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 Breeding Fancy Guppies for Beginners

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jabra
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PostSubject: Breeding Fancy Guppies for Beginners   Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:39 am

I wanna start this thread for some of you guys who are interested or starting to breed guppies. I will post in this thread the knowledge I gathered online and from old time experienced guppy breeder. Some of the information are from online sources, some are from my past experienced so if you have any question about guppies this might help you a bit.

Feel free to post your experienced on your breeding style on your guppies this is open for all guppy enthusiast. I'm no expert just love breeding pure strain guppies.


Let me start.


Breeding Guppies


Tank Set-Up

1. Breeding tank. A 10-gallon is suitable but I also used 5 and 2.5 gallons on some of my trio.

2. Filtration. You can used a boxed filter or sponge filter they both have good benefits for your tank.(You can also used substrate(gravel) if you prefer) I just got all my tanks barebottom

3. Plants. This is an option but it will also helps your bioload environment in your tank. I would suggest java moss, water sprite, hornwort, cabomba and hydrilla.

4. Temperature. The standard recommendation for Guppies is 65-68 degrees F (18-20 degrees C), but in a breeding aquarium you should increase the temperature to 74-78 degrees F (23-25 degrees C).

5. Female Grow-Out Tank. A 10 gallon is okay.

6. Male Grow-Out Tank. A 10 is good, a 20 long is better.

7. Fry Tank. I've been using 10 gallons for my fry tank and then I moved them to a bigger tank after 2-4 weeks in a bigger tank like a 20-gallon or 55-gallon. The larger your raising tank, the faster the fry will reach maturity. (More frequent water changes and smaller, more frequent feedings will also help.)


ATI Sponge Filter
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Boxed Filters
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Tank with Boxed Filter
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Tank with Sponge Filter
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PostSubject: Re: Breeding Fancy Guppies for Beginners   Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:44 am

Breeding


How to tell Male & Female Guppy apart?

It is easy to tell males and females apart. The males are a lot more colourful and have an elongated and pointed anal fin called the gonopodium. The gonopodium is used to transfer milt to the female.

Females on the other hand, are a lot rounder, have duller colouration and have a rounded anal fin.

Male guppies grow to around 3.5 cm, females are larger and grow to around 6 cm when fully grown.

Male Guppy:

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Female Guppy:

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Breeder Setup

I followed this approach on the setup I have in my fish room:

A: 2 males to 4 females per 5 1/2 gallon tank

B: 3 males to 3 females per 5 1/2 gallon tank

C: 5 males to 6 females per 10 gallon tank.

D: But never one male to one female because it has low success.

E: A father to daughter is the perfect line breed! (Closest Match)

1: Sister to brother is generally what most breeders use today!

2: Always have a second backup set of breeders.

3: One out of every three generations to keep body size.
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PostSubject: Re: Breeding Fancy Guppies for Beginners   Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:47 am

How the Male guppy court the Female guppy?

There are 2 main methods of mating displayed by the male guppy. They may perform a sigmoid display in which the body is held in an S-shape while the fins are extended and quivered. The male often leaps away by as much as 10 cm. A full sigmoid display lasts for several seconds.

Alternatively, males may attempt a sneaky or forced mating in which the female is approached sideways or from behind and the gonopodium is thrust towards her genital pore.

Females are sexually receptive only as virgins or for a few hours once a month following the birth of a brood.
Most non-virgin females ignore male displays and try to avoid sneaky mating attempts. Receptive females respond to a male’s advances by Gliding towards him.

Copulation is accompanied by Arching (in which the female moves close to the male, halts and raises her head and tail slightly) and Wheeling (in which both move round in a tight circle). When it is completed the male often jerks away and may cease sexual activity for 30 min or so.

Below shows some displayed behaviour while courting and copulating;

Preliminary courting activities;
Note :
P = Posturing male orients towards female’s head, but not with body in Signoid curve.
FS = Following Side male swims beside female.
FB = Following Behind male swims behind female.
BC = Biting Cloaca during Following Behind (see below) male bites female near the cloaca (genital pore).

Advanced courting activities;
Note :
SH = Sigmoid High intensity usually directed towards females. Male flexes his body into a strong “C” or “S” shape and vibrates rapidly. Male may be at various angles to female, or even facing away. Degree of intensity (ie. high, medium or low) can depend on either duration of amount of flex in the male’s body. Criterion for intensity should be given.
SL = Sigmoid Low intensity as above, but with either shorter duration or less flex in the male’s body.

Copulation attempt;
Note :
GT = Gonopodial Thrust male swing gonopodium toward female’s cloaca, without making contact.
GC = Gonopodial Contact male touches female’s cloaca briefly with his gonopodium (intromittent organ)

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How soon can a pair of guppy start spawning?

Some male guppies will start developing sexual characteristics as early as three weeks, while on the average about 4 to 6 weeks.

Females at this time is best to be separated from the male (sexing them) before they start spawning. Young male guppies with strong sex drives can relentlessly chase females, often to exhaustion. If you are not sexing them, it’s best to maintain a 2:1 ratio (females to males).


How to tell if the female guppy is pregnant?

It is easy to tell if the female guppy is pregnant – signs of pregnancy are a large belly, a boxy-look from the front view, and a darker gravid spot. The obvious black “gravid” spot is where the fry’s eyes forming inside the mother, and this is just in front of her anal fin.

