April 3

Sarah Robertson

Cobra Guppies Care Guide: Everything You Need To Know

Fishkeeping is a fun and educational pastime that can be done by anyone. While there are many various species of fish that may be kept, guppies are one of the most common. The Cobra Guppy is one of the most popular types of guppy.

Cobra guppies are a variety of fancy guppies distinguished by their spotted pattern, which resembles snakeskin. They have vertical stripes and well-defined rosettes. The intricate design is more highlighted by the male guppies. These fish are native to South America and can be found in various colors, including black, blue, green, orange, violet, and red.

If you're a beginner fish keeper looking for an easy-to-care-for guppy, the Cobra guppy is a great choice! However, even with these low-maintenance fish, there are still some things you need to know in order to ensure their health and happiness. In this article, we'll cover everything from diet and habitat to tank mates and more.

A Quick Cobra Guppies Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Poecilia Reticulata
  • Common Name: Cobra Guppy
  • Species: Fancy Guppies
  • Diet: Omnivores
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Compatibility: Peaceful
  • Color: Black, blue, green, orange, violet, and red
  • Ph: 7-8
  • Temperature: 77-80 degrees Fahrenheit (25-27 Celsius)
  • Water hardness: 8-12 dGH
  • Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons for a group
  • Tankmates: Mollies, Platies, Swordtails, Endler's livebearers, Girardinus species, Heter
  • Breeding: livebearers
  • Gestation period: 26-31 days
  • Size: 1.2 - 2.4 inches
  • Life expectancy: 2 years

Cobra Guppies Care 

Cobra guppies are livebearers, meaning their offspring develop inside them and are born alive. These fish come from the Caribbean islands and northern, tropical South America. Cobra Guppy's natural habitat is slow-moving streams with plenty of vegetation where they feed mainly on small invertebrates, detritus (decaying organic matter), and occasionally fish eggs.

Cobra guppies are hardy fish that can live in poor water conditions. They will, however, be much healthier and display their brightest colors if they are kept in clean water with a neutral pH. Ammonia and nitrite levels should ideally be zero because these pollutants can destroy fish quickly. If at all feasible, nitrate levels should also be kept minimal. Cobra guppies can handle high temperatures as well as periods of time when there is no oxygen in the water.

Water changes should be done on a regular basis to maintain good health in Cobra guppies. diet is important for any fish's success. Though not picky eaters, a diet based mostly on live foods produces the finest colors and development in these fish. A high-quality flake or pellet food may be used as a main dish with live foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, or baby bloodworms added for variety. When building your Cobra guppy group, always go for healthy-looking fish with bright colors and clear eyes. Two males for every one female is ideal, but if a group environment isn't possible, then aim to keep a minimum of two guppies together. Some other peaceful fish that make good tank mates for Cobra guppies include mollies, platies, swordtails, Endler's livebearers, Girardinus species, and Heterandria species.

Cobra Guppies Size 

The typical length of a cobra guppy is 1.2 to 2.4 inches, though these fish may grow up to 3 inches in length if properly cared for. These fish species require adequate care in order to reach their full potential size. Certain conditions, such as the quality of their food and whether or not they have hiding places in their tank, can affect a guppy's size.

Cobra Guppies Lifespan 

While the average lifespan of a Cobra Guppy is only 2 years, with proper care and diet, some fish have been known to live for 3 years or more. However, most guppies will not live longer than 2 years without stress factors.

Cobra Guppies Appearance 

Cobra guppies have long, slender bodies with large fins. The most distinguishing feature of these fish is their "cobra-like" pattern on their backs, which is why they are also known as "snakeskin guppies." They also have vertical stripes and well-defined rosettes. The intricate pattern is more highlighted by the male guppies. These fish are native to South America and can be found in a variety of colors, including black, blue, green, orange, violet, and red. These fish are born with both male and female organs, but they will develop into either sex depending on the water conditions and other factors. Like all livebearers, the male Cobra guppy is usually smaller than the female and has much longer fins.

