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FAQs on Guppy Stocking/Selection

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

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

A nice yellow snakeskin delta guppy male.

My New Male Guppies; beh., stkg.      6/16/16
Hiii there...
<Hello Chante>
So I have a 15 gallon fish tank and got 4 male guppies in there. The problem is, two of them keep nipping at each other (the one actively seeks out the other, but he is the one who keeps getting nipped), one stays close to the top and ignores the others and the 4th one swims around some but also hides away in one of the corners. I figure it's just because they are all male, but I do not want to get females and have to deal with babies. So what are my options?
<Remove the nippers, add some more "dither fish" like a small group of Rasboras, Danios..., add more decor like floating grasses (plants), get a bigger tank....>

I should add that I do not see any visible bite marks on any of their tails, the one who stays close to the top has a split in his tail, but it does not seem choppy or rough and it does not look like a bite mark. It just looks like his fin has been split in two. Would appreciate any advice.
These are the two who keeps nipping each other. The blue/red one is the one who keeps searching out the yellow one.
This is the one with the split tail.
This is the one that swims around quite some, but stays down there for certain periods of time.
Chante Herbst
<Do write us back w/ the changes you made and further observations>

Male Guppy Tank    7/30/14
Hi Guys,
This is a great website.
<Glad you like!>
I have a quick question - I recently set up a tropical aquarium (fully cycled with old media, 6 gallon) and added 4 male guppies to start.
<Will need more than 4... at least 6, and really, ten or more seems necessary for a male-only Guppy tank. They're aggressive animals in their way. Unfortunately for you, 6 gallons is far too small for Guppies. There won't be space for them to spread out and avoid each other, and even allowing the "inch per gallon" rule, 6 gallons doesn't allow for many Guppies! May I direct you to an article I wrote some time ago about
stocking small tanks; here:
Your tank would be ideal for, say, a male Betta. If you were feeling ambitious, you could alternatively try some true Nano aquarium species, such as Heterandria formosa.>
Ph 7.4, temp 25C. We have 1 large lyre tail (duller silver blue body, blue tail, orange spots, 1.5-2 inch), 1 small yellow snakeskin (yellow and green with black spots, 1 inch), 1 very small yellow Endler (yellow with black spots, 1/3 inch) and 1 tiny tuxedo Endler (black with orange stripes and yellow spotted tail, 1/4 inch)). We don't want to add any females to avoid breeding. The tank also has lots of hiding places, 4 tall crypt plants, 4 medium Anubias, plenty of java moss and other little low light varieties, in addition to a large piece of driftwood leeching tannins and lots of large rocks to encourage hiding places and reduce eyeline between the fish.
<But do understand fish have a "distant touch" sense called the Lateral Line that means they're aware of things even if they can't see things, just by feeling changes in ambient water pressure. It's hard to describe to a human because we have to physically touch something to feel pressure. So while breaking up lines of sight is crucial, if the tank is very small, as yours is, fish may still be aware of "hidden" fish a few inches away using their lateral lines.>
I know it's early days (have only been in for 48 hours), but every single small guppy is chasing the lyre tail around, displaying to him and head butting him in the side on occasion. The lyre tail shows no sign of
aggression or display at all, and is happy to continually peck at the plants and look around the tank. None of this behaviour was present on the first day, but the second afternoon things seemed to be getting out of
hand! This morning things seem to be calming a bit, but the lyre tail is still chased every now and then, less incessantly but the behaviour is still there. He seems to alternate between avoiding the yellow snakeskin, or not caring at all, who is the main culprit of the chasing.
<And likely the dominant male.>
After reading many forums I'm guessing it's a combination of them believing the lyre tail is a female, are sorting out dominance or just being general active boys. There has been no biting that I can see - all tails are intact, but it puzzles me that especially the tiny tuxedo Endler will flare out his fins and do little shimmying movements in front of the larger fish as a display, and join in on the chasing. On occasion he even does it to the lyre tail himself. There has been no overtly aggressive behaviour - no face offs, no circling, they always seem to be in a "T" formation.
<Mixing Endler's with common Guppies isn't a good idea; even where cross breeding won't happen, as here, Endler's are much smaller than common Guppies, making them far easier to bully. In the animal world, size matters.>
We are looking at adding some more males next week as suggested by our local fish store (as to not throw out the balance of a new fishless aquarium too much - have been adding Nutrafin cycle and will be adding
Purigen in the filter media and SeaChem stress guard to the tank in the next couple of days), will this assist with the hassling? While the lyre tail doesn't seem that phased I want to try and help in any way that I can
to avoid stress and deaths, by hopefully spreading any attention around. I completely understand males will display this behaviour in new tanks and in all male tanks, but the order seems to be the wrong way around. Or maybe our tiny fish just have lots of guts to display and chase someone so big in comparison? The lyre tail doesn't seem to be dominant at all, yet is the main source of all attention.
<Indeed. They will create a hierarchy, though fish will move up and down as time passes. Generally what happens is the smallest fish gets picked on the most, and a curious thing about fish is that (under lab conditions anyway) the stress of being bullied causes growth rate to slow down, so smaller fish stay small, while bigger fish get bigger, and bully tends to get biggest of all. This doesn't hold true for all fish in all situations, but it's pretty widely seen in those fish species that have been studied in labs, and is an important issue in, for example, fish farming where you want all your fish to grow to about the same size.>
I'm also hoping to get some floating moss or plants in the next few days in case that will assist as well, as I've read guppies like to swim at the top of a tank.
<Yes. In the wild that's where you see them.>
Ours have been darting up and down the glass and all over the aquarium without staying in one particular area, so I'm not sure if this will be of help since they already have so many hiding places.
Another note (sorry, just trying to include everything), the height of the chasing and nudging behaviour was after the LED lights above the tank had been on for about 6 hours, and as soon as the blue moonlight mode was selected, they seemed to stop chasing as much. When the lights are off completely (the tank is in a well lit room of natural light (but out of direct sunlight) this also seemed to result in less chasing. Could the LED light be accentuating their colours and therefore increasing their need to display?
<Possibly, and certain colours may trigger certain behaviours, but I've seen Guppies in all sorts of tanks, and they're always pretty much Guppies when it comes to behaviour. They are daytime animals of course, so when the tank is darker they do become more quiescent.>
Thanks in advance for any suggestions,
<Basically, the tank is too small for the required number of Guppies; read, review, and act accordingly. Cheers, Neale.>

