Breeding fish can be a whole lot of fun no doubt, especially when you have really neat fish like guppies. Instead of buying new fish, simply let males and females breed to give you more guppies for free.
There are of course various things that go into breeding guppies and lots of things that you need to know, with one important thing being the gestation period. So, how long is the gestation period for guppies?
The guppy is one of the most popular freshwater fish for aquariums you can find. Part of the reason for this is because they tend to be very easy to take care of. Guppies are very hardy and resilient fish that can survive in varying conditions. These are some of the fish that can survive in a not so well maintained tank.
We obviously do not recommend or condone not taking good care of your aquarium, but in case you forget for a few days, your guppies should be just fine. These little guys are very prolific breeders and they love to have babies. This is actually why we are here today, to talk about guppy breeding, specifically the gestation period.
The Gestation Period
If you do not know what gestation is, it is the process of growing live babies inside of the body. For example, humans have a gestation period of 9 months from impregnation to birth. Just like with humans, guppies are actually live bearers. This means that they give birth to live and functioning fish.
This is unlike many other fish which are egg layers, where the eggs get laid and the fish fry develop inside of the eggs instead of the body of the fish. When it comes to guppies, the gestation period is on average 26 to 31 days.
Therefore, from the moment of impregnation, the female guppy has a maximum of 1 month until it gives birth to live guppy fry. You will know when your female guppy is pregnant because her stomach will grow a whole lot.
What is kind of funny is it does not grow rounder. Actually, the female guppy’s stomach grows square, kind of like the shape of a box. Her stomach will also develop a black or dark maroon color as she grows closer to the time of birth.
Other Guppy Breeding Tips
There are some things that you should know about breeding guppies in order to help make the whole thing easier and more successful.
Let’s go over the most important things that you should know right now.
- You need to remove the female and male parents from the tank as soon as the guppy fry are born (it's also a good idea to get a breeding trap). Guppy parents are known for eating their young, so if you want to keep the fry, you need to keep them separately from their parents.
- When breeding, guppies should be placed in a breeding tank. A male and female guppy should have around 20 gallons of tank space to feel comfortable.
- You need to have a filter in the tank, but it needs to be one with a low flow rate. A really powerful filter will suck up and blow around newly born guppy fry, most likely killing them in the process.
- Put some low floating and rooted carpet plants in the guppy breeding tank. The fry tend to sink, they like cover, and they like to scavenge for food. Therefore, some plants are definitely a good idea. Some fry will swim upwards, so some high floating plants are recommended too.
- Do not use any substrate in the breeding tank. Guppy fry can get stuck in the substrate, plus it makes the tank harder to clean. Not using substrate provides you with an easy to clean tank, plus a good way to monitor how many fry are alive, as well as how much they are eating.
- Make sure that the breeding tank is between 77 and 79 degrees (25 to 26.1 Celsius), (we have covered a detailed Guppy temperature guide on this article).
- To get your guppies to breed, provide them with really high quality and nutritionally rich food.
As long as you follow the tips we have outlined above, you should have no problem breeding your guppies. As for the gestation period, a female guppy should give birth within 31 days of impregnation.