Moscow Guppy Varieties – Rare & Popular Types

Moscow Guppies are perhaps the most expensive fish in the aquarium hobby. They’re also widely appreciated for their beauty. But have you ever wondered what sets them apart from other Guppies?

What’s up with Moscow Guppies? Where do they come from? And what makes them so expensive? Are there different types of Moscows? Keep reading to find out! I’ll cover all of these questions and more in this article. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

What is a Moscow Guppy?

A Moscow Guppy is a special strain of Guppy fish. It doesn’t exist in nature. Rather, this Guppy is the result of artificial selection. You can think of them as designer fish. Moscow Guppies have been selectively bred to express certain traits we find desirable.

These traits include color, tail shape, and fin size. Thanks to this, Moscow Guppies have an easily-recognizable look. This strain comes in deep block colors and has no distinguishing patterns. This is the defining characteristic of this strain.

These Guppies also have a soft, metallic sheen, especially around the head area. They come with very large caudal and dorsal fins. These rare traits make the fish stand out when compared to other Guppies. But traits like color are very difficult to create via selective breeding. It’s a long and complicated process. This makes the fish very rare and expensive.

Fun fact! The first Moscow Guppies were created in the early 80s in Russia, allegedly in the city of Moscow (hence the strain’s name). Shortly thereafter they were introduced in Japan, Europe, and the USA.

The first “appearance” of the Moscow Guppy in the US was in 1998, during the 3rd World Guppy Contest in Milwaukee. Said Moscow Guppy was among the contest winners, of course.

Types of Moscow Guppies

As I’ve already mentioned, Moscow Guppies have a few defining characteristics. These fish are monochromatic. They present very deep, rich colors and have large, flowing fins. But apart from this, there are also some differences.

Depending on the color, we can distinguish between various types of Moscow Guppies. Some of the most popular examples include:

– Red Moscow Guppy

This strain is quite rare, even for a Moscow Guppy. It’s among the hardest ones to create through selective breeding. As you can expect, this Guppy is completely red and has large, wide caudal and dorsal fins.

Sometimes, Red Moscows have a discolored belly. The shade of red can differ depending on the base color. Red Moscow Guppies can have a yellow base. This creates a more orange hue. In other cases, the fish has a pale base color. This results in a more intense red shade.

– Black Moscow Guppy

Black isn’t a color you see often in Guppies. A fully dark Guppy is even harder to imagine. After all, Guppies are best known for their colorful appearance. But this strain actually exists and it looks mesmerizing!

Black Moscow Guppies appear completely dark, or sometimes with a discolored spot on their bellies. Under direct lighting, the Black Moscow Guppy might be a very dark gray, blue, or brown. This will depend on the Guppy’s case color and its intensity.

– Purple Moscow Guppy

Purple Moscows are among the most sought-after Guppy strains. But it’s also one of the hardest strains to breed. To get a full, rich purple color, you need to cross-breed fully blue and fully red Moscow Guppies. The resulting fish should have a blue base and plenty of red color cells.

It’s the combination of blue and red that creates the purple color. The shade of purple will depend on the number of red pigments in the Guppy’s cells. You’ll often see “purple” Moscow Guppies that look mostly blue, depending on the lighting. The perfect ratio of pigments is crucial for the purple shade, but it’s also difficult to get right.

– Green Moscow Guppy

Green Moscow Guppies are extremely rare. But they’re perhaps the most beautiful Guppies out there. The metallic sheen is easiest to see in this strain. The effect is so intense that the fish look almost fluorescent in certain lighting.

Like most other Moscow Guppies, this strain is created with the Blue Moscow as a base color. To get a Green Moscow Guppy, you need a combination of blue and yellow pigment cells. The more yellow pigment, the greener the color. When there’s too little yellow, the fish might look closer to a greenish-blue color.


Moscow Guppies are rare and expensive because they require a complex selective breeding process. The resulting fish have a set of common characteristics. Most importantly, all Moscow Guppies are monochromatic.

Moscow Guppies are classified according to color. Some of the most popular strains include Purple, Black, Red, and Green Guppies. Most Moscow Guppies, like the black, purple, and green ones, have a blue base color. Mixed color Moscows are more challenging to create, and therefore even more expensive.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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