5 Signs Your Guppy Is Pregnant & What To Do Next

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Last Updated on 2023-12-28

If you think your guppy is pregnant then you’ve found the right article! In this article, not only will you learn ALL the signs to look for, you’ll also learn how to take care of them during and after pregnancy to makes sure they’re having the easiest time possible.

So keep reading to find out everything there is to know!

How To Tell If A Female Guppy Is Pregnant

There are lots of different ways you can spot if your guppy is pregnant. However, while some of them are a clear sign that your guppy is pregnant, some could be caused by multiple conditions. That’s why it’s so important to look for multiple signs rather than just one.

In short though look for signs of mating, a noticeable gravid spot, a bulging belly, higher aggression, swimming in place, rapid breathing, and males in the tank.

Here are some of the most common signs in more depth.

1. Their Belly Will Begin To Bulge

As the fry in their stomach begins to grow, your guppy’s belly will begin to bulge. This shouldn’t happen all at once, however, but gradually over a couple of weeks. However, just because your guppy’s belly is bulging, it doesn’t mean that they’re pregnant.

It could also be a sign of bloating, constipation, swim bladder disease, and possibly even dropsy in some cases.

2. Their Gravid Spot Changes

The gravid spot is located near your guppy’s butt, and it’s also an indicator of your guppy’s pregnancy. Around the 2 week mark, it should appear to be darker.

So make sure you’re always keeping an eye on your guppy’s gravid spot. If you notice it starting to change color, then it’s another sign that your guppy is pregnant.

Near the end of pregnancy, the fry can become so developed that you can even see little dots in the gravid spot, which are the fry themselves.

After giving birth, the gravid spot won’t disappear completely; however, it will fade and sometimes get smaller.

3. Swimming In Place

Another common sign that your guppy is about to go into labor is that she’ll just start swimming in place. While her body may look like it’s swimming, the fish herself will remain in one spot. At this point, she should already be somewhere safe and comfortable because labor is imminent.

The reason they’re doing this is because they’re having contractions.

4. They’ll Become More Aggressive

You may notice that your female becomes more aggressive when they’re pregnant, especially towards males that continue to try and mate with her. This could be in the form of chasing them, but in more severe cases, they may also begin fin nipping as well.

5. Rapid Breathing

You may also notice that your guppy’s breathing starts to become more rapid when they’re pregnant as well. Once again, this is more likely to happen as they are further along in the pregnancy.

Other Ways To Tell

Here are some other subtle ways to tell if your guppy is pregnant, however, it’s important to remember that they aren’t a guarantee.

  • You’ve Seen Her Mating: If you’ve seen your guppy mating already, then there is of course, a extremely high chance she is pregnant. Male guppies have to actually insert their anal fin into females to impregnate them,
  • There Are Males In The Tank: And obviously, another indicator that your guppy is pregnant is when there are males in the tank. If you’ve got males in your tank, then the chances are, they’ve already impregnated your guppy.

What Are The Signs She’s About To Give Birth?

As well as noticing the signs above, before your guppy gives birth or goes into labour there are going to be more signs. So if you notice the following signs, the chances are that a lot of guppy fry are very imminent.

1. They’ll Try To Hide

When your guppy is about to go into labor, they’re going to try and hide from other fish in their tank. So when the contractions begin, you may not be able to find them as easily.

They do this because they don’t want other fish in the tank to aggravate them and act aggressively while they can’t defend themselves. Once again, this is why it’s a good idea to move them to a separate tank or somewhere safe when they’re pregnant.

As well as hiding, you may notice your guppy trying to isolate herself from the other fish. She’ll normally favor being near the heater, where it’s warmer; however, any corner of a safe place in the tank will do.

2. Reluctance To Eat

Near the end of pregnancy, you may also notice that your female no longer wants to eat. She may avoid food or spit it out shortly after consuming it.

Either one is a sign that she is close to delivering her fry.

3. You’ll Notice Them Pushing

Just like with every other animal, guppies are going to need to push to get their babies out. So if you notice them pushing, you’re seconds away from seeing the fry! Here is a helpful video to showcase it better:

How Long Are Guppies Pregnant?

