Guppy fish are a small, freshwater fish which grow to approximately five inches long. Their lifespan is short, only three years, but they can breed fast. These fish are not very hardy and do not survive long in ponds or tanks outside of their native habitats. They also reproduce quickly and can become overpopulated in a short time frame.
Maybe you are wondering- are guppy fish tropical? In this article, we will find out the answer as well as the tips you can do to create a natural habitat for them in captivity.
Are Guppy Fish Tropical?
Guppy fish are not tropical in the true sense of the word, but they could be compared to a tropical fish because their native habitats consist of groups and swamps. They also live in areas with rich plant coverage that dries out during certain periods. This planet earth article suggests that guppy cultures should strive for more water changes instead of physical ones- which is important if you want your guppies to survive long-term health.
A tropical environment is home to many species. A common ancestor of guppy fish comes from sunny climes, the Boraras genus for instance. Reef-based aquariums are on most people’s minds these days but this does not mean that all fish native to warm climates form part of a saltwater or reef set up if you housed them in an area close enough (even your back yard) and as long as they have access to someplace shaded from the scorching sun.
Why Are Guppies Considered Tropical Fish?
One of the many reasons guppies are considered to be a “model tropical fish” is that they don’t need much in terms of decoration and cannot create mess if placed properly. Guppy fishes live in temperatures exceeding 20 degrees Celsius and require a pH between 6.5 to 8, making them the perfect fit for tropical home aquarium!
Guppies are very easy to care for. These tiny creatures require minimal effort and with proper feeders, they need no time at all to get used to bigger fishes or meatier foods than usual insect larvae. Also as compared with other tropical fish, guppies have a low environmental impact making it possible for this type of water organism be easily maintained in small tanks anywhere!
What Guppy Aquarium Size Should I Get?
A 10 gallon tank has been shown to work great for a small group of 5 or 6 guppies, and all this fish will need is about 1.4 gallons per day for half hours each morning. So if you have ten large tanks that collectively have a 55 gallon capacity, then this is an easy way of getting your pool started without much hassle.
How to Create a Tropical Aquarium for Guppies?
Isolated areas with few water changes are the best environments to keep guppies in. To give them some housing, you will want to select a decoration that enables these fish to monitor their surroundings and move freely throughout the tank’s living area. Decoration is not only important but it also has an integral role within guppy culture for good health’s sake since radical variations can negatively impact your lovelies’ quality of life.
Therefore, you should understand that assessing what community features would benefit your guppies may happen with the help of a few trial runs when buying new decoration materials. A few more things to consider to create a tropical aquarium for your guppies are:
- Temperature: A tank temperature of 20 to 23 Degrees Fahrenheit (68.3 – 74.4 degrees Celsius).
- pH Level: An acid level between 6 and 8.
- Holding Water Temperature: Between 65 – 75 Degrees Fahrenheit (18 – 24 Celsius).
- Water Balance: A small amount of salt will help to regulate the water balance and may add a level of hardness.
- Substrate: Use natural or artificial substrate containing gravel, which can be washed periodically with tepid/warm clean water.
- Diet: Feed fish as much “live” food as possible by feeding them insect larvae (the guppies’ favorite), or use their feeder if you have one!
- Water Quality: Keep the water quality high and oxygenated with an air stone or sponge filter.
Please remember that captive fish are living creatures and require stimulation too! Adding carnivorous plants in most successful home aquaria seems a good choice for guppies since it will keep them guessing about what is edible or not, helping their brain develop toward this type of food habit. While population viability analyses suggest crustaceans may be sometimes unnecessary for guppies (who don’t seem capable of digesting their normal diet), this is not recommended for people who have raised them from little babies.
Maybe it will be cool to expect your guppies’ bones to grow in size because some marine crustaceans are a prime source of calcium (which can mean bigger fish too). But then again, such rare cases exist and you decide which value system your aquarium ecosystem should align with.
What Aquarium Accessories Are Best For Guppies as Tropical Fish?
If the guppies are being raised in a cycling aquarium then there are no special tanks needed, however if they have just hatched and need to establish their home then it would be important that your tank contains:
- A fish safe heater, rocks and gravel to provide hiding places.
- Plants like water wisteria, java moss, Anubias nana or water sprite (if your plan means the tank will become used for any length of time).
- Some floating plants you can mist with a spray bottle.
- A heater to keep the water at around.
What Do Guppies Eat as Tropical Fish?
Guppies will eat flakes and other small food, but they also like eating their own eggs! This is a good option if you’re trying to get your hatchlings free foods too early on in life so that they learn to be more frugal with what’s available. What guppies should not be fed is the regular fish foods meant for other kinds of fish.
What Other Tropical Fish Can You Keep in Your Guppy Tank?
- Corydoras Catfish: Native to the Amazon river of South America, these fish are typically kept in smaller tanks and they can survive a range of different water conditions.
- Platy Fish: While this little fish is not originally from the tropics, it’s difficult to find any type of truly temperate tank with good filtration where most “freshwater aquariums” cannot be maintained for long periods without becoming contaminated.
- Neon Tetra: These are a tropical fish living natively in fresh water and can be found on the Amazon river! They have a unique appearance with their neon like coloring and vibrant, bold spots.
- Otocinclus Catfish: These are typically kept in smaller tanks and some enthusiasts keep them as “pets”, without any intentions of breeding these fish.