When Do Guppies Get Their Color? (Exact Facts And Figures)

Image of vibrant colors

Guppies start to get some color when they are between 1 week to 6 weeks old. At first sight, you might not find your guppy fry to be colorful and fancy. However, once they grow up a bit, they will eventually start gaining color.

Now, if you are eager to know everything about the guppy color, let’s not waste time. Let’s start by looking at all the factors that determine when guppies begin to get their color.

What Determines When A Guppy Gets Its Color?

By when a guppy starts to get its color is determined by various factors. All of these factors are listed below:

  1. Genes: Genetics is the first and foremost factor that determines your guppy color. If you raise a guppy in your tank, you will notice that the guppy fry will start to get its colors at around the same age as the rest of the family. However, if you buy your guppy directly from a breeder, you will have to simply wait and watch. In this case, it should start gaining some color when it is between 1 week and 6 weeks old.
  2. Diet: Diet also plays an important role in guppy color. Diet determines how quickly your guppy will grow. The faster your guppy grows, the sooner it will start gaining color. If you give your guppy live food, like baby brine shrimp or micro-worms, it will gain color faster than if you feed only veggies and flaked commercial food.
  3. Nitrates: Nitrates are byproducts of fish waste. They slow down the growth of your guppy, which in turn, delays the process of your guppy gaining its color. The best way to avoid this is to keep the tank clean. That way, your guppy will mature more quickly and get its colors sooner.
  4. Metabolism: Temperature of the water directly impacts the metabolism of the creatures residing inside it. Warm water is more suitable for your guppies than cold water. In warm water, your guppy will eat more, which in turn will result in faster growth. The faster a guppy grows, the sooner it will start gaining color.

Those are all the factors that strongly determine when a guppy will start getting its colors.

Let’s now understand in detail the time period required for your little guppies to gain their color.

How Long Does It Take For A Baby Guppy To Get Its Color?

It is exciting to watch a little guppy fry as it moves around.

But you will notice that the guppy fry is not as colorful as your other older guppies.

So when will guppy fry start to get its color?

A guppy fry will start getting its colors when it is 1 week to 6 weeks old.

The average age that guppies will start to get color is 4 to 6 weeks.

Depending on the strain, your guppies will be fully colored by the time they reach the age of 8 to 10 weeks.


When Do Male Guppy Fry Get Their Colors?

By now, you might be well aware that male guppies are more colorful than female guppies.

Male guppy fry will start getting some color by the time they are 1 month old.

They start getting color on their tails first, and they will get most of their color by the time they are 3 months old.

However, a lot of this depends on how well you take care of your guppy fry.

As mentioned earlier, feeding a well-balanced diet plays a significant role in guppies getting their color.

Okay! But…

Why Are Male Guppies More Colorful Than Female Guppies?

Mating is a common phenomenon in every species. And bright colors are obviously good at attracting mates.

This is actually the main reason why male guppies are more colorful.

A colorful male guppy is more likely to attract more female guppies.

On the other hand, it also helps female guppies to choose a better, healthier, and good-looking partner.

This is the general view on why male guppies are more colorful. But now let us look at this from a scientific point of view.

Scientists have found that there are chromosomes in male guppies that pass on colors to their male off-springs only.

While no colors are passed on to the female off-springs.

That is why male guppies are more colorful than female guppies.


Do Guppies Change Color?

Yes, guppies do change color.

Cells that give colors to guppies are not a single layer of cells.

As water chemistry changes and once your guppy becomes older, things happen on a cellular level.

This can result in a change of color in guppies.

Usually, guppies tend to change color as they would get older.

Also, if your guppies become healthier and less stressful, they tend to gain color. Thus resulting in a positive color change.

That’s nice, isn’t it?

But guppies can lose color as well.

Can Guppies Lose Color? If So, Why?

Guppy fish loses its glittering color over generations. Only about 5% of male guppies retain their original color.

Stress is the main reason for your guppies losing their color.

Your guppies might get stressed due to improper water conditions.

Or, if you are keeping your guppy with other fish species, chances are that the other fish is chasing or nipping at your guppy.

This can also cause stress to your guppy, and result in a color change.

The other reasons for guppies losing their color are diseases and unsuitable water conditions.

What Role Does Color Play In Guppy Survival?

Color plays a significant role for guppies in wildlife.

Guppies that are more colorful are easily spotted by predators. So they become potential prey.

However, in a home aquarium, the conditions are pretty relaxed.

There are no natural predators that your guppies will encounter on a daily basis.

So in a home environment, their color does not play a major role in their survival.

That was all about the color of guppies.

Points To Remember

Guppies usually get their color when they are 1 week to 6 weeks old.

And they will get most of their color by the time they are 3 months old.

Male guppies are more colorful than female guppies.

Guppies tend to lose color due to diseases, unsuitable water conditions, and stress.

A well-balanced diet and stress-free environment help guppies to gain color rapidly.

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