The guppy is a tropical fish native to Venezuela and Guyana. Guppies are live-bearing fish; the female expels between 20 and 70 young per batch. These newborn guppies are called small fry. As soon as they are born, the fry instinctively know that they have to shelter from other fish; otherwise, they would become a tasty snack. The small fry are not even safe from their own mother. A plant like Java Moss is ideal for providing protection for the fry. This may be purchased from the pet store where you obtain your other aquarium requirements.
The fry grow rapidly, attaining maturity in approximately three months. Once a female has become fertile, she is capable of becoming pregnant, giving birth then becoming pregnant again, producing as many as ten batches per year.
The small fry can be fed on brine shrimp during their first week of life. The second week they can be moved on to flake (dry fish food). Blood worms may be introduced to the aquarium; taking care to keep them in a specially-built container, as the worms that are not eaten straight away may bury down beneath the gravel at the base of the tank. Another popular live fish food is daphne.
It is possible for an over-enthusiastic fish keeper to kill the fish by over-feeding. One pinch of flake is enough for the aquarium per day. Live fish food may be given in place of the flake once a week.
Varieties of Guppy
- Lace, which come in varieties of green, red, gold, and speckled.
The male guppy is smaller in size than the adult female and much more attractive. They spend all their time swimming around the females, trying to mate with them or dancing in front of them. The males vary in colour and markings; no two are ever the same. They measure approximately two centimetres in length.
Larger by about three -four centimetres than the male and much less colourful, the female is distinguishable by her black sac, denoting her pregnancy. Female guppies are a lot less active than their male counterparts. They do their best to ignore the attention that the attractive little males bestow upon them.
The aquarium should be no smaller than 24 x 8 x 8 inches. Air stones should be buried under the bottom layer of the tank to oxygenate the water and also to provide entertainment for the fish. Once attached to the pump, the air stones will provide the guppies with a constant stream of bubbles for them to enjoy. Guppies like to 'flick' and will happily flick through a stream of bubbles.
The temperature of the water should be kept between 26 and 28° Centigrade (80 to 82° Fahrenheit) with the use of a water heater. Once a week, approximately a third of the tank should be emptied out and replaced with fresh, clean water.