How Guppies Breed - "Guppy Diamante imperfecto. El patrón es de Mosaico" by Inka Crabs is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
How Guppies Breed - "Guppy Diamante imperfecto. El patrón es de Mosaico" by Inka Crabs is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Have you ever wondered how guppies breed? Maybe you’re a seasoned aquarium hobbyist or just started getting into the wonderful world of fish-keeping. We can all appreciate these little beauties for their vibrant colors and endless charm—plus, they’re pretty easy to care for! Guppies are commonly bred by aquarists due to their hardiness and compatibility with many other fish species. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how guppies breed and how you can control the process in your own tank. Let’s dive right in!

Males and Females

Male and female guppies look slightly different, which can make it a bit tricky to tell them apart if you’re just starting out as a fish hobbyist. Male guppies tend to be more colourful – think dazzling blues, greens and yellows! While females show a more muted palette with subtle shades of silver and brown. Females also tend to grow larger than their male counterparts, so that’s another factor to keep in mind when deciding between the two sexes. Whether you go for male or female guppies – or even both! – you’re sure to have an enchanting time with guppies!

Fins on male guppies also tend to be fuller and longer than their female counterparts. This is because males use these fin extensions for attracting mates!

You can also tell male guppies apart by their genopodium, which is a modified fin located on their underside. This fin is used for mating and looks like a pointed triangle shape.

Female to Male Ratio

When it comes to guppy breeding, it’s important to bear in mind the female to male ratio. Generally speaking, for every three females there should be one male. This ensures that the males aren’t overworking themselves when courting – plus, if you have too many males in a tank they may become hostile towards each other!

Also, too many males will often stress the females when they chase after them all the time. The best way to keep your tank balanced is to stick to the recommended female to male ratio of three to one.

How Guppies Breed

Guppies are livebearers, meaning they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs.

When the time is right, males will chase after a female in an attempt to court her and gain her attention. This can look like a lot of swimming back and forth and twirling in circles around the female – it’s quite an interesting sight to behold!

The male guppy uses his genopodium to impregnate the female, which occurs in a swift motion that can sometimes appear to be too quick for the human eye.

Gestation Period

The gestation period for guppies is usually between 28-30 days, depending on the water temperature and other factors such as age or health of the parents. After this period, anywhere from 5-50 fry can be produced, sometimes more, sometimes less.

How Guppies Breed - "Guppy Diamante imperfecto. El patrón es de Mosaico" by Inka Crabs is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
How Guppies Breed – “Guppy Diamante imperfecto. El patrón es de Mosaico” by Inka Crabs is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Guppy Fry

Guppy babies, also known as fry, are small and delicate. They usually have thin bodies with short fins and they are usually silver or golden in color. As the fry grow, colors may start to appear on their body with their fin structure gradually increasing. Male and female guppies can be differentiated quite easily even when they are fry since the males have a straighter-edged dorsal fin while the females have a rounder one. With gorgeous tails, stunning colors and lovely shapes, it’s no wonder that guppy babies are a favorite among experienced aquarium owners!

Feeding Guppy Babies

Taking care of guppy babies can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Guppy babies, also known as fry, need more care and dedication than their adult counterparts. It’s generally a good idea to purchase a separate tank for the fry, as the presence of larger fish can jeopardize their safety and may even lead to them not getting enough food. The best food option is commercial fry foods that you can buy in pet stores. Feeding your guppy babies twice a day is usually enough, but it’s important to keep an eye out and make sure they’re eating properly and growing at a healthy rate. With regular monitoring and attention, you’ll soon have plenty of happy guppies swimming around!

Considering Plants

Keeping guppies requires an in-depth understanding of their preferences to ensure they stay healthy and happy. This includes your guppy breeding tank, or your regular tank. One important detail that new aquarists need to understand is that tank plants play a crucial role when it comes to how guppies breed. Without the right type of plants, your guppies may struggle to feel comfortable enough to procreate. The best kind of live plants for breeding guppies are those that provide hiding places, both for adults and babies. This would also include floating plants. Providing various kinds of foliage allows your guppies a place to retreat in case they become stressed or scared as well as a setting for courtship rituals. The plants will also protect the baby guppies from being eaten by their adult counterparts. 

Not only will you create an enjoyable environment for your fish but also get rewarded with rewards with cute baby guppy fry too!


Now that you know how guppies breed, you can decide if you want to let nature take its course or intervene. Guppy breeding is a fun and easy way to add some new fish to your tank without having to go out and buy them. With a little patience and the right setup, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a guppy breeding expert in no time!