Guppy (Interesting Facts, Habitat, Appearance, Etc.)


Guppy (scientific name: Poecilia reticulata) is a very popular and widely found tropical fish. It’s often called the Millionfish or Rainbow Fish too.

These fish belong to the Poeciliidae family and give birth to live young.

Originally from northeast South America, they now live all over the world because they can adapt to various environments.

Male guppies are smaller than females but have more colorful fins. Guppies eat different foods like algae and insect larvae.

They’re used in research for ecology, evolution, and behavior studies due to their many colors and tail patterns.

It’s recommended to keep at least one male guppy for every two females in an aquarium.

Both guppies and mollies are strong fish that can handle lower oxygen levels and temperatures compared to other aquarium fish.

They can even survive in seawater. Guppies live in warm springs, weedy ditches, canals, ponds, mountain streams, lakes with dense vegetation, and areas with low predators.

They need warm temperatures of 71.6°F to 82.4°F (22°C to 28°C) and quiet water with plants.

Their diet consists of zooplankton, small insects, and debris.

Female guppies grow up to 2.36 inches (6 cm) long while males can grow up to 1.97 inches (5 cm) long. Male guppies mature at 2 months old and females at 3 months old.

When keeping them in an aquarium, it’s best to have groups of 5 or more in a tank that’s at least 23.6 inches (60 cm) long.

In Australia before the 1970s, wild guppy populations resulted from people releasing unwanted pet guppies into nature without thinking about the consequences.

Guppy Interesting Facts

  • Guppies, also known as Millionfish or Rainbow Fish, give birth to live young and have males with more colorful fins than females.
  • They can adapt to various environments, from warm springs to seawater, and are used in ecology and evolution research.
  • Aquariums should have at least one male for every two females and maintain a warm temperature of 71.6°F to 82.4°F (22°C to 28°C) with ample plants.
  • Introduced globally for mosquito control, guppies haven’t been effective and may harm native fish species.

Guppy Habitat

Guppies are native to South America, specifically in countries like Venezuela, Barbados, Trinidad, northern Brazil, and the Guyanas.

They have been introduced in many other places to control mosquitoes.

However, they haven’t been very effective at reducing mosquito populations and may even harm native fish.

In Africa, guppies are found in some rivers near Durban and in Lake Otjikoto in Namibia.

Their introduction has caused negative impacts on local ecosystems. Guppies live in both brackish and freshwater environments.

They stay close to the bottom of the water (benthopelagic) and don’t migrate. They prefer a pH range of 6.8 to 7.8 and a water hardness (dGH) range of 8 to 12.

Their ideal water temperature is between 71.6°F to 82.4°F (22°C to 28°C).

Guppies thrive best in tropical climates around 14°N to 2°N latitude and 67°W to 52°W longitude.

Water Temperature:71.6°F to 82.4°F (22°C to 28°C)
Water pH:6.8 to 7.8 pH
Water Hardness:8 to 12 dGH

Guppy Physical Characteristics

Size: 1.1 inches (2.8 centimeters)

Male guppies can grow up to 1.97 inches (5 cm), while females can reach 2.36 inches (6 cm) in length.

On average, males are commonly found at around 1.1 inches (2.8 cm) long. This fish has no dorsal spines and has 7 to 8 dorsal soft rays.

It also has no anal spines but features 8 to 10 anal soft rays.

Guppy Reproduction

Male guppies are smaller than females and have bright tails and back fins. They use a special fin called the gonopodium to fertilize eggs inside the female.

Male guppies often chase and mate with females. Female guppies can hold sperm inside their bodies to use later, allowing them to give birth every month or so.

You can spot a pregnant female by looking for a dark triangle between her bottom fins.

After carrying her babies for about four to six weeks, she will give birth to 20 to 40 live young.

Guppies don’t take care of their babies, and may even eat them sometimes.

Guppy Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Poecilia reticulata
Also Known As:Guppy, Millionfish, Rainbow Fish
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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