A meeting ground for guppy fish lovers

By Times Of India on 21 Apr 2018 | read
It was a congregation of guppy fish lovers in Pollachi recently. The occasion was a national level competition for guppy fish for which around 40 varieties of guppies were on display. Dinesh Kumar, one of the organisers of the event, tells us, “This is the first time that we have conducted a contest exclusively for guppy fish in the region. Through the contest, we wanted to spread knowledge about guppy fishes and their specialties among people. We also wanted to promote ornamental fish farming. Participants from across the country took part in it, including New Delhi, Kolkata and Telengana.”

Harish Krishnamoorthy, whose fishes took part in the contest, is excited. “I have been breeding guppy fish for the last three years but this is the first time that I took them for a contest. It was a great platform to meet fellow guppy lovers.” MK Dinesh of Nikanth Aquaculture where the contest was held says that there were round 40 varieties of fishes in the contest. “On an average, there are 80- 90 varieties of guppy fishes. The fishes were judged on the basis of 12 groups- e.g. solid colours (black, red, yellow), texture and special groups. While the fishes were judged in individual categories, a grand prize was also given after considering the overall quality and health. An average pair costs around Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500/-.”

Siju Cherian, a breeder from Ernakulam, who judged the contest, says that guppy fishes are a special lot. “They were judged on the basis of the shape of their body, shape of dorsal fin, caudal fin, colours and patterns of their body. According to the international score system, dorsal shape (15%), head shape (15%), body size (15%), body color/ pattern (10%), caudal shape (15%) caudal colour (15%), overall (15%) and health (10%) is taken into consideration. If the size of the female is smaller than the male, they are rejected. I think the participation was quite good considering the fact that it was happening in Pollachi for the first time.”

He adds, “Guppy fish has to be maintained well and cannot be mixed with any other breed. Even if you mix them for a few minutes, the quality goes down. The female fish delivers every 24-28 days and out of which at least 42 to 72 fishes are healthy. We use a cage to collect the younger ones as the mother tends to eat most its newborns. It’s important to change the water every three days. 6.5 pH is ideal for guppy fishes.”

So, what’s the specialty of guppy fish? “Guppy fish is a fresh water species and hence, the quality of water that is used in the water bowl has to be really good. If you let water flow into the aquarium straight away from the tap, toxic contents like chlorine will take a toll on its health. I usually use stored water so that the sediments don’t go into the aquarium. This way they can live up to their full life span of one and half years . Guppy fish thrive on live feed like mosquito larvae, live worms etc. and tropical flake food and dried food. While the male fish grows up to one and half inches, a female fish grows up to two and a half inches. Their growth rate will depend on the kind of food they are fed with. Guppy fishes are special as they pleasing to the eyes,” says Harish.