Breeding guppies: Selective breeding

When breeding guppies, there is a technique called selective breeding which means that you are breeding guppies in a way that they have selective traits such as a particular color or a tail shape while at the same time you are trying to eradicate anyunattractive or any undesirable characteristics. Now this isn’t an easy feat. You need to plan and monitor a lot to make sure your guppies look and breed the way you want them to.

This article will be focusing on explaining you how to breed selective guppies and also how to keep record of the progress you make.

Line breeding

Line breeding is when guppies who are related mate so that there is guarantee that the offspring will have the enhanced version of the desirable traits. The line that follows is often the best examples of offspring as opposed to when unrelated guppies are mate. Having related guppies mate produces a specialist line that has guppies which show off the desirable traits that the breeder has in mind.

It is recommended that female guppy mate with the father to produce good results. At the same time it is highly recommended NOT to let the male offspring mate with the mother since it more than often results in completely opposite results.

Out crossing

Unlike line breeding, out crossing is when one breeds a guppy of one lineage with an unrelated guppy of another lineage. This is usually done to add traits and also to maintain the health of a guppy. Out crossing reduces the chances of the coming breed to have any deformities or faults which may come with line breeding. By doing this, a major deformity such as curvature of the spine can be reduced and avoided.

Out crossing is avital part of line breeding. If every few generation you out cross your lineage than the genetic healthiness of the line will be maintained without having to give up on desirable traits. As mentioned, this technique is also used to add traits such as a new tail shape or a new vibrant color.


This is when you mate a guppy from a line back to its ancestors. This is usually done to restore and reestablish the progression of a lines traits to a previous state or also because you want to eradicate a trait which has made way unplanned. This process might take more than a few times to achieve success.


Culling guppies

This technique is the most undesirable and painful, it is used to euthanize the guppies so that undesirable traits from the pool are also eradicated. This is done mostly on deformed or ill guppies. Since guppies are healthy fish, there will be a less chance of culling. If you have healthy guppies which you don’t desire then you can always sell them or give them away.

Keeping records when selectively breeding guppies

To make sure that your breeding program is going according to what you wished for, you need to make sure that you keep record of which fish is which and up till now what have your mating has achieved. Here are the details that you need to record:

  • Assign each guppy from the parent stock with a number to make tracing and identification of origin easier.
  • Make sure you note the color, the pattern, tail style and the sex of the guppy to know what kind of strain you have produced.
  • Allocate a generational figure to each set of offspring: like denote “F” for the founders, and add numerical with it for the generation such as F1.
  • Make sure to note down any relation that the fish may have with each other such as daughter and father, brother and sister and also half siblings as well. This will help to keep track of all the relations and note the traits that they breed. This will help you in making a decision of what technique that you want to use next.
  • Make sure you note down the dates along with which fish mated with each other and the delivery date as well.
  • Always remember to also mark your tank so that you know which tank contain which fish. This is because a lot of similar guppies can get mixed up and be a bit hard to tell apart.

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