The guppy fish is a popular aquarium fish that comes in different colors. They can live for around two years in the wild and up to five years in captivity. In the wild, both male and female guppies reach sexual maturity at about two months old. If you are planning to breed this fish, you might be asking how long are they pregnant before you can expect their babies.
In this article, we will look at the different stages of a guppy’s pregnancy and what you can expect during this period. We will also quickly go over how to care for baby guppies.
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How Long Are Guppy Fish Pregnant for?
The length of a guppy pregnancy varies depending on the different species and genetic makeup of each individual but on average, a guppy’s gestation period lasts around 21 to 30 days. During this time, the mum will carry her baby within her pelvic fins and will soon give birth to around 50 to 60 babies at a time. Although the baby guppies are very small at first, they will grow rapidly and can start to swim around a few days after birth.
How Can You Tell If a Guppy Is Pregnant?
There are a few visible signs on how you can tell if your guppy is already pregnant. You might want to take note of the following physical changes to determine if they are already carrying offspring:
- Look for small white bumps on the fish’s belly.
- You might also notice what looks like white hair when spread out with their fins, never attempt to touch them! This is dangerous and could end up causing infections or other ailments that can lead to death.
- Half of their stomach will be exposed to the water at this point.
- Signs of pregnancy will usually last an entire month together, announcing its arrival in simple acts such as going into hiding behind anything they deem safe (like glass) so they won’t be disturbed.
- During that month, they also carry out other activities such as swimming much quicker and tirelessly, while eating less compared to their non-pregnant counterparts -all of this is normal.
- When the guppy reaches an approximately additional two centimeters in length, it has just brewed a baby.
Can You Speed Up Gestation in Guppies?
There is no definitive answer, but in some cases, it might be possible to speed up the gestation period of a guppy. However, some risks come with doing so and you should always consult with your vet before attempting anything like this on your own. Always remember that guppies only lay eggs after they have matured sexually and have had enough time to digest their food properly. If you try to force them into reproducing earlier than they are ready, it might end up causing disruptions and abnormalities in the development of their offspring.
How Can You Tell If a Pregnant Guppy Is About to Give Birth?
You might want to look at these signs to determine if your pregnant guppy is ready to give birth to its new babies:
- She will gradually lose her appetite and stop eating altogether.
- She may start to lay eggs in bulk, rather than one at a time.
- Her body coloration changes from pale green to bright yellow as she nears oviposition (laying of the eggs).
- The caudal fins have doubled their size, as well as the ventral (underside of her body).
- A large number of bubbles are present at this stage. These are called egg sacks located between her gills.
- Her belly is somewhat translucent although it looks full from distance.
- The size and shape of the adult guppy’s body will be so utterly different that she has matured into a mother.
How To Prepare For The Baby Guppies
To successfully raise baby guppy fish, there are some key things you need to do in advance. These preparations will make the process much smoother for both you and your guppies.
- Make sure all of your equipment is in good working condition: from the filters to the tanks, it’s important that everything is clean and up-to-date so that your babies can thrive. Old water with unhealthy levels of toxic buildup can create breeding issues for your guppies if left untreated. Similarly, dirty filters and water will also affect the health of your baby fish since they won’t reach their full potential while they’re growing up in it.
- Choose a convenient time to start: Many beginner aquarists use this method all alone sometimes even on weekends or evenings after work but what happens when you’ve been putting everything into preparations? You might begin to think twice about the whole thing, let alone getting down to your new hobby. If you wish to give yourself some time in advance so that you can prepare for a baby guppy introduction on weekdays, try scheduling it around dinner time or whenever your kids are occupied with their usual activities. This way there won’t be many interruptions from them meaningless fights and more fighting!
- Make sure everything is ready before the slow start by cleaning the lamp or source and making sure they won’t rust. If you opt to scrub the outside of your fish tank, do it not before two weeks have passed since purchasing but every month thereafter cleanings may improve health problems!
- Feeding will then be manipulated by adjusting a small amount of food for the last 7-10 days.
- Feed 5-6 times a day for about 2 minutes so that smaller fry can eat too (2minutes per tiny fry). Even then, the water is probably still too cool to put in your fish right away. Once you’ve correctly reduced the water temperature and gotten a good balance of feed sizes (guppy food sold at pet stores contains 50 or more percent daily vitamins) you should be ready to introduce them into their new tank! Start with only one fish gently placing it onto its little bucket filled with filtered tap water.