Dumbo Ear Guppy: Beginners Guide To Tank set up, feeding and breeding

Dumbo Ear Guppy: Beginners Guide To Tank set up, feeding and breeding


The Dumbo Ear Guppy is a charming and distinctive variety of the popular aquarium fish, the Guppy (Poecilia reticulata). Known for its unique, oversized pectoral fins resembling the ears of the Disney character Dumbo, this guppy variant has captured the hearts of fish enthusiasts worldwide. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the various aspects of caring for Dumbo Ear Guppies, covering their origin, appearance, water parameters, tank setup, feeding, diseases and their prevention, compatible tank mates, breeding, and their preference for aquatic plants.

Dumbo Ear Guppy Origin

Dumbo Ear Guppies, like their common Guppy counterparts, originate from the freshwaters of South America, specifically in regions of Venezuela, Trinidad, and Barbados. These small, tropical fish are native to warm, slow-moving waters where they have adapted to thrive in a variety of environmental conditions. Selective breeding has led to the development of the distinct Dumbo Ear trait, which is now cherished by aquarists around the world.

Dumbo Ear Guppy Appearance

The Dumbo Ear Guppy is characterized by its striking appearance, with enlarged pectoral fins that resemble the ears of the famous Disney elephant. These fins not only enhance their visual appeal but also provide the guppies with improved stability in the water. Dumbo Ear Guppies exhibit vibrant colors and intricate patterns, making them a delight to watch in your aquarium.

Table 1: Dumbo Ear Guppy Appearance

Size1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm)
ColorationWide range of colors and patterns
Pectoral FinsProminent, enlarged, resembling Dumbo’s ears
Tail FinFan-shaped, colorful, and elegant

Dumbo Ear Guppy Water Parameters

Maintaining appropriate water parameters is crucial for the health and well-being of Dumbo Ear Guppies. These fish thrive in a tropical freshwater environment with specific requirements.

Table 2: Recommended Water Parameters

ParameterIdeal Range
Temperature78-82°F (25-28°C)
Hardness (GH)8-12 dGH
Ammonia/Nitrite LevelsNear zero
Nitrate LevelsLess than 40 ppm

Dumbo Ear Guppies are sensitive to drastic changes in water conditions, so regular monitoring and maintenance are essential to ensure a stable and healthy aquatic environment.

Dumbo Ear Guppy Tank Size and Setup

For these guppies to thrive, it’s crucial to provide them with an appropriate tank and setup. Due to their small size, a 10 to 20-gallon aquarium is suitable for a small group of Dumbo Ear Guppies. Here are some key considerations for setting up their tank:

  1. Filtration: Use a gentle filtration system to prevent the fish from getting caught in the current. A sponge filter or a low-flow hang-on-back filter is ideal.
  2. Substrate: Fine gravel or sand is recommended, as it mimics their natural habitat and is easy to clean.
  3. Decorations: Dumbo Ear Guppies appreciate plants, rocks, and driftwood for shelter and as places to explore. Ensure some floating plants for additional cover and to filter light.
  4. Lighting: These fish do not require intense lighting, but a moderate amount of light to encourage plant growth is beneficial.
  5. Heater: Maintain a stable temperature within the recommended range using a submersible aquarium heater.

Dumbo Ear Guppy Feeding

Feeding your Dumbo Ear Guppies a balanced diet is vital for their overall health and vitality. These fish are omnivorous and can consume a variety of foods, including:

  • High-quality flake or pellet food: Ensure it contains essential nutrients and is specifically formulated for tropical fish.
  • Live or frozen foods: Offer occasional treats like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms to provide additional protein.
  • Vegetable matter: Guppies will nibble on blanched vegetables like spinach and zucchini. This promotes their digestion and overall well-being.

It’s important to feed them in small portions multiple times a day, ensuring they consume their meals within a couple of minutes. Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues, so be mindful of portion sizes.

Dumbo Ear Guppy Diseases, Treatment, and Prevention

Dumbo Ear Guppies, like other fish, can be susceptible to various diseases. Common issues include fungal infections, fin rot, and ich (white spot disease). To prevent and address these problems, consider the following:


  • Maintain stable water conditions and avoid overcrowding the tank.
  • Quarantine new fish before introducing them to the main tank.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet to boost their immune system.


  • Isolate infected fish promptly in a quarantine tank to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Utilize appropriate medications, such as anti-fungal treatments or copper-based solutions, as recommended by a reputable fish veterinarian.

Regular observation and quick intervention are essential to keep your Dumbo Ear Guppies healthy and thriving.

Dumbo Ear Guppy Tank Mates

Selecting compatible tank mates for Dumbo Ear Guppies is crucial to ensure a harmonious aquarium environment. These guppies are generally peaceful but may be nipped by aggressive or fin-nipping fish. Suitable tank mates include:

  • Other peaceful community fish: Tetras, Corydoras catfish, and peaceful rasboras make good companions.
  • Snails and shrimps: Consider adding small snails or non-aggressive shrimp to help with tank cleanup.
  • Avoid fin-nippers: Keep them away from fish like Tiger Barbs or aggressive cichlids, as they may target the guppy’s distinct fins.

Table 3: Compatible Tank Mates

Compatible FishIncompatible Fish
TetrasTiger Barbs
Corydoras catfishAggressive cichlids
Peaceful rasborasFin-nipping fish
Snails and shrimp

Dumbo Ear Guppy Breeding

Breeding Dumbo Ear Guppies is a rewarding experience for hobbyists. These fish are prolific breeders, and with the right conditions, they can reproduce readily. Here’s how you can encourage successful breeding:

  • Separate breeding tank: To protect the fry from being eaten, set up a separate breeding tank with plenty of hiding spots and gentle filtration.
  • Maintain a higher temperature: Increase the tank temperature to around 80-82°F (27-28°C) to stimulate breeding behavior.
  • Provide proper nutrition: Feed high-quality food to both the males and females to ensure their health and the health of the fry.
  • Observe the pregnant females: Pregnant females will display a gravid spot, which darkens as they near birth. Once the fry are born, remove the adults to prevent them from eating the young.

Dumbo Ear Guppy Plants

Incorporating live plants into your Dumbo Ear Guppy tank not only enhances its aesthetic appeal but also provides several benefits. Aquatic plants help maintain water quality by absorbing nitrates, oxygenate the water, and offer shelter for the fish. Some recommended plants for your aquarium include:

  • Java Moss: Provides excellent cover for fry and a surface for beneficial microorganisms.
  • Anubias: A slow-growing plant that doesn’t require high lighting and is compatible with guppies.
  • Hornwort: Offers dense cover for guppy fry and helps with water filtration.
  • Amazon Sword: A larger plant that adds greenery to the background of your aquarium.

In conclusion, Dumbo Ear Guppies are captivating fish with distinctive features. By providing them with the right care, environment, and companions, you can enjoy their beauty and charm in your home aquarium. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, these unique guppies are a delightful addition to any fish enthusiast’s collection.