15 Fun & Interesting Facts about Guppy Fish


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Guppy fish is probably one of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby. They gain so much popularity because they are very easy to take care of, easy to breed and are very beautiful fish.

There are many people that are keeping guppies in their aquarium but know so little about the fish. If you are interested in learning more about the amazing guppy fish, you came to the right place.

In this article, I’ve collected 15 fun and interesting facts about guppies.

1. Colors & Fin Shapes

Guppies come in various colors and have various fin shapes. Not by accident, guppy fish is also known as rainbow fish.

In the wild, only male guppies are colored, and female guppies are pale, generally duller in color.

Thanks to selective breeding, aquarium guppy fish have extremely vibrant colors and beautiful fin shapes. Guppies breed in captivity differ a lot from the guppies you can find the wild.

Female guppies have colored tail and dorsal fins, while their body is still dull. Male guppies, on the other hand, have colorful pectorals, dorsal and tail fins. Their body is fully colored, sometimes decorated with different patterns or multiple colors.

2. Highly Adaptable

The guppy fish is highly adaptable. They can thrive in many different water conditions. Although they originate from South America, today guppies can be found all over the world in tropical and subtropical waters, and in home aquariums.

3. Omnivore

Guppies are omnivores. This means they will eat anything that is in the water and can fit in their mouth. In the wild guppy fish eat various insects, algae and larvae.

In captivity, guppies are feed with vegetable flakes, spirulina and algae tablets, brine shrimps, micro-worms and other food such as egg yolk and beef heart.

4. Combat Malaria

Malaria is still a big problem in third-world countries. To combat malaria and reduce mosquitoes, guppies have been introduced in numerous rivers and lakes across Asia and Africa. The size of a mosquito larva is 2mm (0.1 inch), which fits perfectly in the mouth of a guppy fish.

5. Testing Drinking Water

In India, guppies have been used to test drinking water. After floods and natural disasters, the lack of drinking water has become a huge problem. People have died due to drinking polluted water.

The deficit of expensive laboratory equipment and water testing kits has resulted in a cheaper, rather inhuman solution. The population started using guppy fish to test their drinking water. They throw the fish into the well and checked few days later. If the fish survived, the water was good for drinking.

6. The Name “Guppy”

For the first time, guppies were described by Wilhelm Peters in 1859 in Venezuela, under the scientific name “Poecilia reticulata”. In 1861, De Filippi described the same fish as “Lebistes poecilioides” in Barbados.

Although it was not the first official discovery, the guppy fish was named after Robert John Lechmere Guppy, the British naturalist and zoologist, who discovered this fish in Trinidad in 1866 describing it under the scientific name “Poecilia reticulata”.

7. Million Fish

Guppies are also known as million fish. The name came from their ability to reproduce in a very short period of time, giving birth to numerous offspring at once.

8. Livebearer

Unlike other fish, guppies do not lay eggs. They mate and female guppies give birth to live fry, which are capable to swim and eat from the first second of their life.

9. High Reproduction

In captivity, female guppies reach sexual maturity at around 3 months. Around 30 days after mating, they will drop 20-60 fry. This process repeats all year round, every 30 days. In some rare cases, guppies can give birth to 100-120 fry.

10. Lifespan

Guppy fish has an average lifespan of 1-3 years. In some rare cases, guppies can live up to 5 years. Many fishkeepers consider the lifespan of these fish short but don’t forget that a female guppy will give birth around 10-15 times in their lifespan, which is highly stressful for the fish. Considering an average 40 fry / batch, this can result in 600 new guppy fish, from a pair of guppies in a period of just 1-1.5 years.

11. Small Size

Guppies are relatively small fish. Female guppies can reach up to 1.5 inches, while male guppies only 1.2 inches. If you have a small aquarium, guppy fish might be your best choice to keep.

12. Cannibalism

Probably cannibalism is the right word to describe that guppies will eat their fry. If you are trying to breed guppies and want to save as many guppy fry as possible, you should provide them with enough hiding spaces or separate the pregnant female guppy from the rest.

13. Peaceful

Although they eat their own fry, guppies are very peaceful fish. They don’t nibble on other fish and don’t chase them around. Though, I don’t recommend keeping them with aggressive fish.

14. Great Tank Mate

Guppies are great for a community fish, keeping them together with other peaceful fish such as swordtails, platies, mollies, tetras, plecos or cory fish.

15. Survive Without Feeding

Believe it or not, guppy fish can survive in a fish tank for a week, without feeding. If you prepare a shorter vacation, don’t have to worry about the feeding of your fish, because even after 2 weeks without feeding them, they will be fine.


I hope you found this article useful or at least fun. I’m still trying to think of other interesting and fun facts about guppies. I Will expand this list, once will find new interesting facts.

Share your thoughts in the comments below. Let me know if I missed any good ones.


Featured Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby/5026642191/

Updated: October 7, 2021
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