Help! Female guppy with red line protruding from her anus, and thin guppy. 03/04/09 Hello, I'm no newbie at keeping fish, but my female guppy has developed a really strange problem, which I think is caused by my male guppy harassing her trying to mate. <This certainly will stress females. Do remember the three golden rules of mixing male and female livebearers: [A] Lots of space; for Guppies, that's 20 gallons (90 litres) minimum. Smaller tanks just don't give the females any space to find some peace and quiet. [B] Lots of floating plants; these give the females hiding places as well as places for the newborn fry to hide. [C] Lots of females; always always always have at least twice as many females as males. Anything less means the females get constantly harassed. It's cruel to keep them in "pairs", despite them often being sold as such. Me? I keep a single male livebearer with 5-6 females. Works much better.> basically there is a red line, not dangling, but protruding from her anus. <Most probably Camallanus worms, which will need treating with a suitable anti-Helminth medication (Levamisole, Piperazine or Praziquantel often recommended, but Fenbendazole or Flubendazole seem to be much more reliable.).> (by the way, for a guppy do they have separate birthing canal and digestive canal?) It looks sharp and pointy? <Good question! In the case of Poeciliid livebearers, the birth canal and the digestive system share a common opening called a 'cloaca'. This is similar to most vertebrates except for placental mammals.> And its very thin--like a line on a page. <Sounds very like a nematode.> She is eating well, is pregnant (but not heavily pregnant), and is able to poop with no problems. Prior to this, her anus hole looked big, and I thought she might have been ready to give birth. <Hmm...> Have you heard of this before? Do you think this could end up being a fatal problem? <Unfortunately it is rather common among farmed livebearers, and usually when I hear about it via WWM, it seems to be livebearers and cichlids, both farmed under intensive conditions and consequently exposed to parasites more readily. It's fatal if not treated, but can be treated successfully.> Then the second part of my question, Have you ever come across guppies that are just thin? I have this other female guppy that has a thin abdomen, no matter how much I try to fatten her up to a normal looking size. Meaning that her abdomen has a slight curve rather than a straight line. <Could be a parasitic infection, or a "wasting disease", or simply skinny genes... Would treat all your Guppies with Fenbendazole or Flubendazole in the same tank, on the assumption all may be infected to some degree, even if only the one is obviously infected.> When she was pregnant, she became "normal" sized, then after giving birth (and having all her fry eaten by the other guppies), she went back to being thin again. She has a good appetite, and if I put her in a large net and feed her, she eats all the food and puts on weight, then the next day she is skinny again. Is it possible for guppies to have worms...? <Yes.> Could you advise me on this please? Thanks for your time....! Regards, -- Wanda <Cheers, Neale.> PS: I now think my other male guppy has caught the "thinness problem". None of the other fish have it, so I don't think it is contagious but I am not sure!! =[ and that male has been swimming as though its tail is dragging it down, and not been eating much. sadness. <Treat them all together! NM.>

All Male Guppy Tank: Best way to avoid stress, nipped fins, infections, etc.    2/3/13
<Hello Art>
After retiring from keeping saltwater fish, I decided I wanted to do something easier - an all male guppy species tank.
<I see>
Easier said than done. I started with two 20 gallon quarantine tanks, cycled them, then started adding fish. After noticing some fins getting nipped, I added pvc pipe couplings, but guppies are much too active to use these for shelter.
<Perhaps lowering the temperature will slow down their motion... low 70's F.>
I apparently introduced 'guppy disease' or Columnaris into one QT tank, as I would buy about 7 at a time and lose all within a very few days.
<Yikes. No fun. Imported (Asian) guppies do have this problem at times/cyclically>
The guppies that survived in either QT tank usually ended up with ragged tails - lots of aggression, possibly because they were added at different times.
The last group I bought all played nicely (maybe because I added 6 at once to the QT when there were no previous occupants?), and eventually I added about 12 male guppies to my 30 gallon heavily planted tank -their final destination. I did not add any fish from the QT tank where I had the infection.
Over time, I have ended up with about 6. Given the difficult time I have had with diseases with these fish, I  remove fish that show familiar signs of bacterial infection - I've seen ragged/disappearing fins and faded color in my 30 gallon, but not the sinking to the bottom and loss of appetite I noticed in the infected QT tank.
It is time to restock, and after all the time, trouble, deaths and sick fish I went through with QT, I don't  think this is the best way to introduce male guppies to an all male guppy tank.
Here is my plan:
Order the stock I want from the local pet store. They will hold my fish in their shipping bags, and I can pick them up as soon as they arrive, and skip exposing them to the water in the store.
<Mmm, the problem is really from before the store... the conditions these Poeciliids are raised in overseas>
I am planning to remove the current 6 guppies, and introduce these and the new stock simultaneously ( the tank has been established for several months, but I dose with tetra safe start when I add new fish to help boost the biological filter) to my heavily planted 30 gallon (pH 7, Ammonia and Nitrites 0, Nitrates less than 20 ppm. I run 2 Aquaclear 70 filters, so the circulation is vigorous, but the Wisteria plants and melon swords buffer this somewhat. I have heard that too much current can be detrimental to the tails - your thoughts?)
<This is so. Five to ten times turn over per hour of non laminar (chaotic) flow is about right>
I believe that male guppies do better in large numbers to diffuse aggression, and the simultaneous introduction of all fish reduces aggression based on territory.  The heavy planting also keeps fish from being permanently on display to their would-be aggressors. I think many of the bacterial infections I experienced in QT tanks was because fish succumbed due to the stress of being chased, bullied, and having their fins nipped.
I expect that I will lose some fish, but even if I introduce an infection, I believe that overall, most fish will not succumb to it if they are not stressed.
<Likely so>
I have always quarantined, but after my previous experience, I am ready to try a different approach - it could not turn out much worse.
Your thoughts?
<I'd have you read what we have recorded re Columnaris:
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Bangkok Aquarium show   3/30/12
Bob Photos of prize winners in the Guppy category Perry
Thanks for sending these along Per. BobF

