How Many Babies Do Guppies Have

If you are considering breeding your guppies then there are a couple of things that you need to know.

I’ll walk you through the basics, but for now, lets focus on how many babies do guppies have in a single breeding. 

TL;DR Version

How Many Babies Do Guppies Have

You can plan on a single female dropping (giving birth) to about 20-200 fry (baby guppies) every 30 days. 

Because guppies become sexually active as early as two months old it means that a single female can have over 2000 babies in her lifetime.

Understanding the Guppy Birth Cycle

Whether you’ve read about how many guppies have or about their breeding rituals in general, you probably already know:

Guppies are livebearers

Which means they give birth to fully formed and free-swimming fry instead of laying eggs. 

Guppies are prolific breeders

Meaning they give birth to multiple offspring in a single cycle.

But if those 2 were not enough to convince you of the guppies’ superior breeding mechanism, here’s the punch:

That means that they can become pregnant again and again from just one single mating, even if it happened over a month ago. 

Mating and Pregnancy

As we mentioned before guppies can become sexually active at the age of two months old.

When the males become active they will start pursuing the females pretty persistently. 

Females will often seek shelter in vegetation or other aquarium decorations that you may have up until they are ready to mate.

Once the females are ready to mate they will allow the male to approach. Their pregnancy will last anywhere from 21 to 30 days. This is when they’ll give birth, and you’ll have a tank full of guppy fry.

How To Tell A Guppy Is Pregnant​

A pregnant guppy is pretty simple to identify- assuming you watch the tank often and can spot unusual activity. 

Even if you can’t- here’s what you can do to spot a pregnant guppy.

Enlarged Abdomen

Look for a noticeable increase in the size of the female’s abdomen. 

Pregnant guppies will develop a rounded, swollen belly, which becomes more prominent as the pregnancy progresses.

pregnant guppy

Darkened Gravid Spot

Check for a dark spot near the female’s vent area, known as the gravid spot.

If that means nothing to you. then here’s a picture:

guppy's gravid spot highlighted

This spot is more visible in pregnant guppies and will darken as the pregnancy advances. It indicates the presence of developing fry.

Pro Tip

Need To Identify An Early Pregnancy?

Shut the lights off and shine with your flashlight into the tank. Then use a magnifying glass and look at your suspected pregnant guppy.

In some situations, you’ll be able to see the fry forming in her, or simply notice her darkened gravid spot.

Behavioral Changes

Female guppies will start acting differently once pregnant.

They can become aggressive or seek shelter and become inactive.

But they may also appear restless or exhibit unusual swimming patterns.

How The Care You Give Can Affect How Many Babies Do Guppies Have

 Congratulations, your guppy is pregnant.

Here’s what you need to do in order to make sure she is a safe and healthy delivery.

Note: providing great tank conditions won’t only affect how many babies your guppy has, but will affect their quality and survival rate.

 Congratulations, your guppy is pregnant.

Here’s what you need to do in order to make sure she is a safe and healthy delivery.

Note: providing great tank conditions won’t only affect how many babies your guppy has, but will affect their quality and survival rate.

Provide Ample Hiding Space

At this stage of her pregnancy, your guppy will start to seek shelter in order to conserve her energy. You will see her swimming a lot less and she will spend more time by herself.

It is very important that you provide her with ample hiding spaces either by using plants, vegetation, or other forms of aquarium decoration. 

This will also help reduce stress which are guppies are ever so prone to. As you probably may already know stress is a major contributor to troubled delivery and fry with genetic issues.

Offer Nutritious Diet

Offering a balanced diet can also affect how many babies do guppies have.

Offer high-quality flakes, pellets, and occasional live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or daphnia. These foods supply essential nutrients crucial for her health and the development of the fry.

You don't need to change your pregnant guppy's diet. Just make sure she gets fed as she may act more timid.
The Author

Feed her 2-3 times a day, offering small portions that she can consume within a few minutes.

The most important nutrients for a pregnant guppy are

  • Proteins to support her energy and growth.
  • Vitamins and minerals for the fry to develop.

A well-rounded diet helps ensure the successful pregnancy and well-being of both the mother and her offspring

Isolate Before Birth

Consider isolating the pregnant female in a separate breeding or birthing tank as the due date approaches. 

If you do opt for this option make sure that the new thing also has plenty of hiding spots, although there’s nothing really to hide from.

This will help alleviate her stress and play a big role in ensuring a healthy delivery.

This will also allow for easier monitoring, reduces the risk of predation on the fry, and provides a controlled environment for the birthing process. 

Does Long Labor Affect How Many Babies Do Guppies Have?

The duration of guppy labor can vary, but it typically lasts around 2 to 4 hours.

However, it is not uncommon for the birthing process to extend up to 12 hours in some cases.

How long it takes can be influenced by various factors such as the female’s age, health, stress levels, and the number of fry she is carrying.

Unfortunately, I have yet to find a relation between how long the labor takes and how many babies do guppies have. 

Do Guppies Give Birth All At Once?