Cobra Guppies Varieties

There are many different types of Cobra Guppies, each with its own unique color pattern. Some of the more popular varieties include :

  • Black Cobra Guppy: The Black Cobra Guppy is one of the most popular varieties of Cobra Guppies. These fish have black bodies with white spots and stripes.
  • Blue Cobra Guppy: The Blue Cobra Guppy is a beautiful variety of Cobra Guppy with a blue body and yellow fins.
  • Red Cobra Guppy: The Red Cobra Guppy is a stunning variety of Cobra Guppy with a red body and white fins.
  • Green Cobra Guppy: The Green Cobra Guppy is a beautiful variety of Cobra Guppy with a green body and yellow fins.
  • Violet Cobra Guppy: The Purple Cobra Guppy is a stunning variety of Cobra Guppy with a purple body and white fins.
  • Orange Cobra Guppy: The Orange Cobra Guppy is a beautiful variety of Cobra Guppy with an orange body and white and range mixed fins.

Cobra Guppies Behavior

The following ten fish species are immensely popular since they are sweet and social, making them excellent friends for other fish. They are quite peaceful and get along well with other tank mates.

Cobra Guppies are adventurous by nature and commonly reside near the surface of their tank due to their playful disposition. When they're not busy exploring, you can find them hiding among plants or other decorations.

However, during the mating season, Cobra guppies may get aggressive among themselves. This is typically nothing to worry about as long as the fish are in good health.

Cobra Guppies

Cobra Guppies Tank Setup

Setting up a freshwater aquarium for Cobra guppies is not difficult, but there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you are new to fishkeeping.

Tank Size

A single Cobra Guppy requires around 5 gallons of water, which is comparable to that of other guppies. They can reach a length of roughly 2 inches. It's ideal not to keep just one Cobra Guppy, though. Because the color and markings on a lot of them appear similar, they may get along with others in groups and enjoy being held in your hands. Cobra Guppies usually do better in groups, but they may be more reclusive when placed in a new environment. A 20-gallon tank can comfortably house a small group of Cobra Guppies.

Water Condition

Cobra Guppies are tropical fish that thrive best in warmer waters of 77 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (25-27 Celsius). However, they're very adaptable fish as well, able to live and prosper even with changing weather conditions present in their natural habitats.

They can withstand temperatures as low as 63°F (17°C), but when breeding, you must maintain higher levels. You may require a heater to keep the ph level at 7.0 to 8 during reproduction. Water hardness should be between 8 and 12 dGH.


The key to a healthy fish aquarium is clean water, and the best way to achieve that is by using a filter. There are several types of filters available for purchase, so it's important to do your research before making a decision. Some common types of filters include canister filters, power filters, and hang-on-back filters. Canister filters are more expensive but far more efficient, lasting a long time. Power filters are less expensive to purchase, but they must be replaced more frequently. Hang-on-back filters are an excellent middle ground - they're not as pricey as canister filters, yet they last longer than power filters.

In addition to a regular filter, you might want to invest in one that has a UV sterilizer. This will help clean the water and get rid of bacteria.

Tank Decor

There are many options when it comes to decorating your Cobra Guppy tank. These fish are not fussy and will do well in most setups.

However, keep in mind that cobras enjoy swimming near the surface of the water, so you'll want to make sure there's plenty of open space for them to swim around. Some people like to put live plants in their tanks, which can provide hiding places for the fish and help to maintain the tank clean. If you decide to include live plants in your aquarium, check with an expert first. Some plants need special attention and may not thrive in your aquarium.

Rocks, driftwood, and artificial plants are other popular tank decorations. The bottom of the tank may also be covered with gravel. When it comes to decorations, be cautious of anything that is sharp or may harm the fish.

Although cobra guppies do not require specific lighting, you will need to give them enough light for live plants (if you choose to include them in your tank). Fluorescent tubes or LEDs would be ideal. Make sure the light you buy is specifically made for aquariums and does not produce too much heat.

Tank Maintenance

Maintaining a clean and healthy aquarium is crucial for the well-being of your fish. There are several things you need to do on a regular basis to keep your tank in good condition, such as:

  • Cleaning the tank - You'll need to remove all the dirt and debris from the tank on a regular basis. The best way to do this is with a gravel vacuum.
  • Cleaning the filter - The filter helps to keep the water clean, so it's important to clean it on a regular basis. Depending on the type of filter you have, you may need to replace it every few months.
  • Changing the water - You'll need to change at least 10% of the water in the tank every week. This helps to keep the water clean and prevents it from becoming stagnant.
  • Monitoring the levels - You'll need to check the levels of ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates in the water on a regular basis. If they get too high, it can be harmful to your fish.
  • You should also perform a partial water change every month. This involves removing some of the water from the tank and replacing it with fresh, clean water.
  • Compatible Cobra Guppies Tank Mates

