How To Tell If a Guppy is Pregnant – Signs and Behaviors
How To Tell If a Guppy is Pregnant – Signs and Behaviors

Congratulations! You’ve got yourself some guppies and are ready to welcome some fry into the world! One of the joys of having a fish tank full of guppies is raising your own baby fish! However, it can be challenging to tell when one of your female guppies has become pregnant, as you need to know what signs and behaviors to look for. In this article, we have compiled a few things to look out for that might help you tell if your guppy is pregnant.

How to Tell If A Guppy Is Pregnant – Telltale Signs

If you notice any of the following signs, your guppy is likely carrying babies. Here’s how to tell if a guppy is pregnant. Read on!

Darkened Gravid Spot

When your guppy is pregnant, you’ll see a dark mark called a gravid spot around its anal fin. As soon as the two-week mark approaches, you should see a marked darkening. Keep a close eye on this area of your guppy. Changes in its coloration are another indicator that your Guppy is about to have babies.

How To Tell If a Guppy is Pregnant – Signs and Behaviors
How To Tell If a Guppy is Pregnant – Signs and Behaviors –

The female guppies! The top one is my very first pregnant guppy!” by max_wei is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 .

The guppy fry develops rapidly during the final stages of pregnancy, and you may be able to detect individual fry as tiny dots in the gravid region. The gravid spot may not completely disappear after delivery, but it should fade and, in some cases, become less noticeable. If you’re wondering how to tell if a guppy is pregnant, then this is one of the most prominent signs!

Angular Shaped Belly 

During labor, the abdomen of a pregnant female guppy will swell considerably. If you notice a bloated and boxier physique in your female guppies, don’t worry too much because these are normal pregnancy signs in guppies. It’s important to remember that pregnancy isn’t the only cause of a guppy’s tummy swelling. 

A lot of newbie aquarists make this rookie mistake. They will wrongly attribute symptoms of pregnancy, such as constipation, to problems in the digestive system. A guppy that is simply overweight, as opposed to pregnant, will not have the telltale gravid spot.

Fortunately, a bloated stomach is just one of numerous pregnant symptoms. The belly of a pregnant guppy will continue to grow for the duration of the pregnancy, which can last anywhere from 21 to 31 days. If the fish’ stomach is distended after a large meal, the expansion should subside during the next few hours as digestion takes place. It’s the same with constipation. Once the condition is treated, the guppy’s stomach will decrease in size.

However, if the fish is expecting babies, the belly will continue to swell. As the pregnant guppy nears birth, its body becomes more angular.

Aggressive Behavior 

When a female is pregnant, she may become more hostile, especially to males that persist in trying to mate with her despite her unwillingness to engage. The maternal instinct to safeguard the unborn fry can prompt some expecting moms to act more aggressively than usual. If they see another fish, even one that doesn’t pose an immediate danger, they may attack. 

Go into Hiding

A pregnant guppy mother could grow more reclusive as her pregnancy continues, seeking refuge under tank decorations like plants or other structures. The mother is searching for a secure location away from potential predators (bigger fish in your tank) to give birth. They fear for their safety and that of their offspring if they are seen by the bullies. If you’re thinking about how to tell if a guppy is pregnant, then look out for this behavior among your female guppies.

Many pregnant guppies may simply vanish because of this. It could be days before you see them again. If your guppies are healthy and the tank is set up properly, this shouldn’t normally be an issue.

Loss of Appetite

Guppies that are expecting tend to avoid eating. In the early stages of pregnancy, they may consume more calories than usual. However, their desire for food will gradually diminish until they eventually lose all their appetite.

You shouldn’t stop giving the guppies food because of this. They do nonetheless have a nutritional need, although one of lesser magnitude. Especially if the pregnant female is living alone, the volume of leftovers in the tank will increase as her appetite decreases. If you cut back on the amount of food you give, you’ll also have less waste to dispose of. However, as always, make sure that you feed your guppy properly.

The Guppy Will Float on the Top

This is the final stage before your pregnant guppy gives birth. When a pregnant guppy is getting close to her due date, she will hang out at the top levels. Guppies go into those regions because of the high concentrations of oxygen there. Pregnant guppy fish guarantee their offspring can breathe easily by spawning in oxygen-rich environments. Since the act of spawning is both stressful and energy-intensive, this is beneficial for the mother as well.

Your guppy Will Swim in One Spot

When your guppy is about to give birth, you may also observe that she seems to be swimming in the same place. The fish’ body will give the impression of motion, but the fish itself will remain still. She has to get to a safe, comfortable place now since she’s about to give birth.

Pregnant fish prefer to remain out of sight because they get increasingly frail and lethargic as the pregnancy advances. A pregnant guppy may become completely immobile in the final stages. The guppy may in some cases also choose to stay still at the bottom or float above it.

A Pregnant Guppy Might Lose Pigmentation

Sometimes, pregnant guppies will fade in appearance. A guppy’s complete body may get discolored in rare situations. Stress, sickness, subpar water conditions, and unhealthy food are only a few of the causes of color loss in guppies. If your guppy suddenly changes color, don’t automatically assume that it’s pregnant until you’ve seen other symptoms of pregnancy. 

Keep in mind that pregnant fish are just as vulnerable to disease as their non-pregnant counterparts. That is to say, a guppy that is unwell during pregnancy may also lose its color. 

The Fry Will be Visible

If your guppy’s gravid spot has always been visible, and you’re not sure if it’s gotten darker, check the pupils of the newborn’s eyes. They appear as little black specks from afar. Some areas of fish bodies are in some cases somewhat see-through. This means that you can watch the developing fry’s eyes through the guppy’s skin as the offspring inside her develop.

How To Tell If a Guppy is Pregnant – Signs and Behaviors
How To Tell If a Guppy is Pregnant – Signs and Behaviors

Guppy Chasing Behavior

The male Guppy will pursue the female, and when they get close enough, the male will try to deposit a sperm packet into the female’s anal vent using a modified anal fin (or gonopodium). During their mating ritual, this may happen as many as six times, optimizing the chances that she will become pregnant. Mating can take place rapidly and oftentimes without the owners’ knowledge. These live-bearing fish can reproduce indefinitely because pregnant females can store sperm for up to a year. 

A male guppy won’t be able to harm a female if she is in good health. If there aren’t enough female fish in the tank, the males will likely kill off the ones that are there. On the whole, though, a healthy female can shrug off a male guppy’s sexual advances. A pregnant guppy, however, cannot always make the same claim. Even if the female fish is pregnant, the male fish will keep bothering them.

Do I Have to Keep My Pregnant Guppies Separate?

In most cases, separating pregnant guppies is the best course of action, if you want to ensure to have as many babies as possible. That way, the other guppies in the tank won’t bother the pregnant fish or eat the offspring. 

If you think your guppy is pregnant, you may move her to a separate fish tank. You can also chose to move the other inhabitants to another fish tank. However, ensure that it’s not too stressful.

Make sure to have plenty of plants or hiding places for the fry to hide in. You may also insert a partition with a series of tiny holes. This will prevent the mother from consuming her young.

In all cases, you should not keep your mother guppy alone for too long, since they thrive better when they are together with other guppies.

How Many Babies Do Guppies Have?

Guppies can typically have five to eighty babies at a time. They have a reproductive lifespan of around 4-5 years, during which time they can produce hundreds of offspring.

We hope that this will help you how to tell if a guppy is pregnant, and that you have enjoyed this article.