Why and How Do Betta Fish Fight?

Betta Fish Fight

Captive bred betta fish, also known as betta splendens, have a notorious reputation for being considered fighting fish. Maybe you have seen them in their solitary bowls at the pet store, or have simply heard from others about their need for their own enclosure.

However, there are numerous reasons why betta fish fight. Like many other animals in the wild, betta fish are considered to be territorial. Which means, it is important for them to have their own area to create a place of their own.

If you plan on bringing one of these fish into your home, or are simply curious as to why betta fish fight, we will talk about some of these reasons below. 

Betta Fish Fight

A Bit Of Betta History

Betta fish are a species native to the Mekong River Basin, covering a significant portion of Southeast Asia, where they can be found in rice paddies, slow moving streams, and ponds. The areas they live in are usually shallow and thick with vegetation.

Known for first being bred in Thailand, they become popularized over 150 years ago due to their aggressive tendencies. They soon began being bred to have more aggression, bright colors and finnage. Captive bred betta fish are the descendants of these original betta fish.

Why Do Male Bettas Fight Each Other?

Male betta fish have one primary instinct and that is for survival. Everything they do, is in order to not only survive, but to ensure the continuance of the species. In the wild they would normally have a wide expanse of habitat to find where they want to set up their home.

If they were to encounter another male betta fish, they would be able to flare their fins and gills to intimidate the other betta fish. If this did descend into fighting, they would start nipping at each other until one of them gave up and swam away.

In captivity, this isn’t so easy. If they are in the same aquarium, there is limited ability to for the less dominant betta fish to escape out of harms way.

You will also see males fighting in order to protect their offspring. Male betta fish are in charge of protecting the nest and eggs, and if threatened fighting will ensue.

Do Female Bettas Fight Each Other?

Although female betta fish can be less aggressive, they can also still be territorial. You can put them in a group of at least 4-5 female betta fish, known as a sorority, where they will establish their own pecking order.

In order for this to be accomplished, it is imperative that there is enough room in the aquarium for less dominant bettas to get away when needed. However, even with this being done, some female betta fish will be too aggressive and territorial.

Why Do Male And Females Fight Each Other?

Female and male betta fish will also fight each other. They should only be housed together during mating season and then separated after. This is due to female betta fish being known to eat their eggs during spawning.

The male betta fish takes on the role of protecting the eggs, and will attack the female better if he feels like the eggs are being threatened. The males protect their offspring until hatching and will do what is necessary to ensure they hatch, this could include killing the female if necessary.

Do Bettas Fight Other Fish

Betta fish will in fact fight other fish. They will do so if the tank they are kept in is too small and either fish is unable to flee to another space when needed. The tank should be at least 10 gallons and full of numerous spaces to hide. If the other fish resembles another betta fish you can also expect that there will be fighting. They should be kept with fish who do not have bright colors and big fins.

You could also find fighting happens if both fish are aggressive. You should place a new fish in a breeding box first to see how they interact with one another. If either one ends up being too aggressive, it is safe to say that they will not do well in an enclosure.

How Long Do Betta Fish Fight?

Betta fish in the wild would normally on get into a fighting match for a limited amount of time. This could mean it ends immediately after they start nipping each other, or a few minutes. They will continue until one gives up and retreats.

However, in captivity this could last until one of the parties is seriously injured, or dies. This is due to being bred specifically to fight since they became popular in Thailand over a hundred years ago. Many bettas could also die due to the injuries resulting in infections.

How To Stop Betta Fish From Fighting

One of the best ways to stop betta fish from fighting is to keep them away from one another. If you are inexperienced with fish, you should look into which fish would be best to be housed in the same tank.

Ensure that you have a big enough tank that will give each fish in the tank plenty of space to have their own specified territory in the aquarium. This gives less dominant fish the ability to not only flee, but hide if needed.

If you plan on specifically keeping only betta fish in the same tank together look into how to keep same-sex and different sex bettas together without conflict.

Conclusion

Betta fish have a long history of being bred specifically to fight one another, descending back over a hundred years when they became popular in Thailand. We can still see this aggression in the captive bettas we see today.

Although there are many reasons why they will fight, there are also ways you can keep them with others bettas, as well as other fish. Each betta has their own personality and aggression level, so with knowledge and paying attention to how they interact with others, you can have successful cohabitation.

Richard Rowlands
Richard Rowlands

Hello fellow aquatics enthusiasts! My name is Richard Rowlands. I’m an aquarium keeper and enthusiast and have been for about 25 years or so. While I won’t claim to be the end-all expert on aquatic life, I will say that I know my way around a tank.

Do Betta Fish Sleep? 6 Fun Facts You Need To Know

beauty betta sleep

If you’ve ever had a betta fish, you might have experienced a time when they look lifeless. So much so that you truly think they might be dead. However, they might just be asleep. Usually they do this at night when you are already sleeping, but this really depends on the specific betta.

They each have their own personalities and this includes how often, and when they like to sleep. You could also mistake them for being awake, even though they are truly sleeping, due to the fact that they don’t have any eyelids. You should refrain from tapping their tank when they are motionless for this reason.

Bob Is Sleeping
Bob Is Sleeping

All Fish Need Sleep

Although some fish do not sleep in the same way that land mammals sleep, they do rest. Betta fish are a prime example of this and one way you can tell they are sleeping is due to being motionless. They will do this often at the bottom of the tank, or near the surface of the water.

When this is happening, they may also react slowly to anything that is going on around them, or simply not respond at all. Most betta fish will do this at night, so you might not catch them in the act unless you look in on them during the night.

How To Tell Your Betta Is Sleeping

There are a few ways you can tell your betta fish is sleeping. You could see them lying motionless, not paying attention to anything that is going around in the tank. It could be lying near the surface, or at the bottom of the tank in an L-shape. Some will even lay sideways. Or, you could find it hiding in places like the vegetation, or rocks in the tank. These provide the perfect spots for your betta to hide and feel safe enough to sleep when needed.

beauty betta sleep
Jodie Smith

Where Do Betta Fish Sleep

Betta fish will sleep in the enclosure that they are housed. This could mean that they fall asleep at the bottom of the tank where you can easily see them. Near the surface. You can find them hiding in places like decorative houses, wood, vegetation, etc.

Anywhere they can find and feel comfortable doing so. It will also be easier for them to do so if you turn off the fish tank lights and lights in the general area for them to know when it is truly night time.

How Long Should A Betta Fish Sleep For?

This is hard to recommend due to each betta fish being different. If you find that your fish is active during the day, you can assume that they are getting the right amount of sleep at night.

However, if you see that they are very inactive during the day, they could not be getting the rest they need. Try turning off fish tank lights and surround lights in the room the tank is kept, to give your fish the ability to know when it truly is night.

Do Betta Fish Need Darkness To Sleep?

When it comes to betta fish the answer is complicated. Turning the lights off will give your fish the ability to know when it is night time and they can develop a sleep pattern.

However, you will find that bettas will also take naps during the day when there is light. You should give 8-12 hours of light and 12-16 hours of darkness for bettas to get an adequate amount of sleep and develop a sleep pattern.

Do Betta Fish Hibernate?

Betta fish do not hibernate, so if you see loss of activity it could mean that your fish tank temperature is too low. Your tank should not fall below 76 degrees F due to your fish potentially going into temperature shock.

You should do whatever you can to get your heat up to the levels that are needed, due to temperature shock being extremely dangerous. This could severely impact your betta, if not result in death.

How Do You Ensure Your Betta Fish Sleeps Well?

Betta fish are like humans and require an adequate amount of rest. It is a good idea to get your betta fish on a sleep pattern where they know when to go to bed.

Turn the lights off in your tank, and make sure there aren’t bright lights in the direct vicinity. If you see your betta sleeping, let it sleep. Do not tap on the tank to see if there is something wrong, due to them being motionless.

Make sure your tank is at the proper temperature, if it gets too cold you could be sending your betta into temperature shock. Each betta fish is different, so figure out your bettas sleeping pattern. Are they active during the day, meaning they are getting enough rest at night.

Do they like taking naps during the day? Is their behavior consistent, or has something changed? If they are acting different, start looking into what can be changed to help them.

Conclusion

As we can see, betta fish do in fact sleep. They also happen to sleep in very odd positions, which can lead many to think that they are in fact dead. If you see your betta fish near the surface, at the bottom, motionless they could just be sleeping.

