The guppy has become a staple of the aquarium trade to the point that its name brings to mind the common, dull, and even boring.
But, the guppy doesn’t deserve this insipid reputation! The guppy’s longtime presence in the aquarium hobby and its ease of breeding has spawned a vast variety of interesting color variations. In fact, most aquariasts now use the term “fancy guppy” to name this colorful tropical fish.
Indeed, today’s guppies exhibit all the colors of the rainbow and a multitude of body markings and patterns. Although the males of this tropical fish species possess distinctive large tails and are far more colorful than are the females, you can often find female fancy guppies that have a flash of blue, yellow, red, and/or orange on their tails.
Caring for these tropical fish in the home aquarium is simple as long as you provide them with clean and stable water conditions (see the how to sex live-bearing tropical fish on this site.
That brings to mind another issue to consider: fancy guppies are prolific breeders and even a small batch of guppies is capable of producing dozens of babies in no time.
So, if you don’t want many baby fish in your aquarium, I advise purchasing no more than three fancy guppies. However, for many hobbyists who enjoy breeding fish, this isn’t a problem. Conversely, it’s an added benefit that makes fancy guppies all the more enjoyable to keep.
Scientific Name: Poecilia reticulata
Origin: Central America
Water Temperature Range: 70-80 °F (21-26 °C)
Water pH Range: 6.5-8.0
Maximum Size: 1 inch (2.5 cm)
Minimum Tank Size: 5 U.S. gallons (19 liters), though, as I indicate in The Kick-Ass Aquarium Book, a larger aquarium size is strongly advisable.
Diet: flake food, frozen brine shrimp, cyclops-eeze, frozen bloodworms (not recommended)