Guppy Care Guide : All you need to Know

Guppies are known to fish all over the world. As much as they are resistant, many still doubt keeping them in captivity. As long as the aquarium water is in good condition, with a neutral pH, the guppies will not have any problems. This guide will explain how to care for guppies quickly and objectively. We’ll cover everything from the ideal environment to feeding, health, and even reproduction of these fascinating fish.


Guppy Tank Setup and Environment

Many successful aquarists have had a guppy tank setup as their first tank. As straightforward as it may be, setting up the perfect guppy tank setup where fish thrive requires a thoughtful approach. Every detail matters, from tank size to decor; all elements play a crucial role in the well-being of the inhabitants.


Proper Tank Size for Guppies


The first step is considering the available space when designing the guppy tank setup. We will plan the size based on that.


    For beginners, it is worth considering that a small guppy tank setup (below 30 liters) can be more challenging to maintain. Due to the low volume of water, fluctuations in parameters occur abruptly.


    We recommend a 40 to 100-liter for guppy tank setup. This volume provides enough space for the guppies to swim, breed, and live comfortably.


    Larger volumes, up to 200 liters, are a choice for guppy tank setup, as the parameters will remain stable for longer. Tanks above that volume will be more complex to care for.


    When planning the guppy tank setup, we must always know the number of fish and the species we will keep, considering their adult size. In the case of guppies, it is vital to plan the size of the guppy tank setup, thinking about the number of individuals to keep as they reproduce frantically.


Efficient Filtration for the Guppie Aquarium


    The filtration system is the central point of the aquarium. It is what maintains the water quality. There are different types of filters for guppy tank setup. Aquarists mostly use the famous Hang-On-Back (HOB), sponge, and internal filters.


    HOB filters are convenient to install and don’t occupy space inside the guppy tank setup. The negative point is the reduced size of the filtering media.


    Sponge filters are a good choice as they offer easy flow regulation with a good contact surface and are often used in smaller guppy tank setups. The problem is that it needs constant maintenance (cleaning) and is powered by an air pump, which can be noisy.


    Internal filters are also valid for guppy tank setup, providing circulation, expandable media space, and mechanical filtration. The detail of this option is the internal size it occupies.


Decorations and Natural Environment

    In a guppy tank setup, decorations help the well-being of the fish, creating places for the females to hide from males in a breeding frenzy, give birth, and as spaces where the fry can shelter from predators.


    Using natural objects like logs, rocks, and live plants brings a natural look to the guppy tank setup, but artificial decorations can serve the same purpose. Live plants, in addition to aesthetics and creating shelter areas, contribute to water quality, absorbing unwanted substances such as nitrates and phosphates.


    Only use objects made for exclusive use in the guppy tank setup so we guarantee the safety of all inhabitants.


Water, Temperature, and Lighting Parameters


    Keeping water parameters stable and within the ideal is the key to a healthy guppy tank setup and fish. Guppies do well in water with a tropical temperature between 24°C and 27°C. For the temperature not to fluctuate, use a heater with a thermostat.


    In the case of plants in the aquarium, lighting is essential for them to develop. For guppy fish, light serves to differentiate between day and night. Although guppies do well in light, avoid too bright light and use a timer to adjust the duration of light to simulate a natural cycle – a maximum of 12 hours of light per day.


Guppy Feeding and Nutrition

    A proper diet is vital for fish to remain healthy and beautiful, with showy colors and natural behavior. Guppies are always hungry fish and only show a lack of appetite when something is wrong.


The Ideal Diet for Guppies

    Guppies are omnivorous fish, feeding on both plant matter and animal foods. The key to an optimal diet is variety. Always use a range of foods in addition to the daily commercial dry food in guppy feeding and diet. You can use live foods such as daphnia, nauplii, and earthworms, fresh foods such as nori, spirulina, and carrot pieces, frozen pâtés, freeze-dried bloodworms, and quality commercial foods.


Feeding Frequency and Portion Sizes

    Food frequency is a vital factor that goes unnoticed in guppy feeding and diet. Guppies have small stomachs and fast metabolisms, meaning their digestive tracts must always be full of food. The ideal guppy feeding and diet is to feed them several times a day with small portions. Due to the fast pace of everyday life, this is only sometimes possible.


    In these cases, feed the guppies at least twice a day in sufficient portions so that the fish feel satisfied and that no food residues are left in the aquarium; uneaten food affects water quality.


Avoiding Overeating and Health Risks

    You should avoid overeating in the guppy feeding and diet. Overfeeding harms the fish, which can suffer from obesity, negatively impacting the overall health of the guppies. Uneaten food also pollutes the water, with the leftovers being an organic matter that will turn to ammonia, rapidly degrading water quality.


Water Quality and Maintenance

    As much as fish keepers keep fish, the reality is that everything we do in the aquarium is to keep the water quality for guppies always in perfect condition. For that, proper maintenance is indispensable.


Essential Water Parameters for Guppies and Regular Testing


    Understanding the basics of maintaining water quality for guppies is critical to providing a healthy environment. To maintain water quality for guppies, we must monitor levels of physical and chemical parameters such as pH, temperature, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate to provide. For this, use a reliable test kit, routinely performing tests and keeping these parameters stable.


    Guppies do well in a pH range between 6.8 and 7.4. We must keep the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrite close to zero, as these elements are toxic.


The Nitrogen Cycle and Aquarium Cycling

    At first glance, the cycle seems complex, but its function is quite simple and fundamental to maintaining water quality for guppies.