    Cobra guppies are gentle fish that do well with other fish that have comparable dispositions. Some suitable tank mates for Cobra guppies include

    • Mollies
    • Platies
    • Swordtails
    • Endler's livebearers
    • Girardinus species
    • Heter

    There are a few tankmates that aren't suitable for Cobra guppies, including

    • Goldfish
    • Cichlids
    • Sharks
    • Bettas
    • Dwarf gouramis
    • Loaches
    • Pufferfish

    While Cobra guppies are beautiful fish, it's important to do your research before adding them to an existing tank. Make sure to pick other fish that will get along well with Cobras, as they can be aggressive. If you find that the Cobras in your tank are not getting along with others, you may have to remove and rehome them.

    Cobra Guppies

    Cobra Guppies Diet 

    Cobra guppies are Omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals. In the wild, their diet consists of small insects, larvae, worms, and other tiny creatures. They will also consume algae and other plant matter. In the aquarium or tank, you have at home, you can feed your Cobra guppies a variety of food such as

    • Fish flakes: high-quality Many brands of fish flakes are available, both at local pet stores and online. Be sure to select a brand that is designed for freshwater fish specifically. Doing so will ensure your pet receives the best possible nutrition. Some common brands include Tetra, Wardley, and Hikari.
    • Granules: Granules are similar to fish flakes but are a bit larger in size. They're a good option for Cobra guppies that are a bit larger. Granules are rich in nutrients and will help keep your fish healthy. Some Most common brands include API, Tetra, and Hikari.
    • Live food: If you want your Cobra guppies to stay healthy, it is best to feed them a combination of live and dry food. They love chasing and eating small insects such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. You can find live food at most pet stores. However, make sure not to feed your Cobra guppies live food that is too big, as they may have difficulty digesting it.
    • Frozen food: Frozen food is as nutritious as live food and is a convenient alternative. Frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia are available at your local pet store or online. Before feeding the meal to your fish, be sure to thaw it thoroughly.
    • Vegetables: Vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Zucchini, cucumber, and spinach can all be used to blanch vegetables for your Cobra guppies.

     Some things you should not feed your Cobra guppies are:

    • Canned food: Canned foods are often high in salt and other ingredients that can be harmful to your fish.
    • Human food: Human food is not meant for consumption by fish and can make them sick.
    • Old food: Old or expired food can contain harmful bacteria that can make your fish ill.

    Things to keep in mind while feeding Cobra guppies:

    • It's best to feed your Cobra guppies 2-3 times a day, in small portions.
    • You can use commercial fish food or make your own at home.
    • Be sure to remove any uneaten food from the tank after a few minutes to prevent it from polluting the water.
    • Never feed your fish in large amounts, as overfeeding can cause health problems such as obesity and swim bladder disease.
    • Make sure your Cobra guppies have a varied diet to ensure that they get all of their required nutrients.
    • Cobra guppies should not be regularly given live foods as they can cause health problems.

    Cobra Guppies Diseases

    Guppies are healthy fish that seldom get sick. However, there are a few illnesses that they can get, so it's essential to be aware of them. Some prevalent diseases affecting Cobra guppies include:

