April 6

Sarah Robertson

Why Snakeskin Guppy Are the Perfect Addition to Your Home Aquarium

Among all the guppy Fish, Snakeskin Guppies are undeniably some of the most popular. They're available in a wide range of brightly hued strains. These fish are ideal for beginners who want to own a pet fish. Although easy to care for, guppies usually don't do well in a cycling tank and will more than likely die. For this reason, it is best not to add them to your tank until the cycle has finished.

Snakeskin guppies have a pattern on their bodies and tailfins that resembles a snake's skin. Some specimens may have a closer resemblance to a tiger's pattern. The fish's skin can be of any color, but the snake-like pattern will stay the same.

Females are generally larger than males, and their colors are not as bright as males. Snakeskin guppies are known for being highly adaptable and able to thrive in many different types of environments.

To learn more about Snakeskin Guppies and how to care for them, continue reading below.

Quick Facts about Snakeskin Guppies

  • Scientific Name: Poecilia Reticullata
  • Origin: South America
  • Family: Poeciliidae
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Color: Any Color with Snakeskin Pattern
  • Lifespan: 2-3 Years
  • Size: 0.6 – 1.4 inches (Male)
  • 1.2 – 2.4 inches (Female)
  • Diet: Type Omnivores
  • Lighting requirement: Low
  • Ideal number kept together: 3+ (2 females to 1 male)
  • Tank Size: For 3 Fish 5 gallons/ 20 litre
  • Ideal temperature: 20-28°C
  • Ideal pH: 6.5–7.5
  • Water flow: low to moderate
  • Compatibility: Peaceful community tank mates like Platy’s, Mollie’s and Tetra’s.
  • Tank Set-Up: Freshwater, plants and substrate
  • Compatibility: Other peaceful community fish

Natural Habitat

Snakeskin Guppies are found in northeast South America and, like many fish, they prefer to have plenty of places to hide. In the wild, their habitat includes rocks, driftwood, and plants. However, Guppies should not be kept as a single fish in an aquarium because both males and females show signs of shoaling, and are usually found in large groups in the wild.

snakeskin guppies

Snakeskin Guppies Care

When it comes to caring for your snakeskin guppy, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. First and foremost, these fish do best in an aquarium that has plenty of hiding places. Driftwood, live plants, and rocks can all provide the perfect places for your guppy to hide.

Secondly, you'll need to make sure the water in your aquarium is clean and well-filtered. A good rule of thumb is to change out 20% of the water each week. Lastly, you'll need to feed your guppy a high-quality diet that consists of both live and frozen foods.

They are relatively easy to care for and don’t require a lot of maintenance. Snakeskin Guppies are peaceful, social creatures that do best when kept in groups of 3 or more fish. They are compatible with other peaceful community fish and prefer to live in an aquarium with plenty of hiding places.

It’s important to keep the water in their tank clean and well-filtered and to feed them a high-quality diet that consists of both live and frozen foods.

If you provide your snakeskin guppy with the proper care, they can live happily in your home aquarium without any problems.

Snakeskin Guppies Size 

Guppies with a snakelike appearance are tiny fish that have elongated bodies. Due to their compact size, they appear rather lovely. Male and female guppies differ in size from one another. Male Snakeskin Guppies are 0.6 to 1.4 inches long, whereas female Snakeskin Guppies grow to 2.4 to 4 inches in length.

Their growth is pretty rapid, and they can achieve their full size within three to four months. Some of the factors that affect their size are the quality of food, water temperature, and the size of their tank.

Snakeskin Guppies Lifespan

The average lifespan of a snakefish guppy fish is about two years. If they are kept healthy with good tank maintenance and care, they can live up to three years. A few things that will help ensure a long and healthy life for your snakefish guppy include:

  • A spacious aquarium with plenty of hiding places
  • Clean water that is filtered and well-oxygenated
  • A diet rich in plants and high-quality flakes or pellets
  • Regular tank maintenance including water changes and vacuuming the gravel

If you provide your snakefish guppy with these things, you can expect them to live a long and healthy life.

