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10 Tips on Breeding Your Fancy Guppies
1. It is good enough to start with just one or two guppy trios of the same species. You should have about 8 to 10 tanks to keep a clean single strain. As for breeders and fry, a smaller 5 gal tank is sufficient as a container. Guppies are not difficult to keep because they can adapt to various water conditions. A pH of 7.2 in moderate hardness is just perfect water condition for them, but they can live in water between 6.4 to 8.6 as long as they are acclimated properly. All you have to do is first, place your newly purchased guppies in a clean breeding tank (remember not to use soap to clean it), which is big enough to keep the triplets and big enough so that you can add an equal amount of water from their new tank. DO NOT LET THE UNSEALED BAGS FLOAT. If you’re done putting the trio in said container, just let them be there for a while.
After about 15 minutes, you can start putting about 3-4 ounces of water little by little into the tank. You should do this procedure little by little over a period of one hour, until the amount of water is double more than the amount. You don’t have to rush this familiarization procedure. Avoid chances of fish jumping out of the container. If you have done all the steps and the fish have gotten used to it, slowly pour them into the new container. DO NOT GIVE FOOD YET. A little monitoring and patience will pay off. An hour later you give them food just a little, a little young brine shrimp or a pinch of some dry food is enough. You have to wait until the next day to feed them again. About a month you can start breeding brothers. Be prepared to have an extra container to raise each baby guppies. Finally, about 3-4 weeks later, you should start sorting out virgins from the rest of the brood as future breeders.
2. The advantage of keeping the fry in small containers is that they can easily find food for themselves without using a lot of energy. If you have reached about 60 fry, it is time to raise them separately in 10 gallon containers.
3. Feeding your newly hatched fry with young brine shrimp every day until they reach 4 months is very essential for their growth.
4. All the essentials and the choice of almost all the best breeders are inside the box filters. To do this, you will only need a layer of polyester cotton along with a few marbles or gravel. I prefer to use dolomite gravel as good water. You can easily find dolomite in most pet stores that sell saltwater fish. Oyster is also a good substitute for dolomite. Other equally good filters are sponge filters, provided they are used properly. Make sure sponge filters are thoroughly washed without destroying all living bacteria.
5. Regarding water changes, 30-50% weekly change is necessary for healthy growth and size. Always tap your tanks from the bottom and be careful not to put water in tanks that have previously lost water due to evaporation. To know the condition of tap and tank water, you’d better buy reliable water testing equipment. These kits for pH, hardness and ammonia can be used. If it’s your first time raising fish, you need to have a good understanding of the underlying principles in water chemistry and its implications for raising tropical fish.
6. To keep you luxurious guppies, you don’t need to eat them every minute; they can survive on periodic feeding. The leading cause of death among tropical fish is overeating. The best food you can give your guppies is small pinches of a good quality crushed flake food that should be given at least every hour. Your guppies can have indigestion if you feed them dried food, so avoid giving it to them as much as possible. If you are serious enough and if you have observed that your fish look aggressive, it is better not to feed them yet.
7. The best time to separate your fry by gender is after 4 to 5 weeks. To do this, order enough females that you will need in planning for your next batch of breeders. You can easily detect if the fry is female because in its tail fins, where the fertilization takes place, there is a dark spot directly above. This is referred to as an “important point”. You may not need inferior fish, so better get it out. This is important because if you have a top quality breed, you wouldn’t want it mixing with inferior ones. More importantly, if you’ve knocked out more than 20% of the litter, then you’re actually breeding mixed-breed guppies.
8. Gravel and plants can make your tanks crowded, so it is better to keep it simple and bare, as this is related to maintaining control and avoiding problems. For more useful information about the life cycle of your guppies you can check out some books. A book on the basics of tropical fish like your guppies would be very helpful if you have never experienced raising livebearers. To know if the female fish is pregnant, you will notice that it is thicker and rounder in appearance compared to other fish. Your female fish might look checkered right before giving birth. Their “major spot” will also look darker.
9. Note to keep temperatures between 76 and 82 degrees for your breeders and fry while older guppies can live between 72 to 76 degrees.
10. Don’t get too excited by getting too many fish at first. Note that litters of healthy guppies occur every 30 to 36 days. It is not a wise choice to mix different litters together until they are 3 months old. This applies even to guppies of the same breed. You will be surprised to know that you can actually have more breeding stock than expected. But, the most important thing to remember to breed them is to start with the best quality strain to save more especially if you bought this from a guppy breeder known to have a good reputation.
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