In order to save yourself from a scare every time you see this, you should turn off the tank light and surrounding lights when it is time for them to go to bed. This will help develop a sleep pattern where they can rest peacefully at night, and be active during the day. Do remember that each betta fish is different, some may like to take naps during the day as well.

When you need to look into why they are being inactive is when this is not a normal occurrence. This could be due to lights interrupting their sleep schedule, or even a tank that has a temperature less than 76 degrees. Otherwise, let them sleep as needed.

Richard Rowlands
Richard Rowlands

Hello fellow aquatics enthusiasts! My name is Richard Rowlands. I’m an aquarium keeper and enthusiast and have been for about 25 years or so. While I won’t claim to be the end-all expert on aquatic life, I will say that I know my way around a tank.

How Many Guppies in 10 Gallon Fish Tank?

Guppies tank

Learning how to properly set-up and care for a fish tank can be an overwhelming topic for beginners who are new to the concept. If you are looking to set up your very first fish tank full of guppies, then you have come to the right place.

In this article, you will find a thorough overview of the proper information for how to stock and care for guppies in a ten-gallon fish tank. While the basic recommendation for the number of guppies kept in a ten gallon fish tank is 5-10, there are actually quite a few factors that can change the number in different tanks.

Guppies tank

How to Calculate the Number of Guppies for a Fish Tank?

The easiest method for calculating the proper number of guppies for different sized fish tanks requires a use of a simple equation. For every gallon of water inside the aquarium, you can add around one inch of fish.

It is important to remember, though, that if you have a 10-gallon aquarium, that does not mean your aquarium holds 10 gallons of water. Some of the space in your aquarium is taken up by gravel, your filter, the heater, and any plants you choose to put in the bottom.

In general, a ten-gallon tank will only hold between seven and eight gallons of water once you consider all of the other factors that are taking up space.

One fully grown; a guppy fish could grow to upwards of 1.5 inches in length. This length does not include the tail fins on the guppy, of course.

Once you calculate the equation this means that you could theoretically hold 6-7 guppies inside of a ten-gallon tank.

However, beginners may want to consider having fewer guppies within their tank while they learn the ins and outs of taking care of fish.

Taking care of fish is actually a complicated process. By starting out with fewer fish in your aquarium, you will give yourself more time to learn the process instead of overwhelming your tank or your fish too quickly.

Female-Guppy

Add More Guppies Into 10 Gallon Aquarium?

If you have been thinking about starting a fish tank for some time, then you have probably seen pictures online of those beautiful fish tanks that are overpopulated considering the formula we have already discussed in this article. You may be wondering how those fish are able to remain healthy in an overcrowded environment.

There are actually a few different methods you can use to overcome overcrowding concerns within your fish tank. Each of the following will be discussed in more detail below:

  • Invest in a powerful (internal or external) filter
  • Use Bio Filter Media in addition
  • Invest in some living plants for your tank
  • Consider changing gravel to a special substrate
  • Feed fish less often
  • Change Tank Water More Frequently

While all of these options are viable for protecting your fish in a more crowded tank, each one has its own pros and cons. Check out the more detailed information below.

Invest in a Powerful (Internal or External Filter)

Most beginners purchase an aquarium kit when they begin the adventure of building their aquarium. The filters that come inside of these kits are perfectly adequate for the size aquarium you are buying, but they are not powerful enough to deal with an aquarium that is overstocked for its size.

So, if you are looking to add more fish to your aquarium, you may consider purchasing a more powerful internal filter for the tank.

You may also consider adding an external filter, like one that hangs over the back of your aquarium. This filter has an added bonus of taking up none of the space within your aquarium. Which means that you have more capacity for water.

To ensure that the filter you have purchased is adequate for increased fish capacity, buy a filter built for a bigger tank than the one you own.

Use Good Filter Media

Filter media is a part of the overall filter that catches the bad junk filtering out of the water.

Standard filters will come with a sponge, but there are a lot of other options that are far more productive when it comes to filter media.

No matter what material you choose, be sure it is large enough to service the overstocked tank.

Invest in Live Plants

Not only are live plants gorgeous in the bottom of your tank, but they are actually much more healthy for your fish than the fake plastic plants you can buy.

Live plants actually help to filter the water in the tank by absorbing the waste emitted by your fish. In turn, the plants use that waste as fertilizer and will grow by absorbing that fertilizer.

Get Rid of Gravel

Most beginner aquarium hobbyists will put gravel in the bottom of their tank. This is perfectly logical because it is easy to get. It is also easy to clean and it looks really good on the bottom of the tank.

The issue with gravel is that gravel is nothing but a space taker. Gravel does not help to keep the water clean, so it is not a great choice for a highly populated tank.

Do some research about the different substrates you might choose. We recommend a substrate that helps break down waste emitted by fish.

Feed Fish Less Often

Many beginner aquarium enthusiasts make the mistake of feeding their fish far too often. While your fish may eat often, they will not always be hungry and this can attribute to health issues and a dirty tank.

For guppies, you can actually reduce their feeding to every other day. This will keep them from getting sick and help to keep your tank pretty clean in the process.

Clean It More Often

Clean your tank weekly if you can. You can do this by replacing 30-50% of the water. This is only necessary if your tank is more populated than is recommended.

Final Thoughts

Taking care of guppies in a new fish tank is a fun and exciting adventure. We hope that you have learned a lot about the basics of guppy care in this guide.

Richard Rowlands
Richard Rowlands

Hello fellow aquatics enthusiasts! My name is Richard Rowlands. I’m an aquarium keeper and enthusiast and have been for about 25 years or so. While I won’t claim to be the end-all expert on aquatic life, I will say that I know my way around a tank.

Ideal TDS For Guppy Tank

TDS levels for guppy tank

Total dissolved solids (or TDS) is a technical term that describes the quality and presence of particles (organic and inorganic) that lie in the water inside your tank. This number is extremely important for keeping your fish healthy and tank safe. TDS is measured in part per million (ppm).

This article will explore the best TDS for the fish species of guppies. If you have different species of fish, then the correct TDS for those fish may be different than the TDS for guppies.

Guppies are generally most content in a TDS range between 400 and 600 ppm. However, you may find research which claims that guppies can survive in a TDS range between 200 and 1000 ppm. While that may be true, guppies are most comfortable between 400 and 600 ppm and you will want to get your aquarium set up to support this range.

TDS levels for guppy tank

Does TDS Affect Guppies?

The simple answer to this question is: yes! TDS actually affects all different species of fish. Guppies will absolutely be affected by the TDS of their water.

Guppies are a an extremely popular breed of fish. This is because when they are taken care of well and are happy, they can live for quite some time.

If you want your guppies to have a high quality of life, you need to take care of the TDS of your tank among everything else. So, what exactly is it that is affected by the TDS of the water in your tank?

Essentially, the higher the level of TDS in your tank, the lower the oxygen levels are within the tank. Fish need specific levels of oxygen in order to remain healthy.

Because TDS measures the particles in the water, it can be assumed that a higher TDS means that there is not room for the oxygen within the water. The oxygen is being crowded out by the other things unseen to the eye that are in the water.

When guppies do not have access to the amount of oxygen they need, then they will struggle to breathe. Much like humans, fish need a certain amount of oxygen to function properly. If their breathing is not going well, then they will begin to suffer from other health issues as well.

It seems pretty well established that if you want to have healthy guppies, you need to keep a regular check on the TDS inside of your tank. But, how exactly do you check the TDS of a tank at any given time?

How to Measure TDS?

It is actually pretty simple to measure the TDS levels within your tank in order to keep your guppies healthy.

First, you will need to purchase a TDS meter. You can find these online or in the aquatic section of a local pet store. How does the TDS meter work?

Step 1: First, measure the water temperature. Usually, the TDS meter has a function that will measure the temperature for you if you simply put the device into the water.

Step 2: Once you have garnered an accurate water temperature, get the device set to measure the TDS. Usually, there are buttons that will allow you to set the device to perform these different functions.

Step 3: Place the device back into the water of the tank. This time, the device will display the TDS of the tank.

Measuring the TDS of the water within your tank is actually really simple. This can be a process that can make sure your fish are happy and healthy. However, you may be wondering what you should do if the TDS is too high?

How to Reduce TDS In Your Aquarium Water?

If you get a reading for your TDS that is too high for the recommended levels, you will want to immediately reduce the TDS to make sure that your fish can breathe.

Here, you will find some simple tips for keeping the TDS of your fish tank within a normal range for the health of your fish:

Do Not Feed Your Fish Too Much

Feeding your fish too often results in an awful lot of extra junk floating around in the fish tank.

