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How to Care for a Pregnant Guppy

pregnant guppy carePregnant guppies require extra care to prevent stress, which can make your guppy sick or cause a miscarriage. Not sure if your guppy is pregnant? Check your guppy’s gravid patch near the anus. The gravid spot will become larger and darker as the pregnancy advances. The guppy gestation period is between 3 and 4 weeks, giving you a bit of time to prepare for the birth. When you’re sure your guppy is pregnant, follow these care instructions to avoid stress.

Pregnant Guppy Feeding

Pregnant guppies require excellent nutrition to support the fry. Just as with pregnant humans, the fry will take up more and more space as the pregnancy advances, which can make it hard for your guppy to each much at any one time. Make sure you give your guppy 3-5 small feedings every day. Be sure to give her small pinches of flake food along with frozen brine shrimp, freeze-dried bloodworms, and spirulina flakes.

The Delivery
You may or may not notice when your guppy is ready to give birth. Most pregnant guppies will get very still and go somewhere in the tank to hide to prepare for birth. If you notice your guppy acting differently than usual, you can remove her from the community tank to a breeding tank or just isolate her in the community tank during the birth.

If your guppy doesn’t give birth within one day of isolating her, move her back to the community tank because long isolation of a pregnant guppy can interfere with the maturation of the fry. After returning her to the tank, increase the temperature of the aquarium slightly to encourage the birthing process.

In most cases, the birth process takes 2-6 hours, although it can take up to 12 hours, especially for a large drop. Sometimes a guppy will deliver a few fry and the delivery will stop, only to resume two or three days later.

You may find it easier to move the fry to their own tank for a few weeks after the birth to protect them from mom and other fish in the tank. Keep mom in isolation for at least 2 days to recover after birth and give her extra food. The fry will also need additional feedings for the first year of life. Give the fry up to 5 feedings a day for the first 4 weeks to encourage them to develop into strong, healthy fish.

Additional Pregnancies
Guppies can get pregnant again just hours after giving birth so keep this in mind before you put your female back in the community tank. Guppy fry develop a gender at four weeks and usually become sexually active at 6 weeks. If you don’t want another batch of fry to care for, separate the females from the males between 4 and 6 weeks of age. Place each fry in a clear container and use a magnifying glass to determine gender. Check for the gravid spot to identify females.

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