    • Ich: White spot diseases, also known as white spot ailments, are the most prevalent problem in the fishkeeping hobby. If Ich is treated promptly, it is not deadly. Ich is caused by an ectoparasite (ciliate protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis) and can be recognized with little effort. The fish begin to rub their skin against rocks, plant leaves, decorations, or the aquarium's sides as a result of ich. You'll notice little white spots on your fish's skin and fins. It is not difficult to treat ick. There are several medicines accessible; however, aquarium salt may also be used.
    • Velvet: Velvet is a disease that affects the skin and gills of fish. It's frequently confused with ich, but there are some important distinctions to keep in mind. Velvet is harder to discover and typically only affects one side of the fish. The sick fish may have trouble breathing and will often hide if velvet isn't treated promptly. There are several treatments for velvet, but the easiest method to avoid it is by quarantining new fish before adding them to your aquarium.
    • Fin rot: Fin rot is a bacterial infection that affects fish fins. It's usually caused by poor water quality or injuries. The fish will have ragged or shredded fins if this condition is not treated. Left untreated, fin rot may be deadly. There are various medications available to treat fin rot, but the best method to prevent it is to maintain good water quality and avoid causing any problems.
    • Protozoan: Protozoa are tiny worms that mostly affect guppies; however, other fish may be harmed by them as well. The parasite attaches to the fish's skin and slowly crawls into its muscle until it reaches circulation. Protozoal infections are often seen in unheated tanks that have poor water quality.
    • Columnaris: Although it appears to be a fungus, this illness is caused by bacteria. The colony of germs typically grows on the fish's mouth or middle third of the body as a large white splodge. Because the disease slowly paralyzes the muscle, sick fish have difficulty swimming. They also lose their appetite. The bacteria is highly contagious and mostly affects female guppies, but male guppies can also be infected if the illness is not treated. It can wipe out the whole fish colony in a tank.
    • Dropsy: Dropsy is a condition in which the abdomen becomes filled with liquid it cannot expel. The fish grows bloated, discolored, and deformed, with scales forming like pine cones from its body. If a fish's belly swells, it may have trouble swimming. Water pollution, genetic disease, or feeding habits might cause bloating of the abdominal cavity. Dropsy can be caused by overfeeding on bloodworms or chronic high stress.
    • Red Blood Paralysis: This is a condition that affects fish in brackish and saltwater aquariums. The disease's source is unknown, although it is thought to be a viral or bacterial infection. The diseased fish will have red spots on their bodies and may eventually become paralyzed. There is no known treatment for this illness.
    • Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia: The guppy fish can contract a virus called viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) which causes lesions on the body. If left untreated, these ulcers and sores will worsen, sometimes leading to rotting fins. Other symptoms of VHS in guppies include pale gills, protruding eyes, and loss of appetite. You can treat your fish with antibiotics such as Maracyn 2 and API Furan 2 to cure VHS.
    • Popped eye: Puffed eye is characterized by the fish's eyes swelling out of their sockets. It can be caused by a variety of problems, including injuries, tumors, and infections. If the source of the issue is an infection, it usually comes with additional symptoms such as hazy eyes, ulcers, and sores. If you don't know what caused the problem in the first place, several therapies might do more harm than good.


    The following are symptoms of a sick fish:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Hiding
    • Bloated abdomen
    • Pinecone-like scales
    • Discoloration
    • Rubbing against objects in the tank
    • White spots on skin or fins
    • Redness or inflammation
    • Ragged or torn fins

    If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take action immediately. The earlier you identify the problem, the easier it will be to treat.


    Rather than treating your fish's illnesses, it is much easier to prevent them in the first place. Use these tips to maintain a healthy environment for your pet fish:

    • Quarantine new fish before adding them to your tank
    • Maintain good water quality
    • Avoid injuries
    • Feed a varied diet
    • Remove sick fish from the tank immediately
    • Avoid overcrowding
    • Check fish for parasites before buying them
    • Add live plants


    The most effective method to keep your fish healthy is to maintain an aquarium that is clean and nutritious. If your fish becomes ill, you may try a number of treatments.

    • Aquarium salt: Use aquarium salt to treat your fish of illnesses such as ich and velvet. For every gallon of water, add one tablespoon of salt. The salt will act to kill the parasites while also helping the fish heal.
    • Medications: There are a number of treatments for fish illnesses. Make a careful study of the directions and procedures and follow them precisely. Overdosing your fish or not treating them at all can be equally detrimental.
    • Quarantine: The best method to keep new fish healthy is by quarantining them. Keep new fish in a separate tank for 2-4 weeks before introducing them to your main aquarium. This will provide you time to look for any symptoms of the disease.
    • Water changes: Maintaining a healthy aquarium requires water changes every week. The amount of water you should change depends on the size of your tank but ranges from 25-50%. This will remove toxins or parasites that might be present.
    Cobra Guppies

    Cobra Guppies Breeding

    If you're a beginner looking to breed fish, Cobra guppies are one of the easiest species to start with. That being said, there are still some best practices to keep in mind if you want your breeding project to be successful.

    Here are some tips for breeding Cobra guppies:

    Select Healthy Fish

    Prioritize the type of fish you wish to breed, as well as each fish's unique coloring and tail form. If you pick two fish with similar color patterns, their fry will almost certainly have the same pattern. Fin shapes are also a factor to consider.

    Select Breeding Tanks 

    The water temperature should be kept between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or 24 and 26 degrees Celsius. The tank will require a heater and a fine filter. Because the baby guppies (known as fry) could be drawn up the filter and suffocated if the filter is too powerful, you want it to be mild. If you think your filter's strength is too strong, cover the hole in the mesh with sheer tights. The tights will allow water to flow through while also protecting the fry from being aspirated.

