Breeding and Showing Guppies

Gold Multicolor Development

By: Bryan Chin

As you cross and inbred guppies sometimes mutations can happen. This article is about how my gold line that always had red tails gave one male with a pastel multi colored tail. There are several possibilities that cause a mutation in this guppy.  The gene for red fins can drop out or become non-functional. Since the red is Y-linked in this line a cross-over event could have occurred. The last possibility is that there is a recessive gene that breaks up the red or limits it. Since red traits are very dominant, recessive traits can be revealed when it is no longer present. The new type of male below is 5 months old.

Gold body Mg mutation guppy


As mentioned in my book, Breeding Show Guppies, I had purchased a grey gold colored male with gold body, half black body and red tail. To improve this type of fish this male was initially crossed to a red blonde female, then to blonde multi females for two generations. My main goal is to develop an IFGA quality fish for the Gold class.  The common males that resulted from these crosses are shown below in the 2 pictures below.  These pictures show that all the males show completely red tails that are solid or variegated.  From past work with my multicolor guppies I know that the females do not carry red genes that can influence the males’ tails to be completely red.  The multi females do carry genes that influence red markings that run along the top and bottom rays especially those with leucophore white (commonly associated with pastel colors) from my experience.

Gold red guppy metal

red gold metal guppy

The blonde multicolor male below is a representative of how the brothers of the blonde multicolor females I used to cross into the gold line. The blonde multicolor males have Y-linked red for dorsal and tail.  Variegation is influence by both male and female. It is this variegation that influenced the markings.

multicolor blonde guppy

Knowing that the females in my gold line did not carry traits to make the tails fully red I knew that I could bred this mutation to his sisters and to have a good chance to replicate this phenotype. I chose a female some white in the tail and had the strong metal gold (Mg) reflections in the body.  The breeding pair below is showing the male at about 3 months old.

blonde gold metal multicolor guppy

The F2 breeding results at 6 weeks shows that the sons are similar to the father at 6 weeks with the exception of 2 red males. The total from this drop is about 20 males.  This result indicates that there may be some multiple gene influence to get to this phenotype.  As the sons mature there will be more clues on how this male was produced.  Also further inbreeding will give more evidence.  

Questions that I have is why did some of the males have solid red tails and can I eliminate this to have a 100% line that look like the mutation male? I will update this article as this line progresses.

My goal to perfect this strain is to breed towards a solid gold body and to have multicolor matching dorsal fin to the tail.

blonde gold metal guppy multicolor

Here are the fish at 3 months. The distribution turned out to be 25% has red tails and 75% has the tail pattern like the father. This indicaties that it may be possible to create a true strain that produces 100% multicolor tail. Some of the males have patches of red in the dorsal which gives a better match to the tail. Gold body color is still weak.

Guppy Gold Multicolor Mbag

The fish are 4 months old and it looks like there is only one male that has some red in the dorsal with good tail shape. There is also some light gray in the dorsal. This is an improvement over the father. Since these are related to my multis I will cross him back to multis to improve the tail shape to be more consistent. Since the multis are gray bodied it will make the hb much darker. I am not sure if it is Hb (Nill) or MBAG but this cross to the multis with gray bodied should give me a better indication. If the cross give all males with dark half black bodies this is an indicator of Nill.

HB Multi Gold Guppy



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