The Guppy

Scienfic Name:- Poecilia reticulata

The Guppy is a tropical freshwater fish that originates from Central and South America,   and lives in estuaries and swamp areas.   They are very popular amongst fish keepers,   due to them being relatively low maintenance.

The 2 sexes can be distinguished quite easily.   Males are very colourful and grow to 2-4cm in length, whereas females are larger at up to 8cm long,   but less colourful.   They are very easy to breed.   It is advisable to put at least 3 females to 1 male.   They do not lay eggs,   but give birth to live young which are fully independent from the moment they are born.

A single female can give birth to between 10 and 50 young depending on her size, and the babies can eat brine shrimp larvae and microworms as soon as they are born.  

Habitat :- They need a reasonably large,   well planted aquarium,   as they live in shoals in the wild.   A 35 litre tank is ideal for keeping up to 30 fish.   The water quality is very important if these fish are to be kept for as long as possible,   therefore a filter must be used with a 10% water change every week.   The filter must not be too powerful so as to disturb the Guppy's swimming,   and should ideally filter around 1.5 times the volume of the tank every hour.   A heater should also be used to keep the water at between 22-28oC.  

The water should be regularly tested to keep the pH between 6.5 and 8 with the water hardness between 10 and 30dH.   Water testing kits can be purchased at most pet shops.   A fluorescent lightning tube should also be used to provide 12-13 hours of light per day.

Diet :- Although very small,   they have a huge appetite,   and ideally should be given 5 feeding sessions per day.   They should be fed a variety of mosquito larvae,   bloodworms,   brine shrimp and daphnia (live or frozen),   as well as vegetable fish flakes.

Life expectancy :- 1-2 years.

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