June 6

Sarah Robertson

Fancy Guppy Care Guide: How to Keep Your Fish Healthy and Happy

Fancy guppies are beautiful and vibrant fish that add excitement and color to any community aquarium. The distinct colors of their strains have been achieved via selective breeding techniques. Guppies with fantails or triangular delta tails can be classified as a fancy type of guppy. Fancy guppies may have gorgeous colorations, including leopard tails, blue speckled tails, or tails that are black and red in the form of a rainbow.

Fancy Guppy varieties are beautifully colored, often with all the colors of the rainbow. Every Fancy Guppy is a true work of art, and no two fish are identical! The Fancy Guppy is a tiny fish with a lot of colors! Even the females, who were previously drab, are being bred to exhibit bright tail colors. The fancy guppy is not only appealing for its beautiful appearance. This fish's personality has won over countless aquarists through the years. The fancy guppy is laid-back and confident, with a wonderful balance of energy and calm.

This hardy fish is easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions, making it a great choice for beginner aquarists. Fancy guppies are social creatures and do best when kept in groups. A group of fancy guppies will add beauty and excitement to any aquarium.

To learn more about Fancy guppy care, read on!

Fancy Guppy Overview

  • Scientific Name: Poecilia reticulata
  • Family: Poeciliidae
  • Size of fish: Guppy sizes differ with males often being 1.5-3.5 cm and females averaging 3-6 cm.
  • Life Expectancy: 2-5 years
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Minimum Tank Size: 5 gal (19 L)
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
  • Temperature: 68.0 to 82.0° F (20.0 to 27.8° C)
  • pH: 6.5-8.5
  • Breeding: Easy, Livebearer
  • Compatibility: Good community fish

Fancy Guppy Care

The Fancy Guppies are adaptable to a wide range of tank parameters, however, the highly inbred, specialized species might be more delicate and need more care. To keep this little fish happy and healthy, you should have a tank with some plants and 1 to 1.25 teaspoons of aquarium salt per gallon. They are adaptable to brackish or saltwater habitats.

This fish is one of the most readily accessible tropical fish. This species breeds easily and frequently, as its popular name Millions Fish implies. If you choose to keep both genders of fish, you'll have a tank with numerous generations of Guppy in no time.

The Fancy Guppies are low-maintenance aquarium fish that do not require intensive maintenance. They are also quite easy to maintain, though they may require more frequent water changes than other types of guppies. Depending on the number of fish in the tank and how often you notice a change in water quality, do 25% water changes two to three times monthly. Only add salt to the water if you are completely changing it, if you are only replacing lost water then do not add any more salt. When water evaporates, it leaves salts behind, so there's no need to add extra salt if you're topping up evaporated water.

For their proper care, Fancy Guppies should be fed a varied diet of live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods. Brine shrimp, daphnia, and mosquito larvae are all excellent choices. Guppies will also accept flake food and pellets, but these should not be the only foods they eat.

Fancy Guppy Size

Of the species Poecilia Reticulata, male Fancy Guppy generally measures 1.5-3.5 cm, while females are typically 3-6 cm in length.

Fancy Guppy Lifespan

Fancy Guppy fish have a lifespan that can greatly differ but, on average, they live about two years. If an aquarium guppy is well taken care of, it will likely live between 1 and 3 years. They thrive when kept in colder water, and they have a shorter lifespan if kept in warmer water, which encourages their metabolism.

fancy guppy

Fancy Guppy Appearance

Fancy Guppy organizations breed guppies and host shows all over the world. You can find these Guppies in a variety of colors, as they have been bred to be that way. They come in every color of the rainbow, and often have a mix of colors in them!

Selective breeding of fish often takes into account the colors of a species. For example, when bright iridescent colorings and patterns mark a ground color (the primary upper body color), this is called a "cover."

There are four basic ground colors (wild color, albino, blond, and blue) as well as a variety of additional ones made by mixing two or more of them. The cover may be any hue or combination of hues, and it may have a variety of different names. Snakeskin, carpet, cobra, and black are all examples of different patterns in fancy Guppy fish.

Guppies that have been bred selectively also come in a wide range of tail shapes and sizes. In fact, there are 12 different shapes that are recognized by Fancy Guppy breeders. Some of them are:

  • Round-tail
  • Pintail
  • Pointed or Spear-tail
  • Swordtail (Double Sword, Top Sword, and Bottom Sword)
  • Lyretail
  • Spade Tail
  • Flagtail
  • Veil Tail
  • Fantail
  • Triangle Tail or Delta.