The best advice you can get for feeding your guppies is to only feed them enough for them to entirely eat it in 3-5 minutes.

Feeding them too much will result in extra food settling into the bottom of the tank. Further, when fish overeat, they produce more waste than they do when they are eating just enough.

Regularly Change Water

This advice might seem like something you are already doing, but dirty water is a huge sign that the TDS levels are out of whack.

If you do not regularly change the water within your tank, then waste and uneaten food will begin to take over the oxygen supply for your fish.

Perform Maintenance Checks

Regular maintenance of your fish tank is necessary for keeping your fish healthy and happy while living in your tank.

There is a lot of waste that actually sticks to the floor and the walls of your fish tank. Physically going in and removing that waste is a good way to keep those TDS levels in check for the health of your fish.

How Does TDS Get in your Guppy Tank?

If you are wondering how high TDS levels occur to begin with, you are not alone. There are many different reasons that your fish tank may experience high levels of TDS.

Most commonly, high TDS levels will occur if you are using tap water to fill your aquarium. Tap water typically has a higher TDS level than bottled water, so you will need to follow the steps outlined above to keep the TDS levels from increasing rapidly.

Fish waste is another reason that TDS levels tend to boost in the water. This is why overfeeding guppies is a big no no. When you feed them too much, they produce too much waste.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, TDS is crucial for maintaining the health of your guppies. Be sure to keep a lookout for TDS levels and follow the steps too keep them down.

Richard Rowlands
Richard Rowlands

Hello fellow aquatics enthusiasts! My name is Richard Rowlands. I’m an aquarium keeper and enthusiast and have been for about 25 years or so. While I won’t claim to be the end-all expert on aquatic life, I will say that I know my way around a tank.

Pregnant Guppy Fish Care

pregnant guppy

Much like when we find out our friends or relatives are expecting, finding out one of our pets is expecting is extremely exciting. However, taking care of a pregnant fish might seem a bit overwhelming for the new fish owner.

In this article, we are going to cover what to expect when your guppy is expecting a little bundle of baby fish. We are going to explore the guppy gestation, caring for your pregnant guppies, and so much more!

If you suspect that your guppy might be expecting babies, then join us as we discuss what to expect on this wild ride.

pregnant guppy

How to Tell if a Guppy is Pregnant?

Unfortunately, there is no pregnancy test that you can dip in the water to learn if your guppy is pregnant or not. However, there are many symptoms you can look out for that will help you discern if you may be expecting some baby fish soon.

Some pregnant fish will show a physical sign such as a bulging belly. At first, this may be hard to definitively show whether or not your fish is expecting. Bloating can happen in fish too, so a little bit of a belly is not always a sign of pregnancy. However, if you notice a guppy’s belly slowly growing larger over time, you can safely assume the guppy is pregnant.

Guppies also have some fairly distinct behavior that they exhibit when they are in the season of mating. You can see when males chase females in order to mate them, they will chase them until they make them too tired to move anymore. The female has no choice but to stop running and allow the male to mate with her. If you see this, then there is a good chance the female will be pregnant soon.

Pregnant guppies may also shake or shiver when they normally would not. You may notice a pregnant guppy rubbing herself along the wall of the tank or rubbing against decorations within your tank.

While none of these symptoms alone will show that your guppy is pregnant, if a guppy is showing multiple symptoms, then you can be pretty certain she is pregnant.

Pregnant Guppy Stages and Gestation?

Each and every guppy will actually have a unique situation that will change her gestation period. Factors such as the guppy’s overall health, the conditions in the tank and water, and the stress level of the mother guppy.

On average, the gestation period for a guppy is pretty short. Research suggests that guppy gestations last from 21 to 31 days but pregnancy ending from 22 to 26 days is most common.

This short period of gestation does not give the fish owner much time to notice the pregnancy or to prepare for the possibility of baby guppies. Keeping an eye out for mating is a good idea if you would like to be prepared for a baby guppy takeover.

However, female guppies can actually hold and store male sperm for up to 8 months. This means that theoretically your female guppy could become pregnant long after you bring her home from the pet store.

An interesting fact about this is that the long period of time that sperm can live within a female guppy is considered a means of survival. Male guppies tend to only have a lifespan of around 2-3 months. Females, on the other hand, can survive for around 2 years. Storing sperm allows the female guppy to have babies even if no male is around.

Speed Up Gestation in Guppies

Can You Speed Up Gestation in Guppies?

If you are wanting to decrease the already short gestation in a pregnant guppy, there are a few things you can do to reduce the pregnancy time.

You can start by slowly increasing the temperature in the tank the guppy lives in. It is not a good idea to suddenly heat your tank up very quickly, so the key is to increase the temperature slowly.

This will take you several days. Each morning, simply set the heater inside of your tank to a slightly higher temperature. You only want to increase the temperature by one or maybe two degrees at a time. Raising the temperature too high or too quickly could actually cause the pregnancy to terminate.

Another method for decreasing the time gestation takes within guppies is to switch the pregnant guppy to a high protein diet. Changing their food to include bloodworms or even purchasing some brine shrimp is a great way to do this.

If you want to give your guppies the most high protein quality food, feed them live shrimp or worms. However, if you cannot get ahold of live foods, give them frozen ones over dried or canned foods.

These two methods are not guaranteed to reduce the gestation time, but they are certainly worth a shot if you are looking to decrease your wait time.

guppy babies

How Many Babies do Guppies Have at One time?

Guppies give birth to what is referred to as a live fry. If that sounds like a lot of fish babies, it actually could be! A live fry can be anywhere from 2 to 200 fry at a time.

The birth can last upwards of 6 hours, but it could go all the way to 12 hours if the mother guppy is actually stressed.

Do not panic. Guppies who are pregnant will not always give birth to 200 fry, and not all of them will survive. In fact, Guppies are one of many fish species who turn cannibalistic after they give birth. If you do not remove her from her fry, she may eat them all.

Why Pregnant Guppy Not Giving Birth?

There are a few reasons why a guppy may not give birth, even if you know that she was most certainly pregnant. This may be concerning as a pet owner, but it is actually common for a pregnant guppy to abort the pregnancy in certain conditions.

If the temperature in your tank is too low, then a pregnant guppy will not give birth. Make sure that you check the temperature and do not lower it if you believe your guppy may be pregnant.

A stressed out guppy will also sometimes not give birth in time. This can happen if your guppy feels crowded or if the other fish in the tank do not leave her alone during the gestational time she will not give birth.

Caring for a Pregnant Guppy?

Caring for a pregnant guppy is not that different from caring for your guppy any other time. However, there are a few things that you may want to consider when caring for a pregnant guppy.

First, you may consider adding more variety into your pregnant guppy’s diet. This can help to avoid deficiencies that would terminate or risk the pregnancy. As mentioned above, you may want to add brine shrimp or blood worms into the diet. You can also alternate pellets, flakes, and even algae discs to make sure she gets what she needs.

As mentioned before, you will want to help your pregnant guppy avoid stress. Other fish in the tank can stress the pregnant mother out, especially if she has no way to hide from those other fish. The mother may absorb the babies rather than give birth which will obviously end the pregnancy.

You may consider purchasing a breeding box to help your pregnant guppy fish separate from the other fish in the tank. However, you want to make sure that this is not done too soon. Being in a breeding box may actually cause even more stress, so you do not want to do this early.

A breeding box is a good place for the pregnant guppy to have her fry for various reasons. Having the fry in a breeding box can allow you to quickly separate her from the fry without the risk of her eating them.

Signs Your Guppy is Ready to Give Birth

When the pregnant guppy is ready to give birth, then he or she will begin to display some specific behavior that can be an indicator of the beginning stages of labor. Typically, a guppy who is ready to give birth will display at least two of the following behaviors, if not more.

You will need to know this information especially if you are planning to place your pregnant guppy in a separate tank or a breeding box. These signs are tell-tale signs that the guppy should be moved.

Her Belly Changes Shape

We have mentioned how a pregnant guppy will have a bulge in her belly. When she is about to give birth, this bulge will take more of a square shape and will actually seem a bit bulkier than it ever has before.

Staying Put

If your pregnant guppy seems to be swimming in one place rather than moving about the tank, then this may be a sign that labor has begun. This is actually one of the most commonly reported behaviors that a guppy is about to give birth.

Hiding & Rubbing

Fish frequently hide in the foliage at the bottom of an aquarium. However, excessive hiding can be a sign that a pregnant guppy is about to give birth.

