The Fish Guru

Breeding Guppy Fish: A Complete Guide for Beginners

Guppy fish are one of the most popular freshwater fish species for hobbyists and aquarists worldwide. Not only are they colorful and active, but they are also easy to care for and breed.

However, breeding guppies can be challenging for beginners, especially when it comes to identifying pregnant fish and preparing for the arrival of baby fry. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to tell if a guppy fish is pregnant and how to prepare for their arrival.

By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to successfully care for your guppy fish and their offspring.

How to Tell If a Guppy Fish Is Pregnant

1. Witnessing Mating

The first and most obvious sign that a guppy fish is pregnant is when you witness the mating process.

Like most livebearing fish, the insemination process occurs during the mating process when the male releases sperm to fertilize the female’s eggs. This process is relatively easy to identify as the male will chase and nudge the female, and the female’s abdomen will become enlarged as the eggs develop.

2. Changes in the Appearance of Gravid Spot

Another sign of pregnancy is a darkened spot on the female’s underbelly, known as the gravid spot.

This spot is where the eggs are located, and as they develop, the color of the spot will become darker and more prominent. This is caused by the pigmentation of skin cells as they expand to accommodate the growing eggs.

3. Belly Gets Larger

As the pregnancy progresses, the female’s belly will become noticeably larger, and her body will take on a boxy shape.

This is an indication that the eggs are almost ready to be laid, and the fry will soon be born. However, it is important to note that a bulging belly can also be caused by dropsy or swim bladder disease, so it is essential to monitor the fish’s overall health and behavior.

4. Notice Behavioral Changes

When a female guppy is pregnant, she may exhibit different behavior than usual.

This can include increased aggression towards other fish, fin nipping, hiding, labored breathing, and body convulsions. These changes are typically caused by stress and discomfort from a growing belly.

5. Length of the Gestation Period

The gestation period for guppy fish varies depending on several factors, including water temperature, availability of food, tank conditions, mother’s health, and birthing process.

Generally, the gestation period lasts between 21 to 28 days. 6.

How Many Babies Can You Expect? The number of babies you can expect depends on genetics, food availability, mother’s health, age, and the survival rate.

Guppy fish usually give birth to between five and 50 fry. However, some females can give birth to over 100 at a time.

Preparing for Baby Guppies

1. Moving the Pregnant Fish to a Separate Breeding Tank

It is essential to move the pregnant fish to a separate breeding tank to reduce stress and increase the survival rate of the fry.

This also allows you to monitor the mother’s health and behavior during the birth process. The breeding tank should be equipped with a filter and heater to maintain water quality and temperature.

2. Providing Hiding Spots for the Fry

Once the fry are born, they will need a place to hide and escape from potential predators.

Providing hiding spots, such as a breeder box or breeding mesh, fine-leaf plants, or community tanks, can increase the survival rate of the fry. 3.

Choosing the Right Food

Baby guppies need a protein and fat-rich diet to grow healthy and strong. Baby brine shrimp, powdered fish food, and infusoria are excellent choices for feeding fry.

It is essential to feed the fry several times a day to ensure they receive enough nutrients to grow. 4.

Raising the Guppy Fry

Guppy fry usually take two to three months to reach sexual maturity and can be added to a community tank once they are large enough to avoid being eaten by other fish. Monitoring the growth rate and water parameters will help keep the fish healthy and ensure their survival.


Breeding gupy fish can be an entertaining and rewarding experience for aquarists of all skill levels. Knowing how to tell if a fish is pregnant and how to prepare for the arrival of baby fry is essential for their survival and overall wellbeing.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a comfortable and safe environment for your guppy fish and their offspring, ensuring you have a healthy population of fish for years to come. In conclusion, the article presents a comprehensive guide on how to tell if a guppy fish is pregnant and how to prepare for their arrival.

Identifying the signs of pregnancy and providing a safe environment for the fry to grow are essential for their survival and overall wellbeing. Moving the pregnant fish to a separate breeding tank, providing hiding spots for the fry, choosing the right food, and monitoring water parameters are key steps in successfully breeding guppy fish.

By following these steps and taking good care of your fish, you can have a healthy and thriving population of guppy fish for years to come.

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