Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned aquarist, the health of your guppies determines their lifespan.
Why are guppies so popular? To begin with, guppies are usually life-bearer tropical fish with vibrant color yet peaceful in nature.
Many beginners have no clue on how to keep guppies; hence, they end up dying in the aquarium.
The natural habitats of puppies are found in South America although they are highly adaptive. As a result, different regions of the world have acquired them around the world.
Guppies exist in various sizes. Female sizes range between 3- 6 cm in length while male ones are small, ranging from 1.5cm to 3.5 cm. The female guppies are usually grey in color.
The male counterparts have brightly colored spots or stripes with other markings due to selective marking. Guppies generate offspring known as fry and are self-sufficient right away.
When Do Guppies Mature?
The definite period to maturity is usually 10-20 weeks. Their lifespan is about two years, during which females produce many broods of fry. Remember, the nature of the habitat determines the guppies’ lifespan. Let me explain; a puppy will live longer in a live tank than an in the wild.
Your ideal aquarium should have plenty of rocks and vegetation. If you have a predator fish within the habitat, it can be wise if guppies have numerous hiding spots with their fry. Feed your guppies well as you avoid crowding in the tank to achieve better results.
Feeding Guppies Healthy Food
The specific guppies’ diet depends on the nature of the habitat. In the case of a wild aquarium, the guppies can feed on water insect larvae and algae. On the other hand, for those that live in a tank, you can feed them on quality flakes designed for quality fish. You can still include additional options to keep your guppies healthy. Let’s discuss in details in the following section:
- Freeze-dried foods: There are various freeze-dried foods that your guppies can feed on including; bloodworms, brine shrimp, and more. As you give your guppies a varied diet, that alone prevents them from eating their fry. Even though live food is more nutritious, they carry the risk of spreading disease in the tank.
- Vegetation: You can feed your guppies on vegetables, supplemented with other foods like peas, lettuce, and cucumbers. Feed the guppies well, but with their small stomachs, they can block their intestines when overfed. Cooler temperatures mean less eating since their metabolism slows. Develop a proper feeding schedule. Offer flakes in the morning and live or freeze-dried meal in the evening. As you do so, your guppies will stay healthy and experience an increased lifespan.
Water Parameters for Guppies
Guppies prove to be hardy animals; hence, they can survive in a wide range of water conditions. The following parameters will keep your puppies healthy.
- Water PH should be 6.8 – 7.8.
- Water temperature should be 22-28 degrees Celsius (71-82 °F)
- 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, maximum 40 ppm nitrates
- Water hardness (dGH): 8-12
Avoid using tap water for your fish. Tap water consists of chlorine and chloramines, which is safe for human consumption. Unfortunately, such water can affect your fish negatively and in some cases cause death.
How to Change Water for Guppies?
The fundamental way to eliminate toxins and wastes in your aquarium is by changing the water. The residues that fish produce is also toxic to them. Consider removing 30% of the water in low stock aquarium every week.
In case you use tap water to replenish the habitat, involve a water conditioner to separate heavy metals and chlorine. Beyond that, the temperature should be the same as your tank. In the case of the overstocked aquarium, change the water more often.
How Do You Maintain Water Quality?
The critical secret to maintain water quality is through cleaning water tank frequently. There is no specific formula to achieve that, but you can change half of the water tank weekly. Furthermore, perform a thorough tank cleaning monthly to eliminate any parasites that are a threat to your puppies.
It gets better when you adjust the temperature together with the PH of the water before you pour into the tank habitat. Caution is necessary; make sure you place your fish in a small container or holding tank during cleaning. The temperature and the PH of the holding vessels should be the same.
Caring for Sick Guppies
Immediately you identify a sick guppy, make sure you take action to save its life. The following methods will help you control the spread of diseases in the habitat.
Separate new and sick fish
Sometimes new guppies in the tank may carry parasites and bacteria along with them. Shortly, they will infect their counterparts in the tank. To avoid such a situation to occur, you need to separate them for at least a month to determine if they carry pathogens or not. In addition to that, quarantine sick fish for a while until they recover to prevent further infection.
Identify any fungal infection
How do you determine if your fish is under fungal infection? Believe it or not, the fungal infection will show your fish’s body having white cotton or wool-like patches on its body. Sometimes the white edges will appear around the mouth. Such an infection is ich.
The symptoms of ich in your fish means the mammal will lose the appetite. Besides, the fish may begin rubbing its body on the rocks or the sides of the tank.
Check to recognize bacterial infections
A bacterial infection in fish will manifest by a disintegrating or shredding tail or fin. Moreover, the fish scales, and it is both eyes may protrude from its body. This kind of a bacterial infection in the fish is called dropsy.
Add marine salt and rise water temperatures to treat fungal infections
The condition of your water in the tank can cause the fungus to grow. It happens when the temperature is too cold. Always use the tank thermometer to check your tank’s temperatures and adjust them accordingly if need be. To treat fungal infections, add one teaspoon of marine salt for every single gallon.
Use antibiotics when dealing with bacterial infections
Seek the services of your veterinarian to treat bacterial infections. Alternatively, reach out to the aquarium store for further advice. Following the instructions on how to treat your fish will help your mammals recover completely.
How to Set Up a Healthy Guppy Fish Tank?
Observe the following when setting up a tank habitat:
1. Select the right size aquarium
Avoid overcrowding the tank. In this case, you can use a 10-gallon tank which carries 37 liters to keep your fish. Five guppies will operate there well. The size of the container will determine the number of guppies to keep. More fish will mean regular cleaning and changing of water.
2. Dechlorinate water in the tank
There are several methods of dechlorinating water. The most natural way is to open it for a week and let the chlorine evaporate. Alternatively, you can purchase a chlorinating kit. Dechlorinating your water makes them fit for your fish to live without any side effects. All the tap water rarely lack chlorine; hence, a precaution is vital before using them.
3. Keep the water temperature
You should keep the thermometer in the tank to check the water temperature. The optimum temperature should be about 28 degrees Celsius. In case of the temperature drops, you should acquire a heater and put it in a tank. You can prevent overheating of the tank by placing it out of direct sunlight. Artificial light in the tanks works better than sunshine. Suppose you overheat the water, reduce some water, and add another cold water to regulate the temperature.
4. Consider using a filtration system
Most of the aquarium tanks come with a filtration system. In case your tank lacks the system, purchase one. Replace the filter media whenever it turns brown as you clean your tank. Ceramic media will keep your tank clean and healthy since it is suitable for beneficial bacteria.
5. Add plants and decorations in your tank
Guppies love stones and gravel. Add live plants which take a crucial part along with bacteria and neutralize toxins. Since fish like hiding spots, avoid putting things that come from nature like sand since they may contain harmful parasites. Leading to general illness and death.
6. Light your tank
Guppies require a minimum of 8 hours of darkness daily. Any deviation from this may lead to deformities when they grow. You ought to put light on your tank to regulate the amount of light daily. In case you may be using natural light, place your container near a window.
Overall, the keeping of guppies can be an exciting exercise, especially when you follow the right procedures. Understanding the nature of the guppies will give you an edge as you try to multiply them in your aquarium. You can keep and maintain the functional health status of your fish and prevent them from dying of obviously treatable illness.
As a dedicated farmer, nothing comes easy. You must endure the challenges to gain better results. The time to take action is now!