Pregnant Guppies

Pregnant Guppies: Signs, Care, and Guppy Fry

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Guppies are a fish species mostly seen in aquariums of beginners and experienced keepers. With their wide range of colors and variety, they contribute to stunning additions to freshwater tanks. 

If you keep some guppies in your aquarium, you might be expecting babies as they are easy to breed. In this article, we would like to provide you some knowledge about pregnant guppies that can help you have more beautiful creatures for your tank. 

How to Identify If Your Guppy is Pregnant?

Signs of Pregnant Guppies

Signs of Pregnant Guppies

There are a number of ways for you to know whether your guppy is pregnant. Nevertheless, some of them are clear signs that your guppy is pregnant, while some could be caused by different conditions. Therefore, make sure you’re noticing several signs before determining if your guppy is pregnant or not. 

See your guppy mating 

This is one of the easiest ways that you identify your guppy is mating. Before mating, the male tends to chase the female around the aquarium. 

When he comes close enough, he will erect his anal fin that will go into the female’s underbelly, and she will become impregnated. 

Nonetheless, if you don’t notice this, don’t worry. This process often happens extremely quickly, and most fish owners cannot see it. 

There are guppies males in the tank

And apparently, another indicator that your guppy is pregnant is when there are males in the aquarium. Guppies are livebearers that can give birth nearly every 30 days. If you have male guppies in your aquarium, it is highly possible that they’ve impregnated your guppy. 

Changes in their gravid spot 

Changes in their gravid spot

It is easy to observe the gravid spot of female guppies. The gravid spot is the darkened skin of the womb, where the fry grow after the eggs are fertilized. Unlike most fish, guppies are live-bearing. 

They do generate eggs, but they are fertilized internally by the male instead of being laid externally. When the embryos have developed inside the female, her belly starts to swell, and the gravid spot will become darkened. Her skin is translucent, making it easy for you to see through its belly. 

When the gravid spot changes, her behaviors also change. The pregnant frail may start to shun food when she is going to give birth. She might isolate herself and spend more time in the corners of the aquarium or hide among plants. This is one way to protect her fry when they are born. 

These changes begin at about three weeks after being impregnated by her mate. If you notice that the gravid spot darkens and her behaviors change, it’s necessary to move her to a different tank or a breeder box. 

Pregnant guppies likely swim in place 

Another noticeable sign that your guppy is going to go into labor is that she tends to swim in place. 

While her body may look like it’s swimming, she remains in one place. At this point, she usually finds somewhere safe and comfortable as the labor is imminent. 

Pregnant guppies become more aggressive

You might find that your female guppy becomes more aggressive when they get pregnant, particularly towards her mate. In some severe cases, they might start fin nipping. 

What are Delivery Signs of Pregnant Guppies? 

Delivery Signs of Pregnant Guppies

Delivery Signs of Pregnant Guppies

Your pregnant guppy has body contractions

If you find that your guppy is getting body contractions, she is likely about to give birth. The way you can identify body contractions is to watch her body. If the muscles are tightening, then releasing over and over again, then she’s in labor. 

It’s crucial to note that this can happen for a while before she gives birth. 

Your pregnant guppy tries to hide

As your guppy is going to go into labor, she tends to hide from other fish in the tank. This is because she doesn’t want others to aggravate her while she can’t defend herself. That’s the reason why you should move your pregnant guppy to a different tank or somewhere safe. 

Your guppy is inclined to isolate herself from other fish. She will normally like to stay near the heater. 

Your pregnant guppy’s body becomes more angular 

When she enters the final stages of her pregnancy, you’ll see that her belly becomes more angular rather than round. If this is happening, you can be sure that she is about to give birth. 

Your guppy is reluctant to eat

At the end of pregnancy, your guppy no longer wants to eat. She might avoid food or spit it out after consuming it. 

How Many Babies Will Your Guppy Have?

