Argh Mass-produced Guppies!

  1. BranSW

    BranSW Valued Member Member

    So a decade or so ago, guppies were my introduction to fish-keeping. I got frustrated by the repetitive unexplained deaths from the pet store ones and, being the good little Bio major I was, spent the next four or five years breeding my own much hardier snakeskins and halfblack pastels. Then I moved, had to abandon the hobby for a while, and am only now revisiting guppies because my spouse adores the pretty colors. My hope was that generally available guppies would be at least a *little* better than the ones I started with 11 years ago.

    5-gallon tank, dirted, cycled, planted, 76F/7.2/0/0/10 (/3kH/8gH), 4 healthy looking male fancy guppies from large local store. Twice weekly 40% WC. Careful observation to make sure nothing more than displaying is going on. Ten days later, I just returned three dead guppies.

    Argh! I don't want to do the whole linebreeding thing again! I have other fish to focus on! Why must these fish be so darn fragile?!
     
  2. K

    Karter B New Member Member

    Buy from a mom and pop store if you have one near you. All of the guppies I've gotten from the big stores have died within a week, whereas the the small store ones are all still alive 6 months later.
     
  3. KinsKicks

    KinsKicks Fishlore VIP Member

    You can try a breeder on the forum (go to BSTF); I know they have some very nice guppies that you probably won't find around town, and they are most likely a a much nicer quality as well
     


  4. OP
    OP
    BranSW

    BranSW Valued Member Member

    I'm giving some serious thought to that. It's either that or bite the bullet and pick up some show guppies -- of course, then those would be for *me*, not so much for the spouse, and I would definitely be breeding them... which takes me right back to the problem of where to fit that many containers XD
     
  5. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    Buy online. You live near several sources but do your research as some of the well hyped Asian sourced guppies are not quite as advertised when it comes to health and true breeding. I have some show winning guppy strains to sell but you are on the edge of the two day reasonably priced shipping zone from here. In any event get quality fish. They don't die if you are careful at all.
     
  6. BettaPonic

    BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    You could get wild type. The colors will be much different though.
     


  7. Supreme Sawk

    Supreme Sawk Valued Member Member

    I'd advise staying away from the chain stores for guppies and for any fish in general. They come from Guppy Mills, are complete mutts and will never breed true, and are the fish equivalent of inviting someone with whooping cough into your house (if you aren't vaccinated of course).
     
  8. BettaPonic

    BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    You could mix strains to get genetic diversity?
     
  9. Supreme Sawk

    Supreme Sawk Valued Member Member

    If you do that you'll end up with ugly mutts and ones that revert to wild-type. Chain store guppies are mutts, no matter how pure they look. To get good results from crossing strains you need two fish that are known to be pure and will breed true. If you put two chain store 'strains' together you'll get ugly mutts. No serious breeder would incorporate chain store guppies into their gene pool, it will always result in ugly or wild-type fish. Not only that, but most chain store females are already pregnant from a male you don't know, so it's near impossible to actually do selective breeding with chain guppies.
     
  10. BettaPonic

    BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    I keep wild type and they look great. In my experience you get some nice looking fish that don't breed true.
     
  11. Supreme Sawk

    Supreme Sawk Valued Member Member

    That's not what I said, I didn't say wild-type is bad (I rather like them myself), and I didn't say a fish needs to breed true to look nice. What I did say is that crossing two chain store 'strains' will result in both ugly and wild-type fish, and that if you want a good cross it's a good idea to use two fish that breed true. Crossing two chain store guppies will result in more unattractive randoms and uglies. If like me you are doing random breeding, it's a good idea to use pure and at least somewhat similar strains so that at least a few half-decent offspring are guaranteed. Plopping a few chain mutts together will result in randoms, black/grey tailed fish and colourless females, and if you breed these ones then you'll start getting wild-types. It's a good start if you are aiming for wild-types but otherwise it's the opposite of what you're aiming for.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    BranSW

    BranSW Valued Member Member

    I personally like the look of the wild type, but these are mostly for my spouse, whose take is more or less the flashier the better. I remember quite well how long it took to breed my own strains last time around from pet store guppies -- it was definitely not fast! I think I'm probably going to go with show guppies; I've always loved the looks of Moscows in general, and good luck finding those in pet stores! So now to go find breeders of them within more or less the west coast area....
     
  13. Supreme Sawk

    Supreme Sawk Valued Member Member

    Sounds good, good luck!
     
  14. BettaPonic

    BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    Sorry if I misquoted you. I only have my experience, but my mutts stayed true for a few generations. They settled on black bodies and orange red fins. Now they are wild type. I defiantly agree pure strains are better for a start. I personally prefer wild type to domestic. Those mutts can be stabilized, but that seems like it would be a major hassle. I love it when the fish don't breed true. I love seeing varying types.
     
  15. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    Some petstore guppies are clearly culls from famous strains. That doesn't mean they are unhealthy. Just lacking some minor refinement an expensive guppy possesses. Still good guppies if they are healthy.
     
  16. Kellye8498

    Kellye8498 Well Known Member Member

    I have got four guppies from Petco to keep my tanks cycle going since all LFS's were out of guppies when I started the tank then added four prehit purple nebula females and 25 fry from someone who clearly bred their guppies for the love of fish. Purple nebulas and the fry all came from eBay sellers. I haven't lost a single guppy yet. I think your good if you get the pet store ones the day they are introduced to the tank. The longer they are in those tanks the more stressed and sickly they appear to be. Ask them when their next shipment will come in and be there as soon as it drops or just have someone on eBay send you some and you should be set.
     
  17. Kellye8498

    Kellye8498 Well Known Member Member

    Those ugly babies are the ones I net out and feed to my axolotl xD
     
  18. Kellye8498

    Kellye8498 Well Known Member Member

    Your also most likely going to need something larger than a 5 gallon tank for a guppy tank. I would grab at least a 10 if not a 20L while the Petco DPG sale is still going so you can start off right and not be overstocked. I got a 20L for mine and will be selling any fry I'm not totally in love with to my LFS.
     
  19. KimberlyG

    KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

  20. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    Those are nice if they are really that red. Most red guppies offered for sale are a whole lot closer to orange. Orangish red at best.