One of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish is the P. reticulata species, or commonly known as the Guppy. The Guppy in this picture taken by judhi, does a nice job of posing for the camera.
Also known as the millionfish or fancy Guppy, these fish are an excellent addition to the non-aggressive community fish tank. Special breeding programs have produced unique color strains in the species. Native to Trinidad, and regions of South America, the fish was discovered in Trinidad in 1866 by Robert John Lechmere Guppy. Although he wasn't the first to write about this species, the name "Guppy" stuck. Here's a few characteristics and items to think about when purchasing Guppies:
- Minimum tank size 20 gallons.
- Easy to care for.
- Grows to 2 - 2.5 inches.
- 65-81 degrees F, ph 5.5-8.0, KH 10-30
- Come in many beautiful colors.
- Guppies are live-bearers.
Usually you can distinguish the difference between Guppy males and females by coloration, and fin formation. Generally, the males are smaller, yet have brighter colors than the females. Also, female guppies have a rounded anal fin, and a pregnancy patch located near the bottom portion of their body.
Because these fish are live-bearers, you can have fun breeding them in your aquarium. Be warned though, if you try Guppy breeding, adults will eat the fry if they're left alone. You'll want to set your fish tank up specifically for breeding, if you're going to attempt raising them. This requires an environment with floating ferns and a breeding box which will protect the fry.
I have never tried Guppy breeding, but have friends that have raised fry. If you decide to try it, get ready to have a large amount of guppies to take care of. You'll want to make sure you have prepared a home for them. A pregnant Guppy can drop as many as 200 fry.