Fancy Guppy ~ Millionsfish

Family: Poeciliidae Female Fantail GuppyFantail Guppy (female)Poecilia reticulata
Latest Reader Comment - See More
Why isn't there much about endlers on this site? They are colorful live bearers like guppies and mollies... anyway does anyone raise/breed freshwater shrimp? They... (more)  fish bandit

   The various forms of the Guppy, Fancy Guppy, or Millionsfish are the best known and most popular aquarium fish. This species offers a large selection of colors and shapes with no two fish every exactly alike. Guppies are an all time favorite of both beginners and experienced fish keepers!

    The active Guppy, Fancy Guppy, or Millionsfish form loose schools and are always on the move. Though they are peaceful community fish and easily kept with other livebearers, they may chase fry and will often nip the fins of the Betta or Siamese Fighting Fish.

   These fish will appreciate an aquarium with fine gravel that is heavily planted along with some floating ferns. This type of vegetation will provide a bit of food for them as well as hiding places for the fry until they are large enough to not be eaten. Most Guppy, Fancy Guppy, or Millionsfish are very tolerant of a wide variety of tank conditions, though the highly inbred specialized species can be more delicate and require more attention.

   Typical of livebearers, The Guppy, Fancy Guppy, or Millionsfish, appreciates the addition of 1 to 1.25 teaspoons of non-iodized salt added to the aquarium water. They are capable of adapting to brackish or saltwater conditions.


What's in the name?
Poecilia means "many-colored"
reticulata means "netlike"

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Freshwater Aquarium

Geographic Distribution
Poecilia reticulata
Data provided by
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Cyprinodontiformes
  • Family: Poeciliidae
  • Genus: Poecilia
  • Species: reticulata
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Fancy Guppies - Quick Aquarium Care
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L)
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
  • Temperature: 65.0 to 82.0° F (18.3 to 27.8° C)
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
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Habitat: Distribution / Background

   The Guppy or Millionsfish are native to Central America and Brazil but now are almost exclusively captive bred.

Selectively bred, they come in all colors and combinations of colors:
   There are far too many varieties of Guppy, Fancy Guppy, or Millionsfish to list here, but let it be said that they come in every color of the rainbow, and often have every color of the rainbow in them!
   There are a lot of different shapes to the fins also. Some of the more common fins shapes are: rounded, pintail, swordtail (upper, lower, and double), flagtail, veiltail, fantail, and triangletail.
   There are fancy guppy organizations that breed and show guppies all over the world.

  • Scientific Name: Poecilia reticulata
  • Social Grouping: Pairs - They will not school but can be kept in groups.
  • IUCN Red List: NE - Not Evaluated or not listed

Fish Keeping Difficulty

  • Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy - This fish is very widely avaiable, however with great disparity in the quality of stock. The extensive finnage of this species makes it susceptible to damage and resulting infection.
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner

Foods and Feeding

   Since they are omnivorous the Guppy, Fancy Guppy, or Millionsfish will generally eat all kinds of live, fresh, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen) or blood worms as a treat.

  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Flake Food: Yes
  • Tablet Pellet: Yes
  • Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
  • Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
  • Meaty Food: Some of Diet
  • Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day

Aquarium Care

  • Water Changes: Bi-weekly

Aquarium Setup

  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L)
  • Substrate Type: Any
  • Lighting Needs: Moderate - normal lighting
  • Temperature: 65.0 to 82.0° F (18.3 to 27.8° C)
  • Range ph: 7.0-8.5
  • Hardness Range: 10 - 30 dGH
  • Brackish: No - This is no brackish fish, however it does seem to appreciate this addition of a little salt in the water. Around 1-1.25 teaspons of aquarium salt should suffice. Removed water should be replaced with salted water, however if the aquarist is topping off due to evaporation freshwater should be used.
  • Water Movement: Moderate
  • Water Region: All

Social Behaviors

   The Guppy, Fancy Guppy, or Millionsfish are a good community fish, however they will chase and eat fry, and they are known to nip the fins of the Betta or Siamese Fighting Fish.

  • Temperament: Peaceful - Although not a schooling fish, this fish is happiest in a group of its own kind. It also makes an excellent community fish and mixes well with most fish tolerant of its prefered water conditions. The exception to this is the Beta fish, which will either suffer fin nipping by the guppy or mistake guppies for another Beta and will attack. In either case, this combination does not usually end well.
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species - conspecifics: Yes
    • Peaceful fish (): Safe
    • Semi-Aggressive (): Monitor
    • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe - not aggressive

Sex: Sexual differences

   The female is larger, more drab in color, and will have a spawning patch at breeding time. The male is smaller, will generally have a longer more colorful tail, and has a gonopodium.