Rubbing her body along the plants or decorations at the bottom of the tank can also be a sign of labor. Your guppy may also rub her body along the walls of the tank, all of these are signs that your pregnant guppy is about to give birth.

Nervous or Aggressive Behavior

When you approach the tank, the guppy may get nervous. This is a good sign that labor has begun. This is marked by the guppy suddenly hiding when she sees you approach the tank.

You may also notice aggressive behavior from a guppy in labor. The guppy may bite or chase other fish that come near her. This a good sign that labor has begun.

Other Signs

If your guppy is routinely flexing her spine, then this is a sign that labor is looming. This can be easily spotted if the guppy moves her tail in an upward movement.

Shaking or shivering can also be a good sign that the guppy is in labor at the time of observing this behavior.

The last sign that a guppy is actively in labor is that she refuses to eat. Guppies who are in labor will not swim for food or show any interest in feeding time.

Moving Fry from Breeding Tank to Main Tank

Introducing the baby guppies to the main tank actually has a few important steps on its own. You want to make sure you do this in a way that insures their survival.

Make sure that the baby guppies have had plenty of time to grow and thrive on their own. You will want to make sure they are about an inch long, but the other fish may still be big enough to eat them at that time.

You also want to ensure that all of the fish in both tanks are healthy before combining the tanks. Otherwise, this could have devastating effects on the tank as a whole. You can easily check the health of the fish by looking for spots and looking out for odd behavior.

As mentioned before, smaller fish need a lot of hiding places to make sure that they are not at risk for being eaten. Being able to hide will also reduce their stress in a new place. 

As usual, you will want to ensure that the tank is the same temperature as the breeding tank.

One last pro tip, go ahead and feed the fish in your community tank. This will make the small fish much less appetizing if the bigger fish are already full from eating their daily meal.

Final Thoughts

Having a pregnant guppy is an exciting adventure and can be really fun to watch. However, it is important that you take the necessary advice to keep your pregnant guppy and her babies safe. Good luck on this new adventure.

Richard Rowlands
Richard Rowlands

Hello fellow aquatics enthusiasts! My name is Richard Rowlands. I’m an aquarium keeper and enthusiast and have been for about 25 years or so. While I won’t claim to be the end-all expert on aquatic life, I will say that I know my way around a tank.

20 Most Popular Freshwater Fish for Your Aquarium [2020]

Freshwater Fish
Freshwater Fish

The fact that freshwater fish are the number one pet in America should come as no surprise. An aquarium, especially for freshwater fish, is fairly easy to maintain and they have become a staple of the American home.

Besides being gorgeous to look at, you will find that each freshwater aquarium fish displays unique behaviors and character traits that makes keeping them a true joy.

Because there is such a wide variety of freshwater fish waiting to fill your aquarium, let’s explore some of the options that are out there, and hopefully one of these beautiful fish will be the one for your tank.

Killifish

Killifish

This highly adaptable freshwater fish offers a wide variety with over 1270 unique species of killifish. Mostly common in the Americas, killifish reside in freshwater or brackish lakes, streams and rivers.

A killifish can be expected to live between 2 and 3 years, but they are highly resilient. This fish would include the mummichog or pupfish. Most killifish will range between 1 and 2 inches, but some of the bigger species can reach up to 6 inches.

Killifish are known to make good pets and have been popular aquarium fish for years because of their appearance and lifespan. The Golden Wonder killifish is the most commonly sold one in pet stores across America, but caution is encouraged if it is cohabiting your aquarium with other fish as they have large mouths more than big enough to swallow their roommates.

Guppies

Guppies

Guppies have long been a staple of aquariums across the world. Besides being distinct looking and easy to care for, guppies have unique personalities and are amazing to observe.

These fish range between 0.6-2.4 inches long and usually are covered in colored spots, stripes and patterns that have made them well known. Their diet is simple and you can feed them everything from mosquito larvae to brine shrimp, but it’s important to mix it up to give them variation in sustenance.

Because of their size, guppies will be able to do well in anything above a 5 gallon tank, but I would personally recommend going with a 10 gallon tank, especially if your guppies are sharing a habitat with other fish.

Goldfish

Goldfish

Goldfish are one of the most iconic freshwater aquarium fish for a reason. Rather small for a member of the carp family using coming in at around 4 inches, goldfish are easy on the eyes and leave room for other inhabitants in your aquarium.

Beyond pellets of “goldfish food”, goldfish can be fed anything from boiled vegetables and crustaceans. They are known to be friendly fish and have a reputation of playing well with others.  Goldfish also have earned the reputation as being low maintenance, even going up to 8-14 days without food and still living. This is not recommended, however, as you want to give your goldfish the best and healthiest life possible.

Depending on how many goldfish you are looking to get, it’s important to remember that goldfish do best when they are given 6-8 gallons of freshwater each. If you are looking to get several goldfish, check to make sure your tank can accommodate them.

Bettas

Bettas

The Siamese fighting fish, more commonly known as bettas, are a stunning addition to any aquarium. Despite their elegant and beautiful appearance, they earned their “fighting fish” nickname due to their territorial tendencies.

Thriving best in water temperature of 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit, you are going to want to use a heater if you are in a cold climate or your tank is in a cold spot. Bettas are highly resilient and a single one can survive in merely 1 gallon of water, however, if you are planning on having multiple bettas or want a betta to join your other fish, you will want to use a bigger tank.

Bettas have an average lifespan of 3-5 years. It’s important to remember that bettas are competitive, territorial and if you are mixing them in with your other fish, keep a close eye on how they interact with the one another.

Oscars

Oscar
André Jaconi (Source)

A member of the cichlid family, the oscar fish is a species full of variety that has thrived in freshwater aquariums for years as a popular pet store fish.

Having the potential to grow up to 18 inches, oscar fish require a strong diet in order to stay healthy. You will want to feed an oscar fish food that is intended for carnivorous fish, such as crayfish, insects and worms.

Oscar fish are particularly sensitive to cold water, with temperatures of even 55 degrees Fahrenheit being enough to kill them. It is recommended that you keep their water at 77 degrees Fahrenheit and provide them 30 gallons of water as they are quite large.

Oscar fish are known to play dead by laying on their side, so don’t be alarmed if you see them turned over.

Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra​

Small, versatile and low maintenance, the neon tetra is a gorgeous aquarium fish. Not usually growing larger than 1.2 inches, they won’t take up much space in your aquarium.

Their diet is simple as they are omnivores and can handle anything from freeze dried vegetables to worms and insects. They are quite popular as aquarium fish because of their bright colors and they tend to do well with other fish.

With proper care and under the right circumstances, a neon tetra can live up to 10 years. You will need to provide 10 gallons of water per 24 neon tetra. Neon tetras tend to do their best in a tank that is densely populated and full of plant life.

There is however a condition uinuqe to tetras, called “neon tetra disease” in which they eat infected material, such as a dead fish, causing parasitic spores to weaken them. This is avoidable by regular tank cleaning.

Cherry Barb

Cherry-Barb

The cherry barb is a small, tropical freshwater fish. Female cherry barbs tend to take on greenish tones with a stripe while males have a red color to them. In the wild, they are found in shallow and shaded habitats and mimicking this in your tank will make them feel at home.

Because cherry barbs are schooling fish, it’s important that you keep them in a group of 5 or more. It’s important to get the proper ratio, with 2 females per 1 male, to keep balance and prevent territorial behavior.

Usually, a cherry barb won’t exceed lengths of over two inches. In general, you are going to want to give 5 gallons of water per cherry barb, and because they are schooling fish, you are going to want at least 25-30 gallons of water for them.

Koi

koi

Koi fish are an icon amongst fish hobbyists kept in water gardens and koi ponds. Although koi are cold-water fish,  they are known to thrive in temperatures between 55 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

A koi pond is typically going to be 5 feet deep, with the rule of thumb being that you give 10 gallons of water per one inch of fish. Koi also have an easy diet being able to handle everything from peas and lettuce to even watermelon.

You can find koi that are white, black, orange or yellow amongst an even wider variety of colors. Koi have the potential to reach 3.28 feet in length or even larger, so you will want to choose a habitat that can accommodate growth. Koi also have an incredible life span with healthy ones being able to live between 25 and 30 years.

Freshwater Angel Fish

Freshwater Angel Fish
Paulius Vengialis (Source)

Freshwater angel fish have been distinct fixtures in aquariums for years. Their angelic fins, stripes and color patterns make them stand out in a habitat while camouflaging them in the wild.

