After Losing Job, Kerala Carpenter Breeds Guppies at Home; Earns Rs 25,000/ Month

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Ayyappa Das (39) a native of Ernakulam in Kerala, started breeding guppy fish at home after he lost his carpentry job due to COVID-19. To date, he has sold over 5,000 guppies, and has over 1,500 at home, in 18 different varieties. He shares tips on how one can breed guppies at home easily.

Before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ayyappa Das, a native of Kerala’s Ernakulam district, was a busy carpenter. But when the lockdown began, he was one of the millions of people who were forced to stay at home without any income.

But today, Ayyappa’s story reads differently — he’s a successful ornamental fish seller.

“During the lockdown, I browsed through various web portals and noticed many new businesses that people had launched from home. Some were into pickle sales and some into lotus cultivation, among many more. Because I already had a small collection of guppy fish at home, I decided to try my hands at starting a business of selling them,” he tells The Better India.

Guppies, also known as million fish, rainbow fish and poecilia reticulata (latin), are one of the world’s most widely distributed tropical fish, and one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish species. They are differentiated by sizes, colours, patterns and tail shapes.

Ayyappa began by posting pictures of young guppies from his collection on his Facebook page, which led to his friends and relatives placing orders. This, in turn, helped him understand how in demand the fish usually is, and he purchased two new fish tanks, as well as two pairs of guppies for Rs 250, from a shop nearby. These were two months old, and both male and female. He placed them in two different bowls for almost two months.

“Guppies can breed when they turn four months old. So once that time period was over, I transferred them into a single bowl so they could breed. Within three months, they began giving birth to babies,” he says.

“In the first instance, there were 10-25 babies, but in the second, the fish gave birth to around 80. They can birth at least five times, but babies born after that won’t be healthy enough,” the 39-year-old explains.

Ayyappa sells the two-month-old babies to customers, as they’re more healthy than the mother guppies. He says that the mother may eat some of the babies after delivery, so one must keep the tank well-fed and with lots of hiding spots. If not, the mother should be moved from the tank immediately after delivery.

“If you want a variety of guppies in your tank, keep two to three female ones for each male one. The male has a tendency to stress the females out by chasing them around the tank,” he adds. He also says that as the guppies are an average of 2 inches long, three can be kept in a 5-gallon tank. But in the long run, a tank of 10-20 gallons would be better.

Source: The Better India

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