Normally, a pregnant guppy often can give birth to from 5 to 30 fry. However in some extreme circumstances, she might create one or two or even over 100. A single female guppy can give birth up to 2000 fry in its lifetime. 

As they breed so fast, it is essential to ensure you have enough room in your aquarium to keep different generations of guppies. Those who don’t want to breed their guppies had better separate the females and males. 

A precondition for healthy guppy fry is a healthy mother. When female guppies get pregnant, they need small frequent meals during the day. These meals should contain high-quality protein and vegetables. Here’re some recommendations:

  • Daphnia
  • Peas
  • Spirulina flakes
  • Bloodworms
  • Brine Shrimp

Whereas fish pellets and flakes may satisfy the nutritional requirements of most guppies, pregnant guppies often benefit from an improved diet. Hence, it’s suggested that you should supplement the current diets with the natural alternatives mentioned above. 

Can Guppies Store Sperm?

The answer is yes. 

When you grow a plant to breed your guppy, you should remember female guppies have an incredible ability to store sperms in their bodies. They are able to store sperm from some males for up to a year. They can also have up to eight broods from a single mating. This excellent ability to store sperm for use at a later time is called superfetation. 

Therefore, if conditions are poor, a female guppy can delay its reproduction until a later date. Then, she can reproduce without any further contribution from a male guppy. 

This enables them to give birth up to six times after just one encounter with their mate. Your female guppies can give birth in consecutive 30-day cycles.

What to Consider When Pregnant Guppies Give Birth 

Pregnant Guppies Give Birth

Birthing tanks for your guppy

Birthing tanks are an integral component of a stress-free delivery for your guppy. When you start to detect signs that your fish is going to go into labor, you need to put her in a birthing tank. Being able to give birth in that tank offers the mother a safe place when she delivers her fry. 

When a female guppy has completed giving birth, you should instantly move her from the tank to prevent her from consuming her babies. Besides, you should feed her nutritious food to refresh her energy. 

Length of the average delivery 

A healthy delivery might last from four to six hours on average. For stressed guppies, it may take up to 12 hours for them to give birth. Guppy babies that are born healthy will swim upwards, while weaker or stillborn ones will fall to the tank’s bottom. Healthy deliveries can optimize the odds of survival for guppy babies. 

Dangers to guppy babies 

The biggest danger that guppy fry might encounter is filial cannibalism. Newly hatched babies get a high risk of being eaten by their mother. 

There are different theories on why guppies consume their young. Some people hypothesize that mothers do so to refresh their energy after giving birth. Others argue that guppies do that to eliminate the weak ones. 

Whatever the reasons might be, you should separate guppy babies from other fish in the tank. 

How Will You Feed Guppy Fry?

Right after guppy babies are born, they head straight for the substrate. Then, the remainder of the yolk sac is absorbed, and the fry start to move around. In a short time, they will find vegetation near the surface and start feeding. In ideal conditions, the babies will be mature enough to breed within one to three months of their birth.

The first thing you need to do after your guppy gives birth is to separate its babies from adult guppies. You can do this by isolating the guppy mother in a different tank before she gives birth and removing her instantly after. 

Putting guppy fry in a separate tank will protect them from being consumed by adult guppies or larger fish in your tank. 

If you don’t have a tank, you can use a breeding box. However, make sure you don’t keep your fry in these boxes for long periods because the limited space will hinder their growth. 

Guppy babies are tiny and need specialized fry food that is small and easily digestible. You can try powered fry food which has a great balance of animal-based proteins and plant-based nutrients.

It is highly recommended that you feed your young guppies in a separate tank in the initial stages of their growth. Fry that are too young and inexperienced cannot compete with other tankmates for food. This will considerably influence their odds of survival. 


Guppies are some of the most beautiful and incredible fish in the world as they are hardy, colorful, and easy to breed. Preparing a thoughtful plan to care for your pregnant guppies can make sure that you will get a tank full of healthy and stunning fish. 

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