Melanzona Guppy (Poecilia parae)
Melanzona Guppies are small, active, and rare in the aquarium hobby but are highly sought after due to their unique appearance. However, these fish are quite pricey and somewhat delicate, so they are not recommended for beginner aquarists.
Melanzona Guppies are a loose shoaling fish in nature, and it would be best to keep two or three females to every male to prevent individual females from being harassed.
These Guppies would thrive in a slightly brackish aquarium on their own or alongside X-ray Tetras. However, they can be kept in a freshwater community aquarium with similarly-sized tankmates like Black Darter Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Emerald Eye Rasboras, Spotted Blue Eye Rainbowfish, African Banded Barbs and Golden Dwarf Barbs. You could also house these fish with Corydoras and smaller Plecos and Dwarf Shrimp.
Melanzona Guppies will need a spacious, mature aquarium due to their high activity levels. Although these fish are found in some freshwater habitats in the wild, the majority have been collected from brackish areas; therefore, they will fare much better and have more minor health issues when maintained under slightly brackish waters in captivity. In addition, these fish are more likely to breed in such conditions.
The tank should be heavily planted with hardy species that can cope well in a slightly brackish environment; this will give the fish somewhere to retreat to if they feel threatened and allow the females to escape the harassment of the over-eager males. It will also provide hiding places for babies. The aquarium will need to have good filtration, but the water movement should be relatively gentle.
There are several wild colour variants of the male fish, and the commonness and distribution depend on various aspects such as predation. The most popular colours are red, yellow, and blue variants, all of which possess translucent silvery iridescent bodies with two dark horizontal stripes along the flanks with dazzling colouration inside the stripes. The fourth and fifth types are the Parae and the Immaculata.
The Parae lacks the horizontal lines but instead has orange vertical lines on the front half of the body and black vertical stripes on the back. The Immaculata variant is quite drab by comparison, having similar colouration to the female fish.
It is estimated that the Melanzona morphs make up just 10 per cent of the male population, the Parae morph makes up 40 per cent, and the plain Immaculata morphs make up the remaining 50 per cent of the male population. Some morphs are always available in the wild, and others are scarce.
|Scientific Name||Poecilia parae|
|Other Names||Yellow Melanzona Guppy, Blue Melanzona Guppy, Red Melanzona Guppy, Red Ferrari Guppy, Blue Ferrari Guppy|
|Origins||Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname|
|Aquarium Level||Middle - Top|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||2 - 3 years|
|PH||7.0 - 8.0|
|GH||8 - 20|
|75 - 82℉|
23.9 - 27.8℃
In the home aquarium, the Melanzona Guppy will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.
Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.
It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.
This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.
It is simple to differentiate between the male and female Melanzona Guppies. Males are smaller, more vibrantly coloured, have slightly longer fins and possess a gonopodium. In contrast, the females are much duller, significantly larger, have a small dark shoulder spot and are much rounder, especially when gravid.