Snakeskin Guppies Appearance

Snakeskin Guppies have scales all over their body that create a vertical pattern. They can be nearly any color, making them very vibrant looking. Sometimes individual rosettes are placed randomly throughout their body. The stripes often resemble the tiger's stripes, and colors can include gold, orange or black.

To be certified as a snakeskin, the fish should have at least 60% of the rosette pattern. They have lovely lines running down their bodies, making them appear quite artistic. Their fins are very beautiful and graceful, especially their caudal (tail) fin. The fins are what give them their elegant look that is so pleasing to the eye.

There are several types of Snakeskin Class Guppies/Snakeskin Endler Guppies. Some of the variations are as follows:

Golden Snakeskin Guppies: This variation has a yellow or gold body color with black stripes.

Tiger Snakeskin Guppies: As the name suggests, this type of Snakeskin Guppy has stripes that resemble a tiger.

Albino Snakeskin Guppies: This is a very beautiful fish that has a white body with red eyes.

Red Snakeskin Guppies: The body of this fish is red, and it has black stripes. Flowing red fins are defining characteristics of this fish species.

Black Snakeskin Guppies: They are also known as Black Snakeskin Cobra Guppy. The fish features a vibrant black coloring with an intricate snakeskin pattern and a showy tail fin.

Blue Snakeskin Guppies: The body of this fish is blue in color, and it has black stripes. The fins are also blue in color.

Green Snakeskin Guppies: The Green Snakeskin is a standout with its vibrant grass green color and beautiful patterned body and fins. They are also known as Green Cobra Guppy.

Koi Snakeskin Guppies: The Koi Snakeskin Guppy is a unique guppy that has bright orange and white hues in both males and females. Males also have snakeskin patterns across their bodies!

Purple Snakeskin Guppies: The Purple Snakeskin Guppy is a very beautiful fish that has a purple body with black stripes.

Silver Snakeskin Guppies: The silver snakeskin guppy is a magnificent fish with its bright silver coloration and intricate patterns.

Albino Snakeskin Guppies: The recessive albino phenotype is exhibited by albino guppies. This trait is associated with red eyes and the absence of black melanin. Albino Snakeskin Guppies have snake-like patterns as well. Guppies of this sort may be found in a variety of hues. Yellow Snakeskin Guppies & Redtail Snakeskin guppies with albino traits are very popular.

If you wish to own a Snakeskin guppy, you have a wide variety of colors to choose from. No matter what color you choose, these fish are sure to add beauty and grace to your aquarium.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is very easy to tell a male Snakeskin guppy from a female. Here are some of the characteristics which can help you in sexing them:

Male Snakeskin Guppies:

  • Generally shorter
  • Slimmer in length
  • Have bright colors
  • Attractive tail and patterns
  • Large fins
  • Anal fin is modified into gonopodium

Female Snakeskin Guppies:

  • Longer Body
  • Bulkier
  • Have pale colors
  • Short fins
  • Large abdomen with dark gravid spot
  • Eggs clearly visible in pregnant females

If you closely look at the characteristics mentioned above, you will be able to easily sex your Snakeskin Guppies. Now that you know how to tell males from females, you can decide whether you want to breed them or not.

snakeskin guppies

Snakeskin Guppies Behavior

Snakeskin Guppies are typically very peaceful fish. It's recommended that they be kept in pairs (1 Male for every 2 females) with other non-aggressive fish of a similar size. If kept with other peaceful fish, they will often swim in groups and play together.

They are also known to be good jumpers, so it's important to have a lid on your aquarium. Although they are peaceful by nature, if two males are put together they may start to fight over territory. If this happens, you should remove one of the males from the tank.

