A guppy seldom swims alone

The guppy is a typical novice’s fish. It is relatively robust, placid and breeds very prolifically, which is the reason why it was given the sobriquet “million fish”. It is also very popular given the almost infinite variety of colours in which it can be found, meaning that freshwater fans can choose the composition of their guppy stocks to suit their own tastes. The aquarist experts from Maxi Zoo have got all sorts of interesting facts about these tooth carps (Cyprinodontiformes) with their magnificent caudal fins.

Where do they come from?

Guppys were originally native to the north-east of South America – Barbados, Brazil, Trinidad and Venezuela. However separate populations have meanwhile settled with human assistance in other parts of the world, particularly in warmer climates. A female can produce 20 to 40 or even 100 fry once a month. These hungry juveniles particularly love gorging on mosquito larvae and thus play an important role in reducing the numbers of these blood-sucking pests.

A little about guppys!

Guppys and other tooth carps are members of the Poeciliidae, a family of freshwater fish that give birth to live young. Whoever has observed a guppy mum-to-be in an aquarium or spawning tank, can count how many baby fish land in the water bright as buttons as she is giving birth. After just a few weeks one can distinguish between males and females. As well as having a gonopodium (mating fin) male guppys also have a more colourful appearance and are smaller and slimmer than females, which grow to around 6 cm. Male guppys living in the wild have a particularly smart way of ensuring the survival of their species. They pester the females of other fish species so much that the latter lose interest in mating with their own males. Guppys thus have much more unimpeded access to existing sources of food.


Buying a guppy: The various types of guppy can be distinguished by the shape of their caudal fins and their colours. The colour range covers everything from black via red through to gold. Guppy names such as “Emerald”,  “Diamond Blue“, “Neon Blue Pastel“, “Metallic Sun“, “Flame Neon“ or “Cobra Gold“ don’t require further explanation. These millionfish may be cheap to buy, but they are nevertheless living creatures that have their own requirements. They really love it when it is warm and a water temperature of between 22°C and 25°C is ideal. Some of their water should be changed regularly, every week for preference. Aquariums with capacity of more than 54 litres (longer than 60 cm) are suitable for keeping guppys . As far as water quality is concerned it is best to ask, when you buy, under what conditions your guppys were raised. It makes sense to recreate these conditions.


One is the loneliest number! Incidentally guppys are creatures with a herding instinct and you should not keep them on their own. So that males wanting to mate do not put the females under too much stress, we recommend a ratio of 3 females to each male. Guppys also get on well with mollys and platys, which also bear live young, and with characins. They are much less fond of barbels, for these fish occasionally like to tug at the tooth-carps’ large fins. If you are planning to keep guppy offspring you should provide an extra tank so that the adults leave the juveniles in peace. Alternatively dense vegetation provides protection and a place to hide.


Guppies are ideal fish for novice aquarium keepers and are so very colourful too. The guppys’ colour spectrum ranges from black via red through to gold. Guppy names such as “Diamond Blue“ or “Cobra Gold“ don’t require further explanation.

Call into your local store today to discuss your pet’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts