How To Control The Guppy Population? (7 Effective Ways)

Image of guppy fry swimming alone

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Guppies are very popular because of their colorful stripes. However, the problem with guppies is that they reproduce a lot. In no time, guppy fry will overcrowd your tank. Overpopulation can be a disaster. So, how to control the guppy population?

There are many ways to control the guppy population. You can keep only male guppies in the tank or separate the male guppies from the female guppies. You can also introduce predator fish, like goldfish, dwarf gourami, large catfish, etc., and reduce the hiding spots to control the guppy population.

Guppy breeding can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have time to devote to your fish’s well-being. Hence, it is best for new aquarists to control the guppy population. So, let’s now talk about the various ways to stop guppies from breeding.

7 Effective Ways To Control Guppy Population (How To Stop Guppies From Breeding?)

There are several ways to control the guppy population. These measures do not require constant attention and effort. Hence, they are easy to implement.

Given below are seven effective ways to control the guppy population.

1. Keep only male guppies.

If you don’t want guppy fry in your aquarium, avoid having a mixed-gender tank. It is the easiest way to control the guppy population.

Many aquarists keep only male guppies in their tank to avoid breeding. Male guppies are more colorful compared to females. Hence, many aquarists don’t mind keeping only male guppies.

2. Separate male and female guppies.

Separating the male and female guppies is the best way to control the guppy population. It works as guppies will not be able to mate, and hence there will not be any reproduction.

However, separation may sometimes not work if the female guppies are already pregnant. Another point is that you should be able to distinguish between the male and female guppies correctly.

While separating, you should not leave even one female guppy in the tank filled with male guppies. It can worsen the situation as your female guppy can get impregnated frequently.

If you cannot invest in a separate tank, you can put a divider in your aquarium. The divider will allow you to have two different sections in the same tank — one for the male guppies and another for the female guppies.

3. Introduce a predator fish.

Introducing a predator fish is another good way to control the guppy population. The predator fish will help you in controlling the guppy population by eating the guppy fry. Besides, guppy fry can be a good source of food for the predator fish.

It will help if you carefully select the predator fish. The predator fish shouldn’t be too aggressive to bully the adult guppies. Adult guppies shouldn’t get harassed by predator fish.

Some fish that eat guppy fry are goldfish, angelfish, dwarf gourami, large catfish, and zebrafish.

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4. Keep guppy fry with adult guppies.

Guppies don’t show parental instincts to grow their babies. Once the female guppy gives birth to guppy fry, she leaves them on their own.

If you don’t want to raise the guppy fry, you can leave them with their parents. The adult guppies will eat the fry.

5. Remove the hiding places.

Removing the hiding places is another effective way to control the guppy population. Guppy fry are tiny at birth. So they are easy prey for the bigger fish in the aquarium.

Guppy fry can only survive if they find a suitable hiding place and grow to a certain size. Hence, if you want to eliminate the fry, you can remove or reduce the hiding places in the aquarium. This way, guppy fry can be easy pickings for the predator fish.

You can remove the hiding places such as live plants, rocks, and other decorations from the aquarium.

6. Create an outdoor pond.

An outdoor pond is another way to control the guppy population. Since the outdoor pond is large compared to an aquarium, you will not face the overcrowding issue.

The way to eliminate the guppy fry will be the same. You will need to shift the guppy fry to the outdoor pond. Then, remove any hiding places and add predator fish like gourami, angelfish, zebrafish, etc., to the pond.

7. Perform culling.

Culling must be your last option. Such a drastic step is never recommended.

It isn’t kind to take the life of innocent fish. However, if you have tried all the other options without success, you can give it a thought.

Alright! Now that you know how to control the guppy population, let’s understand why it’s essential to do so in the first place.

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Why Is Controlling Guppy Population Essential?

Guppies are prolific breeders. Your tank will get overcrowded in no time if you ignore guppy breeding.

If you have a large tank, it may not cause any problems as long as you are willing to breed guppies.

However, if you have a small tank, a lot of guppy fry can cause some unpleasant experiences. So, it’s essential to take guppy breeding seriously.

Given below are the four main reasons why controlling the guppy population is crucial.

1. Overstocking.

Guppies are livebearers. A female guppy can give birth to 5 to 30 fry at a time. Besides, under optimal conditions, a female guppy can give birth every 30 days. So, the aquarium can get overcrowded quickly.

Also, overcrowding will result in space constraints for the guppies. They won’t be able to swim freely. Guppies need ample space to swim around and reach the food easily.

2. Oxygen depletion.

Another primary reason for controlling the guppy population is oxygen depletion. If your tank is overstocked with unwanted guppy fry, it will lead to reduced oxygen levels.

Guppies need oxygen to thrive. If the oxygen levels are low, your guppies will be prone to diseases. Living in low oxygen levels for a prolonged duration will suffocate the guppies and lead to their untimely death.

3. Increased waste production.

Any aquatic life, including fish, needs clean water to live a healthy life. Water will get polluted frequently in an overcrowded tank. If the guppy fry population is high, more waste will get created.

You will then be required to increase the frequency of water change. It will consume a lot of your energy and can become frustrating at times. Besides, if the tank is not maintained correctly, it can make the guppies sick.

4. Stress.

As mentioned earlier, uncontrolled breeding results in overpopulation in the tank. Guppies will feel stressed if they do not find space for swimming. Besides, when you feed your guppies in an overcrowded tank, some of your guppy fry may not get the food.

It becomes challenging to ensure that all fish get adequate food, including fry. Guppies can fall sick due to the lack of adequate nutrition.

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What To Do If You Have Too Many Guppies?

Not all aquarists prefer breeding guppies. Some aquarists just want adult guppies without any fry in their tank.

However, sometimes it becomes too late to prevent uncontrolled breeding. Suddenly you may find your aquarium full of guppy fry. So, you may wonder what to do with the guppy fry?

Given below are three good ways to get rid of unwanted guppy fry.

1. Give away guppies.

Guppies are beautiful fish that many people like to keep in their tank. New aquarists prefer guppies due to their attractive color and hardiness.

So, you can easily give away guppies to some of your friends or acquaintances who want them.

You can provide a nutritious diet to your fry and raise them. Once they grow up, you can gift the guppies to your friends or relatives on various occasions.

Some aquarists may even be interested in getting guppy fry to raise as their own.

2. Sell or trade guppies.

Guppies are popular amongst aquarists. So, you can sell or trade your guppies on the internet.

You can sell your guppies on eBay, Facebook Groups, Reddit, or any online marketplaces. Another option to put your guppies on sale is aquarist community forums.

Trading is another option. You can trade your guppies for the fish that you want. In such a case, both parties will benefit and will get the fish they desire.

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3. Leave guppy fry to nature.

If you are not interested in raising the guppy fry, you can leave them with their parents. Guppies are not known for their parental instincts. They do not care about raising their fry.

So, if you leave your guppy fry with their mother, she will eat them. You don’t have to do anything and let nature take its course to solve the problem.

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