Adding more hiding places and plants to the aquarium will help reduce their stress levels. Reducing stress levels is important for their overall health and well-being. They are not fussy eaters and will even eat algae from the glass of the tank. Their peaceful nature and easy-going personality make them the perfect fish for both beginners and experienced aquarium enthusiasts alike.

snakeskin guppies

Snakeskin Guppies Diet & Feeding

Different kinds of food such as live, artificial, and frozen are all enjoyed by Snakeskin Guppies. Guppies have tiny mouths and stomachs, so the meals should be restricted in size. We recommend feeding your pet 2-3 times a day with an amount they can consume in 3 minutes.

Snakeskin guppies may be fed a variety of live foods including blood worms, tubifex, brine shrimp, and corethra.

Snakeskin guppies will consume artificial flakes, pellets, and other packaged foods. Flake food is available in specialty stores that cater to tropical fish, such as the Guppy at your local fish store.

Flake food is a good foundation for your Guppy's diet, but it should be supplemented with live food whenever possible. Your Guppy can survive on flake food alone if need be, but live foods help to ensure that they are receiving proper nutrition and staying healthy.

Snakeskin guppies require a variety of frozen foods, including vegetables, fruits, and other commercially prepared meals. Vegetables and fruits are excellent sources of nutrition for guppies and can help boost their immunity.

It's critical not to feed your Guppy too much. If they don't eat within a few minutes of being offered, you're giving them too much food in one serving. Feeding guppies frozen or live brine shrimp is popular because it is very easy to produce at home. Other foods that are suitable for your Guppy include bloodworms, micro worms, fruit flies, mosquito larvae, daphnia, and chopped earthworms.

Since Snakeskin Guppies are not picky eaters, it is relatively easy to find food that they will like and that is also good for them.

Snakeskin Guppies Tank Mates

Snakeskin Guppies are one of the most peaceful and non-aggressive aquarium fish available. It does not cause any problems for its tankmates. Other peaceful and tiny fish will be able to cohabit with Snakeskin Guppies. Some of the suitable tank mates for Snakeskin Guppies are given below:

  • Corydoras Catfish
  • Danios
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Cherry Barb
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnow
  • Bristle-nose Pleco

While picking tank mates for Snakeskin Guppies, it is important to consider:

The Size of the Fish: It is important to choose tank mates that are of similar size as Snakeskin Guppies. If the tank mates are too big, they might end up eating the Snakeskin Guppies.

The Aggression Level of the Fish: Choose tank mates that have a similar or lower aggression level. If the tank mates are too aggressive, they might bully or harass the Snakeskin Guppies.

The Water Parameters: It is important to choose tank mates that have similar water parameters as Snakeskin Guppies. This will ensure that the fish can live in harmony without any problems.

Some of the unsuitable tank mates for Snakeskin Guppies are:

  • Oscars
  • Cichlids
  • Betta Fish
  • Green Terror
  • Tiger Barb
  • Tetra Fish
  • Angelfish
  • Jack Dempsey

It is important to do some research before choosing the tank mates for Snakeskin Guppies. This will ensure that the fish can live in harmony and without any problems.

snakeskin guppies

Snakeskin Guppies Tank Setup

Guppies are very popular aquarium fish as they don't require any special care. A minimum of 2 females per male should be kept in a peaceful community aquarium to help cut down on aggression and harassment. A tank with both male and female guppies should have plants for the females to hide in, so the males won't constantly harass them.

Here are some of the things that you need to consider when setting up a tank for Snakeskin Guppies:

The Size of the Tank

For a group of three guppies, the minimum aquarium size is 5 gallons. If you want to keep more fish, you will need a tank that is larger in size. The larger the tank, the better it is for the fish.

The Type of Substrate

Guppies prefer a soft, sandy substrate. They also like to have some plants in their tank. You can use live or artificial plants in their tank.

Ideal Water Conditions For Snakeskin Guppy Fish

Snakeskin Guppies are tropical fish that prefer a warmer water temperature. The temperature is inversely proportional to the metabolism rate of guppies, which is very important.

If the temperature of an aquarium tank rises too much, the guppies in it will have a shorter life expectancy. It will result in a shorter Gestation period and new babies will be less immune to diseases.

