Do Guppies Die After Giving Birth? (How To Minimize The Chances)

Do guppies die after giving birth? In this article, you’re going to find out the answer to this question and much more. After all, guppies are beautiful fish, and the last thing you want is for one of your schools to die needlessly!

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Do Guppies Die After Giving Birth?

It’s not uncommon for guppies to die after giving birth, and in some cases, even during birth. Unfortunately, there are many reasons that this can happen, and some of them are beyond your control.

However, in some cases, you can reduce the chance of your fish dying after giving birth. So keep reading to find out the different reasons that your guppy might die after giving birth and, more importantly, how you can reduce the chance of it happening!

Why Do Guppies Die After Giving Birth?

If you’re going to reduce the chance of your guppy dying after giving birth, then first, you’ll need to find out why it happens in the first place.

Here are the most common reasons your guppy may die after giving birth.


The most common reason that your guppy will die after pregnancy is due to the stress of one sort or another.

All of the problems listed below, while they may be fatal in themselves, will stress your guppy, which could in itself kill them.

So when you’re looking after a pregnant guppy, you should be doing everything you can to make sure she remains as calm as possible.

Fortunately, there are signs that you can look for that show your guppy is stressed. These signs include hiding in the tank, losing color, lack of appetite, erratic swimming, and generally any major behavior change.

(Find out more about how to tell if your guppy is pregnant.)

Complications During Labor

As well as stress, complications during labor are another massive factor that can cause your guppy. The process of giving birth can last for a long time, and the longer it lasts, the increased risk there is of complication.

One complication that can occur is that fry will get stuck in your guppy’s birthing canal. Remember, guppies can give birth to over 100 fries at a time. So if the pregnancy is overdue, or some of them are deformed, then they could block the birthing canal.

Other complications can be caused by other reasons on this list as well, which you’re about to find out more about.

(This can also cause deformities. You can reduce this by selectively breeding your guppies.)

Poor Water Conditions

When your guppy is pregnant, the conditions of the water should be as near as perfect as possible. Obviously, this means that not only should you be making sure that the water is clean, but that the parameters are perfect as well.

This means on top of keeping an eye on the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate level, you should also make sure that the pH and water temperature are perfect as well. (Find out the ideal pH for guppies.)

If you don’t keep the water conditions perfect, then your guppy is much more likely to become stressed, which you definitely don’t want when they’re pregnant.

She Was Already Sick

When your guppies are pregnant, their immune system isn’t going to be as strong, which could cause them to become sick. Giving birth while they’re sick could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

So before and during pregnancy, you should check for any signs of sickness; if you catch it early enough, you may be able to treat it before your guppy gives birth.

They’re Being Kept In A Breeding Boxes

Breeding boxes definitely have a purpose, and in some cases, they can do more harm than good. Such as when your guppy is in a large community tank. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not going to become stressed being kept in them.

Not only are breeding boxes going to be too small for your guppy to swim around comfortably, but oftentimes, the water inside the box won’t circulate properly either, which will cause the water conditions to be more harmful to your guppy.

If you need to use a breeding box, try not to use it for too long; once she’s released her fry, let her back into the main tank to hide.

(Have you ever wondered whether guppies eat their babies?)

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How Can You Reduce The Chance Of Your Guppy Dying After Giving Birth?

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help your guppy after she’s given birth. If you do this, then there’s a good chance your female will be fine.

Make Sure You Put Her Somewhere Quiet Afterwards

Ideally, you should have a separate tank for her when she’s giving birth and afterward. This is going to help her feel less stressed because there won’t be any other fish in the tank to harass her.

The tank doesn’t have to be huge, but it should be 2.5 gallons in size (ideally bigger). This ensures that she still has enough room to swim around if she wants to, although she’ll probably prefer to hide.

Make Sure There Are Plenty Of Hiding Places

You should also make sure that you’ve added lots of hiding places in your tank for your guppy. Plants are the best choice, particularly floating plants with roots, which are going to help them feel covered and safe.

On this note, if you plan on keeping the fry, you should also clump the plants together, so they have a place to hide.

Feed Her Well

You should always be feeding your guppies well, but it’s particularly important during and after pregnancy. You should try to increase the amount of live food that you’re feeding them as this will mimic their natural environment better.

Daphnia, brine shrimp and mosquito larvae are the best choices of live food to feed your guppy, and she’ll absolutely love them.

As well as this, though, remember to feed her high-quality tropical fish flakes and blanched vegetables as well. (Find out the 8 best foods for guppies.)

Keep The Water Quality Perfect

You should also make sure that the water quality in the tank remains perfect. So test the water parameters, and when necessary, change them. Performing a water change is the best way to make the parameters better.

However, if there’s a build-up of ammonia, you can also use an ammonia detoxifier like API Ammo Lock. It doesn’t remove the ammonia but renders it inert so the beneficial bacteria in your tank can still live off it.

Move Your Female At The Right Time

When you plan on moving your female, one of the tricks is to make sure you’re moving her at the right time.

If you move her to a smaller tank too early, she’s going to become too stressed with the size. But if you leave it too late, then she’s also going to become more stressed. Ideally you should be moving your female about 18 days after she’s mated.

This will reduce the chance of her suffering from shock and stop her from becoming stressed out from being in a small tank.


You now know that it’s not particularly uncommon for guppies to die after giving birth. However, you are in control of many of the reasons that cause it to happen.

If you want your guppy to survive, then follow the advice above, and you’re going to give them the best chance possible!