1. It’s good enough for a start to only have one or two guppy trios of the same species. You should have about 8 to 10 tanks in order to preserve a purely single strain. As for breeders and fry, a smaller 5 gal tank is enough as container. Guppies are not difficult to keep because they can adapt to various water conditions. A pH of 7.2 in moderate hardness is just perfect water condition for them but they can live to water that is amidst 6.4 to 8.6 provided, they are accustomed appropriately. All you have to do is, first, place your newly bought guppies in a clean breeding container (remember not to use soap in cleaning it) that is just enough to keep the trios and big enough so that you can add equal volume of water from their new tank. DO NOT LET THE UNOPENED BAGS FLOAT. If you are done putting the trios in said container, just let them be there for awhile.
About 15 minutes, you may begin putting about 3-4 ounces of water gradually into the tank. You should do this procedure little by little over a period of one hour, until the volume of water is twice the amount. You need not rush this familiarization procedure. Avoid chances of fish jumping out of the container. If you have done all the steps and the fish have accustomed themselves, slowly pour them into the new container. DO NOT GIVE FOOD YET. A little monitoring and patience will do. One hour later you give them food only slightly, a little young salt water shrimp or a pinch of any dry food is enough. You should wait until the next day to feed them again. Approximately one month you can start breeding fry. Be ready to have extra container to breed each baby guppies. Finally, about 3-4 weeks later, you should start sorting out virgin females from the rest of the fry as future breeders.
2. The advantage in keeping the fry in small containers is that they can easily find food for themselves without using up much energy. If you have reached about 60 fry, it’s time to breed them separately in 10 gallon containers.
3. Feeding your newly born fry with young salt water shrimp every day until they reach at 4 months old is very essential for their growth.
4. All the essentials and the pick of almost all best breeders are inside the box filters. To do this, you will only need a layer of polyester cotton along with few marbles or gravel. I prefer using dolomite gravel as a good water buffer. You can easily find dolomite in most pet stores which sells brine fish. Oyster is also a good substitute to dolomite. Other equally good type filters are sponge filters, provided they are used appropriately. Make sure that sponge filters are rinsed thoroughly without destroying all living bacteria.
5. As to water changes, a 30-50% weekly change required for healthy growth and size. Tap you tanks always from the bottom and make sure not to put water in tanks which has previously lost water through evaporation. In order to know the tap and tank water condition, you had better purchase trusted water test equipment. These kits for pH, hardness and ammonia are user friendly. If it’s your first time to breed fish, you must have good grasp of underlying principles in water chemistry and its consequence on raising tropical fish.
6. To keep you fancy guppies, you need not feed them every minute; they can survive with periodic feeding. The main cause of death among tropical fish is overfeeding. The best foods you can give to your guppies are tiny pinches of crushed flake food in good quality which should be given at least every hour. Your guppies can have indigestion if you feed them with freeze dried food so as much as possible avoid giving it to them. If you are keen enough and if you observed that your fish looks aggressive, better not feed them yet.
7. The best time to separate your fry by sexes is 4 to 5 weeks after. To do this sort out enough females that you will need in planning for your next set of breeders. You can easily detect if the fry is female because in its anal fins, where the fertilization takes place, there is a dark spot directly above. This is referred to as “gravid spot”. You may not need inferior fish so better cull it out. This is important because if you have best quality breed, you would not want it to mix inferior ones. More importantly, if you have culled out over 20% of the litter then you are actually raising mixed-breed guppies.
8. Gravel and plants can make your tanks crowded so it is better to keep it simple and bare as this has something to do with maintaining control and avoiding problems. For more useful information on the life cycle of your guppies you can check on some books. A book about fundamentals on tropical fish like your guppies would be very helpful if you have never experienced raising live-bearers. To know if the female fish is pregnant, you will notice that it is fatter and rounder in appearance compared to other fish. Your female fish might look squared-off just before giving birth. Their “gravid spot” will look darker too.
9. Take note to maintain temperatures between 76 and 82 degrees for your breeders and fry while older guppies can live between 72 to 76 degrees.
10. Do not get too excited by acquiring too many fish in the beginning. Take note that litters of healthy guppies happen every 30 to 36 days. It is not a smart option to mix different litters together until they are 3 months old. This is true even to guppies of the same breed. You will be surprised to know that you can actually have breeding stock more than expected. But, the most important thing to remember in raising them is to start off with the best quality strain in order to save more especially if you bought this from a guppy breeder known to have good reputation.