Breeding / Reproduction

   The Guppy, Fancy Guppy, or Millionsfish is easily bred in the aquarium without special attention if well fed and cared for. Provide hiding places or breeding traps for the fry as the parents may chase them. See the description of how to breed livebearers in Breeding Freshwater Fish - Livebearers.

  • Ease of Breeding: Easy


   The Guppy, Fancy Guppy, or Millionsfish is readily available.


Animal-World References

Author: David Brough. CFS.
Lastest Animal Stories on Fancy Guppies

fish bandit - 2013-11-03
Why isn't there much about endlers on this site? They are colorful live bearers like guppies and mollies... anyway does anyone raise/breed freshwater shrimp? They are great in a tank with some otos, endlers, and some guppies.

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-11-07
    Glad you asked as we have the Endler Guppie in the que for adding. Hopefully we'll get it live soon, so keep an eye out:) I also would like to know of anyone who raises freshwater shrimp, so look forward to some info on that.
Henry - 2003-09-06
Its brilliantly colored colours often attract admiration from its owners but danger from its other tank mates. I have personally caught Tetras red-handed nibbling at its tail~! I honestly believe that Guppies are best kept with its own species. A dozen or more males will look really mesmerizing. Best to keep 1 male & 2 females, or 2 males & 4 females, for breeding purposes and provide driftwood for the babies to take refuge at, or have the babies transferred to another tank.

B Bradbury - 2009-01-02
Good morning. If you're new to this aquarium thing, I recommend you do a lot of research before you start and start with a larger aquarium, at least 10 to 12 gallons. Smaller tanks leave little or no room for error. After setting things up, add some real plants that require only moderate light. Real plants are inexpensive and a good source of oxygen and food for your fish. Allow your tank to run for several hours, 18-24 should be enough. Next, buy some inexpensive "feeder guppies" and put them in your aquarium. Feeder guppies are the plain colored ones that pet shops sell as live food. Some pet shops will just give them to you. Put a few of these in your tank and check on them every couple of hours to see how they do. After a day or two, if everything looks good, get a male and two or three females of the fancy type guppies. Guppies are a good starter fish and don't cost a lot. In a couple of weeks, I would add a couple of glass shrimp to the tank. They're bottom feeders and eat the leftover fish food.

MJ - 2006-04-01
Guppies are a great species to breed and care for. When adding new fish to your tank turn off the lights for about 4 to 6 hrs so the new ones can adjust to their new surroundings while everyone is in a quite state. This really seems to help when adding different species to your community tank. If you want your fry to survive, I recommend not having fish larger then the guppies in the tank, especially Bettas since they are carnivores and love to chase and eat live prey or make sure you have an automatic brine shrimp feeder in your tank. Otherwise, I have never had a problem w/ having a Betta in my guppy tank. DO NOT get Chineese Algea Eaters! They are nasty fish that like to attach themselves to your slow graceful moving fish and suck off the slim coat, leaving big "hickies" and killing your fish. Guppies do best w/ cory type catfish and plecos. If you get a Pleco be prepared for it to get large depending on the type you get. Good Luck and enjoy this awesome hobby...but be forwarned, it can take over your house because it is addictive!!!

Jake - 2004-09-04
Guppies are beautiful fish which add alot more than just a fish to your tropical aquarium. I first bred them 3 weeks ago, I bought a pregnant female and a breeding trap and within 5 hours in my tank the female started to give birth to 86 young. Only 9 of the fry were eaten, after 8 weeks I walked to the shop that I bought the female from and sold all the best looking ones for $1.00AUS each. the others were put back in my tank.

WARNING be carful not to put males and females together as they will breed extremly fast (not that thats bad, just be carful)

Iv - 2003-08-27
Dont get a male and a female in one tank, they will breed like crazy! And when you breed them careful with colors because if you mess up, the fish will be dull looking with no color, and some petshops will not buy them from you , or they will use them as feeders for larger fish. AND when you want to breed them for yourself keep the good ones and release the bad ones in the community tank so the other fish will snack on them, sounds mean, but thats better than throwing them away. You can also seperate the male and females of the fry when they get around 2-4 weeks old because then THEY will start to breed again. I suggest using a net divider in the small fry tank.


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