This multi-hued tropical fish is abundant. Native to warmer climates, they have been introduced to every region of the world except Antarctica. They were originally imported to reduce the mosquito population but now are often used as aquarium pets due to their bright colors and small size.
Because of their minute dimensions, caring for them is relatively easy. They are adaptable and have strong constitutions and they aren’t affected by changes in environment as easily as other fish. Unlike many fish species, guppies can live either alone or with other guppies making them a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts.
Guppies may be small but that doesn’t mean they want to live in a small fish bowl! Provide them with a sizeable tank. For one guppy, a five-gallon tank should be enough although many guppy-keepers prefer 10 gallons. Anything smaller than a five-gallon tank will be difficult to keep clean.
Furthermore, a larger tank will allow you to put some decorations inside. Because guppies are small, tropical fish, they like to hide around plants and sediment in their natural habitats. Choose soft plants and smooth rocks or decorations that won’t catch their fins or damage their scales when they are hiding.
Keeping a tank clean is easy and inexpensive nowadays. A five-gallon tank with lights and a filtration system can be purchased for under $50. This is much easier than cleaning out a fish bowl!
They like tropical environments so room temperature water is best. Anything between 50- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit is fine but make sure the temperature remains constant. Just like humans, guppies don’t do well with extreme temperature fluctuations.
Guppies are get-along guys. They can either live alone or with other fish. Unlike the tiny betta fish guppies will not fight with each other. They live peacefully with their brethren and they can sometimes live harmoniously with other fish species. Take care to put them in a tank with fish that won’t eat them; guppies in the wild provide a food source for other fish.
Guppies will mate and breed so if you have several in one tank together you will certainly have a guppy family. Keep everyone in the family well-fed. Guppy parents have been known to cannibalize their young. To ensure that everyone in the family is clean and has enough room upgrade your tank size to at least 10 gallons.
The best fish to keep with guppies are platys or gouramis. These varieties are peace-loving and won’t fight or bully the guppies – and vice versa. A friendly fish tank environment is another element in having healthy, happy fish.
As mentioned above, guppies will cannibalize the weaker ones if they don’t have enough food. Usually, though, guppy owners are more in danger of overfeeding their charges. Guppies like to overeat but their small stomachs will become severely distressed with indigestion and bloating.
Guppies eat a wide variety of food including blood worms, some vegetables, and baby brine shrimp. Feed them flake food for most of their meals and replace a meal here and there with a blood worm or shrimp treat. Do not feed them live daphnia or tubifex worms as these can cause illness.
If you have baby guppies, feed them fish fry food made for extremely tiny mouths. They won’t be able to eat pellets or flakes, so it’s important to foster their health with suitable food. Fish fry food can be bought in any pet supply store or online.
By Gabrielle Allemeier
The Aquarium Guide: How to Care for Guppies
Fish Keeping Advice: Guppies Care Guide (Diet, Breeding & Tank Conditions)
Modest Fish: Guppy Care Sheet: Easy to Follow Guide on Creating a Happy & Healthy Environment
About the Author
Gabrielle Allemeier volunteers her free time as an animal rescuer and foster pet parent. As an animal lover, she enjoys sharing the knowledge she has gained from her experience with a variety of animals. Along with being an animal lover, Gabrielle is a globetrotter. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her terrier, Thisbe.