My latest article Guppy Longevity, Inbreeding and Outcrossing (39 pages and 97 scientific references) discusses the genetics of longevity and answers the question of why fancy guppies don’t live that long. Article delves into the many factors (inbreeding, outcrossing, heterosis, purging, outbreeding depression, evolution, and disease) that are associated with longevity. It puts much of the blame for guppy fragility onto the all too common practice of using only young adults as breeders. I have tried to make the science understandable, educational, and interesting. Photo shows a 15 month old male and female. Still room for improvement, but this is progress. (Two years ago, my guppies were dying of old age or “what-not” at 5-8 months.)
Hatching and Growing Brine Shrimp (Artemia) is–I believe–the ultimate brine shrimp article for aquarium hobbyists. Starts with hatching eggs in a soup bowl without aeration. Moves onto ‘hatching dishes’ that automatically separate nauplii from shells, making harvesting fresh nauplii incredibly easy. More new subjects include cold storage of harvested nauplii, feeding fish decapsulated eggs, why lower salinity works best, and growing shrimp out for 3 days. Author discusses the many factors (osmoregulation, iron nutrition, sensitivity to heavy metals, etc) that affect hatching success.
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.
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, pet shop 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 (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.