Do Guppy Fish Lay Eggs?


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Guppy fish breed at a rapid rate. When you introduce them to your aquarium, it is very important to understand their reproduction mechanism. Only when you do so, you can understand how to control their population better. Many aquarium owners often face the question: are guppies egg layers? I will answer this question today to help you know more about the reproduction system of guppy fish.

Are Guppy Fish Egg Layers?

Guppy fish do not lay eggs, guppies are livebearers. What this essentially means is that they store their eggs inside the body. Only when they hatch, the guppy fry are released from their body. During the entire pregnancy, the guppy fish store their eggs inside their body. The guppy fry are directly dropped by the female guppies from their body.

Guppy fish can often lay anywhere between 10 to 120 guppy fry in a matter of just 6 hours. This clearly indicates that they are able to store up to 120 eggs in their body. This is much higher as compared to some of the other fish species which you can include in your aquarium. This is the reason why guppies can breed pretty fast and their population can get out of control pretty quickly.

How do Guppies Reproduce?

I will now highlight some of the other details of the reproduction system of the guppy fish.

As I stated above, guppy fish are livebearers. Each guppy fry, when released into the water, is only 0.25 inches in size. Thus, it is pretty small. It can take up to 6 months for guppy fry to attain a size of 1.5 inches. The size of 1.5 inches is without taking into account their tails which can be longer.

A single female can release up to 120 guppy fry within a matter of hours. Thus, if you’re not able to control the population, it can easily get out of hand and it will overwhelm the entire tank.

Here is a great video to watch how female guppy is giving birth to around 50 guppy fry:

Guppies can reproduce pretty fast. They can reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 months.

Although the adult guppies tend to eat their fry, if the tank has enough live plants and hiding places, fry will be able to survive.

If you don’t want to breed guppies, the best ways to control the population is to only include the male guppies in your tank. This will ensure that reproduction will not take place.

Many people think that it will work the same way if only females are introduced. This is not true at all. Most of the females might already be pregnant when you buy them from the store.

How Often do Guppies Give Birth?

The reproduction system of guppies is unique as compared to some of the other fish species. From a single encounter, sperm can be stored in the body of the female guppy for the lifetime. This ensures that she is able to get pregnant again and again.

This is one of the main reasons why even if your tank consists of only female guppy fish, it can still get pregnant. As a result, the population will grow exponentially. This is the reason why you should only stick to male guppies if you don’t want your tank to be overcrowded.

A single pregnancy cycle can last for 30 days. Once the female drops the guppy fry, she can get pregnant once again. This time around, she will not need any male in order to get pregnant. This is because the sperm from the last encounter is stored for a long time. She can use that sperm in order to get pregnant. Thus, the frequency of pregnancy can be as low as 1 month.

About Guppy Fry

The guppy fry are often dropped in high quantities. A single female can drop up to 120 guppy fry. They are just a 0.25 inches in length when they are born. They are often easy prey for other fishes, even their parents. If you want to protect your guppy fry, there are a few things you can do.

The best option which you have is to either use the breeding box or to introduce a high number of plants in your aquarium. Both of these will help guppy fry stay isolated from the rest of the aquarium ecosystem. As a result, they will be able to grow easily without getting eaten.

You can also use separate aquariums to grow your guppy fry, however, this requires space and other aquarium equipment.

Live-bearing Aquarium Fish Species

Guppy fish is not the only livebearer species. There are quite a few of them:

  • Molly
  • Swordtail
  • Platy
  • Endlers
  • and many more

Live-bearers consist of more than 200 different species. Not all of them reproduce at the same frequency, however.

Most of the livebearers can survive in freshwater as well as brackish water. They are highly versatile. Only a handful of them are fully marine. The average lifespan of livebearers is anywhere from 2 years to 7 years. Most of them can be introduced into an aquarium environment as well. Their natural habitat conditions can be easily mimicked which ensures that they can reproduce and grow easily in an aquarium.

Many of these species thrive in cold water. You will not have to use in a heater in order to keep them. For guppies, though you need a heater, because they are tropical fish and they like warmer water.


So, the answer to the question, Are guppies egg layers? Is No, they are livebearers. Female guppies can get pregnant and drop guppy fry every 30 days after just a single interaction with the male guppy fish. Their population can easily get out of hand even in an aquarium.

I hope this quick guide has helped you find answers to some of your questions. If you want to learn more about guppies, please read my other guides.

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Updated: October 20, 2021
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