Wanting to breed guppies for feeder fish

Blanco
  • #1
Just got a new tank & plan to breed guppies for feeders & yet I think they are really pretty.

What should I expect?
How long is the pregnancy?
should they have a special diet?

Any other info would be helpful...
 
Akari_32
  • #2
Pregnancy last about 29 days, and the old and more experienced the female gets, the more fry she'll drop. I had a female drop about 250 fry on her 3rd or 4th drop. All I had at the time was the 10 gallon tank the parents were living in. Talk about a nightmare! LOL That's pretty uncommon though, for that size of a drop, that early on.

Guppies do well on a relatively high protein diet. Feed them good food, as they are to be feeders, and the fish you are feeding them to will, as a result, be more healthy. The health of your fish starts with how healthy its food is
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
WOW!!! What did I get myself into I never imagined numbers like that!

I figured I should not keep them with my carp & misc other fish out of fear that the tiny babies would all be eaten.

What would would be the best food for them?

I currently have 5 couples in my 10 Gal tank what might I expect from this?
 
Aquarist
  • #4
Breeding Guppies and Swordtails

Good morning,

A few links above to help you out.

I have moved your thread from Freshwater Beginners to Live Bearers/Guppy section of the forum. You can always locate your threads by clicking on My Threads in the blue bar close to the top of the screen.

Thanks and best of luck!

Ken
 
wisecrackerz
  • #5
you don't need help to breed guppies. you need help to NOT breed guppies. If you plan on separating the parents from the fry, then all I can say is that I hope your carp are ready to get FAT (I'm assuming this is what you want to feed them to). If you don't, then just remember to feed well after the drop; this'll stop the parents from eating too many of the fry.

What I'm trying to say is that guppies are so easy to breed that they'll often to it when you don't want them to. I've never really seen ones that wouldn't, given the chance, so you don't have to go to a lot of effort raising and lowering temperatures and water levels and salinity and what-have-you like you do with many other fish.

My bf had the same experience (wanting to breed them for feeders but then discovering that he really liked them). He has a sort of solid group in his tank, and then as the fry grow up, he nets the ones who's color patterns he's not as crazy about, or the females that are getting REALLY seriousface (he's been giving them to a local head-start class room because the kids think fish are cool but he's also waiting for some to color up a bit nicer to trade to his LFS for some food and stuff). The tank is actually really neat when all the guppies are flitting around munching at dinner time lol. But that way, you get the best of both worlds!

Just... it gets intense. How much fish removal you have to do. It's almost like water changes, it's so frequent. So be prepared for that extra effort.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I'm not feeding them to the carp rather to my larger fish.
 
Chicken farmer
  • #7
are you feeding them to you turtle(s)?
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
are you feeding them to you turtle(s)?

I doubt he could catch them.

How long does it take them to reach full size?
 
Akari_32
  • #9
I doubt he could catch them.

How long does it take them to reach full size?

Depends on how well they are fed. Mine were full grown in the body at about 3-4 months, and the females were dropping fry at 5-6 months.
 
bowcrazy
  • #10
I would personally recommend you put lots more cover in the tank if you want to save most of the fry to be feeders or the parents and others in the tank can and will eat them quickly. Heavily plant one end of the tank with lots of plastic hornwort or moneywort to give them a good hiding place. The more is better in this case.

What I do is heavily plant a tank so that the fry have a place to hide. Once they are born I move the adults into a holding tank so that I can remove all the cover so that netting out the fry is easier. Once I have all the fry out I put the parents back in the tank and put the fry into a grow out tank. Once they are in a grow out tank I can raise them if I want or I can net a few out at a time to use as feeders.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
How can I tell if a female is ready to drop what do they look like vs the others?
& & thanks for the tips on the plant life.
Are the fish that bad with eating their own young?

& what do I feed the Micro babies?

Any videos links you guys suggest?
 
mosaicguppy
  • #12
this is my huge female endler a few hours before she gave birth to like 40 fry at once:

You can see the gravid spot has a sort of pointy look to it and that's a sign they're about to give birth, another sign is they appear squarish from the front. I feeding my endler fry good quality spirulina flakes (crushed) and they get bigger everyday! I know endlers are different to guppies but their care requirements are very similar.
 
bowcrazy
  • #13
The link aquarist48 posted will answer a lot of your questions on how to tell if they are getting ready to drop. But a quick answer is, look at the gravid spot in the belly and when it turns dark and the belly starts to get a squared off look they are close to dropping the fry. Oh and yes all most all livebearers are bad about eating their young especially if they are let get hungry. The fry are not safe until they get large enough that they will not fit into the adults mouths.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
bowcrazy
  • #15
Flake food is a good everyday food but I give mine a treat a few times a week of frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms. You can even use freeze dried brine shrimp or bloodworms to treat them now and then.