Growing up to 6 inches long, freshwater angel fish are a good mid-sized aquarium fish. They do best in pairs at the least and require 20 gallons for two of them. If you are looking to get a school of 5 or more of them, which is advised, you will need at least 80 gallons.

Freshwater angel fish do best in water temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They are known to be peaceful fish, but may pose a threat to smaller fish. They do very well when stuck together with other angel fish species but should fit in with most common aquarium fish.

Mollies

Mollies

The silvery scales of the small molly fish give it a memorable sheen in any tank. Most mollies that you’ll find will range between 3.2 and 4.8 inches in length, with only females usually reaching the latter.

Because there are seven varieties of mollies, they offer a wide range of options and spectrum of color that you can bring to your aquarium. While female mollies are perceived as being peaceful fish, male mollies are known to sometimes display aggressive behavior.

Molly fish also make for a good choice if you’d like to get fish that will last you a long while with proper care. They can live up to 5 years given the proper nourishment, and in an aquarium flake food and vegetables is perfect for them.

Discus Fish

Discus Fish​
Roby Bonnes (source)

Hailing from the Amazon, the discus fish is best known for its namesake shape. Truly unique patterns don their disc shaped bodies and their social nature makes them a joy to observe.

Discus fish are well known as being social fish often traveling in groups which is not common of cichlids. They do well in aquariums with one or two other discus fish.

Discus fish usually reach between 4.8 and 6 inches in length and require a meaty diet. They can do well with flakes, but you are going to want to ad variety to their diet by giving them anything from mosquito larvae to earthworms.

They thrive in larger amounts of water due to their size, needing up to 100 gallons if you plan on keeping several discus fish at once.

Jack Dempsey Fish

jack dempseys fish care guide

Named after the famed boxer of the same name, the Jack Dempsey fish gets its name for its aggressive tendencies.  Native to South America, Jack Dempsey fish are instantly recognizable from their colors often combining blue and purple hues with green and gold specks.

Despite their reputation for being aggressive, Jack Dempsey fish are quite popular aquarium fish. They tend to do well with larger fish populations provided the habitat suits them. Jack Dempsey fish do best when they are provided places to hide. You can expect for them to live up to 8 to 10 years.

They do well with a variety of food but you will want to throw in meatier options from time to time. You’ll want to keep the water between 72-86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cory Catfish

Cory Catfish

Cory catfish have long been an ornamental fish in the world of fish hobbyists. They are extremely benign and calm, spending much of their time scaling the bottom of the tank and feeding off of descending flakes.

Most cory catfish in captivity will have an average life span of 5 years, but there have been several instances of them living beyond 20 years in captivity due to their active and simple lifestyle. They are very small, rarely growing past 2.5 inches long.

Cory catfish are schooling fish, so you will want to get at least 6 of them. Not only will it make them happier, but it is also amazing to observe. They are quite low maintenance and are easily sustained by flake food.

Electric Blue Acara

Electric Blue Acara Care

Vividly colorful, the electric blue acara fish is another freshwater cichlid that is often sought out for its appearance.

Usually maxing out at around 6.3 inches, the blue acara is a stocky bodied fish with thin, flowing fins. You will be able to recognize 5 to 8 colored stripes on most blue acara as well as their trademark black stripe going from their eye down their face.

Electric blue acaras are a good investment when bought young as they can live up to 10 years in captivity. Because they are omnivorous, you can also feed them a variety of foods. Giving them a balance of meatier foods, flakes and dried vegetables will best replicate their diet in the wild.

They are very peaceful so long as they are not paired with aggressive fish.

Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios

Commonly referred to as zebrafish, the zebra danio is a member of the minnow family. Because of that, they are just as small as you may expect.

It is rare for a zebra danio to grow larger than 1.5 inches, but healthy zebrafish in captivity have been observed to reach 2 inches. Zebrafish reach their peak as school fish. Because they are cheap, getting a school of 6 or more zebra danios won’t set you back too much and will maximize their quality of life.

You will find that they will live up to 3.5 years old, but in that lifetime, they will be quite active. One of the many appeals of zebra danios is the visual spectacle they put on. They are known for being particularly playful with one another and getting along with other fish.

Red Tail Shark

Red Tail Shark Care Guide

The red tail shark is not in fact a shark at all. In fact, they are not even related to sharks at all, but their distinct shape definitely evokes imagery of sharks.

The red tail shark, also referred to as red-tailed black shark, is actually a member of the carp family. Reaching up to 6 inches, these carp essentially look like small carp with a similar body shape to that of a shark.

Their bodies are black with the only color coming from their namesake red tails. As the name may suggest, red tail sharks are known for being semi aggressive in the aquarium setting. In the wild they are scavengers, and in captivity they do just fine with a well-balanced omnivorous diet.

Because they are known to be territorial, you will want to use a tank upwards of 30 gallons if you are mixing them in with other fish.

Rainbow Fish

Rainbow Fish

Rainbow fish, sometimes called blue eyes, are beautiful school fish that you’ve surely seen in many aquariums before.

With over 61 known species of rainbow fish each ranging in their sizes and spectrum of colors, there is a huge variety to choose from. Flake and pellet based diet is appropriate for rainbow fish but should be supplemented with brine shrimp and worms for nourishment.

The smaller species of rainbow fish will grow up to 2.2 inches with other species ranging between 2.5 and 4.5 inches. It is not unheard of to spot a 6 inch adult rainbow fish in captivity, and a school of larger rainbow fish could require up to 100 gallons of water.

Rainbow fish are a good investment as they can last you up to 8 years.

Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose Pleco Care
Kris (source)

This unique catfish is covered in boney plates and stand out patterns that have made it a sought-after aquarium fish for years.

The bristlenose pleco is easily identifiable by the tentacles found on the head of males and mouths of females. They won’t grow much larger than 4-6 inches and live subterranean lifestyles meaning you will find them at the bottom of your tank often.

They are highly territorial, and you should keep that in mind if you are bunching them together with other fish. If you have several fish that are smaller than the pleco, be aware they may fall victim. Bristlenose plecos do very well in habitats that provide them plenty of coverage, such as caves or foliage.

Bristlenose plecos are herbivores and spirulina and algae are perfect for them, although flakes will do just fine.

Gourami

Gourami
Bojan Žavcer (source)

Gouramis hail from Asia and have dazzled fish hobbyists for years with their shape and color patterns.

A Gourami is a labyrinth fish meaning that it is has a lung like organ that allows them to use the atmosphere’s option. This is rather unique for a fish. You can easily recognize them by the long feelers coming from the front of their pelvic fins.

Typically, a gourami isn’t going to grow larger than 3.5 inches long. They can survive in captivity off of a diet of flake food, but the additional nourishment of small insects and larvae is necessary every once in a while for a balanced diet.

For a single gourami, you will want a 10 gallon tank. If you are getting multiple gourami or joining it with the rest of your fish, you will want between 30 and 55 gallons and make sure it stays between 72 and 82 degrees Fahreneheit.

Summary

Freshwater fish make for excellent inhabitants to any aquarium because of the wide variety of choices and endless possibilities of combinations.

I recommend looking at what kind of aquarium you have or are planning to upgrade to as well as considering how your new freshwater fish will get along with your others before deciding on the new addition.

Pay close attention to their dietary, temperature and space needs as well as whether or not they would be better off in a school of fish, and your new freshwater fish should liven up your aquarium in no time.

Richard Rowlands
Richard Rowlands

Hello fellow aquatics enthusiasts! My name is Richard Rowlands. I’m an aquarium keeper and enthusiast and have been for about 25 years or so. While I won’t claim to be the end-all expert on aquatic life, I will say that I know my way around a tank.

The Best pH Level for Guppies

Guppy ph level

Because guppies are such a popular fish species for many who own a freshwater aquarium, it is good to know how best to care for them. While they are generally fairly easy to care for and maintain, one matter which a potential owner should educate himself on is the best pH level for guppies.

Guppy ph level

Best pH Level for Guppies

Guppy fish are a fairly hardy species of fish which can actually tolerate a range of pH levels. However, they will definitely fare better if you are able to keep the pH level of the water stable, at a particular level.

So what is the ideal pH level for guppies? The best pH level is 7 to 8 for your guppies. A pH of 7 denotes completely neutral water (such as pure or distilled water) with no acidity or alkalinity. Anything lower than a pH of 7 is acidic, and anything higher than 7 is basic or alkaline. A pH range of 7 to 8 means that guppy fish will thrive in waters which are neutral or slightly alkaline.

