Tuxedo Guppy Care Guide

What do female Tuxedo Guppies Look Like?

Tuxedo Guppy Care Guide7 mins read

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Image from flickr

Guppies are a beloved aquarium fish, and the tuxedo guppy is one of the most interesting color variations out there. What makes it even more fascinating is the fact that, unlike other guppies, the females exhibit similar bright colors and markings.

In general, tuxedo guppy fish have a lighter color on the top half of the body, with a much darker bottom half-color. In fact, their colors can range anything from black and white, to red and white, and many more. Furthermore, tuxedo guppies, like most other fancy guppy breeds, are robust and interesting fish that are mostly sociable, calm, and easy to care for.

Rare colors such as Tuxedo and Koi Tuxedo Guppies are usually the favorite of more experienced aquarists, but nevertheless, are perfect for beginners. They might just take some time to find.

Either way, this article explores some more fascinating facts on the Tuxedo Guppy color strain, as well as some vital care tips.

Breed Overview

OriginSouth America, Germany.
Lifespan1-3 years, 5 years with optimal care.
SizeMales 1.5– 3.5cm (0.6 – 1.4 Inches), Females 3–6 cm (1.2–2.4 Inches).
ColorsBlack, White, Gold, Blonde, Pink, Yellow, Red, Orange, Blue, Green.
Tank Size10 – 20 Gallons, for 3 Guppies.
TemperamentPeaceful, Social, Shoaling, Intelligent.
Water Temperature78–82°F (25.5–27.8°C).
Water pH5 – 8.5.
Difficulty LevelBeginner Easy, ideal for Collectors, Breeders, and Enthusiasts.

Species Summary

Guppies (Poecilia reticulata),  in general, originate from South America, though breeders first created the tuxedo guppy in captivity in Germany. Guppies are one of the world’s most popular freshwater fish species that are available today. Indeed, new color strains and variations develop consistently. The tuxedo guppy, also known as the tuxedo fish, blackfish, or koi tuxedo guppy, is an elegant variation with contrasting colors.

The top half of the body will usually be a lighter color, with the bottom half of the body black or a darker color. It is a striking variety of Guppy and even the females in this color variation have very vivid color markings.

Tuxedo Guppy Fish Color Variations

Tuxedo guppy fish color variations
Most Tuxedo Guppies will feature the Delta tail variation, though they have been bred with other tail variations such as the Veil Tail, Round Tail, Lyre Tail, Flag Tail, and Fan Tail, among others. Image from flickr

In most tuxedo guppies, the top half of the body and head will be a different color, usually lighter than the bottom half. Initially, the tuxedo guppy was bred with a very dark almost electric tuxedo tail and lower body, and a red or brown to silver upper body. However, today the colors may differ.

There are mainly two types of Tuxedo Guppies:

1. Basic Tuxedo Colors

Your basic Tuxedo Guppy will have a lighter-colored top half and a darker-colored bottom half. Tuxedo Guppies come in a large variety of colors such as; Yellow, Gold, Blonde, Black, White, green, orange, red, and Blue.

2. Koi Tuxedo Colors

The Koi Tuxedo Guppy is an uncommon variety with vivid orange and dark blue colors in the bottom half and fins and white in the rest of the body. Sometimes the entire color pattern scheme may be displayed over the whole body of male Koi Tuxedo Guppies and their fins.

Blue Tuxedo
Image From Wallpaperflare.

Koi Tuxedo
Image from Pixabay.


Most tuxedo guppies will feature the Delta tail variation. Nevertheless, breeders have selected them with other tail variations such as the Veil Tail, Round Tail, Lyre Tail, Flag Tail, and Fan Tail, among others.

Another interesting fact is that most tuxedo guppy females will display similar intense colors to the males, though not as extravagant. Appearance wise, females are generally much larger than males, with a rounder body, whereas males are more streamlined with larger flowing tails.

Lifespan And Size Of Tuxedo Guppies

The Tuxedo Guppy has the same size and lifespan as most fancy Guppies. Generally, tuxedo guppies will mostly have a lifespan of around 1-3 years, though there have been cases where they can live up to 5 years. Male Guppies are smaller than females at between 1.5– 3.5cm (0.6 – 1.4 Inches), in size and females are 3–6 cm (1.2–2.4 Inches).

