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Main Index > Detailed Fish Profiles > The Livebearers > Guppy
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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the

South America



Female Guppies.

Poecillia reticulata


    Once the king of the hobby the guppy has been replaced by other species in popularity. Through selective breeding many new variations and colors are available to us today. Still popular the guppy has many traits that make it an attractive buy for the hobbyist.

Quick stats:

    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: Up to 2.5" (6cm) males smaller
    Tank: 20 inches
    Strata: All
    PH: 7.0 to 8.5
    Hardness: Medium to hard. dH range: 10.0 - 30.0
    Temperature: 64°F to 84°F (18-29°C)
    Order: Atheriniformes.
    Suborder: Cyprinodontoide.
    Family: Poecilidae.
    Genera: Poecillia

Common name

    Guppy, Millions fish.

Image gallery:
    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    South America, North of the Amazon and in Barbados and Trinidad.

General Body Form
    Males are elongated and the females are larger and plumper. In developed strains the male will show a large Caudal fin, usually brightly colored.

    Within its wide distribution range, this species has lots of natural varieties of color and form. These forms have been enhanced by selective breeding and hybridization, mainly to produce strains that are larger, more colorful and have larger fins.
    Male guppies are the colorful sex in this species.. Even in the wild Guppies show quite a varied range of coloration and some of the species that inhabit the Islands are really interesting. The variability of colors produced by selective breeding is almost infinite. Typical features are large "eye" spots on the body and fins whose edges shine iridescently in all colors of the rainbow.
    Females are usually a rather dull green to yellowish-Green. The scales have dark edges that give the body a reticulate appearance ( hence the name ). selective breeding has increased the females coloration, but as of yet they can't compare to the male.

    An easily cared for fish that does well in all types of community aquaria. Give them a fairly large tank with live plants and open swimming areas, avoid too much driftwood as a rule the livebearers do not like acidic water. Although not a schooling fish they benefit by being kept with a large number of their own kind. Temperature range from sixty-eight to eighty-seven degrees, water with a pH of 7 to 8.5 and hard to medium hard. You must provide a fairly large tank if you want their finage to develop to its potential. Cultivated varieties with very large fins should be kept singly. Guppies will except all types of flake food and small live food.


    Standing and slowly moving water, originally in Northern South America and the Caribbean.


    As the male matures the Anal fin develops into a structure for reproduction called the Gonopodium. The Gonopodium can be moved in almost any direction and stores the sperm in packs called spermatophores. Once the sperm is inserted into the female it fertilizers her eggs and the rest is stored in the Oviduct walls for later use. The eggs are very rich in yolk and the young develop by consuming their yolk stores. In light colored females pregnancy can be recognized by the growing dark body marking in front of the Anal fin. Selected varieties only produce their attractive features if they are given plenty of space and a varied diet. Very prolific, the females produce young every four weeks or so.
    Young Live-bearers are fairly large at birth and their development is very advanced. They can swim right away, which is needed to avoid their enemies including their parents who give no natal care whatsoever. The fry grow very rapidly and will eagerly accept fine flake food.

