The fluid movement of their long flowing tails makes the fan-tailed guppy a beautiful fish to watch as it moves around an aquarium. Its graceful appearance is just one of many facts that keep fish keepers fascinated with this species.
Origin of Name
The fan-tailed guppy, which is a member of the fancy guppy subspecies, is named in recognition of its long, flowing tail that resembles a woman's hand-held fan.
Fan-tail guppies prefer to live in schools of other guppies. According to the Aquatic Community website, guppy fish ideally should not be kept alone but rather in a larger aquarium setting able to accommodate several fish of the same species. While guppies are calm fish, it is best to keep them in schools with their own species. Other fish species tend to not be as kind to guppies as guppies are in return: Other fish species attack guppies by nipping at their long fins.
According to information from the International Fancy Guppy Association, these fish prefer "hard" water with pH levels between 6.8 and 7.8 with 7.0 being the most desirable. Being in clean water is essential to the growth of their characteristic long tails. That's why breeders of fan-tail guppies must know what type of treatments are done to their local water supply. Many municipal water utility companies treat use a substance called chloramine, which is a combination of chlorine and ammonia, to combat pollutants in the water. Unfortunately, it is lethal to tropical fish such as fan-tailed guppies and breeders should use removal treatments to avoid death.
Breeding and Birth
Guppies prefer to breed in waters with temperatures ranging between 75 and 82 degrees. They are livebearers, according to the Aquatic Community website. This means they do not lay eggs as some fish species do. Instead, their young are born released directly from the mother and begin to swim on their own immediately. The Pet Place website suggests feeding brine shrimp to guppies during mating.
Diverse Color Selection
The Rocky Mountain Guppy Associates website features a series of pictures depicting more than 20 various color combinations common to the fancy guppy species to which fan-tailed guppies belong. When they are a solid color, the bodies of fan-tailed guppies sport various hues of red, green, purple, blue and yellow. Golden or blond colors as well as white and metallic combinations are regularly seen on fan-tailed guppies. A pattern known as sunrise features various shades of orange ranging from dark to light from the front of the fish to the back of its body.
Amy M. Armstrong is a former community news journalist with more than 15 years of experience writing features and covering school districts. She has received more than 40 awards for excellence in journalism and photography. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Washington State University. Armstrong grew up on a dairy farm in western Washington and wrote agricultural news while in college.