Guppies are one the easiest fish to breed. However, if you want to successfully raise fry (baby guppies), you have to know how do guppies breed, when the female is due, and the steps to take right before and after she gives birth (guppies are livebearers).

How Do Guppies Mate

Under the right conditions, male guppies will start to court a female with the goal of impregnating the female. Most often than not, the female swims away and the male will chase her. Once the male guppy gets close enough, he extends his gonopodium towards the female’s anal vent.

The gonopodium has a tube that transfers sperm to the female. The whole process takes less than a second. Mating will occur several times and females will mate with several different males. This increases the chances of insemination and it has been shown that due to this the offspring gain some benefits.

Mate Selection

It has also been shown that female species of certain types of guppies can delay the development of her young if she finds a male that’s more attractive than the ones she previously mated with.

Females are attracted to males that have bright colors. Research also shows that male guppies that have orange spots on their flanks are preferred. Its believed that the coloration indicates that the male is physically fit and can endure stronger currents for longer periods of time.

Another theory suggests that female guppies are actively choosing males that may be exhibiting superior foraging skills. Females also choose a mate based on courtship behavior. It takes a lot of energy for a male to do his courtship dance. Thus, males that are able to flex their bodies and keep up vibrations for longer periods of time are seen as ideal.

Best Conditions For Breeding

Guppies are tropical fish. Hence, temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal. To encourage your guppies to breed, try to keep the water temperature at a constant 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Guppies are durable fish and prefer hard water. So, try to keep the water’s pH level between 7.0 and 7.6.

For food, a mix of fresh and frozen brine shrimp, as well as a regular flake diet, is best. Vegetables can also be added to their diet. However, be sure not to overfeed your fish. Never give them more than they can eat in five minutes. See the following articles for more information:

Gestation

The most common gestation period is 28 days. However, it can be anywhere between 21 to 30 days. Factors like environmental conditions play a role in how long a female will keep her young. For example, if the temperature of the water is too cold, a female will keep the fry insider her for longer to ensure proper development. An overcrowded tank where the female feels stressed will also prevent her from giving birth.

After Birth

Guppy fry grow rather quickly and a female can have many babies in one drop. A female guppy is also capable of getting pregnant again hours after giving birth. It’s best to separate the young from adult fish (even adult guppies) as they will eat the fry. Once they’re mature enough, you can reintroduce them to the adult tank. See, how to introduce guppies to a new tank?

Also, a single female guppy may have 2,000 babies in her short lifespan. Be sure to keep an eye on your tank and take precautionary steps to prevent accidental overpopulation.

Conclusion

Understanding how and when your guppies are ready to breed will enable you to provide better guppy care for your fish.

With patience and observation, you’ll know their gestation period, how they’ll look when pregnant and close to giving birth.

Now you know how guppies mate and how to tell when your pregnant guppy is going to have baby guppies.

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