    Set up the Breeding Tank

    Male guppies may eat the fry once they are born, so you'll need to provide them with hiding places. Guppy fry sink when they're first born, so use low-floating plants for their safety. The healthy fry will start to rise after a few days, so the additional high cover should be provided by that time. It's best not to have any substrate in the tank because it can make it difficult to see and count how many fries there are or how much they're eating.

    Adjust the Tank for Your Fish's Specific Requirements

    Set the temperature in the breeding tank to about 77-79 degrees Fahrenheit (25-26.11 C) while the females and males are there together. To promote healthy development, feed your guppies with high-nutrient food before adding them to the breeding tank.

    Add the Guppies to the Breeding Tank

    The only thing left for you to do now is waiting for your fish to breed. When you notice that your female fish is expecting, return the male to the usual tank. Look for a dark mark on her abdomen called a gravid spot, which all females develop when pregnant. It's more obvious when eggs have been fertilized; it's considerably darker than usual.

    How to Tell When Your Fish is About to Give Birth

    The typical gestation period for guppies is 26 to 31 days. However, there are some tell-tale signs that your female guppy is almost ready to give birth: a large stomach, deep black gravid spot (or dark maroon if you are breeding albino or blond guppies), and her belly will start to look more like a box than round. It's essential to note that guppies birth live youngsters rather than eggs. You'll need to keep a close eye on your pregnant lady so you can remove her from the tank as soon as she gives birth (if you don't, she'll eat them.)

    Cobra Guppies Fry Care

    The fry is born a few hours after the female gives birth. They are able to swim and hide among plants, but will only eat microscopic organisms for the first two weeks. However, you can start feeding them baby brine shrimp or powdered fry food once they're born.

    As your fry grows, you'll eventually need to transfer them into a roomier tank. Once they're approximately 1/2 an inch (1.27 cm), a 10-gallon tank will suffice. At this stage, you can start incorporating regular guppy food into your diet.

    At two to three months old, guppies should be the same size as their parents and ready to mate.

    Frequent Questions

    Where do cobra guppies come from?

    Guppies can be found in a variety of temperate coastal habitats, as well as cold and tropical freshwater environments. They are most common among the Caribbean islands of Barbados, the Guianas, Trinidad, Venezuela, and Brazil.

    Can cobra guppies go with betas?

    No, they cannot. Guppies are not recommended to be kept with bettas because the long fins on guppies can be tempting for a betta to nip at.

    Do cobra guppies have live babies?

    Yes, cobra guppies give birth to live fry. The typical gestation period for guppies is 26 to 31 days.

    Do cobra guppies eat their babies?

    It's not uncommon for female guppies to eat their fry, so it's best to remove her from the tank as soon as she gives birth. You can also provide hiding places for the fry, such as low-floating plants.

    What is a cobra guppy?

    Cobra guppies are a type of fancy guppy distinguished by their spotted pattern, which resembles snakeskin. They have vertical stripes and well-defined rosettes. The intricate pattern is more prominent in male guppies. These fish are native to South America and can be found in a variety of colors, including black, blue, green, orange, violet, and red.

    How long do cobra guppies live?

    In captivity, guppies can live up to five years with proper care. However, the average lifespan is two to three years.

    Do cobra guppies have issues with any other fish?

    Guppies are generally peaceful fish and can be kept with a variety of tank mates. However, they are not recommended to be kept with bettas because the long fins on guppies can be tempting for a betta to nip at.

    Do cobra snakeskin guppies mate with regular guppies?

    Cobra guppies can mate with regular guppies, but the fry will not inherit the cobra pattern. The patterns are controlled by two genes, one of which is dominant and one of which is recessive. For a fry to have the cobra pattern, both parents must carry the gene.


    The beautiful cobra guppies are a simple fish to maintain. They are an excellent addition to any freshwater aquarium and will provide hours of entertainment. Their peaceful demeanor has made them well-known, and they can be kept with a variety of others in the tank. Guppies can live up to 2-3 years if properly cared for, although some have been known to live up to 5 years. It is critical, however, to keep a clean and well-oxygenated aquarium in order to avoid illness and extend its life span. Keep your fish healthy and happy by feeding them a variety of flakes, pellets, live food, and frozen food. So, if you're searching for a gorgeous and low-maintenance fish, the Cobra Guppy is an excellent choice!

    Sarah Robertson

    I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

    Sarah Robertson

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