Be aware of the fact that because guppies are fairly hardy and tough, a water tank with a pH of lower than 7 will not necessarily kill your guppies. In fact, their hardiness and toughness makes them an easy and popular recommendation for those who are just beginners in terms of fish keeping.

However, if guppies are kept in water with a pH of less than 7 for prolonged periods of time, there are some health issues that may arise. Thus, it is important to try to maintain optimal pH levels for your guppies. At the very least, you should keep the pH level above 6.5 and below 8.

Furthermore, guppies which are still young and not yet mature will be much more affected by the wrong water parameters, and water that has a pH below 7 will have an effect on these young guppies much faster. They probably will not die from a pH level that is on the lower side, but in order to increase their longevity and protect their health, you should always check on this water parameter.

How to Measure the pH Level in Your Fish Tank

The easiest way (which also happens to be the best way) to test the pH level of your water is to test it with a pH testing kit. Such testing kits are readily available from Amazon and come fairly cheap. Here are general instructions on using these kits (specific constructions will likely be included with the kit itself; when in doubt, you can refer to those):

Step 1: Add water from the fish tank into the test tube that comes with the kit.

Step 2: Add one drop of the solution for testing into the test tube that contains the water from your fish tank.

Step 3: The water will change color; match the color of the water to the corresponding color on the sheet or list provided by the kit in order to determine the pH level of your aquarium.

That’s all. Another tip is that many pH kits have been designed for testing water with a pH level from 5 to 9. To get more accurate results, you can look for a testing kit that focuses on a narrower range. This will get you a pH level reading that is more accurate.

How to Increase pH Level in Your Aquarium

After determining the pH level of the water in your aquarium, if you find that the pH level is too low, you will need to increase it in order to protect the health of your guppies. Before you increase your tank’s pH levels, you should remove your guppies from the aquarium temporarily. Then take the following steps, which will require baking soda:

Step 1: Measure out approximately 1 teaspoon of baking soda for every 5 gallons of water in the tank. This is generally a safe amount of baking soda for increasing the pH level of your tank, and it will not do any harm to your guppies.

Step 2: Add the measured baking soda into your tank (be sure that you have already removed the fish).

You may wish to dissolve the baking soda beforehand in conditioned water. You can then add the already dissolved baking soda into the tank. After you reach the desired pH level for your water tank, place the guppy fish back into your tank.

You should never create large and sudden increases in the pH level because the guppy fish will have some difficulty adjusting to that new environment, and health issues may surface as a result.

How to Reduce pH Level in Your Aquarium

If the pH level in your aquarium is too high, you can reduce it in the following manner:

Step 1: Acquire peat moss and place it into a mash bag.

Step 2: Add that bag into your tank’s water filter. The peat moss will lower the pH level gradually. The water may be discolored by this process, but it will pass after a period of time.

Step 3: Next, test the pH level regularly. When it falls to the desired level, take the bag out of the filter.

The peat moss method is a common one. Other methods include adding driftwood into the tank, which lowers the pH level over time, moderately decreasing aeration, increasing CO2 levels (which works well in planted aquaria), and adding reverse osmosis (RO) water.

Be sure to follow guidelines strictly no matter which method you use and test the pH regularly to ensure that the health of your guppies is safeguarded.

Conclusion

Since the pH level of your aquarium is a determining factor in the health and longevity of your guppy fish, it is important to check it and maintain it properly to preserve the well-being of your guppies. By taking the above steps in this article, you can provide an environment in which your guppies may live healthily and happily.

Richard Rowlands
Richard Rowlands

Hello fellow aquatics enthusiasts! My name is Richard Rowlands. I’m an aquarium keeper and enthusiast and have been for about 25 years or so. While I won’t claim to be the end-all expert on aquatic life, I will say that I know my way around a tank.

Guppy Fish Growth Stages

Fry Guppy

If you are a guppy owner or are seeking to become one, it may be useful for you to learn the growth stages of the guppy. Knowing how to properly care for your guppy fish as they pass through each of the different stages will allow you to grow guppies which are colorful, large, long lived, and healthy.

What is the maximum size of a guppy? A male guppy can reach a length of 1.5 in or 3.8 cm, while a female guppy may attain a maximum length of 2 in or 5 cm. The following advice will enable you to grow your guppy fish to their full size in approximately five or six months.

Guppy fish are livebearers, which means they bear live young instead of laying eggs. Thus, the larva stage of the life cycle is not applicable to guppies. The female guppy is fertilized internally by the male guppy, and the guppy offspring develop within the body of the female guppy for approximately thirty days, after which the baby guppies are born.

Fry Guppy

Fry Guppies

Guppy fry are free swimming from the very beginning. As soon as the fry are born, they will immediately begin to look for a place in which they can hide. Right after birth, the shape of their bodies are deformed, but a few hours later, their bodies straighten out. They then become strong enough to begin feeding.

The fry are tiny: they have a length of approximately ¼ of an inch or 0.6 mm. It is common for larger fish or adult guppies to eat them or to attempt to do so. In order to save the fry from such a fate, try separating a pregnant guppy from other fish. You can also try to give the fry ample hiding spots, like live plants.

Baby guppies share the same diet as their parents. But note that when feeding guppy fry with flake foods, you should crush the flakes into a fine powder to make it easier for the fry to eat. Live food is also excellent for guppy fry, especially baby brine shrimp which is the best food available for them. You can also help them grow significantly by feeding them with the yolk of an egg that has been hard boiled.

Furthermore, another way to contribute to the growth of guppy fry is to leave the light on for twelve to sixteen hours per day.

The water in your tank must be changed frequently, particularly if your baby guppies are fed several times a day. Guppy breeders sometimes change the water completely every day or once every two days.

Guppy fry become juvenile guppies at approximately the one month mark.

Juvenile Guppies

Juvenile guppies begin gaining color, and the sex becomes distinguishable. Males have a smaller tail and begin coloring up, while females are significantly larger and have a visible gravid spot. This is the beginning of the formation of male guppies’ gonopodium.

This is a very important stage in the guppy life cycle in which the best water and food must be supplied to them. Feed the juvenile guppies with brine shrimp, high quality fish flakes, blood worms, spirulina, beef hart, and plankton pellets.

The length of juvenile guppies is from ¼ in to ¾ in, or 1.2 cm to 2 cm. When they are approximately two months old, their sexual maturation begins and they are considered young guppies.

Young Guppies

Young guppies begin to be sexually active when they are about two months old. Guppy breeders will often separate females from males when they are juveniles. The separation promotes the growth of the guppies, because they will be focused exclusively on feeding, not on reproduction.

Young guppies require a slightly different diet; their fat intake should be lowered, and they should receive more greens and more protein. Brine shrimp is still the best food for them. Plankton pellets and spirulina will enable them to develop more intense, richer color.

Young guppies turn into adults at approximately six months of age.

Adult Female Guppy

Adult Guppies

The growth of an adult guppy will slow significantly or stop. Male guppies’ tail and fins may continue to grow over time (it depends on their genes).

Keeping guppies colorful and healthy requires supplying them with a varied diet. The main food for adult guppies ought to be flake food which is protein-rich. Try not to feed them fat, which can negatively impact their health.

Guppies can survive for two to five years. Once an adult guppy is 1 ½ or two years old, it is usually infertile and can no longer reproduce.

Conclusion

Breeding guppies, determining the stage they are in, and caring for them accordingly will now be easy for you, since you now know the life cycle of a guppy. Just follow the instructions to get guppies that are as healthy, colorful, and long-lived as possible.

Richard Rowlands
Richard Rowlands

Hello fellow aquatics enthusiasts! My name is Richard Rowlands. I’m an aquarium keeper and enthusiast and have been for about 25 years or so. While I won’t claim to be the end-all expert on aquatic life, I will say that I know my way around a tank.

15 Most Common Guppy Diseases, Parasites, and Treatment

jack dempseys fish care guide

Dealing with diseases is never a fun activity for any fish owner. However, there are plenty of treatments for guppies as well as some prevention measure that can help your fish stay healthy and live active and productive lives.

The one rule of thumb that everyone will always tell you is that “It is much harder to cure a sick fish than it is to prevent diseases in healthy ones”.

If you’re looking for common guppy diseases, causes, and treatment; you are in the right place.

Guppy Diseases
Kat

Disease Prevention

There are a lot of ways to prevent diseases in guppies. Most of these follow good common sense, but it helps to know what to do to keep your fish healthy.

