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Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center:
General message area: Guppy Breeding...?
December 21, 2001 - 08:17 pm
Hi. I want to be a marine biologist but right now i'm
settling with fishkeeping as a hobby. I'm especially
interested in breeding fish and so i bought 3 guppies: 2
females and 1 boy. They are in a I'm pretty sure that
at least one of the girls is pregnate and so I was wanting
some tips from some experienced guppy breeders. I've
done my share of research, but thought the more help I can
get, the better. Thanks!
December 22, 2001 - 09:41 am
Hi A I never raised guppy, but I did raise some platy fry
and they are very similar. Platy however are less likely
to eat their offspring than swords or guppy. If you don't
rescue your fry immediately mom will have a quick snack
of them. If you have some floating plants in your tank sometimes
they can hide until you have time to save them. You should
either buy a net breeder or another small tank to keep the
babies in. Do not buy the plastic breeder traps as water
doesn't ciculate well enough and the stagnant water
will kill the fry or deform them(I did have deformed
fish with the plastic trap).It's really pretty easy
as the babies are large enough to eat finely crushed flake.
Just put the food in a plastic sandwhich bag, seal and crush
with a rolling pin or something. Best method: get a sponge
filter going on your current tank(really need it going
for about 4 weeks) and when the babies are born transfer
it and some water to your extra tank. That way you seed(cycle)
the new tank and always have a place ready for fry. Sponge
filters are also great in that they collect infusiora that
the fry can pick at and it'll help feed them. By the
way the one of the sponge filters I have is called dirt
magnet, but any kind of LFS sponge with pump or airstone
that sits in the tank will do. I think penguin made my pump
type sponge filter.
December 22, 2001 - 12:13 pm
All of what Joyce told you is not necessary. Right now I
have a 38 gallon tank filled with guppies, probably about
50 or so, and I started out with 5!! The only thing you
really need to do is to have some cover for them. I have
a plastic plant that is low to the bottom and probably about
7 inches by 7 inches square where the newborns can hide,
but in general as long as you keep every one fed properly,
they can live together quite happily with very minimal loss
due to eating. Just throw some males and females together
and before you know it, you are going to have fry swimming
I feed the babes dry "fry food" as this is very
easy for them to take and doesn't foul the water like
liquid fry food. Good luck and have fun waiting and watching
to see what different color varieties you come up with.
December 23, 2001 - 10:24 am
A friend of mine years ago always lost her fry to mom or
dad, but maybe she had no cover for them to hide out. It's
been so many years now that I don't remember all the
circumstances. When I had my platy fry only two managed
to hide out and survive, but I had many fish othe than platy
in the tank. I think your setup and the fish you have determine
whether the fry survive or not.
December 23, 2001 - 04:28 pm
It depends on the individual. I breed guppies, and some
parents will be aggressive predators that chase down their
young to the corners of the tank, but some totally ignore
tiny newborn fry. I tend to separate in a nursery/breeder
just as a precaution during the first few weeks, so I can
watch them as they grow and feed. In comparison, separated
fry grow about twice as fast and have a better mortality
rate than ones that are allowed to grow up and fend for
themselves in a larger tank. In a well-planted tank (especially
with java moss in it), a prolific guppy pair will produce
a good quantity of fry that survive regardless. If you are
thinking of serious breeding and need a high survival rate,
I'd suggest a separate system.
December 24, 2001 - 07:00 am
Pandora do you sell the fry or what do you do with them
December 24, 2001 - 10:28 am
joyce, I mostly do it for fun, and a teeny tiny sliver of
profit. My LFS buys them back from me for $1 a piece, but
only because I know them, and sometimes if someone else
is interested, I'll sell some. Right now I just have
2 tanks of red fantails going, nothing serious, but they
breed when they want... and anyone near DC/MD can get a
cheap pair of them =) Used to have a gold snakeskin
line going a while ago but sold them when I moved.
Usually don't sell the fry until they are 2 months old
and show good color.
December 24, 2001 - 11:08 am
Hmm. I've been trying to decide on a fish to add eventually
to my one 29 gallon with the ton of java fern. Currently
my black marble angel in there is looking very rough. He
is about 5-6 years old and just looks worn out. Doesn't
really have any disease, but just doesn't have the old
zip or shiny fins anymore. Anyways I've been trying
to figure out what fish to put in there in the future when
my angel's gone. Maybe krib maybe guppy..will have to
think on it awhile, but I bet the guppy would look really
pretty in a planted tank.
December 25, 2001 - 04:48 pm
Well, deciding on new fish for the tank is always fun...
and it does sound like that angel could use a change, he'll
probably grow better in a bigger tank. As for the 29, pair
of kribs would be great, but they don't need all that
room on their own. Would be nice for all guppies, certainly
colorful! Or a tankful of rainbowfish, maybe, there would
never be a dull moment...
December 25, 2001 - 08:55 pm
Pandora all my angels are gradually turning into old fish!
