Essential stiffs required for guppies in fish tank

If I buy some pregnent guppies,what are the conditions and things that I will need along with fish tank
Asked Jan 07, 2013
Edited Jan 07, 2013
Fortunately, guppies are very easy to keep. Here is a list of things you will need.

This is going to be long winded, but pretty much everything you need to know

Physical Items
Tank - at least 45cm long. This will likely be a 40L/10 Gallon tank.
Heater - if you live in an air conditioned environment, or a cold part of the world
Filter - A filter that hangs on the side of your tank if you don't want live plants or just a sponge filter if you have live plants (see below for explanation)
Air Pump + Air Stone - This allows more oxygen into the water through diffusion, see below for details
Substrate - Gravel or sand for the bottom of the tank, enough to fill it 3-5cm/1.2-2" from the bottom

Chemical Items
Water Conditioner - This takes nasty stuff like Chlorine and Chloramine out of your water (your local government puts it there to keep the water clean and safe for humans). These really hurt your fish if they come into contact with them. Just put some conditioner into a bucket of water that you are putting into your tank and let it sit for at least 1 hour.
Bacteria Starter - This is purely good, helpful bacteria. It gets into your filter and your gravel and turns the waste into products your plants can use, or you remove when you change the water.Think of it as a living sewer system for your fish.
Fish Food - Essential! You want to get standard tropical flake food, and if you want to give your fishies the occasional treat, some frozen baby brine shrimp (which you also use to feed babies).
Water test kit - an expensive, but needed testing kit to check the water to make sure it is safe for your fish. If you live close to your local fish store (LFS), they will often test the water for you for free, so buying one would not be needed.

Now, before you jump in and put fish in your tank, there are a few things you need to know. Your tank is an aquatic ecosystem. Like any ecosystem, it needs certain things to happen to get things going so that animals can survive there. The process of getting your tank ready for your fish is called CYCLING

You have two types of cycle: Fish and Fishless

A fishless cycle is much kinder for your fish, but is often harder for the beginner. You put your conditioned water in the set up tank (tank, filter, bubbler, substrate and plants if you have them), and then put in some bacterial starter. The water will go cloudy for anywhere from 2 to 24 hours, as the bacteria settles and finds a place to stay. When you have put the starter in, put a source of ammonia in the tank. The source can be from fish meat or cloudy ammonia. You must keep putting this in (to feed the bacteria) for the bacteria to survive. This method will cycle your tank in around 4 weeks.

The other type of cycling is called Fish Cycling. With this, you put your conditioned water in the set up tank, put the starter bacteria in, then place the fish straight into the water after acclimating them (your LFS will explain this to you). The fish live, eat and then produce waste. The waste produced feeds the bacteria and gets the cycle going. This way takes around 8-10 weeks, but means you can get fish in straight away. It is advised that you put just 1 trio of guppies in to start with, as you may lose some. It is an unpredictable environment, and anything could happen. I would advise you get some plants. They make the whole fish cycling process much faster and are absolutely essential if you want to cycle with fish. The best plants you can get for this are called Hornwort (also known as Foxtail). It will float at the top of your aquarium and suck up light and waste while giving your fish shade. It grows fast and when it gets too big, you can sell it to your LFS for store credit.

Your fish need oxygen to breathe, which they get by forcing water through their gills and filtering the oxygen out of it. This needs to be replenished at all times, and this is where the air stone comes in. The oxygen in the water comes from the top of the water, where the gas naturally exchanges with carbon dioxide that the fish produce. What the air stone does is it creates bubbles on the top of the tank, which actually increases the surface area of the top of the water by 2-3 times. This means that a huge amount of oxygen can enter the water and keep your fish happily breathing all the oxygen they need. Plants also help with this by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, but only during the day time when they have light available, so don't use this as your main source of oxygen.

Feeding your fishies
Your fish are easy to feed, just get some flake, crush it up and put it in the tank. Whatever your fish don't eat in 5 minutes or so, take out of the tank. Food leftover in the tank can cause a boom in the number of unhelpful bacteria. This can hinder the jobs your helpful bacteria perform.

Filter types
There are 4 types of filter, hanging, canister, sponge and internal. We will focus on all bar the canister filters, which are too expensive and complicated for a beginning setup.
Hanging: This hangs on the side of your tank and draws water up though a pipe, into the filter where it goes through a carbon filter (removes nasty chemicals) and a biological filter (removes waste) and then flows back into the tank. This is the most efficient, but the second most costly (after canister filters).
Sponge: This is the cheapest and easiest of all filters. Soak it in the tank water, sit it on the bottom, connect an air hose to it and then set it all going. Rinse it in tank water every time your change your water. Additionally, if you have some extra funds, you can buy a powerhead for the tank, which does the job much more efficiently (nearing that of a hanging filter).
Internal: The internal filter is totally inside your tank. It draws water in, past a carbon filter and a biological filter, and then out through a pipe. This can be good if you want to create currents in your tank, but your guppies wouldn't appreciate that. They like slow current.
If you are planting lots of plants, just get a sponge filter.

Water changes
Water changes have a simple function - it takes out bad water and chemicals, then replaces it with clean water. Essentially the same as cleaning your room up. You want to change 20% of your tank water for clean, conditioned water once a week. Take the water out, wash your filter in it, rinse off the carbon filter in the old water and then put it all back in, and the new water in the tank. This will keep your fish happy and healthy, and ensures that they live for a full, long life.

Now that the boring stuff is over with, onto the fun stuff: Guppies

A little background for you
Guppies originate from South America, from the slow flowing, hard water tributaries of the Amazon river. They prefer temperatures 23-28C (73-86F). They prefer slightly hard to medium hard water with a pH of 6.8-7.7.
The best amount of guppies to have are trios or quartets with 1 male to 2 or 3 females. Females are pregnant all the time and give birth every 28-30 days. In short, a pregnant (female) guppy is a healthy guppy. If you have less females, the males will chase her and stress her out, not good for her health. Guppies breed like crazy, so expect to be selling them to your LFS often. Males grow to 3-4cm (1.2-1.5") and females grow 5-6cm (2-2.4"). If you have a 45cm tank (minimum size), you could fit 3-4 trios in (9-12 guppies total). Introduce each trio with a month or so apart to ensure that you don't overload your bacteria. If you keep your guppies happy and healthy, they can live for a good 4-5 years.

I know that it's a lot to take in, and seems a little daunting, but all of these things are dead easy to do, and most only need to be done once.

I hope this helps, and enjoy your fish!
Answered Feb 03, 2014

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