You should keep your water clean and at a healthy temperature at all times. This includes regular tank maintenance and means that you should be performing regular partial water changes.

You should be inspecting your tank on a daily basis to make sure that everything looks healthy. When doing this, if you spot any dead fish, those need to be remove from your tank right away to prevent disease.

If when doing your check you do spot a sick fish; you should quarantine them in a hospital tank, and you should treat any new fish entering the population in this regard as well – making sure they are quarantined for a few weeks before entering the tank.

All of these measures will help you keep your tank thriving and your fish as healthy as can be!

reduce stress

Reduce Stress

While most people probably think of “stress” as a human disease, it can actually have a great impact on guppies as well.

Stress weakens all parts of a guppy’s health and can make it much more susceptible to the various diseases that you will see listed below.

One great way to lower stress in any guppy’s system is to provide them with plenty of places to hide and “explore”. You’ll want to include plenty of live plants in your aquarium along with other things like tree roots or leaves so that guppies have an environment that feels natural to them.

If you are keeping an aquarium that has more aggressive fish than guppies with them, it may be a problem for the group of guppies specifically.

You’ll also want to take all of the preventive tank measures listed above. A tank that has cold water or unstable water temperatures is a big factor that can cause guppies to get sick which will lead you down a much more difficult road when caring for your fish.

Common Guppy Diseases & Treatment

It’s always easier to heal the various illnesses and diseases that guppies get if you are well-stocked with items that can medicate your fish at home. These are the common diseases that can result in death for the guppies that you own.

Velvet/Oodinium

This is not a common disease for recreational fish owners. If you do think your fish may be in danger of having velvet, it may not be a great sign because it is often hard to spot early.

You’ll notice that your fish may have a case of oodinium if they have gold dust all over their bodies. Some people describe this dust as small dots; but they are extremely tiny and hard to see. It’s important when you’re doing check-ups to inspect your fish quite closely.

One other major problem with this disease is that it spreads very fast. This can be a deadly combination because it is hard to notice and hard to contain. That’s not a good mixture for fish owners who may not be as experienced as others.

The best cure for velvet is a copper medication like Seachem Cupramin. You should note that this medication can kill things like snails or shrimp. You need to read the instructions and make sure that you are careful when adding any substance to a tank.

Another good way to deal with Velvet is to make sure the lights are turned off. This will actually help with the healing and is a good action that you should take right away.

If your fish are healing, it’s important that you are doing extremely frequent water changes as this resists any symptoms hanging around.

White Spots guppy

White Spots – Ick

This is one of the classic diseases that almost everyone who raises fish is pretty well aware of. As long as you provide proper treatment and catch this “ick” in time, this is generally not a disease that will result in the death of your guppies.

Obviously, you will see your fish with white spots if your fish are infected by this disease. You may notice your fish acting a bit strangely as it seems to be bumping into things or swimming right along side the edge of the tank or other decorations. It’s probably easier to note the white spots, but you may also notice that your fish are not as hungry as they used to be.

To cure Ick:

  • Start to up the water temperature gradually – your goal should be around 80 degrees.
  • Use a medication product following their guidelines for use. Seachem Paraguard works really well.
  • Start to put aquarium salt in to your tank. Keep in mind, this may need done to both tanks, not just the infected hospital tank.
  • Increase your normal water changes and try to take a bigger percentage and consider doing them more often.

With these measures, you will decrease the white spots on your fish and they will start feeling healthy. This process usually takes around a week although you may see results faster and may want to continue all of the treatments listed above past the point that you are seeing symptoms in your fish.

Guppy Fin Rot
chiffonne

Rotting Fin and Tail Rot

If you see a guppy that has rotting fins it is due to a bacterial infection. This can be a difficult to diagnose because sometimes the problem is due to bad water among other factors.

The first thing to do is quarantine the sick fish. You’ll need to put it into a hospital tank so that you’re not affecting more healthy fish in your population.

After that, you will want to give your fish an antibiotic or Seachem ParaGuard.

You will need a different medication if your fish has this problem due to fungus or due to ammonia burns, so please pay attention to which medicines will solve which problems.

Swollen Gills

This is a symptom that is caused most often by ammonia. Ammonia is not a chemical to play around with and can make guppies try to get air at the surface of the water. On top of that, it is deadly in the right amounts.

Because this is often caused by things like fish waste, you have to check your tank regularly to fight against this disease.

If you see your fish gasping for air; it’s a likely sign that your water quality is bad. Don’t hesitate to perform a water change and you should probably do an ammonia test immediately as well.

As you are monitoring all of your water checks, it is probably wise to cut back on how much you are feeding your fish. These problems go hand in hand and work together to create a situation where your fish get sick.

Guppy Red Blood Spot

This is a fairly easy disease to detect because of the red coloring that should easily be seen.

The cause of red blood spots will almost always be due to a new aquarium situation. Bacteria live in fish aquariums unseen and can do a lot of wonders for your population. If you introduce too many fish too soon, you’re not letting the bacteria work and create the healthy environment for all of those fish.

If you are introducing fish in the span of a month or less, you will likely see a problem such as red blood spots due to the poisoning.

Be careful when you’re starting out to cycle your water and avoid these invisible killers.

One tool that is useful when checking your water levels is the Seachem Ammonia Alert.  Since you can’t visualize ammonia or nitrate levels, you need a way to check and test if your water is healthy for fish or not.

Guppy Disease (Protozoan)

Guppy disease is named because it almost always affects guppies as opposed to any other fish.

This is actually a parasite that infects guppies and causes problems from there. Initially, the parasite tries to work its way into the guppy’s bloodstream which is where the worst problems can occur.

To prevent any occurrences from ever happening; you need to practice good tank habits. This would include having a regularly heated tank and water changes that are frequent enough to keep the water quality in your tank high.

In that sense, this is usually a preventable disease that should be avoided at all costs.

To treat guppy disease, the first thing you should do is start heating your tank if it isn’t already. This will stabilize your water and prevent any other problems from happening.

After that, you can use a medicine such as Malachite Green. If the disease has had time to strengthen and it is already inside of the guppy’s bloodstream; you may need to go the route of copper medicine and use Seachem Cupramine.

Once you have treated your guppies, it’s important to make sure you are using good tank habits to avoid any kind of flare-ups in the future. Heating your water is usually the best way to stop this from happening again in the future.

Columnaris & Mouth Fungus

Even though fungus is in the name, this is actually something that is caused by bacteria.

You are going to notice this in the mouth area, obviously. You will see a big white area in the fish’s mouth that will give you a warning sign for this disease.

If you do not see this at first, you may be warned by a few other telltale signals that your fish has been infected by columnaris. Your fish will probably have trouble swimming, almost as if it had been disoriented. On top of that, the fish will start eating less and less.

You need to be doing regular tank checks because this disease can turn deadly if not checked on. While columnaris generally is seen in female guppies, it can rarely affect males as well. In this kind of situation, you could be in danger of losing the entire population of fish you have in your tank.

Early detection is a big key here. You want to be on top of a case of mouth fungus as soon as possible which is why you probably need to have medication on hand as opposed to ordering it in or making a trip to get the medication after you see it. That extra time needed to treat the disease could have a big negative impact on your colony.

One chemical that many people use to cure their fish of mouth fungus is Formalin. If not using formalin, then fish owners are probably using aquarium salt to cure their fish. It’s important to note that just because you are adding salt does not mean you get to stop doing water changes. That will still be important for your fish as you heal them.

The biggest thing you can do once you heal your fish of this disease is to keep them in a healthy tank environment. If your fish are in a situation where there are simply too many fish, it might be a situation where you can see re-occurring diseases. Protect your fish by having an appropriate number in any given tank.

Dropsy

The name may be cute, but the disease is not. Dropsy is a disease that will cause your fish to appear bloated. This bloated fish will have problems swimming and may have other problems on the inside such as an infected kidney.

Not only that, but Dropsy is a big killer. You need to take great caution to prevent this disease because once you see it, it is likely too far gone to have any recourse against it.

A lot of stress for an elongated period of time can cause Dropsy in fish, so it’s important to provide your fish with a healthy environment with lots of places to “hide” when needed.

Regular care and making sure there is no water pollution is the best tool to fight Dropsy.

Popped Eyes

You see popped eyes in fish for so many different reasons that it can become a losing battle to try to fight for a fish that has this symptom.

