Life Life

28/06/2019 - 07:05

Keeping guppies as a hobby in Hue

With only 5-7 thousand VND, one can own a pair of guppies, so this hobby now attracts a large number of passionate fish keepers in Hue.

A pair of Metal Yellow Lace Swallow guppy.

"A tranquilizer"

Evidently, such a low price is only for the more popular breeds of fish sold by professional owners to scrape some money together for investment in more "premium" guppy varieties, ranging from a few hundred thousands to several million dongs.

Guppy, also known as Rainbow fish, is in the same family with betta fishes - the fighting fish breeds that were once the loved pets of almost everyone. Guppy has larger fins and tails, with a great range of colors and varieties: red, orange, yellow, white, blue, dots, stripes, zebra, etc., and is not as aggressive as Siamese fighting fish, suitable for the keepers to relax after stressful working hours.

The guppies swimming in the magical lights

It has been 4 years since guppy breeding was adopted in Hue, but the hobby has apparently not gained massive popularity as in other places. However, more than 1,700 members participating in a group of guppy breeders in Hue on a social networking site reveals a powerful appeal of this hobby. 

"Not so expensive as koi, flowehorn, or dragon fish..., guppy does not take up a lot of space and time, and is relatively easy to own at a price that anyone can afford. For me, guppy is an effective "tranquilizer" after my class hours,” said Nguyen Dinh Dung, a teacher of Physics residing on Le Van Huu st., Hue city shared.

A pair of Albino full red guppies

As for Nhat Anh - a high schooler in Phu Loc, guppy helps him avoid long nights playing games with his friends. “Since befriending with guppies, my family often supports me to buy food and fries... Dad also helps me take care of them when I’m busy focusing on my exam,” Nhat Anh said.

Children also adore guppies

Guppy has nearly 100 varieties, categorized based on fin, tail, body, and color... and from which, divided into solid, patterned, and other variations…, accompanying very sound names: Red dragon, Violet, Tiger, Full red, Blue topaz, Full gold ...

These fish are classified by different variations: shorttail, longtail, fantail (fancy), swordtail, board dorsal, round fin, spade fin ... Whatever variations, guppy has its own unique features, enabling keepers to have more choices to their likings.

“Due to various preferences, it is unfair to compare solid and patterned guppy varieties nor appreciating Red dragon guppy over Tiger guppy. However, for professional fish owners, in addition to color, they often assess a guppy variety based on other criteria such as tail width, the dorsal fin’s roundness and height, and a slim, yet large and long fish body," Tran Dinh Ngoc Thanh, a member of Hue Guppy Club shared.

A large number of guppy owners participated in a meeting and competition by Hue Guppy Club in early June

Both a hobby and a livelihood

Guppy can be found in many parts of the world. However, the breeds imported from Thailand are the most popular to Vietnamese keepers. Depending on sheer luck, the owners can mate guppies to maintain the beautiful traits.

The owner’s sheer luck is inevitable as most of the unique and beautiful fish breeds are "sterilized" by Thai owners before exporting to limit widespread breeding, which leads to a lower value of these exotic species.

In addition, guppy does not have a long lifespan, from about one to one and a half years, so the demand for filling the tank with a new population is quite high. In a recent couple of years, in addition to meeting on weekends, guppy keepers in Hue have established Hue Guppy Fish Club and also organized meetings and competitions with guppy lovers from Da Nang, Quang Tri, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam provinces... to share the experience of caring, breeding, exchanging, and trading these pets for more funding to maintain the passion.

Everyone can afford these inexpensive yet gorgeous guppies

“Guppies have an amazing breeding rate, so members in the club always agree to keep raising them until they die, as their release into rivers and lakes has a negative impact on the living environment of other fish species,” said Tran Dinh Ngoc Thanh.

 Following the experience gained from exchange sessions, many people have switched to both raising guppies and making money out of them. A typical example is Dao Nhung from Huong Tra district, who was once a make-up artist. After a short time with guppies, she decided to quit her current job to sell fries, fingerlings, food and accessories such as fish tanks, racquet, bio filter ...

Dao Nhung - one of the ladies in Hue Guppy Club

“Because quite a lot of people in the club go to work, they have little time to find sorghum, mosquito larvae, and bloodworms – the suitable diets for guppy, so I think about selling these items. In general, shipping takes most efforts while the rest of this job is quite relaxing, non-toxic, and lucrative,” Nhung said.

The winners at the first guppy fish competition in Hue.

Despite being in the same family with betta fishes, guppy requires a somehow higher level of care when owners need to know how to treat water, get rid of ich (a disease where small white dots grow on the fish’s skin), tail rot, and dropsy. Yet treating these diseases is not so complicated nor costly and time-consuming. And like Nguyen Dinh Dung said, caring makes the owner feel even prouder of their healthy schools of fish in various colors splashing happily in the tank.

Story and photos: Han Dang