Poecilia reticulata
SynonymsAcanthophacelus guppii, Girardinus guppii, Girardinus reticulatus, Heterandria guppyi, Lebistes poecilioides, Lebistes reticulatus, Poecilioides reticulatus
DistributionSouth America: Barbados, northern Brazil, the Guyanas, Trinidad, Venezuela. Introduced to many other countries to help control mosquito populations but had little effect on them. Most specimens offered for sale in the trade are captive bred.
Sexual DimorphismMales have a gonopodium and generally much longer ornate and colourful finnage.
Maximum Size5cm (2”)
Water ParametersFreshwater to slightly brackish. pH:7-8, dH: 8-20 degrees.
Temperature18-28 deg C (64-82 deg F)
LightingNo special requirements

The Guppy Although undeniably very pretty, are not the hardy fish that they used to be. Years of intense breeding and selection has weakened this species, and so because of their now delicate nature, they should be one of the last species added to a mature aquarium. Prefers quieter waters and appreciates plant cover.


Offer a good quality flake food plus small frozen foods such as daphnia, cyclops, brineshrimp and mosquito larvae.


Guppies are livebearers, which means that the babies are free-swimming at birth. If choosing to keep a breeding group of guppies, try to ensure that you have at least two females to every male. This will ensure that no single female will bear the brunt of the males continuous amorous intentions. Once inseminated, the female will gestate for approximately 20 days, after which time she will give birth to between 5 and 60 young. Parents will eat their young if not separated, but if kept in a planted aquarium, a number of young usually manage to survive on to adulthood. Guppies are relatively short-lived, their average lifespan being between 3 and 5 years.

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