Guppies are very popular ornamental fish, and many novice aquarists first give birth to them. But before that it would be good to study not only the conditions of detention, but also how guppies give birth. The fact is that their reproduction has its own characteristics, although it does not represent any particular complexity. How to act in such cases and how to save offspring? And is it necessary to save it at all? Let’s try to figure it out.
These ornamental carp reach sexual maturity from about four months of age and are then ready for breeding.
Reproduction can occur both in the general aquarium and in a special spawning ground. Even a three-liter jar is suitable for this, as ornamental fish are unpretentious, and the couple will be able to give offspring even in such Spartan conditions.
In principle, the type of tank is not so important, the main thing is to perform a number of activities to create optimal conditions for the reproduction of offspring: the appropriate temperature regime and the presence of green vegetation (Javanese moss or rovolistnikik, for example), in which future fry will find their shelter.
Most experts are unanimous on the question of how to provoke the reproduction of guppies: this is an increase in temperature in the aquarium by 3-4 degrees and the replacement of about 1/3 of the water in the spawning (or general) aquarium.
However, some professional aquarists insist that such provocation is needed only in a strictly defined case, when the guppy is difficult and premature.
When the male begins to chase the female, snuggle up to her from the side or bottom, mating begins. There is an important feature: if the fish are in the total volume, then you need to ensure that there are not too many males.
The male fertilizes the female with the help of a special sexual organ, which has the scientific name of gonopodia. At its core, this is a modified section of the fin in the form of several tubules, which only adult males have.
Once mated, the female can keep the male’s milt for several months, and if you bought a fish that was kept together with the males, then, most likely, she will be pregnant.
How to distinguish a pregnant female guppy?
First of all, we must bear in mind that these beautiful fish are viviparous, that is, they do not lay eggs, but give birth, producing offspring ready for life.
The duration of gestation of the female is from 28 to 40 days. It is established that it depends on the temperature and the number of fry that it bears.
In its appearance, a pregnant guppy is distinguished from a common fish community. First, it forms a rounded belly, later acquiring a rectangular shape with a black patch at the bottom.
Important clarification: during this period, it is impossible to change the conditions of keeping fish, as a pregnant guppy is very sensitive to the slightest temperature fluctuations, water quality, and light intensity before giving birth. Calmness of the female is the key to successful spawning.
Immediately before giving birth, the female trembles a little, moves little, she has no appetite (some individuals even spit out food). If the aquarium has a heater, then the female is always near him. By the way, it can also be a sign of preterm labor.
At this point, it is better to transplant it into a spawning or sprinkler prepared in advance. The latter option is more convenient, because it does not require a lot of space and additional maintenance.
Directly during childbirth, the tail trembles in the female, for a moment she stops. Live fry go out one by one, they immediately show independence, starting to move actively.
How many fry are born in guppies, no one can say for sure. The fact is that their number is different and depends on the age of the female and the number of previous genera. In addition, fertility increases with the size of the individual. That is why we can only talk about the approximate number of fry.
Thus, during the first spawning period, from 15 to 25 children can be born in a young female; during the second and subsequent births, the number of fry increases from 50 to 100.
A pregnant female is easily identified by a bright black spot near the anus.
Postnatal behavior and the preservation of offspring
Newcomers to the aquarium business are often interested in the question of why guppies eat their fry. Yes, there are ornamental fish that care for the offspring, protect it from the encroachments of its neighbors. But these types of minority.
And guppies, like most other fish, do not have maternal instinct. It often happens that the female eats her offspring immediately after spawning and even at the time of childbirth, if the fry rashly swims past her mouth.
Nothing can be done: who did not hide, he died. Natural selection, you know
What should be done to save at least part of the offspring?
- It has already been mentioned that it is necessary to keep vegetation in the general aquarium, which provides natural shelter for the young.
- In addition, when breeding in a separate spawning, it is important not to miss the moment when it is time to plant the female guppy.
There is one opinion: this is done immediately after the female gives birth to the last fry. Of course, if the owner of the aquarium wants to save offspring, and such a goal is not in each case.
Another variant: spawning occurs in the general aquarium. In this case, the aquarist must decide for himself whether it is necessary to plant guppy fry into a separate nursery capacity.
If such a decision is made, the fry are carefully and quickly collected with a small mesh net or plastic cup and transferred to a prepared water kindergarten. Of course, all the fry can not be collected, but most of them can be saved.
How to care for guppy fry?
The most important for the further development of the cubs are the first 3-5 days of their life. The practice of breeding fish in an aquarium has long and specifically determined what to feed the guppy fry during this period and how best to do it.
Experts believe that food should be abundant and around the clock. At first, it is recommended to give live dust, nauplius Artemia, rotifers, micro-worm.
As a top dressing, you can also use a solution of boiled and grated egg yolk in a tablespoon of aquarium water.
There are specially designed commercial feed for fry. For example, German MicroMin contains in its composition all the necessary elements that contribute to the stable development of young.
It is not recommended to turn off the light above the nursery aquarium in the first week (constant lighting has a positive effect on the growth of the young), and feeding should be carried out 5-6 times a day, from the second week to two months. at least 2-3 times a day, not allowing overfeeding.
By the way, it depends on the food in the first month of life how fast the guppy fry grow. With a high-quality abundant feeding in about 2 weeks, they reach sizes from 1.5 to 2 cm. Some breeders believe that with such sizes the fry can already be released into the general aquarium.
Guppy fry: how to determine gender
From the same age, you can start gender sorting of fish (if it is necessary for breeding). In young females from two weeks of age and then there is a sure sign of gender. a dark spot in the lower part of the abdomen, closer to the anal fin. If necessary, females are caught and set aside. However, this feature appears in individuals unevenly, and such work should be continued in the period up to one and a half months.
The sex of males is determined by the state of the anal fin. Closer to two months, it begins to transform into twisted gonopodia.
In young viviparous fish, the floor is formed not from the moment of conception, as in warm-blooded animals, but as a result of exposure to temperature. Of the fry kept at low temperatures, females often grow, and at high temperatures, the males often do.
Some difficulty can be experienced in distinguishing light (silver) guppy species. In this case, the spot will not be black, but light, but this section of the tummy will be dull, without a silver tint.
Guppies. unpretentious and beautiful fish contained in many home and office aquariums. No need to panic, if one fine day in the fish house there will be new small tenants, and this process will be repeated every 1.5-2 months. If there is no desire to specifically engage in the breeding of ornamental carp, then natural selection will put everything in its place. The task of the aquarist is to prevent overpopulation of the aquarium.