What are Guppies?
Guppy is a tropical freshwater fish that is native to South America. The highest number of guppies is found in Amazon, Brazil, Barbados, Tobago, Venezuela, Guyana, and Trinidad. You can usually find them in slow-flowing rivers, ponds, pools, small streams, lakes, and occasionally, in brackish waters. There can never be two guppies that look the same. As these are omnivorous fish, they can eat most vegetables and meat. You must always provide them with a massive variety of food options to make their colours and shades bolder. Guppies get their name from Robert John Lechmere Guppy, the man who discovered them.
The Size of Guppies
Guppies are comparatively small in stature as well as size. The male guppies can grow up to around 1 1/8 inches, while the females can be 2 1/8 inches in length. The female guppies are bigger than the males, but the males steal the show as they are way more colourful when it comes to appearance.
Guppies Don’t Lay Eggs.
Unlike most fish which lay eggs for delivering their young, guppies are, interestingly, livebearers who produce live young, known as fry. Guppy fires can swim the moment they get released from the mother guppy. However, as the adult guppies can feed on their young, the newborns must be kept hidden and protected in the aquarium.
The Females Store Sperm
Just like us, guppies also possess twenty-three sets of chromosomes. It includes a pair of sex chromosomes too. The female guppies can store sperm. It is why they can get pregnant numerous times from just a single mating season. A female guppy releases its fry and immediately gets pregnant again, without having to mate again.
Guppies can Fight Malaria
If you release guppies in water, they will be able to fight Malaria. In 2014, this method was actually brought into practice in the southern region of India. It was a successful attempt as guppies ate up all the mosquitoes in the water body. No mosquitoes, hence, no malaria!
The Favourite Aquarium Pets
Guppies are very popular in the aquarium trade. It is mainly because these are easy to grow as well as they come in brilliant colours. Guppies are friendly creatures and get along with other types of fish as well. They are not even fussy eaters. They have been a part of various experiments to study evolution, behaviour, and ecology.
They are Great for Beginners
If you are planning to buy your first aquarium, guppies will be the best fish for you. They are extremely easy to grow and are not fussy eaters. They are also small in size, and if you keep your aquarium warm, these can survive for a more extended period as warmth speed up metabolism among the guppies. When well-kept, most guppies can live up to two to three years, and many can even go on living for close to five years. Unlike most other fish, guppies get along with all other fish. They are peaceful and can do well even if they are put in community fish tanks.
Originating from Central and South America, this species of guppy thrive in the brackish fish waters and live well in freshwaters. They are commonly known as painted guppies, swamp guppies, and scarlet livebearers.
These are the most commonly found guppies in the world. Their origin lies in South America, and they are also called million fish, rainbow fish, and fancy guppies.
Discovered in Venezuela in the year 1937, these guppies are relatively rare compared to their other species. They are commonly known as the Endler guppies.
Some Random Facts
Officially, there are twelve types of tails found in guppies. International guppy associations have recognized this, and they classify these fish based on patterns, tail types, and colours. Although these are freshwater fish, they can even survive in the saltwater when acclimated. Owing to the quick and easy breeding, guppies are also known as ‘million fish’. They can deliver close to 50 baby guppies (called fries) in a month. They are also nicknamed rainbow fish, thanks to their vast variety of colours. (See 21 Types of Spaniels)
These guppies contain iridophores, a unique pigment in them. This pigment helps them in changing colours and hiding from predators. They secrete unique pigments which aid in mimic the environment. It makes them adaptable, and they turn unnoticeable to the predators.
These guppies have a fin and body of a single solid colour. The most frequently seen colours are reds, yellow and blue. You can also find some of them in black, thanks to breeding.
As the name suggests, albino guppies are all white in colours, and their faces are soft pink in colour. Even their eyes are red or pale pink. There can be hues of other colours on albino guppies, but usually, most of their bodies are completely white. It happens due to a deficiency of melanin in their body. Melanin is a black pigment that gives a dark colour. In part, these guppies look attractive as the white shades give them a delicate and soft look. Even though they are usually solid white, some of them can also be red and yellow.
