Guppy fry are not reliant upon their mothers for any of their needs, and adult guppies may even eat their young, so it is important to keep the fry protected from larger fish.
Keeping your fry in a tank of their own until they are large enough to be mixed in with your general fish population is recommended. At the very least, you should partition off the tank so that fry can keep out of the way of the mother fish!
In this article, we explain proper guppy fry care so that you know how to look after your fry until they are large enough to be housed with adult fish.
Newly hatched fry are more sensitive to fluctuations in water quality than larger fish. Keeping a careful eye on water quality is therefore extremely important and you should test the water regularly.
Test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. Keep ammonia and nitrite at zero ppm, and nitrate at under 10 ppm.
You also need to perform regular partial water changes. But be careful! Make sure that you don’t dispose of any guppy fry along with the water! Use a siphon with gauze over the end to suck up tank water, so that fry do not get sucked into the siphon.
A stable water temperature is vital for the well-being of your fry. The temperature should be uniform throughout the tank. Keep a thermometer in the tank to monitor this, and aim for a temperature of 24-26.5 degrees Celsius at all times.
Feeding guppy fry
Guppy fry are too small to get their mouths around pellets, large flakes or other adult fish food, and so their feeding requires a little extra consideration. You can either feed a dedicated fry food or crush up larger fish food flakes.
You may also wish to supplement their diets with live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms. Variety is important when feeding fry, to ensure that they receive all of the nutrients that they will need, so offer a range of different options to your fry as they grow.
Fry need to eat regularly, and feeding as often as eight times a day may be required to allow your fry to thrive. Remove any uneaten food from the tank promptly and take care not to overfeed, as discarded food rotting in the water can play havoc with your water quality.
Remember that as your fry grow larger, you will be able to feed them larger pieces of food!
Checking for problems
Fry have very delicate immune systems, and are unlikely to survive any injuries or illnesses. For this reason it is important to keep a careful eye on the health of your tank and the fry within it, and tackle any problems promptly.
Fry will also not generally survive dosing of the tank with any of the usual treatments used to tackle disease in older fish, and so the only way to prevent a sick or diseased fish from infecting the whole fry population is by removing them from the tank as soon as you spot a problem.
Monitoring the growth of your baby guppies
Keep an eye on the rate at which your fry are growing, and ensure that they are receiving enough food to support their needs.
All of your fry from the same hatching should grow at roughly the same rate, and if any of the fish are significantly smaller than the rest of the batch, examine them carefully to ensure that they are not sick or deformed.
Once your fry have reached 6-8 weeks old, they will generally be large enough to survive in your main tank without being eaten. At this point – when the smallest fry is bigger than an adult guppy’s mouth! – you can place your lovingly-bred juvenile fry into the main tank with your other fish.