Breeding guppy fish is much easier than breeding many other fish species. Not only that guppies easily reproduce, they also produce a lot of fry.
However, because guppy adults have no parental instincts and don’t care for their fry, the task of raising guppy fry befalls on you.
In this article, I will help you get up to speed with all the equipment required for raising guppy fry, including the best fish tank for growing guppies and the best ways to speed up guppy fry growth rate <- check out my complete guide on this topic.
Best Tank Size for Growing Guppy Fry
Generally, the tank size recommended for guppy fish is at least 10 gallons. This won’t fit too many guppies though, and bigger size aquariums are often recommended if 5 or more guppies are kept.
A 10-gallon tank for growing guppy fry is also optimal. Guppies can produce a lot of fry to the point where your main tank can become overrun with guppies and overstocking issues can easily appear.
When it comes to setting up an aquarium for raising guppy fry, there is an important thing to decide — do you want an aquarium kit, or should you buy all equipment separately?
An aquarium kit has the advantage of having all basic equipment (lighting, filter, heater, etc.) already included with the fish tank, so all you need to do is set it up.
An aquarium kit that I recommend is the Aqueon 10 Gal LED Aquarium Kit (check out this great deal on Amazon), which is exactly the right size and includes:
- a QuietFlow 10 LED PRO power filter with cartridge replacement indicator
- an LED lighting system
- 50W preset heater
- stick-on thermometer
- fish net
- water conditioner
- and premium fish food
Aquarium kits will help you save money on individual equipment and they’re especially great for beginner aquarists that aren’t as familiar with the different equipment needed for a guppy fish.
If you have the time and you want to research each piece of equipment, you can simply buy the Aqueon Aquarium Fish Tank without the kit on Amazon at a very low price.
Doing some research on your own will give you the opportunity to learn about the different lighting set-ups, heater and filter systems, and base your decision on your own research on the matter.
You can also buy higher quality equipment than what’s offered as standard with the different kits or opt for certain equipment models that are potentially better suited for your needs.
And since we’re on the topic of the set-up required for guppy fry, in the next section of this article I deal with the equipment you need to raise guppy fry.
Equipment You Need to Raise Guppy Fry
To keep water temperature at optimal level for your guppy fry, offer them optimal water conditions and light conditions, you’ll need:
When it comes to lighting in the aquarium, you should follow the same pattern of real-life day and night schedule.
LED aquarium lights are the gold standard when it comes to aquarium lighting. They’re affordable, emit minimal to no heat and they can be operated for a long time.
Because guppies are diurnal fish, they need darkness to rest at night and a fair amount of lighting during the day.
Offering guppy fry 12 to 16 hours of light during the day will accelerate their growth but do make sure they get at least 8 hours of darkness during the night.
Offering them too many hours of light will deprive them of their much-needed rest, which can easily end up killing them.
Guppy fish will rest at night to conserve energy, so it’s important to set up a lighting schedule that follows natural day and night patterns.
For my aquariums, I always invest in a timer, so that if I would ever forget to switch on or switch off the lights, it will automatically do it for me.
It’s the best system to ensure a lighting schedule and it’s an affordable device that is well worth it’s price.
Some lighting systems will integrate a time from the get-go, but if not, you can buy one separately.
A lighting timer is also useful for when you’re away from home, and can’t manage the lighting yourself, or if you like to sleep in late.
Lights in the aquarium are not only useful for your fish, but also for any live plants that you may have in the aquarium.
A heater should be next on your list of things needed for a guppy fry aquarium. If you want to find out why you should use a heater for your guppies, please read my linked post.
Guppies are tropical fish that enjoy warmer water at a stable temperature in the 22 – 26°С (72–79°F) range.
A heater is a requirement especially if you live in a climate where outside temperatures during the colder months will drop below freezing levels.
In fact, to be able to maintain a healthy temperature range for guppies without a heater, outside temperatures should not drop below 68 °F (20 °C).
A heater with preset temperature is excellent for keeping the required temperature stable and avoid any guess work from heating the water to optimal levels.
Guppy fry are even more sensitive to sudden changes in water temperature, so a heater is all the more important to them.
If you don’t buy an aquarium kit, do make sure that the heater you buy separately is sized appropriately for the volume of water your aquarium can hold.
A good way of determining the correct heater wattage is to follow the rule of 5 W per gallons. So, based on this rule, if you have a 10-gallon aquarium, you’ll need a 50 W heater to warm up the water in your aquarium.
An aquarium filter is essential in a guppy aquarium in part because it helps get rid of waste and in part because it’s a great site for healthy bacterial colonies to develop.
Depending on the number of guppy fish you are housing in your aquarium and their waste production, you can invest in a sponge filter, which are suitable for smaller aquariums or a hang-on-back filter for small to medium-sized aquariums.
