Guppy varieties - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 09-01-2019, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
Guppy varieties

I just bought five male pet-shop guppies to put into my fishless-since-March, but with plants & snails, 5 1/2 gallon.
Two are all black with delta tails, named "yin-yang" at the store.
Three are larger "cobras."

The two varieties are staying separate from each other. Not avoiding, but not shoaling either.

Is this common among guppies? Different varieties do not recognize each other as guppies?

They did come from separate tanks.
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post #2 of 2 Old 12-01-2019, 12:02 AM
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Guppies are not schooling fish, as I'm sure you know, but they will shoal (socialize, hang out) with similar looking guppies. This is because, in the wild, fish that stand out from the group are more likely to get picked off by predators. Therefore guppies will be more inclined to shoal (hang out) with fish that look similar to them.

This is why similar-looking but different species/varieties of cories, tetras, swordtails, etc. will sometimes shoal together, but will almost never shoal with different looking animals.

On a side note--and this is not to scold or tell you what you should do, just something I noticed--having a skewed ratio of males to females can make guppies unduly aggressive, especially if they don't have much room to disperse. This can lead to nipped fins, stress, infection, or death, so it might be worth your while to change the ratio or available space. If you decide to adjust the ratio, I've heard somewhere around 2 females for every 1 male works well.

Best of luck, they sound like handsome little fish!

TL:DR This is common and normal, they may or may not recognize each other as guppies (no way to get inside a fish head after all), and coming from separate tanks is probably not the reason they don't group together. Fish will more often hang out with others that look the same or similar to themselves.
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