The pregnant female guppy
Here we have 4 pregnant female guppies.
The pregnant guppy is somewhat hard to miss for those who have familiarized themselves with those who are not with babies. The belly will look like a large bubble at the rear, and the dark spot behind the anus will turn to a deep, large black this is called a gravid spot. Your pregnant guppy will go through a 28 day gestation period, and when her babies arrive, they will enter the fresh water world as live babies. There are very few fish who give live birth, and it is quite an honor to watch this process unfold. The guppies develop within eggs, and these eggs are nourished and incubated from within the mother's body. Once they hatch, she is stimulated to release them from their safe, warm little sack.
Caring for a pregnant guppy is not much different then caring for the single, healthy ones that you are accustomed to. The difference is that soon, she and her baby will need protection from the male species in the tank, and from any other females who sense the babies within her and the signs that meal time is close at hand. That’s right, guppy babies are a common and much welcomed food source for tank fish, and the pregnant guppy may be in danger of being pecked at and bitten by the other fish in the tank when the anticipation gets the better of the group. Male guppies in particular will follow right under and beneath her, eating the babies and biting at her while she births.
If you notice that your pregnant guppy is getting picked on or is not getting the nutrition that she needs, you can put her in her birthing cage a little bit early. Be careful that you clean the feces and the uneaten food from the cage at least every two days, because a big mess in there could make her sick. The birthing cage will be a medium sized, fine mesh trap that floats in the tank, so that the ph and socialization are the same for your pregnant guppy but the danger is outside. Under circumstances where she is healthy up until a couple of days before giving birth, you can leave in the main tank until then.
When your pregnant guppy begins to birth her live babies, you will need to watch for signs of aggression and feeding from her as well. These tiny guys are just so tempting to adult fish, and their very own mother is no exception. Once you feel that she is done birthing, you should remove her from the cage and let them grow. They need to be about ¼ inch long at least before they can escape being eaten, so give them a couple weeks for a good head start. Feed them finely ground adult food flakes for the first week.
some of my 1 week old babies