Mosaic Guppy

Mosaic Guppies are fascinating freshwater fish that boast a wide variety of stunning colors and patterns. These friendly fish are easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for community aquariums.

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Care DIfficulty


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Northeastern South America

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1.5 inches (3.8 cm)

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3 years

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Table of contents

Origin, Appearance, Size, and Lifespan

The Mosaic Guppy, or Poecilia reticulata, is a popular freshwater fish originating from northeastern South America. You'll usually find them in the warm waters of Brazil, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.

In the wild, Mosaic Guppies are most often found in calm, slow-moving waters with plenty of vegetation. These plants not only serve as hiding spots but also as a food source, while the various water conditions make their vibrant colors stand out. These social fish thrive in groups but can also be kept as pairs or small groups.

Their natural environment features warm, slightly hard, and alkaline water. The temperature typically varies between 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 28 degrees Celsius), with a pH level of 7.0 to 8.0, and water hardness between 8 to 12 dGH. To create a similar environment in your aquarium, make sure to maintain a consistent water temperature, use a top-quality filtration system, and incorporate live plants and hiding spots.

By closely mirroring the Mosaic Guppy's natural habitat and ensuring the right water conditions, you'll be setting your fish up for a healthy and happy life in your aquarium.

Mosaic Guppies are celebrated for their striking colors and patterns, which can include a mix of blue, green, orange, red, and yellow hues. Their distinctive appearance, coupled with their lively nature, make them an ideal choice for those seeking a dynamic, vibrant aquatic showcase. Even though they are small, reaching up to approximately 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in size, their stunning appearance and playful demeanor make them a cherished favorite among hobbyists of all experience levels.

With proper care, Mosaic Guppies can enjoy a lifespan of up to 3 years. As sociable beings, they can thrive in small groups or pairs. To promote their well-being and ensure a long life in captivity, it's essential to provide a well-planted aquarium with abundant hiding spots, as well as a diverse diet consisting of premium flakes, pellets, and frozen foods.

Fun Facts

Now that we learned more about the appearance and lifespan of Mosaic Guppies, in this section, we'll highlight some fascinating facts about these beautiful fish that make them stand out in the aquarium hobby. From their striking patterns to their reproductive abilities, Mosaic Guppies are full of surprises and are sure to captivate any aquarist.

  • Vibrant color variations: In the wild, Mosaic Guppies exhibit an astounding variety of colors and patterns, resulting from genetic diversity and environmental factors. This variability has led to the development of numerous selectively bred strains, each with its unique coloration and pattern.
  • Livebearers: Mosaic Guppies are livebearers, which means they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs. This reproductive strategy allows guppies to have a higher survival rate among their offspring, as the newborns can swim and find food immediately after birth.
  • Rapid reproduction: Mosaic Guppies are known for their ability to reproduce rapidly, with females capable of giving birth to a new batch of fry every 30 days. This quick breeding cycle makes them an excellent choice for hobbyists looking to establish a thriving population in their aquariums.
  • Sexual dimorphism: Mosaic Guppies exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males displaying more vivid colors and longer, flowing fins compared to females. This difference in appearance helps aquarists easily distinguish between the sexes, making breeding efforts more manageable.
  • Hardy and adaptable: Mosaic Guppies are known for their hardiness and adaptability, making them suitable for a wide range of water conditions. This attribute has contributed to their success in the aquarium hobby, as well as their ability to establish populations in non-native environments.

Now that you've discovered some interesting tidbits about Mosaic Guppies, you'll be better equipped to appreciate their beauty and intricacies in your aquarium. In the following section, we'll provide recommendations on tank setups, ensuring your Mosaic Guppies have an ideal environment to thrive and showcase their dazzling features.

Recommended Tank Setups

Each setup includes the core components—tank, filter, heater, lighting, substrate, and more—ensuring that you can create an appropriate environment for Mosaic Guppies and other compatible freshwater fish species in your aquarium. As you move from budget-friendly to high-end setups, you will also have more options for customization, aesthetics, and advanced features. Mosaic Guppies are social fish that should be kept in groups with a balanced male to female ratio to reduce stress and ensure their well-being. Typically, Mosaic Guppies are priced between $3 and $5 per fish, although prices can vary based on factors such as size, quality, and availability.