Male Guppies -Too Much Testosterone? comp., stkg.    3/15/12
I have a tank which is entirely male guppies, six in total. There are two black, one blue, one leopard print, one yellow and one orange. Barry (the orange fish) seems to get sexually harassed by the other males, mostly Leppy, the leopard printed male. I know for sure that Barry is a male as I've had all these fish for about 4 months and at first I simply passed their sexual behaviour off as nothing to worry about. Lately, however, Leppy hardly gives Barry a break, and I noticed that he has a blood-red appearance to his underside and the scales there are rough and projecting off his body.
<Needs to separated ASAP... If no other system to go to, in a floating plastic colander, breeding net/trap or such>
When I first got guppies, the aquarium store gave me two females by accident who had orange tails and I wonder if this is why Leppy harasses Barry so much. Also, is this really caused by Leppy's sexual advances, or is Barry sick?
<Likely the former... All male livebearer systems either have to be quite crowded on large and not crowded...>
The tank is at the right temperature, I don't over-feed them, and I keep the tank clean. Please help.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Pregnant Guppy and Aggressive Male Guppy     1/24/12
So I have two fancy guppies in a 3.5 gallon aquarium,
<Need more room than this...>
 one male and one female. About a month ago the female guppy has become pregnant but I'm still waiting for her to have the fry. The male guppy won't leave her alone.
 He follows her EVERYWHERE and she's just started to go to the top corner of the tank and just sit there and the male guppy swims around her poking at her gravid spot with his mouth! Could someone please tell me why is he acting this way?
<Survival value, passing on genes...>
And if it is dangerous to her pregnancy?
<Can be, yes>

 Thank you so much, I'm really concerned by this odd behavior.
<Best to separate for now (breeding trap, net, floating plastic colander...; but really... need a larger world. Bob Fenner>

Crude selection in a guppy pond population   1/14/12
Hi I have an outdoor pond +- 40litres with plants.
<A little more than ten gallons>
It receives lots of sun and the guppies breed like crazy. The primary reason for the pond is for mosquito control. There are a couple of males with lovely bright tails and I would like, for fun, to see if by selection, I could influence the genetic drift.
<Indeed you can, do>
 I could easily remove them all select a few suitable males and females and put the rest in another shady colder pond where they may battle to survive the winter and may be eaten by the resident goldfish (which do survive the Cape town winter!). I would then return the selected few to the sunny pond where they will breed up again.(I have started colonies of this stock many times over the years) My question is: will this make any difference i.e. will I end up with a population of more great colors or do you think this might be a waste of time as the females may be pregnant/and store wild sperm anyway?
<I think it/this will be instructive and a great deal of fun>
I would not like to commit this fishicide unless there is a good chance of success! Thanks for any input! Regards Barry
<There is some things to be said... one, re coloration, long fins and increased predation, due to "standing out" and being slower... Bob Fenner>

Question about two different tanks. Guppy stkg., Loach comp.    12/13/11
Hi there! I have two tanks and multiple questions.
Tank 1: I recently acquired a heavily planted 6 month old established 10 gallon tank from a friend that was moving and could no longer keep them. I found she had 6 platies in there (4 males 2 females), 2 ADFs, 2 ghost shrimp and 1 Amano shrimp. Although they were all vibrant, disease free and seemingly healthy I could tell the platies were frustrated so I gave the platies to my roommate with an abundance of females. The question is, how many fancy guppies can I put in their place?
<About the same number>
  I was thinking about getting
6 males but I'm not familiar with ADFs bioload... do they poop a lot?
<Not too much; though are easily over-fed, the uneaten food/s causing issues at times>
 Would the tank be overstocked if I decided I wanted 8 guppies?
<Mmm, maybe; though the more crowded, the greater the likelihood of negative interaction. I'd stick w/ six>
Also, if I keep only males will they be stressed or aggressive with one another?
<These all-male systems can work out. Do just keep a keen eye open lest one become a bully, need removing>
Tank 2: Another 10 gallon, heavily planted. It has 5 Yunnanilus cruciatus loaches
(I can't find a consistent common name for these guys. They were bought under the name of 'multi-striped loach' but I can't find anything about them when I type that into Google)
<Mmm, try the scientific name... Banded Dwarf Loach...>
 and I was wondering whether or not they
would get along with a Betta? 
<Should, yes>
Are they aggressive?
<Not really, no>
I've read they can be
"gregarious" but would a Betta be able to live peacefully with them?
<Are gregarious w/ their own kind. Live near, on the bottom, decor... will very likely ignore a Betta>
PS. Both tanks are kept at 76 degrees, filtered, and 30% weekly water changes.
<Mmm, do please read on WWM re Betta splendens husbandry and here:
re the loaches>
Thanks for all your help!
- Melanie
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

lonely guppy     10/24/11
Hello all,
<Hello Anne,>
I wrote a couple of weeks ago with worries about my 3 guppies and 5 minnows in a new but cycled tank. I was given lots of good advice but all but one of them died, at a rate of one or two a day (the minnows all within 5 days of purchase) much to our deep regret.
<Do understand White Cloud Mountain Minnows come from a very different environment to Guppies, and so they're not ideal companions. WCMMs are best kept in tanks 50 cm + in length, with a brisk water current, lots of oxygen, and lowish water temperatures, likely room temperature in a centrally heated home, but around 18-22 C otherwise. Guppies are essentially fishes of ponds and ditches, and they prefer still water, and, in the case of farmed fancy Guppies at least, a fair bit of warmth, 25 C or even slightly higher. While WCMMs are especially fussy about water chemistry, they're less hard water fish than Guppies, so again, there's a difference here.>
Not to repeat the whole saga, but I'd been doing all the water changes, filtering and cycling and water tests had repeatedly come back as being fine. After further investigation with other shops in our area, it appeared that the store we bought from has a poor reputation locally. Whilst all looks great on the surface (it's a well known national chain), they apparently don't quarantine new deliveries of fish but put them on sale immediately. Therefore, in the view of the other two stores I spoke to, the fish were either already ill or had just gone through too much stress to survive. Although they were all still under 'guarantee' and I could have asked for free replacements, I decided I would never take fish from that store again.
<I see.>
Anyway, over time and on the advice of a specialist aquarist store we've added 8 mollies to the tank (not all at once!) and carried on with water treatment/maintenance as before. The mollies are all fit as fiddles - they're still fairly small, about 2 - 2.5 cm. BUT - our lone guppy is clearly lonely and showing signs of stress. Today I have noticed what I think may be fin rot on the very tip of his tail. He is very mildly bullied by the others, more ostracized than attacked.
<Mollies are extremely aggressive, and a male Molly will view a male Guppy as a rival, and a female Guppy as a potential mate. Simple as that. They're very closely related, and because of that, antagonistic behaviours between them are strong.>
The tank is 60L,
<Too small for Mollies in the long term; just about adequate for Guppies though.>
water tests come back fine, it's at 25 deg C, just had 2 x 40% water changes in last week (slightly more than I'd normally do because of new fish - would normally do 20%).
Do I:-
a) Treat him for Finrot although others are all fine?
b) Add salt?
<If you wish; anything between 2-6 grammes of marine aquarium salt will help both species. Dose depending on the live plants (if any) and other tankmates (most freshwater fish dislike salt).>
c) Any other ideas (to prevent his loneliness?). The tank is already fully stocked, in my opinion, and a bigger one's not possible.
<Adding extra Guppies won't help the one you have at all. They won't help one another out. In fact you may find, to your annoyance, any additional males start fighting as well. This is the nature of livebearers, and contrary to what many suppose, social behaviour isn't "easy" within this group unless you stick to females.>
d) Do you think, provided I can cure his Finrot, I should offer him to the store so that he could be resold with some other guppies?
<Or take back the Mollies for a more sensible stocking plan.>
Thanks, Anne
<You're welcome, Neale.>

