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All New Guppy

All New Guppy

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Published by REXTERYX

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Published by: REXTERYX on Nov 16, 2009
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02/06/2013

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All new guppy-keepers have similar, excitingquestions. Read below for the answers...
Question 1: How soon can guppies multiply?Females mature at about 3 months of age, perhaps sooner in a warmer tank.Males sexually mature somewhat sooner. The males will develop a modified,pointed anal fin called gonopodium, after several weeks. The male with the leastdesirable traits often impregnates the females, and all chances of controlledbreeding is lost. This is a good reason to separate them before the male candevelop his gonopodium.Question 2: Is my guppy pregnant? Where is the gravid spot?If your female has been around other males, then chances are she is pregnant.Females from pet store tanks are usually pregnant. Signs of pregnancy are alarge belly, a boxy-look from the front view, and a darker gravid spot. The spot,under the fish's tail, is like a stained-glass window where the fry come out. Near the day of delivery you can sometimes see eyes of the unborn fry as tiny blackdots.Question 3: When will my guppyhave her babies?There really is no telling. You will just have to keep a close eye on her as she gets larger and her gravidspot gets darker, because there areno definite signs. Sometimes afemale will become rather still andsolitary near birthing. If you knowwhen she had her last drop, you canexpect another drop in about 4weeks or so.Question 4: How do I save the fry?The best way is to have a separate tank loaded with fake or live plants and a smallbox filter. Before the female is to deliver, put her in this tank, and when she dropsthe fry will have lots of cover in which to hide. The mother will sometimes make ameal of them if she sees them, since she is very hungry.Question 5: How and when can I tell the sexes apart?The answer is, believe it or not, at one week of age! Just look for the gravid spotwhich every female has. Use a small magnifying glass and a flashlight. Whenseparating them, if there is a question as to whether a guppy is male or female,put it with males. Keep in mind that there is no urgency to separate them until themale's anal fin begins to look pointed. He cannot inseminate females until hisgonopodium (see Anatomy) is developed.Question 6: How can I make sure who the father is?
 
Since a female stores sperm and has often 4, sometimes 8, drops from just onefertilization (this is called "superfetation"), it is impossible to know (unless youbuy a virgin female and mate her). If the female is fertilized again at the time shedrops her young, that male's sperm should take over and the next drop should behis fry.Question 7: When do guppies start to get their colour?This depends mostly on genetics. Some strains getcolour sooner than others. For instance, the reds thatyou see in this website did not show any red until 6weeks of age. The Moscows display most of their colour by the time they are 6 weeks old. Half-blackmales typically show dark caudal peduncles fromabout one week of age. Rate of development makes adifference as well. If fry are kept in cool water withinfrequent water changes and dry food only, they will mature at a much slower rate.Question 8: When is it safe to put my fry in the tank with adults?Those hobbyists that are serious about seeing their fry develop to their fullpotential will not mix fry with adults. Though unproven, it has long been held thatolder fish release a pheromone which inhibits growth in fry. Also, adult fishproduce much more waste than smaller fish, thus causing lesser water conditions than is needed for the healthy development of fancy guppies. Also,growing fish need more food than older fish, and usually find it difficult whenforced to compete with adults; feeding more food simply contributes to theproblem of poor water quality.Specifically, however, the question deals with "safety", which implies that onewants to know when the fry will be able to survive the adult tank. This is thequestion many people have when they do not keep separate tanks for the fry tomature in. Assuming there are no other species of cannibalistic/aggressive fish inthe tank, fry should be able to live with adult guppies when they are large enoughso as not to be considered food, compared with the size of the adult guppies. Noage can be specified since development in size varies.Question 9: What kind of home does my new guppy need?Many people new to guppies think a fish bowl of 1 or 3 gallons is sufficient.However, this is incorrect.A guppy is very active and needs space, and space also gives you the benefit of seeing the amazing colours of the fish in all their glory. Also, they are social fishand it is a sad injustice to submit one to solitary confinement. A group of three, amale and two females, is the minimum, and for this you need at least a 4 to 5gallon tank.Question 10: Does that mean a large investment then?It is not necessary to spend a lot of money on a guppy set-up. All that is neededis a tank (I suggest a 10 or 20 gallon tank in the beginning as there is more room
 
for errors than in a smaller one!), a filter, and possibly a heater. Some people findgreat bargains on secondhand fish tanks and accessories. Remember that thelarger the tank your fish have, the better, so get the largest you can afford.Question 11: What plants or decorations do guppies need?Guppies do not need plants or gravel; they do not even need a heavy-duty power filter. An inside box filter powered by an air pump is all that is necessary for biological and mechanical filtration and aeration (for a 5 to 10 gallon tank). Youcan leave out the charcoal and weigh the box down with marbles. Paint theoutside bottom of the tank with a dark paint (black is a good choice). This gives asmooth bottom for the guppy arena and no small stones will gather debris or leftover food where the guppy cannot retrieve it. Also, it is more comfortable for the guppy to rest at night on a bottom of smooth glass than a bed of gravel! Thisis the cleanest possible way to keep guppies.Question 12: How soon after setting up a new tank can I add fish?An aquarium takes 6 weeks to cycle in order to be safe for a full stock of fish. If you have chosen fish to cycle your new tank, here are some tips to help themsurvive: add a bacterial supplement such as Cycle, provide extra aeration (water surface agitation), and remove 10 - 20% of the water daily with vacuuming. Addonly a few inexpensive fish at first, and then slowly add more. You can alsochoose fishless cycling, which will spare the lives of your first fish. See our page,Water Quality.For more information on "breaking in" or cycling your new tank, see thislink.Question 13: What kind of filter should I use?A 10 gallon tank can have a large-size box filter or an outside power filter, and anything larger than a10 gallon tank should definitelyhave a power filter. The filter Irecommend is the Aqua Clear. Amini AquaClear is sufficient for a10 gallon, and the "150" isexcellent for a 15 or 20-gallontank. There is no need toconstantly replace filter media, the foam should last years (rinse only in tankwater), and once again, carbon is unnecessary as a medium. You may want toadd an air stone when using a power filter. They do create some aeration, butmore is usually better.I do not recommend under gravel filters for guppy tanks. They cause problemswhen you clean them, they are really not enough to keep a tank clean, and whenused in addition to an above gravel filter, they are in an over-kill situation anyway.Question 14: How often do I clean the filter, and what is the best way?

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