Guppies have been ranked the ‘most popular fish’ in fishkeeping surveys for years. You will be hard pushed to find someone that doesn’t like a guppy! Some of the many qualities that make guppies so popular are their bright colors, easy-going temperament, and the ease with which we can all breed them at home.
I first started keeping and breeding guppies more than 30 years ago. In that time I have bred thousands of baby guppies. Many of the babies I have bred I have sold to local fish stores. Breeding guppies paid for most of the equipment in my fish room.
How Are Guppies Born?
Guppies are live-bearing species of fish. This means the female guppies give birth to live, free-swimming babies. Adult guppies take no care of their babies. In fact, adult guppies are very likely to eat any newborn guppies they find. I wrote an article recently that looked at the subject of Why do Guppies Eat Their Babies?.
A female guppy will retain the baby inside her for about 30 days, after which she will spend anywhere from 1 to 12 hours giving birth. She won’t make any special effort to give birth in a safe place, although some females do tuck themselves somewhere quiet.
When the babies are born they are fully independent, free swimming, and ready to start eating.
What Do Baby Guppies Eat??
Baby guppies grow fast and they need a diet that will give them the fuel to grow and put on weight. In my guide What is the Best Food for Guppy Fry? I look at the best foods for guppy fry in detail, but to sum up, guppy fry should be fed a good mixture of the following;
- Newly Hatched Brine Shrimp
- Crushed Flake Food
- First Bites from Hikari
- Frozen Cyclops
- Small Bloodworms
- Live or Frozen Daphnia
By feeding your baby guppies a mixture of the above, rather than just focusing on a single food, you give your baby guppies the best chance of growing quickly and being strong and colorful.
How Much Should You Feed Baby Guppies?
As with all fish, baby guppies should be fed little and often rather than a lot in one go. When I have baby guppies I try to feed them 5 or 6 times a day. In an ideal world, you want your baby guppies to eat all day long.
With food like live newly hatched baby brine shrimp you can put in as much as you like because the baby brine shrimp will just swim around happily until a baby guppy eats them
If I am feeding crushed flakes I tend to put a small pinch in. The babies will swim around eating as much as they can.
How Fast Do Guppy Babies Grow?
Guppies grow incredibly quickly. They can go from baby guppy to an adult in around 3 months if they are given a good quality diet. The more food the babies get and the greater the variety, the healthier the babies will be and the faster they will grow.
How To Prevent Guppy Babies Being Eaten?
One problem when it comes to caring for guppy babies is the fact that just about every other fish in the aquarium finds them so tasty! Just about every fish, including other guppies, will chase down and eat a guppy baby. If you want your babies to survive, you will need to set your aquarium up correctly.
To prevent guppy babies from being eaten, you will want to provide them with lots of hiding places, whether that is by using live plants, rocks, or decoration, out of sight is out of mind when it comes to guppy babies being eaten. I have had great success using these fake plants in my guppy tanks.
Alternatively, you could move all the babies to their own aquarium where they can be grown until they are too big for the other fish to eat. They can then be returned to the main aquarium.
For more information about preventing guppy babies from being eaten, why not try my article Why Do Guppies Eat Their Babies?