Poecilia reticulata: Guppy

by Gene Moy

Guppies are reported to have started many in the aquarium hobby. They are enduring favorites at the PVAS auctions. Many varieties are available in different finnage and colors. Guppies are not very demanding with regard to water requirements, as they are very adaptable and over many years have adapted to home aquaria. Guppies are livebearers and reportedly breed profusely.

Sexing mature guppies can be done by looking at the shape of the anal fin. Females have a fan-shaped fin, while males have a pointed fin that forms what is known as a gonopodium. Males use this modified fin as a sex organ, to deliver sperm into the female.

I picked up one pair for the bargain of $1. These were a pair of adult half-black yellow delta tails. The yellow tail pair went into a 5 1/2 gallon with a sponge filter. The tanks were kept at the rather cool temperature of 72°F.

The Guppies were fed a basic flake diet, with a rare treat of a few black worms.

After a month, the yellow tail female gave birth to 5 young fry. The adults appeared not to be cannibalistic. A month after that, another 12 young were born. Subsequent spawns were larger. The largest spawn to date has been 30. The young are removed to another 5 1/2 gallon tank shortly afterwards, then to larger quarters with other fish as they grow. Fry are born at intervals of about every month.

The young guppies are initially fed a powdered fry food, graduating quickly to crumbled flakes, then to regular-size flakes. The young grow fairly quickly and are marketable in three months.

Thinking back, the last time I kept guppies was ... years and years ago, when I first started in the hobby. This brings back some memories.

This article first appeared in PVAS’s Delta Tale, Vol 32, # 1