Guppies - the most popular viviparous aquarium fish, unpretentious in maintenance and ideal for beginner aquarists. These thermophilic fish are not quite whimsical. They are used all over the world in regions of warm latitudes to combat the larva of a malaria mosquito, have taken root even in Russia’s warm water discharge zones, and they got there in all probability thanks to unlucky aquarium lovers. In Russia, there are feral populations that live in the Moscow River in the area of warm water discharge in Lyubertsy.
The name of these fish originates in the late 19th century, when a report on live-bearing species of fish of the British priest and scientist Robert John Lechmer Guppy was read. He talked about fish that do not spawn, but produce live fry immediately. Of course, at that time this was not taken seriously.
These are fish with a size of 1.5-7 cm. They have a pronounced sexual dimorphism - females are usually larger, have a calmer color, rhomboid-shaped scales and short fins, unlike males, which have a very bright color and long diverse fins. They are kept in flocks, in which approximately equally males and females.
Guppy males are from 1.5 to 4 cm in length, have bright fin color, gonopodia are present. Guppy females from 2.8 to 7 cm in length, have an enlarged abdomen in the anal area of which caviar is visible.
Perfect for beginner aquarists.
Guppies are omnivorous fish, to obtain all the necessary substances they need both animal and plant foods. Bloodworms, daphnia, coronetra, cyclops, tubule, Drosophila, moina are well suited from animals. From vegetable: spirulina. Eat dry food well. Guppies have a tendency to overeat and, therefore, to obesity, which negatively affects the ability to reproduce offspring. Therefore, it is worth every week to arrange the fish one or two hungry days.
Maintenance and care
Guppies are tropical fish, which means they need warm water (22 C-25 C), but can get along in water with a temperature in the range from 19 C to 29 C. The optimum acidity of water is 7-8.5 rN, hardness 12-18. Do not neglect the additional lighting, as well as exposure to sunlight for a couple of hours a day. In terms of the volume of the aquarium, one must proceed from the fact that a couple of fish should have at least 5 liters. A sharp change in these parameters can adversely affect the fins of thoroughbred guppy males, therefore it is not recommended to change more than a third of the water at a time. It is also advisable to use a water filter, at least internal. Guppies are very peaceful fish, even males do not conflict with each other, and practically do not cause any inconvenience to neighbors in the aquarium, on the contrary, they can be offended or eaten by more aggressive and large aquarium inhabitants. Best of all, they get along with small peaceful fish such as neon, speckled catfish, parsing, cherry barbs, Congo, cockroaches. It is best to get snails, such as coils and apmularia, in the guppy aquarium, which will eat the rest of the feed, protecting the water from rotting. It is also good if plants with soft leaves grow in the aquarium so that guppies do not injure their fins. Favorably affects the well-being of the fish, especially for males, adding 1 teaspoon of sea or table salt per 10 liters of water.
These are viviparous fish, they have internal fertilization, for this the males have a special gonopodia organ, formed from the anal fin. Guppies are ready for breeding by 3-5 months, the males begin to chase the females and fertilize them. Females spawn fertilized eggs for 30–40 days, after which fry appear in the amount of 10 to 150 pieces, depending on the breed and age of the female. A pregnant female is distinguished by a rectangular stomach and a dark spot near the anal fin. It should be put in a separate container, where it will produce offspring. Newborn fry can become prey of other fish and even their own mother, therefore it is better if there are plants in the hider in which the cubs can take refuge. They need to be fed several times a day, up to 1.5 months at least three times with crushed food. By the age of 1.5 months, juveniles already differ by sex, it is worthwhile to divide them in order to avoid uncontrolled spawning. The water in the deposit box should be a couple of degrees warmer, the salinity should be two times lower than in an aquarium with adults. Optimally, if the water depth is not more than 10-12 cm.