Some of these diseases that are on this page like Dropsy can make your fish have popped eyes; or you simply may be in a situation where your tank has dirty water with bad quality.

Popped eyes can actually cause your fish to go blind; but you may actually hurt your fish even more by treating it when you don’t have an answer for what specific problem your fish has.

Swim Bladder Disorder

This is an interesting problem for guppies because you are very likely going to be able to spot the change. The bladder helps control the buoyancy of the fish so if you see a fish out of control, floating at strange angles, or even upside down without reason – this may be what you are looking for.

Ammonia can also cause this problem but usually the culprit is moving a fish from a shallow tank to a deep water tank.

Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia

Obviously this is a viral disease that affects guppies. You will notice one of many different signs if you are worried about viral haemorrhagic septicaemia.

The warning signs are:

  • Ulcers or sores
  • Lesions
  • Rotting fins
  • Enlarged eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Body that appears darker

The best treatment for a situation where you think haemorrhagic septicaemia is happening is to use API Furan 2.

The most important thing to do after you’ve dealt with a battle like this one is to change your tank water a lot. There’s really not a minimum I would recommend beyond reason to stop the fight against this virus.

Gill Flukes, Gill Worms

This is a disease that can make some uncomfortable because it is actually visible to humans who are looking close enough. What happens here is that a worm is basically attacking the fish and causing problems in the gills.

What that looks like to us is some bleeding in the gills along with a fish that looks like it’s gasping at the surface. Instead of being at the top, your fish may be gathering along the bottom of the tank as well.

This can happen when you rush new fish into your tank population without quarantining them appropriately first. It’s never a good idea to rush when mixing new fish or plants into your environment.

If you are watching closely enough, you may be able to save the population by giving them medication early enough. As this disease progresses, it is deadly to fish and if it is too far gone then you have no chance of saving the fish.

Diana’s Flukes and Sick Guppies (8 pages): Treatments and disease management strategies of skin flukes (Gyrodactylus species) on guppies.

Camallanus Internal Worm

This worm is actually a parasite that can sometimes be found in guppies. Generally, this is seen much more often in outdoor populations than in indoor ones.

On occasion, indoor populations can see this problem but it is believed to be due to feeding live cyclops. If you avoid that; you should avoid this disease that is quite deadly.

You will need to perform a lot of water changes to get your population back to a situation where they will be able to live healthy. You’ll also need to medicate with special medicine known as Levamisole.

Hole in the Head Guppy

Hexamitiasis - Hole in the Body or Head

This is a fancy title that actually means there is a “hole” in the fish. Generally, this is pretty rare and as a recreational owner you will probably never have to deal with it. You may be dealing with hexamitiasis if you see stringy white feces coming from your fish when there is also something noticeably wrong like a lack of appetite.

You’ll need to medicate through food for this disease which could prove to be tricky if your fish are not eating due to a lack of appetite. You’ll need to put medication in the water if that is the case. That medicine is known as metronidazole.

As with most diseases on the list, you will see this pop up due to water issues or crowding issues with the population. Two things that you definitely want to avoid if at all possible.

Bent Spine(Scoliosis)

Scoliosis is basically the same in fish as it is in humans, it is a bending of the spine that is unnatural. Usually this happens due to the way a fish is raised or due to its own genetics.

This isn’t a great thing for your fish to have because they won’t be swimming easily and will cause other problems with a fish’s growth. Your fish can easily inherit this from their mother; so keep that in mind. The good news would be that a fish can live a perfectly fine life with scoliosis, even though it is not ideal.

Conclusion

There are some different methods of keeping fish healthy that come up over and over again when reading about different diseases.

Keeping your tank in great shape is the best way to keep guppies healthy. The number one way to keep that tank running smoothly is to perform regular water changes for your fish. You need to be diligent when checking in on your fish to really notice their appearance and their behavior and check for any abnormalities that may clue you in that your fish are sick.

With a good routine, some information, and appropriate medical supplies to help you take action; you should be able to stay on top of any diseases that may hit your guppies and get them back into good health right away.

Richard Rowlands
Richard Rowlands

Hello fellow aquatics enthusiasts! My name is Richard Rowlands. I’m an aquarium keeper and enthusiast and have been for about 25 years or so. While I won’t claim to be the end-all expert on aquatic life, I will say that I know my way around a tank.

Guppy Fry Care 101 – Caring For Baby Guppies

Having guppies are a great fish to own and have around your house. However, one thing that is not so easy is caring for baby guppies. Adult and parent fish do not take care of their young, and will even eat them if circumstances call for it.

You can help take care of them and make sure your baby guppies survive with the information provided below.

Baby Guppies
Sheherazad Bhote

How are Guppies Born?

Guppies are a unique fish because they don’t lay eggs. This species of fish are livebearers. The female fish gives birth to a group of other live fish. Healthy guppies will give birth monthly for a time span of around 2 years. As with most fish, the mother fish will hide away to have her babies. At the time of birth, most guppies are not ready to fend for themselves and will have to hide at first. After a few hours, the new baby guppies will be travelling around and beginning their quest for food.

How Many Babies Do Guppies Have?

A female fish will birth an average of around 40 baby guppies at a time. This number can vary depending on the health of the fish, as well as other factors. Typically, you will not see a group of guppies born below 20 or above 60 fry in one birthing session.

How to Save Guppy Fry?

The #1 tip to save your guppy fry is quite simple. The best practice is to put your pregnant fish inside of a separate tank. This could be a tank specifically designed for breeding or it can be any other tank you have that is suitable for fish to live in.

This really increases the chance that your guppy fry will live because it gives them a safe place to start out their life when the first few days are so dangerous for them. While your guppies may not survive being around other fish (and even the parents), they should prosper in a brand new environment with no harm to them whatsoever.

If you don’t’ have a separate aquarium, it doesn’t mean your guppies are doomed.

You could also use a different kind of container whether it’s a big glass container or jar, or a large enough plastic container could work.  It’s important to note that you don’t want to isolate the pregnant guppy before she starts giving birth. Doing so could lead to some unwanted problems – so wait until the last possible second to transfer the pregnant guppy.

If no containers are a possibility, you may want to buy a special piece of gear known as a breeding box. This keeps your fish separate even if they can’t be outside of the same aquarium as other fish in a general population.

This is a simple method because it’s not too complicated for you as an owner of the fish. The water can get through the breeding box but fish will not be able to leave or enter the box. This keeps the fish safe but keeps them in the same environment so there are no water quality issues to worry about.

Once the female is done birthing the baby guppies, you would want to remove that specific fish from the breeding box. That keeps the babies safe from their mother and so that nothing bad happens inside the box.

If you are unable to get a breeding box, you will have to turn to the last resort for keeping your baby guppies safe. This would include giving them any possible place to hide that you can. Generally, the best sources of a hiding spot for baby guppies would include a variety of live plants that would be in an aquarium. Guppy grass is an especially popular choice for this kind of fish, and would do about as well as you can in providing them somewhere safe to go.

You need the plants to give the baby guppies protection for at least a week. Sometimes this period is longer, but this allows them to grow up without being attacked by adults who are bigger and stronger than the guppies and could wipe out your entire school before any of them are able to reach a mature age.

Guppy fry care

What to Feed Baby Guppies?

Feeding baby guppies provides an interesting challenge. Even though baby guppies are extremely tiny, they are also a very hungry species. As babies, they are ready to eat about every half hour. While you don’t necessarily have to meet that demand, for optimum growth you should probably be feeding them around once an hour.

Recreational owners will be able to feed their guppies much less than that schedule. The biggest thing that recreational owners should keep in mind is that they need to make sure the food is crushed down small enough for the baby guppies to put the food in their mouth.

Live food is a great choice for baby guppies. Baby brine shrimp is an especially popular food among those who raise baby guppies professionally. Again, if you are a recreational owner, you may consider flake foods without much worry as long as it is crushed in a small format.

Tank Maintenance

One good thing about raising guppies is that babies do not necessarily need a special tank adjustment. If adults thrive in the environment you have set up, it’ll be great for babies too.

If you do have a separate tank, you should set the temperature right around 80 degrees. Change your water regularly. Changing the water 2 times a week would be healthy.  Make sure to keep lights on for over half of the day – while also giving them dark times to rest.

Conclusion

There are many things to keep track of when raising your baby guppies. You want to make sure that they are isolated from any general population of fish. You’ll need to make sure they have proper water changes and food to eat as well. Helping baby guppies grow is a fun and rewarding activity no matter the level of your experience!