Guppy stocking; Otocinclus feeding  10/16/11
two topics that I have been wondering about.
- - - guppies - - -
I've been reading the articles and FAQs about guppies with great interest.
I have noticed that you have quite strong opinions about acceptable stocking levels and water temperatures. Are you aware of the story "Killing them with kindness" by Anthony Fischinger?
<Not aware of it, but have read it now.>
Apparently, many fancy guppy strains are sensitive due to inbreeding,
but within a couple of generations of selecting for hardiness,
<"Selecting for hardiness" is essentially letting some of them die, and breeding those that remain. By definition, that means you're providing the fancy Guppies with less than ideal conditions by their standards, and not worrying about the weaker ones getting stressed and suffering. Hardly a humane way of keeping fish. I do agree with the author that crossbreeding fancy Guppies quickly returns their offspring to the vitality seen in wild Guppies -- that's been demonstrated under laboratory conditions and needn't be tested by aquarists. But most casual aquarists within the hobby won't want a bunch of wild-type Guppies without a particular colour scheme; what they want are Red Cobras, Snakeskin, or whatever Guppies.>
they can thrive at stocking levels up to 20 guppies per gallon,
<Absolute rubbish. Or rather, you can keep any fish at very high stocking density, but assuming you keep ammonia and nitrite at zero, and nitrate at some low value, less than 50 mg/l for Guppies, and less than 20 mg/l for cichlids. Doing this would be incredibly hard work for a casual aquarist, and nine times out of ten, trying would do nothing more than expose your Guppies to such poor conditions they'd sicken or die.>
rare water changes (in a planted aquarium), and wide temperature swings.
Could you comment on this story?
<Gladly. What that aquarist is saying is that if you cull some of your weaker Guppies, ignore low levels of damage to the fins, and repeatedly medicate your Guppies, you can keep them in poor conditions. Well, he may well be right, and certainly "the wild" isn't a nice place, and if you replicate some of the hardships in the wild, and let your Guppies strains crossbreed, then the over a year or two you will end up with wild-type Guppies able to put up with the same sort of hardships that wild Guppies have to deal with. But here's the thing: wild Guppies only live a few months, particularly the males, and their colours are nothing like the ones casual aquarists expect to keep in their aquaria. From an academic point of view this article is interesting, and I dare say that over a beer or two, the author and I would have quite a good conversation discussing the pros and cons of this approach. But as a guide to keeping store-bought fancy Guppies, it's of no value whatsoever. The author is absolutely right that fancy Guppies aren't as easy to keep as their wild kin, and that breeding and selection for certain genes have much to do with that, but that's not the same thing as saying the best way to keep store-bought Guppies is to expose them to the same harsh conditions their wild ancestors could tolerate.>
Would it really be a bad idea to let a guppy tank get crowded over time?
I've also seen local pet stores carrying guppies at very high stocking levels. They seem healthy, although I don't know whether the shopkeeper is removing sick fish all the time.
<Pet stores buy in farmed Guppies, and all the ones sold, except perhaps the "feeder" ones, are purebred strains. As such, they'll be true fancy Guppies with the same weaknesses as all fancy Guppies. Just because your local pet shop has Guppies maintained under what might be poor conditions, doesn't mean that pet store has bred their own hardy Guppies! On the contrary, even the best pet stores buy Guppies assuming to sell them quickly, and will probably expect a certain level of mortality within the group bought.>
- - - Otocinclus - - -
I have two small Otocinclus (probably o. vittatus, 2 cm, 3/4 inch long excluding caudal fin) together with three (3 cm) guppies in a 30 L tank with gravel and plants (hornwort, elodea, java moss, Anubias). Water parameters: 24-25 C, NO2 0 ppm, NO3 <20 ppm, GH 10 dH, KH 4, pH 7.0. The NO3 level is a bit high for Otos (color of the test strips for NO3 is a bit hard to match to the reference scale), but seems to be rather stubborn even with weekly 25% water changes. (The tap water here reads about 10 ppm NO3.)
Anyway, here is my real question: how can I tell whether the Otos need supplemental feeding?
<Look at their bellies; starving Otocinclus are distinctively hollow-bellied, and often look thin overall, too, and may have sunken eyes and exaggerated, jerky swimming movements as well.>
When I got them (1 month ago), the glass and Anubias were covered in brown algae. They devoured them: in two days, the plants were green again and the glass panes were crystal clear. Since I read at WMW and elsewhere that this tank is way too small to sustain Otos by natural algae growth, I offer the Otos a piece of zucchini every couple of days, which seems to disappear in a night or two. The problem is: the front window gets covered in various types of algae (green dusty film and greyish "ink stains"; all easily removed with a plastic scraper) and they don't seem to eat those algae even after four days without supplemental food. The Otos seem to have round bellies. Could it be that somehow this tank has more algae growth than two Otos can consume? Is it the wrong type of algae?
<Could be either, or both! Otocinclus feed primarily on green algae, and secondarily take some diatoms. In the wild green algae and micro-invertebrates ("aufwuchs") are their prime food sources. They don't eat red algae (e.g., brush algae) or blue-green algae, and may ignore diatoms if other foods are available. In any event, to think of them as pure herbivores is wrong; their diet is mixed, with some algae and some micro-invertebrates, and you need to plan accordingly. Actually, in a well-maintained aquarium they'll often do well on scraps of fish food that they find alongside green algae, so provided they look healthy, there's no reason to worry too much.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Guppy stocking; Otocinclus feeding    10/18/11

