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Guppies Care Guide: Lifespan, Nutrition, and Create Healthy Environment

Guppies are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish for a reason: they’re beautiful, easy to care for, and fun to watch! These little fish are members of the family Poeciliidae, which contains over …

Guppies Care Guide

Guppies are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish for a reason: they’re beautiful, easy to care for, and fun to watch!

These little fish are members of the family Poeciliidae, which contains over 3,000 species of fish, including mollies, platies, and swordtails. Guppies are native to northeastern South America, but they have been introduced to many other parts of the world and can now be found in freshwater habitats everywhere.

Guppies come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, which can make them a beautiful addition to any aquarium. They are relatively easy to care for and do well in a community tank with other peaceful fish.

Are Guppies Easy to Take Care of?
Guppies are often considered to be easy to care for, and this is one of the reasons they are one of the most popular fish species kept as pets. They are relatively hardy and can tolerate a range of water conditions and temperatures. They are also relatively easy to feed and will accept a wide variety of food types.

Species Summary

There are many different species of guppies, each with its own unique coloration and patterning. In this article, you will learn all the necessary information about caring for guppies. And you will be able to decide for yourself whether to get guppies in your aquarium.

Origin:Native to South America, pet fish are captive-bred
Tank level:Top, mid-dweller
Minimum tank size:10 gallon
pH:6.5 to 8.0
Hardness:100 to 150 mg/L (6 to 8 dH)
Temperature:68 to 78 F (20 to 26 C)

Where do They Come From?

Guppies are native to Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. In their natural habitat, guppies can be found in slow-moving rivers and streams with plenty of vegetation.

Guppies were first introduced to the aquarium trade in the early 1800s and have been a popular fish ever since.

How Long do Guppy Fish Live for?

Guppies are not long-lived fish, with a lifespan of 2-3 years being typical. However, there have been reports of individual guppies living up to 5 years in captivity. The key to a long and healthy life for guppies is providing them with a clean and well-maintained aquarium.

How Big do Guppy Fish Grow?

Guppies can grow to be quite large, reaching sizes of up to 8 inches (20 cm) in length. However, most aquarium-bred guppies only grow to be about half that size. Females are typically larger than males and can live for up to 5 years, while males only live for 2-3 years on average.

guppy fish sizes

The Different Types of Guppies: Appearance

Guppy fish differ in appearance because they have different patterns and colors on their bodies. Some guppy fish have stripes, while others have spots. The colors of guppy fish can range from bright to dull, and they can be any color that you can imagine.


Guppies come in a wide variety of colors. The most common colors are blue, green, and yellow. However, guppies can also be found in pink, red, orange, and white. The color of a guppy’s body is determined by its genetics. However, the color of a guppy’s fins can be affected by its diet and environment. For example, if a guppy is kept in a tank with lots of green plants, its fins may turn green.


There are three main types of guppy patterns: solid, marble, and piebald. Solid-colored guppies are the most common type, and their colors can range from yellow to blue to black. Marble guppies have a base color with swirls or spots of another color, and piebald guppies have patches of two colors.

Guppies originating from different parts of the world can have different patterns. For example, guppies from Trinidad tend to be black with yellow spots, while guppies from Venezuela are often blue with black spots. Guppies from Singapore typically have a marble pattern with white and black colors.

Guppy patterns can also vary depending on the particular strain or line of guppies. For instance, there are strains of guppies that are bred to have very colorful patterns, while other strains are bred for their solid colors.

Tail Fin Shapes

Guppy fish come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but one of the most noticeable features that can differ between them is the shape of the caudal fin. This fin is located at the back of the fish, near the tail, and can be either round or pointed in shape. Guppies with a round caudal fin tend to be more peaceful and calm, while those with a pointed caudal fin are more active and tend to be more aggressive.

guppies varieties

The Most Important Step: The Nitrogen Cycle

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy guppy fish tank is the nitrogen cycle. The nitrogen cycle is the process by which nitrogen-containing compounds are broken down and converted into other forms that can be used by plants and animals.

