Deemed as beginner-friendly fish that are affordable and easy to raise, the price of guppy fish can, in fact, vary greatly depending on aspects such as exclusive traits, patterns and colors.
So, how much do guppies cost on average? Which guppies cost the most? And what influences the cost of guppies? These are all questions that I’m addressing in this article.
There are cost differences between average guppies and show guppies, for example. The harder it is to breed certain guppies, the more expensive they are. Rare strains will always carry a higher price tag.
If you’re looking to buy average guppies that you can find at any pet store, you’ll only need to spend a couple of dollars. These guppies don’t cost a lot. But fancy guppies will usually set you back with tens of dollars.
To help you navigate the pricing system of guppy fish, I’ve compiled a pricing overview of the different types of guppy fish. These prices are at which guppies sell at the time of writing this article:
Cost of Fancy Guppies
The prices for fancy guppies like the multi delta or Moscow blue can start at $25 for a breeding pair or a couple of fry and can go as high as $50-$60 for a pair.
These fish have interesting and vibrant colors that set them apart from your average guppies. Besides their colors, they also showcase more beautiful tails, tail patterns, and have long flowy fins.
The price range for some rare strains like the Purple Moscow guppy can be between $40-$100.
Fancy guppies have been selectively bred for a couple of generations for these interesting physical traits, which explains their higher price tag.
Because of selective breeding they may not be as hardy as their average counterparts, therefore, I you’re an absolute beginner, fancy guppies may not be right for you.
They may have a higher sensitivity to changes in their water chemistry and they may require more frequent tank maintenance.
Cost of Mutt Guppies
Mutt guppies are guppies that have unstable lines. These are the guppies you will find at your local pet store, and they’re the hardest to pinpoint from what strain they come from.
Mutt guppies are the least expensive of all the guppy types, costing only a couple of dollars each. You can get a breeding pair for as low as $9 or even less.
Mutt guppies are a great way to get into the hobby of raising guppies. They’re hardy fish that have a better adaptability compared to fancy guppies. They’re also very easy to breed.
Therefore, if you’re a first-time aquarist, mutt guppies are an excellent way to ease into the hobby. Still, since these fish breed a lot, do make sure you learn about the ways to control guppy population.
Cost of Breeder Guppies
When it comes to buying guppies for breeding purposes, I always recommend getting your breeding pair from an experienced breeder.
These guppies will cost more than guppies at your local pet shop, but they’re also qualitatively superior in the sense that their lineage can be traced back and they’re better checked and monitored for diseases. Plus, breeder guppies can have more interesting traits and colors compared to mutt guppies.
As for the cost of breeder guppies, these too will cost more than mutt guppies, somewhere around the price of fancy guppy fish.
Sourcing your guppies from a breeder will give you a better advantage if you’re planning on selectively breeding your own guppy fish.
Cost of Competition Guppies
Competition guppies or show guppies are guppy fish that you can take to a fish show and know that they’ll best represent the species.
Depending on their strain and characteristics, the price for competition or show guppies can start at $30 and go as high as $60+.
In terms of lineage and physical traits, competition guppies are very much like fancy guppies, therefore, their pricing is usually about the same too.
How to Breed Guppies for Profit?
If you’ve decided to breed guppy fish for profit, there are a few basic things that I can recommend:
1. Getting a High-Quality Breeding Pair
If you’re breeding only as a hobby and you’re not particularly interested in making profit, experimenting with mutt guppies is fine.
If you want to breed guppy fish selectively and you want to create fancy guppy strains that you can sell for a nice profit, then getting a high-quality breeding pair is essential.
A high-quality guppy breeding pair will have an established and traceable lineage that the breeder can offer you. They’ll showcase more vibrant colors, patterns, and they’ll be in good health.
I also encourage you to familiarize yourself with the different selective guppy breeding techniques (e.g. line breeding, out crossing, back crossing, etc.).
2. Setting up Aquariums
If you want to make profit from breeding guppies, you’ll also need to invest some money in aquariums and aquarium equipment.
For selective guppy breeding, you’ll need 8 aquariums, 10 gallons each. One of these tanks should be a backup tank, the other 7 should be for the breeding pairs (1st generation, 2nd generation, separate tanks for females and males, and tanks for selected males and females).
Each aquarium should be equipped accordingly with all necessary equipment needed for a guppy fish tank.
3. Feeding them a High-Quality Diet
When breeding and raising guppy fry, a high-quality diet that meets the nutritional needs of these fish in every stage of their development is crucial.
A good and varied diet will help guppies avoid deformities that can be caused by nutritional deficiencies, it will strengthen their immune system, help them develop their colors, and give them a better fighting chance when it comes to diseases.
Add premium flakes, live cultured foods (brine shrimp, daphnia, vinegar eels, etc.), vegetable matters (spirulina, algae tabs) to their diet. Don’t overfeed to avoid constipation and bloating issues.
4. Recording and Monitoring
When selectively breeding guppy fish a well thought out breeding plan is essential to the success of your breeding program.
Document everything you’re doing including numbering your tanks and assessing numbers and letters to their inhabitants.
Make sure you know the relationship status between fish (e.g. daughter-father, siblings, etc.) and make a note of the traits (colors, patterns, tail size, and any other particularity) of your fish.
You should also record the breeding techniques you’ve used and the results you obtained. Monitor the gestation cycle by noting the breeding date and delivery dates.
These are some of the basics of selectively breeding guppy fish. I encourage you to learn as much as you can about the techniques and requirements of breeding guppy fish for profit.
Monitoring your guppies also means monitoring for diseases. Make sure you’re familiar with the most common guppy diseases, symptoms, and treatment avenues.
Do your best to prevent diseases by maintaining pristine water conditions, making frequent water changes, and keeping a clean and tidy tank.
How to Improve the Quality of Guppies?
If you want to produce qualitatively superior guppies, you must start with a guppy pair that’s also superior. I’ve already mentioned that you can get these types of guppies from reputable breeders.
Once you give your guppy fish a genetically sound starting point in life, things will become easier down the line.
Beyond the aspects related to selectively breeding guppies, you also need to avoid breeding guppies that have known illnesses, deformities or undesirable traits.
Here are some other things that are important when breeding guppy fish:
- Offering your guppies enough space and water volume;
- Separating fry by gender and size (it prevents premature breeding and allows different sized guppies to develop faster);
- High quality and high variety foods should be part of their daily diet;
- Eliminating stress factors;
- Keeping optimal and stable water conditions;
- Keep live plants in your aquarium;
- Prevent and treat diseases without delay;
- Keep artificial lights on only during the day and allow guppies to rest during nighttime;
- Never skip tank maintenance, filter maintenance and water changes;
- Only use dechlorinated water for setting up the aquarium and for water changes.
It may seem like a lot, but with time, these things will become second nature to you, and you’ll be able to give your guppy fish a great chance at developing into strong and beautiful adults.
Now that you understand all the work that goes into raising and breeding guppies, you perhaps better understand the higher cost of fancy show guppies that have been carefully selected and bred for generations.
It bears repeating that not all guppies are expensive. Mutt guppies are affordable and a great starter fish for anyone entering the fishkeeping hobby.
Fancy guppies can cost a lot, especially if they’re rarer varieties like the Purple Moscow guppy fish, which can indeed sell for as much as $100.
I hope this article on the cost of various guppy fish has given you some ballpark prices so you can better navigate the market in your search for the perfect guppy pair.