'm her son Anthony and I'm 12. Could you please send the emails a lot easier to understand as some of the stuff I don't Quiet get. >>Alright, Anthony. But first, let's cover a couple of points. If you're twelve, you're at least in the 6th grade. Capitalize and punctuate your messages from now on. If you can't do it, have your mom help you. The only word in that whole thing you capitalized was next to last! Alright, I feel much better now. The title of my response is telling you what you need to know. If you have one girl guppy in that tank, and just one boy guppy, then I can guarantee you that you WILL get baby guppies. Let the other fish eat them, or you'll have more than you know what to do with. Your problem, I think, is that you're not actually sure which ones are boys and which ones are girls. If it's a fancy guppy (all pretty), it used to be that ONLY the pretty ones were the boys, and the girls were all plain looking. But NOW that's not true anymore. NOW even the girls are pretty looking, so you have to look at tiny fins by their butts (where they poop). And that's hard to do if you need glasses. Go to this site and look at this picture  http://home.comcast.net/~chimbolo/bulletin.htm  http://home.comcast.net/~chimbolo/images/logomain.jpg  The guppy that is #2 counting from the left is a girl guppy. I can tell because of her bottom fins, especially the ones by where she poops. They're bigger and rounder than the boys' fins, which are pointy. Also, the girl is bigger than the boys, with a bigger belly, too.  Make sure your tank is planted thickly in areas, about two-thirds (2/3) planted. Don't feed the fish too much, only what they can eat in a couple of minutes once or twice a day. I think that's it for now. Marina, someone else's Mom (well, two someone else's') 

Pregnant Guppy? the dealer at the shop said my female guppy was pregnant but it has been 2-3 months and she still has not given birth. she definitely has not had an abortion, her scales have turned shinier and her anal fins have turned dark and blue is she ok because I have a breeder and I have been putting her in there recently and still nothing but I had a swordtail that I got then same time as her and she hasn't given birth will my guppy be ok? < If the guppy has not given birth by now then she probably won't. She may still have the "eggs" inside her and need a male to fertilize them get a male guppy and wait and see.> also my swordtail just gave birth is there any way I can make them grow faster ? < Keep the waste products down like ammonia , nitrite and nitrate with water changes and feed foods high in protein. Higher temp.s in the 80,s will help too.-Chuck> 

Guppy Growth - 06/03/2004 Hi again, <Hello. Sabrina with you, today!> I have another question on guppy fry growth.... I've searched the web for a guide to average fry growth but haven't yet found one. <Not very surprising; growth of the fry is dependent upon many, many factors - most of which are under the control of the aquarist, and easily influenced, like water quality, temperature, food, and perhaps even light cycles.> My question is this: In my experience male guppies are a lot more colourful then the females, the females having drab bodies with patterned fins. <Essentially correct.> So, am I likely to be able to sex the fry in this way? <Not likely. Once you begin to see great amounts of color and modification of the anal fin, you can be pretty sure you have a male. However, females are a bit trickier - males can look just like females if they are not yet fully developed. Some males will take much longer to develop than others, and it may be well into growth before they begin adopting the changes that would indicate male gender. So, basically, if it looks like a male, it's more than likely a male, but if it looks like a female, it may go either way.> Thanks for all your time, Liam <Thanks for writing in! -Sabrina>

Guppy Sex Hi, this is Lauren and I have a 10 gallon tank with 1 male balloon belly molly, 1 male guppy (was 2), 2 female guppies, 1 glass fish, and 1 sucker fish. I think that both of the female guppies are pregnant, they have the gravid spot but they are both still small. I have noticed in the past 2 or 3 days that the only male guppy left has been following 1 of the female guppies constantly and won't leave her alone. Should I separate the male from the females since they are pregnant or just let nature be? Thanks a bunch ~Lauren <<Lauren, it would be best to separate the female, otherwise the male will harass her to the point of exhaustion. Buy her a breeding trap, available at most decent LFS's. Also, make sure you have lots of plants so the fry will be able to hide from the adults, who will eat them. Plastic plants work fine for this. Some companies even make floating plants specifically for fry to hide in, check your local fish store! Good luck :) -Gwen>>

