Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Inga 04-17-2011 06:47 PM

Too Many Guppies
For those of you who have multiple sex guppies, How do you keep the population under control? I have sold Guppies to the Pet stores but they just keep populating. I have tried (obviously unsuccessfully) to separate the sexes. I thought I had all the males out but... I must have missed one. I now have a 25 gallon tank with about 45 Guppies in it. Can you say "soon to be over crowded?"

HELP! I need better ideas then I am coming up with. I know that the females once bred can produce multiple fry. I think that is what is going on as I really believe all males were out of the tank.

Anyone want some free Guppies?

Mikaila31 04-17-2011 06:52 PM

Get a bigger fish.

Inga 04-17-2011 06:56 PM

I have already tried my 5 1/2 inch Gourami in there and she did nothing to keep the population down. I don't want to kill off my adults. How do you think a Betta would do with the adults? I have heard they will eat the babies quickly.

Mikaila31 04-17-2011 07:16 PM

bettas are generally slow from what I have seen. Maybe a plakat would be faster... still one won't cut it.

Inga 04-17-2011 07:24 PM

Angel fish?

Mikaila31 04-17-2011 10:30 PM

Possibly... My angels eat lots of my endler fry along with my rainbows. Usually though it works best if they are in a separate tank that you can add the fry too. Angels would probably be best if you started with medium sized ones. My angels are not as efficient as my rainbows. Fry will hide right were the water and the glass meet if they have no other option. The larger fish have trouble getting them there.

You could just give a bunch away as feeders too. I've done that before when I didn't have the fish to eat them. Like do you know anyone with a African cichlid tank? lol

Inga 04-18-2011 04:23 AM

Honestly, I am thinking of getting out of Guppies. I think they are lovely fish and have these charming little personalities BUT I can't do the whole feeder fish thing. I wanted a fish that would just do in the babies before I even knew about it. Sort of out of sight out of mind thing. It isn't good for my heart to think of my fish ending up as a snack. :(

The only one I really really want to keep is "Junior" who was my first baby and just has the best personality. The bad thing is that Junior is a girl so the problem would continue as long as I have her. I wonder how many fry she could have before she quits? If I just kept her and had someone else to keep the population down, it would be good.

Amethyst123 04-18-2011 06:03 AM

One female guppy would be lonely and stressed, as these fish live in large communities in the wild. She would really be healthier and happier with a community around her. By the way, if you really have all the males out of the tank, your females will stop breeding within a few months. They can hold the sperm from previous mating for about 6 months, I think, and they give birth, on average, every 4 weeks (sometimes 3 to 3.5 weeks). So, as long as you remove young males before they can reproduce (probably at 3 or 4 months, but I'd remove them as soon as you're sure they are males just to be on the safe side), your problem is self-limiting.

I had heard that gouramis would work for population control also, but others have stated that any gourami aggressive enough to go after fry (as opposed to swallowing them if they wander in front of its mouth) might also hurt the adult guppies. Same with angels. Also, I don't believe 25g is big enough for more than one or two angels alone. Probably wouldn't work with angels and your other fish. As for bettas, it depends on the fish. My male bettas are both quick enough to catch and eat newborn guppy fry, but I don't think they could easily eat them more than a week old, and I don't think they'd eat enough in that week to take care of the problem, since you can't put more than one male betta in the same tank. Also, bettas have been known to attack guppies, because the colorful and flowing tails and fins can look like juvenile male bettas to other bettas. This is more likely with male guppies, but I have some girls with lots of color, and I wouldn't risk it.

I have a 47g tank with guppies, mollies, platys, and swordtails of both genders, as well as 8 corydoras catfish and 3 otocinclus catfish. I was worried about overpopulation, too, as I could have hundreds of babies a month from the 4 livebearer species in the tank. For me, overpopulation simply hasn't been a problem. I see a few fry from time to time, but I have yet to see any guppy fry last more than a week unless I take them out of the tank. And I've only ever seen one eaten - it just happened to be right at the top of the water when I was feeding, and an adult simply swallowed it. I have had one platy fry grow up in the tank with the adults. He is now about 6 months old, and has fathered some drops, because I have seen platy fry in the last month or so.

While it may sound counterintuitive, several species of livebearers in a large community tank may be the best population control. They will eat each other's babies as well as their own. If you reduce feedings for a day or two after you notice fry, the adults will be more likely to seek them out, and/or the fry will be more likely to die due to lack of food as the adults would eat what is available before the fry can get to it.

This may sound heartless, but I look at this way: this is what happens in nature, and is why livebearers have 20 to 100 babies a month. If they all lived, even in the wild, the whole planet would be overrun.

Amethyst123 04-18-2011 06:08 AM


Originally Posted by Mikaila31 (Post 651271)
bettas are generally slow from what I have seen. Maybe a plakat would be faster... still one won't cut it.

My bettas are definitely fast enough to catch guppy fry, and neither are plakats. They are both either super deltas or half-moons. I occasionally drop a fry or two in with a betta (and then turn away, because I don't want to watch), and the fry are gone when I next check the tank, usually within a few minutes.

The only slow bettas I've seen are those in tanks that are too small, water that is too cold, or fish that are not well. If they are in 78 - 82 degree water, are healthy, and have enough room to swim easily and quickly (2.5g minimum, 5g is better), they do so.

Mikaila31 04-18-2011 10:28 AM

Yes but one or two fry is a lot different then a tank full of fry. My rainbow fish are probably the most efficient. I doubt fry even see them coming they are so fast.

Don't keep endlers if you don't want to deal with the baby excess. I think I started with 6 adults and still can't get rid of the things years later!. When I move though this year they are going down:twisted:. Endlers will NOT eat their own fry at all. Even in a community of tetras and rams I was removing thirty or more a week. Eventually I had a 15 gallon with 100 endlers in it. Caught almost all of them and gave them to one person for free. The ONLY reason I still have these fish is I can never catch them all. Fry or really fast adults get left behind then months later I got the same problem:lol:.

For liverbearers wild type swords might be a fun thing to try. Swordtails are not quite as prolific as guppies. They grow slower too.

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