“Do guppies lay eggs?” is a very popular question. Many people assume that guppies lay eggs – and that no fish ever give birth to ‘live’ young – but is this true?
How likely is it that you’ll find guppy eggs in your tank tomorrow morning? And if guppies don’t lay eggs then what is it like when a guppy gives birth?
The answer is that guppies do not lay eggs.
Although many fish lay eggs (goldfish, for example) not all fish lay eggs.
Some fish – including guppies – give birth to live young. This means that the baby fish (which are known as “fry”) start swimming as soon as they emerge from their mother.
Baby guppies are not contained in any kind of egg – they pop out of their mother and swim off straight away! Fish that give birth in this way are known as ‘livebearers’.
If you plan to breed guppy fish then it’s important to understand that guppies are livebearers and that they can give birth to lots of babies at one time (this is one of our favorite guppy facts).
If you want them to survive, you will need to be prepared to care for the guppy fry as soon as they are born.
For example, you will need food for the fry and you will need to prepare a separate tank for them to live in. A separate guppy fry tank is needed because baby guppies are very small and vulnerable to being eaten by larger fish that see them swimming around the tank.
Even mother guppies will sometimes turn round and eat their own fry seconds after giving birth to them. For this reason, guppy fry should be removed from the main tank and placed in a separate tank, away from the other guppy fish, as soon as possible after birth. You can return the guppy fry to the main tank once they are bigger than the other guppies’ mouths!