Guppy reproduction is where you take a male and female guppy and breed them in order to have fry (I don’t think this needed spelling out did it?).
So how easy is it to get guppies to reproduce? Very easy but there are a number of things that you can do to help make the process even easier and improve your results.
Before we get to these lets go over the whole guppy reproduction cycle so we know what we are dealing with. The guppy gestation period can vary dramatically from a mere 21 days all the way to 40 days which is still really rather quick, in the many years I have been keeping and breeding guppies I have found they average a birth every 27 days but this can vary.
Something that you have to understand is that once a female guppy have mated and been inseminated just once they can store sperm for up to 4 separate spawns, which means if you take a virgin female guppy and breed her just once then place her in a tank alone with no other males she could have babies every 27 days approximately for the next 4 months.
This does have its pros and cons for instance if you were trying breed your own strain of a particular color for example then you would either have to wait until your female uses all of the stored sperm or take one of your baby female guppies and keep her separated from all males as soon as you can to prevent her from breeding, you could then breed her with the male of your choice confidently knowing she will only have his offspring and no others. Guppy reproduction is a very enjoyable hobby for fish keepers at all levels because you really can create your own personal strains with colors and fin shapes that you like which could go on to become real popular designs around the world which would be great wouldn’t it!
The amount of babies female guppies have really can vary dramatically and there have been many studies into what effects them the most including water quality, tank temperature, daily diet and even how the guppy was raised since birth. All of these to be honest really don’t need to be worried about for the average guppy keeper as they not after the biggest spawns possible, one of the things that you can look at though which is super easy and usually pretty reliable and that is the size/age of the female, the bigger she is the more babies she is likely to have. They can have between 5 and 100 babies but the average is usually about 20-50 babies each spawn.
Now things that you can do to improve guppy reproduction include, keeping the males to females ratio of at least 2F to 1M but preferably you would want 3 females to every male and the reason for this is because the males tend to really harass the females constantly trying to mate, so by having 2/3 to 1 gives the females a chance to relax as they are not getting harassed all the time. The next thing that can really help when it comes accommodating pregnant females and that is having plenty of hiding places for her to go to when she is ready to give birth, giving your females plenty of places to hide will dramatically reduce her stress levels as she won’t be pestered while in labor.
As you can probably tell by now guppy reproduction really is quite a simple hobby and can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding of all fish you can keep, following the simple tips above will head you in the right direction to breeding great guppies.
One of my earlier tanks with a few males flirting: