- Scientific Name
- Poecilia reticulata
- 1–3 years
- Up To 3.8 cm (1.5") Long
- Tropical, fresh water
- South America and the Caribbean
Guppies are one of the smallest live-bearing species, meaning they give birth to free-swimming babies rather than laying eggs like most fish. They are prolific breeders with a gestation period of just 28 days. If there are hiding places in the aquarium to protect the offspring, you might see Guppy babies in your tank! Guppies are generally peaceful with other community fish, but males may nip at other males and aggressively chase females.
Guppies are primarily top-level swimmers. Choose a 10-gallon tank or larger—surface area is more important than depth. Decorate the tank with live plants placed around the perimeter, and leave room in the center for your fish to swim. Guppies are social and may be kept with middle and bottom swimming community fish for a beautiful, serene atmosphere.
Turn the light on when you feed your fish in the morning, and turn it off again at night, or use an automatic timer for eight to twelve hours of light daily. An aquarium hood with built-in light fixtures will reduce water evaporation and splashing and keep your fish safe. Live plants and aquarium décor provide shade and hiding spots.
Water temperature should be maintained between 22 and 28°C (72 and 82°F). Buy a heater with five watts of power per gallon of water in your aquarium. Prevent hot spots and temperature variations in large tanks by using two smaller heaters, one at each end of the aquarium, instead of a single, more powerful one.
Replace 10% of the water with fresh, conditioned water each week. Vacuum gravel, check filter cartridges, and replace 25% of the water each month. Test water regularly or let PetSmart test for you for free. Always dechlorinate tap water before adding it to the tank, and avoid cleaning with soaps and detergents as these can be toxic to fish.
Feed your Guppies vegetable-based flake or pelleted food daily, and vary their diet with freeze-dried bloodworms, tubifex worms, mosquito larvae and daphnia. They will also like treats of frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms. Feed them only as much as they’ll eat in three minutes, and take care not to over feed.