Diving into the Different Types of Livebearing Fish

Do you have a fish tank and are looking for something new to add? If so, then you may want to consider livebearing fish. Livebearing fish is an incredibly beautiful and diverse group of fish that can add a splash of color to any aquarium. Livebearing fish, also known as ‘livebearers,’ is a group of fish that give birth to live young rather than laying eggs.

There are many different types of live-bearing fish, such as Mollys, Guppies, Tiger Barbs, etc. Each has its own unique characteristics and coloration, making them an ideal choice for aquarists looking to introduce some variety into their tanks.

In this informative article, I will talk about the different types of livebearing fish, such as guppies, giraffe catfish, endless, swordtails, etc. Moreover, I will also include an ideal tank setup guide to help aquarists decide which species best fits their needs.

10 Unique Types of Livebearing Fishes for Your Aquarium

Livebearers are some of the most popular fish for aquariums, and there is a wide variety of species to choose from. There are over 300 species of live-bearing fish, also called ovoviviparous fish. From the colorful guppies to the majestic mollys, all livebearing fish have one thing in common: they give birth to live young, rather than laying eggs like most other fish.

Here are some of the most popular types of livebearing fish that you can find in your local pet store:


Swordtails get their name from their long, sword-like tail fins and come in a variety of colors, including orange, white, and black. They are hardy fish that do well in a community tank and can grow up to six inches long.


Platies are some of the most popular livebearers due to their bright colors and peaceful nature. These small fish only reach about three inches in length and aren’t picky eaters, making them a great choice for beginners.


Endlers are closely related to guppies and have similar characteristics, such as their small size (around two inches) and hardiness. However, they tend to be less common in pet stores than other livebearing species due to their limited range.


Mollys are well-known for their hardiness and adaptability, making them a great choice for aquariums of all sizes. These fish come in a variety of colors and usually reach around four inches in length.


Guppies are some of the most popular livebearers due to their bright colors and ease of care. These small fish only reach about two inches in length, making them perfect for smaller tanks.

Lyretail Mollys

Lyretail mollys are a variant of the standard molly that have been selectively bred for their colorful tails and fins. These fish can grow up to four inches in length and come in a variety of colors.

Tiger Barbs

Tiger barbs are active, schooling fish that do well in larger tanks with plenty of swimming space. These hardy fish can reach up to three inches in length and have distinctive stripes on their bodies.

Giraffe Catfish

Giraffe catfish are small, peaceful fish that reach up to two inches in length. They have a unique spotted pattern on their bodies and prefer quieter tanks with minimal flow.

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Sailfin Mollys

Sailfin mollys are larger than most livebearers, reaching up to six inches in length. These hardy fish typically have a black body with bright orange fins and are easy to care for.

African Butterfly Fish

African butterfly fish are small, peaceful fish that reach up to three inches in length. They have intricate patterns of stripes on their bodies and prefer live foods such as brine shrimp or mosquito larvae.

Regardless of which type of livebearing fish you choose, they are all sure to bring plenty of color and activity to your aquarium. With the right setup and care, these fish can be a delightful addition to any tank!

Proper Tank Setup Guide for Livebearers

Setting up a tank for livebearing fish can be a fun and educational experience. You can create a lovely and healthy habitat for your fish to thrive in by adhering to these easy guidelines mentioned below.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Tank Size

Setting up a tank for livebearing fish is a fun and rewarding experience. Choosing the appropriate tank size is the first step in getting started. It’s generally recommended to opt for larger tanks, as livebearing fish require ample space to swim and explore. A tank size of 30 gallons or larger is ideal.

Step 2: Selecting a Powerful Filter

The choice of a filter that can efficiently control water flow and prevent the building of dangerous particles is the next critical step in creating an ideal environment for your fish. Maintaining clean, healthy water conditions for your livebearers is dependent on a high-quality filter. You can encourage the development and lifespan of your fish while lowering the danger of illness and other health issues by keeping the environment clean and well-maintained.

Step 3: Adding Livebearing Fish

After the filter is in place, you can add the livebearing fish to the tank. It’s crucial to remember that livefish like a pH of 7, and temperatures between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When putting the fish in the tank, make sure to adapt them to the new surroundings.

Step 4: Adding Substrate

The tank needs to have a substrate added to it next. Fish that are capable of reproducing want a soft substrate like sand, pebbles, or gravel. This substrate should be at least 2-3 inches deep so that the fish have plenty of room to bury themselves and explore.

Step 5: Adding Decorations and Plants

Once the substrate is in place, you can add decorations and plants to the tank. Livebearing fish enjoy hiding among the plants and decorations. Live plants are especially important because they act as natural filters, absorbing nutrients and toxins from the water.

Step 6: Adding Water Conditioner

For the fish’s protection, you should lastly add some water conditioner to the tank. This will assist in removing any potentially dangerous poisons or contaminants from the water. The aquarium should be prepared for the fish once all of these procedures have been finished.

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Step 7: Cycling the Tank

Now it’s time to start cycling the tank. This entails a little addition of fish food or a supply of bacteria to the tank, followed by the monitoring of the water’s characteristics. While it could take a few weeks, this procedure is necessary to guarantee that the water is secure and fit for the livefish.

Temperament of Livebearing Fish

Livebearing fish are popular among aquarium hobbyists due to their peaceful and non-aggressive nature. Livebearing fish are relatively easy to care for, but it is important to consider the temperament of the species before buying.

The temperament of livebearing fish varies from species to species. Most livebearing fish are considered to be peaceful and non-aggressive, but some species can be territorial. The smaller and more colorful species, such as guppies, platies, and swordtails, are usually more peaceful and will get along with most other fish.

Larger species, such as mollies, black mollies, and sailfin mollies, are more territorial and may need to be kept in a larger tank with plenty of room for them to establish their own territories. Livebearing fish can also be kept in a community tank with other compatible species as long as the tank is large enough to accommodate the different fish.

Livebearing Fish Diet

Livebearing fish are a type of aquarium fish that reproduce by releasing live young rather than laying eggs. Proper care and nutrition are essential for the health and well-being of these fish and should be taken into account when raising them in captivity.

An appropriate diet for livebearing fish should consist of a variety of foods and depend on the species. Generally, these fish will feed on a combination of live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods. Live foods such as brine shrimp and daphnia, as well as worms, can make up a large part of their diet.

These should be supplemented with other frozen and freeze-dried foods such as bloodworms, mosquito larvae, and tubifex. Vegetable matter, such as flakes and algae-based wafers, can also be used as part of the diet.

A variety of these foods should be offered to ensure that the fish get all of the essential nutrients they need. It is important to remember that overfeeding should be avoided, as it can lead to water pollution and health problems for the fish.

Some Common Types Of Livebearers


Overall, livebearing fish are a great addition to any aquarium. They are relatively easy to care for and can often handle a wide range of water conditions. They are also a great way to introduce your children to the wonderful world of fishkeeping, as watching them give birth to their fry is a truly fascinating experience.

Moreover, for experienced hobbyists, livebearing fish provide the opportunity to witness the splendors of reproduction in a controlled environment. The challenge of breeding these fish and tending to the fry can add an exciting new dimension to the aquarium experience.

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