Pregnant Guppy I have a pregnant guppy and she looks like she will have her babies anytime.   I was wondering if you are able to put a pregnant female guppy in with the baby fry that are in the fry net?  Or will they eat the babies?  The babies are about 1 week old.  Thanks, samnow2001 <<Hello. Yes, she might eat the fry that are already in there, it depends on how hungry she is and how big the fry are. You can try putting her in and then see if she goes after any of them, if she does put her back into the main tank. Another idea is to get her a breeding trap (fry net) all for herself. -Gwen>>

Pregnant Guppy Question I know you have been asked a lot of pregnant guppy questions,( I read through the FAQ's, but I couldn't find the exact answer I need), and I am sorry to ask another one. <You don't have to apologize for asking questions...that's what we are here for! I'm Jorie and I'll try to help...> I bought a female Blue Mosaic guppy on 8/11/04, she was at least a week pregnant then. <Am curious how you know how far along she was then?> She is still pregnant now. She had one live fry 5 weeks ago. <Sounds like she is rather young; livebearers, incl. guppies, tend to have smaller batches of fry (even single babies, as in your case) the younger they are.> She is very big right now and I can see the eyes and part of the babies bodies, but she still has not given birth. I originally put her in a breeding net, that is where she had her one baby), then I moved her to a 5 gallon tank all by herself. She has been there for 4 weeks and still no babies. <It's very difficult to say exactly when a livebearer will give birth.  Generally, the gestation period is around 4-6 weeks, so I'd expect any time now. And, especially so since you can see little eyes through her gravid spot.  Best thing you can do is keep her in a stable environment with as little stress as possible - the 5 gal. tank you've set up for her sounds perfect!> I have put her back in the breeding net in a 10 gallon tank with ballooned-belly mollies. I have put a plant in the breeding net for the babies to hide in and for her to relax better in the net. She does not seem stressed at all and my water chemistry is perfect. <Well, hindsight is always 20/20, and as I said above, I would have left her in the 5 gal.  But since you've moved her, I'd give her a few days (do make sure she isn't being harassed and doesn't become stressed by the breeding net).  If no fry in a few days, I'd put her back in the 5 gal. (maybe throw in the plant, if possible - you are right, that may indeed comfort her) and be as patient as possible. You'll likely wake up one day to lots of little teeny tiny guppies swimming around!> Why isn't she having her fry? Is she going to have her fry? I would really appreciate it if you can help answer my questions. <Hopefully I've answered your questions. Just be patient, my friend; as long as she's eating normally, not stressed out and you keep up the good water conditions she'll be just fine, I'm sure.> Thank you <You're welcome.>

Pregnant Guppy        Thank you again for answering my questions.<MikeD filling in> To answer your question on how I knew she was about one week pregnant when I got her, I have done a lot of research on breeding guppies. I found pictures of pregnant guppies from start of gestation period through almost delivery time.<While I applaud your determination and ingenuity, that just doesn't work.  Exterior appearance is subject to too many variables...age of the fish, size/bone structure of the fish, number of young in the batch, etc., etc.>        I have moved my guppy one last time. I took her out of the breeding net and put her in the 10 gallon tank that the breeding net was in. Unfortunately, I have her in with 5 ballooned belly mollies, but she is eating very well and has all this time and she is getting along well with the mollies.<not all that bad an idea. If the mollies are well fed they tend to be far less cannibalistic on their young, with the mother still the main danger.> The reason I moved her out of the 5 gallon is I just got really frustrated with her, ( I have stayed up many nights watching and waiting for her to have her babies)<I know that feeling well....3 children and hundreds of litters of young and clutches of eggs in innumerable creatures with actual deliveries witnessed at about five-ten over 50 years.>, and I went and bought 2 green-spotted puffer fish and I had to put them in their own tank, and trust me I feel really bad that I got frustrated and bought the puffers and took away my guppy's tank)<Has one killed the other yet?>. So my plans with her is just to keep a good eye out for when she has her babies and try to save as many babies as I can. The good thing is with the 10 gallon tank, there is plenty of really good hiding places for the babies to escape from being eaten.<I hope that you're referring to floating plant life or a nylon mop, as the babies are generally drawn to the surface and rarely make use of rockwork, caves and such.> Well, I think I have taken up enough of your time, Jorie. Again, thank you for answering me back and in a quick period of time.<Good luck to you.....I still have to admire your persistence.>

