The Guppy Fish - A guide and forum on breeding and care

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Selective breeding vs. line breeding
Two terms that you will come across as you read more about fish breeding are selective breeding and line breeding. Selective breeding is when you select fish with desirable characteristics and use them for breeding. Over many generations, selective breeding will lead to strains where the desirable traits are exceptionally common. Line breeding is when two related guppies are mated together to promote certain traits. (Line breeding can therefore in a way be said to be a specific form of selective breeding.) When it comes to Guppies, it is common to mate a female offspring with desirable traits back to the original breeding group by mating her with her father. It is also possible to mate Guppy sons with mothers, but the result is usually not as good as when you mate Guppy daughters with fathers. Breeders who still wish to mate Guppy sons and mothers need to keep very stringent records to avoid future problems. Line breeding will greatly increase the chance of seeing the desirable traits in the offspring and is therefore very common among Guppy breeders.
Guppy Fish Breeding
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Photo provided by FlickrGuppy Fish – Basic Care & Breeding | God's Creatures
Photo provided by FlickrGuppy Fish – Basic Care & Breeding
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Community Breeding Tank.
Breeding guppies in the community tanks can be great fun and very exciting as you just never know the colouration you will be from the mixed breeding which is great fun because you do get some really nice colours and combinations. The down side to breeding guppies in a community tank is that you don’t have control over the breeding colouration mixing, you don’t have as much control over the conditions as you would have in there own breeding tank because of other fish may require specific conditions and the greatest down side it the tank mates just love to feast on the guppy fry and it can be hard to catch the guppy fry in such a large tank and yes I know that you can place the female into ones of those breeding traps but unless you know that they are going to drop within a day or two I wouldn’t advise them as they can really stress the female guppy out which is in turn bad for the guppy fry.There is much more to breeding guppies, some of which not everyone will decide to follow. A lot of people see a nice Cobra Delta-tailed Guppy at the store and decide that's the fish they wish to breed, so in that process that same person either buys a female or two at the same store or they visit a different store to purchase the female or males, which ever the case may be. Meanwhile, there are other fish hobbyist that do some researching and locate a specific color and/or fin strain that they wish to breed. These strains may cost up to, if not more than $85 for a trio (one male and two females). But, keep in mind that the breeder that has these fish for sale has been working on this strain for quite some time using a process of "line-breeding" to keep the strain as nice looking and pure as possible. These are the potential breeders of a show quality guppy. Don't get me wrong, some breeders have taken the average guppy from a local shop and through line breeding have developed some very beautiful show guppies. Neither of the two ways that you get your guppies will produce a show quality guppy rightaway; this generally takes a bit of time, sometimes over 5 years. It all depends on what you are looking for in the guppies, and how devoted to the objective you are.Within the tank that the guppy fry are to be born in regardless of it being a breeding tank or a community tank there should be plenty of cover for the fry to take shelter in once being born to escape being eaten by the tank mates or even the female herself! The perfect plant to use is java moss as this is quite thick and dense making it hard for bigger fish to enter providing a safe shelter for the guppy fry to grow.Once you are happy with some of the guppies you have been able to produce throughout all this time, you can now consider locating an International Fancy Guppy Association sanctioned fish show and enter your fish in the show. At this point I would suggest competition in the Novice category since it can be really disappointing to be in competition against some of the breeders that have been entering shows for many years and then not place well, or you may hear some remarks about how your fish should not be in that category. I have been to a few of the shows and heard a lot of bad talking about other hobbyist fish, and sometimes its not pretty language either. Or you could even start by showing your fish in your local club's "Bowl Show" (just a gentle hint to the members of the club I am a member of). It's always a good feeling to enter your fish and take the chance of winning some form of an award, such as but not limited to, a first, second, or third place ribbon. The prize is not as important as how the hobbyist feels when he/she sees their fish on display with one of those ribbons near it.