The nitrogen cycle transforms organic matter, like feces and food remains, into less toxic compounds. This transformation is made by beneficial bacteria distributed throughout the aquarium, mainly in biological media.


    The period known to aquarists as aquarium cycling is the time when colonies will establish themselves. This period is variable, and it may take 14 to 31 days.


    Before adding any animal to the aquarium, we must correctly cycle it. The aquarium will be cycled when we carry out the ammonia and nitrite tests, and they are constantly staying close to 0.


Maintenance of parameters and water quality

    Keeping the parameters stable and the tank free of pollutants such as ammonia is vital to maintaining water quality for guppies. You must keep unwanted compounds (like ammonia and nitrite) close to zero. These levels are controlled through water filtration. Nitrates are not consumed by bacteria, having to be removed through regular periodic water changes.


Water Change Frequency and Appropriate Cleaning Procedures


    To maintain water quality for guppies, we must perform water changes weekly. In addition to removing pollutants, partial changes are essential to keep parameters such as pH and hardness. We recommend changing at least 50% of the water, maintaining water quality for guppies.


    The new water must have the parameters corrected concerning the aquarium and treated with a water conditioner. The conditioner is vital to remove unwanted compounds from the water distribution network, such as chlorine and fluorine.


    During weekly maintenance, siphoning the substrate is essential so we remove debris. We must carry out a deeper cleaning monthly, including the cleaning of filters, hoses, decorations, and equipment. Remember to use the correct equipment, such as buckets, nets, and siphons, and use dechlorinated water during cleaning.


Guppy Health and Disease Prevention

    Guppies are hardy fish, but variations in the system can make the fish susceptible to disease, and poor environmental quality causes diseases. Recognizing disease symptoms helps us quickly prevent guppy diseases, identifying and correcting the problem.


Common Health Problems in Guppies


    Guppies that experience stress or live in tanks with poor-quality water are prone to some illnesses. Fin rot and ich are the most common ailments that affect these fish.


    Fin rot is a bacterial disease that leaves the fish’s fins frayed and falling apart. It is a contagious disease and must be treated immediately, improving water quality and using specific medications. 


    Ich is a parasitic infection that causes white spots on the fish’s surfaces. This disease occurs when the fish suffers stress or an abrupt fluctuation of parameters. 


    Preventing guppy diseases is easy. You can control diseases by maintaining good water quality, an ideal diet, and quarantining new fish.



    When we acquire new fish, we must never get home and release them in our aquariums. They can be sick and without apparent symptoms. Before going to the main aquarium. Preventing guppy diseases by isolating the fish in a hospital aquarium, keeping it for around 14 days. In case he has any disease, it will facilitate the treatment and prevent the contagion of the other inhabitants of the aquarium.



    In the case of illness, the faster we act, the better. Consult a specialist professional for appropriate guidelines for the condition you wish to treat. Strictly follow the instructions given by the professional and the medication leaflet.


Preventing diseases

    The best option is always preventing guppy diseases. Maintaining good water quality, regular maintenance, and testing are essential. Water with pollutants and outside ideal parameters weakens the guppies’ immune system, making them susceptible to diseases.


Guppy Breeding and Reproduction

    Guppies are highly prolific fish and breed without problems in home aquariums.


    The first step to guppy breeding and reproduction is to understand sex determination. Males are smaller, showing striking colors, and have a structure called a gonopodium (a hook-shaped anal fin). Females are larger and less colorful, having a genital opening.



    Guppies give birth to fully developed fry, which is why they are called viviparous. To encourage guppy breeding and reproduction, keep the water with ideal parameters for the fish and provide hiding places, such as plants and decorations, for females to feel safe during childbirth. Pregnant females will exhibit a dark spot on the abdomen. As the stage progresses, the spot increases in size.


Preparing a Separate Breeding Tank

    If you want a higher success rate concerning the number of fry from guppy breeding and reproduction, use a breeding tank. In the breeding tank, we managed to remove the mother, preventing her (or other fish) from eating the fry. Just assemble a new tank, cycle it, and add the pregnant female. Decorations and plants make the female feel more at ease. This is the easiest way to guppy breeding and reproduction


Gestation and Care of the Fry

    Gestation of female guppies lasts about 20 to 30 days. We must be prepared to feed the fry that is born; foods such as micro worms or infusoria are used during the first days of life. As they develop, we introduce food that is better suited to their size. Be sure to monitor the water quality in the breeding tank and through the guppy breeding and reproduction.


Guppy Behavior and Tankmates

    Guppies are active, curious, and social fish. They prefer to live in groups so they feel safer. Guppy behavior and socialization are inquisitive and peaceful. Despite being peaceful, males can exhibit competitive behavior, especially with other males, in addition to tirelessly harassing females, wanting to reproduce at any cost.


Compatible Aquarius Mates

Choosing compatible tankmates for guppies is easy and essential to ensure a harmonious environment. Fish of similar size and behavior, such as platys, mollies, and swordtails, are good options. Fish like tetras and rasboras (depending on the species) can be compatible tankmates for guppies. These fish can attack the guppies’ showy fins and inhibit their feeding.


Selecting Suitable Companions

In addition to behavior, compatible tankmates for guppies should share needs for water quality, tank size, and levels of aggressiveness and territorialism. Avoid combinations that could result in aggression or excessive stress. Research well the needs and temperament of the species considered before placing them with the guppy.



Keeping guppies in our aquariums is rewarding and fun. Remember to provide a healthy environment by monitoring water quality and offering a balanced diet. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to create an aquarium that’s vibrant and full of life. Do not hesitate to explore our website and learn more about these fascinating ornamental fish.