Monday, March 13, 2006


Data Sheet

Scientific name: Poecilia Reticulata
Family: Poeciliidae
Origin: Central America to Brazil
Adult Size:2.5 inches (6 cm)
Lifespan: 2-4 years
Tank Level: Top, Mid dweller

Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons
Diet: Omnivore, eats a variety of foods
Breeding: Lifebearer
Care: Easy
Ideal pH: 7.0 - 8.5
Temperature: 64-82 F (18-28 C)
Males have longer, more colourful finnage and are smaller than females, which tend to be dull coloured. However, the most definitive feature in males is the gonopodium - a stick-like modified anal fin (used in breeding), instead of the normal rounded anal fin in females.

Breeding: An easily bred and prolific fish. It is advisable to keep 2-3 females per male to reduce stress on specific females from the male. Around 30 young are normally produced.

top tail

I could have swore these are swordfish, but they are guppies


The female guppy is drab brown to grey in colour. The much smaller male naturally has a colourful caudal fin (tailfin), showing wide variety in the wild, depending on where the stock comes from. These colourful variations have been considerably enhanced in shape and colour by selective breeding.


An easily cared for fish that does well in all types of community aquaria. Give them a fairly large tank with live plants and open swimming areas, avoid too much driftwood as a rule the livebearers do not like acidic water. Although not a schooling fish they benefit by being kept with a large number of their own kind. Temperature range from sixty-eight to eighty-seven degrees, water with a pH of 7 to 8.5 and hard to medium hard. You must provide a fairly large tank if you want their finage to develop to its potential. Cultivated varieties with very large fins should be kept singly. Guppies will except all types of flake food and small live food.

Mixing with other fishes:

Guppies are peaceful and mix well with any other PEACEFUL SMALL fishes. Larger fishes may eat guppies up.


These fish like a varied diet of flake food. They readily take live food such as bloodworms, tubifex worms and glassworms, as well as live daphnia.


Male guppies are forever courting. If a female remains stationary and her partner contacts her vent with his gonopodium, she is fertilized. The sperm is preserved in the female's oviduct, and so even after males are removed, a female is capable of having six or more broods. Gestation averages a month but can be much longer, depending on the time of year, health of the female, and conditions in the tank.

A pregnant female can be identified by the gravid spot (darkened area) behind her anal fin just posterior to the belly. When viewed from above, her strides appear swollen. To prepare for her delivery, keep the female in shallow (about 8 in.), aged water at 75 to 80 degrees F. Provide floating plants at least two inches thick into which the newborn can scurry, for even the mother will eat them. If other fish must be kept in the same tank, feed them heavily to suppress their hunger.

Disturbing a pregnant female may result in premature deliveries. One female may have as many as 200 babies; the average is 30 to 40, however. Young females have smaller litters. All of the newborn are about a quarter of an inch long. Feed them small meals at least three times daily.


If you keep your water clean and do not overcrowd your fish, disease will not be a problem. The most common ailments and their treatment are listed below.

WHITE SPOT (Ich, ichthyophthirius) is caused by environmental stress and/or cold water. It can also be caused by sudden changes in water temperature. It is a parasite resembling a grain of salt that feeds on the tissue of the fish causing irritation. It spreads through the skin and fins and will eventually kill the fish if left untreated. The mature parasite cannot be killed, nor can its eggs. It can only be destroyed in its free swimming stage after the spot falls off and the eggs hatch. This can take from 1-4 days. This is why it is important to continue to medicate for at least 3-5 days after the spots are gone. Add 1-2 drops of formalin or copper sulfate to the tank water and raise the temperature to 82 degrees (use formalin with great care as it is a cancer causing agent).

VELVET (Oodinium) is similar to ich but it is much smaller and has a golden color to it. As above, the fish will eventually die if untreated. Use the same treatment as for ich.

PROTOZOAN FIN ROT is the reason for death in most imported guppies. It eats away at the fins and in no time causes death. Caudals turn gray and will eventually fall off it not treated. An effective way to quickly combat this problem is to combine formalin (1-2 drops), sulfa (1 capsule per 10 gallons) and salt (one handful per 10 gallons) and treat the fish for at least a whole week, making 10% water changes daily. Remember to replace medications daily. Antibacterials such as nitrofurazone and tetracycline, when used for 7 days, work well also.

is grayish white patches on the body or fins. It too, can easily kill a fish. Treat with nitrofurazone (250 mg. per 10 gallons) for 7 days. Any similar antibacterial will also do the job.

As you can see, you don't need a full medicine cabinet to treat the common diseases of the guppy. If you keep formalin, sulfa, nitrofurazone, tetracycline and salt in the fish room, you should be ready for all but the most exotic diseases.

Photo Galley

Got a photo? Contact me.

tuxedo guppy

glass guppy

mosaic and cobra guppy

double swordtail guppy

ribbon guppy

swallow guppy

golden guppy

guppy calico lyre tail

rainbow guppy


triangle tail\ delta tail

Top tail

Links to other awesome Guppy sites:

1. a good collection of guppy for sale. Love the photo galley and information here.
2. an awesome photo galley.
3. another lovely photo galley.
4. Superb! This site got my vote
for the best guppy photo galley! Must see!

References Cited:

1. AquariaCentral, Guppy [Online], Available,
2. International Fancy Guppy Association, [Online], available
3. Guppy [Online], Available,
4. The Aquarium Fish Handbook (2001) by David Goodwin. Publisher: D&S books, England.
5. Poecilia Reticulata [Online], Available,
6. Fish Pic & Info: Guppy [Online], Available,

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