Do Guppies Crossbreed? (With What Fish And How)

Image of guppies in a community tank

Guppies are easy to breed, and they reproduce a lot. But do guppies crossbreed?

Yes, guppies do crossbreed with the fish belonging to the same family as them, the Poeciliidae family. They usually crossbreed with mollies due to their similar appearances and other traits. However, the survival chances of guppy-molly fry are minimal. Even if the fry survive, they can’t reproduce.

Let’s now understand in detail how to crossbreed guppies and the underlying challenges while having a hybrid.

What Fish Can Guppies Crossbreed With?

Guppies are famous for their incredible breeding propensity. This is because they have a strong urge to mate and reproduce in the breeding season. They often spawn spontaneously without any coaxing from you.

Guppies have been known to breed with many different fish species, including other guppy varieties. Guppies belong to the Poecilia genus and can crossbreed with the fish belonging to the same family.

When you think of crossbreeding guppies, the fish that instantly comes to mind is mollies. Since guppies and mollies have similar characteristics and belong to the same family, they can crossbreed.

When guppies and mollies crossbreed, the most common result is a hybrid offspring with characteristics of both parents.

However, the chances of their fry survival are minimal since most of them die before, during, or shortly after birth.

Very few of these hybrid fry survive and reach adulthood. Sadly, even if the hybrid offspring reach adulthood, they will be sterile. It means they won’t be fertile and can’t reproduce.

Recommended Further Reading:

How To Crossbreed Guppies?

Crossbreeding guppies requires special care and attention from the breeder. At the same time, the other fish species need to be compatible with guppies for the breeding to be successful.

The best species for crossbreeding with guppies is mollies due to their similarities in appearance and behavior. This makes them ideal candidates for crossbreeding with guppies.

However, several factors need to be considered before crossbreeding guppies.

First, you need to finalize which type of guppy you want to use as the parent. Next, you need to know what traits you want to pass on to the offspring. And finally, and more importantly, you need to do it safely.

For crossbreeding guppies with mollies, the following things are compulsory.

  • Firstly, only the male guppy should breed with a female molly. It shouldn’t be the other way around because mollies are larger than guppies. Therefore, the offspring of mollies is large. Since guppies are comparatively smaller, a female guppy can’t hold the fry safely. Therefore, if you breed a male molly with a female guppy, there’s a high probability that the fry will die while being delivered.
  • Secondly, while crossbreeding a male guppy with a female molly, there shouldn’t be any female guppies around. The moment you have male and female fish of the same species, you won’t be able to create hybrids. Any fish species will give first preference to their own kind for reproduction.
  • Thirdly, the ratio of male and female needs to be correct. You need to have at least 2 to 3 female mollies for every male guppy. Also, you need to limit the inhabitants of the tank to only male guppies and female mollies. Avoid other fish species that can distract the crossbreeding process.

Once you set the initial things right, the next step is to create a conducive breeding environment.

You can follow the below steps to crossbreed guppies and mollies:

  1. Choose the correct tank size: For breeding, the size of the tank is crucial. The bigger the tank, the better. Availability of ample space is crucial for crossbreeding.
  2. Maintain appropriate tank conditions: The next vital thing is the tank conditions. The tank conditions need to be favorable for the crossbreeding to be successful. The conditions should resemble the fish’s natural environment. You can keep the water temperature in the range of 70°F to 76°F. Besides, the water quality also needs to be good. You can perform regular water changes to keep the water clean and free from any toxins that may disrupt the breeding process.
  3. Look for signs of pregnancy: Once the mating ritual is successful, you can look for signs of pregnancy. If your female molly becomes pregnant, her belly will swell. You will also notice a gravid spot in the center of her abdomen.
  4. Separate the pregnant female fish: Once the female molly becomes pregnant, you can keep it in a birthing tank. The breeding or the birthing tank needs to have favorable water conditions. It will help keep the pregnant fish stress-free and smoothen the gestation period.
  5. Separate the fry from the parents: Once the female molly gives birth to all the fry, you can separate the fry from the parents. Both guppies and mollies aren’t known for their parental care. So if the fry are kept in the same tank, their parents will eat them. Just like adult fish, the fry also need a well-maintained tank with ideal water parameters to thrive.
  6. Give a healthy diet to the fry: Fry are delicate and need utmost care and attention. The most important thing is to provide a balanced nutritious diet to the fry for optimal growth. Their diet can include flakes, live or frozen bloodworms, flies, daphnia, and other protein-rich food. Also, the frequency of feeding needs to be more compared to adult fish. However, the quantity of food needs to be less. Fry can’t survive unless you satisfy their appetite.

Now, if you are successful in crossbreeding the guppy and molly fish, you may find the hybrids very attractive. However, the real challenge lies ahead.

The chances of survival of the offspring are minimal. No matter how much you care, the majority of the fry will die, either during or shortly after birth.

Also, the fry will be vulnerable and susceptible to diseases. Hence, very few fry will reach adulthood. The sad part is that even if the fry reach adulthood, they won’t be fertile and can’t reproduce independently.

Hence, it’s better if the fish stick with their species when it comes to reproduction.

Although many aquarists aren’t successful in having a healthy guppy-molly hybrid, it shouldn’t stop you if you have a strong desire and the will to make it successful.

Related Further Reading:

Can Guppies Crossbreed With Platies?

Guppies can’t crossbreed with platies because both these species belong to different families. Guppies belong to the Poecilia family, whereas platies belong to the Xiphophorus family.

If you have a community aquarium holding guppies and platies, you may have seen male guppies chasing the female platies for mating.

Although they mate, there will be no fry because male guppies can’t impregnate female platies.

Therefore, no matter how hard you try to have a guppy-platy hybrid, it’s impossible and not worth trying.

Can Guppies Crossbreed With Swordtails?

Guppies can’t crossbreed with swordtails. Guppies can only breed with fish belonging to their family. The same applies to swordtails too.

Guppies and swordtails belong to a different genus of fish. Guppies belong to the Poeciliidae family, while swordtails belong to the Xiphophorus family.

Can Guppies Crossbreed With Mollies?

Yes, guppies can crossbreed with mollies because they belong to the same family. However, for the crossbreeding to be successful, it should be done between a male guppy and a female molly, there shouldn’t be any female guppies around, and there should be 2 to 3 female mollies for every male guppy.

The detailed crossbreeding procedure for guppies and mollies is explained above. You can refer to it if you need information in detail.

Interesting Further Reading:

Related Questions

Do guppies breed with neon tetras?

Guppies can’t breed with neon tetras. Both these fish not only belong to different families and genus but different orders as well. Guppies belong to the Poeciliidae family, whereas neon tetras belong to the Characidae family.

Moreover, guppies are livebearers, whereas neon tetras are egg layers. So, their reproduction process is different as well.

Can different types of guppies breed?

Yes, different types of guppies can breed. For example, endler guppies can breed with fancy guppies. However, the impregnation may not always be successful. Inbreeding can result in genetic mutations, which won’t allow the new strain to survive for long and make it more susceptible to diseases.

Besides, even if the offspring survives, it will often be infertile.

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