Guppy fry


Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Alisha
Date: 1/8/2010
I'm not very surprised that Guppy's other name is 'millionsfish'. If our Angelfish wouldn't be here, we'd have millions of them already! There's also a little funny fact that in my language Guppy (''Gupik'') sounds like word ''glupi'', which means stupid. Well, some of our Gups are actually quite a stupid ones (especially one double-sword, Tysymycek, who's mistaking the bigger males to be females and he's trying to fertilize them xD). We have abort 30-40 Guppies (no, really, it's impossible to count them now), in three different fish-tanks. The adult females and just 3 males big enough to not be eaten by Angelfish (we think he got mentally ill when he was younger and starting eating male Guppies and those 3 are the ones he didn't eat up, rest of them got eaten or rescued and live in second tank). There are also other fish, I'll mention some: Mollies, Swordtail, Platies, pair of Rams, Angelfish (I already mentioned him!), Harlequins, Neon Tetras, 2 Corydoras catfish, 2 Hoplosternum catfish, 2 shrimps (Amano), Kuhli/Myersi Loach (we stopped seeing him/her as [s]he started hiding and only comes out at night when hungry but usually finds food in its hiding places), a Moderlieschen/Belica (just one, though there was 4; guess what? The rest got eaten by the nasty Angelsfish...). It looks I've mentioned all! :D In second tank we have nursery + rescue place for smaller males guppies and 2 other Corydoras catfish who used to live there when it was the only tank we had. Last tank used to be nursery, now it's breeding tank for Guppies. Now it's inhabited by young female Guppy Rose and and bottom-sword male who will be next father. There's also the female Platy as she's pregnant and we didn't have babies yet; in tank she lived we had small chance to catch them as there are predators as Angelfish, Rams and Moderlieschen (Belica) who'll certainly eat them up. I think that's it now! And, by the way, We have all gratitude for our dear, unfortunately dead now Demi, who began our Guppy family, and all Gups we have are related to her. Thank You, Demi. Rest in peace.
From: Kat
Date: 11/5/2009
Guppy's are an all time favorite fish. They are easy to care for, colorful, and breed very rapidly. I recommend this fish to beginners because of their hardiness. It is best to keep them in a species tank. Other fish seem to pick at their long fins. Feed them a variety of live and frozen foods to increase the number of fry in a litter. They will quickly double in numbers and this can easily get out of hand. Most local fish shops will take in the unwanted fry. Overall I think anyone can enjoy the beauty a guppy can bring in the home aquarium.
From: Rolland
Date: 7/19/2009
I kept guppies in a 10 gallon tank as boy. Now at 50 years old I once again find them fascinating and have a rather large setup. With a few loaches and catfish as scavengers on the bottom. My particular variety of guppy has a large red/black fantail,some yellow and blue on mid section and white (almost neon) elongated fins They are thriving with a heavily planted tank, fed flake food along with frozen blood worms. They are truly a wonderful fish to watch.
From: Crystal
Date: 11/23/2008
I definitely agree that guppies should be kept in a species tank. I tried to put my guppies in with some tetras but soon realized that was not going to work. The tetras picked at their tails to the point of death for a couple of the guppies before I could get a new tank set up for them. They are beautiful fish! So, now my plan is to have them in their own tank and start breeding them.
From: Rowan
Date: 12/12/2008
These fish are very hardy and thus are amazing fish for newbie fishkeepers. You can get many varieties of guppy, from dull black to electric blue and everything in between Being livebearers, if you have a male and female youíre almost guaranteed to get babies! It is best to have a ratio of 1 male to every 3 females if you intend on breeding them.
From: Joshua
Date: 04/18/2007
They're easy to breed but more difficult to raise. Unlike other live bearers,they should be in a species tank.
From: Liam
Date: 01/14/2007
I find my guppies prefer to have a light filtration and fed small amounts daily, e.g that they can eat within 3-4 minutes. I also have 3 females to 1 male in my tank which stops 1 female from getting continuously chased!! Keep the tank warm as they are tropical fish and will breed prolifically if fed a variety and kept in warm water! When breeding keep female in a large separate tank to avoid stress by being harassed by other fish. This also reduces the fry being eaten................ Enjoy you fish breeding,
From: Donna
Date: 03/24/2006
Guppies what to say about them that hasn't already been said. So many colors to choose from. The females are already pregnant when you bring them home usually. I have 3 females to one male. Seems he is more in love with the male platy then to his own kind. Hopefully soon he catches on and realizes he is not a platy and will go after the females I've selected for him. Maybe I should take him with me and let him pick out his own girlfriend. (lol) In my case of guppies I have found if you put them into a breeding box which is clear plastic and all the other fish hang around she gets very nervous. I took a couple of butter bowl lids and cut them down to fit the sides of the breeding box which helped her beings she couldn't see out and the other fish couldn't see in. After that she had her babies and didn't seem at all as nervous as she did when the other fish were hanging around. But before you use your lids be sure to wash them well and rinse well. I now have 11 new babies and more little guppies on the way. Can't wait to see the colors when they start to appear.
From: Alana Norton
Date: 04/18/2004
When breeding a guppy use breeding grass. Separate pregnant mother from father, then when the fry are born remove the mother. The parents tend to eat the fry. You should keep your guppies in about 70 degree water. The male guppies have large colorful tails, and the females have small one-colored tails. When choosing a guppy make sure it has a full tail with nothing missing. When the male guppies are full of sperm their anal fin will be full grown. They are the most beautiful tropical fish. I have been breeding and studying whales, sharks, fish, and dolphins for 20 years, but out of all of them my favorite to breed are the fancy guppies. Thank You and Good Night. P.S. visit me at seaworld, San Diego!!! ~ Alana :-)
From: Daniel
Date: 04/22/2003
Keep at least 2 females to every 1 male guppy. When males are sexually mature, they will be very keen to breed and will tirelessly chase the females. The more females you have, the more evenly the chasing is "shared", and thus the less stressed they will become. Males are easily identifiable by the differing body shape (slimmer) and their body and tails are much more colourful. They are also smaller than the females. Avoid keeping males without females, as they will become frustrated without a breeding partner and will chase each other. Beautiful fish, easy to keep. Ideal for beginners and experts. They breed easily but donít make good parents! If you want the fry to survive, use a breeding trap.

From: Lenny
Date: 09/07/2001
I purchased a pair of guppies as starter fish, Boy was I glad I got the tank stable quickly!! She had her first fry 2 days after I got them! Since then constant lighting [grow lights!]obviously decreases the gestation period! She has a new fry every 2 to 2-1/2 weeks.[Makes me glad my buddy has an Oscar! is getting crowded in there!]

From: Wink
Date: 02/27/2002
I've been an aquarium enthusiast for about 4 yrs. Until recently I had never owned any Guppies, as they seemed somewhat overly common. I regret not trying them out sooner. I was under the misconception that they were a beginner's Fish, not for the "real" enthusiast. But I haven't enjoyed observing the interaction between my Fish this much in a long time.

From: Jessica
Date: 04/05/2002
I have two male guppies and for some reason they insist on harassing my pair of swordtail. I don't know why this his happening because I've never had trouble with guppies before.






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