Guppy fish are one of the most popular types of tropical fish kept as freshwater aquarium pets. And for good reason, they are colorful, beautiful, and easy fish to raise. Here are 10 reasons to get guppies as a pet.
With so many different types of guppies, it might be hard to choose which breed to keep as a pet. However, despite their many colors and patterns and sizes and fin shapes, they are all wonderful pets.
Male guppies are more colorful and have various tail fins of many different shapes. For example, flag tail, lyretail, pintail, etc.
There are even guppies with huge pectoral fins that resemble ears. These guppies are called dumbo ear guppy. Some guppies known as mosaic guppy have a mosaic pattern on their tails. The cobra guppy has a snake-like pattern that covers both its body and tail.
Female guppies don’t have as many patterns and colors. They are mostly grey. However, their tails and dorsal fins have some color.
Because guppies are able to reproduce at a very fast rate they are some of the cheapest fish that you can buy. You can buy guppies for $1 to $3. Maintenance is also inexpensive. For example, you can find a starter kit (aquarium included) for $100 on Amazon or at various online fish stores.
These are small fish. Guppies do not grow to huge sizes. At most, they can grow up to 2 inches and the females are larger than males. Hence, they don’t need a lot of space to thrive. A small aquarium is great for a few guppies.
For example, a 5-gallon aquarium is good for 3-4 guppy fish. If you add a filter you can increase this number by 2-3. You may need to move some after 6 months though because there are sure to be lots of newborn baby fry.
Easy To Care For
Guppies need a heater to keep the water temperature stable. Guppies thrive at 72-82 °F. And, you don’t need to run your heater all day long. Artificial light is needed for live plants and for your guppy. But, remember, guppies do sleep and the light shouldn’t be on them 24/7.
- Change 10-30% of the water once a week (add tap water with conditioner)
- Clean the filter once or twice a month.
- Clean the glass of the aquarium once a month.
- Feed the fish every day or every other day.
All of the apparatus needed do not consume much energy so you’re all set. You can read how to set up a guppy fish tank for more information. Maintaining a guppy aquarium is easy!
Unlike most fish, guppies do not lay eggs. They are livebearers and give birth to live young that are able to swim right away. All you need is a male guppy and a female guppy in a fish tank with water and they will reproduce (see how to breed guppies).
You can expect the female to give birth to baby guppies every 30 days for 1.5 to 2 years. After this time, the female won’t be able to give birth to anymore fry but she will have already had many many babies before this time.
Guppies are really active and swim around a lot. Feeding guppies is also a fun moment. Just add a little feed and watch as the frenzy begins.
Guppy fish only become inactive at night when lights are off. A guppy sitting on a leaf or at the bottom of the aquarium during the day is probably suffering from a disease.
Though guppies have a relatively short lifespan as a pet they do live for 3 to 5 years. All they need is proper care i.e good water and high-quality food. They are a variety of food to feed your guppies and they even eat vegetables.
One thing to look out for is cannibalism when it comes to their young. Adult guppies will eat baby guppies. To care for the baby fry, you can keep them in a separate tank or add live plants and decorations so that they can hide.
Guppies can tolerate various water conditions for periods of time and can even survive without food for 2-3 weeks. Their ideal water conditions are:
- Water temperature: 72-82 °F (22-28 °C )
- Water pH: 6.8-7.8
- Water hardness (dGH): 8-12
- 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, maximum 10 ppm nitrates.
Because there is such variety and endless possible combinations of color, pattern and tail shape, it is virtually impossible to get tired of looking at guppies and how their fins flash in different lighting. This is especially true if you breed any guppies for yourself since the offspring can be born with a surprising combination of colors.