Can Different Types of Guppies Breed?

There are many different types of guppies in the world, and each is unique and beautiful. When starting a guppy tank, you may want to add a variety of guppies. And, knowing that guppies breed fast, you may wonder, “Can different types of guppies breed?”

Yes. You can breed different types of guppies together. But it’s not always a good idea to do so. To explain why breeding different species may not be best, we must know how guppies mate and produce baby guppies.

Guppy Reproductive Habits

Can Different Types of Guppies Breed

Guppies mate all year round. They are dimorphic. You can tell the difference between a male and female guppy at first glance because:

  • Males are more colorful.
  • The females are bigger than males.
  • The male’s fins are more visible.
  • Males have a modified anal fin, called a gonopodium.
  • Females have a dark spot near the anal fin called a gravid spot. This spot gets darker when the female is pregnant.

Once guppies are ready to mate, males deliver a “sperm package” into the female. Inside, the package splits into smaller parcels. The female stores these “sperm packets” and can use them to reproduce without mating again. Guppy fry are born alive, and thus guppies are livebearers.

Livebearer vs. Egg Layer

Being a livebearer means that guppies do not lay eggs. The fry of livebearers develops within the mother’s body. The female then gives birth to live babies that can swim. Examples of livebearers are mollies, platies, and swordtails.

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Egg layers lay eggs. Examples of these types of fish are barbs, danios, and betta fish. Egg layers and livebearers cannot crossbreed.

Breed Similar Species of Guppies

All the different kinds of guppies can interbreed though the impregnation may not always be successful. Inbreeding- breeding with close relatives like cousins, brothers, etc. can hinder successful reproduction.

To produce high-quality guppy fry, you need high-quality guppy fish. As the number of guppies in your tank grows, separate close family members to stop inbreeding.

Breeding similar species of guppies is a good idea. Doing so prevents interbreeding with other species. For instance, you can keep only fancy guppies and raise those. At the same time, remember to stop them from inbreeding.

For example, the Endler’s Livebearer or Endler Guppy is a close relative of the common guppy. They can crossbreed, so, if you want to stop interbreeding of each species, you should not keep them in the same tank.

Guppy Fish Cannibalism

Adult guppies will eat their young. Using a breeding tank can help save your baby guppies. If you can’t separate the young from the adults, use live plants and other items to provide hiding places for fry.

This type of cannibalism, filial cannibalism, is normal among fish. Guppies do not take care of their young. The fry must fend for themselves from birth.


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