Hi Neale or other crew member,
Thank you for your extensive reply. One remark though, because I feel that there is a misunderstanding about what the author was advocating.
WWM wrote:
"I do agree with the author that crossbreeding fancy Guppies quickly returns their offspring to the vitality seen in wild Guppies -- that's been demonstrated under laboratory conditions and needn't be tested by aquarists. But most casual aquarists within the hobby won't want a bunch of wild-type Guppies without a particular colour scheme; what they want are Red Cobras, Snakeskin, or whatever Guppies."
As far as I understand from Fischinger's article -- and his friend Greg who also has some articles on that website -- they do actually breed them as fancy guppies, including presenting them on guppy shows. The difference is that they cull based on both appearance and vitality, rather than for appearance only. For example, Greg writes on http://www.fancyguppies.co.uk/page79.htm about his Green Lace Snake Skin guppies that are thriving and producing fry at temperatures down to about 60 °F (16 °C).
<I do thank you for this correction, clarification. Cheers, Neale.>

guppies and tank stocking. Repro.   2/10/10
Okay the first one is about guppies I got this little lady and she's in a all girls guppy tank and she has a gravid spot .... is she prego or are there just eggs?
<The gravid spot isn't particularly reliable. It isn't a colour marking that switches on when a Guppy is gestating. Rather, it is a part of the body that usually lacks strong pigmentation, and when the uterus expands through pregnancy, the uterus wall presses against the thin skin around the back of the abdomen, and a dark region, the gravid spot, appears. Whether or not the gravid spot is visible or reliable depends on the colouration of the fish in question, its size, and its age.>
I put her in a tank with some males and she had the gravid spot before I put her in is this possible?
<If she's ever been with a male since she became sexually mature, yes, she's probably carrying young.>
second question ... I have a Raphael catfish in a 20g and thinking about adding 2 angels and 1 Redtail or rainbow shark would this work?
<No. Red-tail and Rainbow Sharks are highly territorial, and need a tank at least twice this size to settle down properly without terrorising their tankmates.>
thanks !!!
<Please do "thank us" the way we like it best, by using proper English. It's appreciated by us and by our other site visitors, not all of whom have English as their first language. Cheers, Neale.>

Abstract Questions from a Freshwater Aquarist   7/31/09
I just have a couple of questions that I couldn't seem to place under the same category (hence the name). Okay, my first question is can ph kill fish?
<Yes. Rapid changes alters blood pH, and this turn affects the ability of the blood to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide around the body. The wrong pH will severely stress, eventually kill, those fish adapted to particular pH levels. A Rift Valley cichlid for example will not do well at pH 6, and will become much more prone to opportunistic infections than otherwise.>
I recently bought 5 goldfish for my aquarium, I set the bags in the water for 15 minutes, then netted the fish and put them in my aquarium. Three hours later (literally) they all died. I checked my water chemistry soon
after, and the only offending thing I could see was a ph below the charts (anywhere from 5-5.4, judging by the color) Nitrate: 40 Nitrite: 0 Ammonia: 45-ish Hardness: Moderate Temperature: about 76 at time of death.
<Goldfish will tolerate pH values across a broad range, at least for a while, but they do best at basic pH levels between 7 and 8. If your pH really was as low as 5, then [a] biological filtration wouldn't be working,
and [b] that low pH could easily have shocked or killed the Goldfish outright.>
My second question: are store-bought fancy guppies of poor (I mean very poor) quality?
<Can be. Essentially the question is the same as this: which are hardier and more long lived, pedigree dogs or mongrels? The answer is of course mongrels, which, on average, consistently outlive their pedigree cousins.
Guppy breeders select in favour of certain traits, such as tails of a certain length, or particular patterns on the body. But they don't select in favour of hardiness or longevity By contrast, evolution selects in favour of "fitness", the ability to survive and breed. There's actually good experimental evidence that supports this. Fancy Guppies cannot be acclimated to living in seawater, whereas wild Guppies and "feeder" Guppies
both can. In other words, when breeders create Fancy Guppies, they seem to throw away some of the genes that made Guppies hardy in the first place. Now, there are differences in quality of Guppies just as there are differences in the quality of pedigree dogs. The Guppies you buy from a pet store were bred to a price, not a quality, and often fish farms use antibiotics to "support" their fish so that they can stock lots of them in breeding ponds without being too worried about healthcare. By contrast, breeders at fish clubs will be taking more care, selecting the best fish, and looking after each group of fish carefully, as a labour of love. None of this gets away from the fact that Fancy Strains are often very inbred, with father-daughter, mother-son crosses being very common, so even under the best of circumstances, Fancy Guppies are genetically "weak". But there is a difference between good quality fish and mass produced fish.>
I've heard that the guppy is supposed to be the easiest and most enjoyable fish in the hobby, and yet I've also had experience (and read on other sites) that suggests otherwise, mostly due to inbreeding and the breeders only selling low-quality fish to pet stores.
<Pretty much. Wild Guppies are astonishingly adaptable, and that's why they became popular in the first place. Fancy Guppies, like fancy varieties of most aquarium fish, are much less adaptable.>
My third question is if I breed natural (feeder) guppies with Fancy guppies, will (some of) the fry be fancy and hardy?
<No; they'll all be "feeder" Guppies, or at least, mongrel Guppies with a mish-mash of colours. To my eyes, such Guppies are lovely, resembling the wild-type fish, which are wonderfully variable. The old name for Guppies, Millionsfish, referred to the fact that there were so many of them, and every one was different.>
My last question is that I've heard (on this site and others) that Hornwort is an amazing and under-appreciated plant. That it eats up Nitrates and Ammonia, looks good, reduces water hardness, sucks up CO2, puts in O2, increases water ph, and is easy to keep. How many (if any) of those things are true?
<Like high-fibre breakfast cereals, while it certain does some good, it isn't a magic bullet that will cure all life's ills! Hornwort, or equivalent floating plants such as Floating/Indian Fern or Amazon Frogbit, are great additions to tanks with livebearers. Your Guppies will nibble at them directly, and also peck away at algae growing on the roots. Yes, they absorb some nitrate (and even ammonia) at a rate depending on light
intensity (i.e., growth rate) and yes, floating plants provide excellent hiding places for newborn fry. I strongly recommend them, but I would expect them to replace your standard protocols for water quality and water
chemistry management.>
I'm looking for a beneficial plant to re-place my withering ones (might help those plants if I turned off/down my air-stones), and then stumbled across the Hornwort.
<Hornwort does need strong lighting at tropical temperatures. It's less demanding in coldwater tanks and ponds. In tropical tanks, sometimes wastes away if the lighting is poor to moderate. Indian Fern and Amazon Frogbit are, in my experience, a bit more forgiving.>
Hope I wasn't any trouble!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Questions about stocking with glassfish and guppies -- 06/26/08 Hello, my name is Jean. <Hi Jean!> Your site is a font of wonderful information! Keep up the good work! <Thanks.> I have a 20 gallon tall freshwater tank. I currently have 3 guppies and 3 (formerly painted) glassfish in it. I know I should keep my glassfish in larger schools, so I do plan on getting more (unpainted!) glassfish soon. Additionally, I think all 3 of my guppies are male (I think what I see is a gonopodium on each, and no one has ever gotten pregnant), but they do not seem to be bothering each other too much, no nipping at all. I had another psycho guppy previously who was a killing machine, I returned him. <Fairly common for male Guppies to be highly aggressive. Does rather depend on the number of fish, size of the tank.> My questions are: What additional fish can I add to this tank that will get along with my glassfish and guppies? Should I do anything about having all male guppies, if they seem to be doing alright? I'm not itching for fry right now! I would like any additions to my tank to be peaceful, as I don't want another psycho killer fish. <Glassfish will mix with anything that doesn't actually eat them. I keep mine in a tank with South American puffers, Corydoras, halfbeaks, Limia nigrofasciata, and various catfish and tetras.> Further, I add about 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt per 5 gallons to my tank, for the sake of the glassfish and general health. The guppies don't mind. <Neither Glassfish nor Guppies need salt. In fact the Glassfish traded in the hobby are all freshwater fish. The idea they NEED salt is likely down to misidentification, with the fish being sold (Parambassis spp.) being mistake for brackish water Ambassis spp.> My hardness (GH) is a constant 120 ppm, and my pH is currently at 6.8. <Ideal for Glassfish and indeed most other soft water fish. Tetras and Corydoras would be excellent options. Guppies do tend to be sickly in soft water and at acidic pH levels, and your addition of salt is certainly helping here somewhat. Still, I'd tend to phase out livebearers in favour of true soft water fish.> What other fish can I add considering the salt level? I've considered mollies but can't they be aggressive, especially with the guppies? <Mollies and Guppies can fight, so not a good combo. Besides, your tank is WAY too small for Mollies.> Further, are there any bottom feeders that would be o.k. in this environment? (I love exotic little Plecos, like Bristlenoses, but heard they can't stand the salt). <Ancistrus and hardy Corydoras species can easily tolerate low salt levels such as those you are using. Anything measured in spoons is inaccurate, so forgive me for not using such methods. But normal seawater has 35 grammes of marine salt mix per litre. One-tenth salinity would be easily tolerated by Corydoras and Ancistrus, and works out at 3.5 grammes per litre. But to be honest, I'd bin the Guppies, or rather ignore salt and instead harden the water in a more effective way using Malawi Salt mixes, such as: Per 5 gallons/20 litres 1 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 1 tablespoon Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) 1 teaspoon marine salt mix (sodium chloride + trace elements) This is easy to make up using stuff from drug stores, grocery stores and/or pet stores and costs pennies per water change. For the fish you're keeping, one-quarter to one-half the dose described above would be ample. For guppies, you're after pH 7.5, 10-20 degrees dH.> Thanks so much! <Cheers, Neale.>

