Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through them. Our content is not influenced by commissions.
Guppies are fun little fish to have in your aquarium. One of the joys of owning them is the fact that they can create a lot of little baby guppies to fill up your tank and keep you entertained.
Male guppies and female guppies are certainly not shy about each other. If you allow them to mingle, chances are that you’ll get a new litter of guppies about every month or so. However, that’s only if you make sure to provide them with healthy and consistent tank conditions.
When Can Female Guppies Start Reproducing?
A female guppy can usually get pregnant when she is about two to three months old. When you breed guppies, it’s important to make sure you’re paying attention to the signs of pregnancy. This is because male guppies can get a little aggressive with the pregnant female guppies, resulting in unwanted stress and potential pregnancy complications.
When you notice that your female guppy is showing signs of being pregnant, make sure to separate her from the rest of her tank mates with a breeder box as soon as possible. This will ensure a healthy and successful pregnancy.
How Long Are Guppies Pregnant for?
The average gestation period for a pregnant female guppy is about 28 days. Guppies don’t lay eggs. In fact, they actually give birth to live fish. The babies that pregnant guppies give birth to are kind of like small adults and are already almost fully developed once they are birthed.
This is quite cool, because it means that postpartum guppies don’t have a lot of mothering responsibilities once they are finished giving birth to the litter. They can move right along to getting pregnant with their next batch of babies!
How Long Does It Take for a Guppy to Give Birth?
After the gestation period, during which the pregnant guppy should remain separated from the rest of the tank, she will give birth to live babies. It typically takes a few hours for the mother to give birth to all of her baby guppies.
Brand new guppy mothers will usually take slightly longer to give birth the first time and tend to deliver a smaller litter, usually about 20 or so babies. However, seasoned pros will usually be able to birth well over 50 baby guppies in a shorter span of time.
Overall, you can expect that the birthing process won’t take longer than a day. Therefore, given that the gestation lasts about 28 days and the birthing process takes a handful of hours, you can expect to have quite a few baby guppies swimming around in your tank in a fairly short amount of time!
What Happens After a Guppy Gives Birth?
You may have heard that pregnant guppies typically die after giving birth to their litters, usually due to stress and their weakened immune system. It’s especially common for this to happen to female guppies that have gone through several pregnancies. Don’t worry; this is actually natural and a result of their evolutionary development.
However, something to keep in mind when breeding guppies (or even when you just have an accidental pregnancy in your tank) is that it is not unheard of for the mother guppy to eat her young. Even the males will attempt to prey on their offspring, so it’s good to keep the adult fish separate.
That’s why it’s especially important to know that it only takes a few hours for the pregnant female to give birth. Your intervention with likely be very much needed to keep those new little guppies alive!
Make sure that you are removing your pregnant guppy from their newborns with the utmost care to ensure that you don’t cause her too much stress. Also, it’s not the best idea to place the postpartum guppy back with the rest of her tank mates right away; this could lead to high, and potentially fatal, stress levels.
All in all, guppies reproduce often and in large numbers. Gestation takes about a month and then, in the span of just a few hours, the pregnant female can give birth to dozens of live fish.
Be sure to keep this in mind, especially in terms of tank space, and you’ll be on your way to having a thriving guppy family in no time!