Maximum size : 6 cm

Fancy Guppies - Poecilia reticulata : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Fancy Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are an incredibly diverse and fascinating fish species with almost endless possibilities for variation and colouration. With over 300 different varieties, there is something to suit every aquarist's taste. Their vibrant and eye-catching appearance, combined with their peaceful temperament, make them an excellent addition to community tanks. They are also easy to care for and are a great choice for beginner hobbyists. Despite their small size, Guppies are full of personality and are known to be active and playful. 

Given the gregarious nature of Fancy Guppies and their inherent preoccupation with reproductive activities, it is advisable to maintain them in sizeable groupings. Should the decision be made to introduce both male and female specimens, it is recommended to establish a numerical advantage of females over males, which will likely result in a recurring presence of fry on a monthly cycle.

It is worth noting that Fancy Guppies are susceptible to bacterial infections, often stemming from the accumulation of waste and diminished levels of carbonate hardness. The mitigation of these critical concerns can be effectively achieved through systematic upkeep practices and the judicious application of buffering agents. Additionally, it's noteworthy that tap water boasting elevated general hardness may paradoxically exhibit lower carbonate levels than anticipated.

Fancy Guppies come in an array of colours and patterns, with metallic sheens, spots, and stripes. Additionally, they have a wide range of tail shapes and sizes, each with its own unique charm. From the iconic Fan-shaped tails to the elegant and flowing Lyretails, there is a Guppy tail shape for every preference. 

Fancy Guppies Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Once mature, typically between 2 to 5 months, it is relatively easy to distinguish between male and female Fancy Guppies. Males generally exhibit more vibrant and bold colours, with a longer and narrower anal fin that is specially modified for mating. Females, on the other hand, are typically larger in size and have a less intense colouration than males. Additionally, females have a noticeable gravid spot located just behind their anal fin, which becomes darker as they become pregnant.

Quick Facts

Scientific NamePoecilia reticulata
Other NamesMillion Fish
Max Size6 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asGroups 5+
Diet & FeedingOmnivore
LifespanUp to 3 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
pH 7.0 - 8.5
GH 10 - 20
Ideal Temperature
66 - 84
18 - 28

Natural Habitat

Fancy Guppies are usually found in the clean, flowing, warm tropical waters of the South American continent, including Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil, and Trinidad and Tobago's Caribbean islands. To provide your Guppies with the most natural environment possible, you can replicate these conditions in your aquarium. This will help ensure that they thrive and flourish in their new home.

Fancy Guppies are incredibly adaptable and have been known to tolerate brackish waters. In fact, they have even been found living in some brackish habitats, further highlighting their resilience and adaptability. Adding Guppies to your aquarium is an excellent way to showcase their unique beauty and contribute to their conservation efforts. 


Fancy Guppies are a prolific species that reproduce continuously, with males having the ability to differentiate between virgin and pregnant females. During mating, the male guppy passes a packet of sperm to the female, which will then divide into numerous sperms stored in the female's body for later use in multiple pregnancies.

Female Guppies prefer brightly coloured males with superior foraging abilities as it enhances the survival chances of their offspring. As a result, Fancy Guppies can reproduce without any intervention from the aquarist. Females carry the young inside their bodies, with the developing fish nourished through an egg sac until they hatch inside the female. Once fully developed, the female will give birth to live young, making them a livebearer species.

Diet & feeding

Fancy Guppies are not picky eaters and have a diverse diet that includes frozen, live, pellets and flakes. It is essential to keep in mind that their small mouths and stomachs require small-sized food. Additionally, vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, and peas are a welcome addition to their diet. Providing a balanced diet for your guppies will ensure they remain healthy and vibrant.

Other Guppies of interest