How Many Babies Can A Guppy Have?
Originally found in South America, guppies are small tropical fish that belong to the Poecillidae Family. They’ve made their way to the Western world via the constantly-growing aquarium hobby and are one of the most commonly kept tropical fish for both beginners and intermediate keepers.
Guppies are incredibly active, colorful, and easy to care for. They are also livebearers, which means that they give birth to fry instead of eggs. This being said, if you’ve stumbled upon this article you’re probably wondering how many babies a guppy can have.
Let’s check it out!
How Many Babies Can Guppies Have?
As guppies are livebearers, they can give birth to an astonishingly high number of babies with each birth. Female guppies give birth to 20 to 120 fry with each pregnancy, but it’s not uncommon for some to give birth to fewer than 20 and others to more than 120. There are, of course, always exceptions. In addition, the average female bears 50-60 each time she gives birth.
When it comes time to be born, fries are born one after the other or in small batches over a period of roughly 6 hours.
Females are pregnant for 21-30 days, after which they give birth and can then mate all over again, continuing the cycle. Most female guppies bear around 2,000 fries within their lifetime thanks to their short gestation periods and rapid sexual maturity.
What Affects How Many Babies Guppies Have?
Most of the time, we assume that fish have the same number of young all the time. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth — and guppies are great proof of that.
When a female guppy is pregnant or looking to mate, there are a number of factors that play into how many fries she births and whether or not the fries thrive.
When a female guppy is stressed out, the birthing process may take longer than the average 6 hours. In addition, the female may even remain pregnant for longer than usual, as a way of protecting her fry from whatever it is causing her stress.
Severe or prolonger stress can sometimes cause miscarriage or spontaneous abortion for female guppies, which is when the body of the female destroys the fry insider her.
Like when a human woman is pregnant, the environment that a pregnant guppy is in will affect how her pregnancy and birth go. Generally, a clean, stress-free environment is better than one that is dirty or provokes a lot of fear in your pregnant guppy.
The health of the pregnant female before she becomes pregnant and throughout her 30-day pregnancy is another important factor. A guppy who is healthy and an ideal candidate for successful breeding will fare. She will also tend to give birth to more young than a fish who is ill, underfed, or otherwise not in peak condition.
How To Boost the Number of Babies A Guppy Has
To get the most fry from a guppy that you want to breed, the best thing to do is take good care of her. This sounds simple, but it’s often overlooked.
Be diligent with water changes, filtration, and general aquarium maintenance. Feed her healthy food. Do your best to minimize stress within her aquarium — even if it means removing one of the other fish in the tank temporarily or rearranging the decor to make space for a few extra caves for her to hide in.
How Do You Know When Your Guppy Has Finished Giving Birth?
If you’re observing the birthing process, there are a few simple signs that can indicate when your guppy has finished.
First, check out your guppy’s gravid spot. During pregnancy, the gravid spot will get larger and darker, but once she has finished birthing her young, the gravid spot will look smaller once again. It will also return to a more triangular shape.
Next, watch for the end of contractions. In fish, contractions will present as the spine bending so that the tail comes up, resembling swimming or shivering in place. During birth, the upper portion of the guppy’s body will make these obvious movements and will continue to do so until all the fry have been born.
Another good way to tell if she has finished giving birth is by observing how she swims. Pregnant guppies will be less active and swim more slowly than usual. However, after they’ve birthed all their young their swimming patterns will quickly begin to return to normal as their body relaxes.
Lastly, a guppy that is no longer pregnant will return to its original size. As pregnancy progresses, the belly of your guppy will swell and get larger, but once she has delivered her young, it shrinks back down to its usual size.
This sign, although a good one, isn’t usually noticeable right away. It can be observed in the hours and days after birth.
So, how many babies can a guppy have? 20-120, with 50-60 being the average. These numbers, however, can differ based on the individual guppy in question, her health, her environment, and stress that she’s exposed to before and during pregnancy.
A guppy who lives in a clean aquarium, has peaceful tank mates or a tank all to herself, and who gets plenty of healthy food will have more fry than one who lacks any of these crucial things. Essentially, the better you treat your guppy, the better her pregnancy and birth will be — and the more fry you’ll see swimming around in your aquarium!
To make sure she’s finished giving birth, pay attention to her gravid spot, the size and shape of her belly, how she swims, and whether or not she’s done having contractions. Contractions, as we mentioned briefly, will appear as spinal movements that make her tail come up towards the sky.