Why Are My Guppy Fry Dying? Reasons And Practical Solutions

It is essential to remember that guppy fry is a delicate creature that can die quickly if not handled properly. It takes some time to learn what was wrong with guppy to lose and why baby fry disappeared after a few days. Here are the things we have found from our practice.

Why Are My guppy Fry Dying? When the water condition is toxins or low in oxygen supply, the environment makes it difficult for a guppy to live, making guppy fry die. The reason for a baby guppy fry to go missing is those female guppies will attack the newborn fries and eat them. Especially after giving birth, the female fish try to eat them due to tiredness and hunger.

Why Are My guppy Fry Dying?

You must add more live plants into the breeding fish tank so the baby fry can escape from the female guppy. We will give you some more tips and trick below in the article.

As you know, guppy offspring are delicate and non-experienced in swimming in the tank. So you cannot expect guppy male or female fish to secure each baby fry. We cannot expect all the fry to survive because that is nature.

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Why does My Guppy Fry Keep Dying?

As you know, guppy fries are not coming from hatching eggs. Female guppies give birth to baby fry. So newly born baby fry will not have a good immunity system to survive in the tank if your breeding tank does not fulfill the proper condition.

Typically, female fish are ready to produce more than 20 babies per time, and they will continuously produce fries once they mature. Usually, female fish mature and are ready to breed after 4- 7 months.

Female guppy fish usually takes several hours to complete the birthing process. When the female fish end the process, you must do more work to take care of your newly born guppy fry so that it doesn’t die and be eaten alive by the female guppy. 

Once the baby guppy comes out, they look like a dead fry for the first few minutes, and they do not swim in the tank. But after a few minutes, you will see them slowly moving and start their swim here and there in the tank.

Because they are newly born fish fry and seek something to eat as their initial diet, but don’t provide any feed to them, read our article and find why you should not feed them once they are born.

Why does My Guppy Fry Keep Dying?
  1. Carnivorous female and male fish

Adult guppies like to eat live feed like blood worms, Moina, and other live feeds. So they tend to eat their baby guppies because they look like live feed. This is a significant problem why your guppy fry is missing in the tank when they are born after minutes. 

When the female guppy fish gives birth and end the birthing process, she becomes hungry and tends to eat anything. So she will eat her baby fries without thinking twice. This is the most common reason your baby fries are missing after birth.

There is another major problem if you do not use a breeding tank for breeding guppy fry. Adult male fish also will attack the baby fry and starts eating them because they will eat any live feed that fits their mouth.

Small baby fry also has no strength to swim fast and hide, so they easily get caught by the adult fish. This happens mainly in the community tanks than the breeding tanks.

  1. Worse water condition 

Water condition is the critical point if you plan to breed guppy fry. If you have not properly maintained water in your tank, baby guppy will suffer from many things. Especially they cannot breathe well if the water condition is not good.

Guppy fish waste, dead live plants, sink live feeds, or frozen food pallets can help to increase the worse water condition. Water polluted tanks can attack the health of baby guppy life, which may also lead to diseases. Baby fries have no solid immune system to fight the worse water conditions.

Whenever the water condition is not good, we immediately need to start working to clean your breeding tank, and if it is not cleaned and maintained on time, then your baby fries are at risk. They will die due to the poor water situation.

  1. Oxygen Shortage

The newborn guppy fry is weak, and they do not have enough strength to swim up and down often to get breathing. Seeing baby guppies on the water surface with an open mouth may indicate a lack of oxygen.

Do not use a depth tank for breeding your guppies; always use a wide and shallow fish tank to keep your fries.

Add the extra oxygen line using an air pump. You can add air stones to distribute air bubbles into the tank quickly.

Also, you can add live plants into the breeding tank, which will help increase oxygen levels. 

When you notice cloudy water in your breeding tank, change the water as soon as possible. It is a sign that shows the oxygen level is low and tells you to change the water.

  1. Insufficient temperature level

Guppies do not live in too cold or too hot water. They are tropical fish and like to live in the middle range of temperature levels in the tank. So, baby guppies want to live at 72 -80 degrees Fahrenheit. So, you can try to maintain the water tank’s 72 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit temperature, which will help baby guppies.

This is a good temperature range to live and grow the guppies healthy. So keep your temperature within this range, which will help eliminate plenty of common diseases from your baby guppies.

Do not provide too much shelter to your breeding tank because it will help drastically decrease the water temperature. When your breeding tank changes temperature frequently, your baby guppies will stress and die quickly.

  1. High Chlorine water condition 

As you know, tap water has more chlorine, and chlorine is a toxin for fish life. Especially baby fry cannot survive if you fill chlorinated water into the breeding tank. 

Chlorine works like poison for fish bodies, and you will often see their skin removed from their body.

After the water change, if you notice any discomfort in the baby fry, you should immediately add a condition to dichloride the water.

  1. full of the ammonia tank

If you are a pet fish keeper, then you will know ammonia can kill the fish. So, it is the same for the baby fry too. If your fish tank has ammonia, then baby fries will not survive for a longer period. Most of the time, they will die within one or two days.