Temperament And Behaviour

Guppies tend to each have an individual personality of their own, while generally, they are very peaceful and sociable fish. Thus, tuxedo guppy fish enjoy schooling and can easily get stressed when they are alone. Therefore, it is best to keep them in one male to two or three females ratio. However, be warned though they are very eager breeders. So if you would like to avoid this, it is best to keep only females. You can try only males, but it may be risky as they may fight.

General Care Of Tuxedo Guppies

One reason why guppy fish are so popular is how easy they are to care for. They are hardy and easily adapt to most water conditions. Indeed, all guppies are ideal for beginners, and even for avid aquarists that enjoy the rarer color variations such as the tuxedo guppy.

Did you know that Guppies can tolerate saline of up to 150%, and you can keep them in a marine aquarium? However, these is not the ideal living conditions for them. Instead, for best quality of life, they prefer slightly brackish freshwater.

Creating An Aquarium For Guppies

Creating an aquarium for guppies
Guppies sleep at night and need a clear indication of day and night. Therefore, LED light would be best during the day, or indirect sunlight.

Many aquarists prefer a more natural habitat for their guppies, including the tuxedo guppy, that mimics their natural home of small streams and water bodies. However, you can decorate your tank to your heart’s content. Guppies love plenty of plants and toys to entertain them. Not only that, but with the right water conditions and a healthy diet, they will easily thrive and may live longer than expected.

  • Tank Size – 10 to 20 gallons for three Guppies, and 5 gallons per additional fish.
  • Water Conditions – Water with a pH of between 6.5 and 8.5 is ideal, with one tablespoon of salt per 5 gallons. Temperatures should be between 78–82°F (25.5–27.8°C, are ideal, and never below 68 ̊ F (20 ̊ C), which is tolerable but not ideal.
  • Filtration – Choose a filter that is less powerful with a light current, such as a hang-on back, or sponge filter. Guppies are relatively clean and do not generate much waste.
  • Light – Guppies sleep at night and need a clear indication of day and night. Therefore, LED light is best during the day, or indirect sunlight.
  • Heat – You can use a 50 watts per 10-gallon tank heater, as Guppies prefer a more tropical climate. If you live in a warm area, you can get away without a heater.

Decorating Your Tank

Guppies get bored quickly. They do enjoy a well-planted tank with ample swimming space, as well as some hiding spots.

  • Substrate – Substrates such as sand, small gravel, and crushed coral are very easy to clean and will not hold debris. You could even consider Aqua soil, though with Aqua soil you may need additional minerals. For your substrate, choose good contrasting color substrates to show off the vibrant colors of your Tuxedo Guppies.
  • Ornaments And Toys – Guppies will enjoy toys and hiding spaces with their playful nature, anything from caves and castles, Rocks, and Driftwood, to PVC pipes and ceramic pots. Just ensure that your tank décor is safe with no sharp edges that could cause an injury.


Plants both silk synthetic and live plants are ideal. Most guppies, including tuxedo guppy fih, love live plants, and live plants have the additional advantage of cleaning and oxygenating your tank water. Furthermore, live plants similarly offer good hiding spots for guppy fry. Remember, all guppies will easily breed in your communal aquarium, but unfortunately try to eat their young. therefore, some good plants to consider are:

  • Mosses –Java Moss, Flame Moss, or Christmas Moss.
  • Floating Plants –Water Sprites, Water Wisteria, Guppy Grass, and Water Lettuce.
  • Rooted Plants –Anacharis, java ferns, Anubias, Amazon sword, Hornwort, Cryptocoryne, and Moneywort.

An interesting fact, the Pothos plant, a regular houseplant, can be placed with its roots floating in your tank growing out of the tank. This is the best way to naturally lower harmful nitrates in your tank.

Tank Equipment And Maintenance

Some basic tank equipment can help with cleaning and maintaining your tank in peak condition:

  • A gravel vacuum is perfect for easy cleaning.
  • Your siphon hose is necessary for weekly water changes, which will need to be done.
  • Aquascape tools allow you to easily rearrange your tank décor and also remove dead plants and debris.
  • A testing kit is crucial to keep water parameters at optimal levels.