The nitrogen cycle is important for all aquatic ecosystems, but it is especially critical in small, enclosed systems like aquariums. This is because the water in these systems is more likely to become polluted with waste products that can build up and become toxic.

The nitrogen cycle can be divided into four main stages: ammonia production, nitrite production, nitrate production, and denitrification.

Ammonia production occurs when fish excrete waste and decomposing organic matter releases ammonia into the water. Ammonia is highly toxic to fish, so it is important that it is immediately removed from the water.

Nitrite production occurs when bacteria in the water convert ammonia into nitrites. Nitrites are also toxic to fish, but they are not as dangerous as ammonia.

Nitrate production occurs when bacteria convert nitrites into nitrates. Nitrates are much less toxic to fish and can even be used by plants as a source of nutrition.

Denitrification is the final stage of the nitrogen cycle and it occurs when bacteria convert nitrates back into nitrogen gas. This process helps to remove nitrates from the water and prevents them from building up to toxic levels.

The nitrogen cycle is a natural process that happens in all aquatic ecosystems. However, it is important to remember that it can be easily disrupted. If you are keeping guppy fish, it is important to be aware of the nitrogen cycle and take steps to ensure that it is running smoothly.

See also: How To Cycle a Fish Tank Fast: Step-By-Step Diy Guide

Guppy Care & Tank Requirements

Below you can read about the requirements for an aquarium for proper guppy fish care. If you still have questions, post them in the comments.

The Best Aquarium Size for Guppies

If you are considering getting guppies for your home aquarium, you may be wondering what is the best size aquarium for guppies. Guppies are relatively small fish, so they do not require a large tank. In fact, a 10-gallon aquarium is typically sufficient for a small group of guppies.

Of course, the more guppies you have, the larger the aquarium will need to be. A 20-gallon aquarium can accommodate a slightly larger group of guppies, while a 30-gallon aquarium can accommodate a larger group of guppies or a mix of guppies and other small fish.

guppie aquarium

What Water is Best for Guppies?

One of the most important things to consider when caring for guppy fish is the type of water they are kept in.

There are two main types of water that can be used for guppy fish: tap water and distilled water. Tap water is the water that comes out of your faucet at home and is treated with chemicals to make it safe to drink. Distilled water is water that has been boiled and then had all of the impurities removed.

So, which type of water is best for guppy fish?

Generally, it is recommended that guppy fish be kept in distilled water. This is because the chemicals in tap water can be harmful to fish, and guppy fish are particularly sensitive to these chemicals. Additionally, distilled water is free of impurities that could potentially harm your fish.

If you cannot find distilled water, or if it is too expensive, you can also use filtered water. This is water that has been passed through a filter to remove impurities. While it is not as pure as distilled water, it is still much better for your fish than tap water.

Tank Water Temperature

Guppy fish are tropical fish, and as such, they prefer water that is on the warmer side. In a home fish tank, the water temperature should be kept between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. If the water gets too cold, the fish will become sluggish and may even die. On the other hand, if the water gets too hot, the fish will become stressed and may also die.

Best Water Flow for Guppies

In order to maintain a healthy aquarium environment for your guppies, it is important to provide a good water flow. The best water flow for guppies is a moderate flow that is not too strong and not too weak. A moderate water flow will provide your guppies with the oxygen they need to stay healthy and will also help to keep the water clean.

a beautiful guppy fish

pH — Water Acidity & Alkalinity Levels for Guppies

pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of a solution. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 14 being the most basic, and 7 being neutral. Guppy fish are sensitive to changes in pH and require a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 to thrive. A pH outside of this range can cause stress, illness, and even death in guppy fish.

pH is important for guppy fish because it affects the dissolved oxygen levels in the water. Dissolved oxygen is necessary for fish to breathe and a low pH can cause dissolved oxygen levels to drop. A drop in dissolved oxygen levels can lead to respiratory distress and death in fish.

pH is also important for the health of the beneficial bacteria that live in the guppy fish aquarium. These bacteria help to break down fish waste and keep the aquarium clean. A low pH can kill these beneficial bacteria, leading to a build-up of fish waste and an unhealthy aquarium.