Guppy Babies 12 Aug 2004 Please Help. <Hi Rachel, MacL here with you and I'll try my best.> I'm wondering, my guppy has had babies, 4 of which look to be about 4 five days old as they have developed the black in their tails, but she still seems to be continuing to give birth as I am finding very tiny fish every day. <Its possible for her labor to continue on for a while but I think four days is a long time. Usually in my experience its over within 24 hours. I think what you are seeing is different growth rates of the guppies based on water quality and how much food they are getting.> How long will she be 'in labour' for and how many is she likely to have. She is still quite fat. <She could have a second delivery time or its possible that she's just not gone back to normal after her birth.> I did not know she was pregnant as I only have 1 female and 1 male. <Congratulations Rachel, its a fun experience raising the babies. You might want to provide something that floats near the top for cover for the babies.> Rachel Heath

Guppy business/breeding in PA 9/24/04 We are a new aqua farm in the Northeast (Avondale, PA) starting up in production guppy culture.  However, we are running into some breeding problems and are looking for people already established in production guppy culture. Do you have any experience in guppies or do you know of anyone in this business who would be willing to talk with us and share their expertise? Any help at this point would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Monique LaBarge -Avondale Aqua Farm Avondale, PA <cheers, Monique... Anthony Calfo here - fellow Pennsylvanian :) I'm not sure exactly what kind of advice you need, but I suspect you can find your answers in several folks regionally who have large established fish rooms that have emphasized guppy production through the years. I'm most familiar with my hometown FW club folks. Chuck Bailon and Dr. Sallie Boggs (national grand master BAS breeder) are just two folks to tap for info in GPASI (Greater Pittsburgh club). DO try to network with such folks in-state and abroad (do keyword searches for their sites/members directories online). Perhaps even better - there are Guppy enthusiast associations (national)... advertised in popular mag.s like Aquarium Fish Magazine (in the back/index/classified ads). These are the places I would start. Don't hesitate... most of these folks are like-minded as you and generous with information. Best of luck, Anthony>

Guppy stock Dear Dr. Fenner, <MacL here with you tonight> We are a new aqua farm in the Northeast (Avondale, PA) starting up in production guppy culture.  However, we are running into some breeding problems and are looking for people already established in production guppy culture.  <Have you seen this site? multiple links for guppy clubs and people breeding guppies. http://www.deltaguppies.com/links.htm> Do you have any experience in guppies or do you know of anyone in this business who would be willing to talk with us and share their expertise? Any help at this point would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you. I think the guppy clubs will be able to help you substantially with stock. Good luck, MacL> Monique LaBarge Avondale Aqua Farm Avondale, PA Guppies, Chuck's go Dear Dr. Fenner, We are a new aqua farm in the Northeast (Avondale, PA) starting up in production guppy culture.  However, we are running into some breeding problems and are looking for people already established in production guppy culture. Do you have any experience in guppies or do you know of anyone in this business who would be willing to talk with us and share their expertise? Any help at this point would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you. < Many of the guppies found in the US come from farms in Asia. Check Aquabid for specific breeders or do a Google search for American Livebearers Association and they may be able to point you in the right direction.-Chuck> Monique LaBarge Avondale Aqua Farm Avondale, PA