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.

  • Their Belly Begins To Look Normal: After your guppy gives birth, it’s belly will go back to its normal size.
  • They Begin To Swim Normally: After giving birth, your guppy will become calm and at ease and start swimming regularly.
  • Their Gravid Spot Goes Away: The disappearing is another sign she’s no longer pregnant.
  • The Contractions Will Stop: Once the contractions have stopped, all the fry are out.
  • They Start Eating Normally: After giving birth, it won’t be long before your guppy wants to start eating again
Little fish in fish tank or aquarium with green plant, underwater life concept.

How To Help Your Guppy Give Birth

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 Lots Of Plants

Plants are going to give your guppy plenty of places to hide, as well as keep the tank clean and oxygenated for them! So if you don’t have plants in your tank yet, I’d highly recommend getting them!

“My Guppy Laid Eggs”What Really Happened

Guppies give birth to live young and don’t lay eggs. However, just because they don’t lay eggs, it doesn’t mean that eggs aren’t present. The guppy fry actually grow in eggs inside the womb before they hatch during birth.

Sometimes people may notice that their guppy appears to be laying eggs. You’re not crazy. There are times that your guppy may lay eggs; however, these eggs aren’t going to hatch.

Here are some of the most common reasons that your guppy may lay eggs.

They’re Fry That Never Formed Properly

Sometimes your guppy will give birth to fries that haven’t formed properly and are still in their eggs. This is very similar to a miscarriage in women.

Unfortunately, when this happens, the chances are the fries are never going to be strong enough to survive anyway. If you notice this happening, sometimes, if the eggs are big enough, you can actually see movement inside them.

They’re Eggs That Never Formed

Sometimes, these may also be eggs that never formed at all. Sometimes, when guppies are stressed, this can happen, but there are a few things you can do to reduce its chances.

First of all, make sure the water conditions are perfect for your guppies. This means good pH, temperature, and low ammonia levels. (Find out more about the ideal guppy pH levels.)

Secondly, make sure your tank is big enough for them and that there aren’t any aggressive tank mates in the tank with them. Nothing is going to make your guppies more stressed than constantly being harassed or not having anywhere to move.

They Weren’t Fertilized

Sometimes, when your guppy releases her fry, or before, you may notice eggs drop that just weren’t fertilized. If this happens, you should scoop them out of the tank and throw them away.

The Fry Are Curled Up

Some people also report that sometimes the fry will be laid while they’re still curled up, and then they’ll uncurl and swim around like normal fry.

While I personally haven’t seen this, it may be the case with your guppies!

As you can see below, here are some eggs that never formed properly:

FAQ

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

How Many Hours Does A Guppy Give Birth?

It’s said that female guppies about 24 hours to deliver 12 to 30 fry on average, although they have been known to have up to 50! Generally, though, It normally only takes my guppies 3-4 hours from start to finish

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.

Do Guppies Die After Giving Birth?

Guppies do sometimes die after and during giving birth, however, this isn’t particularly common. Especially when you’ve been taking care of them beforehand. If your guppy has died after birth, then you just got particularly unfortunate.

The most common reasons they die after birth include: stress, complications during labour, poor water conditions, or a pre-existing illness.

Should You Isolate Your Pregnant Female?

A lot of people think it’s better to isolate your female, however, I prefer leaving her in the tank, but just adding lots of places for her to hide. I think it’s more stressful to put your guppy in a transparent box where she has nowhere to hide, rather than putting her in a tank filled with plants and other hiding places.

Can You Put 2 Pregnant Guppies Together?

It’s completely fine to put two pregnant guppies together, as long as they have some space to move away from each other. The real risk come to the fry. Guppies are not good parents, and they will happily eat their own children.

5 Signs Your Guppy Is Pregnant

Recap

So as you can see, if your guppy is pregnant, there isn’t too much to worry about. If this is the first time it’s happened to you, it’s normal to worry. But just remember, as long as there are enough hiding places in the tank, and you’re feeding her well beforehand, she’s going to be just fine!

If you liked this article, make sure to check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!

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