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The Guppy
Last updated: 2-Nov-01

Photo taken at Pets Palace

Avg. Price: $4 (BD$). They often cost bewteen $2 & $6 (BD$)

Species/genus: Poecilia Reticulata

Common Names: Guppy, Fantails. Wild Barbadian species are called "Thousands"

Origin: Barbados, Trinidad, Central and South America

Water Conditions: Ph: 5.5 - 8.5; Temp: 68 - 82F (20 - 28C) Hardness: Prefers Hard Water, but can survive in soft & neutral water. They can also be kept in Brackish (salty) water.

Temperament: Non-aggressive. Very friendly.

Adult Size: 2 to 2 inches. Males are smaller

Water Region: guppies will generally swim in the middle & upper regions of the aquarium.

Feeding: Omnivorous. Can be feed a wide variety of foods (flakes, Spirulina, lettuce, spinach, freeze dried foods, mosquito larvae). Guppies have small stomachs and can only consume a little bit of food at one feeding. Feed in small amounts at least 3 times daily.

Male on the left

Sexual Differences: Very easily distinguished. When mature, females are larger and rounder than males. Females are dull grey and while males are very colourful.

Pregnant Female (above male)
with gravid spot on stomach

Photo taken at Pets Palace

Courtship Dance

Breeding: Type: Livebearer. Difficulty: Very Easy.
No special setup is needed. Once males & females are together they will breed. The males will often perform a courtship display in front of the female by spreading their fins and curving their body. Females appear plump when pregnant and often have a black spot (gravid spot) on their bellies. Fry (babies) can fend for themselves immediately after they are born. However, the fry are a delicacy to most fish. Dense floating plants provide good hiding places for fry. Female guppies mature in about 3 months, male mature sooner. A female's gestation period last approximately 4 weeks. Since females can store sperm, one mating can produce 4 to 8 sets of fry. This is know as superfetation.

Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons

Tankmates: Best kept with fish of similar size such as tetras, platys, Mollies, Swordtails & Corydoras catfish. Unless you want your guppies to become dinner, do not mix them with Cichlids. Siamese fighters (Betas Splendens) may attack guppies because of their similar coloration & long fins. Avoid mixing with Barbs because they have a tendency to nip at other fish's elaborate fins, damaging them in the process (especially Tiger Barbs). As always, make sure the fish you choose can co-exist in the same water conditions.

Special Requirements: Tank: Guppies prefer a well-planted aquarium. Guppies tend to show richer colours on darker substrates (bottom material). Guppies should be kept in groups of no less than 3 (2 female to one male). Since males will always chase females, it is best to have more females than males, so that the males won't exhaust any one female.

Comments: The guppy is an excellent choice for beginners and experts alike. This beautiful fish is a perfect choice for first time fish keepers and children. They are very hardy, and can survive in conditions where other fish would perish. The guppy is also an excellent choice for "cycling" new aquariums. Cycling is the term used to describe the period during which the aquarium matures. An aquarium is mature when it contains enough essential bacteria to break down fish waste to a less toxic state.

Special thanks to "Pets Palace" for allowing us to take photos of their fish.
Pets Palace
No 1 Chelston Ave, Culloden Rd, St. Michael
Tel (246) 429-7848

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