I let the four originally pair up in a 55 gallon before
my wicked little festivum took it over.Now two live in a
40h and two in my 29gallon heavily planted java tank. In
a couple of years I'll probably be ready for a change.
Hubby might like guppy as he had them many years ago and
misses the neons I had such bad luck with! He seems to like
small colorful fish a lot.By the way Merry Christmas ..I
have a couple of days off from work to be with my family.
Kind of a mini vacation.
December 29, 2001 - 11:36 am
Thanks everyone... It really helps. I'm thinking that
thebabies will be born in early January as Mom started to
gain wieght in early Dec. I bought what i thought was a
breeding trap but it turns out to be a net-type box that
hangs over the side of the tank and is supposed to be used
to raise the babies in safely. Do you think it's safe
to transport my three guppies into a 20 gallon tall tank
before birth? I heard that the babies could be born prematuraly
if the mom is handled too much, and the fry may not survive
having to carry around a yolk sak. The new tank has been
cycling for 4 days and i think it's ready for fish and
live plants. I'm thinking 2-3 plecos, 1 or 2 snails,
some mollies and guppies, one neon blue dwarf gouramie,
3-4 ghost shrimp, and maybe a couple platies. What do you
think? Thanks again. (ps: did you really start out w/
December 30, 2001 - 08:54 am
Skip the plecos they will get too large and will sometimes
eat fry if the opportunity presents itself. Better bet are
ottos that are too small to eat much of anything but algae!
But you shouldn't add any algae eaters until you have
enough algae in the tank(a couple of months). I
really hope you aren't planning on adding all those
fish at once! You should only add about two or three small
fish until the tank is completely cycled which takes 4-5
weeks! You should first add the plants and then in a week
or so add your cycle fish. A 20 gallon tall is only equivalent
to a 15 gallon for fish capacity. The extra height does
not provide extra square inches of water surface for your
fish. Anyways if you are planning on breeding the guppy
you'll use up that 15 gallons pretty fast. Either limit
your numbers of fish or plan on buying more tanks!
December 31, 2001 - 02:25 pm
Oh ok. thank u sooo much!
January 08, 2002 - 12:31 pm
My sword tail just had 15 little fry. I was able to catch
13 of them and put them in a 1 gal. tank for now. Hopefully
when they get about 1 month old I will be able to lput them
back in the other tank. Is this too soon to go in the bigger
tank and will they all just be eaten or do you think this
will be ok
January 08, 2002 - 03:24 pm
Maybe a little soon. If they can fit in the parents mouth
they are too small.
January 08, 2002 - 10:47 pm
Anonymous--not a problem. Good luck with those guppies,
and Kick's scenario is not one that's that unusual...watch
out, guppies truly do reproduce like crazy once they are
given good water conditions! You are correct to be cautious
about handling pregnant mothers, they are at risk for premature
birth, putting both them and their babies at risk. Don't
handle them any more than necessary, and always do so with
care, but it is relatively safe to put them in a breeder
which is IN the same tank. I would not move them to a new
unestablished tank unless necessary, and if so, make sure
it is well-cycled. I agree with joyce that you may not be
able to get this new breeder tank up and running and cycled
in time to house the still-pregnant mom. It is true that
this species is pretty hardy and will survive all sorts
of things, but I just wouldn't chance too much with
a birthing mother. And she is also right about having the
foresight to avoid overcrowding... a few breeding guppies
will quickly turn into many overcrowded guppies. Good luck
and watch those fish carefully, one day you may look in
your tank in the morning, and see tiny little eyes staring
out at you from the substrate!
joyce--Merry Xmas to you also. I've been really busy
lately, and will be even more so now that school's started
up again. Hope you find a good way to house those growing
angelfish that are becoming a handful!
January 09, 2002 - 07:52 am
Pandora don't take off on us now..we are in the after
Christmas rush here. Too many new tanks from Christmas to
deal with so it's a really busy time of the year! I
just decided to treat my Africans for hex...a whatever.
I could only do the external treatment for now. They were
scratching quite a bit and I recently read in A fish about
African Rift Lake being susceptible to parasites. They had
a great article in January that I kept on how the hatcheries
rinse them in a bath, but don't usually totally get
rid of them. Anyways I also ordered this hard to find parasite
chemical from petwarehouse.com to make some medicated food
per the article. I could only find it as a combo medication
in all the stores around here and wanted to stick to the
recipe. The article suggested to make the food with pellets
to treat the internal ones as the baths only get rid of
the external. Anyways I'm up to 15 fish in the 75 gallon
now since my visit to a big fish store last weekend. I still
have a few mbuna left in my grow out, but I really am saving
for the Eheim filter before I transfer them. I heard of
too many problems with the Fluval so decided to save the
extra money and go with the pricey one. I love my new fish..one
Tai Tiger Hap that's just getting color and 3 little
black ones that are Red Afra(I think, wrote it down
in my book).
