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    Home arrow Breeding arrow Breeding
    Breeding Strategies PDF Print E-mail
    Written by Administrator   
    Tuesday, 15 January 2008

     

     

    Breeding Objectives

    Breeding guppies takes no special skills, simply leaving a male and female guppy in a tank together will produce results, but breeding superior fish with very fixed qualities of colour, finnage and vigour is a different matter. Quality requires great deication, detailed record keeping, the ability to make sound judgements based on your results and a degree of luck for the random nature of genetics.

     Your prime objectives should be producing fish in good health and vigour. There is sure to be a compromise between health and your desired characteristics but never allow that to happen unless there are no other options you can make.In which case make health the priority once you've acheived your characteristic objective.

     

     

     

     

    Limit Your Objectives 

    As an ambition breeder you will have many goals, but try to limit your to a few at first. You may want to improve fins and coloration, as well as have examples of the different varieties. But the more varied your goals the less success you may have with colour, fins, vigour or conformation. Once an understanding of genetics is gained this comment will be appreciated, especially when it comes down to the large number of offspring taht would become involved. Keep it simple at first. It is important if you keep a number if varieties in the same display tank to concentrate your breeding program on a small number of objectives. Remeber if you do keep a mixed variety display tank that you shouldn't use the females from that tank for breeding. A number one rule that is important to remember is that a female guppy is able to store sperm that can be used to fertilize numerous broods You'll never be able to be sure of the father unless you use a virgin female with a specific male. This fact makes guppy breeding more complicated that breeding any other animals.

     

    Achieving Objectives 

    There are two ways in which you can go about improving your guppies. One is by assessing a number of feature together, then selecting from those fish that meet your overall standard. The other is to concentrate on one or two features at a time, then concentrate on other features only when the desired result in the former is acheived. Progress is slower when you you are developing a number of features than if you limit your results to one or two. But either option achieves your objectives. Its your choice, but its always best to start simply. When tandem breeding ( one feature at a time) is your method, be careful that, in moving to the next stage of your priorities, undue deterioration in the standard of the feature has been improved upon and is not a consequence. To limit the possibilities of this happening a "line" breeding program is encouraged but there are other methods you can use. 

    Breeding Techniques.

        Line Breeding/Line Crossing: This method is also a form of inbreeding, however here you start by keeping the fry from two females (either from your new trio or chosen fry from a drop) separate, so that they form two distinct lines. Since you cannot mix batches, this takes more tanks. It is best to choose breeders differently for each line; for instance, in one line, you may pursue a large body mass, and with the other, you may concentrate on finnage. The purpose is to help maintain your established strain, since each line becomes distinct and more distantly related;  also, you can have your own two lines to cross occasionally. When you want to increase the size in your fish, for instance, or make an outcross to avoid too much inbreeding, taking someone else's line to do this with is risky and you may loose the traits in your line that you have worked hard to achieve, as well as loosing the homozygous quality of your guppies.


        Inbreeding: This is basically keeping a strain pure. The fish are kept closely related and brother and sister, father and daughter are routinely bred. A breeder will do this sometimes to fix a trait, such as a particular colour or shape. Mostly, you take the best male and female from the drop and breed them. Doing this can provide beautiful fish for years, provided the fish that you start out with are quality and you are lucky enough to choose not only the most attractive fish, but to pick fish as breeders that do not have an invisible weakness-for these will show up in the form of genetic defects, often looked upon as simply the result of "too much inbreeding". Take great care in choosing breeders; many times a strong body is the most desirable trait to keep an inbred line strong.


        Out Crossing:
    This is the opposite of inbreeding - the mating of fish that are unrelated to other. This creates what is called a "hybrid" guppy. "Hybrid" vigor may be seen in such fish-outstanding size, colour, and health. The genetic patterns of the parents are scrambled/mixed up, and such fish may be good for show but not for breeding. An outcross with a fish that itself is only a few generations ahead of an outcross may produce beautiful fish for a few generations, but the loose gene patterns will turn them eventually into a fish resembling the small, original wild guppy usually sold as feeders in pet stores. Although this is, of course, how new strains are produced, it takes much time and knowledge of genetics to create a pure strain. Thus, it is not advisable for the novice to attempt an out cross in order to fix a strain.

        Most breeders stick with line breeding and do their best to choose fish to breed with that have the characteristics which they think will improve their lines, while keeping their guppies breeding pure.

    It's important to remember that guppies react differently with various methods of care, water conditions, and breeding methods.  What works for one person may not work for you when trying to breed the exact same line of fish.  Every strain varies in it's own needs and rate of development, as well.  It takes years of attentive care and analyzing breeding techniques to find out just what works for you and your guppies.  This is what makes guppy breeding the fascinating hobby it is!


    Also see

    Guppy Genetics 

    Design Your Own Guppy Variety

     

    Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 January 2008 )