How Long Does A Guppy Stay Pregnant? (& How To Care For Them)

It can be fun to watch a guppy grow up. It can even make you happier to think that your beautiful guppy is now old enough to have babies on her own. But, guppy pregnancy can be intimidating or hard for many aquarists, especially beginners. To help you, here are some things you should know about guppy pregnancy so you know what to expect, including how long a guppy stays pregnant for.

How Long Does A Guppy Stay Pregnant?

If you’re wondering how long a guppy stays pregnant for, then the answer is incredibly simple!

Guppies stay pregnant for around 21-30 days. During their pregnancy they will grow and birth between 5 and 30 fry. Birth can typically last up to 24 hours, so don’t expect all the fry to be birthed in one sitting.

How To Know When A Guppy Is Finished Giving Birth

Knowing how to care for a pregnant guppy until she gives birth is essential and crucial to her survival. After your guppy has given birth, it’s also vital to know when it’s done to provide the care they need and time to get their strength back. Here are some signs you can look for to help you tell if your guppy is done giving birth.

1. Their Belly Begins To Look Normal

One way to tell if a guppy is pregnant is that its belly is big, angular, and has a more boxy-looking curve. But after it gives birth, its stomach is flatter and smaller than a pregnant guppy’s. When you think it’s back to normal and comfortable, you can put it back in its main tank to keep it healthy.

2. They Begin To Swim Normally

After giving birth, your mother guppy will become calm and at ease and start swimming regularly. During this time, it’s best to move her to a fish tank where the male guppies won’t bother her. It’s also essential to put her in a fish tank with optimal conditions so that her immune system can get better

3. Their Gravid Spot Goes Away

The gravid spot going away is another sign that your guppy has given birth. it’s a dark spot near the anal vent that looks like the eyes of baby guppies when the female guppy is pregnant. Once all the fish babies are born, the spot will be less dense and harder to see.

4. The Contractions Will Stop

It takes the guppy about four to six contractions to give birth to all the little guppies. You will see the upper body surface contracting until the last baby comes out of the body. It will stop shivering and become calm and start to regain the strength and energy it lost while giving birth.

5. They Start Eating Normally

Pregnancy is intense for guppies, making them lose interest in their food and sometimes be seen hiding. But after giving birth, they will be hungry because the space that the fry was taking up inside the mother guppy will be gone. So, feed the mother guppy well after she has given birth to help them recover.

Little fish in fish tank or aquarium with green plant, underwater life concept.

What Happens If a Guppy Stays Pregnant Too Long?

If guppies are pregnant for too long, many problems can happen. It can sometimes be bad for the health of your guppies. Here are some things that could happen if your guppy was pregnant for too long.

1. Your Mother Guppy Will Become Weak

If your guppy has been pregnant for too long, they could be highly stressed. Pregnant guppies tend to hold off giving birth when stressed until they are comfortable giving birth. Because of this, they will get weaker and become more susceptible to various diseases.

2.  Your Baby Guppies Will Die 

If the pregnancy lasts too long, the baby guppies might not make it. This can happen if your guppy has a deformity or is bred with a sibling. Even if the baby guppy is already dead at birth, the mother may still be able to eat it and absorb the nutrients.

3. Your Mother Guppy Will Die

High stress levels during pregnancy and childbirth are among the guppies’ leading causes of death. Female guppies find pregnancy very stressful, so when they’re pregnant, their stress levels naturally go up, which can weaken them. That’s why keeping them in the fish tank with optimal conditions is important to keep them from getting sick.

How To Make Guppy Give Birth Faster

Your guppy is under a lot of stress when she is pregnant; the longer she is pregnant, the weaker she gets. As an aquarist, it’s easy to see why you wouldn’t want to leave them like that any longer. Here are a few things you can do to help your guppy give birth faster.

1. Keep Their Fish Tank Warm

You can speed up the birthing process for your guppy by making the water warmer. To do this, keep the temperature in their fish tank between 77°F and 79°F. If you keep them at temperatures higher than that, they might give birth faster, but the baby guppies might be deformed.

2. Keep Their Tank At Optimal Conditions

For your pregnant guppy to give birth faster, keep the water parameters stable and optimal. Also, the amount of ammonia and nitrite should be kept at 0. This keeps your pregnant guppy happy and healthy and makes it easier for her to give birth, which helps speed up the process.