Regular tank maintenance and water changes of at least 25% of the tank water will be necessary for your tuxedo guppies. You should similarly ensure that you clean out all uneaten foods immediately or keep a few bottom-feeding companions to do the job.

Choosing And Introducing Your Tuxedo Guppies

Choosing and introducing your tuxedo guppies
It’s best to switch aquarium lights off first before introducing new fish and to feed tank mates before adding your Guppies. Image from Flickr

After you have set up your aquarium and properly cycled the water to get optimal conditions, you are now ready to choose and add your Tuxedo Guppies.

Choosing Your Guppies

You may have to do some research on specific breeders or pet stores that have Tuxedo Guppies in the color that you prefer. Choose a healthy and active fish, that has no visible signs of disease or damage to the body. All fish should have bright and clear eyes, and no skin residue or bloated tummies. Furthermore, you will have to choose one or more companions, the best ratio being two to three females per male tuxedo guppy.

How To Place A Fish In A Tank

It’s best to switch aquarium lights off first before introducing new fish and to feed tank mates before adding your tuxedo guppy fish. Next, place the bags with the fish in the tank to float for 20 minutes to acclimate. Then, you can replace two to three cups of water from the bag with tank water at intervals of 15 minutes. Now you are ready to add your new fish, taking care not to allow the water from the bag to run into the tank. Lights can be turned back on after two to three hours. Each tuxedo guppy should swim out successively.

One very important factor when adding any new fish or plants to a communal tank is quarantine. In a tank that already has fish and plants, first quarantine the newcomers in a separate tank if you can. This will reduce the risk of pest or illness contamination in your tuxedo guppy fish.

Suitable Tank Mates For Guppies

Guppies are peaceful shoaling fish and live best with fish that are similar in nature and size. Indeed, they can easily become prey for larger more aggressive fish. Generally, tuxedo guppies are quite adaptable to most water conditions. However, you will need to consider the temperature and water condition requirements of any new tank mates.

A few species that do well with Guppies include:

  • Pygmy And Cory Catfish – Small bottom feeders.
  • Endlers – Smaller than Guppies, but close relatives.
  • Kuhli Loaches – Also bottom dwellers, nocturnal though.
  • Platies – Very Colorful Live bearing fish.
  • Neon, Ember, And Black Neon Tetras – They are small, fast, and intelligent.
  • Galaxy And Harlequin Rasboras – Peaceful Shoaling fish.
  • Peacock Gudgeons – Peaceful carnivores that will keep your guppy fry population down.
  • Bristlenose Plecos – Small bottom feeders that help to clean the tank.
  • Mollies – Larger, but peaceful and available in many colors.
  • Invertebrates – These smaller invertebrates such as Nerite snails, Cherry, and Amano shrimps are ideal mates for Guppies.

Feeding Your Tuxedo Guppies

Feeding your tuxedo guppies
It is recommended to feed Guppies a pinch of food twice a day, morning and evening, and to remove all leftover foods.

Guppies eat small amounts and they are slow eaters that enjoy a variety of foods. Being Omnivores, they will need both meat-based and plant-based foods. It is recommended to feed your tuxedo guppy fish a pinch of food twice a day, morning and evening, and to remove all leftover foods.

Guppy Foods:

  • Meat-Based Foods – You can feed live or freeze-dried Brine shrimp, daphnia, insect larvae, and Bloodworms, or cooked minced beef, and cooked egg yolk.
  • Plant-Based Foods – Blanched greens such as Kale spinach, lettuce, and zucchini are ideal, though you can also feed broccoli and cauliflower that is cooked. Blanched Greens and vegetables. Cucumber, Shelled Peas, Lettuce, Sliced Zucchini, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Kale.
  • Flakes And Pellets – Your tuxedo guppies will need a staple of high-quality fish flakes or granules that are designed for the species of fish. Quality flakes, pellets, granules, and algae wafers can be fed as a balanced meal.

Health Issues In Guppies

Health issues in guppies
Tuxedo Guppies may have inherited disorders if there are recessive genes in both parents for skin, or eye diseases among other issues.

Regarding health issues, most fancy breeds of Guppies such as the tuxedo guppy may have inherited disorders. This is the case if there are recessive genes in both parents for skin, or eye diseases among other issues. On the other hand, healthy-bred Guppies are hardy and tolerant, and will not easily get sick. Though for good measure, here are a few common freshwater health concerns to look out for:

1. White Spot Disease/Ich

A parasitic condition causes white spots on the body of your tuxedo guppy fish because of poor water conditions. It can also come from stress, or contracting it from new fish or plants.

