Best Fish Tank for Raising Guppy Fry
Most animals will raise their younglings by themselves but this isn’t the case with guppies. This fish species will casually abandon the fry (guppy babies) after birthing them.
Their parental instincts are absolute zero, and not only that, but guppies are also cannibal species. Guppy adults could easily start eating their babies if they’re hungry enough. Sometimes, they don’t even have to be terribly hungry.
Assuming that, against all odds, you want to keep the fry alive, you’ll need the necessary equipment. In this article, I’ll tell you more about the ideal fish tank to raise guppies, as well as the methods to hasten the growth of your guppy fry. This should help you give the fry a better chance at life!
What’s The Ideal Tank Size for Guppy Fry?
From personal experience, I can say that a minimum of 10 gallons is necessary for a maximum of 5 guppy adults. If you plan on having more than 5 guppies, then get a bigger-sized aquarium because 10 gallons aren’t enough.
The same goes for raising guppy fry. An optimal-sized tank is 10 gallons since fry are much smaller than adult guppies. When mating, this fish species will produce an astounding number of fry, to the point where the tank will become overpopulated in a few days.
This is where aquarium equipment comes into play. Now, the question becomes – do you need an aquarium kit or should you buy the equipment separately?
Aquarium kits contain everything you’ll need – a heater, lighting system, filter, and more. You only need to set up the fish tank where you want it, and that’s it. Buying the equipment separately is a bit harder and requires you to do some research. Generally, I recommend beginners to start with a kit like Aqueon 10 Gal LED Aquarium Kit.
This kit contains the following:
- Fish net
- LED lighting system
- Premium fish food
- Water conditioner
- QuietFlow 10 LED PRO power filter with cartridge replacement indicator
- 50W preset heater
- Stick-on thermometer
It’s better, in my opinion, to buy an aquarium kit vs. buying the equipment separately because it’s less expensive. Moreover, as a beginner, you may not understand the criteria for buying quality aquarium equipment. You’re more likely to buy the wrong equipment for your aquarium needs if you buy the pieces separately.
But then again, I also recommend you do your own research on the matter. It’s always better to make informed decisions when setting up your aquarium. Understand what you need, why you need it, how it helps your guppies, and you’ll have no problems raising guppy fry!
What Do You Need to Raise Guppy Fry Optimally?
Raising guppy fry is neither easy nor hard, but rather, it depends on how informed you are. A complete beginner would know next to nothing about raising guppies, so the process will seem difficult. With this article on hand, however, keeping your guppy fry healthy will become a cinch.
You’ll need three things:
A heater is essential to raising guppies and guppy fry. This fish species needs an average temperature of 72-79° F (22-26° C). Without a heater, the aquarium water won’t nearly reach that temperature, so the guppies will freeze to death. If you keep your guppies outside, then this is doubly true.
Temperatures below freezing levels aren’t conducive to warm-blooded life, really. But even without a heater, guppies can live if the ambient temperature doesn’t go below 68° F (20° C). This, however, implies that you live in a tropical climate where you can go skinny-dipping mid-winter.
When buying a heater for your guppy aquarium, I recommend buying one with present temperature settings. This takes away all the guesswork from finding the optimal temperature level for your guppy fry. What’s more, guppy fry are more sensitive to changes in temperature than their adult counterparts.
So, temperature stability is a must for normal fry growth.
But before you buy a heater, make sure it’s appropriately sized for your aquarium. With higher volumes of water, the heater should be bigger-sized for added power. To rule out the guesswork, go with the 5W-per-gallon trick.
For every gallon of water, you’ll need 5W worth of heating power on your heater. So, for a 20-gallon aquarium, you’ll need a 100W heater and so on.
All animals need a source of light for optimal and controlled growth. Guppies don’t need an excessive amount of light, fortunately. Just follow the day and night schedule of a regular day and they’ll be fine. During the night, guppies will sleep, and during the day, they’ll move around, eat, mate, and play.
As for what lights to choose, I recommend LED aquarium lights. They’re both affordable and highly useful for guppies. They emit almost no heat, and their lifespan is the longest you’ll find in most aquarium lights.
Guppies need an average of 12-16 hours of light and a minimum of 8 hours of darkness for optimal (and even quickened) growth. During the growth season, the fry will need extended periods of rest, which translates to darkness during the night. Too much light will stress them out, deprive them of rest, and even kill them.
I recommend investing in an automatic light timer that switches the lights on and off whenever you need it. Go with a regular day-night cycle for best results. Since guppy fry will conserve their energy during the night, the lighting schedule is essential to their continued growth.
The automatic timer is useful if you often forget about switching the timer on and off, but also if you leave home. With no one to adjust the light cycle, your guppies will not survive. But the timer will switch everything according to the preset settings, saving you plenty of worries.
Filters are a significant piece of equipment that can make or destroy your aquarium. This gadget is responsible for eliminating pollution and waste from the aquarium and fostering healthy bacterial colonies to evolve and help your guppies stay healthy.
The type of filter you buy depends on the number of guppies you want to house in the aquarium and their waste production. More guppies produce more waste, so you’ll need a more powerful filter. If you have a decent number of guppies, then you’ll want a sponge filter.
This type of filter is ideal for small aquariums that don’t need much cleanup. You can opt-out for a hang-on-back filter if your aquarium is medium-sized and the guppy population is larger.
