Caring for a Tequila Sunrise Delta Guppy

The festive name of the tequila sunrise delta guppy refers to its orange-red coloration (like the drink) and the shape of its tail (It's a delta or triangle shape, especially the male's). Care for a tequila sunrise delta guppy is almost identical to care for other guppies, with one notable behavioral exception.

Tank Mates and Guppy Aggression

Guppies are known for being peaceful, but one caveat for the tequila sunrise delta guppy is that long-tailed breeds can be slightly more aggressive than short-tailed ones; alternately, they may get picked on by other fish, which can nip at their long tails. Don't keep tequila sunrise delta guppies with other long-tailed, aggressive species such as bettas.

Social Behavior

All guppies are the same species with different breeds (much like dogs). The tequila sunrise delta guppy is popular for its beautiful coloration and flowing tail. It can live with all other guppies and with similar fish such as mollies and platys. Guppies are very social; ideally you'll keep them in a group with other guppies. More is better. You can mix different breeds of guppies freely -- but understand that they will readily interbreed. If you want to breed only one type of guppy, do not mix breeds in your tank. If you don't want to breed at all, guppies are not the fish for you.

Guppy Tanks and Water Quality

Guppies are freshwater or brackish-water fish. This means that in the wild they live in places where the water is slightly salty. Your tank at home, however, is too small to start adding salt without the guidance of an experienced guppy breeder, and salt is rarely necessary. Most guppies will thrive in plain old freshwater. They do best in a heavily planted tank with a small filter to keep the water moving (like the rivers where they live in the wild). Fancy under-gravel filters and aeration pumps are completely unnecessary if you have a planted tank.

Err on the side of size when you choose a tank. While the rule of thumb is 1 gallon of water minimum, preferably 2 gallons, per inch of tropical fish, more room is better. And guppies have a way of making more guppies very quickly. Ideal guppy temperature is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Feeding Your Tequila Sunrise Delta Guppy

Feed guppies live food and a packaged tropical fish formula. Live food can be brine shrimp ("sea monkeys") or bloodworm (these will set up shop in your gravel). Packaged food can be flakes, pellets or frozen food, but you must feed according to the package instructions.

This may be the most important and overlooked element of fish care. While fish do not actually "eat themselves to death," too much food collecting in the water is a recipe for disease and disaster; it can kill your beautiful guppy in a matter of days.

Consider that each fish's stomach is only about the size of its eyeball and feed that much per fish once or twice per day. One more warning: Freshwater will kill any leftover brine shrimp within 24 hours. Give your fish only as many as they'll eat within five minutes.

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