  • Treatment: You will need a clean separate tank for the sick fish with higher temperatures and you can use Malachite Green, Formalin, and aquarium salts.

2. Fin And Tail Rot

A bacterial infection that comes from a fungus in dirty water, or from ammonia burns. It causes patches and tears in the fins of your fish.

  • Treatment: Quarantine in clean water is needed, with antibiotics, and fungal medication.

3. Swim Bladder Disorder or Dropsy

This is an infection of the swim bladder that keeps your fish afloat. It happens because of stress, poor diet, or poor water conditions. The fish will become lethargic, have difficulty remaining upright, and lose its appetite.

  • Treatment: This condition is rare in the tuxedo guppy, but can be treated with proper water conditions, high temperatures, and regular water changes.

4. Columnaris & Mouth Fungus

The condition is infectious, a bacterial fungus causing cloudy patches on the body and mouth of your guppy.

  • Treatment: ill fish have to be quarantined and Chemical medication, along with aquarium, and mineral salts may be needed.

5. Gill Flukes

One of the more common diseases among Guppies. Small white worms in the gills cause difficulty breathing. They are usually contracted from infected fish or poor water conditions.

  • Treatment: Most vets and pet stores have specific medication to help with Gill Flukes.

Disease Prevention

Most diseases and pests in freshwater fish are caused by three aspects:

  • Poor diet.
  • Poor water conditions.
  • Infection from new fish or plants.

Are you feeding proper quality food and keeping your tank clean, and ammonia levels down? Then you are already doing as much as you can to keep your fish healthy. Keep an eye on any new plants or habitats, and quarantine them first before adding them to your tank.

Breeding Tuxedo Guppies

Breeding tuxedo guppies
One female may mate with several males and can give birth to over 20 young fry.

Whether you like it or not, if you have male and female Guppies housed together, eventually, they will breed. Unfortunately, the tuxedo guppy will also eat their young. Generally, tuxedo guppies are quite eager to breed, the females are live-bearing, giving birth to their young. They are similarly quite picky about the males they choose to mate with if given a choice. One female may mate with several males and can give birth to over 20 young fry.

Guppies have quite an intricate mating and birthing process which you can read more about in our “Your Aquarium Place guide ‘How do Guppies Mate?’”.

If you would like to breed with your Guppies, it is best to get tuxedo guppies in similar colors, three females per male.

You will need a separate breeding tank with plenty of floating and bottom floating plants for the fry to hide. The water needs to be clean, and slightly higher in temperature. Then, you can add males and females until you see them mate. After this, remove the males so that you only have females left in the tank.

After birthing, which can take several hours to a day, you must remove the female to protect the young fry. The young fry is usually independent from birth. After this, you can feed them the very next day with infusoria, baby brine shrimp and some cooked spinach leaves.

Should you not want more Guppies, your only other choice is to keep same-sex Guppies, preferably females. Or, you can allow your tuxedo guppy school and other tank inhabitants to eat the fry. This is essentially what will happen if you leave them in a communal tank.

To Conclude

Tuxedo Guppies
Tuxedo Guppies are one of the most fascinating color strains in the guppy species, with many color options available. Image from Flickr

The tuxedo guppy is one of the most fascinating color strains in the guppy species, with many color options available. They are relatively easy to care for and breed, if you would like to. Uniquely, they are suitable for both beginners and also sought after by guppy enthusiasts and collectors from all over the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do female Tuxedo Guppies Look Like?
One of the aspects that I adore about Tuxedo Guppies is the fact that the females have many similar colors to the males, although they are slightly less vivid. Females will be much larger and rounder in shape than males, with a small tail, but their colors may be quite vibrant.
Are Tuxedo Guppies Very Rare?
The Koi Tuxedo Guppy is quite rare, however, other colors are not as rare, but still not as easily accessible as most color variants.
Where Are Tuxedo Guppies From?
Guppies in general originate from South America, while the first Tuxedo Guppy was bred in captivity in Germany. The rare Koi Tuxedo Guppy is found mainly in the Amazon basin.
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