But sponge filters remain king when it comes to aquarium cleanup. They’re especially good if you have many guppy fry because the little ones can’t get stuck in the filter system. Hang-on-back filters are more dangerous to guppy fry in this regard.
That’s about it. Now, you know all about the essential equipment for a guppy aquarium. But there’s still something we haven’t talked about – speeding up the fry growth rate. There’s got to be a way to do that, right?
Improve Guppy Fry Growth Rate
When raising guppies, you’ll want to help them grow a bit faster, especially if you’re doing it for commercial reasons. During the fry stage, guppies need to develop a strong immune system to prevent any deformities or medical problems. So, their diet and water quality are of utmost importance.
The guide below will tell you everything about helping your fry grow faster:
– High-quality food
It’s no surprise that food is first on our list. What you eat defines you, right? The same goes for guppies. If they eat low-quality feed beyond its expiration date, it’s no wonder they fall ill and die in a couple of days. They may also develop deformities that spread genetically to their offspring.
Healthy guppies need high-quality food such as flakes, to grow optimally. Fry will need a varied diet for their rising nutritional needs. Live foods are essential, and I’m talking about daphnia, baby brine shrimp, vinegar eels, micro worms, and so on. Live food provides an abundance of nutrients that help guppy fry develop quickly and healthily.
A dry food-only diet is far from enough for baby fry. They’ll live but the growth rate will be a lot slower. The best thing about this live food is that you can grow it at home, so it’ll always be fresh and juicy.
There’s also the feeding schedule. Guppy fry need to eat multiple times a day (5 times per day), so you’ll need to provide multiple food servings. Don’t offer the same food every time either. Variety is the spice of guppy life!
Even homemade food like egg yolk paste works great for guppy fry. As long as it’s nutritious, go for it!
– Living Space
Overcrowding is one of the silent killers of guppy fish. It’s not conducive to overall water quality because too much waste piles up on the bottom. Moreover, the fish become stressed and they may even die because of overcrowding. This is also true for guppy fish, despite their smaller size.
However, an undercrowded aquarium is also a problem. Growth problems appear in both situations. That’s because the water volume is too high, and the fry will have a hard time finding food in all that water.
If you keep your guppy fry in a breeder box for too long, this will also stunt their growth. Personally, I never keep my fry for more than 2 weeks in the breeding box. After this period, I release them in the main aquarium and let them live their lives. With plenty of plants around as hiding spots, the fry will develop wonderfully.
The aquarium should be adequately sized if you want to boost the fry growth rate. Not too big but not too small either!
– Regular Water Changes
Guppy fry are more vulnerable to high concentrations of ammonia and nitrates, and sometimes, a filter can’t do much in this sense. If the fry population is large enough, the filter can’t purify the water fast enough. But you know what does? Water changes, which you can perform manually.
To prevent toxins from piling up in the aquarium, do 15-20% weekly water changes. Never go above 20% because you may stress the fish, and you don’t want to do that. Water changes are also good at offering new swathes of oxygen and nutrients into the Ambiental water.
Water quality is a unique factor when taking care of fish. The quality of the water either supports the fish growth or stunts it all together, as there is no middle ground. Bad water can lead to illnesses and various physical deformities. Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent this with regular water changes.
Try to measure the water parameters every week or so, and make sure not to overfeed your fish. Leftover food piles up on the bottom of the tank and releases ammonia and nitrites, poisoning the guppy fry.
– Separate Males from Females
To further boost your guppy fry growth, separate them based on gender. Males with males and females with females. Although you can’t do this after they’re born because they’re indistinguishable, once they reach half an inch in size, differences will appear between males and females.
Male guppies will develop a gonopodium, a sexual organ, that looks different from the anal fins of the female fish. Moreover, female guppies will have a dark gravid spot on their bellies that looks a bit swollen.
As for why you should separate them, the answer is simple – so they don’t mate. Mating consumed most of their energy, which could be used for multiple growth spurs. While they may get stressed if they don’t mate, guppies will recover shortly.
– Maintain Stable Water Parameters
Water changes aren’t nearly enough in keeping your fish alive and kicking. The parameters of the water are critical to their continuous growth. I’m talking about things such as sudden shifts in temperature, which could easily kill guppy fry. If it becomes too hot or too cold, fish will become heavily stressed and possibly die.
Guppies also become more vulnerable to diseases if they experience a temperature shift. A stable water temperature ranges between 75-78°F (24-26°C). With a good heater, you can easily maintain this temperature at all times.
Another water parameter that can kill your guppies is the level of ammonia and nitrates. The filter should take care of it, but regular water changes will also work in your favor. Make sure you check the water parameters regularly, so nothing out of the ordinary occurs.
Guppy fry can grow faster if you help them. But keep in mind that they’re sensitive to any change in the environment. Temperature highs and lows can kill them, just like bad water quality or insufficient nutrients. Too many nitrates or a higher level of ammonia is equally lethal to them.
To sum up:
- Tank size is a significant factor in determining whether your guppy fry are stressed or not
- You’ll need a heater, lighting system, and a filter to improve the health of your guppy fry
- High-quality food provides many nutrients that boost the fry’s growth rate but overfeeding leads to higher levels of ammonia and nitrates, which are dangerous to fry
- Their living space should not be too big or too small. The guppy fry should find the food relatively quickly
- Water changes can solve most of the pollution problems in the water
- Separating males from females will lead to multiple growth spurs in guppy fry
- Keep watch over the water parameters to notice any discrepancies from the recommended standards
If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them below, and I’ll be happy to reply!