Guppy question, sel. sys., dis.    2/17/08 I've had guppies for years and stopped and restarted a few times, out of frustration of how delicate the females are. <Of all fish species... this standard used to be rock solid... the touchy stock from the Far East has ruined a good deal of the hobby the last decades> I also have a 30gallon planted tank with co2 and such, so I'm not quite a beginner. I have almost enough salt to be considered brackish, think between 1Tbls/5gallon to 1Tbls/10gallon. This is a planted eclipse hex 5 gallon. <Small... hard to keep stable... and with the salt... easy for nitrification to vacillate> I have/had 5 females and 4 males. I think I even had another female but she died back 2 months ago. They are all fancy guppies, so delicate it seems. I got them from two different stores, one being PetSmart (sorry). I've had 2 females die now in the past day. I just did a water change 3 days ago, about 20%, as usual for every other to maybe ever week. The two that died were very pregnant and one of them and possibly the other looked like they were about to give birth (both were hanging out down on the gravel or plants being alone). With that background out of the way, is there anything else I can do to make the females more comfortable and less likely to die? <Yes... see below> This is a constant problem and I only got these fish 2 months ago and already have lost almost half my original females. The temp is usually at 76 but can go up to 79 (the eclipse light always has a tendency of heating the tank up if the room is mildly warm). But lately it hasn't been. Is my tank too crowded maybe too? <Is a factor, yes> They seem happy otherwise. Should I instead be buying more reliable females, <Yes> is it possible I've just had bad luck with the ones I bought? <Mmm, not entirely, no> I think the ones that died today were both from PetSmart if that matters. It's just demoralizing. Thanks for any information. -Erin <Too many Poecilia reticulata on the market are infested with Hexamita (perennially) and Columnaris (seasonally, and in more erratic punctuated fashion)... Guarding against the introduction of these diseases can be accomplished only through careful exclusion/quarantining of all incoming livestock... and treatment with antiprotozoal (Metronidazole often) and possibly antimicrobial (most celebratedly Neomycin...). You might have "luck" with buying/selecting better stock from another source... but I would still at least isolate it for a good two weeks (to weaken pathogens) before introduction to your main displays... Having a larger system would be of great benefit here as well as bolstering the fishs' immune systems through improved nutrition... Do see the Net re the disease organisms mentioned... they can be defeated, excluded... Bob Fenner>