Some guppies are neither red nor blue-green in colour. Their base and secondary colours are always different from each other. These guppies have very distinct and clear base colours. Some bi-colour guppies have a third colour, but the percentage of this is not more than 15. If it is over 15%, the guppies would be classified as multi-coloured. Their secondary colour is 25% or even more of the tail colour. The tail and the dorsal of these guppies share the same pattern and colour.
As the name suggests, black guppies are entirely black in colour. Even their caudal fins are of the same colour. The black guppies are mostly black from the tail to the body, and it is an intense shade, almost blue in colour. The larger the guppy is, the less black their bodies are. They develop more variety between the dorsal fin and body. It implies that certain black guppies come in other colours along with black.
These guppies come in solid blue colour. This blue is in brilliant shades of striking, electric blues and looks gorgeous in the waters. Interestingly, the shades of blue can differ from dark blue to sky blue. The females of this kind sport blue highlights on their fins. Owing to their beauty, these are easily noticeable at pet stores and aquarium markets.
Blue-Green Bi-Colour Guppies
Even though these are blue-green coloured guppies, they also come in an array of tones and shades. However, the dominant hue in their tails is blue-green, blue or green—the pattern and colour of their dorsal match with that of their tail fin. The primary colour is always different from the secondary colour. Some of them have a third colour but covers only 15% or less of their bodies.
For being a part of this category, the guppy needs to be at least 25% gold in its colour and possess black scales. Bronze guppies are regarded as a variation of gold guppies. Gold guppies, just like the bronze ones, have a minimum of 25% gold colour covering their bodies. Both these guppies come in a very vibrant and attractive colour that stands out distinctly.
Green guppies are very heavily prices and are also in too high demand. This is because it is challenging to develop these guppies. In most cases, the green colour gets interspersed with blue iridescent colours. The females can also possess green highlights on their fins. They come in lovely green shades, which can be dark to medium in colour range.
Half-Black Blue Guppies
With half-black bodies, some guppies have numerous other colours along with black. Their fins, as well as tails, are usually multi-coloured. They possess every deep black colour- as dark as black cats. Half-black blue guppies have half-black bodies, while shades of blue covering most of their rest of the bodies. The shadow of blue varies from guppy to guppy, and you will be surprised to see their brilliant variety.
Half-Black Green Guppies
Just like green guppies, the half-black green guppies are also rare to find. These guppies’ body is half-black while the remaining parts are green along with gold and several other colours close to their face region.
Half-Black Pastel Guppies
These guppies have at least half their bodies covered in black colour, while their caudal tails are in any shade of pastel but not yellow. Generally, these guppies have caudal fins, which are white pastel in colour. If you plan to buy one of these guppies for your fish tank, you need to remember that their caudal fin is prone to be affected by the kind of food they are fed. Always handle this type of guppies with caution. Do your research and reach out to the pet store for more information.
Half-Black Purple Guppies
These are magnificent fish with half-black bodies. Their tails, as well as fin, are deep purple in colour. These are among the prettiest type of ‘half-black type of guppies.
Half-Black Red Guppies
At least half of the bodies of these guppies are black in colour, while the rest is red. With bright red fins and tail and black bodies, these striking guppies need to possess a one-to-one proportion of tail length to body length. However, this isn’t easy to find.
Half-Black Yellow Guppies
These are among those guppies which are tough to get. They look handsome with their yellowfin and tail along with eye-catching half-black bodies.
Multi-coloured guppies are pretty common to find and have at least three different colours on their caudal fin. Each colour needs to cover at least 15% of its caudal fin region to be classified as a multi-coloured guppy. Their caudal fin and dorsal have the same pattern and colour. Some multi-coloured guppies appear like rainbows. These are stunning fish with a minimum of three vibrant colours, making them a cut above the rest.
Staying true to their name, purple guppies have a tail and fin along with at least half of their body in purple colour. Usually, these come in a vibrant shade of purple, which catches attention and becomes noticeable to the onlookers.
Red Bi-Colour Guppies
Essentially, these are red guppies which have numerous colour variation across their fins and bodies. Like some other kinds of guppies, the red bi-colour ones have the same colour and pattern on their fin and dorsal. Their tails are at least 25% covered with a secondary colour different from the base colour. If they do have a third colour, it covers 15% of their body or even less. If the third colour is over 15%, these guppies are classified as multi-coloured.