The guppies will grow larger and have a longer life span if the aquarium tank temperature is lowered significantly. Although they are vulnerable to sickness. Babies born will be larger in size, but they'll suffer from different health conditions later on in life.

So keeping the water at a certain temperature is critical for guppies' well-being. The ideal temperature for guppies is between 20 to 28°С (68 to 82°F). If you want your guppies to thrive, you can install a heater in their tank to maintain a warm climate.

Ideal pH Levels for Snakeskin Guppies

Snakeskin Guppies are usually strong fish that can live in a variety of pH ranges. Although they don't like soft acidic water. So pH level of the water is also an important factor that needs to be considered. The ideal pH level for guppies is between 6.5 and 7.5. If the pH level of the water is too high or too low, it can cause health problems for the fish.

Snakeskin Guppies Breeding

Snakeskin Guppies are some of the easiest fish to breed and require very little care. They are also known as beginner's fish. A single male guppy is sufficient for three to five females to begin breeding. Parents will mate multiple times in order to have offspring that are less likely to get sick and have better immunity.

Snakeskin Guppies are livebearers, which means they give birth to live swimming offspring instead of laying eggs. The fry (baby guppies) are born fully formed and ready to fend for themselves. A well-planted aquarium with plenty of places to hide is ideal for a breeding tank. A female guppy can have 10-50 offspring at a time, though this number is determined by the age and health of the mother.

Steps for Breeding Snakeskin Guppies 

If you want to breed Snakeskin Guppies, you can follow these steps:

Select the Fish You Wish to Breed

The fry will have the same color pattern if you breed two fish with the same color patterns. The same principle may be applied to fin shape. If you want to breed guppies, then having one male for every two or three females is the best way to go about it.

Select a Tank for Breeding

You should go for a 10 to 20-gallon aquarium with a heater and a filter that is gentle.

Set Up the Tank

Use no substrate. Substrates are the rocks or imitation rocks that are used to cover the bottoms of fish tanks. A fish tank with a bare bottom is ideal for fry, as it can be easily cleaned and you can keep track of how many fry are alive or how much they are eating. Java moss is an excellent place for guppy fry to hide. So adding such to the breeding tank is a good idea.

Fill the Tank with Water

Dechlorinate the water before adding it to the tank. While adding water to the tank, make sure that you do not disturb the Java moss too much as the fry might get buried and die. The water level should be about 4 to 6 inches.

Adjust the Tank for Your Fish's Requirements

The ideal temperature for a tank containing both male and female fish is 77-79 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 26.11 C). You can install a heater in the tank to maintain the required temperature. The pH level for breeding Snakeskin Guppies should be between 7 and 8.

Before you put the guppies into the breeding tank, prepare food with a better nutritional value to encourage healthy breeding.

Transfer the Guppies to the Breeding Tank

Now that you've determined which fish are male and female, all you can do is wait for them to breed. Once your female fish appear pregnant, return the males to the original tank.

You can tell whether a female fish is pregnant or not by checking for a dark spot on her belly. This spot is called a gravid spot. All female fish have this when pregnant, but it gets darker when the eggs inside her are fertilized.

Know When Your Fish is About to Give Birth

The typical gestation period is 26 to 31 days. Here are some signs that a fish is going into labor: shivering (contractions), being very still and secluding herself, change in appetite and hanging out near the heater.

Make Sure You're Ready for the Fry

The fry will swim around and seek food as soon as they are born. It is critical to have a fine mesh net ready in order to capture them. You will also need to have food ready for them. Baby brine shrimp or microworms are a good option.

snakeskin guppies

Snakeskin Guppies Fry

Guppy fry has a high survival rate and is simple to maintain, making them ideal for novices. Baby fish are often eaten by other fish in the aquarium, so if you want to keep them safe, you should have a different tank or breeding box. A 10-gallon tank would suffice for a small group of fry.

The fry needs to be fed small live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms. They should be fed several times a day until they are large enough to eat flake food or pellets.

