Guppies are amongst the best fish for someone starting an aquarium, as they are hardy, pretty, and affordable. In some circumstances, they survive in either tropical aquariums or cold-water tanks. The guppy, its scientific name is Poeciliae Reticulata, a family of fish called live bearing toothcarps.
Sometimes it is hard to decide the sex of some animals and fish, but with guppies and the family of ivebearers it is not a problem. Livebearers are very easy to sex; the males are showy, with their large tails, while the poor female is a plain fish. Somewhat larger than the male, the female may have some coloring but increasingly they are becoming more colorful as breeders pay attention to female colour in their breeding programs. The female has dark coloring called a gravid spot that gets darker and larger while she is pregnant with the fry growing before they are born.
When selecting your fish choosing a large female is wise. Obviously, the larger female has the advantage of more room for fry! Guppies live in water that can be as cool as 15 degrees Centigrade. Generally, they are kept comfortably at a range of 25-27 degrees C. At this temperature, the females will have a 28-day gestation; increasing the temperature to 32 degrees C will cause them to drop their fry at 19-day gestation period. Obviously if you care for your fish, you will realize that by doing this you will be shortening their lives because of the extra demands made on their small bodies.
Guppies can be the mainstay of a community tank and will breed easily in those conditions. A requirement for any successful breeding and subsequent fry in a community aquarium is a well-planted tank that fry can hide with in the leaves of the plants. I prefer the finer leaved plants but as long as the cover is dense, they will survive surprisingly well. The adult fish eat all sorts of food regardless of whether it’s flaked, granules or fresh as in fry. If you have fry in the tank as well as the adults, ensure you have food that is very fine and will fit into the tiny mouths. Fry do very well on brine shrimps (sea monkeys) but it is not always convenient to spend the time preparing the shrimps if you are a parent trying to encourage an offspring to look after pets.