Huge Guppy Dear WetWebMedia,     I have a 10 gallon tank and 4 fish (1 male guppy, 2 females, and one white fish <??>). One of my female guppies has a dark spot on her belly but she's not very big, and one is huge but there's no dark spot. <"Huge" Are you sure this is a guppy? If you mean fat, then there should be a black spot. It will get darker as she readies to give birth. If it is a guppy, fat without the dark spot, it may have an internal infection or be constipated> I bought them 2 weeks ago and they were in the same condition that they are in now. <Not a long time. Most give birth in about 3 to 5 weeks. Was the tank running prior to getting the fish?> I put the big one in a net breeder, <Good, if she does not seemed stressed> but I still see no babies. <give it time> When can I expect them to have birth. <As above> Are they even pregnant? <Most healthy adult female guppies spend their lives pregnant, so I would guess "Yes"> I have searched the internet for two weeks and have still found no answer. pleeeeese help me. <Give her time. Meanwhile, if this is a brand new tank, start doing small water changes. About a gallon or two a day. Match temp and use a dechlorinator. Do you have a heater? Guppies do best in the mid to high 70's. Cool temps can slow birth. Don>                                                 -Jason age 14 GUPPIES! Hi! First off let me say that I love your site! < Thanks> Anyways I have a 20 gallon tank with 9 guppies and 5 small goldfish (who will soon have there own tank!). one of my female guppies very big and soon I will move her into her own 10 gallon tank. the 10 gallon tank is at 80* F and the tank she is in now is about 75* will this cause a problem? < The warmer water will increase her metabolism but is well within her normal range and she will be just fine.> also will she get lonely? < No not really.> she's only had her black gravid spot for 2 and a half weeks. is it too soon? < It is very difficult to say. Some females with few fry don't get too large while others get really really big before they give birth. You probably should have something happening within the next week or so.-Chuck> please respond very soon I need to know. Thanks a bunch: Lena

Guppy reproductive behavior Hi: My name is Christopher. I brought some common guppies as a starter for my 10 gal tank, I didn't go with goldfish cause they are to messy. Ok the fact is that I bought about 30 and one is giving birth and has 2 fry stuck midway and has not come out all night and I do not know what to do. Also I know nothing about guppy breeding at all and the only thing I have found on the net are some vague description of the event but nothing to clear on the event. This is the scenario : I have a 10 gal tank with florescent hood, heater, 4 live plans, gravel, bio filter, 2 carbon filters, four catfish, water conditioner, stress enzyme, stress coat, cycle; do I have everything I need? Do I need more? And what do I do about the fry? Please help? :-< <This all depend on what you want to do. Guppies are livebearers and will eat the fry if they are not separated. If you do not want to keep the fry then the adults will simply eat them and they will spawn again very shortly. If you want to keep the fry then put the pregnant female in a breeder net or breeder trap and when she gives birth the fry will be separate from the parents. The fry can then be moved to a different tank where they can be raised on baby brine and crushed flake food.-Chuck> Guppy Birth My guppy is having fry right now but I have no idea when she is done having them? Does she lose the gravid spot completely? If you could help, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much. Melissa Putman <Hi Melissa, Don here. No, the spot will not disappear. The only way to tell is to watch her. If she's dropping every 10 or 15 minutes, then goes a hour without any more fry you can be pretty sure she's done. Congrats on the fry!>

Lustful Guppy Hello WWM. My question is can guppies and mollies mate? My male guppy is swimming around with my female orange molly.  He makes circles around and sticks his lower fins out like he's trying to poke her in the belly. I have a pregnant female guppy which he currently isn't as interested in. Is this normal or is he going crazy? Thanks for your help. Mrs. Robzilla <As you are seeing, male guppies are randy little fellas. Best to keep 3 or 4 females with him. Will he mate with the molly? Yes. He'll mate with a bubbling plastic mermaid, but no offspring will result from either encounter>

Guppies, young Hello, I have 5 female guppies in a 10g tank and 4 males in a separate tank. I recently moved all of the females (about 2 weeks age) One of my females was getting rather large. Last night when I looked at her, the black gravid spot was gone and no babies. I guessed that she had a miscarriage. Then the next morning when I was feeding them her gravid spot was back! I was very surprised. Since then that has happened a few times and with a few different females. I don't understand! All my reading are good and there not in a high traffic area. What could be causing this, and where do the babies go? I would greatly appreciate any information you have on this strange occurrence. It would be very appreciated. < The black spot you are referring to is actually the eyes of the fry. If she is giving birth then the fry may be eaten by the adults or sucked into a filter. If she has room the fry move back up into her body and the eyes are less noticeable. After being fed the fry may be displaced by the food in the females gut and once again moved back to the rear of the body cavity.-Chuck> Thank You:                      ~Lena~

