Small-Scale Guppy Breeding

How to breed nice guppies in just 8 planted tanks

I revised my 2018 article Small-Scale Guppy Breeding on how I keep and breed fancy guppies in just eight planted tanks.  You won’t see anything about fish rooms, drilled tanks, automatic water changers, etc.  It explains how I overcame the modern guppy’s fragility and disease susceptibility.

Guppy Genetics 101

Genetics of breeding fancy guppies for fitness, disease resistance, and beauty


Breeding Guppies: Genetic Pitfalls and Successes (10 page article) describes my experiences with crossing various guppy strains–Metalheads, Blue Grass, petshop guppies, swordtail guppies, etc.  Avoid the genetic problems I encountered as a beginning breeder.  Follow the story, which includes basic genetic explanations, to a happy ending–the creation of novel and beautiful phenotypes.

Flukes and Sick Guppies

Flukes and Sick Guppies (8 pages) tackles the problem of why guppies die for “no good reason.” It starts with the author’s discovery of skin flukes (Gyrodactylus species) on her own guppies.  Apparently, these Monogenean parasites have been a major, long-standing pathogen of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata).  The author describes treatments and disease management strategies.  Photo (magnified) shows Gyrodactylus flukes feeding on the outer mucus layer of a heavily infested salmon.

Parasite Surveys

Which parasites are most prevalent in tropical aquarium fish?  My article Parasite Surveys of Aquarium Fish, a compilation of 11 different investigations from around the world, answers that question. Freshwater fish (goldfish, guppies, tetras, etc) were sampled from Sri Lankan fish farms, Swedish pet shops, etc.  Most surveys reported Monogeneans (i.e., flukes) as the most common parasite of aquarium fish–whether healthy or diseased.  For example, 37% of 223 freshly caught wild fish from the Amazon carried Monogeneans, ranging from a 92% prevalence in Angelfish to only 7.4% in Cardinal Tetras.  The ICH parasite was in second place (21% prevalence in the 223 fish), but other studies reported a much lower prevalence of the ICH parasite. Overall, Monogeneans dominated.

Treating Fish for Nematodes

Successful eradication of Camallanus worms in guppies and other tropical fish using fenbendazole and levamisole

Over the years, I have had to deal with nasty Camallanus worms several times in newly purchased fish. My article ‘Treating Fish for Camallanus and Other Nematodes’ contains step-by-step instructions for preparing a Fenbendazole-containing fishfood that successfully rid my tanks and fish of these intestinal parasites. I have also described treatment using Levamisole HCl, another highly effective drug.  Article describes the worldwide presence of Camallanus and the related Capillaria parasite.  Photo shows a Camallanus worm slowly being expelled from the anus of a female guppy during the Fenbendazole treatment.  (She recovered fine.)

Mycobacteriosis in Aquarium Fish

Stopping an outbreak of Fish TB using UV sterilizing filters instead of tearing tanks down and starting over. Managing mycobacteria rather than eradicating them. Scientific surveys on the presence of mycobacteria in the aquarium fish trade.

BettaCropJaw lesionLRMycobacteriosis in Aquarium Fish, a 15 page article, provides vital information that fish keepers can use to prevent—or deal with—“Fish TB.” Scientific surveys show that almost half of fish deaths due to unknown causes are due to mycobacteriosis. Article is based on the author’s experience fleshed out with the latest scientific research. Every fish keeper, whether professional fish breeder or beginning aquarium hobbyist, should read this.

Small Shrimp Tanks

Article on setting up small planted tanks for pet shrimp.

Small Planted Tanks for Pet Shrimp (9 pages) was written for people wanting to keep planted tanks.  I show how to set up 1-gal bowls with small shrimp, which is an easy, inexpensive way to get started.  Bowls shown at 1 month in photo were off to a good start and continued to do well.  For hobbyists who want to try something a little different, I describe setting up small tanks with the Dry Start Method (DSM).  With DSM, aquarium plants are grown emergent (in air) for the first 2-3 months before adding the water and the shrimp to the tank. Both methods involve using ordinary soil as a planting medium and keeping Red Cherry Shrimp, which are hardy, colorful, and cute.ShrimpBowlsSmaller