Although a filter is not necessary for the fry tank, you should change at least 50% of the water every week to keep the fry healthy. An air-powered sponge filter can be used in their tank so the fry doesn’t get sucked in. When the fry reaches 2-3 weeks old, it can be moved to a community tank.

Always maintain cleanliness in the tanks as fry are more vulnerable to pollutants than adult fish. Also, remove any feces or dead fry.

Snakeskin Guppies Diseases

Snakeskin Guppies are typically healthy fish, but there are a few diseases they can get. The three primary causes of disease in guppies are parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Nevertheless, a healthy aquarium environment will go a long way toward preventing these diseases. Some of the common diseases that can affect Snakeskin guppies are:

White Spot Disease/Ich

One of the most common diseases that affect freshwater fish is white spot disease, also known as Ich. Ich is caused by a Protozoan parasite that attacks the fish's skin and fins. The parasites burrow into the fish's flesh and cause white spots to form. The fish will also scratch itself against objects in the aquarium in an attempt to relieve the irritation.

If left untreated, white spot disease can be fatal to fish. However, it is relatively easy to treat with medication available from your local aquarium store.

Fin and Tail Rot

Fin rot is another common disease that affects freshwater fish. The disease can be caused by either a fungus or bacterial infection. Fish who are injured from fighting with other fish are more susceptible to fungus and bacteria, as these pathogens take advantage of the fish's open wounds. Additionally, ammonia burns and unclean aquarium water can lead to rotting tails.

Swollen Gills

The gills of the snakeskin guppies are used to take in water and pass it through the labyrinth, allowing the rake to take the oxygen. The rake is a delicate organ that functions as the human lungs.

If the tank water has a high ammonia concentration, it may affect the fish's gills. Ammonia is a highly dangerous substance that is produced by rotting fish food, fish waste, dead fish, and organic matter. When ammonia levels are low, the gills can be damaged and inflated. This is why guppies gasp for air when their gills become swollen. In higher amounts, ammonia is deadly.

Swim Bladder Disorder 

The swim bladder is an organ that helps the fish to maintain its buoyancy. When the swim bladder becomes inflamed, it can cause the fish to float to the surface of the water and have trouble swimming. The possible causes of this disease are stress, overeating, or spending time in water that isn't warm enough. Other possible causes include physical injuries, pregnancy, shock, and parasitic or bacterial infections.

Columnaris & Mouth Fungus

Columnaris is a very common bacterial infection that can affect freshwater fish. The three main causes of this guppy disease are stress, improper diet, and the introduction of bacteria. A bacteria colony often creates a large, cloudy patch in the mouth or central area of the fish's body.

The bacteria is highly contagious, and it primarily affects female guppies. Decreased appetite and difficulties in swimming are two indicators of columnaris and mouth fungus. The disease paralyzes the muscle, making swimming impossible for the afflicted fish.

Velvet (Oodinium)

Velvet, also known as oodinium, is a parasitic infection that is caused by a single-celled organism. Guppies with velvet disease have little golden-colored flecks that are almost impossible to see in the early stages. The parasite attaches itself to the fish's skin and gills, causing irritation and inflammation. In severe cases, the parasite can cause the fish to suffocate.

The symptoms of velvet include loss of appetite, lethargy, and increased mucus production. The fish may also scratch itself against objects in the tank. If you notice any of these symptoms in your guppy, it's important to take action immediately. The sooner you treat the disease, the better chance your fish has of survival.

Red Blood Spot

On the guppy's stomach or body, the red blood spot is quite apparent. The red spots are a symptom of ammonia toxicity. This should serve as a wake-up call that your aquarium is not conducive to good health.

Scoliosis (Bent Spine)

The cause of the condition might be hereditary or due to external factors. If you look at guppy fry from the side or above, you will notice that their spines are curved. The only thing you can do is offer the sick fish a nutritious diet and maintain good tank habits. Comparatively, they have a shorter lifespan.


Hexamitiasis is a parasitic illness caused by protozoa. Poorly filtered, overstocked tanks with infrequent water changes and low oxygen levels often lead to this rare guppy disease. White and stringy feces, pale bodies, destroyed fins, holes in the body, and refusal to eat are all signs of this illness.

