How Much Do Guppies Cost?
If you’re a fish lover aiming to set up your own indoor aquarium, guppies are the ideal choice. These are colorful and energetic creatures that will enrich your tank like no other species. They are also calm and peaceful by nature, keeping the tank dynamics within the friendly parameters.
But, the first question that arrives to mind is – How much do guppies cost?
If you’ve never dealt with guppies before, think of any other pet like cats or dogs since these are the most common. You can find cats and dogs for free, or you can get them in the thousands of dollars and everything in between.
While guppies won’t reach these exorbitant prices, they too differ in value. There are several factors that influence the price of a guppy, including genetics, lineage, age, health state, coloring, etc.
If you’re not interested in the costlier specimens, you can always visit your pet shop just around the corner to get something affordable. All guppies are beautiful and colorful, after all. They might not spark uniqueness like guppies coming from rarer lineages, but they will do.
With that said, today, we will discuss guppy pricing and how different traits can boost or lower the price significantly.
Here are the 3 fundamental guppy categories to keep in mind when it comes to pricing:
As the name suggests, Mutt guppies have ambiguous lineages and rather modest traits. They are available at your average fish store and will generally cost around $8 to $9 per piece, although the price can go as low as $5 as well.
The price will generally vary depending on the guppy’s overall traits.
Mutt guppies are the perfect choice if you’re a beginner looking to grow guppies for fun with as few headaches as possible. This way, you won’t spend a lot of money if your guppies die due to illness or your own mistakes, which are common at first.
If you want to learn about growing guppies, I recommend focusing on the Mutt ones at first.
Guppies For Breeding
These guppies always come from experienced breeders who have bred them for specific traits. You can easily trace their lineage and identify specific markers that define that trait, along with, hopefully, unique characteristics as well.
If you’ve already been in the guppy business for a while, focus on breeder guppies from now on. It’s essential for you to get them from experienced and notorious breeders with a lot of experience in the field.
Breeder guppies come with several advantages, including:
- Clear lineage – Breeder guppies have distinct traits that you can trace back to their original lineage. This is great if you’re planning to breed guppies for profit yourself, and you need specimens with clear lineages and distinct features that you can ‘harvest.’
- Superior traits and colors – Breeder guppies will always deliver superior physical features compared to your regular mutts. You even have a chance to notice unique color patterns that will drastically enrich your guppies’ gene pool.
- Healthy and with a clean gene pool – You can buy healthy mutt guppies, but many of them will have genetic predisposition towards specific conditions. The risk of finding that in breeder guppies is a lot lower. That’s because breeders aim to cleanse the guppies’ gene pool and make them more resistant to disease and parasites. You are also sure to get healthy specimens that have been properly fed and cared for.
Breeder guppies revolve around $25 to $50 per piece, with occasional exceptions on both sides of the spectrum.
These are the cream of the crop, embodying the perfect features and the best lineages you can find. As the name suggests, these are ideal for competitions that assess the guppies’ characteristics and lineage traits to the letter.
Guppies that are bred for competitions usually receive the best care and attention. I recommend seeking for the best guppy breeders you can find if you aim to get into the competition business.
Expect to pay around $30 to $60 for each specimen. Depending on the guppy’s overall traits and unique characteristics, you should also expect to pay a lot more.
Growing Guppies for Profit
So, you’ve decided to get into the breeding business. If you’ve already growing guppies for a while, you’re probably already familiar with the entire process.
There are, however, some slight differences to consider when it comes to breeding guppies professionally. Here are some of the most compelling points to remember:
Getting Top Guppy Pairs
You are now beyond the “mutt phase”. When it comes to breeding guppies for profit, you need top-quality guppy pairs that provide rare and even unique characteristics that the market will appreciate. Mutt guppies don’t qualify here since they have no desirable patterns. These are the cheapest options on the guppy market that no longer should interest you.
Your priority now is to find breeder guppies that show distinct lineages and have clear and clean traits. These will bring in the most profit since the guppies are easily trackable to one lineage with clear and distinct genes.
Breeder guppies will also have more vibrant colors, more beautiful patterns and will be healthier and bigger than the mutts.
I suggest familiarizing yourself with the different breeding techniques to make sure you don’t screw anything up. I’ve already written an article on guppy breeding techniques, so you might want to check it before doing anything else.
Buy Several Aquariums
Having one tank won’t cut it anymore. You will now be dealing with several guppy generations that you will need to separate to make sure you control the breeding. This means having different tanks for the different generations and also separating males from females.