Budget-friendly setup (around $200):‍

  • Tank: 10-gallon aquarium with a hood or glass canopy‍ ($30 - $60)
  • Filter: Hang-on-back (HOB) or sponge filter rated for 10 gallons ($10 - $30)
  • Heater: 50-watt adjustable aquarium heater ($10 - $25)
  • Lighting: Basic LED aquarium light ($15 - $40)
  • Substrate: Inexpensive aquarium sand or small gravel ($5 - $15)
  • Decor: A few pieces of driftwood and rocks, along with low-cost live plants like Java Moss and Anubias ($10 - $30)
  • Fish: Minimum 3 pairs (1 male, 2 females per pair) of Mosaic Guppies ($15 - $30)
  • Thermometer: $2 - $8
  • Substrate Vacuum: $10 - $25
  • Fish Net: $1 - $7
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $10 - $25
  • Test Kit: $10 - $40
  • Fish Food: $3 - $15
  • Water Conditioner: $4 - $12

Mid-range setup (around $350 - $500):‍

  • Tank: 15-20 gallon aquarium with a hood or glass canopy ($50 - $100)
  • Filter: Canister filter or high-quality HOB filter rated for the tank size ($40 - $100)
  • Heater: 75-100 watt adjustable aquarium heater ($15 - $35)
  • Lighting: LED aquarium light with adjustable settings for plant growth and color enhancement ($30 - $100)
  • Substrate: Nutrient-rich aquarium substrate designed for planted tanks ($15 - $30)
  • Decor: A mix of driftwood, rocks, and live plants such as Java Moss, Anubias, and Cryptocoryne species ($30 - $60)
  • Fish: Minimum 3 to 4 pairs (1 male, 2 females per pair) of Mosaic Guppies ($20 - $40)
  • Thermometer: $2 - $8
  • Substrate Vacuum: $10 - $25
  • Fish Net: $1 - $7
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $10 - $25
  • Test Kit: $10 - $40
  • Fish Food: $3 - $15
  • Water Conditioner: $4 - $12

High-end setup (above $600):‍

  • Tank: 20-30 gallon rimless aquarium with a glass canopy ($100 - $200)
  • Filter: High-quality canister filter rated for the tank size ($80 - $200)
  • Heater: 100-150 watt adjustable aquarium heater with an external temperature controller ($25 - $60)
  • Lighting: Advanced LED lighting system with customizable settings for plant growth, color enhancement, and day/night cycles ($100 - $250)
  • Substrate: Premium aquarium substrate designed for planted tanks, with added root tabs for extra plant nutrition ($20 - $50)
  • Decor: A combination of driftwood, rocks, and live plants to create a natural aquascape, featuring plant species such as Java Moss, Anubias, Cryptocoryne species, and carpeting plants like Dwarf Hairgrass or Monte Carlo ($50 - $120)
  • Fish: Minimum 4 to 5 pairs (1 male, 2 females per pair) of Mosaic Guppies ($25 - $50)
  • Thermometer: $2 - $8
  • Substrate Vacuum: $10 - $25
  • Fish Net: $1 - $7
  • Algae Scraper or Magnetic Cleaner: $5 - $20
  • Siphon and Bucket: $10 - $25
  • Test Kit: $10 - $40
  • Fish Food: $3 - $15
  • Water Conditioner: $4 - $12

Please note that these numbers are just recommendations, and you should consider other factors such as tank mates and individual fish personalities when deciding how many Mosaic Guppies to keep in your aquarium. Prices may vary depending on location, brand, and availability.

Set Up Your Tank

In the previous section, we discussed the recommended tank setups for your Mosaic Guppies and other fish. Now that you have a better understanding of what's required, let's dive into the step-by-step process of setting up your aquarium. These steps will guide you through selecting the ideal location for your tank, cleaning and preparing the tank, installing essential equipment, and cycling the water to create a healthy environment for your fish. We'll also cover the proper acclimation process to ensure a smooth transition for your Mosaic Guppies and other fish into their new home. By following these guidelines, you'll be well on your way to creating a thriving aquatic ecosystem for your fish to flourish in.

