Origin:Occurs from Middle-America to Brazil, including Barbados and Trinidad. The fish has been spread by humans to fight malaria, since they consume vast quantities of mosquito larvae.
Synonyms:Acanthocephalus guppii, Acanthocephalus reticulatus, Girardinus guppyi, Girardinus petersi, Girardinus poeciloides, Girardinus reticulatus, Haridichthys reticulatus, Heterandria guppyi, Lebistes reticulatus,Lebistes poecilioides, Poecilia poeciloides, Poecilioides reticulatus
First European import: Germany, 1908, by C. Siggelkow.
Description: See pictures.
Care:Really easy to keep fish, although some breeding forms are a bit more sensitive due to inbreeding. The fish can be kept without a heater in the livingroom, but also in the normal community tank, provided the water isn't acidic and soft. Guppies are best kept in well planted tanks with some algae growth, although the fish occur in the wild usually in the middle of slow flowing rivers where no plants are present at all, see the picture below, wild type guppies habitat, Recife, Brazil.Hardness up to 30 dGH.
Temperature: 10-30 degrees, breeding forms are more sensitive, 20-25 degrees.
Feeding:All food is taken.
Size: Wildtype, males 2-3cm, females 4-5; Breeding forms up to 6 cm.
Breeding: In community tanks guppies will give birth to 30-50 fry every 6-8 weeks. If you plan on selectively breeding this fish, it's a lot harder. Juveniles should be separated for at least 6 months from birth, else the fish will become smaller and smaller. Separate lines should be kept to prevent inbreeding. It's almost impossible to start with fish bought in aquariumshops, since the many forms there have been mixed. Get decent breeding pairs from renowned breeders. A lot is known about the genetics of Poecilia reticulata, and I'll try to update the page in the near future with some of the basics.
Sexual dimorphism:Male much more colorfull than the female, and smaller.
Prices: Netherlands: 1-2.5€
Additional:Whether guppies from Brazil occur there naturally or not has not yet been established.
Picture references:described to be a li*&*&*&*&*&*v
References: Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.
Hoedeman, J. J.(1969): Aquariumvissen encyclopedie 5. Elsevier Nederland B. V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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