Do guppies give birth at night?


Do guppies give birth at night? This is a question that has been asked by numerous aquarists for many years. The beauty of their colors and their gentle disposition, have made guppies one of the top choices for most people that keep aquariums as pets. However, getting to know their reproduction behavior is a bit daunting especially if you are new to this exciting world of guppies. In this guide, we will be able to discover the reproductive process in guppies while seeking an answer to the exciting question; do guppies give birth at night?

Do guppies give birth at night?

Yes, guppies do often give birth at night. Part of the reason is that it helps keep their fry safe from predators during the day.

Guppies are known to give birth anytime but many guppy owners have noted that their guppies tend to deliver at night. Why? Perhaps, because predators are less and the environment is silent. In the wild, giving birth in darkness offers additional protection for the fry.

Preparations for Giving Birth By Guppies During The Night

In case you suspect that your guppy is about to bear children late in the evening there are some steps that you can take in order to make sure both the mother and her kids remain safe. Firstly, put a lot of hiding places inside your aquarium such as bushy plants or small caves. This will offer young ones hiding places thereby improving their chances of survival.

Briefly on Guppy Birth

Unlike other fish species, guppies are live bearers meaning they don’t lay eggs but instead support them inside until they give birth to living fry which swim freely. Time spent in birthing can vary from 2-6 hours depending on health status of the carrying mother and conditions within her environment. At times, female may interrupt delivery for several days before she resumes and delivers rest of her young.

Understanding Guppy Gestation

Gestation takes between 21 to 31 days among different species of pregnant guppies.However there are certain factors which like dieting, health conditions and tank environments contribute greatly towards determining its exact length.Gestating females have much bigger bellies and a darker gravid spot near their anus than non-pregnant ones.

When do Guppies Give Birth?

Guppies can give birth at any time of the day or night. The exact timing depends on various factors, including the guppy’s health, the tank environment, and the presence of other fish or predators. However, the general rule is that guppies give birth towards the end of their gestation period, usually around the 25-35 day mark.

Do guppies_give_birth at night

Sexual maturity in guppies occurs at about 2-3 months. From then on, a female guppy will be able to breed and deliver fry every 30 days. Within each litter, there may be between twenty and fifty fry depending on the size and health of the mother fish.

How Do Guppies Act Before Giving Birth?

Below are a few signs that demonstrate the female guppy is preparing to reproduce:

  • Enlarged belly – The tummy of the female guppy will appear distended or gravid as her embryos develop internally. This is often the most apparent indication that she will soon be giving birth.
  • Reduced hunger pangs – During the days leading to labor, she may consume less food because of an already full stomach with developing fry.
  • Isolation/hiding – The pregnant guppy starts searching for places where it can hide from other fish like plant cover or ornament hollows where she can give birth and protect the newborn fry in privacy
  • Dark/saddlebands- Before delivery, some females get dark stripes called saddle bands on their sides; this happens due to hormonal change.
  • Restlessness – She might become hyperactive as her pregnancy progresses. Sometimes you see her swimming around a lot more than usual or positioning herself while babies move into correct positions.
  • Popping/spawning action- Occasionally you’ll notice pulsation of a gravid abdomen initiating work for fry descent during contractions of delivery.
  • Day/night shifts – Most of these signs increase at dusk since majority of guppies give birth during night hours in order to camouflage themselves.

Recognizing Guppy Pregnancy Signs

Knowing when your guppy is about to give birth can help you prepare for the event and ensure the safety of both the mother and her fry. Some signs that your guppy is nearing labor include:

  • A dark maroon or black gravid spot
  • A boxy, squared-off abdomen
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shivering or shuddering motions

Do guppies give birth at night
A guppyfish

What if the Pregnant Guppy Doesn’t Give Birth?

After isolating a pregnant guppy for 24 hours without her delivering, it is better to release her back into the community tank. Keeping a pregnant guppy within isolation during long period can cause anxiety and may prevent fry development. When you place the female fish back in its artificial habitat, slightly warm up water will assist maturation process.

Can Two Guppies Share a Tank if they are Both Pregnant?

It is not advisable to keep two pregnant guppies together because this can lead to stress and possible conflict. Moreover, when both of them give birth at once, it becomes difficult to separate and safeguard the fries. Hence, it is better to have individual birthing tanks for every pregnant guppy.

Do Guppies Eat Their Babies?

Guppies feed on their own young ones; that’s true. This cannibalism happens often among guppies which is why it’s important to ensure multiple hiding spots for the fry or separation from the adults.

How Do You Take Care of Baby Guppy Fish

Taking care of newly born fry requires certain measures for their survival. These entail placing them in different tanks, giving them adequate nutrition through feeding balanced diets as well as maintaining congenial aquatic conditions.

What if a Guppy is Taking Longer to Give Birth?

If your guppy’s gestation period is extending beyond 31 days, it could be due to stress or poor water conditions. In such cases, it’s best to consult with an aquatic veterinarian for advice.


In conclusion, while guppies can give birth at any time, many tend to do so at night. Knowing this and understanding the signs of impending birth can help you prepare and ensure the safety of both the mother guppy and her fry. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy the unique experience of watching your guppies give birth and raise their young.

Whether you’re a seasoned guppy keeper or just starting your aquarist journey, understanding the reproductive behaviors of these fascinating fish can enrich your aquarium experience. And remember, the question isn’t just do guppies give birth at night but also how you as the aquarist can best support them during this remarkable process.

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