Yellow Guppy Fish – Complete Care Guide (growing, feeding and breeding)

It is easy to see why guppies have been so popular throughout the history of our hobby. For over 50 years, guppies have been one of the most popular fish for hobbyists to keep, breed and show. Guppies come in a wide range of colors. Whether they are red, green, blue, black, or white, guppies always look stunning.

Eating Daphnia
Eating Daphnia

One of the most popular colors of guppies is yellow guppies. Yellow guppies are usually bright and offer a fantastic contrast to the usual red, blue, and black colored fish we often keep in our aquariums. If you are looking to add some yellow to your fish tank, yellow guppies may be a perfect choice.

Yellow Guppy Origins

It is not entirely clear when yellow guppies first appeared in the hobby, but one thing is for sure, yellow guppies do not occur naturally in nature. Wild guppies lack much of the bright coloration we see in our favorite strains.

Over the last 40 or 50 years, talented, dedicated guppy breeders have worked hard to selectively breed more and more yellow color into their guppies.

To create yellow guppies, breeders have had to take guppies with small amounts of yellow on their bodies and breed them with other guppies that have yellow. They repeat this generation after generation until their guppies have bright, yellow bodies.

Thanks to the work of these breeders, there are now guppies available in a kaleidoscope of colors including red, green, blue, black, and white.



Different Types of Yellow Guppies

In my own fish room, I currently have several different strains of yellow guppy. At the time of writing, I have 5 yellow guppy strains in my fish room.

  • Yellow Full Body Guppy
  • Yellow Snakeskin Guppy
  • Yellow Mosaic Guppy
  • Yellow Pingu Guppy
  • Yellow Tiger King Cobra Guppy

Yellow Full Body Guppy

Yellow Snakeskin Guppy

Yellow Mosaic Guppy

Yellow Pingu Guppy

Yellow Tiger King Cobra Guppy

How to Breed Yellow Guppies

I have never tried to breed my own strain of guppy, and I have certainly never started with one color fish and decided to try and breed a completely different color. I can not imagine the dedication that would take, and describing that process would be beyond the scope of an article like this one.

With that said, if you already had some yellow guppies, and you wanted to maintain the yellow color, the process is relatively simple.

To continue the yellow line of guppies, you would need to start by separating out your yellow guppies from any other color guppy in your tank. If you have blue, red, or any other color guppy in with your yellow guppies, you will eventually create a mixed strain with a rainbow of colored babies. These yellow guppies would be considered your breeding stock.

If you are looking to get and breed some yellow guppies, I would recommend getting 1 male and 3 females or 2 males and 6 females. Either way, you certainly want more males than females so the males’ attention is spread out around multiple fish.

On average, your female yellow guppies will produce between 20 and 50 babies each, roughly every 30 to 45 days. To produce the best yellow guppies you can, you will only want to breed from the most yellow-colored babies. The rest of the babies should be relocated to another tank.

Be aware, that guppies will eat their own babies. To save as many babies as possible, consider moving the pregnant female guppies into a guppy breeder box prior to her giving birth.

By continuing to only breed your best yellow males to your best yellow females, you will enhance the quality of the yellow color in your guppies.

Feed your guppies well and you will increase their health overall, which will lead to more babies.



Sexing Yellow Guppies

Traditionally, the male guppies boasted all the color and the females were a drab bronze with a little bit of color in their tails. Nowadays, some strains of yellow guppy are so colorful, that even the females are bright yellow. As such, we can not rely on color alone to help us determine the males from the females.

In my experience, the best way to sex yellow guppies is by looking at the analfin. Guppies are livebearers. this means the female gives birth to live, free-swimming young. To do so, the male needs to physically fertilize the eggs inside the female. He does this using his modified analfin.

Although the image below shows how to sex Swordtails, the principle is exactly the same for guppies.

The analfin on male guppies is pointed (and referred to as a gonopodium) whereas the female analfin is rounded.

How Big Do Yellow Guppies Get?

As a general rule, yellow guppies grow to around 2″ (5cm) long, and sometimes the females get even bigger than that. In most yellow guppy strains, the males are more colorful than the females, but this is changing. I have a strain of Pheonix Guppies where the females are almost as colorful as the males.

What to Feed Yellow Guppies?