Breeding guppy male & female ratios After about 20 years of not breeding fish, my husband and I are again buying tanks, etc.  We have chosen to breed 6 kinds of fancy guppies.  After 3 months, I am noticing an "imbalance" in the male/female ratio in the fry.  At least 3 of the breeding trios are throwing far more females than males.  It is about 2 males to 18 females.  Is there any environmental reason for this?  These fish, being show quality, are inbred quite seriously.  Is that fact a more reasonable explanation?  The fish are in hard water/reverse osmosis water half and half.  Ph is 8.4  They are getting a variety of excellent foods. Do you know of any references or source of info, where I can research this?  Thanks, XXXX@sbcglobal.net < Fish have no sex chromosomes like humans so their sex is determined by external factors. Unfortunately you are going to have to play around and find out what they are. Temp? Possible, water temps in excess of 80 degrees creates more males than females in some dwarf cichlids. pH? Could be, some west African cichlids have sex ratios determined by pH. The higher pH creates males while the lower pH creates females. To determine what is going on I would recommend only changing one factor at a time to find out what is needed. If you lowered the pH while changing the water temp then you don't know what is causing the skewed sex ratios.-Chuck>

Pregger Guppies I emailed you earlier about my pregnant guppy and how longs would the pregnancy take... <Gestation period is somewhere around a month, but it's really hard to pinpoint exactly.> Well she has had one baby so far and she is having spasms which just look like she is trying to get out of the tank <Have you tested the water parameters? If she's trying to jump out of the tank, that may be a sign of ammonia or nitrite poisoning...check ASAP and do a water change if needed.> I'm not sure what to do and how long its going to take for the others to be born ...HELP> <Best thing to do is not stress her out by moving her around. Keep her calm and keep the water clean.  Do you know if she's a juvie? The younger the fish is, the smaller the batch of fry...if this is her first pregnancy, you may only get one or two little guys. Just be patient, my friend!> <P>( she isn't on her own in a tank she is in a Birth tanks ) is that ok? <By birthing tank, do you mean her own separate tank, or a birthing net of sorts? If it's the latter, I think that's great, and in fact, I just had a platy give birth to about 8 fry in a similar set-up.  I'm not a huge fan of the birthing nets, but please let me emphasize that you should NOT move your pregnant fish at this late stage in the game...that could needlessly stress her out and cause problems.  Again, just keep the water conditions good and keep her calm...everything will be OK! If she seems really stressed, perhaps turn off the tank's light for a while...> <Good luck, Jorie>

Guppy Fry Hello, I have 4 guppy fry that were born Dec 21, 2004. They are in a net box. How long before I can put them in the main tank? Thanks, Liz <The short answer is as soon as they're big enough not to be eaten. Many factors control growth rate so there is no way to give you a time period. Personally, I do not like keeping fry in the breeder. I want them out in the main swimming and getting strong. So if it was me, I'd wait until they are swimming strong and you're sure they're eating, then release them and cross my fingers. Adding plants like Java Moss will give the fry a place to hide. Overfeed a little so the adults don't get too hungry. Or you could but in a divider and raise the fry in one side. Don>  

Breeding trap Hi, <Hello...Jorie here> I have 5 female guppies in a 10 gallon tank.  I think one of them is about to have babies soon because it is a lot fatter then the other ones. <Likely so...> I have a breeding trap but there is nothing to separate the mother fish from the baby fish.  I have checked other sites and some have said that the mother must be separated immediately, and some sites say that the mother fish wont eat their babies for a couple of days because of  a hormone.  I thought I would ask you. Can you tell me if I should get another breeding trap that separates the fry from the mother or do I just keep the mother in the breeding trap I have now. <I've never had any of my livebearer (either platys or guppies, don't have personal hands-on experience with guppies) moms eat their fry...usually it's the other fish in a community tank that will do so.  You should be OK leaving the mom and the babes together, but do be aware fish behavior is never a completely certain thing! Worst case scenario, with livebearers, rest assured there will likely always be more little fry...soon, more than you know what to do with...>                                                                   -Jason (this site has given me a lot of info. about fish, Thanks.) <It sure does...I still learn new things from WWM on a daily basis! Good luck with the fry, Jason...welcome to the world of fish (livebearers) that puts bunny rabbits to shame!> Pregnant

