Why Guppies Are A Great Aquarium Fish For Beginners

In Tropical Fishby PaulK

Guppies are one of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby. They are a great fish for the beginner because they are easy to keep and very colorful. The males have large beautiful tail fins that come in a wide variety of colors.

Guppies originally come from South America, but most that you’ll find are bred in captivity worldwide. They are livebearers and super easy to breed.

Guppies are great tank mates and can live quite well in a community tank with other community fish. You want to avoid fin nipper fish like barbs.

You can keep guppies in a tank size of as small as 10 gallons, but keep in mind that if you mix males and females they will reproduce quite readily and you’ll have more guppies before you know it, so you’ll eventually need a larger tank or another tank to accommodate them.

Are guppies hardy?

Guppies are traditionally a pretty hardy breed but are becoming less hardy as they are so widely commercially bred. They are interbred in large commercial farms and it’s easy for a bad gene in one fish spread throughout the group. Make sure you are buying them from a reliable source like a local breeder or pet store or local aquarium store. It’s best to keep them in a high pH of 7.5 to 8.5 and water temperature in the mid-70s Fahrenheit.

Are guppies fin nippers?

Guppies are a peaceful community fish and are not known to be fin nippers, but they do get aggressive and chase each other during mating. It’s best to keep the ratio of male to female guppies to 1 male for every 2-3 females. If the males outnumber the females, there could be trouble with the males competing with each other. Generally, aggressive behavior is just for show and not harmful.

Are guppies schooling fish?

Guppies are more of a shoaling species of fish and not a traditional schooling fish. What that means is that they will stay together in social groups especially if they feel threatened by other fish in the tank. It’s a good idea to keep guppies with compatible tank mates like mollies or Cory cats.

Are guppies freshwater fish?

Yes, they are freshwater fish. They love hard water in the high 7 pH range. Guppies will also survive in brackish water. Brackish water is slightly salty not pure saltwater.

Are guppies cold water fish?

Guppies prefer warmer water like in the mid-70s to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If they are exposed to colder water, they will start to get diseases and eventually die if not treated.

Are guppies community fish?

Guppies are a great community fish and get along peacefully with many other community type fish. Good tank mates for a guppy are platy, mollies, swordtails, danios, rasboras, and bottom dwellers like pleco or Cory cats also work really well. You want to avoid more aggressive species like barbs or cichlids as they are known to be fin nippers and guppies have some rather large tail fins.

Are guppies algae eaters?

Guppies aren’t known to be huge algae eaters, but they will nip at algae on plants sometimes. A better fish for algae are plecos or Siamese algae eaters. Also snails and/or shrimp consume algae and help keep your tank clean.

Are guppies top swimmers?

Guppies will swim around the whole tank. They are usually active fish. If they become hungry or are fighting for oxygen, you will notice that they will start swimming exclusively around the top of the tank. If they are only swimming at the top it could be an indication that the water parameters aren’t quite right. Do a check of ammonia and nitrites and also make sure the water is not too hot. The hotter the water, the less oxygen is available for the fish.

Are guppies livebearers?

Yes, indeed guppies are livebearers. A good ratio for your tank is to have 1 male to every 2-3 females if you want to breed them. If there are too many males they will tend to get aggressive toward each other. Any tank mates will most likely feast on the baby guppy fry so it’s probably best to breed in a non-community tank.

Are guppies easy to breed?

Guppies breed very easily. The male will approach the female from the bottom and extend his gonopodium to the female. The female can store sperm for up to 3 months. The gestation period is usually around a month. Before you know it you will have lots of extra guppies in your tank. Now the problem is what to do with them.

Can guppies live with Betta?

This isn’t a great match because male bettas are known to be semi-aggressive and territorial. There are certain variety of Betta that are less aggressive like the half-moon Betta which could work. Also, if you stick to just female Betta it could work, because female Betta are less aggressive than their male counterparts.

Can guppies live with Tetra?

Tetra are good companions for guppies. Guppies can be kept with Neon Tetra, Rummy-nose, Cardinal, Rosy, and Lemon Tetra just to name a few. One problem though is that Tetra will eat guppy baby fry. They’ll even eat their own fry. If you plan on breeding the guppies, I would use a seperate fish tank and not try it in a community tank.

Can guppies live with Mollies?

Mollies are a great match for guppies. They have the same peaceful temperament and like the same water hardness. Mollies like the guppy are live-bearers so you could be looking at quite a full tank. Mollies are omnivores and will eat the same foods as guppies do.

Can guppies live with shrimp?

The two types of shrimp that work the best are Amano and Cherry shrimp. These two types of shrimp thrive in hard water like the guppies. Guppies will go after smaller shrimp and eat them, but if you have a heavily planted tank you can avoid that.

Can guppies live with Platies?

Platy are another great combination for Guppies. They are both live-bearers, great coloration, and thrive in the same water parameters as the Guppy. Platy and Guppies are great for beginners because they are both a hardy fish.