All fish need a well rounded diet and there are not too many good flake foods on the market that will satisfy them 365 days a year so vary what you feed them just make sure you don’t over feed them. Fasting them once or twice a week is even a good idea plus it will help with water quality.

The one of the most important things you need to do if you want to breed fish is keep the water clean. My breeder tanks get at least a 25% water change twice a week and my fry tanks get a 20% water change every other day. Never change the filter media just rinse it out good in used tank water so that you get the large stuff out and not so much that you remove the good bacteria.
 
KLEINJANSFAM
  • #16
I feed mine freeze dried bloodworms and brine shrimp. And a couple of different flake foods. I also grind up shrimp and pellet food to feed makes a nice powder for the fry. I have a 55gal that I have only guppies in my breeders and babies. I don't take my fry out I leave them with the adults until I'm ready to rehome them. I have a well planted tank for the fry to hide in which helps a lot.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I have a 55gal that I have only guppies in

How many Guppies you have in that tank?
Seems huge considering how small guppies are.
 
KLEINJANSFAM
  • #18
I started out with six females and four males in smaller tank. Had a bunch of babies and ran out of room in the tank they were in. one of my females is older that I got from someone else and she is dropping 50 or more every time. I have my original ones and probably 100+ babies now. Ive been trying to load pictures but haven't been able to hope fully I can get some up soon.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Looking forward to them pics , when you can post them.

What do you do with these?
Sell them to a local pet store?
 
KLEINJANSFAM
  • #20
I sell them on a local yard sale site. I'm in japan and its hard to communicate with the local pet stores but it also helps because there is a lot of us in the same boat and I sell them cheaper than the LFS. Occasionally I will switch a female or a male out to help to not over inbreed them.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
I just got home & looked at the tank & wondered how careful will I have to be when changing the water in the tank, when I have super tiny babies swimming around in the tank?
 
mosaicguppy
  • #22
It sure takes a bit of practice but you'll get it! I have about 40 fry and I have no problems doing water changes, you just have to be careful and watch where the fry are going, mine usually swim away but if not I keep my gravel vac away from them.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
It sure takes a bit of practice but you'll get it! I have about 40 fry and I have no problems doing water changes, you just have to be careful and watch where the fry are going, mine usually swim away but if not I keep my gravel vac away from them.

Gravel Vac?!?!?!

I been saying to myself I bet there is a tool for sucking out the from the gravel, How does it work got any links?
I currently have 4 tanks & after the wife opens one of her Christmas gift we'll have 5 & I'm planning getting a much bigger one soon at least a 120 Gal tank.

I usually just scoop out about 70% of the water & replace it.
& I was thinking about maybe having to look closely into what ever I'm scooping with to make sure i'm not throwing out the babies with the bath water?
 
mosaicguppy
  • #24
So you've been doing water changes without cleaning the gravel? You probably have a lot of stuff trapped under the gavel if you haven't. A gravel vac is very easy to use, I'm just not really sure how to explain,but I have to say if you're planning on scooping out water, it's gonna take a LONG time! It's very likely you'll scoop out some fry along with the dirty water so get one to make water changes easier.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
So glad you mentioned this because I know I have lots of in the gravel in all my tanks & wondered about how to properly clean it.

Got any links?
 
bowcrazy
  • #26
One of the first accessories I recommend everyone to get after they have a tank set up is a gravel vacuum. There are several types on the market and they are cheep. You can pick up a gravity siphon type for a few bucks and I personally like them but they will require you to siphon into a bucket. Then you have to dispose of the water in the bucket. There are types that connect to the sink which lets you also fill the tank right from the sink.

I personally like the old manual type that uses a bucket because if you accidentally suck a fry up you can retrieve it out of the bucket. They are very simple to use and do a good job of cleaning what is in and under the gravel. I use a large clip to hold the bucket end of the hose to the top of the bucket so that it can’t come out and dump water on the floor.

To start it all you have to do is completely submerge the large vacuum end into the tank. Then raise the open end of the large tube above the water line and when the water starts to flow down you completely submerge it again and stick the open end down into the gravel. It will suck up the junk in the gravel but will drop the gravel back into the tank. You simply shove it down into the gravel, pick it up a bit and let it drop the gravel back, move it over a bit and shove it back down into the gravel. I recommend only cleaning about a third to one half of the tank at anyone time because it also removes some of the good bacteria living in the gravel. If you over clean the bottom you can cause a tank to have a mini-cycle.


Here is a link to a youtube video that show how simple they are to use.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Thanks Bowcrazy , but that's not a vac?
That's a siphon, Yet I suppose that would work....?
 
bowcrazy
  • #28
What she is using is a siphon vacuum – the video is just showing one simple way to start it working but she doesn’t show how to use the vacuum to suck up the junk in the gravel. So yes it is a manual siphon vacuum!