The color of the tail determines a Guppy's name; so a guppy with a yellow body but a red tail will be called a "Red Guppy."

Fancy guppies come in many different colors and patterns, but the Moscow strains are some of the most interesting. Most of these guppies have one solid color, large tails, and fins that are brightly colored. The price of Moscow guppies is generally greater than other guppy varieties.

Fancy Guppy Types:

There are many different Fancy Guppy varieties, each with its own unique colors and patterns.

Some of the most popular Fancy Guppy varieties include:

Half-moon Tail Guppy

The half-moon tail guppy's distinguishable features include a large, round caudal fin and a semicircular tail that starts at 90 degrees to the fish's body.

The tail is not as long as the body but can be almost as tall as the fish is long! The dorsal fin on Halfmoon tail guppies is also significant, overlapping the tail by a little.

Fantail Guppy 

The fantail guppy is a popular type of fish that has males with stunning, long tail fins. The average length of the caudal fin equals the size of the fish's body. To be considered standard for this breed, the tail should have straight edges and be in a triangular shape.

This breed is also characterized by its distinctive dorsal fin, which should sweep back to about the first third of the tail.

Delta Tail Guppy

The delta-tail guppy, which is also known as the triangle-tail guppy, slightly differs from fantail guppies in that the outer edge of their tail is convex (rounded outwards). These brightly-colored fish come in a vast array of colors and patterns.

Pin Tail Guppy 

The pintail or needle-tailed guppy has a tiny circular tail with a point that extends from the center. The pointed caudal fin on this breed is even more prominent than the spear tail guppy, though they are similar in many respects. This Guppy fish has a long, sharply pointed dorsal fin that makes it look quite fancy and dramatic.

fancy guppy

Lyretail Guppy

The tails of Lyretail guppies are quite unique. These fish get their name from the lyre, an ancient U-shaped musical instrument, which is where the term "lyre" comes from.

This tail resembles that of the double swordtail, but with slight bends in the extensions rather than a straight, parallel shape.

Albino Guppy 

Albino guppies, like all albinos, are pinkish-white in color. This makes for a fascinating aquarium fish that stands out. Their eyes are also a pale pink, which is how you can tell them apart from other white guppies. Albino guppies aren't always lacking in color. In fact, they usually have some red, yellow, or blue markings on their bodies and fins.

Round tail Guppy

Round-tail guppies have a circular tail fin which is, on average, half the length of their body. The dorsal fin of these fish is quite lengthy and has a rounded end. The round-tail guppy breed is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, so you're sure to find one that catches your eye!

Spear Tail Guppy 

The tail of these fish resembles a spear tip, gradually tapering to a point in the center.

The great thing about the dorsal fin shape of this breed is that it starts at nearly 90 degrees to the body and then sweeps back to about a third of the length of the tail fin.

Koi Guppy

The koi guppy fish breed gets its name from another, more popular fish. They usually have a combination of colors including white, red, and black - just like their namesake.

Lace Guppies

Lace guppies have detailed patterns on their body and fins. These guppies are similar to cobra guppies except they don't have vertical bars down their body. Lace guppies come in a variety of hues, including red, gold, black, and several more.

Sword Tail Guppy

There are many swordtail fancy guppy breeds. The swordtail guppy's tail fins are, as the name suggests, long and flat like a sword. Swordtails come in two forms: those with a pointy end at the top of the tail, and those with a pointy end at the bottom.

Cobra Guppies 

The markings on cobra guppies are what set them apart, although they come in a variety of hues. The colors and markings of these amazing fancy guppies are unique. They often include deeper vertical bars, as well as reticulated patterns. The patterns and colors on their tails are frequently more distinct than those of their bodies.

Tuxedo Guppies

As their name suggests, tuxedo guppies are very elegant little fish! This popular breed was first developed in Germany. The back half of their body is black or another solid color. The tail and dorsal fin will also be a different color to the dark portion of the body but without any markings or patterns.

Mosaic Tail Guppy 

Mosaic tail guppies have stunning tails and dorsal fins with intricate patterns. The stripes are comparable to those of the lace guppy, but they are much more vivid. The tail of this breed becomes darker in color the closer it gets to the back.

Panda Guppy

The panda guppy is black/blue and white in hue. The rear half of the fish is dark while the front half is silvery. These fish have dark pectoral fins and eyes as well, which are a deep black.

Japanese Blue Guppy

The tail half of Japanese blue guppies' bodies are a beautiful metallic dark blue to sky blue color. This breed often has a golden or reddish head. The Japanese blue swordtail guppy is a particularly popular form of this breed with a tail shaped like a sword.