Can guppies live in saltwater?

Not really. Guppies are bred in captivity in freshwater only so they wouldn’t be able to withstand saltwater unless they were slowly acclimated to it. Guppies can, however, live in brackish water with some salinity in it. Saltwater fish are not compatible with freshwater fish so putting guppies in with them would not be a good idea.

Can guppies eat other guppies?

Guppies mouths aren’t large enough to feed on other guppies, but they can and do eat their young. This type of behavior is well known for those that keep guppies so if you’re going to breed them be prepared for this.

Can guppies eat other fish?

Guppies don’t feed on other community type adult fish in the tank, but will eat their fry if hungry. Guppies may get a little aggressive towards others when spawning. They will chase or maybe nip at others. If there are more males than females this behavior becomes more prevalent.

How guppies breed?

The male guppy will make contact with the female guppy and pass a package of sperm known as spermatophores into the female. The female stores this sperm and can have multiple pregnancies from one spermatophore. It takes about 3-5 days for the embryo to form and about 21-30 days for the female to give birth to live guppies. They will repeat this process over and over. After the female gives birth, you can use a breeding trap or remove the adults to prevent them from eating their fry. Also, provide some java moss so the young fry can hide away. You could also allow them to eat the fry if you want to keep the population down.

What to do with the fry?

There are a number of options on what to do with the fry. You can either start a new tank of guppies. You could give them away. You could sell them. You could allow the parents to eat some of them to keep your population down.

How much to feed guppies?

A pinch of flake food a day should be good depending on how many guppies you have. You may have to increase that to a few pinches per day of flake food and then add some frozen or freeze-dried brine shrimp and insect larvae for a variety if you have 10 or more.

What do they eat?

Guppies eat most any fish food. They are omnivores, so they like a combination of commercial flake foods, brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and mosquito larvae. You can get most of these at pet stores or online.

Hikari Fancy Guppy food is what I mainly feed my guppies.

For some variety, I’ll throw them some frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp too.

Will guppies eat shrimp?

Yes, guppies like other fish will feed on shrimp, but most will feed on the baby shrimp because they’re easy targets. Guppies are greedy when it comes to food so they will most likely eat all the food first before the shrimp can get to it and go after the baby shrimp and/or adult shrimp if they can. It’s best to keep some java moss and breed the shrimp first to establish a shrimp colony first, then add some guppies. The more guppies the harder it is to keep shrimp in the tank.

What temperature should the water be?

Good water temperature for a guppy would be about 75 degrees Fahrenheit or about 24 degrees celsius. Any colder than that and the guppies will start to be susceptible to disease. Any hotter and they will be gasping for oxygen at the top of the tank. Guppies are not a cold-water fish. It’s a good idea to see what water temperature they are used where you purchased them. That way you can match what they are used to in the store.

Why are guppies swimming at the top of the tank?

Guppies will swim towards the top of the tank if they are hungry since that is where the food comes from. Sometimes if the water is too hot, or the water parameters are off they will be wanting oxygen. You need to have good surface water agitation as well as decent water parameters.

Why guppies swim up and down?

Usually, this is a sign that your guppy is stressed. It could be bad water parameters in which case you should check for nitrites and ammonia. It could be that the fish tank is overstocked and your guppy is not feeling comfortable. Maybe there are some incompatible fish in the tank and they have nowhere to go. It may also be a sign that the guppy is not well. It may be “swim bladder disease” caused by overeating. If that’s the case, here are some answers:

Why guppies attack each other?

Generally, this occurs when they are mating, but can happen if there are new males introduced to the tank. If there are more males than females the guppies will get kind of feisty with each other. Guppies can get territorial. The ratio of males to females should be 1 male to every 2-3 females. You may need to separate the offending fish in order to correct the problem. Also, provide plenty of hiding spots for them.

Why guppies jump out of the water?

Guppies are known as jumpers. They’ll back up slowly then thrust themselves forward out of the water. It’s suspected they jump for several reasons. To avoid predators, or to catch non-aquatic prey out of the water like flying insects or to avoid obstacles in their migratory route. Either way, it’s a good idea to have a tight cover on your fish tank to prevent them from getting out of the tank and to an early death.

Why guppies die

The lifespan of the typical guppy is 2-3 years. It could be your guppy died of old age. There are also diseases that the guppy may catch as well. Guppies are very overbred in captivity so it is very possible you can get a diseased guppy and not even know it. There are many diseases that a guppy can get such as fin rot, swim bladder disease, or ich. The cause may be poor water parameters or overfeeding the fish or you just got a weak batch of guppies from the store.

Guppies are a great fish for the beginner. They are pretty hardy and will eat almost anything. They are the most bred fish in the hobby so they come in all kinds of pretty colors. The flip side of that, however, is that you could wind up with weak, diseased fish. You need to really watch for signs of disease when you purchase the fish.

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