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Guppy Fish Basic Care Guide | How To Care For Guppies

About the Guppy

Guppies are small tropical freshwater fish that are native to South America. With around 300 different varieties of guppies out there all with different colorations and tails, along with how easy they are to find, since most pet stores carry them, it is no wonder this fish is so popular.

The guppy typically only gets to be between 1-2 inches in size, and they are usually considered a very peaceful addition to community tanks with similar sized fish. The only drawback to guppies is that they do tend to have a shorter lifespan of only around 2 years, although I have seen some live as long as 5.

Tank Set Up

Guppies technically can be kept in as small as a 5 gallon tank, but I would recommend keeping them in a 10 gallon or larger, as this allows for you to keep a small group of them. Guppies are considered a shoaling fish, so while they can live alone, they tend to do best in groups. If you want to keep males and females in a tank together, you will want to keep 3 females for every male, to keep the females from getting harassed too much.

Since guppies originate from a warmer tropical environment, their tank should be kept between 75-82 degrees, so you may need a heater for them. They also prefer slightly harder water with a pH range between 6.8-7.8.

Since many guppies do have long flowing fins, you will want to keep your tank free of sharp objects that their fins may snag or get torn on.

Tank Mates

Guppies are known as a peaceful community fish, and usually do well in tanks with similar sized peaceful fish. Great tank mates for the guppy can include

  • Other Livebearers (mollies, platies, swords)

  • Cory catfish

  • Danios

  • Freshwater Snails

  • Rasboras

  • Dwarf Sized Plecos

  • Cherry Shrimp

  • Otocinclus Catfish

  • Honey Gourami

  • Neon Tetras


Guppies are considered omnivores and usually aren’t very picky eaters. You will want to feed them a high-quality pellet or flake food, along with brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms, they will even feed on certain types of algae in the aquarium.


Guppies are live bearers, so they give birth to live fry. They are typically very easy to breed, and the males and females are easy to tell apart. Males tend to have much more vibrant coloration, while females are usually dull in color. Females also are larger in size, have a wider abdomen while males tend to be thinner and more streamlined.

Female guppies will often start reproducing as young as 2-3 months old, and if well cared for, can give birth as often as every 30 days. A single batch of fry can result in 20-50 new guppies.

Guppies, as with many species of fish, will try to eat their fry. Keeping your guppies in a heavily planted tank can help give the fry places to hide if they will not be kept in a separate tank.

Serious guppy breeders will want to remove the pregnant females and keep them in a separate breeding tank until she gives birth. Once the mother gives birth then she will be returned to her main tank, giving the fry the best chance for survival.

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