When your guppies become pregnant, keeping the guppy fry alive is an essential part of the breeding process, as guppies are known to eat guppy fry once they’re born. Using a guppy breeding box, whether purchased or a homemade setup, is one of the easiest ways to ensure they survive.
A breeding tank is a separate container off of the primary aquarium that allows free-flowing water. It prevents adult fish from moving into the separate container and keeping the guppy fry safe.
There are plenty of excellent options for guppy fry breeding boxes, but here are some of the best.
Do I Need a Guppy Fry Breeding Box?
The short answer, yes! Guppy breeding boxes are an excellent alternative to creating a secondary aquarium when you have a pregnant guppy.
Advantages of a breeding box include being less costly because you don’t need to invest in a second set of equipment, like filters and heaters.
More Convenient & Efficient
It’s a more convenient option that requires less work, as you don’t have to work to match the water conditions. It’s also more efficient because you don’t need to waste time waiting for the secondary aquarium to complete a cycle before using it.
Disadvantage of Guppy Breeding Box
The main disadvantage to a guppy breeder box is that it’s only a temporary fix. Guppy fry can’t be in the box for an extended period. Otherwise, it’ll begin to impede their growth. You should only keep your fry in there for two weeks or until they show signs of stress.
You can then transfer them to an isolated tank or into your established tank if they are big enough.
The Best Breeding Boxes for Guppy Fish Reviewed
With these pros and cons laid out, here are some of the top breeding boxes for your guppy fish:
The Alfie Pet Breeding and Hatchery Box
The Alfie Pet box is a hang-on breeding and hatchery box that sits inside the aquarium. It boasts a sturdy and functional design, has plenty of room for two adult fish inside. Water can flow through the box, and there is an attached separator.
It’s perfect for being a guppy fry nursery or a separate space for aggressive fish or fish that need to be protected.
There’s no heater, pump, or filter required for this model. It has an excellent design and is sturdy enough for each purpose.
- Dimension: 3" long; 3.5" wide and high.
- Ideal as maturation tank for fry, or isolation tank for aggressive or injured fish.
- Safely separates new-born fry from mother and other fish.
- Space saving design that hangs on the inside of the aquarium.
- Easy to assemble.
Marina Hang-On Breeding Box
This affordable hang-on breeding box is perfect for those who don’t want to invest in a filter or heater for a new aquarium. This particular model hangs off the exterior of the tank, and it has a multitude of uses. It has many uses, including a typical breeding box, a separate tank for isolation of adult fish, or an acclimation box.
Due to its excellent design, it’s incredibly convenient if any problems occur that you need to fix without disturbing the other fish. You can also easily monitor the guppy fry without disturbing tank mates.
The breeding box holds around half a gallon of water, but you can choose other sizes if you feel you need larger. The primary aquarium water cycles through the box. You will need to purchase a separate air pump, which can run anywhere from $10 to $70.
This model includes three removable plates to create partitions so that you can have three separate sections for all your needs.
Pets Island Aquarium Fish Breeding Boxes
The Pets Island breeding box is placed into your aquarium and sticks to the glass with suction cups. The box has slits in the sides to allow for water flow, but they are small enough to keep the guppy fry inside.
The clear design allows for easy visibility to keep an eye on your guppy fry or separated fish. The lid is also transparent.
Included with the box is a removable partition piece that can create two separate sections for your fish. The Pets Island breeding box is smaller in size, so it’s great as a temporary option and should not be used for guppy fry beyond two weeks.
It’s affordable and can be used for multiple purposes, so it’s an excellent option for those looking for a smaller box.
Finnex External Refugium Breeder Box with Water Pump
Purchasing a box that can be installed on the tank’s interior is excellent if you have a sizeable tank with adequate space for a box without causing stress to your other fish.
The Finnex box is another hang-on guppy breeding model that can be installed on the inside of your aquarium. It’s ideal for smaller aquariums that don’t have space for a box without impeding the other fish. The Finnex is a perfect solution for those who have limited space.
Boxes installed on the outside of the tank are ideal for many reasons, including space-saving, easier to tend to maintenance, and easy to monitor your guppy fry or isolated fish.
It can also be used as a refugium filter and can be great for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums. The included pump that comes with the breeder box is excellent at regulating the water flow.
It can also be manually adjusted so you can provide the best flow for your guppies. You can also install lights that clip on to create the best environment.
The Finnex box comes with all the accessories you’ll need, so you won’t need to purchase additional equipment.
XMHF Nylon Mesh Fish Fry Hatchery and Breeder Box
The XMHF Nylon Mesh breeding box is an extremely affordable alternative to other breeding boxes on the market. If you don’t have the materials at home to build your own, this is an option when you don’t want to spend a lot of money. It has a plastic frame that is surrounded by a mesh net.