3. Give Them A Proper Diet

Another way to help ease your guppies’ pregnancy is by giving them a diet rich in proteins, including minerals and vitamins like sodium and iron. A healthy diet keeps the normal functioning of the body of a guppy to deliver able-bodied fry. Remember that they might not eat much because they are pregnant, so only give them small amounts of food so they don’t have any leftovers and their water stays clean.

4. Keep Them From Getting Sick

If your guppy is not sick when giving birth, the birth will go smoothly and without any problems. So, keeping the water clean by vacuuming the gravel and changing the water often is essential to protect your guppies from diseases and infections. If they got sick while pregnant, treat them immediately so they don’t get stressed out.

5. Keep Them Away From Aggressive Fish

it’s important not to put your guppies or any other fish you keep with aggressive fish. If you put a fish that is aggressive in the same tank as your pregnant guppies, they might get so stressed out that they die. Aggressive fish may also nibble on the fins of your guppies, which can lead to infections like fin rot and make your pregnant fish even more stressed.

6. Put Lots Of Plants

Plants are great for aquariums because they add oxygen to the water, help clean it, and provide a place for algae to grow, which the guppies can eat. Plants can also give your guppies places to hide, which can help them feel more comfortable while giving birth. It also helps make the aquarium look like the guppies’ natural habitat.

How Many Hours Does A Guppy Give Birth?

It takes female guppies about 24 hours to deliver 12 to 30 fry when giving birth for the first time. Subsequently, these fish are quick reproducers that, over time, can produce 2 to 200 fry within 4 to 6 hours in average conditions. A female guppy can become pregnant again just hours after giving birth because they have the ability to store sperm from males for up to a year.

If your female guppy is stressed during her labor, it will take her around 12 hours to drop a few fries, but in worst-case scenarios, guppies won’t give birth when stressed. The tension built because of stress causes them to swim erratically and change their breathing conditions. 

Guppies will have complications giving birth when they are stressed. Therefore, if you see signs of your female guppies being pregnant, it’s best to keep the quality of the water and avoid overcrowding within the tank to avoid these instances. It’s crucial to keep a close eye on how they behave during their pregnancy. 

What Are The Stages Of Guppy Pregnancy

During pregnancy, guppies go through many stages of growth. And in just one month of pregnancy, they go through every stage of development. Here is the entire pregnancy cycle of guppies in a month.

1. Before Pregnancy

Once the female guppy matures, the male guppy will start to follow her around until she starts to breed. Male guppies will dance by bending and flaring toward the female guppies to get their attention. During this time, males may be aggressive when trying to release sperm, so you will need to put in a lot of female guppies to keep the females from getting stressed.

2. During Pregnancy

When a female guppy is pregnant, her stomach will get bigger and take on a boxy shape. Because they are weak when pregnant, it’s best to keep the male and female guppies apart so that the male won’t chase the females around, which would be stressful for them. Also, it’s best to move them to a new tank or a breeding box so they can have their babies in peace.

3. Getting Close To Labor

When a female guppy is about to have babies, she changes her behavior. As labor day gets closer, they will act in strange ways, like hiding or losing their appetite. Pregnant guppies can get sick or stressed easily, so it’s best to keep them away from other fish if you want their pregnancy to go well.

4. Giving Birth

Before they give birth, you’ll notice that they oddly rub their bodies against plants. This is because they are worried about what might come into their breeding area from the outside. Your female guppy may shudder during labor, which lasts between 4 and 24 hours.

5. After Giving Birth

Female guppies get better quickly after giving birth, so they can get pregnant again within a day or two. These fish have a high rate of pregnancy and can store sperm for them to use later. Since they can do this, you may find that your female guppy is already pregnant when you put her back in the main tank.


Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about their pregnant guppies.

Should You Remove a Pregnant Guppy?

Yes, it’s best to separate your pregnant guppy from the main tank during her first week of pregnancy because she is less fragile. By doing this, the chance of birth defects, abortion, and death goes down. The safest way to separate a pregnant guppy from other fish is to take them out of the tank or put up a divider.


Many things could go wrong with your guppy’s pregnancy. As a guppy owner, it’s essential to know what to do when your guppy is pregnant and how to take care of her during her pregnancy. In any case, you should ensure your pregnant guppy fish are well taken care of by removing stress, ensuring the water is healthy and giving them a healthy diet. This will help reduce stress, so the fish have fewer problems when they give birth.

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