The Guppy, also known as the Rainbow Fish and Millionfish, is famous for its stunningly colorful scales. It is super easy to take care of and is ideal for those who have never had a pet before. Read on to learn more about these magnificent fish and what makes them so unique.

Origins of the Guppy

The Guppy is native to countries in South America and the Caribbean such as Barbados, Brazil, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. In Venezuela in 1859, Wilhelm Peters, a German naturalist, referred to them as Poecilia reticulata. Since then, the Guppy has been classified under several different scientific names. Today, these fish owe their name to Doctor Robert John Lechmere Guppy, a British-born naturalist.

Though originally a tropical fish, nowadays you can find them in almost every pet shop. They are one of the most popular aquarium fish in the world.

Physical characteristics of the Guppy

Nowadays, pet Guppies are crossbred at fish breeding farms. This emphasizes the colors of their scales, making them look more vivid and vibrant than their wild cousins. Their morphology also differs from that of wild guppies. This is especially true regarding their fan-shaped caudal fin, which is generally much more defined in farm-raised fish.

Not all Guppies have the same tail shape. The most common tail shapes resemble shovels, swords, harps, and fans.

The Guppy is a particularly small fish, measuring around three to four centimeters for males and up to six centimeters for females.

guppy aquarium

The ideal environment for a Guppy

While the Guppy is a relatively peaceful fish, they are known to be very active and tend to live in scattered schools. It is therefore highly recommended to adopt at least five of them (preferably one male and four females). Guppies do not enjoy being left alone in an aquarium.

Because the Guppy is a surface fish, it needs a fairly clear swimming area. However, placing plants at the bottom of the aquarium is highly advised. The ideal water temperature is 23°C (73°F), but it can vary between 20 (68°F) and 25°C (77°F). Ideally, they should live in hard water between 10 and 30 dGH with a pH ranging between 6.8 and 8. The aquarium should also be very bright because the Guppy prefers a well-lighted environment.

Guppies get along very well with other Amazonian fish such as Rasboras, Mollys, Platties, Danios, Corydoras, Tetras, and even shrimp. They do not, however, get along with aggressive fish. Some of these include the Xiphos, Barbus, Scales, Cichlids. These fish could attack the Guppies and injure them.

The Guppy's diet

Despite its small size, the Guppy eats a lot. Luckily, they are not very picky fish. They can eat anything from granules, flakes and dried daphnia to frozen artemia and even mosquito larvae.

Did you know? Thanks to their uncommon appetite for mosquito larvae, Guppies have been used to fight against the spread of these insects. This has been especially helpful for countries affected by malaria.

These fish can also eat some vegetables and herbs. If you wish to keep their colors vibrant, you can also add vitamins to their diet.

Nevertheless, it is important to keep moderation in mind. Guppies are very voracious eaters, so it is necessary to control the amount of food that they are eating. The perfect amount should be absorbed in less than three minutes.

Guppy reproduction

Male Guppies are very seductive. Sexual maturity is reached at two months and the females can be pregnant up to eleven times per year with an average of 20 to 60 fry each. The pregnancy usually lasts about 20 days. As the birth approaches, the pregnant fish generally remains motionless on the surface or hides in plants.

Because small Guppies can sometimes be eaten by the adults, it is recommended to install a nesting box to isolate the little ones. For the first week, they should be fed two to three times a day.

Be vigilant about reproduction. It is important to pay attention to inbreeding, as males do not hesitate to fertilize their mother or sister. This can result in Guppies giving birth to sick or deformed fry.

Guppies on Yummypets

If you would like to know more about this breed, take a look at the Yummypets Guppy fish breed page. There you'll find hundreds of photos of this breed posted by our fellow Yummypals, as well as a list of Guppy owners on Yummypets. It's a great way to get to know fellow Guppy owners or to learn more about the breed by people who own them themselves.

Originally written by Agathe Warlop. Translated by Jennifer Eubank.

Are you interested in adopting Guppies?

You need to have a Yummypets account in order to comment on this article.
Create your Yummypets account in less than a minute.