Guppy (Poecilia Reticulata)
Native Location: Northeast South America
Size: 1.5 – 6.1 cm (0.6 – 2.4 inches)
Temperature Range: 24 – 28℃ (75 – 82℉)
Preferred pH Range: 7.0 – 7.2
Minimum Aquarium Size: 20 L (5 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Mollies, Platies, Gouramis
Care Level: Beginner
One of the most well-known fish in the aquarium world, Guppies are popular among beginner and seasoned hobbyist. There are almost 300 different varieties of guppies with a wide colour range. Their peaceful and easy to care for nature make them the perfect addition to mid-sized tropical aquariums. Tankmates of similar temperaments suit guppies well.
Guppies are omnivorous creatures. Although they are not fussy eaters, a well-rounded diet of quality fish flakes, live/frozen foods and vegetables suit their needs. Being lively fish means a high level of protein in their diet is best. Avoid tankmates of larger and aggressive natures as a guppy will become a snack. Best kept with like-minded community fish. Livebearer fish make the ideal neighbour. Guppies like to be in groups with other guppies or companions. They are active swimmers, and it should be rare to see them idle. Males will often chase females.
If you see your guppies hiding, it could be a sign of sickness or stress for your wee little creature. They enjoy warmer waters. Try replicating other conditions like their wild environment, though bred captively. And, note, for every guppy you add, you must add 7.5 L (2 gallons) of water, so you will need a tank that accommodates this. Plan it out before you buy your guppies. They will also enjoy more planted tanks with rocks. A plant-like Amazon Sword would be a great addition. Guppies will spend most of their time in the mid to upper sections of the tank. Be sure to perform frequent water changes.
Guppies are sexually dimorphic, meaning you can tell the sexes apart by looking at them. Male varieties of guppies tend to be much smaller, 1.5 – 3.5cm (0.6 – 1.4 inches), than their female counterparts. But, males also have more striking colour stripes, spots and splashes. Females, 3 – 4 cm (1.2 – 2.4 inches) long, have duller colourings and can even be grey. Guppies are not shy fish, and that is no exception during breeding seasons. It is unlikely they’ll need your assistance during this time, as they are happy to breed like crazy. Guppies are also ovoviviparous, meaning the female will grow the eggs inside her, until they are ready to hatch. A breeding tank will need to be bare at the bottom. But use floating plants like java moss, the fry will need a place to hide.