Guppy

A complete guppy fish resource for pet owners

Guppies, sometimes called millionfish, are one of the world's most popular freshwater fish. Female guppy fish are larger than their male counterparts, something that's not unusual in the fish world but very rare in mammalian animal species. Beyond being kept as pets, guppies have been used to control malaria because they feed on mosquito larvae, thus limiting the population of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

Appearance

Size: Mature female guppies usually reach a length of 2 to 2¾ inches, whereas the diminutive male averages just 1 to 1½ inches when fully grown.

Color: Guppy populations show a great deal of diversity from one to the next; some fish are solid in color while others have intricate patterns. Through breeding guppies, piscine experts have engineered a dazzling selection of hues, with hundreds of variations available. In the wild, females generally have gray bodies, while males have gray bases accentuated with purple, yellow, black, orange, blue or red spots, stripes or color splashes.

Behavioral Characteristics

Both regular and fancy guppies are usually kept in schools because of their small size and the fact that they are social fish with complex interactive hierarchies. While males can behave aggressively towards one another, owners generally have few problems keeping peace in the fish tank. Guppy fish are also known for choosing "friends" from within the school and socializing in pairs or small groups.

Health and Care

Feeding: Guppies have no special feeding requirements, other than flaked fish food formulated to meet their nutritional needs, which can be supplemented, if desired, with baby brine shrimp.

Tank care: Guppy fish prefer hard water to soft water. They can also thrive in saltwater aquariums, as they have the ability to tolerate very high salinity levels. Providing your fish with a healthy living environment by using pumps and filters to keep the water clean and changing the water regularly. If you practice guppy breeding, good guppy care will also require purchasing barriers to keep adult fish separated from babies (called fries). If you don't, the adults may feed on the baby guppies.

Health Concerns: Fungal infections are among the most common guppy fish diseases, as is saprolegnia, a condition that manifests through white, slimy-looking deposits on the guppy's scales. Fish infected with fungi tend to grow listless and lose energy; medicinal treatments are available through your vet or pet store. If you suspect saprolegnia, isolate the affected fish immediately and add two drops of metaphen tincture for each gallon of water in the bowl. The same environmental toxins and contaminants that affect other types of fish – dirty water, excess fecal matter, a lack of oxygen – can also cause life-threatening problems for guppies.

Life Expectancy: The average guppy lives approximately two years.

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Posted by cher on March 10,2013 at 02:27 PM
I lost another female guppy today. Yesterday she was swimming around and eating. I put her in a small jar and it looks like she has white cottoney stuff on her now, it's been a few hrs since she died not sure if this is just detereation.. When I took her dead body out I saw no cause for death. Now I'm wondering if she had some kind of fungus I couldn't see. The rest in the tank look ok, but so did she yesterday. I loose one here and there, lost a male last week but it seems the females are dieing mostly. Do they get sick from breeding? Could there be a fungus in my tank picking them off slowley? and if so what can I use to stop it. I do use salt when doing water changes. Any sugestions?
Posted by palmer on February 26,2012 at 07:58 AM
10 years ago I decided to give up on tetra and get 5 guppies. Less than 4 months later I was up to 27 . They were healthy and happy...and.... then I went off to college and my mom neglected my thriving eco system. They were all gone by the time i came home for xmas break.
Posted by Sonoma Sam on March 04,2013 at 10:54 PM
I started with six I tried to feed to a bullfrog tadpole. After releasing him months later we noticed a few dozen guppies in that nasty brackish water. Seven year later I still have anywhere from 50-150 in my 10G tank. Cool ecosystem, but just curious if I shoudl think seven generations or even more. We notices general favored charactoristics every few months such as big dots, long tails or yellow or red. Suddenly 20 or so males will be alike in a weird way.
Posted by judy stimik on January 31,2011 at 04:30 PM
I have a female guppy who always looks pregnant--not sickly--eats well--just con stantly fat. Any advice on what is wrong?
Posted by ma on August 19,2010 at 07:20 PM
i'm getting me some guppies
Posted by Tara on December 23,2009 at 09:17 PM
I love guppies and i think that make great pets, Although they tens to breed alot.....
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