When delivery is near, the female will start having difficulties swimming due the weight of the developing fry. The female will also try to find a hiding place, and will probably start refusing to eat. If you watch them daily during feeding times, you should be able to notice that they may not be eating. Even though some females may appear to ingest food, if you watch carefully they may often spit it out again.

Below shows a 2.5 weeks pregnant female guppy:

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Rear view of the gravid spot:

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How long does a female guppy gets pregnant?

If you put a male and a virgin female together, as long as the male guppy successfully impregnant the female guppy, she will get pregnant. The gestation period is usually 28 days or 4 weeks.

Virgin females can be bred as early as six weeks and as late as fourteen months, depending on the strain and environmental conditions.

Most breeders recommend that virgin females be bred in the range of three to six months. If you keep the male and females separate, the female will grow bigger and stronger than females raised with males.

In my experience the guppy can get pregnant between 20-24 days after being hit by the males. But some will take a while to get pregnant specially if you don't observed your male. Be sure that all your males are good candidate for breeding.


How long will a female guppy takes to give birth?

Some female guppies will drop young within a couple of hours. Most female guppies will drop during the course of a day, starting early in the day. And a few may drop over a day and a half.
But i have experienced with some females taking a week to drop her fry in a drop tank or cage.
Some females will eat their own fry specialyl gold and albino strain. You may check if the female has eaten her own fries but examining the black fecal matter passed by the mother.
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PostSubject: Re: Breeding Fancy Guppies for Beginners   Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:49 am

Caring for the new born fry


What do I feed the newly born fries?

As guppy is live bearer, it is quite easy to raise their fries. Some may take finely crushed flake foods from the start, and only require frequent water changes to keep up with their growth.

Personally I prefer to feed them with hatched baby brine shrimp. You may also use live daphnia or microworms. These live food are most ideal for fries in their first 1 month.

Try not to overfeed in each feeding session as uneaten food may cause the water to foul up. Feed what the fries can finish up in not more than 5 minutes.


Tank setup and maintenance

Tank care and feeding are two vital considerations in getting young fish started to develop into fine mature guppies. Tank care can be broken into temperature of the water, filtration, water changes and the number of fish per unit of water. Young guppies should be maintained at a water temperature of 76 to 80 degrees At these temperatures they consume more food, allowing them to grow and develop much faster compared to lower temperatures (72 to 74 degrees).

A tank without gravel is best for young guppies. A box filter with medium air is the adequate filtration. The filter should be kept clean with floss changed every two weeks. Before changing the filter, the sides and bottom of the tank should be wiped with a clean sponge and the water change should be made in conjunction with the filter change. Water changes should be made when the fish are two weeks of age and weekly thereafter. A 35 to 50% change weekIy should be adequate with aged water at the same temperature. If unaged water is used, changes may be dropped to 20 to 35% weekly as fish may become uncomfortable if larger changes are made.

The entire litter (20 to 50) can be maintained in a five gallon tank the first two weeks, but then should be given more space. At one month of age, young males should be placed in a tank by themselves with no more than two fish per gallon of water. As the males develop, they should be given one gallon of water per fish.



How often do I feed the fries?

Guppy fries have very small intestinal tracts that must be refilled every 20 minutes to get maximum growth. Since a twenty-minute feeding regime is impractical, one may feed every 2 hours for 8-10 feedings a day.

Fries may be fed solely on live brine shrimp for the first week, and then begins supplementing with dry crushed flake food. Ensure that the crushed flake food is not too big for the fry’s mouth.

The first feed in the morning is best to start off with the crushed flake food as the fries will be hungry, and alternate it with brime shrimp throughout the day.

To get maximum growth rate for fries, it is best to use live food especially the first month.



How fast will the fries grow?

Depending on the strain, if fed with live food and properly maintained, the fries can double or triple in size within the first month.

The first month of the fries is the most critical. In this first month, most of the food energy is devoted to body growth, including the development of muscle and bone structure.

It is best to boost the growth of the guppy size between birth and the development of sexual organs.
For most strains, once the sexual development begins (which is about weeks after birth), most food energy is diverted to gamete production.

After the sixth week, more and more energy is devoted to sexual activity. Since female guppies can have their first drop a couple of months after birth, their food energy may be diverted to egg production and providing some nutrition to her fry. As such, breeders usually keep males and females separately to maximize the growth of the guppy.

Growth rate is also affected by the temperature of the tank. Higher temperatures speed up guppy metabolism. However, guppies raised in high temperatures and fed aggressively will have shorter lives and are more prone to disease.

At about six week, the fins start to grow, diverting energy once again from body growth. Therefore, it is important to concentrate on the first month where most growth are exclusive to the guppy size before the energy starts to divert in other directions.

The age at which the guppies start to show secondary colors depends upon the strain. Some strains darken within a day, others may take several weeks. Some male guppies can be selected for color as early as four months.

There are many factors affecting the expression of color in male guppies, from genetic to the food you feed them.
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PostSubject: Re: Breeding Fancy Guppies for Beginners   Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:09 am

Wow very nice info! +rep! thumbs up


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PostSubject: Re: Breeding Fancy Guppies for Beginners   Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:43 am

Thanks!!!
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