A lot of hobbyists prefer guppies not just because of their color. Mainly, it is because they are easy to take care of and have very simple basic needs. They do not require that much attention; they just need regular or daily tender loving care.
Guppies have a relatively long but simple life cycle. There are four different guppy fish growth stages. Knowing these is important because they have different needs at each life stage.
So, you can take care of them better when you know at which stage they already are.
Let us start understanding these four stages!
The 4 Guppy Fish Growth Stages
Guppies are livebearers. This means that they do not have a larval stage with the absence of eggs. They start reproducing when a male guppy fertilizes a female guppy.
Then, the baby guppies develop inside the female guppy’s body for about a month until they are born. At first, they are deformed but their bodies straighten up after a few hours. This is where the fry stage begins.
1. Fry Stage
When a guppy is born, he or she can swim freely. However, it is his or her priority to find a decent hiding spot. It is part of his or her natural instinct to protect himself or herself.
At this stage, guppies are extremely small— about 0.6 mm long only. So, there is a huge possibility that adult guppies or other big fishes in the tank can eat them.
One of the best ways to prevent them from getting eaten up is putting the pregnant guppy in a separate tank, away from all other fishes. Otherwise, you need to provide enough hiding places by adding more live plants in the main tank.
Guppies at this stage can eat the same food as their adult counterparts. In fact, live food is already highly beneficial for them. Baby brine shrimps are your best bet. Hard boiled egg yolks are also perfect for facilitating healthy growth. You may also feed them flakes, provided that these are crushed into powder for easier digestion.
Further, it is recommended to keep the lights turned on for 12 to 16 hours a day. Accordingly, this will support their growth.
Doing regular water changes is top priority as well, especially if you are feeding them multiple times a day. It could be daily or every other day, depending on how often you deem necessary.
2. Juvenile Stage
At one month old, guppies are already at the juvenile stage. They are already about 1.2 to 2 cm long. Their colors start to show and their sexes become identified.
Generally, female guppies are larger than their male counterparts. Their tails are also longer. At this stage, their gravid spots become visible. Meanwhile, the gonopodiums of male guppies begin to develop.
This is probably the most crucial stage in a guppy’s life. So, it is important that they have access to high-quality food and water all the time. Recommended food choices include the following:
3. Young Stage
At two months old, guppies enter their third stage, the young stage. At this point in time, they are already sexually mature and active.
So, if you are a selective breeder, you would want to separate female guppies from male guppies before they even reach two months old. Doing so will even help support their further individual growth.
When your guppies reach this stage, feed them with more greens and protein-rich food items. Avoid feeding them fatty food items because it is no longer good for their health.
Primarily, brine shrimp should still be part of their daily diet. Other great options would be plankton pellets and spirulina, which help intensify their colors.
4. Adult Stage
The final stage in a guppy’s life is the adult stage, where he or she has grown fully already. Guppies reach this stage six months after birth.
Usually, they are already 4 to 6 cm long at this point in time. Male guppies are slightly shorter than that. However, depending on their genetic characteristics, male guppies can develop longer fins and tails. Generally though, growth stops significantly, regardless of their sexes.
It is important that you feed your guppies a wide variety of food, keeping them healthy and vibrant as they age. Still, they should have high protein intake and low fat intake.
Guppies have a lifespan of two to five years. Feeding them regularly and correctly is the key to them reaching that maximum age, or even beyond that.
Keep in mind that at about one and a half to two years old, they become infertile. So, at that age, they can no longer reproduce.
Basic Dietary Requirements of Guppies
Meat is the primary source of protein, which is extremely important in the diet of guppies. At fry stage, guppies should consume it daily. At adult stage, twice or thrice a week is enough.
Excellent sources of protein includes the following food items:
- Brine shrimp;
- Fruit flies; and
- Mosquito pupae
It is best to feed these live to your guppies. However, you may also feed them as frozen cubes. The advantage of the latter is that they can easily be found in pet stores.
Another major part of your guppy’s daily diet is plant matter. The likes of algae and spirulina should be the staple food items in their diet. However, you may also feed them with chopped or shredded mustard greens, peas, spinach, and other vegetables every now and then.
Fruits are excellent sources of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Just be reminded that they do not play a vital role in your guppy’s daily diet. Once or twice a week of a fix is good enough.
Preferably, feed your guppies with bananas and grapes. Know that these have relatively high sugar levels; so, moderate intake should be observed. In fact, these should just be fed as treats and served in small, bite-size pieces.
Guppy Fish Growth Stages – To Sum It Up…
It is really not that complicated to take care of guppies. As long as you know the four different guppy fish growth stages and the dietary requirements at each, you have nothing to worry about.
Unless your guppies suffer from certain diseases you have no control over, you can expect them to reach up to five years of age or even more.
What do you feed your guppies? How do you take care of them? What measures do you observe to keep them healthy and vibrant?
What other tips can you share with other hobbyists, especially those who are just starting? Feel free to share your thoughts; we would love to hear from you!