Sponge filters are great for preventing fry from getting stuck into the filter system, so careful when choosing a hang-on-back filter.
Make sure it’s fry-safe by placing something on the inlet of the filter to prevent baby guppies from getting stuck in there.
Now that you know which are the indispensable equipment for a guppy fry tank, let’s see how you can speed up the growth rate of guppy babies.
How to Speed Up Guppy Fry Growth Rate?
If you’re raising guppy fry commercially, you may want to speed up their growth rate in a healthy and natural way.
You also want them to develop a strong immune system and grow without any health issues or deformities.
Both diet and water quality play a crucial role in the healthy development of your fry. I’ve wrote a more deteiled guide on how to speed up growth of guppy fry, where I talk about how to sort guppy fry by size and age, to get the best results.
So, here’s what to do to make sure you’re raising healthy guppies:
1. Providing Enough Space
You may be well aware by now that having an overcrowded aquarium is bad for multiple reasons. It creates bad water chemistry and has a negative influence on the health of your fish.
In guppy fry, an aquarium that’s too small and overcrowded leads to development and growth issues. But the inverse is also true — an aquarium that’s too large can also cause growth issues.
An aquarium with too much space for guppy fry can slow down their growth because of the water volume and the inability of fry to find food efficiently.
Fry are often kept in breeder boxes for more than a couple of weeks, which significantly stunts their growth.
This is a major reason why I don’t recommend keeping guppy juveniles for more than 2 weeks in a breeder box.
So, make sure that fry have enough space, but not too much space, so they can feed efficiently and don’t waste energy on finding their food.
2. Feeding High Quality Food
This is a no-brainer. High-quality diet correlates with higher growth rates and healthy fish. Flakes may be great for adult guppies, but guppy fry require a varied diet that includes live foods.
Baby brine shrimp, micro worms, daphnia, vinegar eels are all great options when it comes to offering nutritious live foods to baby guppies.
Offering them solely just dried foods won’t be enough to promote growth. The live foods I mentioned can be cultured at home, so you’ll always have them fresh.
Try to stick to a schedule when feeding guppy fry and offer them multiple servings of food per day. I usually feed them 5 times a day with a variety of foods.
You can even prepare some homemade food options like beef heart paste, egg yolk paste, and you can even make your own flake food.
3. Doing Regular Water Changes
A filter system alone won’t be enough to clean away waste products, debris, food particles, and it won’t replenish the water with oxygen and nutrients. But water changes do.
Unlike adults, fry are more sensitive to toxins like ammonia and nitrates, therefore, small weekly water changes at 15-20% of the water volume are the best way to avoid the accumulation of toxins. Plus, water changes drive oxygen into the water and nutrients to replenish the water.
I cannot stress it enough how important is to keep a regular water change schedule. Bad water quality can be the cause of many illnesses and developmental issues and deformities.
Therefore, take the time to make sure water parameters are optimal and there are no toxins in the tank.
Equally important is to take care not to accidentally foul the water by overfeeding your fish. Certain foods like egg yolk paste can easily foul the water is you’re putting too much of it into the aquarium.
Therefore, besides doing regular water changes, do make sure you’re not harming the fry by adding too much food into the water.
4. Keeping Water Parameters Stable
Beyond water changes, monitoring water parameters is also important. Sudden changes in temperature, for example, can easily kill your fry.
Even guppy adults are susceptible to diseases and death if there are sudden changes in temperature. I recommend offering your guppy fry stable temperatures in the range of 75-78 °F (24-26 °C).
A quality heater will allow you to preset the required temperature, which will be maintained in the aquarium.
Any sudden spikes of ammonia, nitrites and nitrates can make the fry sick or even cause their death.
While adult guppies can put up with some changes, they’re also sensitive to sudden temperature changes, therefore, even they should be protected from them.
5. Separating Females from Males
Another thing you can do to grow guppies faster is to separate the fry by gender. Now you can’t do this as soon as they’re born (or even at one week of age), because it’s impossible to tell them apart.
However, as they reach at least half an inch in size, some differences start appearing like the gravid spot on female guppies, which is a dark spot located on the rear of the belly.
Male guppies will develop a gonopodium, the sexual organ of the male fish, which is more elongated compared to the female’s anal fins.
The reason why you should separate the fry by gender is because at 3 months of age, they become sexually mature, and can start breeding, which can waste a lot of their energy that would be put to better use towards growing.
There are a few other things you can do to offer your fry a great environment that may not directly impact their growth rate but will certainly not hurt to try.
Adding live plants to the aquarium, using only the best quality water for water changes, maintaining the filter, controlling diseases and parasites, etc. are all things you should do to ensure you are raising healthy and well-developed fry. You can learn more about guppy diseases in my other guide, where I talk about all sort of illnesses and their remedies.
These tips and tricks have worked greatly for me and I hope they will help you too in achieving the best for you guppy fry.