Ammonia directly attacks the breathing system of the baby guppy. So you will notice they fall to the bottom of the tank and lie on the ground

Keep in your mind; that you cannot remove ammonia from your tank quickly. It must be done slowly and will take a few hours to remove completely. When you try to remove ammonia using any fast method, you will notice that your guppy fry will also shock and stress.

Sink food, dead fry body, fish waste, and dead live plants may help to increase the ammonia levels in the breeding tank.

  1. Improper feeding methods 

Underfeeding and overfeeding is the most common problem that fish keeper face. Overfeeding will pollute the water and increase the ammonia level in your breeding tank. The guppy fry rarely eats sink fish food. Once fish foods sink, the baby fries are not interested in eating them.

Some fish breeders provide large-scale fish food amounts into the breeding tank. They have no idea how to cut that volume on a small scale.

Unfortunately, some fish keepers provide feed which is not fit into the guppy fry mouth. They will reject them if baby guppies fail to eat oversized food pallets. 

It will directly sink into the bottom of the tank and dirt the water condition.

How Do I Keep My Guppy Fry From Dying?

Always use a water test kit to check water conditions and arrange a heater with a suitable temperature range. Use the dedicated air pump to generate oxygen into the tank. 

Feed high-protein fish pallets or live feed to your guppy fry. These are the initial things you can do to save your guppy fry from dying.

Here is the list to keep your baby guppies alive.

  • Once you spot the baby guppies in the fish tank, immediately separate them and place them into a wide and shallow breeding tank.
  • Make sure you added enough live plants into your breeding because live plants help to hide newly born guppy fry, and it feels they are safe.
  • Do not overcrowd by adding too many baby guppies into the same breeding tank.
  • Maintain temperature range between 72 -80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Do not overfeed your baby guppies; provide a small scale three times daily.
  • Add an extra air pump line into the breeding tank to generate more oxygen. To get a better result, you can add air stone.
  • If you notice any sinking food, dead body, or dead live plants, do siphon and remove it quickly.  
  • Don’t provide low sunlight or high sunlight into the tank.
  • Use a water test kit to check water pH levels and ensure tank maintenance with low ammonia.

Keep better water condition.

Guppies are tropical fish and they love to live in freshwater?

Water conditions can make better or bad life for your baby guppies. So always use clean water and maintain good water conditions for guppy fry. You can use a filter system to filter the wastewater in your tank. Please pay attention to water hardness, because it is essential, like pH level.

Also, do not use direct tap water to the baby fry tank. You can use stock water instead of direct tap water. If you do not have any facility to use stock water, use a water conditioner to de-chlorine it.

Reduce 50% amount of water and refill it at least every week. It will help to reduce ammonia levels and the cloudiness of the water. 

Guppies are tropical fish, they love to live in freshwater, and they swim away from polluted water.

Read More About :- How Deep Should The Water Be For Guppy Fry?

Separate the fries from the parent’s tank.

When you see baby fries swimming in your tank, catch them and place them into the breeding tank. Use the little net to catch them quickly. Female or male fish do not care about their fries like betta fish.

Add more live plants into the tank until you separate them to the breeding tank. Live plants will help them hide and save their lives from female fish.

homemade diy fish breeding box

Quick tips: How to separate your fries from female fish?

01. Use breeding box – breeding box is a type of box with small holes, and fries can leave using that holes. Female fish remain in the box, and fries leave into the breeding tank. That is how it works.

02. Add live plants – live plants can significantly save your baby fry from female fish. Fries hide behind the live plants until you separate them into the breeding tank.

03. Make a spawning mop for the breeding tank – you can use a spawning mop to save your baby guppies from your female fish until you remove them.

Use a wide and shallow breeding tank.

Always use wide and shallow tanks to keep your baby fry because a newborn baby cannot swim well. So, they cannot swim up and down multiple times to breathe. Shallow tanks are fewer depth tanks, making monitoring baby guppy’s behavior easy.

Provide a high protein diet.

Always use high-nutrition food to feed your baby guppies; nutrition plays a key part in fry’s growth. Try to provide live feed such as bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, etc.

High protein food helps to grow your fry quickly, and it also helps to build the immune system strong. Provide three meals per day for each breeding tank. If you use pallet feed, try to provide it with small pieces. Baby fry has a tiny mouth, so they don’t eat anything that doesn’t fit their mouth.

Adjust the right temperature and oxygen level.

Provide a stable temperature range between 72-80 degrees F. you can use a heater for this and monitor the values constantly.

Buy an air pump, set it in the breeding tank, and continue generating oxygen for guppy fry. You can also buy a battery air pump to help use during power cut times. 

Add two or three air pump lines into the tank and limit speed using controllers. Don’t forget to limit the water current.


Guppy females produce a lot of guppy fries in the community tank. It would be best if you eliminate them as soon as possible. Once you separate them, monitor their behaviors. Provide high-quality protein feeds and adjust the right temperature.

Always remember to provide fresh and clean water with a good air pumping system; it helps to comfort them from a bad situation.

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