To maintain a healthy pH for your guppy fish, it is important to test the pH of your aquarium water regularly and make adjustments as needed. You can use a pH test kit to test the pH of your aquarium water. If the pH is too low, you can add a buffering agent to raise the pH. If the pH is too high, you can add an acidic substance to lower the pH.

Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrates

Guppies require ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in their water in order to stay healthy. Ammonia and nitrite are both toxic to fish, but nitrate is not.

Ammonia and nitrite levels in a guppy tank should be kept as low as possible. The best way to do this is to perform regular water changes and vacuum the gravel to remove any uneaten food or waste. A good filter will also help to keep ammonia and nitrite levels low.

Nitrate levels should be kept between 20-40 ppm. This can be achieved by adding live plants to the tank, as they will help to absorb the nitrate. Regular water changes will also help to keep nitrate levels under control.


Guppies are very sensitive to water quality and need a filter that will provide them with clean, fresh water. A good filter for guppy fish should have a flow rate of at least 10 gallons per hour. It should also be able to remove small particles from the water and provide some aeration.

There are a variety of different filters that can be used for guppy fish, so it is important to do some research to find one that will work well in your particular setup. Some popular options include canister filters, hang-on-back filters, and sponge filters.

It is also a good idea to have some live plants in your guppy fish tank. Plants can help to oxygenate the water and provide a natural source of food for the fish. Guppies will also appreciate some hiding places among the plants.

Providing your guppy fish with a clean and well-filtered tank will help them to stay healthy and thrive.

a filter for guppy fish


There are a few things to consider when choosing the right lighting for your guppy fish tank. The first is the intensity of the light. Guppies tropical fish do best in moderate to bright light, so a light that is too dim will not be ideal.

The second is the color of the light. While guppies can thrive in a variety of light colors, they prefer blue and white light, so these would be the best options.

The third is the duration of the light. Guppies do not need a lot of light, so a light that is on for 8-10 hours per day should be plenty.

Plants and Decorations for your Guppies

Aquarium plants provide shelter and hiding places for your guppy and help to create a more natural environment. They also help to oxygenate the water and can absorb excess nitrates. Live plants are best, but if you choose to use plastic plants, be sure to wash them thoroughly before putting them in your tank.

In addition to plants, you can also use decorations to create hiding places and hiding spots for your guppy. Driftwood, rocks, and caves are all good options. Be sure to avoid anything with sharp edges that could injure your fish.

What’s the Best Substrate for Guppies?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a substrate for your guppy tank.

Guppies are native to slow-moving waters in the wild, so they don’t need a lot of agitation in their tank. This means that a finer substrate is better, as it won’t get stirred up as easily.

Guppies also like to dig and forage in their substrate, so you’ll want to choose something that they can easily move around in. Gravel is a good choice, as long as it’s not too large.

Finally, you’ll want to consider the color of your substrate. Guppies are attracted to bright colors, so a substrate that’s too dark may not be very appealing to them.

In general, fine-grained gravel in a bright color is the best substrate for a guppy tank.

Food & Diet

For healthy guppy fish, it is important to feed them properly.

What Can You Feed Your Guppy?

As far as diet goes, guppies are not fussy eaters and will accept most types of fish food. However, to ensure your guppies remain healthy and thrive, it’s important to give them a varied diet that includes both live and dry food.

Live food, such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and mosquito larvae, is an excellent source of protein for guppies and will help them grow and develop properly. Live food is also a great way to provide your guppies with much-needed exercise, as they will have to chase after their food.

Dry food, such as flakes or pellets, is a convenient option and can be given to guppies on a daily basis. However, be sure to supplement dry food with live food at least a few times a week to ensure your guppies are getting all the nutrients they need.

Of course, you can also offer your guppies fresh fruits and vegetables as a treat. Popular options include blanched broccoli, zucchini, and spinach. Guppies will also enjoy the occasional piece of bloodworm or earthworm.

How Often Do Guppies Need to Be Fed?