  • Step #1: Choose the perfect spot for your aquarium, making sure it's away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and drafts. Ensure the surface is level and sturdy enough to support your filled tank. If your aquarium requires a stand, assemble it according to the manufacturer's instructions and place the empty tank on it.
  • Step #2: Next, clean the tank by rinsing it with clean water (avoid using soap or chemicals) to remove dust or debris. Wipe the inside with a clean cloth or paper towel. Rinse the substrate (sand or gravel) thoroughly in a bucket until the water runs clear, then spread it evenly across the bottom of the tank, creating a slight slope towards the back for visual depth.
  • Step #3: Before filling the tank with water, plan the layout of your aquarium, including the position of equipment like heaters and filters. This will make it easier to set up and maintain the tank in the long run. Install the heater and filter according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you're using a sponge or under-gravel filter, place it beneath the substrate before adding water.
  • Step #4: Decorate the tank with driftwood, rocks, and plants to create hiding spots and a visually appealing environment, ensuring there are open swimming areas for your fish. When decorating the tank, be careful to arrange driftwood, rocks, and plants in a way that won't damage or obstruct the equipment. You can also anchor plants to driftwood or rocks to help them stay in place.
  • Step #5: Fill the tank with water treated with a water conditioner if your tap water contains chlorine or chloramines. Place a clean plate or plastic bag on the substrate to prevent disturbance while filling. Fill the tank until it's about 2/3 full. Attach the aquarium light to the hood or canopy, following the manufacturer's instructions. Consider using a timer for your aquarium light to maintain a consistent day and night cycle, which is essential for fish and plants. Connect the heater, filter, and any additional equipment (air pump, CO2 system) to power sources, and install the thermometer in an easily visible location.
  • Step #6: Top off the water, leaving space between the water surface and the top of the tank for oxygen exchange. Turn on the filter, heater, and other equipment. Monitor the water temperature and adjust the heater as needed. Allow the tank to cycle for 4-6 weeks to establish beneficial bacteria and stabilize water parameters. During the cycling process, you can add a bacterial starter culture to speed up the establishment of beneficial bacteria in the tank. Use an aquarium test kit to monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.
  • Step #7: After the tank has cycled and water parameters are stable, slowly acclimate your Mosaic Guppies and other fish to the tank's conditions before introducing them. Begin by floating the unopened fish bag in the tank for 15-20 minutes to equalize the temperature. Afterward, open the bag and add a small amount of tank water to it. Continue adding small amounts of tank water to the bag every 5-10 minutes for at least 30-60 minutes, allowing the fish to adjust to the new water chemistry gradually. Use a net to gently transfer the fish from the bag to the tank, avoiding any unnecessary stress or exposure to the water from the bag.
  • Step #8: Once all the fish are introduced, establish a consistent daily feeding schedule, providing high-quality food in appropriate amounts for your fish species. Perform regular water changes (20-30% every 1-2 weeks) and monitor water parameters using a test kit to maintain a healthy environment for your fish. Observe your fish closely for any signs of stress or illness, especially during the first few weeks after introduction. Be prepared to take action if necessary, such as adjusting water parameters or seeking advice from an experienced aquarist.

By following this step-by-step guide and incorporating the additional setup tips, you can create a thriving aquatic environment that will help your Mosaic Guppies and other fish flourish in their new home.

Recommended Water Parameters

To keep your Mosaic Guppies healthy and happy, it's important to maintain specific water parameters in your aquarium. Here's a breakdown of what to aim for:

  • Temperature: Keep the water between 72°F and 82°F (22°C and 28°C) for optimal comfort.
  • pH: Aim for a neutral to slightly alkaline pH of 6.8 to 7.8, but they can tolerate slight deviations if changes are gradual.
  • Hardness: Moderately hard water (8-12 dGH) is ideal, though they can adapt to softer or harder water.
  • Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate: Keep ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm, and maintain nitrate levels below 20 ppm.
  • Lighting: Provide moderate lighting with shaded areas and plants to prevent stress.
  • Water movement: Moderate water flow is best, mimicking their natural habitat.

Make sure to test your aquarium water regularly and perform necessary water changes to keep the environment stable.

