How to Breed and Raise Guppies for Profit

Updated November 21, 2016

Among all aquarium fish, guppies are one of the hardiest and make great pets for beginner hobbyists. These tiny freshwater fish come in a variety colours, including red, blue, green and violet, which are often displayed on their long, wavy tail fins and bodies. You can breed this style of fish at home with the proper aquarium set-up. When the baby guppies mature into adult fish, sell them to pet stores or online for a profit.

Contact fish retailers and look into online fish auctions to get a better understanding of what styles and colours of guppies are top sellers. This market research will help you better understand what guppies you can breed and raise to make the most profit.

Buy the aquariums for your guppy breeding business. You will need at least two tanks and up to 12 tanks to house the various generations of guppies without overcrowding them. Each tank can hold only one guppy per gallon of water. Buy the tanks in sizes ranging from 5 to 20 gallons.

Establish a healthy environment for the guppies in the tanks. Keep the water in each one at a temperature around 25.6 degrees C, with a pH level of 7.0. Use a filter to clean and purify the water. Keep a light on the tank for about 10 to 14 hours each day. Place a few plant decorations in the tank to provide shelter for the fry once they're born. Keep the water clean, and do water changes at least once a week --- if not daily --- to remove any waste.

Buy breeding stock guppies, including at least one male and two females. Choose a male fish with wide, triangular back fin shape. Select a female with a thick caudal peduncle, the place where the body meets the back fin. Pick fish with bright colours that will draw the attention of future customers, and select those with the traits that you found are selling during your market research.

Place the guppies in a tank and allow them to breed. If mating is successful, the female should be ready to give birth within four to six weeks.

Watch for the female guppy to develop a round belly with a dark spot. This is a sign that its about ready to give birth. Don't cause the female any stress during this time by keeping the room quiet.

Move the adult guppies to a separate aquarium once the female guppy gives birth. This will prevent the parents from eating the young.

Feed the baby guppies newly hatched brine shrimp within a few hours of their birth. You can purchase brine shrimp from pet stores. Continue feeding the guppies brine shrimp for a few days, then incorporate flake food into the diet. Move to a flake-only diet when the guppies are 6 weeks old.

Cull the weak and deformed guppies from the group to ensure the fish are all show-quality and will be able to sell, and to prevent overcrowding the aquarium. Unsatisfactory guppies will have curved spines, flat heads or dull colours. This step should be done when the fish are about 3 to 6 weeks old. Remove the unwanted fish with a net. Euthanize them by putting the fish in a bag of cold water and putting it in the freezer.

Begin marketing the guppies for sale when they are 3 months old. Contact a pet store to see if the owners are interested in buying your guppies, or list the fish on an online fish auction.

Things You'll Need

  • 5- to 20-gallon fish tank (two to 12 of them)
  • Sponge filter
  • Aquarium thermometer
  • pH test kit
  • Male and female guppy
  • Brine shrimp
  • Flake food
  • Net
  • Bag
  • Freezer
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author