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Riddle me this… Guppy incident


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Hey all, I have a strange one for y’all today.  I live in Western Mass (in the mountains where it gets well below freezing) and breed guppie's. I do outdoor ponds in the spring, summer and early fall. I have a fish room upstairs where it stays warmer. I’m working on my own line and last year I set up a 20 high and a few other tanks to hold the line project guppie’s until I quarantined and sold the mutts / line “culls”. Around November my dog got away and we have been searching for her since. I did a wholesale on the pond guppie’s because I needed more time keeping tabs on where she is hunkering down. I moved the fish from downstairs to upstairs and left the tanks after unplugging the heater, sponge filter, etc. I’ve slowly been clearing them out and was in the process of clearing out my a 20 high so I could get it cleaned and set up to house males during and after pond season. I never drained the water but it’s been evaporating. Given it was a temp tank I had some gravel and stones (about 2 inches) and the water had evaporated to about 2 inches above the substrate. I was taking out lava rock, larger rocks I’ll reuse and have drained more than half the water out when I see a guppy swim by. It must have been a fry and aside from stunted growth, it appears to be very healthy. I’ve been doing this for years and am beyond confused. Just as an example we heat with wood and pellets. The downstairs is anywhere between 65 -75 F in the winter, but it’s not abnormal for those to go out overnight and have the room temp get into the 30 - 40 range. I’ve heard of other fish surviving rough conditions between no air circulation, fluctuating temps (nvm temps more than double below what they are supposed to be kept at), no food or water changes. I’ve heard folks like Cory talk about doing things like hypothetically giving your tank Ich, not treating it and in turn breed an Ich resistant line. She’s going in a QT tank, but given she’s so hardy in a time where guppies are becoming more and more fragile….. do y’all think breeding her would be a good idea? Have any of you experienced a guppy surviving in similar conditions? Hell… there was at least one morning I noticed a small layer of ice had begun to form on top of water in the tank (the house got too warm one night so I opened a window and forgot to close it, both stoves went out so it was especially cold. The tank sat under that window and I noticed the ice when I went to shut the window. 

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If she is stunted growth there is a high likelihood of her reproductive system not being developed correctly.  I had a few get stuck in a planter and became stunted from lack of food. 
 

@Odd Duck may know if it’s safe to breed her. 

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I've had guppies in tubs outside. They can survive below 60F but become lethargic. - Below 50F they die.
I'm guessing some corner of the tank never got below 50F. Maybe muck in the bottom fermenting was keeping the temp just high enough? Also, water itself doesn't drop temp as quickly as air, is it must have been buffered enough to get by.

Guppies are pretty hardy. In the wild they can live in puddles if that's all they have.

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I think it might be worth a try to breed her.  She clearly is a survivor!  I would wait a bit and see if she can put on a good growth spurt with the new, better conditions.  Be prepared that she may have issues with her reproductive system like @Guppysnail mentioned.  She may not survive delivering the babies but I suspect it might be worth a try to,help injection some strong survival genes into your line.  I would keep her separate with one of your best males (once she is a bit bigger) and see what happens.  🤷🏻‍♀️ 

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