Guppies are are excellent breeders. As a responsible owner, you need to take measures to ensure that the number of guppies in your tank doesn't quickly become overwhelming. If you have fry, you can expect some to become tasty snacks for other tank mates.
Purchase in Groups
Guppies are schooling fish, so get more than one. They'll make a color contribution to your tank when housed in groups. Also, guppies prefer being housed together. You need at least a 10-gallon tank to house 10 to 12 guppies. If you're starting an aquarium, you need to allow the water in the aquarium to sit for one or two weeks; heat the water before adding guppies. Adding a bag of guppies to the water before releasing them allows the water in the bag to gradually adjust to the temperature of the tank. The temperature of the tank should be between 60 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Feed a Variety of Food
Give guppies a variety of foods including flakes, bloodworms, lettuce and freeze-dried foods, such as shrimp. Do not overfeed your guppies. Avoid pellet food, which can expand in the stomach and cause impaction.
House More Males Than Females
If you're going to breed guppies, it's important to put more females in the tank than males. This will help prevent the males from fighting. For example, house one male to three females. Many stores house male and females separately. If you're obtaining guppies from somewhere that doesn't, females are larger than the males and have muted coloring. Males have large colorful fins and smaller bodies.
Guppies are easy to breed, in fact they may be too easy. Females have the ability to produce up to 20 fry per month. If you have multiple females in the tank, the numbers could quickly get out of hand. The problem is increased by the fact that female guppies can store sperm for months at a time. If your tank starts to become overcrowded, move the males to another tank.
Provide Hiding Areas for the Babies
Guppy fry are tiny, but they can easily be spotted by hungry fish who find them tasty. Provide a number of plants in the tank to help prevent the fry from being eaten. The babies can hind in the plants until large enough to safely swim with the big fish. If you want ultimate protection, separate the fry into a breeder tank until they are large enough to survive in the main tank.
Pair With Safe Tank Mates
Guppies can be nippy fish and should not be housed with those that have flowing fins, such as bettas. Ideal tank mates include angelfish, common plecos, platies and mollies. Some of these fish have large fins, but will snap back, teaching the guppies to back off.
Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.