How to Tell if Guppies Are Pregnant


How to tell if guppies are pregnant? Guppies are easy to care for, so they’re common in aquariums. They are fun to look at, have high energy, and add color to the tank. But if your guppies are pregnant, they might overstock your tank, so it is best to identify if they are pregnant or not.

In most cases, pregnant guppies have a dark spot under their tail toward the back portion of their stomach. It is called the guppy gravid spot or patch.

And as the babies develop and grow, this spot’s size increases and becomes darker. During the last stages of the guppies’ pregnancy, it will blacken. You’ll also notice that the guppies are getting fat or looking bloated.

How to Tell if Guppies are Pregnant?

Guppies are livebearers. They retain the eggs inside their body and deliver live and free-swimming fry. Interesting, isn’t it?

To check if your guppies are pregnant, spot their growing belly. However, you might think that this is bloating or your pet is just fat. But then, guppies are fast breeders and highly-prolific fish, increasing chances of pregnancy. What are the signs your guppy is pregnant?

  • Rubbing against the tank decoration and plants
  • Starting to shake or shiver
  • Not eating
  • Lethargic

Body shape

Guppies develops a bulge in the abdomen area. Pregnant ones also have a dark or red spot at the base of this bulge.

Small black dots also develop and become noticeable in the skin of the mother. These black dots are babies’ eyes.

In the beginning, it’s orange, but it becomes darker as the pregnancy continues. The gravid spot also changes from light to dark.

In the advancing stages of pregnancy, guppies grow larger and appear with a boxy appearance. Your fish is ready to deliver especially if you can notice black dots (babies’ eyes) in the gravid patch.

When the fish is in labor, its body will contract constantly with belly muscles tightening and relaxing. Guppies might also hide if they’re ready to deliver, another sign of labor.


You’ll notice that guppies hide in the tank structure or in the foliage. It’s a sign that they’re looking for a safe place to deliver.

Typically, they are hiding from larger fish in the tank. You might want to set up some artificial plants or live plants in the tank where the fry will have a safe place for hiding.

Lack of energy

The closer guppies are to delivery, the more lethargic they become. It’s one of the signs of pregnancy to watch out for.

Guppies may also not eat as much as before. But even if they’re not the fastest swimmers in your tank anymore, offer them food to eat.

How to Care for Pregnant Guppy Fish?

Give her a well-rounded and balanced diet to ensure complete nutrition. You can offer her pellets, flakes, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and algae discs for variety.

Help her avoid stress. An overstressed pregnant guppy might absorb the babies; thus, they will not be born.

Consider a breeding box for her. However, ensure doing it properly. Otherwise, the breeding box will cause her more stress.

Why? A breeding box will confine and limit her movement. Confine her only during the end stage of the pregnancy.

If she’s stressed, she might take up to 12 hours to give birth but only four to six hours under normal conditions.

A stressed pregnant guppy takes hours to give birth to few at a time. The other babies will not usually survive.

On the other hand, a healthy one delivers a fry at a time, but the others typically follow one after the other. She also takes short pauses between the groups of babies to rest. Typically, a female guppy can deliver two to 200 babies.

How to Care for Baby Guppies?

If not in a safe place, babies are eaten by other tank fish and their parents. They might not survive if you don’t place their mother in a breeding tank or box where they’re born.

Don’t worry because you can still save the fry even if you don’t have a breeding tank. Use a plastic container or a glass jar to separate the pregnant guppy from the rest. However, only extract her when she’s about to give birth.

Alternatively, you can buy a breeding box, usually a small plastic container or a small mesh that you can insert in the tank. It can be a better idea than putting in a separate container for its water quality.

The box allows the tank water to flow through, while the babies stay in it. Separate the mother after giving birth. Leave the fry in the box to protect them from predators.

Hiding places for fry can also save the babies. They include live plants like hornworts, guppy grass, water lettuce roots, or java moss.

Use them to increase the babies’ chances of survival. These plants give them cover for up two weeks when they’re strong and big enough to swim fast and get away from large fish.


Even though tiny, baby guppies have a large appetite and a digestion cycle of about 30 minutes. Encourage their fast growth and development by feeding them between five and 10 times daily. But then, you can also feed them once a day if you’re keeping guppies for a hobby.

Typical baby guppy diet includes dry or frozen food, micro worms, baby brine shrimp, vinegar eels or daphnia. Flakes are also fine but ensure to crush them into bits. Powder food is also a good choice because it’s high in protein.


Guppies are easy to keep and care for. But then, pregnant guppies need some special care and attention. It’s why you must know how to tell if guppies are pregnant. Again, a few signs include a growing belly, gravid spot, and lethargy.

And when the fish is in labor, put it in a separate tank or a breeding box where to drop and house the fry up to two weeks before they can be released to the main tank.

Hope you learned from this post on how to spot if your guppies are pregnant. If you liked this article, spread the word and share on social media today!

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