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Poecilia reticulata - Peters, 1859

Poecilia reticulata pair.jpg

Pair of fancy veiltail guppies, gravid female lower right. Aaron Norman


The Guppy is easy to keep, beautiful and inexpensive, and, if you have a male and female, odds are close to 100 percent that you’ll get baby guppies. Fancy guppies appear in a staggering array of colors and finnages thanks to decades of selective breeding. For an illustrated chart of Guppy Standard types and strains see Guppy Types.

See Endler's Livebearer, a wild cousin of the domesticated guppies.

Family: Poeciliidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: The Guppy prefers a well-lighted tank densely planted on the sides and back. Long tanks are best, as they need lots of room to swim. Give them a little water movement—an inside box filter instead of a power filter works well.

Maximum length: 6 cm (2 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 38 L (10 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater to top


Omnivore. Guppies are not picky eaters and will accept just about anything offered to them. Feed several times per day.

Aquarium Compatibility

Guppies are schooling fish and best kept in groups of one male to several females. Combine with other active schooling species or keep in a species tank. Known fin nippers like the Tiger Barb, may nip at their fins and should be avoided.


Guppies are livebearers that give birth to fully formed babies. Parents will eat their young, and pregnant females should be moved to breeding traps or tanks with Java moss or other fine-leaved plants such as Cambomba. One mating allows a female to produce multiple broods of young over a period of months.


Guppies have been introduced for mosquito control and have established themselves in local waters in Namibia and South Africa.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW

See Breeding Livebearers for Kids.