FOODS AND FEEDING OF FRY
New-born fry have tiny mouths and huge appetites! They empty their stomachs every 20 minutes! Of course, it is not wise or feasible to feed them this often. Feed your Guppy fry 4 to 8 times daily.
The best food is Baby Brine Shrimp(BBS), generally accepted as the #1 food for Guppy fry. If you have a large Guppy-breeding operation you will want to give them the ultimate, live BBS that you have hatched yourself. If however, you are carrying on a small hobby, look for convenience in frozen BBS. Make sure though, that it is BABY Brine Shrimp, not adult Brine Shrimp. BBS has much more nutritional value than Adult Brine Shrimp (ABS) and can fit into the fry's tiny mouths. Remember, anything that is too large for fry will go uneaten, and wasted, and it will pollute the tank. The bonus in serving up live BBS is that what is not eaten immediately will survive and be consumed later. Be conservative and keep a watchful eye when feeding frozen BBS since it will rot quickly if not eaten right away.
When feeding fry it is important to offer up a variety of food. A couple of quality, high-protein flake foods should be given, crushed up finely. Flakes are an excellent food just before lights out. Also, some breeders like to feed a small amount of flakes before each feeding of BBS. They believe that it helps the fish reap the benefits of BBS by keeping it in their systems longer with the staple mixed in. BBS does have a laxative effect, unfortunately!
Another good fry food that you probably keep in your refrigerator right now is eggs, specifically, the yolk. It can be easily made into a paste that is simple and inexpensive to make. It is a great source of protein that is easily and eagerly consumed by fry and adults alike. Simply take a hard-boiled egg and remove the yolk. Place it in a small, re-sealable container and add a few drop of water while mashing it with your finger or a spoon. When made into a paste you can feed TINY amounts to your fry. It creates a cloud of protein for them which they will devour, however, feed too much and you will foul your Guppies' tank. You can feed them yolk twice a day. Adults will enjoy some egg too, but try to feed them the chunks.
Microworms can be cultured and fed live, an excellent food and a low-cost alternative to BBS. They are thread-like worms are imported from Europe and are tiny enough for new fry. Fry will grow more quickly initially with microworms and get a 2 week head-start over fry fed BBS, although they will eventually catch up. However this growth spurt is important and helps in fighting off bacteria and parasites. Microworms will remain alive much longer in a tank than Brine Shrimp. These tiny worms are also much easier to culture and handle than BBS and after you have a culture going it can last indefinitely.
FRY TANK MAINTENANCE
A good temperature for fry is 80F, which gets their metabolism in high gear. They will eat more and grow faster. This is important when you are born so tiny! After all, the bigger a fish you are, the better off you are in the fight to ward off parasites, disease, and oh yes, bigger, hungry fish!
All this adds up to more work on the Guppy keeper's schedule, for:
Fast metabolism + heavy feed schedule = frequent water changes!
First of all, this depends on the number of fish per gallon of water. Fewer fish mean less maintenace, basically. The best home for a batch of fry is a 5-gallon bare-bottom tank. It is not too large for them to find the food, and not so small that it allows for a stable, clean environment with a small inside box filter. If this is your set-up, try to do a 10% water change every day. If that is a problem, then change about 25% every 3-4 days. If your tank is staying rather clean, then a 50% water change once a week may be sufficient as long as the replacement water is properly conditioned to remove chloramines and chlorine, and has the same pH and temperature as the tank water, so as not to shock the tiny inhabitants. Some Guppy breeders do up to 100% water change will no ill effects.
Water changes themselves seem to spur growth. Nitrates building up in a tank seem to naturally slow the growth of most fish. This is likely a result of the natural order of things. Too many nitrates indicate that there is a population explosion, and slows growth in fish to make up for this. The only way to remove nitrates is through water changes.
HOW TO CLEAN THE TANK
In a tank of up to 5 gallons in size, you can use a piece of airline tubing. Insert it into the water and fill it completely with water, and put your finger over one end. Now bring it above the water and over the bucket which is below the water level and vacuum debris from the bottom. Once you have the bottom cleaned, start removing water with a jug. You can also use a turkey baster to clean the bottom, which of course is for fish tanks only!
In larger tanks, you should acquire a gravel vacuum from a store, and follow the same steps, until you have taken out all the water you want to remove.
Make sure the water you replace is safe for the fry. It should be the same temperature and pH. If you use salt in your tank then you should add it first in the new water at the rate you use per gallon. Use a water conditioner to remove chloramines and chlorine if you are not sure if there are chlormines present (call your water supplier to find out). If you simply have chlorine to worry about, you can simply leave the water out overnight and it will evaporate. In fact, if you change only 1/4 of the water, you don't really need to remove the chlorine since the amount in the tank will pose no threat to the fish, and it disappears after a day. There should be no need to add a conditioner that stimulates slime coat. Some people choose Amquel as their water conditioner which removes ammonia which MAY be present in your tap water, removes chlorine and breaks down chloramines, adds active electrolytes and remove copper, which is lethal to fish in certain amounts. However, Amquel also plays with pH and adds a synthetic slime to fish which is should not be needed in a routine water change, and problems sometimes occur for some fishkeepers.
It is often best simply to use a conditioner that is basic and simply removes/neutralizes chlorine and chloramines. I do not think it is a good idea to add more chemicals to a fish tank than is necessary. Adjusting pH is usually a losing battle as well, and if you are tempted to try, think again, because eventually disaster strikes and pH swings cause stress or death. If your water's pH is lower than 7.0 I feel that you would do better keeping soft-water fish such as Angels and Characins.
Eventually you will acquire an understanding of your water and what you need to do to change water with the least stress on the fish.
There is no need to remove algae except from the front and sides of the tank for viewing purposes. Algae provides a between-feedings snack. Guppies are omnivorous and require all forms of food, including plant and vegetable matter.
Remember that the first few months of a Guppy's life are the most important. Fancy Guppies are not solely nature's creation. People bred them to be as beautiful as they are and the only way to make your Guppy become the best he can be is to give him the best food and best water.
A female Moscow at 3 - 1/2 weeks of age. The gravid spot is very obvious.
At 3.5 weeks, this Moscow fry is fully-developed male with a gonopodium! He was feed microworms twice a day, frozen Baby Brine Shrimp, egg yolk, 2 freeze-dried foods and 2 flake foods.