Guppies are small fish with fast metabolisms, which means they need to eat small meals several times a day. A good rule of thumb is to feed your guppies twice a day, giving them just enough food so that they can eat it all in a minute or two. It’s better to underfeed your guppies than to overfeed them, as excess food can pollute the water and lead to health problems.

food for guppies

How Long Can a Guppy Go Without Food?

Guppies are able to go without food for a significant amount of time in comparison to other fish. This is due to their specially adapted digestive system and their ability to store food in their bodies. Guppies can go without food for up to two weeks without any ill effects.

Watch the Following Video on 10 Things You Should Know About Guppies

You can watch a video to better understand how to take care of guppies. And also learn a lot of new things!

Behavior & Temperament

Guppies are social creatures and do best when kept in groups. They are relatively peaceful fish, although males can be territorial with each other and may chase each other around the tank. Guppies are also known to be good “dither fish”, which means that their active swimming behavior can help to make other fish in the tank feel more comfortable and less stressed. Guppies are known to be friendly and outgoing, and will often greet their tank mates and owners at the glass.

Good Tank Mates

Here’s a list of good friends for guppy fish:

  • Platy Fish

A platyfish is a freshwater fish that belongs to the family of live-bearing tooth carp. The name “platy” comes from the Greek word “platys” which means “flat”. Platies are small, colorful fish that are popular among fish keepers. They are easy to care for and are a good choice for beginner fish keepers.

Platy Fish in the aquarium

  • Molly Fish (Mollies)

Mollies are a type of freshwater fish that are popular in home aquariums. They are known for their vibrant colors and playful personalities. Mollies are easy to care for and make great additions to any tank.

Mollies come in a variety of colors, including black, blue, brown, and silver. They are typically between 2 and 4 inches in length and have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years.

Molly Fish in the aquarium

  • Swordtail Fish

They are native to Central America and can grow to be up to 16 inches in length. Swordtail fish are characterized by their long, slender bodies and their distinctive tailfin, which is shaped like a sword.

Swordtail Fish in the aquarium

  • Neon Tetra

The neon tetra is a freshwater fish of the Characidae family. The fish is named for its iridescent blue-green coloration.

The neon tetra is a small fish, typically only growing to be about 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long. The fish has a blue-green body with a bright red stripe running along its side.

Neon Tetra in the aquarium

  • Cardinal Tetra

Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) is a freshwater fish native to the Orinoco Basin in South America. It is a popular aquarium fish, due to its bright red coloration and peaceful nature.

Cardinal Tetras are small fish, growing to a maximum of 2.5 inches (6.4 cm). They have bright red bodies, with white bellies. Their fins are transparent.

Cardinal Tetra in the aquarium

  • Rummy Nose Tetra

If you’re looking for a little bit of color and a whole lot of personality in your aquarium, the Rummy Nose Tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus) is the perfect fish for you! These friendly little fish are native to the clear waters of the Amazon Basin in South America, and they bring all of the vibrancy of the rainforest to your home aquarium.

Rummy Nose Tetra in the aquarium

  • Cory Catfish

Cory Catfish, also known as Corydoras Catfish, is a popular choice for freshwater aquariums. They are peaceful, bottom-dwelling fish that are easy to care for. Cory Catfish are native to South America and can be found in a variety of habitats, such as rivers, streams, and lakes.

Cory Catfish are small, ranging in size from 2.5-5 inches. They have a torpedo-shaped body and are typically a brown or bronze color.

Cory Catfish in the aquarium

  • Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha) is a small, peaceful fish that is perfect for beginners. It is a member of the carp family and originates from Southeast Asia. This little fish is a real beauty with its striking red and black coloration. The males are the most colorful, while the females are a duller red.

Harlequin Rasbora

  • Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose pleco (Ancistrus dolichopterus), also known as the bushy nose pleco, is a species of armored catfish native to South America. It is a popular aquarium fish, due in part to its scavenging habits and its ability to help control algae growth. The bristlenose pleco is a hardy and adaptable fish and is therefore suitable for beginner aquarists.

