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When do baby guppies get their color?

Baby guppies are naturally transparent, silver, brown, or black in the fry stage. However, the adult guppies have distinct colors. Guppies develop their typical color with each day passing. Below is the brief about guppies getting their color.

When do baby guppies get their color? Baby fry starts to get its color when they are 2-8 weeks old. They develop full color in 2-3 months. Genetics, breed, water quality, food intake, water temperature, and light exposure determine the baby guppies’ growth. The faster they grow, the sooner they get their color.

Guppies are the best pick because they make your aquarium colorful. A baby guppy gets its color when it transits from fry to juvenile to adulthood. Please keep reading to know in detail what parts of their body get color initially, how fast they can develop color, and the factors defining baby guppies’ color.

Order of colors that begin to show:

Guppy fry is not colorful and fancy. But, they start showing color as they grow. The first ones from your batch of fry to get color will start getting a little black.

Below is the table to show the order and time frame of color:

ColorTimeframe
BlackThree weeks old
YellowFive weeks old
OrangeSeven weeks old
Red8-9 weeks old
Purplein about 13 weeks
BlueThree months old
They will get almost all of their color at three months of age.

Order of body parts that will show the color:

  1. Tail: tiny black spots usually begin to show on the tails of a week-old fry.
  2. Abdomen: the tail gets some color, and the color develops on the abdomen afterward.
  3. Fins: Since fins take time to grow, the fins are the last part of the baby fry that gets color.

Factors that facilitate the baby guppies’ color

Guppies that grow fast tend to show color sooner. Below are the factors that promote guppy growth.

1. Genetics

Genes play a significant role when your guppies start to get color.

For example, some breeds like ‘scarlet livebearer’ get their red or orange overall color along with various other colors in 2-3 months. While an Albino guppy lack color pigments, which makes them pinkish-white overall.

So, you will have to rely on genetics to anticipate the colors, patterns, and timeframe of your guppy growth.

2. Breed

The three most common breeds of guppy fish are swamp guppy, Endler’s guppy, and common guppy/fancy guppy.

These breeds have colors and patterns that distinguish them from other types. Fancy guppies are the most colorful guppies.

All these three breeds have a different timeframe to develop color. So you should not worry if your fry is not developing color in the initial weeks of its life.

3. Water Quality

Frequent water changes are a must, primarily if you feed your fry multiple times a day. This is because the nitrogenous waste from fish excretion accumulates and has alarming effects on guppy growth and overall health. It will make your fish sick and lazy, and won’t develop color, and t might also die.

4. Food intake

To get your guppy to develop the best of the colors on their body, you should feed your fish with the most suitable food, full of nutrients.

Brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, tubifex worms, mosquito larvae, spirulina, daphnia, tiny bits of boiled veggies like peas and carrots, etc., all make great food for guppies.

If your baby guppy doesn’t get proper food, it will grow slowly and take time to develop colors. The colors will also be dull instead of bright and vibrant.

5. Water Temperature

80o F is the most suitable water temperature for your guppy tank. The cozier the water temperature is provided, the more they are active and faster the guppies grow and develop their color.

6. Exposure to Light

Guppies need at least 12 hours of uniform light in their tank. This ensures they are physically active. Guppies also need 7-8 hours of the dark period when they can rest. This day-night cycle is essential for guppies to grow.

Male fry v/s female fry color development:

Male guppies generally have intense coloring and more giant tails. At the same time, females have less intense colors.

A male fry takes more time to develop color than a female fry. For example, if a female fry of the same breed takes four weeks to start showing color, the same species but a male fry will show off its initial coloring in 6 weeks.

The transition of colors during the lifespan of a guppy:

A guppy can live up to two to three years. During this entire course, it keeps changing its color vibrancy. A light orange might turn into scarlet red. Or a dull grey might turn into deep black. When the fish gets older, it often loses its bright and intense shades.

Water chemistry also takes part in the color transition of a guppy fish.

Loss of color on guppy body:

Certain diseases, stressful environmental conditions, and guppy getting injured by nipping can cause loss of color on guppy bodies.

Points to keep in mind:

  • Your guppy will start to get color when it’s 2-8 weeks old.
  • The full color of the specific species is developed in about three months
  • Black is the first color that takes the least time to show off.
  • Optimal tank conditions and proper food intake promote guppy to start getting its color.
  • Male fry take more time to develop color.
  • Guppy can change color during their lifetime.