January 10, 2002 - 04:12 pm
Aww, thanks, joyce, good point about the "holiday rush"
with newbies who got tanks for Xmas. By hex, you mean hexamita,
or hole-in-the-head disease? Yeah, all cichlids are vulnerable
to this... actually all largish fish (including some
gouramis), but I think cichlids especially... somewhere
I read that just about all cichlids get this in some form,
but usually it is otherwise asymptomatic if they are healthy
otherwise. Never heard of this causing scratching though...
that's usually more of an external skin irritation sign.
I don't think just the scratching itself should be anything
to worry about TOO much til other symptoms show up, although
it's understandable to worry, I do so also when something
is just *slightly* off. Are you sure it's a
January 11, 2002 - 07:26 am
Pandora that's what an article in the Cichlid forum
of A fish in January said. It said the African Lake Rift
were pretty susceptible to it. Also when I went to that
large LFS store this past weekend and mentioned that I did
loose one fish (a Lab Caerelleus) the employee told
me it was probably a parasite. I actually thought it might
be stress related as the yellow Labs are pretty docile compared
to the other fish. I figured he was a little spooked by
all the aggression and had decided not to buy any more Labs
for my tank(I will probably still skip them even though
I love the yellow color). Anyways I haven't noticed
any scratching since I used the tabs for it. Maybe I'll
hold off on making the medicated food. Does anyone have
an opinion on the rio pumps! My aquaclear 2000 with quick
filter quit on me last night. They don't make them anymore(
I can't even find in catalogs) so hubby rigged up
this strange looking filter with my extra Aquaclear 3000.
It won't stay on the quick filter so he used a twist
tie. Anyways I guess I'll order my Eheim this week and
see if that provides enough current. Just wondered if anyone
had used the Rio submersibles????
January 12, 2002 - 10:00 pm
joyce, I'm sure you know more about Africans than I.
I've only helped my friends set up African tanks, but
only kept zebras and kribs (separately) myself.
I do know that they are always battling hexamita, but I
think I've read that low levels are tolerated, it's
only the serious infestations that are very problematic...
don't take my word on that though. If you do have a
fish you have good reason to suspect died from it, I'd
use the meds also.
Anyway, no opinion on the filters. I myself am just shopping
for a mag drive pump for a 55gal I'm setting up for
reef right now... and waiting for that next paycheck, which
won't even get a chance to sit in the bank very long,
January 13, 2002 - 10:32 am
Let me know how your reef setup goes. Someday when I retire
I plan on setting one up. With kids and being oncall for
work I just don't have the time to dedicate to a saltwater
setup, but I'm filing away any info I get! Also I reread
some of my old magazines and it did confirm what you said
about the Africans. This hexamita is usually around like
ich, but only seems to be problematic in stressed fish.
I did get get the Metronidazole from petwarehouse.com. It
has directions on making medicated food and also to use
in the tank. I'll hold on to it in case serious probs
come up in the future.
January 15, 2002 - 02:18 am
Yup, I hear ya on that, joyce. It's crazy right now,
with how much time and money I'm spending on this setup
right now, and I haven't even gotten water in it yet.
Just networking on reef forums to meet local people for
frag trades and livestock, but only hardware bought so far.
Buying it all used, in fairly good condition... and even
secondhand, I'm already up to about $800. I'm hoping
not to top $1500 when all the live stuff is in there, which
is "cheap" as far as a decently setup 55gal reef
tank setup seems to go, from what I hear!
January 15, 2002 - 07:36 am
Have fun did you notice the prices of live rock yet? That
should really run up your costs some. Let me know what corals
and such you decide to go with.
January 15, 2002 - 05:46 pm
Aquarium Fish has some pretty good ads for live rock and
sand in the back.
January 17, 2002 - 08:47 pm
Canadian Guy, where is Aquarium Fish... URL? Thanks.
And yes, joyce, definitely shopped around, I knew what I
was getting into before I bought the tank... expected to
spend about $200 on live rock, but it's pretty ridiculous.
January 18, 2002 - 07:28 am
I have a copy of Aquarium fish magazine at home, but don't
have the address here at work. I can post later unless someone
else has it.
January 18, 2002 - 01:59 pm
Here is the URL www.aquariumfish.com
January 19, 2002 - 07:56 am
Actually that link is to animalnetwork, but they do have
an add for subscription to Aquarium fish so it works!
January 20, 2002 - 11:31 am
Oh thanks, you guys, but I didn't want to go through
the trouble of registering. I was looking more for local
sales, and have since gotten in touch with a bunch of people
from a local club (Washington Area Marine Aquarist Society,
WAMAS), and they've been very nice to me. Thanks
for your recommendations, all!
February 10, 2002 - 12:20 pm
Thanks everyone. Wednesday my guppy had 17 babies and so
far everything is going well. I have the fry in a floating
breeding V-trap. Mama guppy is swimming freely once again
with everyone else in the 20 galloner. Now I think my other
female is pregnate but she won't be due until March.