Aquarium Care for Freshwater Guppies

Guppies are amongst the most popular types of freshwater fish to have in an aquarium. Fortunately, they are fairly simple to care for as well. Guppies are sturdy fish that are able to withstand minor changes or fluctuations in the quality of the water they live in. However, don't make it a habit to allow fluctuations to continue on a routine basis, as this may cause some stress to your fish. The water temperature in an aquarium for this particular type of fish should be maintained somewhere between 72-82 degrees. The pH level should be kept between 7.0 and 8.2. These specifications, as you can see, are much more forgiving than those for most marine or tropical fish.

Guppies are quick to mature in size and will only grow to be approximately 1-1/2 to 2 inches in length. Their small bodies and feathery fanlike tails will add much interest to the tank and are just plain fun to watch.

A few varieties of these are the Flagtail, Fantail, Roundtail, Spadetail, and Deltatail. As you can see, the names of all of these different varieties focus on their tails, because they are so remarkable and unique. The tail itself is usually about one third of the size of the whole fish.

It is possible to mix guppies with other varieties of fish. However, due to their fancy tails making them targetable as easy prey, you do have to be careful when mixing them with other types of fish. They multiply at a rapid rate, usually about every three to four weeks. Because they even interbreed amongst each other, the aquarium can very quickly become filled with a lot of different colors. It is for this reason that it is very feasible to have a very beautiful aquarium without having any other types of fish at all. Obviously, of course, if you don't wish for the species to interbreed, you must keep them separated in different tanks.

As with any type of aquarium, there are three basic components to caring for the fish.

1. Diet: Diet is very important. Guppies can be fed up to three times a day but should only be given a very small amount of food each time. They will eat just about anything, but flake or frozen foods is what is recommended for their main diet. This should be especially regarded when the tank has new baby guppies, simply because guppies do eat their young.

2. Water Regulation: The next most important feature to caring for any fish is appropriate water regulation. The specific temperatures for guppies are mentioned above, but it is also important to change the water frequently...usually every week or two, according to need. If you notice that the water is beginning to smell bad or becomes cloudy, these are good indications that it is time to change the water. To cause as little disruption to the fish as possible, it's a good idea to make gradual changes to the water, perhaps changing approximately only one third at a time.

3. Environment: Last on the list for keeping fish healthy, is to keep them happy. Try to recreate their natural environment. It is recommended to keep several different varieties of plants in the aquarium so that the guppies can seek refuge. There should be about one to two inches of substrate in the bottom of the tank. Colored stones or crushed coral are quite an attractive addition to the aquarium, as well as adds a "home-like environment for the fish.

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