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.
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.
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.
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.
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!