Breeding Guppies- The Expert Guide

Almost all aquarium hobbyists wish to breed their own fishes for their tank. And yes, it's an amazing experience to breed fishes at home. So, anyone planning to breed fishes at home and if you are a beginner...I bring you the guide to breed guppies- one of the easiest fish to breed. Being livebearers they breed easily and it’s easy to care for the fry and grow your own guppy community. But this will not be just about breeding guppies, it's about breeding quality guppies with amazing trains and long healthy life.
Many a times fishes you bred at home may not survive much due to numerous reasons, and the ones who survive will have a very short life, illness, and deformations. This can be because of inbreeding, bad strains, or bloodline.
So let's see how to breed the perfect guppies.
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Overview

Guppies are one of the oldest aquarium fish and most widely recognized aquarium fish. Earlier mainly used as mosquito repellents, as they eat mosquitoes larva in puddles. But due to successful selective breeding breeders have achieved great color variations and also great variety of fin and body shapes. So guppies are just a great choice for beginners as well as hobbyists. And most interestingly you can breed your own guppies and experiment with the strains and colorations. 

A Good Bloodline

Choosing a good bloodline is important. The better the bloodline, the better will be your offspring. And best way to do this is to get your guppies from a good breeder rather than a pet store.  And don't mind to a more for such breeding pairs because this will be the investment, which will pay you back. Make sure they all are healthy when you bring them. The male-female ratio should be 3:1 i.e. 3 females per 1 male. Buy 5-6 females and 3-4 males.
If you want to simply breed them, bring all of them from a single breeder. If you wish to experiment with new traits bring males from one and females from other breeders. Just try to avoid inbreeding, which will result in deformed off springs.

Grooming

Now, don't just toss them in a tank together. This will lead to unwanted breeding that will only lead to huge amount of fry, which maybe unhealthy and die soon. 
Prepare a male and a female tank. And keep them separated from each other to start the grooming. Grooming will the fishes to get more healthy, and just ready to breed and produce healthy offspring.
So start grooming just make sure to set the tank to the perfect parameters. Warm water, good lighting, and clean water with weekly 40-50% water change. Feed high-protein diet to both males and females like Blood worms, 3-4 times a day. Continue this for 5-6 weeks. This will make them less stressed and provide energy to the females during pregnancy. Females who are not properly groomed for breeding generally die when pregnant, or while giving birth.

Breeding

Once you are ready to breed them, raise the temperature by 2-3 degrees Celsius in the female tank. And add lots of hiding space by putting plants, rocks, decor items, etc. Now just release the males into the tank for 2 days and the males will fertilize all/most of the females. After that remove the males to avoid them from stressing out the females.
From this moment starts the pregnancy of the female guppies and so proper care should be taken, not to stress out them by keeping the tank clean and water parameters constant.

Pregnancy

Females will remain pregnant for 20-30 days, during which you will notice an enlarged belly indicating the development of fry. When she is getting closer to give birth, she will have a super enlarged belly, eat less, hide more and stay away from others. Remember to feed them high-quality foods and perform daily water changes. This feeding and care will directly affect the health of the fry.

Broods

The larger is the female, the larger is her brood. On average it has 20-40 fry, which are just a mini version of the adults. The bigger is the female bugger where brood will be. Also, sometimes you ay get big sized fry while sometimes small sized one. It may take about 2-3 hours to give birth to all of the fry, but can vary according to the guppy.

Taking Care of the Fry

Females will eat their babies soon after giving birth, so a breeding box is necessary. Or you could just the female into another tank. The fry born are mini versions of adults, but are sensitive towards water parameters. The babies will start eating immediately after birth and should be fed a protein-rich diet that fits into their mouth. Brine shrimp is considered as the best food for them which ensures fast growth.
Their tank should be kept in well ventilated area with an air pump running. Too strong lights should be avoided. I prefer keeping them outside with only natural light. The fry which were born unhealthy deformed or are not developed will die 2-3 days after birth, which is normal. Proper care should be taken to ensure healthy growth and minimal death rate.

After Breeding

Once the fry are born, the female should be put back to her original tank. And feed her 3-5 times a day and maintain proper water parameters to ward off the stress caused due to pregnancy.

Keeping a Record

Keeping a record of your guppy breeding helps in lot of ways. Here is a way I keep records:
-Name parentage generation as P1. If you know which male fertilized which female you can make pairs.
- Gender: M or F
- Strain: Forexample: Half-black 
- Generation: P1 
-Cross: Which fish were bred with whom? Male from breeder 1 and female from breeder 2.
This will help you know which parents/strains are giving you which type of off spring. And which parents are producing more diverse and healthy fry compared to others. So you can try breeding the best male and female to get new strains or more number of off springs. 
Also, do remember to keep a gap period of 1-2 weeks between two success breeding sessions to keep the female healthy and keep producing better strains.


So hope this article helped you and you are now ready to breed your own guppies at home.

This article is written by Shahu Sardar {alertInfo}

Author's Bio
 

Shahu Sardar; Shahu Vijay Sardar is a teenage Aquarium hobbyist from India. Shahu started fish keeping at age of 6 and started AquaNation blog so as to educate people about the aquarium hobby. His aquarium blog: www.aquanationURL.blogspot.com
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