This will allow you to prevent uncontrolled breeding which will result in mixed and randomized genes. This has lower chances of producing anything meaningful, since selective breeding is all about control.
I suggest getting at least 7-8 tanks which you can use to separate the different lineages and generations. If you’re aiming to go big, you can even get double that if you’re aiming to breed multiple lineages at once.
Just make sure that you have all the equipment necessary to provide your guppies with top living conditions for the entire duration of the breeding process. Check out my article on guppy selective breeding for additional information on tank setup and overall guppy care and assessment.
Provide Guppies An Optimized Diet
While the diet is essential for your guppies’ overall health, it’s that much more important when dealing with breeder guppies. After all, you aim to obtain the most desirable traits possible: size and health.
A sick and small guppy will worth close to nothing, regardless of how astounding its traits are.
You want to provide your guppies healthy and diverse food, including:
- Live food – Blood worms, brine shrimp, vinegar eels, daphnia, beef heart, egg yolk – all these are rich sources of protein and fat. Live food is essential for growing guppies in need of a steady and rich diet.
- Veggies – Your guppies will also require their fair share of vegetables. As you already know, guppies are omnivores which means they also need veggies regularly. Vegetables like spinach, spirulina, algae, carrots, or zucchini will provide them with essential vitamins and minerals that are harder to come by in animal-sourced foods.
- Homemade recipes – These provide you with a lot of flexibility since the sky is the limit when it comes to mixing ingredients. You can mix live food with different veggies to obtain a nutritious paste that you can use for days to come.
A diverse and healthy diet will boost your guppies’ growth factor, strengthen their immune system, and even boost their coloring. All these benefits are imperative when it comes to creating high-end breeder guppies.
Understand Selective Breeding And Documenting Your Progress
These are two core aspects that will make or break your guppy breeding experience. Selective breeding comes with specific procedures which you need to understand to ensure the procedure’s success.
Documenting your progress is also vital, allowing you to keep track of different traits, lineages, unfit specimens, and relationship status between guppies. I recommend making notes on each tank and even keep a notebook to record your progress.
This will help you understand what works and what doesn’t and make tweaks along the way.
How Much Different Guppies Cost?
Here are a handful of examples to have an idea of how much different guppies cost:
- Mutt Guppies – These are the average guppies that you can purchase for prices varying between $5 and $10. They’re nothing special, but they will pack a decent visual impact. The low price comes from the fact that they belong to ambiguous lineages. Mutt guppies are generally impossible to match to any single lineage due to their mixed and irregular traits.
- Dragon Guppies – These are rather simple specimens, revolving around $10 per individual. They have grey bodies with varying patterns and display orange tails with black patterns.
- Electric Blue Guppies – Just as the name suggests, these guppies come in vibrant blue and will make for an impressive addition to your tank. Their presence is immediately noticeable due to their coloring reflecting through the water. You can even boost their color by setting matching environmental lights.
- Fancy Guppies – These are some of the most popular strains with the most riveting look. Fancy guppies are a category encompassing multiple specimens with varying physical traits and outstanding rainbow-colored bodies. Depending on the fish’s uniqueness and special characteristics, you can get one for $25 to $50.
- Purple Moscow Guppies – Purple Moscow guppies, are some of the most expensive and exhilarating lineages you can get. The fish comes in heavy purple variations with a transparent tail and prices ranging between $40 and $100. If you’re a fan of flashy and more expensive lineages, this is the pick for you.
How To Ensure The Quality of Guppies?
Whether you breed guppies for profit or growing them as a hobby, you want to get the best specimens possible. In this sense, here are a few points to remember:
- Provide guppies with enough water volume and space to prevent overcrowding
- Ensure an optimal diet, consisting of animal and vegetable-based foods
- Hold several tanks to separate guppies from parents, males from females, and distinguish between optimal and suboptimal specimens
- Keep guppies in a calm and safe environment to prevent stress
- Ensure optimal water quality by monitoring water parameters like temperature, oxygenation, and ammonia levels constantly
- Monitor the tank dynamics carefully to prevent aggressive behavior, bullying, or sick fish
- Quarantine and dispose of sick or dying fish before they can affect the others
- Set up a balanced day-night cycle that will allow your guppies to rest properly
- Separate guppy fry based on gender to prevent premature breeding and keep the lineage intact
I am at your disposal for more questions on guppies, selective breeding, diet, or any other aspect.