Guppies are beautiful tropical fish and one of the most kept freshwater aquarium pet fish. Each type of guppy fish reproduce quickly and produce lots of baby guppies (fry). To ensure the survival of most of your baby guppy fish you ought to follow a proper guppy fry care guide like this one.
Guppies do not take care of their fry. Baby guppies are left by their parents to fend on their own. The most distressing part of it all is that adult guppies eat the baby fry. But, you can take care of your guppy fry and ensure a maximum survival rate with the following tips.
At around 4-6 months, guppies are able to reproduce. Guppies do not lay eggs. Instead, they give birth to live fry. A female guppy can birth 20-60 fry in one drop. They can give birth once within a 30 day period and continue to do so until the age of 2. See how to breed guppies for more information.
Female guppies hide when ready to drop fry and labor can last for hours and even days before fry are born. Once born, the fry are able to swim and instinctly seek out hiding places in the tank. Soon after, they start searching for food.
Saving Guppy Fry
Other aquarium fish and adult guppies can and will eat baby guppies. It is advisable to have a separate breeding tank where the female can give birth or many may not survive in the main tank.
However, if you do not have a separate aquarium for breeding fish then you can save your guppy fry using the following tips:
- Use a large glass or plastic container to keep the pregnant female guppy while giving birth.
- A breeding box is also useful if you cannot separate the female from the main fish population.
- Once the female is done giving birth remove her from the breeding box or container and leave only the baby fry.
- Live plants such as guppy grass, hornworts, java moss, or the roots of water lettuce can increase the survival rate of guppy babies if you keep them in the main aquarium.
- The plants give them hiding places until they are big and strong enough to get away from the adults or too big for them to eat.
Guppy fry are around 6mm in length at birth. Their mouths are very small but they have a big appetite just like their parents. Baby guppies can eat once every 30 minutes but so do not have to feed them that often. Unless, of course, you want them to grow quickly. In which case, 5-10 times a day is sufficient.
Guppy fry will eat the same feed that the adult guppies eat. Be sure to grind the food into smaller bits for the young ones. Baby brine shrimp, micro worms, daphnia, and vinegar eels are great for baby guppies.
When keeping the baby guppies in the same tank as adult fish you don’t need to worry too much about the water conditions. The fry can thrive in the same tank as the adults so long as the adults can as well.
But, if you want to keep the guppies in a separate tank then you can tweak the conditions a bit for optimal growth:
- Use a water heater to keep the temperature at 80° F. Warm water increases the metabolism of fish and encourages growth.
- Partial water changes where the majority of water is fresh water can also benefit the growth of guppy fry. 50% water changes twice a week is sufficient. With proper care, you can do it every day (just try not to stress the fry).
- Try to expose your baby guppies to at least 12-16 hours of light a day. However, do not keep them in light all day and night. Guppies need sleep and 6-8 hours of lights out is about enough for them to get some rest.