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Variety in Guppies when space is limited by Midge Hill


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I often read the statement that maintaining a guppy strain takes 6 to 8 tanks. Curious about what this meant I went searching and found this interesting article http://aquarium-club...py_genetics.htm. It doesn't exactly answer the question I started out with but puts forward the notion that you don't need 6 tanks per strain.

You'll need to read the whole article to understand the programme but here's a little snippet:

Tank 1. Basic strain females, first litter.

Tank 2. Basic strain males, first litter

Tank 3. Cobra. (The selected cobra male, 3 virgin Grey females from tank 1 plus one gold female from tank 1)

Tank 4. 3/4 Black*, (The selected 3/4 Black male, 3 virgin females and one, at least, gold female from tank 1.

Tank 5. Gold (or Bronze or Albino). Select the most promising Gold male from tank 2. Add two or three females from tank 1

Tank 6. Gold Cobra. (First litter will be Grey bodied hybrids, all carrying gold). When gold females in tank 3 are heavily gravid move to tank 6 to drop the brood.

Tank 7. Gold 3/4 Black.(First litter will be Grey bodied hybrids). When gold females bred in tank 4 show signs of pregnancy, remove to tank 7 for delivery.

Tank 8. Multi (or some form of colour variant). Put selected male of any colour different from the basic strain colour with three virgin basic strain females from tank 1.

Tank 9. Holding tank for mature males...to show, sell or for emergency.


Essentially the article suggests that you are able to maintain 7 strains in 9 tanks.

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  • 3 months later...

So for 7 strains you would need 21 tanks?

Yes! <_<:((

I don't think the above allows for enough control over the selective breeding and choosing of ones top males and females. If a disaster happened in anyone of the tanks, years of effort is just gone! If you just want to maintain the "pretty red guppies" from the LFS then it might be OK! If you have good quality stock, then the method described would ruin the strain I believe.

I do have 3foot plus tanks that I keep males only and females only where no cross breeding is ever likely to happen. I also have a cull tank where the substandard (for breeding purposes) fish go before they are sold off or given away. If you think about it more than 80% of each spawn eventually end up in this tank.

I am currently working with AllBlackSharkfin Guppies and they are in 5 tanks!!! I think I am upto 4th generation since I got them from someone! :lol:

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Midge Hill was a well-respected guppy breeder. I doubt she was working with "pretty red guppies from the LFS".

I'm pretty much a novice where it comes to breeding guppies so I'm certainly not advocating one method over another. I was simply trying to understand how the multiple tanks were used and why so many were required. So far I haven't found anything that explains the 6 tank per strain method in any detail.

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No worries, this is why I need multiple tank for any strain I have (this does not mean I am doing things properly by the way!)

Assuming you bought a good quality trio of well established strain from a source like someone:

Tank1: The trio - 1M 2F

Tank2: 1st drop of female 1

Tank3: 1st drop of female 2

Tank4: 2nd drop of female 1

Tank5: 2nd drop of female 2

Tank6: all males identified from Tank2 and 4

Tank7: all males identified from Tank3 and 5

Tank8: all females identified from Tank2 and 4

Tank9: all females identified from Tank2 and 5

This way you'd have most control over the water quality. and selection of the top 5%fish to select for the next generation and maybe to create two separate lines from the two females. Though the above is my preferred breeding for guppies in actual fact I practice less precise breeding:

Tank1: The trio - 1M 2F

Tank2: fry

Tank3: all males identified

Tank4: all females identified

If you are working with phenotypically (looks) different strains, you can have a large Tank3 and Tank4 that can safely house mixed males and females in them without risking cross breeding.

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