No, guppies do not give birth all at once.

As we’ve mentioned earlier, guppies are livebearers, and their birthing process is known as “sequential or multiple birth.”

Unlike egg-laying fish, guppies give birth to live fry. The pregnant female can release several batches of fry over a period of time, as she stores sperm from one mating to fertilize multiple broods.

This means guppies can have multiple pregnancies without the need for continuous mating, allowing them to give birth to several fry in separate batches over several weeks.

Does Giving Birth At Night Affect How Many Babies Do Guppies Have?

And do guppies only give birth at night?

Guppies can give birth at any time of day or night. The timing of their labor is not specifically tied to any particular time of day.

However, guppies may exhibit certain behavioral changes before giving birth, such as seeking seclusion or displaying restlessness.

Some guppies might prefer to give birth in the early morning or late evening when the tank is quieter and there is less activity from other tank mates.

But overall, the timing of guppy labor can vary depending on individual factors and environmental conditions.

How Many Babies Can Guppies Have the First Time?

The number of babies (fry) a guppy can have during her first pregnancy can vary.

On average, a pregnant guppy may give birth to around 20 to 40 fry in her first brood. And remember- she’s only 2 months old at this point.

However, the actual number can be influenced by factors such as health and genetic background. Some first-time guppies may have smaller broods with fewer fry, while others might have larger ones.

As guppies mature and go through subsequent pregnancies, their broods generally tend to increase in size.

What To Do Once Your Fry Is Born​

Now that you got to give birth you need to take additional steps to make sure that you’re fright grows healthy.

If you decide that you don’t want to keep the fry simply put it back in the adult tank. Leave it there if you didn’t use an isolation tank.

Adult guppies will consume the fry if given access to it.

I know it sounds like an awful thing to you, As a human being, but when you have about 100 fry every single month that are being born it becomes a very effective way of controlling the population.

Separate the Fry

As soon as the fry are born, it’s crucial to separate them from the adult guppies to prevent them from being eaten. Use a breeding net, breeding trap, or a separate nursery tank to keep them safe.

Continue Providing Great Water Conditions

 We’ve mentioned previously the maintaining great water conditions is paramount for your pregnant guppies health.

The same goes for the guppy fry. And the annoying part is that they are even more sensitive to water conditions than adults.

Depending on your personal schedule and your commitment you can choose how often you want to change the water.

Some breeders changed the water every other day, others change it every day. This is just temporary until you’re got your fried developed to their juvenile stage where water quality has a little bit more leeway.

This takes about four weeks from birth.

Offer Nutritious Food

Feed the fry a variety of high-quality foods suitable for their small size. Start with infusoria, baby brine shrimp, or powdered fry food, gradually transitioning to crushed flakes and finely crushed pellets as they grow.

Fry need to be fed about 4-6 times a day, preferably in two and a half hour increments.

Then make sure to regularly observe the fry’s behavior and adjust feeding and care practices as needed. Watch for any signs of stress or health issues and take appropriate action promptly.

Provide Hiding Spots​

Fry will naturally try to hide just like any other guppy would. That means that you need to provide them with ample hiding spaces for them to feel safe and reduce stress.

You can achieve that by decorating your aquarium with plants or with other aquarium decoration that allow them to find shelter. 

Avoid Overcrowding

Be cautious not to overcrowd the tank with too many fry. I know this sounds confusing as you probably don’t have all that many tanks just laying around.

a 5 gallon tank is enough to hold a group of about 50 guppy fry, assuming the tank is planted. That solution will last for about a month it, at which point you’ll want to switch them to a 10 gallon tank to allow them to continue growing.

If you don’t have another tank and maybe don’t wanna buy another one, you can even use a polystyrene box. As long as you use a seasoned sponge filter and started with conditioned tank water you’ll be ok. 

As they grow, they’ll need to be relocated to a larger space or given to other fish enthusiasts to ensure adequate space for their development.

Gradual Introductions

Once the fry have grown to a suitable size, gradually introduce them to the main tank with adult guppies. 

at this point they should be about an inch long, which will take about three to four weeks.

Observe their interactions and ensure they are not being bullied or stressed by larger tank mates- as this is always possible.

While we are at it, lets loop back to our previous point of overcrowding. Remember that now that you have more guppies in your tank, they may require a bigger thank. Check out this article. 

Keep Track of Growth

Regularly track the growth of the fry and observe their overall development. 

Healthy fry will exhibit active behavior, vibrant colors, and steady growth.

By the time there will be four weeks old they should read their juvenile stage. It will be another four weeks for them to get to their sub adult stage- at which point they can begin being sexually active and seek to reproduce again.

 A lot of breeders separate the males from the females at around the four weeks mark . That allows the fish to grow bigger stronger and have more vibrant colors

Proper Sexing

As time goes by, you’ll need to sex your fry (distinguish males from females).

This will help you manage the population and prevent overbreeding. This will also help you practice responsible breeding, as in breeding and overbreeding can lead to the rise of genetic issues in future generations

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