That is all I use on my 18 tanks and it works great to clean the gravel and if you have fry it is the safest way so that fry don't go down the drain.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
she doesn’t show how to use the vacuum to suck up the junk in the gravel.

That's what I need to learn how to do.
 
bowcrazy
  • #30
It is simple. Once the siphon has started to flow you shove the large plastic end of the siphon down into the gravel all the way to the bottom of the tank. The siphon vacuum will pick up some of the gravel into the tube but don’t worry, the light stuff (poop and food) in the gravel will travel up the tube with the water and into the bucket the heavier gravel will fall back out of the tube once you pick it up just a bit. Just repeat the steps over and over until you have cleaned part of the tank. Don’t forget to keep one eye on the bucket so that it don’t run over and one eye on the fry so they don’t get into the siphon but if they do just net them back out of the bucket and place them back into the tank.

It doesn’t take much practice to learn how to use one effectively. The hardest part of using a siphon vacuum is empting the bucket with out making a mess. I take mine outside and empty it in the bushes or the yard. It is a good natural fertilizer and the house plants even love it. Now the water from my tanks with salt in them goes down the drain because the salt isn’t good for the plants.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
Thanks!
I'm assuming most pet stores sell them eh?
 
bowcrazy
  • #32
I would think so - they are a very commonly used item used with aquariums.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #33
Just changed my water in my tanks the old fashion way, ( Cant wait to be done with that. ) & started wondering what & why is the ideal water temp for breeding guppies?
 
mosaicguppy
  • #34
guppies don't need a specific temperature to breed, they just do. I think it's harder to stop them from breeding than getting them to, but as always, higher temperature means faster fry growth but it also shortens their lifespan.
 
bowcrazy
  • #35
Guppies are a very hardy fish and can live in a very wide range of temperatures but do best when kept between 66°F - 84°F (19°C - 29°C) but in my opinion do best when kept in water more around 78°F. They will eat just about anything you give them but if you want them to be healthy and breed a lot treat them with frozen or freeze dried bloodworms and brine shrimp a few times a week and if you can get or raise live food like live brine shrimp they will totally love you.

As mosaicguppy stated it is harder to keep them from breeding than it is to breed them. Guppies are one fish that if there is a male and a female in the same tank there will be fry arriving soon. It is best to keep them with a ratio of 1 male to 4 or 5 females so that the male don’t drive anyone female totally crazy chasing them all the time. Guppies can have anywhere from 4 to 60 fry at a time so be prepared to have a population explosion about every 28 days. I have one 30 gallon tank dedicated to my Guppy fry because I am constantly netting new fry out of my 55 gallon Guppy tank.

I raise and sell Guppies and Mollies to help supplement my hobby. The owner of my not so local (40 miles away) – local fish store is always willing to give me a good price for my juveniles. My advice here is if you are going to get into breeding guppies is ether buy more tanks or get to know your local fish store owner so that you have a place to go with all the young you will have.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #36
I raise and sell Guppies and Mollies to help supplement my hobby. The owner of my not so local (40 miles away) – local fish store is always willing to give me a good price for my juveniles. My advice here is if you are going to get into breeding guppies is ether buy more tanks or get to know your local fish store owner so that you have a place to go with all the young you will have.

What are Mollies?

& trust me as small as these fish are I'm sure my larger fish will have no problem eating as many of them as I can drop into their tank...
 
bowcrazy
  • #37
Molly is a breed of livebearer that grows to around 4 to 5 inches. The fry are a little bit larger but not much. If you are raising the guppies to be used just as feeders then you will have no problem with over population. Another fish you might consider is the Endler because they will cross breed with Guppies and they both have a gestation period around 28 days. The Endler’s fry are just a tad bit smaller than the Guppy’s fry.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #38
How many Guppies get born in what time frame?
I've seen only one so far from big Momma.

Here's her 1st Born.

I'm feeding them real well, over feeding them actually & yet I thought I saw one tiny one yet can't anymore.
I'm wondering if they're eating them as fast as they're born?
In the past 24 hours I've seen one & its still there, ( The one in the picture ) & thought I saw a Super small one but for the life of me can't find it again?
 
Akari_32
  • #39
Fry are good at hiding, don't worry about it. My endlers dropped fry and for about two weeks, I thought I only had three babies, but it turned out I had like five or six.
 
Blanco
  • Thread Starter
  • #40
Fry are good at hiding, don't worry about it. My endlers dropped fry and for about two weeks, I thought I only had three babies, but it turned out I had like five or six.

I'll take your word for it but the tank is right behind me at my computer & I still only see one.
As long as the adults are not eating them I'm fine with it.
I have like 5 females that all look fat, so I'm sure I'll have more soon enough.
I must say they do look very cute being so small, Almost makes me not wanna feed them to the bigger fish & not to mention they're almost to small to bother feeding them to the big ones...
 

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