I recently decided to start breeding guppies. I previously bought guppies to feed my two African clawed frogs that I acquired from a friend of mine. His friend gave them to him with their tank and everything they needed, except for a filter.
I set up the tank using an internal filter that would normally be used in a turtle tank. I filled the tank halfway full, this created a waterfall stream effect to the tank. I added plants including bamboo which kept the tank oxygenated and added a hideaway for the frogs.
From what I recall I bought about seven guppies to add to the tank. A few were males and the rest were females. They were able to hide in the plants and tended to swim in the current that the filter made.
At first I thought the frogs would just eat them all and that would be that, but I was surprised to find that they only ate a couple of the adult fish. The females started dropping fry in the tank and the frogs would eat the fry instead.
The tank had become its own sustainable environment. I added minnows, snails (they started started taking over the tank), plecostomas and a clown loach. My mom bought me another tank, which was a fluval chi tank. I added guppies, loaches, dwarf frogs, smaller plecostomas, shrimp and some dwarf African clawed frogs.
That tank was pretty successful too except the guppy fry were getting eaten immediately and some were getting sucked into the filter. I wanted to try to breed my guppies in a way that I could keep some to the fry.
Unfortunately after a while the tank lost a lot of its inhabitants and eventually my cay managed to shatter my tank. My mom bought me a replacement, but I am not using this one for my current fish.
It’s been years and my frogs have long since passed and the other tank was empty for a while. I ended up giving that tank away along with other tanks I had for my snakes. I decided to start again with guppies. This time I decided I am going to breed guppies.
I researched the ways in which guppy breeders breed to create show quality fish. Most of the time this is done through inbreeding to create true strains. These strains are homologous meaning the offspring will look just like their parents. For example someone likes a fish that is blue, they will breed that trait into their populating and keep the offspring. They will then select to breed the father with his daughter or brother with his sister. They can then create strains that will be kept separate, but can cross breed the distant relatives the keep that trait.
What I want to do is try to avoid inbreeding the fish. I am sure people have done this before. I will have to do more research to see what others have done, but I am starting with a male and three females. My male is a yellow and black tuxedo fancy guppy and the females are two white/light blues and a black. The black female has a similar tuxedo to the male. I will take pictures soon. All three females are already gravid, which means they are pregnant. I had started with a different group of guppies, but the heater failed and I lost them all.
I have started with a bare bottom breeding tank. There are some plants. I am planing on planting the tank up more over time.There is a heater and a air driven bio-mechanical sponge filter.
I have had the fish since January 13th. I am observing the females to see if any are exhibiting signs of labor, because I am not entirely sure how pregnant they are. One is spending a lot of time by the water heater or staying really still in the plants. These are usually some of the signs a guppy is going into labor. I’m keeping a close eye on her and hoping to save her first drop of fry. Meanwhile the male is quite happily chasing the other pregnant females around.
I want to keep the fry from all three females to see what genetic traits they have. Since the females were not impregnated by this male there will be a lot more variety for breeding. I will also be able to keep a tank of virgin females.
There is a lot more I could say, but I will go into more detail in my next blog as I figure things out. Once the fry are born. I should be able to sex them within a week and by then I should know a little bit more about what I am doing. The main thing is I am doing this for experience and to have fun.