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Guppies and Inbreeding
When it comes to guppies, how inbred is too inbred?
Here's my situation: I got 2 pregnant females, 3 adult males, and a bunch of assorted juvenile male and female guppies for free from a woman whose tank was overflowing. They range in age from probably 1 week old to 2 years old. I also have a single adult male I bought from Petco. I suspect that the guppies I bought from the woman are relatively inbred since she said "she bought 'a few' and now she's overun". Over half of them have a black spot on the top of their heads. Could this be because they were all descended from one original guppy? Also, if they are inbred, how can I solve the problem without buying a bunch more to "mix up" the gene pool? Will my one male's new genes be enough for a few weeks till I get a bigger tank and add a couple more females?
With fish, it seems that inbreeding is accepted as it is used to breed specific color traits. Your new male will be good for a few generations, I should think. As for the black head spot, you should decide whether you want to keep breeding that trait or not. If not, find a new home for them and pick out new fish with colors you like. :)
So... what about health problems associated with inbreeding? I'm really more concerned about my guppies becoming weak and unhealthy rather than color preferences.
The only real deformity that I can think of is a spinal one and I think it is common practice to eliminate fry with a spinal deformity. With the over breeding, traits would change much in the way they would if you were line breeding for specific traits such as fin length or color.
I'm not a fish breeder, But I don't know of genetic "damage" in inbred fish like there would be in humans (ie mental conditions).
I feel better now
Well, that's reassuring. I would just be heartbroken if a while down the road all my fry came out with deformities because I made some dumb mistake. So I guess my best plan right now is to wait till christmas when I get my new 16 gallon bowfront and then add a couple petsmart females. I would like to add males but I am a bit worried that all 4 of my sexually mature males go after the 2 huge females. It's understandable since they appear the most fertile, but there are plenty of other females my males should be chasing. Any advice on how I can fix this problem??
Guppies are lusty little buggers. :) I'm sure they'll have no problem with your smaller females. If your male/female ratio is out of whack, there may be fighting. (With my three platies, one is definately dominant and chases the heck out of the other two.)
okay, now I have a concern... The yellow male guppy I bought from petco has a bit of a torn fin (the one on the side he uses to swim with, near the gills) and the fin appears a tad white around the edges. I am extremely worried that this may be a disease that he could pass on to my other guppies. Right now he is doing perfectly fine: swimming, eating, mating, etc. Should I just wait until he starts acting diseased to do anything?? I'm about to add salt to the aquarium just to be sure.
Do you have a quarentine tank? If so, I'd toss him in there right away to make sure that it isn't a disease. If he starts acting sick, chances are he's passed it on to your other fish.
If you don't have one, a really clean/new bucket would work. Add a heater and airstone and just watch the water quality. (I have a tiny (1 gallon) betta tank that I use, thank goodness I haven't needed it yet.)
I guess you could always just seperate the adults from the fry until the fry grown up. Then seperate all males and females, so no more fry. Then you won't have to worry about deformities, or becoming overrun.
Your yellow male guppy, probably has a disease called fin rot. IMO, it usually heals itself, however I'm not sure what will happen in your tank. I'm pretty sure there is medicine you can buy for it. I don't know if it's contagious or not. If I were you, I would search "fin rot" on google and see what comes up.
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