My 100th Post — How About a Lower Sword Guppy?

It’s hard to believe I started this blog in March of 2013 as a way to practice taking photos of my guppies. Since then I started showing guppies regularly at the IFGA shows, which has helped dramatically improve the quality of my fish. I went from maybe 10 tanks in my guest bedroom three years ago to having 55 tanks in a devoted “fish room.” (That’s my maximum. I do have a day job!)

I’ve gotten a lot of advice from so many people that I couldn’t even begin to name everyone. I’ve had guppies since a child. I started to really get back into the hobby in the late 90s. But then put it on hold to make a move to California where I lived for about 7-8 years. (It’s all a blur, give or take a year or two.)

About 7 or 8 years ago I moved to Arizona. Back in September of 2008, I was buying dog food at PetCo and passed the tropical fish section. And suddenly the bad mood I was in changed when I saw the guppies. I decided if I wanted to get back into the hobby, I needed to get some of the best fish. I contacted Alan Bias and he sent a couple trios of swordtail guppies, a bunch of extra fish, and a lot of information to get back into the hobby full swing. The main reason I picked swordtail guppies was because at that time, there was very little activity in those IFGA classes. So I thought, this will be an easy project! It was NOT. I also started importing fish from Thailand around the same time to get more unique fish that weren’t easily available in the US.

Maybe a year and a half ago, my friend Bryan Chin agreed to answer a couple guppy questions on the phone. I started asking questions and never stopped. I’ve probably logged around 10,000 questions at this point. (I wish I was exaggerating!) He has been a great resource, along with what I’ve learned along the way from raising fish. I’m probably about 5 years ahead of where I would have been without Bryan’s feedback.  He manages the Rocky Mountain Guppy Associates website and is one of the most well-known guppy photographers ever in existence. It’s almost impossible to do a Google image search and not see his name on a photo of a guppy.  Oh, and he’s one of the top IFGA breeders. (details, details) I regularly consult with him about specific crosses I’m working with, so he gets a lot of credit for helping with the work I’m doing.


This lower sword below is the next generation from this sword male line. The male at that link is still alive and well. Swordtail guppies seem to live about twice as long as regular delta guppies. The male below still has more growing and bulking up to do, but the dorsal and caudals are showing some good shape at this point. I pulled him out of a tank and he refused to sit still long enough to be photographed, so I added the female to the tank. This female is actually a double sword female. You can tell this by the subtle upper and lower sword shading and spots in her caudal.



















2 thoughts on “My 100th Post — How About a Lower Sword Guppy?

  1. Terry, You’ve done very well with Swordtails. Glad to see they still retain your interest. To most IFGA breeders they are but a passing fad. The subject male in your post has alot of autosomal and X-link components. Swordtail Guppies are often thought of as not very complex in genotype or expression in North America. I find this came about primarily from IFGA breeders in the past who reduced their genotype, through outcross with IFGA Green or Red Delta’s in a quest for size and solid color. They can be much more than that with a knowledge of genetics…

    1. I almost gave up on the lower swords this last year! I’ve never done a cross between a sword and a delta. To me, even though they are all guppies, they are very different beasts. I’m learning just how slippery the genetics can be from trying to develop a decent double sword from various “scraps.”

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