hi again/ guppies... English   07/28/07 hi I have been emailing you a lot about swordtails and guppies. I have only one male and one female guppy with some other fish. what would happen if I added another male and female. <Depends on the size of the tank. Likely the males will fight, and the females get stressed. Serious breeders keep one male to multiple females per tank, and will set aside not less than 20 gallons for each group of fish. Male guppies can harass the females in smaller tanks, to the point where health (and fecundity) are compromised. Rescuing a few baby Guppies is easy; establishing a breeding program to produce substantial numbers of sellable offspring is a job of work.> if that wont work should I put all males or all females. <Adding more females is always good, assuming the tank will support them all safely.> I really want to know which way to go with putting more guppies in my tank I also have a one gallon bow tank . how many guppies can I fit in that. <None.> I also wanted to know if a guppy or two in the one gallon would eat the only fry I have in that tank. <One gallon isn't an aquarium. It's a vase. Stick flowers in it. (Not my quote, but another aquarist's, so I can't take the credit.) can I put more guppies in that tank with the fry. <No.> also I have a tank with more fry in it. the youngest are a couple of weeks old or a month. could I put more guppies in that tank. <No.> can I sell babies to pet stores. <Yes, once the baby Guppies are a sellable size (2-3 cm). It takes about 3-4 months to raise them to such a size. To do that, the baby fish need to be in a "rearing tank" of at least 10 gallons and ideally 20 gallons. Feeding needs to be regular (4x per day) and water changes at least every other day to keep the nitrates low. Water quality is the key: in polluted water, the baby fish don't grow properly and likely die. Seriously, breeding Guppies "for profit" is hard work, or everyone would be doing it!> thanks a lot. <Please try using capital letters and so on next time. If you want us to spend effort helping you, please make the effort to produce an e-mail that's easy to read and easy to share with other WWM visitors. Cheers, Neale>

hi... Guppy sel... English   07/28/07 Hi I have emailed you lot and was wondering if it is good that I have 4 male guppies with 2 females. One female is yellow and orange. she is a fancy like the rest. I was wondering also if you could send me some pictures of some pregnant and not pregnant guppies and marble mollies. also if you could tell me how to tell if a marble molly is pregnant that would be great. Thanks. <No, it is not good to have more male Guppies than females. The ideal is at least 2 female Guppies for each male Guppy. Pregnant fish are difficult to tell from non-pregnant fish. When they are close to delivery, they do become noticeably bigger around the abdomen. Female Guppies may develop a "gravid spot", a dark region around the anal fin. But otherwise, if a female Guppy or Molly has ever been with a male, you can assume it is pregnant. Please fix your spelling and grammar next time; I had to fix your e-mail up to make it suitable for publishing here at WWM. Cheers, Neale>

Guppies are simple   5/10/07 Hi Crew, This letter is just to tick off all those who write in about their problems with guppies and their fry. My grandson (10) just got 2 males and 2 females from an LFS plus a small tank with a filter.  Within 24 hours he had over 50 new ones and managed to save them and place them in a separate container which is just like a large jar, no water movement and nothing to clean the water other than changing most of it once a week. It is now 4 weeks later and he only lost 3 babies. I can't figure it out but they must be some very hardy fish. Of the original 4 only one male is left. It killed off the others. I am trying to convince him that it is safe to put the babies in the tank because I doubt  they will survive too much longer in that set up he has. <Well... the popular livebearers are "not what they used to be" back a few decades ago... Do die "mysteriously" nowadays... but still a great joy and growth experience for young folks (and not!) to house, keep... I still can't stop collecting the fabulous one gallon jars available (mostly with pickles for us) that would serve as great small containers... If only the source/tap water were "safer"... Cheers, BobF>

Air pump/filter (quieting) and male guppies, comp. with their own kind/sex    4/1/07 Dear crew, <<Hello, Tima. Tom with you.>> I hope all is well.  I have 2 questions regarding my fish tank. <<All is, indeed, well as I hope it is with you.>> (1) Does the air filter with a gauze and bubbles (AIRTECH 2KO bought from Wal-Mart) need to be on at full power?  Since it is so noisy, we turn it down, not off, at night. <<If your air pump is only being used to push air through an airstone or air wand, there's no real need for the pump to be on at full power. Almost invariably, the vibration from the pump that's causing the noise can be dampened, or eliminated, by placing the pump on a soft pad of rubber or cloth, for what it's worth.>> (2) Can a male guppy bully to death other male guppies? <<Yes, they can and do on occasion. Because they're small fish, we have a tendency to keep them in small aquariums that don't always provide enough space for the fish to claim their own spaces. A dominant male might decide that the whole tank is his and will bully the more submissive fish constantly, even to death, in order to protect 'his' territory.>> Thanks for all your help. Take care, Tima <<As an aside, Tima, you refer to your air pump as an air 'filter'. I don't want to read too much into that except to mention that an air pump is not a filter for the tank other than the gauze filtering the air that's being pumped into it. Hopefully, you have a separate filter for the water in the tank. (Some filters are powered by air pumps and the distinction between the two can be a little confusing especially for those who might be new to the hobby.) Best regards, Tom.>>

Re: 2.5 Gallon- How many???    3/2/06 Thank you for answering those questions, but how many guppies can I keep in this tank? Thanks, Anthony <Hi Anthony. I would keep only two at first, 3-4 after a few months. Keep them all male or they may overpopulate. Best regards, John.> Stocking tiny FW system with guppies  1/27/06 Hello, I'm hoping you can help me as I've been researching this matter for several hours and while I've learned a bit I am unsure of what action if any to take. I have a 3 gallon Eclipse that I just reset up. I have my African Dwarf Frog in there now who lived in a 3/4 gallon bowl for about a year.  She is quite happy and I am quite fond of her. I am thinking to add fancy guppies and I'm not interested in breeding.  I've been reading about guppies fighting etc., and I want to avoid this problem. My question is would it work to add a single fancy guppy? <Yes, likely so> If not, would 2 be just as good as 3? <Mmm, not if of differing sex> Would it be better to get females or males? <Either, just of the same sex> I'm wondering if I should skip that idea altogether and just get 1 or 2 more frogs instead? <Possibly> I will be back in school in a couple of weeks and do not want to be overburdened with tank issues/care. Thank you in advance for your support and sharing your knowledge! ~Carla   <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Female fancy guppy question   1/14/06 Hi, <Hello> I hope that you can answer my question or lead me to the proper place to get the information I need.  We have a 46 gallon tank, after we set up the tank and had it ready for fish (the pet store tested the water quality as did we), we decided that we only wanted fancy guppies.  We purchased 10 males and 10 females, <A bad ratio... too many males... and too many fish to put in a new tank at once> which the store said was a good combination to start with. We were told that they were strictly kept separated until we purchased them and mixed them in our tank. <...?> We noticed that a couple of our females were losing their color, first in their tale fin and then in their bodies.  We had them die 24 hours after being placed in the tank. <Something about the tank, water quality...> The next day we had another die.  All three were found dead about 20-25 minutes after a feeding. About 12 hours later, my hubby came home and he was holding the kids to watch the fish and realized that we had fry swimming around.  We could count 7. <Stress induced repro...>   We put a breeder box in the tank to separate out the fry because that was the only thing we had available.  We were able to catch 5, one was eaten and one got crushed in the gravel trying to get away from the net.  Then we noticed that there are at least 3 more females that are visibly pregnant. <Common condition> We have no idea which one had these fry and if it was a now deceased one. Today, I have noticed that the females which are now greatly outnumbered are being chased constantly around the tank.  I also noticed that 4 of the remaining 6 females have either lost all color or are starting to lose their color.  The one that is the largest in her pregnancy is still looking good. The water is testing fine for everything. <Ammonia, nitrite?> I just don't know what to do at this point.  One of the males has lightened in color, I believe, and has gotten 2 dark spots on his belly.  I am new to this whole fish thing.  We have had platys since Christmas, Swordtails a few days later, bamboo shrimp and neon tetras in a 30 gallon tank... <Ahh! Good> they seem to be doing fine.  We had guppies in that tank that were a replacement for some swordtails that couldn't handle the stress of being moved and the only thing they could do was replace them with guppies which all died very quickly for us to find out that the entire shipment was sick - but we were able to treat the tank like the store said and saved everything else in there.  That is why we have a second tank for just guppies because the kids love them so much.  We also got this batch of guppies from a different store because of guppy quality issues at the store where we were getting everything else.  In addition to losing color two of them are staying really close to the heater and not really swimming, one I believe is pregnant but I can't really tell.  The water temp is 76 which is where the store had it for them.   I just can't believe that I bought a whole batch of pregnant fish!!  That is absolutely not what a beginner needs! Thanks in advance for your time and knowledge! Kimberly <It may well be that these guppies you bought were also "a bad batch"... the imported (majority) ones these years are often bunk... hormone treated, very easily lost. In the event the tank is just not completely cycled, I encourage you to add stability, by taking a good volume (like a quarter) of the water from the 30 and placing it in the newer 46. I would get/use your own test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH, and learn what these tests indicate. Bob Fenner>

