Home » Fish Guides » How To Stop Guppy From Breeding | Easier Than You Thought |

How To Stop Guppy From Breeding | Easier Than You Thought |

Guppies are well known for their cute small size and attractive tails. They are one of the perfect choices for small aquariums as they are hardy and easy to care for. However, keeping guppies have a negative side, too. Guppies are known to breed so fast that it would be almost impossible to stop them. Why do they breed so easily? And how to stop guppy from breeding? Let’s talk about it.

How to stop guppy from breeding

How do guppies breed?

Guppies are livebearer fish, and they breed by giving birth to baby guppies instead of laying eggs like other species.

Typically, guppies mate internally and fertilize their eggs inside the female’s belly. Unlike egg-laying fishes, male guppies have a gonopodium to help them mate with the female.

It is the anal fin but developed into a rod-like shape. After the mating, female guppies keep the excess sperms in her genital region for future use.

The fertilized eggs remain in the female guppy’s belly until they hatch. Once hatched, the live fish fry is released into the water. The number of live fish fry that is given birth to varies. It could be anywhere between 2 and 200. But the average is about 7-10 guppies per female.

How long do guppies live?

Guppies can live up to 5 years under the proper care.

How old guppies can get pregnant?

Guppies usually sexually mature within three months of age.

However, guppies living in warm waters can breed as early as one month! Housing adult guppies together would only produce more baby guppies.

How many times can a guppy get pregnant?

Guppies are highly fertile fish that can get pregnant again merely hours after releasing fish fry.

They can store sperms in their body without fertilizing the eggs for up to one year and can fertilize the eggs with those sperms up to eight times.

So, even if you don’t have any male fish in your tank, your fish may get pregnant again and again up to eight times.

Further, these fish usually reproduce once every 30 days if you keep male and female fish together. This reproducing cycle will continue until they die. Because of this fast breeding rate, these fish are nicknamed “million fish.”

Do guppies breed fast?

Yes. Guppies breed incredibly fast, so controlling them can be a headache to their owners. But, there are ways to prevent guppies from breeding so fast.

How to stop guppy from breeding

How to stop guppy from breeding?

Although guppies are beautiful-looking species, keeping them in a small tank can be a nightmare to the owners if not properly managed. So, it is important to control their breeding rate.

Here are some tips on how to stop guppy from breeding:

  1. Get rid of male guppies. One of the best ways to stop guppies from breeding is to remove the male. It wouldn’t prevent the females from getting pregnant again, but if you take certain measures and remove fries from the tank, you can stop them from breeding after one year.
  2. Get rid of the female guppies. This would be the preferred choice of most aquarists as male guppies are more attractive than females. As there are no female guppy fish in the tank, you won’t get any fish fry at all in your tank. However, the drawback of this tactic is that your guppies may start to fight with each other. Guppies usually show male to male aggression when few or no females are present.
  3. Limit feeding them. This is among the most humane ways to stop guppies from breeding. Because these fish are Omnivores, they require a good amount of vegetables and meat in their diet. If you keep feeding them less meaty food, they will be too sick to breed. A sick fish can never breed. Further, even if they still breed, they may turn into fish fries to eat as they practice cannibalism.
  4. Keep your fish in a cooler tank. Guppies require warm temperatures for successful breeding. If you keep your fish in a cold water tank, these fish may not breed anymore. But remember that you cannot maintain this sort of tank for long as guppies cannot survive for long in such waters.

Guppy male and female identification

As we said before, separating males from females is an effective way of controlling their population. Now, the question is how to tell male or female guppies?

Guppy males and females can be identified easily. A male guppy possesses a modified anal fin known as the gonopodium, and this modification is not found in females. The gonopodium is the modified anal fin in male guppies, which they use to impregnate females.

Further, males are much more colorful than females. A female guppy is usually plumper than males and has no coloration on its fins, though it too may be bright in some cases. Males are slender and more prolonged than females.

Additionally, male guppies have a longer and more colorful caudal fin than females. Females also have a shorter dorsal fin than males.

How do you get rid of baby guppies?

Sometimes, you can have more fish fries even after taking the necessary steps.

For example, if you keep a female-only tank, you may still see that your guppies get pregnant again and again.

In that case, you will have to get rid of the baby guppies to keep the water quality in the tank. If you keep adult fish and fish fries together, the tank water quality will deteriorate, and the fish may get sick.

So, here are some instructions on how to get rid of guppy babies:

Let nature take its course

Let the guppy fry swim with their mothers for at least three weeks. Sometimes, the baby guppies may get eaten by other bigger fish within this time.

You can speed up this process by limiting their feedings. Once they get hungry and there is no other way to find food, the adult fish will prey upon the baby guppies.

Sell them away

Guppies are super cheap, but most aquarists love to buy them because of their vivid colors.

So, you can easily sell your baby guppies if you prefer a humane way to get rid of them. You can ask from your local pet store or even sell them online.

However, the price will be significantly lower. Still, you will solve your problem without much problem.

Give them away

There can be times you may not be able to sell your fish babies.

In that case, you can give the fish babies to your friend, family, or some other person free of charge.

As your main objective is to get rid of them, you should not be discouraged by money. The most important thing is that your fish tank should not get overstocked with guppies.

Whatever you do with your baby guppies, NEVER release your fish into the wild as they may introduce diseases that can harm your local environment.

Killing them would be a better option as it does not disturb the water quality of the place where they are released.

How to stop guppy from breeding

Do guppies eat their babies?

Yes. Guppies are omnivore fish that practice cannibalism.

Sometimes, they eat their own young and other fish fries in the tank. So, if you want to save your baby guppies, you should separate the fish fry from the adults into another tank. Otherwise, the adult guppies may eat the fish fry sooner or later, once they get hungry.

You can control this by adding plants and hiding places into the tank so that the fish fry can save themselves by hiding. But, this is not the desired method if you don’t have a large-sized tank to incorporate more fish.

Can you sterilize guppy?

Unfortunately, there is no way to sterilize guppies.

They will breed soon after they mature and mate with every available guppy in the tank. So, if the female is ready to mate, there is no way to stop her from mating. Even if you separate the female from the male, they will find a way to mate and produce babies.

Remember that guppies are easy breeders, and they can produce a lot of babies if their conditions allow them.

So, getting rid of the first batch of baby guppies is not a permanent solution. Therefore, you have to repeat the process from time to time in order not to overcrowd your tank with guppies and other fish.


Stopping guppies from breeding can be challenging if you don’t know how to identify them. You can control their population by separating males from females.

However, the results can be more successful if you separate them before they mate, which is difficult.

If you keep a female-only tank and remove all the fish fry soon after they are born after some time, the female fish will stop having babies as their sperm storage finishes.

Credit to : Pittsburgh Pets
Read Next : 
How To Stop Mollies From Breeding | A Simple Way |
17 Emperor Tetra Tank Mates For Your Beautiful Tank
Afer Knife Fish | Uncommon And Beautifully Marked Knife Fish |

Sharing is caring!

About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.