Bristlenose Pleco in the aquarium

  • Most Gouramis

A gourami is any one of many species in the family Gouramiidae, which contains about 107 species of freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia. Many of these fish are popular in the aquarium trade. Gouramis are characterized by their elongated bodies and protruding lower jaws. They are also known for their labyrinth organs, which allow them to breathe air.

Gouramis in the aquarium

  • Sparkling Gouramis

A Sparkling Gourami is a beautiful freshwater fish that is perfect for any aquarium. They are peaceful and make a great addition to any community tank. Sparkling Gouramis are easy to care for and are a great choice for beginner fish keepers. These stunning fish are a member of the gourami family and are native to Southeast Asia. They get their name from the iridescent blue spots that cover their body. Sparkling Gouramis can grow to be about 4 inches in length and live for up to 5 years.

Sparkling Gouramis in the aquarium

  • Dwarf Chain Loaches

Dwarf chain loaches (Botiinella dies) are a species of freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia. They are popular aquarium fish due to their small size and attractive coloration.

Dwarf chain loaches grow to a maximum length of 2.5 inches (6.4 cm). They have brown or tan bodies with dark brown or black spots. Their fins are transparent with black spots.

Dwarf Chain Loaches in the Aquarium

  • Kuhli loaches

Kuhli loaches are small, eellike fish that are native to fast-flowing rivers in Southeast Asia.

Kuhli loaches are nocturnal creatures that spend most of their time hiding in caves and crevices. They are shy fish that are often seen in groups.

Kuhli loaches in the aquarium

  • Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios are freshwater fish that are native to South Asia. They get their name from the black and white stripes that cover their bodies.

Zebra Danios are schooling fish, which means they prefer to live in groups.

Zebra Danios in the aquarium

  • Nerite Snails

Nerite snails are one of the most popular types of aquarium snails. They are well known for their wide variety of colors and patterns, as well as their hardiness and scavenging abilities.

Nerite snails are native to brackish and freshwater habitats in Africa and Asia. They are commonly found in rivers, streams, and ponds. In the wild, nerite snails eat algae, detritus, and small aquatic plants.

Nerite Snails in the aquarium

  • Ghost Shrimp

If you’re looking for a fun, easy-to-care-for pet, you might want to consider a ghost shrimp! Ghost shrimp are small, translucent freshwater shrimp that are popular in aquariums. They get their name from their pale, “ghostly” appearance.

Ghost shrimp are peaceful and make good tank mates for other small, peaceful fish. They are active and entertaining to watch as they swim and scavenge for food.

Ghost Shrimp in the aquarium

  • African Dwarf Frog

African dwarf frogs are a small species of frog that is native to sub-Saharan Africa. They are typically found near water sources such as ponds, lakes, and rivers. African dwarf frogs are known for their docile nature and their ability to coexist with other species of animals.

African Dwarf Frog in an aquarium

FAQs on How to Care for Guppies

Why are Guppies so popular?

Guppies are popular because they are easy to care for, they are relatively hardy, they reproduce easily, and they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

How many Guppies should I house in my aquarium?

A general rule of thumb is to house one Guppy per one gallon of water, but this can vary depending on the size and age of the Guppies, as well as the type and size of the aquarium.

What is the best mix of males and females?

Guppies are sexually dimorphic, which means that the males and females look different. The best mix of males and females is when there are more females than males. This is because the males are more aggressive and will chase the females around. If there are more males than females, the males will fight for dominance.

Can guppies live alone?

Guppies can live alone, but they are social creatures and prefer to live in groups. If you have only one guppy, provide it with plenty of hiding places and enrich its environment with plants and other decorations.


Guppies are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish for a reason: they’re beautiful, easy to care for, and relatively hardy. These little fish are also known as millionfish and rainbow fish. Guppies come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, so you’re sure to find one that you love.

If you provide your guppy care, they will thrive in your aquarium. These beautiful little fish are a great addition to any freshwater tank.


  • Caribbean Sea (Britannica): https://www.britannica.com/place/Caribbean-Sea
  • Nitrifying bacteria (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrifying_bacteria
  • How to Test pH in a Fish Tank (WikiHow): https://www.wikihow.com/Test-pH-in-a-Fish-Tank

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