Green Guppy

Green guppies are one of the most beautiful color combinations available. They're somewhat uncommon, although they come in a variety of pattern and tail form types.

Yellow Guppy 

Yellow is a very cheerful color, and a bunch of sunshine-colored guppies can make for an eye-catching display. Yellow guppies come in a variety of types, including yellow tuxedos and yellow cobra guppies.

fancy guppy

Half Black Green Guppy

A black back half along with a green front is the defining characteristic of this guppy. While there are several color schemes containing black, green is one of the most unique variations.

Dragon Guppy

One of the most spectacular color combinations among dragon guppies is their unique red and black patterns. These fish are recognized for displaying a fiery crimson tail with a half-black body.

Dumbo Ear Guppy

Dumbo ear guppies owe their name to their very distinctive feature: massive pectoral fins that look just like an elephant's ears! Though their name might not seem appealing at first, these fish are quite majestic and elegant to observe.

Sexual Dimorphism

The female guppy is somewhat longer and stockier than the male, with less vibrant coloration. A black spot, known as a spawning patch, may be present on the tail of females at breeding time. Male Guppies tend to be smaller and have more colorful tail fins than their female counterparts. The male has a gonopodium, which is a modification of the anal fin into a rod form that is utilized during reproduction.

Fancy Guppy Behavior

The Fancy Guppy is both energetic and friendly. This fish is gentle and pleasant in disposition, with a low propensity for aggressiveness. This sociable fish blends in well with other benevolent fish. Small, peaceful fish such as armored catfish, Platy fish, Tetras and other Characins make good tankmates.

Fancy guppies generally do not bother other fish and plants in their tank. They prefer to stay near the top of the aquarium and are constantly in motion.

These fish are always on the move and form loose schools. They are peaceful community fish but may chase fry. They also have a tendency to nip the fins of Betta or Siamese Fighting Fish. The Guppy should never be mixed with the Betta, especially in confined spaces, as one of the fish is likely to have its fins shredded.

Fancy Guppy Food & Diet

Because they are omnivores, the Fancy Guppy will consume a wide range of fresh, frozen, and flake foods.

They will readily consume the most commercially prepared fish diets as well as supplementary live and vegetable-based foods in the aquarium. Feed your fish brine shrimp or blood worms as a special treat. This species' favorite food is baby brine shrimp. This fish will not refuse anything that is put in front of it, although it should be fed a varied diet several times daily in tiny amounts. Feeding them 2 to 3 times a day is ideal.

Overfeeding should be avoided as it can cause health problems and foul the water. So once you feed them, check to see if they have eaten it all and remove any uneaten food. You should offer them only as much as they can eat in 3 minutes or less.

To ensure a varied diet, we recommend the following:

  • A quality flake or pellet food as a base diet
  • Live, frozen or freeze-dried foods for variety (bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, etc.)
  • Vegetables such as shelled peas, zucchini, and spinach

Fancy Guppy Tank Mates

This species is a peaceful community fish that gets along well with most other non-aggressive tank mates. Corydoras are tiny, active fish that are always visible in the aquarium. They get along well with other tropical freshwater fish.

Water parameter compatibility is the most key factor when choosing guppy tankmates. Guppies thrive in hard, alkaline water, so their tankmates should be as well. Here are some of the best guppy tank companions, as well as species to avoid.

Good Tankmates:

  • Platys
  • Corydoras catfish
  • Mollies
  • Swordtails
  • Least killifish
  • Dwarf neon rainbowfish

Tankmates to Avoid:

  • Betta
  • Large cichlids
  • Serpae tetras
  • Tiger barbs
  • Fish that need soft acidic water
Fancy Guppy

Fancy Guppy Tank Setup

The tiny yet active Fancy guppy requires little to sustain happiness. A 5-gallon tank is sufficient for a group of 3 guppies. Males and females are generally mixed in aquariums, so the aquarist should expect frequent breeding with a high potential for many offspring.

Freshwater aquariums with fine gravel, a lot of foliage, and some floating ferns are ideal for these fish. This type of vegetation will not only provide food for the fish, but also act as a hiding place for Fry until they are too large to be eaten by predators.

The majority of Guppies are very resilient to a wide range of tank circumstances, although the particularly inbred specialized breeds may be delicate and require more care. Although they can survive in harsh conditions, it is recommended to have filtration to maintain stable water. Filtration systems remove a significant amount of detritus, waste products, and excess food. As a result, the tank stays clean and the fish's general health is preserved.