Gill Flukes

Gill flukes are tiny, flatworms that parasitize the gills of freshwater fish. The flukes attach themselves to the gills and feed on the host's blood. Gill flukes cause irritation and inflammation of the gills, which can lead to secondary bacterial infections.

Symptoms of this disease include flashing (scratching against objects in the tank), increased mucus production, and respiratory distress. Gill worms are caused by introducing infected new fish or live aquarium plants into an ecosystem or due to poor water quality. Gill flukes cause fish to have difficulty breathing and may sink to the bottom of the tank, gasping for air.


Dropsy disease is brought on by bacteria that harm the liver or kidney. The disease is caused by an excess of fluids in the tissues and body cavities of the fish. Bloated abdomens make it hard for guppies to swim. Improper feeding, water pollution, and genetics can cause dropsy.

Tips to Prevent Guppy Diseases

Guppies are robust fish, and several of the above guppy diseases can be prevented by following these steps:

Maintain Water Quality

An aquarium with good water quality allows your guppies to live healthier and longer life. An unmaintained tank, on the other hand, stresses the fish and makes them more susceptible to infection and disease.

Be Mindful of How Much You're Feeding Your Pet

Also, give your fish the required quantity of food. Overfeeding can lead to health issues later on and cause toxic ammonia accumulation.

Practice Good Maintenance Habits

Weekly water changes are required to keep your aquarium clean. This helps to maintain a healthy environment for your guppies.

Inspect Your Fish Regularly

Always examine your fish closely every day. Immediately place any sick fish in a quarantine tank to prevent the spread of infection, and dispose of any dead guppies.

You'll need to Quarantine New Fish and Decorations

Always quarantine new fish or tank decorations for at least four weeks. Check the new fish for parasites or any indications of guppy illnesses during this time.

Take Steps to Reduce Stress

Your guppies may quickly perish as a result of stress. When a guppy is stressed, its immune system becomes weaker and more exposed to any harmful microbes in the tank.

By adding ample hiding spots, you can decrease a guppy's stress. This way, they will have a sense of comfort, peace and privacy. Additionally, ensure the water temperature is just right.


What is a Snakeskin Guppy?

The snakeskin guppy is a fish species easily distinguished by its patterning, resembling that of snakeskin. These fish are popular among aquarium enthusiasts because of their unique appearance and easy-going nature.

Are Snakeskin Guppies Rare

No, they are not rare. In fact, they are quite common and can be found in pet stores and online retailers.

What Do Snakeskin Guppies Eat?

Snakeskin guppies are omnivores, meaning they will eat both meat and plants. However, their diet should be mostly plant-based, with only a small amount of meat. The best diet for them includes live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia.

Cobra Snakeskin Guppies Mate With Regular Guppies?

Yes, though cobra snakeskin guppies can mate with regular guppies, it is not recommended as it can result in genetic defects. It is usually best to stick to breeding Cobra Snakeskin with other Cobra Snakeskins, and regular guppies with other regular guppies.

How Long Do Snakeskin Guppies Live

The average lifespan of a snakeskin guppy is 2-3 years, although some have been known to live up to 5 years.

Final Thoughts

Many people choose to have Snakeskin Guppies as their freshwater aquarium fish because they're lovely, not difficult to take care of and come in many colors and patterns. Out of all the different types of guppies, snakeskin guppies are by far the most unique.

They come in many colors, but their most defining feature is their patterning which resembles that of a snake's skin. Since they are small in size, they are perfect for beginner aquarists or those with smaller tanks. They are also easy to care for and have a lifespan of 2-3 years. Because they eat both plants and meat, their diet is relatively easy to satisfy.

The biggest threat to their health is stress, so it's important to provide them with ample hiding spots and to maintain the water temperature. If you're looking for a fish that is both beautiful and low-maintenance, then snakeskin guppies are the perfect choice for you!

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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