How Many Babies Do Guppies Have? (Complete Birth Cycle)

Image of a lot of guppies swimming together

Guppies are excellent community fish and are famous for their attractive colors. Guppies are also known as “millionfish” since they are active breeders. So, how many babies do guppies have?

Guppies have 2 to 200 babies at a time. The guppy babies are born live one after the other in small batches over 6 hours. Guppies can give birth every 30 days under optimal conditions. Since their gestation period is less than a month, they can give birth to around 2000 babies in their lifetime.

A rapid maturity rate is one of the prime reasons why guppies breed so often. They give live birth to babies as they are ovoviviparous and fertilize internally. There are many fascinating things to know when it comes to guppy breeding. So, let’s dive deeper into this.

How Many Babies Do Guppies Have In One Birth?

Female guppies deliver 2 to 200 fry at a time. However, it takes around 2 to 6 hours to deliver all the babies. Being livebearers, a pregnant guppy delivers live fry.

The fry is born one at a time and appear in quick succession. If the pregnant guppy is stressed during pregnancy, it adversely affects her ability to give birth.

Under extreme conditions, a pregnant guppy may only deliver around 3 to 5 fry. However, the chances of survival of the fry will be minimal.

How Long Does It Take For Guppies To Give Birth?

The gestation period of guppies varies between 21 to 30 days. Female guppies reproduce throughout the year. They become ready for conception shortly after parturition.

The gestation period depends on the female guppy’s overall health, water parameters, diet, and cleanliness of the tank water. On average, 22 to 26 days is a standard gestation period for the majority of guppy fish.

If the pregnant female guppy is stressed or senses danger, the gestation period will last longer. In the worst case, excessive stress can lead to miscarriage or spontaneous abortion.

Recommended Further Reading:

How To Know When Guppy Is Done Giving Birth?

It is exciting to watch your female guppy giving live birth. Those tiny fry are a delight to watch. However, equally important is the mother guppy’s health.

You must know the signs that indicate if the pregnant guppy has delivered all her babies. You can then take proper post-natal care of the female guppy and the newly born babies.

Given below are some of the common signs that can help you determine if your guppy is done giving birth.

1. The reduced size of the gravid spot.

A pregnant female guppy’s gravid spot near its anus will blacken and expand. This spot will remain that way until the female guppy delivers all the babies.

Hence, if the gravid spot returns to its original triangular dark shape, it indicates that the female guppy is done giving birth.

2. Belly looks normal.

Once a female guppy gets pregnant, it starts to gain weight and becomes bulkier. The abdomen of the pregnant guppy forms a boxy and squarish shape.

Once the female guppy delivers all its babies, its tummy flattens. You may not be able to notice much difference initially. However, after a while, it regains its original size.

3. No more contractions.

A pregnant guppy has contractions when it is about to deliver. You can notice the pregnant guppy flexing her spine so that the tail comes up. It will look like she is shivering or swimming in one place.

While delivering the babies, the upper body of the pregnant guppy will have contractions. These contractions continue till the last fry is delivered.

So, when the guppy finishes delivering all her babies, the contractions will stop. The guppy will relax and won’t shiver anymore.

4. Starts swimming normally.

A female guppy relaxes after delivering all its babies. You will see the female guppy calming down, and it will start swimming normally.

When the female guppy is pregnant, it will not be an active swimmer. Instead, it will spend most of the time hiding behind the plants, at the corner of the tank, or near a heater.

The pregnant guppy is trying to isolate herself from the rest of the fish. Hence, when it stops hiding and begins to swim actively, it’s an indication that it has delivered all the babies.

Related Further Reading:

How Often Do Guppies Give Birth?

Female guppies reach sexual maturity at around three months old. After mating with a male guppy, female guppies can produce their first offspring at the age of 10 to 20 weeks. They continue to reproduce until 20 to 34 months of age.

Female guppies under optimal conditions can give birth every 30 days. They give birth in batches. Each batch consists of 2 to 200 babies. Due to their ability to mature as early as three months, give live birth, and constant reproduction, they are considered prolific breeders.

Older female guppies produce smaller offsprings compared to younger females.

Once inseminated, female guppies can store the sperm of a male guppy for up to 8 months. Hence, if your female guppy has mated recently, you can see it giving birth even in the absence of male guppies.

How Do Guppies Give Birth?

Guppies are livebearers. They give birth to live, free-swimming fry. Hence, you can enjoy the pleasure of young babies as soon as the pregnant guppy delivers them.

Understanding how guppies give birth enables aquarists to enjoy the breeding phase. They can take good care of the pregnant guppy, making her gestation period stress-free.

A female guppy gains weight during pregnancy, and its gravid spot darkens.

Numerous eggs form inside the pregnant guppy’s body. Each egg contains an embryo. The embryo contains nutritive elements provided by the mother’s system.

As the eggs incubate, you can notice the eyes of the fry through the thin walls of the gravid spot. The female guppy’s body enlarges to accommodate all the eggs. Besides, a few days before her delivery, the pregnant female guppy develops a bulge below the gills.

The young fry develop inside the female guppy’s body. They lie in a semicircular position and usually get delivered tail first.

A pregnant female guppy takes around 2 to 6 hours to deliver all its fry. It gives birth to 2 to 200 fry at a time. The fry are delivered in batches of around 20 to 30 at a time. Hence, it takes several hours for a pregnant guppy to deliver all its babies. 

If the pregnant guppy is stressed, the time to deliver all its fry may extend up to 12 hours. Since the fry are delivered one at a time, they appear in quick succession. However, there are pauses between groups of babies. So, your tank will get overcrowded in a matter of few hours.

Once the fry are delivered, it is vital to separate them from the rest of the fish. Guppy fry are vulnerable to big fish, including their parents. So, if you leave the baby guppies in the same tank with adult fish, the adults will not hesitate to eat the fry.

Interesting Further Reading:

What Do Baby Guppies Look Like?

Image of a guppy fry

Baby guppies are tiny at birth. They are usually curled up and look like small balls. Guppy fry mature in the female guppy’s womb in the same position.

Once baby guppies are born, they uncurl and begin to swim in the water. Newborn guppy babies often swim upward. It is a sign that guppy fry are healthy. On the contrary, the unhealthy, underdeveloped, or stillborn fry will sink.

Related Questions

How many eggs do guppies lay? Guppies are livebearers, meaning they do not lay eggs. Female guppies store eggs inside their bodies. Guppy fry are born once the eggs hatch. The fry develop inside the womb of the pregnant female guppy. Guppies can give birth to 2 to 200 fry in a matter of 6 hours. Hence, they are considered prolific breeders.

How many babies do endler guppies have? Endler guppies are also prolific breeders. They can have 1 to 30 babies at a time. Female endler guppies can have more babies depending on their age and size. Endler guppies give live birth to their young ones every 23 days. Newborn guppy babies spend the initial few hours of their life at the bottom of the tank consuming their yolk sacs. These babies are vulnerable to predators, including their mothers, as female endler mothers do not exhibit parental instincts.

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