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Micropoecilia picta (Swamp Guppy)

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A small, very variable fish, rather reminiscent of wild-type guppies. When mature the males are vividly coloured with brilliant patches of colour on the dorsal and tail fins as well as the back half of the body. The precise combination of colours varies but includes orange, green, blue, and black. Females larger and rather plain.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Essentially an algae eating fish this species is easy to maintain in low-end brackish water tanks maintained at a specific gravity of about 1.003-1.005. A high level of carbonate hardness is also important. Although sometimes found in completely freshwater environments in the wild, they do not do well when kept thus in aquaria, being prone to fungus and other infections.

Recommended for the single-species aquarium or brackish water tanks alongside species such as gobies that are too small to pose a threat. Choose tankmates with care! Provide lots of floating plants or this species will be shy and nervous.

Requires clean, brackish water for breeding. Batches of fry are small (often less than a dozen) and the fry are very small. Newborn fry stay close to the substrate immediately after birth. Considered one of the trickier livebearers to breed for reasons not altogether clear.

Family Group: Livebearers
Distribution South America: Demerara River in Guyana and on the island of Trinidad
Temperature 24-28 C
Size Males to 3 cm, females up to 4 cm
Water Parameters Very hard, slightly brackish water
Water PH 7.5-8.5
Diet Adaptable
Care Level Easy
Water Chemistry More than pH 7 - Alkaline
Sociability Peaceful
Schooling Fish Yes