How Many Guppies Will the Guppy Gup?  12/5/05 How many guppies is it safe to have in a twenty gallon tank <Uhm... Two. Because, in a few months, two become twenty, which in turn become two hundred... But to seriously answer your question, 15-20 would be fine, provided they are not all added at once.> and what should the ratio of males to females be. <Two to three females per male, otherwise individual females may be harassed excessively. You may want to have a spare tank ready to separate males and females when it all gets too much!> Thanks <Welcome! John> 

Same Sex Guppies I've had a tank for about six months. I have a few tetras and a catfish, but would like to add a few more shoaling fish that are hardy and pretty. Guppy's are pretty, but I do not want fry. Would Guppies be happy if they were in a tank with all female or all male. Or do you have another suggestion? Thanks! Annette <Depends on the size of the tank and what your water conditions are. But a few male Guppies should be fine together. If you are going to mix sexes it is always best to have more females than males. So don't add a female if you go with a small group of males. In a small tank with peaceful tankmates some Neons would be nice. In a larger tank Danios or Barbs. The choices are endless. Just research first and stock slowly. Be careful not to overstock. Don>

Same Sex Guppies pt2 Thank you so much for your reply!!  I have researched to death, but still I still do not know the best combination for my tank.  I apologize for failing to give you my tank size. 20 Gallon Tank:   5- Tetras: 1 inch asst 1- swordfish 1- white fish (I think it's a tetra as well) 1- Cherry Barb (This fish is aggressive and is going back to the store) 2- Catfish (Do I need 2 catfish??) I would love to add fish with a colorful fanned tails of some kind. What do you think of the following suggestions: 3 Male Only Guppies (Do not want fry, but also wouldn't want the males to live in a state of constant frustration...) Bettas (How many??) Other suggestions? You are so fabulous for answering my question!!!!!! Thank you, Annette, Dallas TX <Sorry about the delay getting back. Some Tetras can be aggressive fin nippers. Others are more social. Best not kept with a Betta. If you give it a try you can only have one Betta per tank. As to how many catfish you should have, again it depends on the type. Corys should be in groups of three or more. Plecos are fine by themselves. One last thing, I assume the "swordfish" is a swordtail. If male then it will be fine with a few male Guppies. If it is female the Guppies will chase her trying to mate. Randy little guys. If you want fish with fancy tails then go with the Guppies. Don>

Where to purchase quality guppies Dear www.WetWebMedia.com Crew, I like to know where is the best place I can purchase show quality guppies. I have been hearing that there are a lot of scams and fraud on the internet businesses that sell live fish. Do you know of any good hatchery near the San Francisco Bay Area (or Northern California) or perhaps a reputable internet site where show quality guppies are sold? <I would look for positive feedback from other hobbyists as to where they got good fish from. Our message board is here http://WetWebFotos.com/talk/. Also, look for a local aquarium society. There is a good chance you could meet a local breeder at one of their meetings.> Can you also recommend me a place or internet site where I can purchase aquarium rocks and decorations at reasonable prices? <We have a ton of links for e-tailers on the website, www.WetWebMedia.com> Thanks a lot! Ann <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Boy vs. Girl Question - Where For Art Though My Little Guppy? >Do tequila sunrise guppies come in females?   >>They most certainly DO, otherwise they wouldn't have been able to develop this strain.   >The store where I got mine says they are all male.  Please let me know. CR >>Maybe all your store has that are IDENTIFIABLE (their big mistake, in my opinion) as Tequila Sunrise gups are males, and that's the thing you see, females quite often aren't anywhere nearly as pretty.  Because of this, and customer demand for "the pretty ones" (maybe also because of the guppy's proclivity to produce more profusely than rabbits), they could have decided to only carry males.  Marina

How many guppies? Well, to start with, that is... (03/05/04) <Hi! Ananda here this windy morning...> Believe it or not I finally have my Eclipse tanks set up with water in them.  Will be ordering my mollies in the next few weeks.  Have to stabilize the aquarium, etc. <My goodness... *ordering* mollies? In most places, they're pretty common.> My question today is how many female guppies per male so that they are comfortable??   <Two or three females per male.> My husband is setting up a small guppy tank (6 gal) and wants to know the male/female ratio.  Me, I want to know how many fish would be happy in that small of a tank. <For that tank, I'd say two females, one male, and some ghost shrimp to help out with tank janitor duty.> I really appreciate your prompt responses.  My order for Sailfin mollies is forthcoming-    Thanks so much, Marion <You're quite welcome. Do wander over to the forums at http://wetwebfotos.com/talk -- I'm always happy to babble on about mollies. Wild-colored Sailfins are my favorite. --Ananda>  

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