Routine Water Maintenance

Water changes are crucial for a healthy Mosaic Guppy tank. They help remove excess nutrients, waste, and toxins. Here's a suggested routine:

  • Weekly water changes: Replace 20-25% of the tank water every week.
  • Test water parameters: Check pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and hardness regularly.
  • Use a gravel vacuum: Clean the substrate during water changes.
  • Dechlorinate the water: Treat tap water with a water conditioner before adding it to the aquarium.
  • Match temperature and pH: Ensure new water is similar to the tank water.
  • Acclimate the fish: Give your fish time to adjust to new conditions after water changes.

In addition to routine water maintenance, consider the following to ensure the health of your fish and the overall appearance of your aquarium:

  • Monitor lighting duration: Keep track of how long your aquarium lights are on each day, aiming for a consistent 8-10 hour photoperiod. Too much light can lead to excessive algae growth.
  • Plant maintenance: Regularly trim live plants to maintain their health and appearance. Remove any dead leaves or plant matter to prevent water quality issues.
  • Filter maintenance: Clean or replace the filter media as recommended by the manufacturer, usually every 4-6 weeks. Avoid replacing all filter media at once, as this can disrupt the beneficial bacteria and lead to water quality issues.‍

Diet and Feeding Schedule

Mosaic Guppies are omnivores and require a diverse diet. Here are some feeding guidelines:

  • Flakes and pellets: Use high-quality flake or pellet food designed for small tropical fish.
  • Frozen and live foods: Offer brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, or mosquito larvae as occasional treats.
  • Vegetable matter: Provide blanched spinach, zucchini, or cucumber for added nutrients.
  • Feeding frequency: Feed modest portions two to three times a day, and avoid overfeeding.

Stress and Diseases

Mosaic Guppies may experience stress from various sources, such as poor water quality, aggression, or unsuitable tank conditions. Identifying and addressing these stressors is vital for your fish's health and well-being:

  • Watch for stress signs: Keep an eye on your Mosaic Guppies for unusual behavior like hiding, lethargy, color loss, or rapid breathing, which may indicate stress.
  • Check water quality: Test your aquarium water to ensure it meets the ideal parameters and conduct regular water changes to maintain a healthy environment.
  • Monitor tank mates: Make sure your Mosaic Guppies aren't being harassed or attacked by other fish and remove any aggressive tank mates if needed.
  • Create a suitable habitat: Provide plenty of hiding spots, appropriate lighting, and a properly sized tank for your fish.

While Mosaic Guppies are generally hardy, they can be susceptible to some common fish diseases, such as:

  • Ich (white spot disease): A prevalent parasitic infection causing white spots on the body and fins, lethargy, and appetite loss. Treat Ich with aquarium salt or anti-parasitic medication and raise the water temperature to around 82°F (28°C).
  • Fin rot: A bacterial infection that leads to frayed or discolored fins and tail. Treat fin rot with a partial water change, aquarium salt, and antibacterial medication containing erythromycin or tetracycline.
  • Velvet disease: A parasitic infection causing a yellow or brownish velvet-like coating on the fish's body. Treat velvet disease with anti-parasitic medication containing copper sulfate or formalin.
  • Swim bladder disease: A condition where fish have difficulty swimming upright. Treat swim bladder disease by fasting the fish and offering them blanched peas, and consider using an antibacterial medication if needed.

Prevent diseases in Mosaic Guppies by maintaining excellent water quality, avoiding overfeeding, and providing a balanced diet. Quarantine new fish before adding them to the main tank and promptly address any signs of illness.


Breeding Mosaic Guppies can be a relatively simple undertaking with the right setup and conditions. Follow these steps to breed Mosaic Guppies:

  • Step #1: Create a suitable breeding environment with a separate 10-gallon or larger breeding tank, a pH level of around 7.0, and a temperature of about 78°F (25°C). Maintain moderately hard water (8-12 dGH) and include hiding spots like plants and spawning mops for the fish's comfort.
  • Step #2: Select healthy, mature male and female Mosaic Guppies for breeding. You can determine the gender by observing their physical characteristics and behavior.
  • Step #3: Prepare the breeding pair with a high-protein diet of live or frozen foods for several days to help them build strength and energy.
  • Step #4: Introduce the pair to the breeding tank. Mosaic Guppies are livebearers, which means that the females give birth to live, fully-formed fry.
  • Step #5: Care for the fry by separating them from the adults to prevent predation. Feed them infusoria or liquid fry food initially, then gradually introduce crushed flake food.
  • Step #6: Monitor the growth and development of the fry, and separate them by size if needed to prevent larger fry from preying on smaller ones.