Guppy Questions First of all great site, it has helped me a lot. I have got a really fat guppy and her gravid spot is black but I'm not sure if she is pregnant. Could you please help? Also how long does it take for the fry to be born? Thank James <It sounds like she is preggers. Most adult female guppies spend their lives this way. Keep her water warm (78 or so) and give her time. Most will give birth in 3 to 6 weeks. Many factors involved though, temp being at the top of the list. Don>  

Baby Guppies! Hi! Thanks to you guys I now have 3 beautiful two week old guppies. However I do have one quick question, two out of the three babies have very large round tummies. They are pooping regularly pooping and the colour of the poop is fine. The other baby who does not have a large tummy is a bit small then the other two a follow them from a distance. Is there any need for alarm or is every thing ok? Thanks for any advice. Lena <Grind their food fine between your fingers if it is flake, twixt two spoons if pellets... and all should be fine. Bob Fenner>

Re: pregnant guppy Well it does look like babies.. and she's been in the net for like a day now and not much is happening.. she's also been having red... blood looking waste... is this a sign? <Not a good one> Also is she safe in the net or will she be stressed out?   <Hopefully not too stressed... put the terms "pregnant guppy" in your computer search tool/s and read a while. Bob Fenner>

Guppy fry Hello.. I've been reading some of the faq's and I'm still not very certain if my guppy is having babies or not. It's been 1 to 2 weeks since I thought she was pregnant and now I noticed that she was really fat, so I went out and bought a net and I just put it in the tank I have all my other fish in.. all she's trying to do is get out of the net.. I'm still not sure if she pregnant or not. Help?  Thanks, Nick <If you look REALLY close near her vent, the part of the body near the fin on her abdomen... you will be able to see the actual babies inside your guppy... their eyes mostly... IF she is close to giving birth... Bob Fenner>

Hopeful Guppy Breeder Hi, I have been desperately trying to breed guppies for a few months now, but I haven't had any luck yet. Right now I have a guppy that has a been pregnant for quite a while now and has been pregnant for at least five weeks now. I have been able to see the eyes of fry inside her body for quite a while and I have had her in a glass breeding case that separates the fry when they are born for almost two weeks. It seems like she isn't getting much bigger and is just stuck and not making much progress. Do you know what I could be doing wrong? <Perhaps nothing... it might be that your guppies are just young...> Is it possible to have a guppy in a breeder for too long? <Mmm, not really... unless water quality is eroding... can remain, become pregnant again in the absence of males (able to "store" sperm)> I have finally decided to let her out in the tank hoping this will speed up the pregnancy. The temperature is around 80 degrees F and there are 3 tetras, two Corys, and an Otocinclus in the tank. Should I put her back in the breeding cage? Please help me in any way you can. Thanks, Danny <Danny, do you have more than this one female guppy? Your chances of breeding success are much better with more broodstock. Bob Fenner>

Re: Pregnant Guppy Hey, thanks for your reply, as I was reading your message, my guppy began to have babies, and she had a total of 25! I am very excited, and they look very healthy. I caught ten when she was out in the open and then I put her back in the breeding cage where she had the rest of her babies. One weird mutant fish had two heads, and one stayed in its egg, but otherwise they all look very healthy. Thanks, Danny <Ah, congratulations! Bob Fenner>

Guppy fry Hi, <Hello> I bought a guppy (no idea what kind) for my community tank and I knew she was pregnant so I put her into a Marina floating breeding trap last night.  She had 4 babies today and they are separated from her by a v-insert. Can you tell me what I do now? <Remove the female if she is done giving birth... and the "V" part of the trap if it is removable... to give the young more room... and carefully feed them on crushed dried foods often (two plus times daily) till they are large enough to not be consumed by your other fish livestock...> How long do I wait to release them into the tank with the other fish, 2 other female guppies, 2 male guppies, some small platy's, tetra glow lights and a small tiny Chinese algae eater? What do I feed them? How long do I wait to release the mother back into the tank?  Any information would be much much appreciated as this makes me a "first time mom" lol. <Bob Fenner> 

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