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Livebearers / Poeciliidae / Guppy

Guppy, Millions fish
Poecilia reticulata

Synonyms: Acanthocephalus guppii, A. reticulatus, Girardinus guppii, G. poeciloides, G. reticulatus, Haridichthys reticulatus, Heterandria guppyi, Lebistes poecilioide, L. reticulatus, Poecilia poeciloides, Poecilioides reticulatus
Physical description: The guppy is an elongated fish that is available in many different color and pattern variations. The mouth is up-turned and the head is small. Males are smaller, but they have a large, colorful tail. The larger females are plainer in color and have a smaller tail. The wild caught form is smaller and is less colorful than the widely available selectively-bred forms. The color, tail size, and pattern vary greatly on what variety the fish is.
Size/Length: Females to 2.8" (7 cm), males smaller
Similar species: None
Habitat: Still and slow moving water on Caribbean coast of Venezuela, Trinidad, and Barbados, often in brackish water. Now usually bred in Singapore and United States. Introduced into Asia and Africa in an effort to control mosquito population.
S: middle, top
Aquarium: A tank measuring 16" (41 cm) with a capacity of 5 gallons (19 L) is adequate for a pair. The tank should be well planted, and a cover of floating plants is suggested to provide a refuge for young.
Water chemistry: pH 7-8.5 (7.0), 10-30 dH (20), 64-84°F (18-29°C). A 0.5 to 2% addition of salt is recommended. This can be accomplished by adding 4-15 TSP. of salt to every 10 gallons of water (5-20 g/10 l).
Social behavior: The selectively bred guppies are clumsy swimmers which cannot escape predators or fin-nipping species. Thus it is important to avoid combining the guppy with other than peaceful fish. Otherwise the guppy is a good community fish, except that it prefers some salt to be added to the water. Keep one male with several females.
Suggested companions: Corydoras , Platies, Mollies, Loricarids, tetras tolerant of hard, alkaline water
FOOD: Live; worms, insects, insect larvae, crustaceans; flakes
SEX: The male is smaller, more colorful and has a larger tail. Males also have a gonopodium, a pointed anal fin. The female is larger and when pregnant, has dark spot on abdomen
Breeding techniques: Male constantly tries to mate with the female, so more than one female should be provided so as one is not to become exhausted. The gestation period is 4-6 weeks and the female give birth to 10-100 young. The parents chase young and will eat them. Use a breeding trap or well planted breeding aquarium. Some young usually survive in sparsely populated tank with lots of plants. The young can be raised with crushed flakes and Artemia nauplii.
Breeding potential: 1. A prolific, easily bred species. Young may be found in the bag on the way home from the aquarium store.
Remarks: The Guppy has been subjected to a great deal of selective breeding, which has produced many different color patterns and tail shapes. Due to the elaborate caudal fin, produced by selective breeding, male guppies are not skillful swimmers. he wild, unimproved forms are usually only sold as food. Males become sexually mature as early as two months old, while females take about three months. The wild form is much hardier than the domesticated breeds.
Difficulty of care: 1 (wild form). A peaceful, hardy species that requires an addition of salt.
4 (domesticated varieties). These are less hardy than the robust wild form.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com