Female guppies can get pregnant when they are just a few weeks old. Therefore they need to be separated from male guppies. As they can give birth once a month for several years. You definitely don’t want that your immature female guppies should get pregnant.
Experienced Guppy breeders quickly learn to recognize the signs of a pregnant guppy. Significant changes such as weight gain, Darkening of the gravid spot near the anus under the tail are clearly visible.
Gestation Period Of Guppies
The gestation period for guppies is around 21-30 days (22-26 days is average) which is directly proportional to the tank’s temperature, cleanliness and the female’s health. Near the end of that gestation period, the female will show signs of the impending birth.
Different fishes have different personalities and not every pregnant female guppy will show the same symptoms of pregnancy as the others. Although we have listed the most general signs a guppy fish gives when she is pregnant.
10 Most Prominent Signs That Your Guppies Might Be Pregnant
1) The pregnant female guppies gains weight to become bulkier and lazy. They also avoid frequent swimming during pregnancy. Moreover pregnant guppies start to behave weirdly and seems a bit awkward.
2) The gravid spot of the pregnant fish becomes darker (maroon or black) and larger square shaped abdomen. The Guppy’s gravid spot is usually black. If the Guppy is yellow or albino then it can be orange or pink. It’s easy to differentiate the ones that aren’t pregnant before feeding time as Guppies abdomen gets larger after feeding and could be easily mistaken for pregnancy.
3) If the female guppy becomes still or sits in one place in the tank and not really swimming. Usually it will sit near a heater, a corner of the fish tank or hiding in plants or behind decorations trying to isolate herself from other fishes.
4) Female guppies can become very nervous when you come near her. Best practice is to give her some hiding spots with plants or other aquarium decorations.
5) Pregnant female guppy will constantly flex her spin so the tail comes up, it may look like she is shivering or swimming in one place but in actuality she’s having a contraction.
6) Pregnant female guppy often becomes aggressive in order to protect its babies. I will show aggressive behavior like fin nipping and chasing when a male tries to mate with her.
7) Pregnant guppy fish color starts to fade a little, it’s a natural camouflage instinct to blend it with their surrounding.
8) Changes in eating habits of female guppies are clearly visible. Most of the time they will prefer not to eat or spit out the food.
9) Increasingly rapid breathing and going out of breath more frequently is also a sign of guppy pregnancy.
10) Pregnant Guppies avoids frequent physical movements, they just keep themselves more focused for the development of guppy fry.
What To Do When Your Guppy Gets Pregnant ?
When a pregnant female guppy shows indications that she is ready to give birth, it will be good practice to move her to a birthing tank or net inside of the normal tank or in a completely separate tank. This will separate her from the other fishes in the tank. So she does not need to exert herself avoiding from them. Birthing tanks also frequently have partitions that give the fry a safe place to begin swimming because fry are a delicacy to many fishes, including the hungry mother.
How Guppies Give Birth To Its Babies ?
Guppies are live bearers, which means they give birth to live free-swimming young instead of eggs. The female guppy can give birth to 2-200 fry (baby guppies) at a time in six hours. Sometimes the process to give birth to all the fry can take up to 12 hours. In extreme cases, a female guppy may give birth to just a few fry at a time, with pauses of several hours or days between births, although in most of these cases the young are not viable and die quickly. The baby guppies are usually born curled into small balls. They will uncurl and begin swimming quickly. New born guppies often swim upward if they are very healthy. Unhealthy, premature one will sink.
Isolation Of Guppy After Delivery
After giving birth, the female mother guppy should be kept in a quiet tank for at least several hours. So that she can recover her strength and energy, before joining the rest of the fishes, and she should be well fed to help her recovery. If the batch of fry was exceptionally large, she may need up to a full day or two to recover sufficiently, but isolating her for longer periods can be too stressful.
Precautions To Follow After Delivery of Guppy Fry
Although newly born guppies can swim quickly. They are at risk in a tank with other fishes because they can easily be eaten. Placing a variety of floating plants near the birthing tank or throughout the tank where the fish will live offers the fry a place to hide. The plants can be either be real or artificial. Any dead fry should be removed immediately so they do not create excessive waste or toxins in the tank. The remaining fry should be fed an appropriate diet for fast, strong growth. The tank should also be kept at an appropriate temperature usually between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of waste.
Knowing how guppies give birth and how to care for both the pregnant female guppy and the newborn fry will help guppy enthusiasts enjoy regular births of strong, healthy fish that they can appreciate for years.