We can enhance the yellow color in our guppies by feeding them high-quality foods. Generally speaking, feeding more live and frozen foods to yellow guppies really makes their yellow coloration stand out.

I try to feed my guppies 3 or 4 times a day, varying what I give them at each feeding so they have as balanced a diet as possible. At the moment I feed my yellow guppies a lot of Xtreme Flake food. One of the main ingredients in Xtreme Flake food is krill. Krill is well known to enhance the colors in fish.

A typical day in my fish room involves feeding my yellow guppies 3 or 4 times a day. I normally start by giving them a good quality flake food like Xtreme Krill flake or New Life Spectrum Optimum Flake for their morning feed. Flake food still forms the backbone of my guppy feeding regime.

During the afternoon I typically feed my yellow guppies either live or frozen food. Bloodworm and mosquito larvae both offer yellow guppies nutrients they don’t get from flake food.

For the final feeding of the day, I will usually give my yellow guppies pellet food. I feed my fish a lot of Bug Bites, which are made by Fluval, and lots of Vibrabites which are made by Hikari. Both these pellet foods are made from high-quality ingredients, with Bug Bites being made from Black Soldier Fly Larvae.

There are many different foods on the market for guppies. I like to feed my guppies as much live or frozen food as I can. It is probably the closest thing we can give them to a natural diet.



Yellow Guppy Minimum Tank Size

Yellow guppies are small but active fish. In my experience, the minimum tank size that works for a group of yellow guppies is about 10 gallons (38 liters). Yellow guppies do require a little bit of swimming space. Plus, guppies are livebearers, meaning the female guppies give birth to live, free-swimming baby fish.

As such, guppies are extremely easy to breed, meaning the number of guppies you have in your tank will probably increase over time. If you start off with anything smaller than a 10-gallon tank your guppies will quickly overpopulate it.

Even a 10-gallon tank will quickly fill up with guppies and you may have to consider ways to control your guppy population, or maybe sell some of your yellow guppies for a profit.

Yellow Guppy Water Parameters

Guppies generally are very hardy fish, and in my experience, the yellow strains of guppies are no less hardy. These fish are extremely adaptable, and they are kept in a wide range of water parameters all around the world.

With that said, in my experience, they do have their ideal water parameters. I have listed these below.

  • Temperature: 72-82 °F (22-28 °C )
  • pH: 6.8 – 8.0
  • Hardness: 8-12 GH
  • Ammonia: 0ppm
  • Nitrite: 0ppm
  • Nitrate: less than 40ppm

Keeping your yellow guppy tank water in and around these parameters will give your fish the best chance of living a long, healthy life.

How Much Do Yellow Guppies Cost?

The cost of guppies varies depending on many different factors including where you buy them from and how good quality they are. I have seen yellow guppies selling in my local fish store for as little as $2 per fish and I have seen some high-end strains of Yellow Tiger King Cobra Guppy selling for over $50 each.

Best Tank Mates for Yellow Guppies?

Guppies are generally placid, hardy fish that work well with many different tank mates. Over the years I have kept dozens of different fish with my guppies.

When it comes to choosing tank mates for your yellow guppies, you have two choices. You can choose fish to compliment the yellow color of your guppies, or you can choose fish to contrast the yellow color.

Tank Mates That Compliment Yellow Guppies

When choosing other fish to live with and compliment the colors of your yellow guppies, I would suggest trying German Blue Rams (or even better Gold German Blue Rams), Sunset Platies, or yellow Three Spot Gouramis.

If rather than complimenting your yellow guppies you are looking for something that will contrast their yellow color, I would suggest some bright blue or red fish like Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, or Dwarf Gourami.

Whichever fish you choose as tanks mates, make sure they are not too aggressive, and certainly not known fin nippers. Yellow guppies generally have long-flowing fins. It would be a shame if their fins were nipped to pieces.



In Conclusion

Yellow guppies are highly sought after, and it is easy to see why. Their bright coloration really pops, especially when they are kept in a tank with live aquatic plants.

I like to keep my yellow guppies with fish that bring a strong color contrast, especially with red and blue fish like Neon Tetras. Yellow guppies are easy to breed, so if you fancy giving creating your own strain of yellow guppies, why not give it a go.


About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James
Editor