Breeding guppies: Selecting color and shape

that you would like to have your line of guppies to possess and according to those tailor them to achieve them. When trying to achieve this, there are various factors that one needs to focus on. These factors include the color of the fish, the shape of the tail along with what patterns should your guppies display.

If you’re a beginner and are with your first fish, it is advised that you should focus on just one or at the most two specific traits. As time shall pass, your line will become established and produce good examples of those lines, you can then move to more complicated and complex combination of details. Like they say, slow and steady wins the race, same applies to breeding lines of fish.

This article will provide you with different factors of guppy that you can choose between and selectively breed to achieve.

breeding guppies


Guppy tail shape
in the guppy, the tail is the most defining and describing part. There are numerous varieties and various tail shapes that are found in the guppy. If you manage to select a desirable tail shape and make sure that your guppies possess those shapes, will ensure that the current and following lines of guppies will have a lot of chance of displaying those traits. At the moment, there are twelve main guppy tail shapes.

  1. Fan tail
  2. Triangle tail
  3. Veil tail
  4. Flag tail
  5. Double sword tail
  6. Top sword tail
  7. Bottom sword tail
  8. Lyre tail
  9. Pin tail
  10. Spade tail
  11. Spear tail
  12. Round tail

Guppy coloration

The male guppies are found to be more colorful and vibrant as compared to their female counterparts. As much as picking a male guppy which has an alluring appearance and has a strong and vibrant color is important, making sure that the females have been chosen with the same care is also vital.

The genes found in the females will play in important role in the coloration of the succeeding fry in both the males and females. Make sure that both the masculine and feminine side of the parentage consist of the color you want to achieve.

Since coloration is determined genetically, another thing to be taken in account are the dominant or recessive characters of coloration.


The recessive genes need to have both the parents to possess the genes, then only will the offspring show the color or the trait whereas in the Dominant genes there is a more chance that the offspring will show the traits. Here are some of the basic colors found in guppies and the traits that permit them:


  1. Gray: Dominant
  2. Bronze: Recessive
  3. Blonde: Recessive
  4. Albino: Recessive
  5. Lutino (a yellow gene mutation): Recessive
  6. White: Recessive
  7. Silver: Recessive

When choosing reds or blues, there is no definite answer as to whether they come in the dominant or recessive genes. This is possible due to the fact that there are various combinations that are responsible for the blue and red colors in guppies. There is no fixed combination as to what will achieve them and can only be achieved through testing out.

The same goes for colors that contain elements of red and blue. Green, pink, orange and purple are a few examples.

Patterns and markings in guppies

There are seven main pattern styles found in the guppy.

  1. Snakeskin guppies: chain mail like pattern across around 85% of their bodies and fins.
  2. Lace guppies: snakeskin pattern which is fainter and less pronounced.
  3. Grass guppies: delicate black dots on their dorsal and caudal fins.
  4. Leopard guppies: rosette spots diagonallythrough their tail, body, or both.
  5. Mosaic guppies: tail pattern that forms a random and asymmetrical arrangement of spots or mesh.
  6. Moscow guppies: interesting breed since their color and pattern changes according to their feel. Also known as “chameleon guppy”.
  7. Tuxedo guppies: advanced body color going from light on the head and chest to dark on the main part of the body.

It would be impossible to list down all the patterns, colorations and the tail combinations since there are a lot of them!

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