HOW TO GET STARTED WITH GUPPIES
by Bob Larsen, South Jersey Guppy Group
WHEN AND HOW I PICK BREEDERS by Bob Larsen Having most of my guppy lines for many years, I have learned to be diligent in picking breeders. I like to choose breeders at around three or four months of age. As I have done for decades, my young males and females are kept completely separate. Picking a male is usually the easy part. There is almost always one of two males that look bigger and more colorful than their tank mates. You are also looking at body shape. Other attributes to observe involve head and nose/mouth shape. You should also check total body size compared to his brothers. But, still after all of this, males are the easy part. Now for the females. I am of the opinion that out of the whole brood, if you find two good males there should be two good females. This theory is not always correct, but it is something to guide you and to think about. On a side note, at times I will have a tank, let’s say of males that just do not look right. Sometimes it might be a disease of some sort. Many times I can go to the tank with their siblings and find the same problem. (Both tanks are discarded). Anyway, back to picking female breeders. Usually the females are placed in a specimen container. Using a drop light and a dark background, I pick two or three females. Again, I look for body shape, color, defects of any kind and a gravid spot. General size is also observed compared to other siblings. But there is one more thing to observe. Look for a wide, thick peduncle. This is the area between the last section of body (behind the gravid spot) and leading into the tail section. I will always use the smaller female with a thick peduncle opposed to a sister that might be a quarter inch larger. Even with this method, all the females you pick might not produce top quality young. This is why you use more than one female for breeding. As I said picking a male is much easier than picking a female. Many tanks are needed to be able to keep these drops separate. If you find that the young from Female A are half the size of young from Female B or C (say at one month old), you need to make a decision. You can just keep the larger young and take another drop or two from that female. The other female and young can be discarded. At this point you could add another unchosen female to that male and try again.