It attaches to the top of the inside of your aquarium with suction cups. When installing this breeding box, ensure the top of the net is above the top of the water. The net is used to keep the guppy fry separate from the mother and other adult fish.
Since the box sits inside the established aquarium, you don’t need to purchase additional accessories like a heater or filter, and you don’t need to worry about keeping the water parameters in check for two aquariums.
Along with housing guppy fry, the mesh box can house aggressive fish, injured fish, or weak fish from the others in the aquarium. It’s an excellent and affordable option and a great tool to have on hand if you ever need it.
- Product Name: Aquarium Net Breeder
- Color: White, Green; Material: Plastic, Nylon
- Total Size: 17 x 12.6 x 15cm / 6.7" x 5" x 5.9" (L*W*H)
- Package Content: 1 x Aquarium Net Breeder, 4 x Suction Cups
- Net Weight: 80g
How to Save Your Baby Guppies Without Breeding Box
While a breeding box is an excellent and effective option, there are a couple of other methods that are doable if you worry about that breeder box causes too much undue stress.
Having a separate tank set up for your pregnant guppies is a more expensive option than purchasing a breeding box or using live plants. If your aquarium is small, this may be the most suitable option for you.
A separate tank should mimic your established aquarium, with the same heater, plants, lights, filter, and same water conditions.
Once your pregnant guppy is close to giving birth, you can remove her from your aquarium and put her in a separate tank. You can tell that she is getting close when her abdomen becomes enlarged and she becomes reclusive.
Putting your pregnant guppy in a new tank can be a stressful ordeal, so transferring her carefully and keeping her environment as close to what she’s used to is key to a successful transition. Once she has the guppy fry, remove her from the separate tank and reintroduce her to the primary tank.
Once you have the guppy fry separated, you will need to take great care of them while growing. You will need to feed them properly with protein-rich foods like quality food and baby brine shrimp. Keep a strict feeding schedule. Guppy fry need to be fed frequently with small meals.
(You may be interested to know how to care for baby guppies?)
If you have an established aquarium, you likely already have plenty of lush plants, which is part of an ideal guppy environment. Having a well-planned environment for guppy fry can help them hide and save them from being eaten by the adult fish. Recommended plant types include moss, frogbit, and guppy grass.
A DIY Guppy Fish Breeding Box
If you’re not looking to purchase a breeding box, you can create your own homemade setup for an affordable price. If you have a plastic container, a net, and rubber bands, you can build your own DIY breeding box.
To create it, take a clean plastic container, put the mesh bag or net over the jar’s opening, and put a rubber band around it. Cut the plastic in half and place the meshed half onto the second half so that it’s face down.
You will then have a container with two layers that can be secured and held together with your rubber bands. The upper portion of the container sits upside down inside the bottom container.
Fill the container with aquarium water and secure it to the aquarium side with some strong and water-resistant tape. Add some plants, and you can put the pregnant guppy inside your DIY breeding box.
Once she gives birth, the guppy fry will automatically pass through the mesh netting, so they are separated, keeping the mother in the upper portion of the box. If you have all the necessary materials, a DIY breeding box is just as effective as a purchased one.
Here are some good tutorials:
DIY Guppy Fish Breeding Box: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSTDOypTCm8
DIY Aquarium Breeder Box Fry Keeper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CfUDOz93Gw
When can I put a pregnant guppy in the breeding box?
Once you notice that her birth time is nearing, you can keep your pregnant guppies in the box. She should be removed 24 to 48 hours after giving birth to prevent her from eating the guppy fry.
How long should I keep guppy fry in the breeding box?
Baby guppies can be left in the box for up to two weeks for them to grow big enough so the adult fish cannot eat them. If you keep them in the box beyond two weeks, it may stunt their growth. If you ensure that the water conditions are optimal, you’re feeding them the best diet, and they are not showing signs of distress, you could keep them in the breeding box as long as you need.
Two pregnant guppies should not share a breeder box once they’ve given birth to give the guppy fry the best chance at survival.
How do I use a guppy breeding box?
A breeder box is the best defense from having the guppy fry eaten by the mother. Breeder boxes are relatively easy to use and maintain, even for new fish owners. The breeder box is a container that has two separate tanks, so when the guppy fry are born, they are separated from their mother, so she does not eat them.
The guppy fry are isolated from her, so they can grow big enough that they can’t fit inside the mouths of the bigger fish.
Can guppy fry die in the breeding box?
Unfortunately, there are many reasons why guppy fry die in the breeder box. To ensure you give your guppy fry the best chance at survival, keep them separate from their mother, keep the water conditions optimal and oxygenated, feed them healthily and adequately, and make sure they’re not stressed.
When can guppy fry leave the breeding box?
Guppy fry can stay in the breeder box until they are an adequate size to prevent being eaten by larger fish. As long as you have optimal water conditions and are not showing signs of stress, you can keep them in the box.