Guppy fish is a popular aquarium fish that are known for their ability to give birth to live young. While guppies do occasionally give birth to eggs, the vast majority of their offspring are born alive. This article will discuss the particulars of guppy childbirth and what you need to know to keep your fish healthy and happy during this process.
Guppy Fish Giving Birth: Important Fact
Guppies are curious about how they get pregnant and give birth. It is normal for a guppy to drop between 2 and 200 baby guppies, called fry, within 4 to 6 hours after giving birth. When she is stressed, she may need as much as 12 hours to give birth to all the fry.
In extreme cases, female guppys can give birth to as few as a few fry at a time, with a gap of many hours or days between deliveries; though, these young are usually unviable and die shortly after conception. The fry are usually born one by one. Although they may arrive simultaneously, there may be gaps between infant groups.
A newborn guppie is often born with its tail coiled into a little ball, just as it grew in the womb in this compressed form. Though guppies often swim upward if they are particularly healthy, they will uncurl and begin swimming rapidly once they are uncurled. Stillborn, preterm, and unhealthy youngsters will sink.
How To Identify The Signs of Pregnancy in Guppy
When female guppies are young, they can become pregnant. If they are not separated from males, they can give birth on average once a month for several years.
Guppies can get pregnant as early as a few weeks old, and if they aren’t separated from males, the darkening of the gravid region near the anus under the tail. The gestation time for guppies ranges from 21 to 30 days (22 to 26 days is regular), dependent on the tank’s temperature, cleanliness, and the female’s health. Pregnancy symptoms begin to emerge as the woman nears her last weeks of gestation.
Distinct fish have different personalities; thus, not every female guppy will exhibit the same symptoms when she is ready to give birth. If you keep an eye out for the following signs, you’ll be able to tell when it’s time to give birth.
- The female’s abdomen has a boxy, squared-off appearance.
- The gravid spot is dark maroon or black in color.
- She either remains motionless in the tank or seeks refuge.
- Changes in eating habits are common, such as refusing to eat or spitting out food.
- During contractions, you may shiver or shake.
- Breathing that is becoming increasingly fast.
When a female guppy shows signs of being ready to give birth, it’s good to relocate her to a birthing tank or net within the main tank or to a different tank entirely. This will distance her from the other fish in the aquarium, allowing her to avoid them without exerting too much effort. Many birthing tanks feature barriers that provide a safe environment for the fry to begin swimming – fry is a delicacy to many fish, including the hungry mother.
What You Need To Prepare For Guppy Moms
When setting up your tank for pregnant guppies, it’s essential to make sure that you have everything you need. This will help you create a safe and healthy environment for your fish and their babies. It will also help you provide the best possible care during their childbirth.
To prepare your tank for pregnancy, you should follow my instruction below. Using a small plastic soda-type bottle can create a birthing area to keep the pregnant guppy safe.
- Keep an inch-wide, three- to the four-inch-long section of the bottom half of the bottle after cutting the top off.
- Bend the strip out and down with a hairdryer or other heating element to form a hook.
- Make a hole in the bottle using a small knife.
- Attach the hook to the top of the tank, then place the bottle into the tank.
- Inside the bottle, place the fry. The newborns can swim in the bottle, and the water from the tank will fill the bottle while the bottle protects them.
A Balanced Diet For Guppy Mom
During pregnancy, guppy mothers need to be fed a balanced diet to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need. This will help her give birth to healthy offspring and help her recover after giving birth. A balanced diet for a pregnant guppy should include:
- Vitamins and minerals
It’s essential to make sure that your pregnant guppy is getting enough protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals to ensure that she is healthy and strong during childbirth. You can provide your fish with these nutrients by feeding her a variety of foods. For example, you can feed her live foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms. You can also feed her frozen or freeze-dried foods such as krill or plankton. Ensure that you are feeding your fish the right amount of food so that they don’t overeat
How To Care For Guppy Mother and Newborn Guppies
In order for the mother guppy to regain her stamina and energy after giving birth, she should be isolated from the rest of the fish for at least several hours in a calm tank. She also needs enough food to aid in her recuperation. Even though she may require a few days to recuperate, she should not be kept in an isolated area for lengthy periods since it might be too stressful.