Here are the basic criteria for a Fancy Guppy tank:

  • Minimum Tank Size: 5 gal for a trio of fish. Maintaining a mixed-sex aquarium will induce breeding and rapidly increase the population, necessitating a larger tank.
  • Substrate: Small Gravel
  • Lighting Needs: These fish require moderate brightness for optimum coloration and growth. Low to high lighting is acceptable, although excessively intense light from above tends to wash out their coloration.
  • Temperature: Ideal between 68.0 and 82.0° F (20.0 to 27.8° C)
  • Range pH: Ideal pH range for fancy guppy is 6.8-8.5
  • Hardness Range: 10 - 28 dGH
  • Water Movement: Water movement should be light to moderate.
  • Water Region: The Guppy fish can swim in any level of the aquarium.
  • Plants: Suitable plants include Java fern, Hornwort, and Anacharis.
  • Filter: An aquarium filter is necessary to maintain water quality.
  • Aeration: Aquariums should be well-aerated, with an air stone or powerhead if needed.

Fancy Guppy Breeding 

Fancy Guppy fish breeds readily in the home aquarium if it is well-fed and cared for. Adding both sexes to the aquarium is all that is required. At a very early stage, the juvenile fish reach sexual maturity. Males sexually mature in 7 weeks or less, whereas females take 3 months. For successful breeding you need to follow some simple rules:

  • The aquarium should contain more females than males. The ratio is three females for each male. This will reduce the stress on the females caused by too much attention from the males.
  • Females need to be well-fed so that they can produce a large number of offspring. A diet rich in live foods is ideal.
  • The aquarium should have plenty of hiding places for the fry (newborn fish). Live plants are ideal, as they provide both shelter and food.
  • A breeding tank measuring 10 to 20 gallons with gentle filtration should be provided for successful breeding.

If everything is set up correctly, breeding will happen spontaneously. The female is pregnant when she develops a gravid spot, which looks like a dark mark on her stomach. The average gestation period is approximately 26 to 31 days.

When the female is approaching her final stages of labour, keep an eye on her. If given a chance, guppies will pursue their fry and consume them. Unless they are removed, isolated as with a breeding trap, or given enough hiding places such as dense-rooted or floating plants, the youngsters will be consumed. The number of fry in a breeding colony might be as many as 100, and the female can lay eggs again after four to eight weeks.

Fancy Guppy

Fancy Guppy Fry

Caring for guppy fry is easy. The fact that they are born alive means you don't have to be concerned about egg predation from the other fish in the tank. Unfortunately, adult guppies have no problem dining on guppy fry, thus it's necessary to keep them apart to improve the survival rate of the fry.

It will not be simple to capture all of the tiny fry and transfer them to a different aquarium. Moving a pregnant Fancy Guppy female to your fry tank is a far superior option! Once the mother fish has given birth, you may transfer her back into the main tank.

A less stressful option for the pregnant female is to add a breeder box to your tank. If you're not too concerned about the newborns being eaten, simply set up some floating plants in the tank for them to hide out until they're big enough to swim out into the open. Java moss is an ideal plant to use for this purpose.

Although they are small, guppy fry is very hardy fish. Although you can give them the same flake food as what you feed the adults, it's probably best to crush it up first. Either use a pepper grinder or crush the flakes by hand. The bigger fry can be given brine shrimp or daphnia.

You should start to see some color in your Fancy Guppy fry after about six weeks. The males will be the first to develop their colors.

As your fry grows, you'll need to start thinning them out. Fancy Guppies can be moved to a larger tank when they're about two months old. It's best to keep them in groups of six or more so they feel secure in their new surroundings.

Fancy Guppy Diseases 

Although guppies have extensive fins that fungal infections can exploit, they are relatively hardy overall and do not succumb to diseases easily. They are, nevertheless, susceptible to the same diseases as other tropical fish. Some of the common diseases that affect fancy guppies are:


This is a bacterial disease that affects the fins and tail of the fish. The fins become frayed and eventually disintegrate. The fish also becomes lethargic and may stop eating. Tail/finrot can be caused by poor water quality or by injury.


The first physical evidence of this infection in fish is evident by frayed and ragged fins. This is followed by the appearance of ulcerations on the fish's skin. The fish may also lose its scales, which can appear as white or cloudy patches. These patches are usually more prevalent in the gill filaments.

Gill flukes

The guppy fish is affected by a tiny white worm that can be seen without any sort of magnification. This causes the gills to secrete blood. If your fish is coming to the water surface frequently to gasp for air or spending most of its time at the bottom of the aquarium, it is likely having difficulty breathing.

