With a number of social media influances within the fish keeping space making of point of keeping dedicated mutt guppy tanks we have noticed more and more people reaching out and asking various questions about keeping mutt guppies.
Mutt guppies really are an excellent option for many people who are new to fish keeping and they can offer a number of advantages over line bred guppies so we wanted to publish this article going over mutt guppies to try and help any of our readers who are considering keeping them in their own tanks.
Mutt guppies are just guppies that don’t have the specific colors or patterns that the breeder intended them to have so they are selectively removed from the breeding line.
Mutt guppies used to be used as live feeder fish for larger fish species but many breeders will offer them to people for free or for much cheaper than line bred guppies just to get rid of the fish helping beginners keep their costs as low as possible.
Most mutt guppies can still have excellent colors on them but it will often not be the specific color that the specific line of guppies has been bred to produce.
Due to the guppy having genetics displacing other colors, patterns or features, it is removed from the selective breeding program and often put into a mutt guppy tank to prevent it breeding in the main breeding tank.
What Are Mutt Guppies?
The term mutt guppy is used by breeders to describe guppy fry or a baby guppy that did not breed true to the intended line of guppies.
The most common reasons that a guppy may be classed as a mutt guppy is due to the fish having irregular colors, patterns, or tail shapes.
The popularity of guppies is booming right now and many people are willing to pay a high premium for the more unique looking guppies so breeders are heavily incentivized to be very strict on their selective breeding process.
Many breeders will also specifically be trying to develop breeding lines for the more unique looking guppies that are fetching higher price tags right now giving each breeding run a large number of mutt guppies.
One example of this is the breeders who are trying to breed and sell the extremely popular metallic gold guppy.
When it was originally developed, these guppies were selling for as much as $100 per fish but prices have since pulled back due to more and more guppy breeders developing their own stable breeding lines for the color and pattern but many mutt guppies were produced in the process.
What Classes A Guppy As A Mutt Guppy?
There is no official definition of what is classed as a mutt guppy and it will change from breeder to breeder.
The absolute broadest way to class a guppy as a mutt guppy is if it does not have all of the traits required for the selective breeding program that the guppy was produced from but this is only usually used by breeders who are trying to develop new breeding lines.
The majority of breeders who are part of the supply chain for local pet stores or sell their fish online will not be as strict as this and their classification of a mutt guppy can change from breeder to breeder.
Some people will not care much about color and pattern and will only classify a guppy as a mutt guppy if it is deformed, sickly or even albino as these are all genetic traits that are discouraged from the breeding population.
We have seen some confusion about the muppy fish, the guppy and molly hybrid with some people thinking that this is a mutt guppy.
As the muppy fish is technically a different species of fish that is a hybrid, they are not mutt guppies and are intended products for some people although many people who accidentally add guppies and mollies to the same aquarium tank can end up with unexpected muppy fry and babies.
Are There Any Advantages To Keeping Mutt Guppies?
Although mutt guppies are often removed from the breeding line by fish breeders, they do actually offer some advantages for the average fish keeper.
Many people will give them away for free or very cheap just to get mutt guppies out of their tanks helping to keep your costs down and many people believe that mutt guppies are more hardy than a live bred guppy.
It is difficult to prove this either way for mutt guppies but they definitely do seem to be a more hardy guppy type than line bred guppies making them easier for beginner fish keepers to care for as their hardy nature is more forgiving on any mistakes that you may make.
This could be due to most line guppies essentially being inbred over and over again to try and promote specific colors and patterns where as mutt guppies break the genetic trend and are often tougher fish.
More and more people are acclimatising their guppies to saltwater too as they can be great fish in a saltwater or brackish water tank.
Mutt guppies can be much better guppies to put through the acclimatizing process for saltwater due to being tougher fish, especially if it is your very first time acclimatizing guppies to saltwater.
So many people make mistakes when putting fish through the process the first couple of times so making sure that you have a hardy fish can help to make sure your guppies make it through.
Are Mutt Guppies Easy To Care For?
Mutt guppies can be much easier to care for, especially for people who are brand new to the fish keeping hobby as they tend to do better in poor water parameters and generally be stronger fish than line bred guppies.
This is why so many experienced fish keepers are recommending mutt guppies as a first fish for people who are brand new to fish keeping.
As we covered earlier in the article, many fish breeders will give their mutt guppies away for free just to empty their tanks so they are able to use them for new guppy fry and babies.
Even if the breeder does charge for their mutt guppies, they are usually much cheaper than line bred guppies but they can still have bright colors and patterns, just not the bright colors and patterns the breeder is trying to produce offering great fish for a low price that are hardy and easy to care for.
All guppies tend to be very easy to care for though and they all make great beginner fish and with guppies being such a widely available fish, the vast majority of people who want them should be able to find them.
Just keep in mind that many beginners are taken in by the unique looks of the rare guppies but they have a huge premium on them so we recommend you go with cheaper guppies for your first year of fish keeping to build up your initial skillset and mutt guppies are a great option for this.
Can You Breed Mutt Guppies?
The majority of mutt guppies are able to breed and some people do breed them in their tanks be it accidently or intentionally.
Just because the established guppy breeders don’t want to breed mutt guppies in their own tanks does not mean that you can’t but keep in mind that your guppy population can rapidly increase if you do choose to try and breed your mutt guppies.
This is why we often recommend that beginners try to keep a male only guppy tank or a female only guppy tank to prevent them from breeding and your fish population rapidly increasing.
Guppies can live alone in some tank setups too so if you are brand new and don’t have space for a large tank then you are able to keep a single mutt guppy in a smaller tank to save space and build up your fish keeping skills.
If you do plan to breed your mutt guppies in your tank then keep in mind that it will be hard to get rid of the baby guppies if you end up with too many fish in your tank.
We have a dedicated article going over what to do if you have too many guppies in your tank that you may find helpful if you do end up in this situation.
How Much Do Mutt Guppies Cost?
You can often get mutt guppies for free or at a heavily reduced price from established guppy dealers as mutt guppies are considered a bi-product of their line bred guppies that are useless for them as they are not able to breed mutt guppies to produce more fish.
You can often find local fish breeders on social media with many of them openly offering mutt guppies for free if you collect the fish from them.
That brings our article going over the commonly asked questions that we see about mutt guppies to an end. We hope that we have been able to help as many of our readers as possible and we really do think that mutt guppies are an excellent option for anyone who is new to fish keeping. There are also a number of established, experienced people within the fish keeping community who keep a dedicated mutt guppy tank to try and change peoples opinion on mutt guppies as they were previously only used as live feeder fish but more and more people are starting to keep them as pets.