A Community Tank for Guppies
Even though they can swim swiftly, newborn guppies are at risk of being eaten by other fish, even their mother, in a tank with other fish. The fry will have a place to hide if you add a variety of root-bearing floating plants to the birthing tank or the tank where they will dwell. The plants can be genuine or fake.
You want to keep the plants clustered together so that the fry has a place to hide from predators. It is important to remember that fries can be consumed in this manner. Any dead fry should be removed from the tank as soon as possible, and the surviving fry should be fed high-quality feed to ensure rapid growth and healthy development.
Your Aquarium Habitat: Keeping it Safe
The tank should be kept between 72 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit to minimize waste development. Keep the tank algae-free by doing a 25% water change every week. You may also need a sponge filter to keep the fry from getting trapped in the filter.
If you’d like a simple do-it-yourself solution to prevent the fry from being pulled into the filter, you can attach a fishnet to the filter hole. Finally, make certain that the fry receives enough amount of light to ensure its proper development. The fry only needs 8 to 12 hours of light each day, which may be provided by a tank light or the light from the room itself if it is sufficiently bright.
Maintaining Guppy Fry Safety Through Separation
Keeping the fry in separate tanks or enclosed areas within the tank is also a great way to hide the fry. You can hide the fry effectively with plants, but you can also hide the fry with vegetation. Once the mother has finished giving birth to all of the fries, you should remove her from the birthing tank.
- Use a bucket filled with regular tank water if you do not have a separate tank.
- You can remove the necessity of a filter by placing plants in a bucket, such as water lettuce.
- When they are safe from their mother, you can move the guppy fry to another tank.
- In addition to placing mesh in a birthing tank, one can divide it into two areas by placing a small piece of mesh on top.
- The fry in the other area can swim to safety from the mother, who cannot pass through the mesh.
- Additionally, you can purchase a mesh net box that hangs on the side of the tank to keep the fry safe while letting water pass through.
- You should not put the fry back into your regular communal tank until they are at least half an inch long.
Video: A Guppy Gives Birth
Does guppy give birth or lay eggs?
Guppies are not known to lay eggs. Because they’re livebearing fish, the eggs stay in their bodies until the fry are mature enough to eat. The female gives birth to her fry when they are old enough.
Do guppies die after giving birth?
Guppies frequently die after giving birth, and in some circumstances, even during the birthing process. Unfortunately, there are various reasons for this, some of which are beyond your control. In some circumstances, though, you can lessen the likelihood of your fish dying after giving birth.
How long does it take for a guppy to give birth?
It can take anywhere from 21 to 30 days for guppies to mate, depending on the tank’s temperature, cleanliness, and the health of the female guppies. The female will begin to show signs of labor near the conclusion of her pregnancy.
How many times do guppy fish give birth?
A normal guppie mother gives birth to roughly 20 litters during the course of her lifetime. As female guppies became older, they began to skip litter or possibly cease reproducing for long periods of time, thereby stopping reproduction at a certain age.
Do guppies give birth at night?
Live bears typically give birth at night. There are those who give birth throughout the day, but the female will give birth when she is ready.
In conclusion, guppy fish giving birth is an exciting process to witness. By following a few simple tips, you can learn more about this natural occurrence and even help out the mother fish if needed. Ensure to keep an eye on your local pet stores for baby guppies, as they are often for sale soon after birth.
Annette M. Chaney is an experienced marine biologist with over 20 years of experience as an aquarist and fishkeeper. She started her first aquarium at a young age, filling it with frogs and goldfish obtained from the ten-cent pet store.
Annette grew up caring for and breeding African Cichlids, which led to a hobby in high school that doubled as a profitable means. Attending Reed College gave her time to solidify herself as an accomplished aquarium caretaker with an eye for sales. After that, from 2009 – 2013, she studied at Roger Williams University – one of the most prestigious universities for Aquaculture and Aquarium in USA. She is the founder of AquariumCircle since 2010.