Red guppies have a pretty and dominant red colour all across their fins as well as body. These eye-catchy guppies come in various red shades, and some can even be grey, albino, or gold in colour. Usually, they have enormous bodies. When the red guppies are produced, the black melanin is minimized or eliminated to obtain a clear-red shade.
Yellow guppies have a predominantly red colour all across their fins as well as body. Genetically, most of these guppies are blonde and are bred to reduce the domination of the black gene for obtaining a fish with a cleaner appearance. These are also hard to get, so they might not be readily available in stores.
Cobra guppies possess both vertical patterns as well as rosettes all through their bodies. These can be of different colours like white, black, green, and even bright orange.
Snakeskin guppies have vertical patterns throughout its body and are found in a plethora of colours. You will also find guppies with rosettes randomly places all through their bodies. As their stripes often look like the stripes of tigers, the colours include black, orange, and gold.
The bodies of these guppies possess two different colours on their back and front body. The upper body has a light colour, while the lower body is slightly darker. This often resembles a tuxedo suit, therefore, the name.
Grass Tail Guppies
Grass tail guppies have tails that look similar to that of leopard tail guppies though they possess more delicate patterns than those on leopard guppies. Their tails are covered with small dots that look like grass seed, hence the name. These tiny dots can be of any colour and shade.
Lace Tail Guppies
These guppies have tails with exciting patterns. These patterns resemble an intricate web. If the guppies have a snakeskin pattern on their tail and body, they will probably have lace tails. These guppies look lovely with their delicate tails that look like fans.
Leopard Tail Guppies
Staying true to the name, leopard tail guppies have dark spots on their tails and resemble a leopard.
Mosaic Tail Guppies
These guppies are known as mosaic tail guppies as they have irregular patterns on their tail. The pattern has numerous spots connected uniquely, giving the tail a distinctive design. It makes them look stunning and attractive.
Delta/Triangle Tail Guppies
These guppies have triangular-shaped tails which can flare out to a minimum of a 70-degree angle when they are opened up. This not only makes them look beautiful but massive as well.
The tails of these guppies are pretty huge, and they are also called fancy guppies. The unique shape of their tails adds to their style and ambience.
Fire Tail Guppies
The firetail guppies are called so due to the reddish-orange shade on the edge of their tail. To a lot of people, this looks like the light of the fire. With their bright, eye-catching colour, these create a beautiful image.
Flag Tail Guppies
These guppies have relatively small tails, and they are shaped like rectangles. It gets its name from how their tail moves back and forth while swimming and resemble a little flag flying.
The lyretail guppies look like they their parts are divided separately into two. When you look closely, a small membrane keeps the components connected. These guppies are a cross between the double swords and double tail type of guppies. Their tail looks like two small swords facing each other.
Pin/Needle Tail Guppies
These guppies have needle/pintails as the caudal and dorsal fin comprises thin, long tips which look like sharp needles. Due to this, these guppies look very different from any other kind of guppy.
34Red Eye Guppies
These guppies are different from others as most guppies possess dark eyes. Red-eye guppies are not unique but also rare. There are two kinds of these guppies: real red-eye guppies and real red-eye albino guppies. The real red-eye guppies are very tiny in size, and breeders are now attempting to produce these in a slightly bigger size. The real red-eye albino guppies have a melanin deficiency in the eye; hence, they have red eyes. Their eyes are paler than those of the real red-eye guppies. (See 45 Types of Fish)
Round Tail Guppies
These guppies have round tails that look like circles. Although they are not very large in size, they are pretty unique and distinct.
Spear Tail Guppies
These guppies have tails that resemble the tip of a spear. That is where they get their name from. Their tails are of an unusual kind and are not very large either. They have a very distinct appearance and shape.
The swordtail guppies have narrow and long tails. Their bodies can also be thin and long. They can also look like swordfish due to their long and slender shape. They have tails that are slightly different from the tails of other guppies. This makes them look unique.
Veil Tail Guppies
The tails of these guppies are shaped like isosceles triangles, with each angle at 45 degrees. They look pretty impressive.