Gill worms are commonly brought into an aquarium with new fish or plants. It's important to keep newly purchased fish in quarantine to prevent them from spreading disease. If the water quality is poor, gill flukes will spread to other fish.

Popped Eyes

This is a condition that can be caused by several different factors, including physical trauma, bacterial infections, or parasitic infestation. The eyes of the fish appear to bulge out of the sockets and may pop out completely. In some cases, one eye may be affected while the other remains normal.


Dropsy is a condition that causes the fish to swell up. The scales stand out from the body and the belly of the fish may be bloated. Dropsy can be caused by several different things, including infection, a kidney problem, or even tumors. If not treated quickly, dropsy will kill the fish.

There are several things you can do to prevent disease in your fancy guppy fish:

  • Quarantine new fish before adding them to your main aquarium.
  • Keep your aquarium clean. Regular water changes and vacuuming of the gravel will help to remove bacteria and other parasites that can cause disease.
  • Inspect your fish regularly. If you see any signs of illness, isolate the affected fish in a hospital tank and treat them accordingly.
  • Use a good filter system. A properly functioning filter will help to keep the water quality high and reduce the chances of disease.
  • Do not overfeed your fish. Excess food can foul the water and lead to bacterial growth.
  • Avoid adding plants or other decorations that have been in contact with wild fish. These could contain parasites or diseases that could infect your aquarium fish.

By following these simple tips, you can help to keep your fancy guppy fish healthy and disease-free. The more similar their habitat is to their natural environment, the less stressed the fish will be and the better they'll get. Bacteria can be found not just in fish, but also in soil, substrate, and decorations. Make careful and double-check everything you put into an established tank to ensure that the balance is maintained.

Fancy Guppy


How Many Fancy Guppies Should Be Kept Together? 

A group of three fancy guppies can be kept in a 5-gallon tank. If you plan to keep more fish, it's best to have at least 10 gallons tank so that they have enough space to swim and explore.

What Do Fancy Guppies Eat? 

Fancy guppies are omnivores, which means they will eat both plant and animal matter. It is best to feed them a variety of foods to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. Some good foods for fancy guppies include Bloodworms, Brine shrimp, Daphnia, Guppy pellets, and Hikari micro pellets.

What is the Lifespan of a Fancy Guppy?

The average lifespan of a fancy guppy is 2-3 years. However, with proper care, they can live up to 5 years.

How Often Should I Feed My Fancy Guppy?

Fancy guppies should be fed once or twice a day. It is best to feed them small amounts so that they can eat all the food in one sitting. Any uneaten food should be removed so that it does not foul the water.

How Do I Know if My Fancy Guppy is Healthy?

A healthy fancy guppy will have bright colors, clear eyes, and smooth scales. They should be active and swim around regularly. If you see any signs of illness, such as cloudy eyes or lethargy, consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Are Fancy Guppies Friendly?

Fancy guppies are generally peaceful and friendly fish. They can be kept with other peaceful fish such as mollies, platies, and swordtails. It is best to avoid keeping them with aggressive fish such as cichlids or bettas.

Endler Guppy Vs Fancy Guppy, How to Tell Them Apart?

The easiest way to tell the difference between an Endler guppy and a fancy guppy is by their tail shape. Fancy guppies have a wide, fan-shaped tails while Endler guppies have narrow, pointy tails. Another difference is that fancy guppy are usually larger than Endler guppies.

Do Fancy Guppies Eat Their Babies?

It is not uncommon for fancy guppies to eat their own babies. This is usually done out of desperation when the parents are starving and see the babies as a food source. To prevent this from happening, it is best to provide plenty of hiding places for the babies.

Can Fancy Guppies Live in Bowls? 

Fancy guppies can technically live in bowls, but it is not recommended. This is because bowls do not have filters or aeration, which are necessary for keeping the water clean and oxygenated. Fancy guppies also need a lot of space to swim and explore, so a bowl is not ideal.

Final Thoughts

Fancy guppies are a popular choice for aquariums because of their vibrant colors and peaceful nature. They are easy to care for as long as you provide them with a clean environment and plenty of food. With proper care, your fancy guppy can live for 2-3 years. They are omnivores, so they will eat both plant and animal matter. It is best to feed them a variety of foods to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need. Fancy guppies are generally peaceful and friendly fish. So they can be kept with other peaceful fish. But it is best to provide plenty of hiding places for the babies because parents may eat them if they are desperate. Overall, fancy guppies are a great choice for beginner aquarium owners.

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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