Breeding Mosaic Guppies can be a rewarding experience for both beginners and experienced hobbyists. Patience and the right conditions are key to success.

Recommended Tank Mates

Here are the top 10 recommended tank mates for Mosaic Guppies:

  • Dwarf Corydoras
  • Neon Tetras
  • Ember Tetras
  • Endler's Livebearers
  • Bristlenose Plecos
  • Pygmy Corydoras
  • Cherry Shrimp
  • Nerite Snails
  • Rasboras
  • Otocinclus Catfish

Remember to avoid large, aggressive fish like cichlids, angelfish, and predatory species, as they may harm or eat the Mosaic Guppies. Always observe the behavior of new fish and ensure they don't cause stress or aggression towards the Mosaic Guppies.


To summarize, Mosaic Guppies are an attractive species of freshwater fish known for their beautiful patterns and ease of care. These fish require specific water parameters, a well-balanced diet, and a suitable environment to thrive in captivity. However, with the right conditions, they can live up to 3 years and be an excellent addition to any aquarium. When selecting tank mates, it's crucial to choose peaceful and non-aggressive species to ensure a harmonious community. Breeding Mosaic Guppies can be a relatively simple undertaking for both beginners and experienced hobbyists, and patience and the right conditions are key to success. Overall, Mosaic Guppies are a stunning and lively species that can enhance any aquatic display with their vibrant patterns and energetic behavior.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal tank size for Mosaic Guppies?

When setting up a home for Mosaic Guppies, a 10-gallon tank is the minimum recommended size for a small group. Opting for a larger tank is even better, as it helps keep water conditions stable while offering plenty of room for your fish to swim.

How many Mosaic Guppies should be kept together?

Keep in mind that Mosaic Guppies are social fish, which means they thrive in groups of at least 3-5 individuals. By maintaining a larger group, you'll not only help your fish feel safer but also encourage them to display their fascinating natural behaviors.

What water parameters do Mosaic Guppies require?

Mosaic Guppies thrive in water temperatures between 72°F and 78°F (22°C and 26°C), a pH between 6.8 and 7.8, and moderately hard water with a hardness between 8 and 12 dGH.

What do Mosaic Guppies eat?

Mosaic Guppies are omnivorous and require a varied diet. Feed them a mix of high-quality flake or pellet food, along with live or frozen foods such as daphnia, brine shrimp, and bloodworms.

Are Mosaic Guppies compatible with other fish?

Yes, Mosaic Guppies are generally peaceful and can coexist with other similarly sized, non-aggressive fish species. Ideal tank mates include other small livebearers, tetras, rasboras, corydoras catfish, and small plecos.

How can I differentiate between male and female Mosaic Guppies?

Male Mosaic Guppies have a more vibrant coloration and slimmer bodies, while females are typically larger, less colorful, and have a more rounded body shape.

How long do Mosaic Guppies live?

With proper care and optimal tank conditions, Mosaic Guppies can live for 2 to 3 years.

How do I breed Mosaic Guppies?

Breeding Mosaic Guppies can be a relatively simple undertaking with the right setup and conditions. Use a separate breeding tank, provide a high-protein diet for the breeding pair, and maintain ideal water parameters. Mosaic Guppies give birth to live young, so no additional steps are needed for egg incubation. Make sure to separate the fry from the adults as they might eat them.

Do Mosaic Guppies require a planted tank?

While not strictly necessary, a planted tank is highly recommended for Mosaic Guppies. Live plants provide hiding spots, improve water quality, and create a more natural environment that closely resembles their native habitat.

Can Mosaic Guppies change color?

Indeed, Mosaic Guppies can undergo color changes as a result of several factors, such as stress, illness, or alterations in water conditions. If you observe your Mosaic Guppies experiencing a loss of color, it's important to examine the water parameters and keep a close watch on their health.