How to Care for a Guppy Fish: Your Ultimate Guide

Guppy fish is a popular aquarium pet and can be quite challenging to keep. When they start getting older, they become more difficult to care for. This article is all about guppy fish care. You will find in this article what type of food to feed your guppy fish, how often to feed your guppy fish and many other topics about the caring of guppy fish.

half black blue guppy (Poecilia reticulata), also known as millionfish and rainbow fish

How to Care for a Guppy Fish

To take care of guppy fish, you need to make sure they have the right, overall environment to keep them healthy. There is no definitive answer to this question as taking care of a guppy fish can be a long discussion. Many aspects can be taken into consideration, but the main thing is that you should be able to determine the significant factors.

Here’s an ultimate list of the things you need to consider when taking care of your guppy fish:

Aquarium Size

How much tank space depends on all the necessities that this fish requires such as water conditions, physiological parameters, their physical state at all times as well as how they interact with each other in different groups during mating season, all of which we are going to discuss as we go on.

To start with, there are three sizes commonly in circulation for beginners, 5 gallons, 20 gallons, and 30 gallons. A 5-gallon tank is suitable for a pair of guppies but as they grow bigger, a 20-gallon tank would be needed. You might also want to consider a 30-gallon tank as soon as your guppies begin to give birth to their babies.

In general, the rule of thumb is a 5-gallon tank can provide a home to no more than 3 guppies.

Aquarium Mixture

There are special additives that help build up your pet’s immune system when keeping several types of fish in the same aquarium. By adding these additives, you will be able to help protect all your pets from each other’s immune reactions and diseases.

For example, several types of medications can be taken out by this means; yet if you combine them with a big number of common bacteria and fungi that guppy is said to carry during spawning periods (this period when one type or other male guppies try winning female consent) then they appear on the surface of your tank, which no longer looks attractive to guppy owners.

Furthermore, your fish aquarium should have a massive environment with a sand bed that will provide a healthy surface for your guppies. This method is known to support breeding and long-term captivity success rates by the industry leaders themselves.

Aquarium Location

The aspect of location is also important. Choose your aquarium place wisely. Do not put it in direct sunlight as this may cause a lot of problems with new fish keepers. One problem can be overheating (that again makes easing the temperature that guppies need very difficult) and such overheated fishes tend to suffer from skin bleeds that could lower their lifespan slightly.

Water Temperature

Values between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 28 degrees Celsius) are recommended by most professionals. Do not keep these fish away from a heater in the very cold months. A critically low temperature freezes all forms of guppies’ gills as well as fins; so when they become frozen it, may cause them great pain and this is how it can even damage the internal organs of fishes. Such symptoms are very similar to those that were reported by wild-caught guppies, whose water temperature was typically quite chilly.

As a necessity, you can choose to buy a heater for your guppies to maintain a suitable water temperature for them.

Water Quality

A fish’s well-being depends on its living conditions and this includes water quality. Take care of the pH and water hardness in an aquarium as varied from tank to tank. Aquarium conditions vary widely: one source has various proportions with this issue, but a lot of skilled aquarists prefer to keep their figures based on unique tanks. It is recommended to have a pH level of 6.8 to 7.6 and a water hardness level of dGH 8-12 for your guppies.

In addition, clean and free of wastes water plus fertilizers is a must, to maintain healthy fish stocks in the long run and keep them thriving during your entire absence from their new home.

Guppy, poecilia reticulata, Male

Water Parameters

Pay attention to the total dissolved solids (TDS) that your tank’s aquarium possesses. If they hover around 200 to 1000 parts per million (ppm) it is considered borderline acceptable; otherwise, you may want to lower the pH level of your aquarium a little more to help prevent common problems like disease propagation and constipation which in turn reduces ammonia levels.

While guppies can breed freely and easily, it is best not to alter the parameters of their environment unless you want your breeding tanks being heavily contaminated with harmful metabolites. Changing anything in a tropical fish tank can create unwanted changes which may prove fatal for your existing healthy lower risk specimens depending on what has been done and when.


Guppy fish need consistent levels of lighting to survive. As a general rule, your guppy fish should get 8 to 10 hours of light per day. Achieving this through either a single light or several lights is important. Some tanks can be created with artificial lighting, so keep this in mind if your budget doesn’t allow for the purchase of a separate fixture.

Feeding and Diet

Feed your guppy a high-quality diet, including variety and quantity of the food as they are omnivores and would not be choosy to most food. As for types of food, there is a general order that you should consider when feeding your guppies. The first category is no different from the general population of other freshwater fish; pellets are excellent feeder fish as well and more vigorous than “flake” foods or live foods.

The second category of foods will be things such as spirulina flake flakes or frozen bloodworms that begin the transition from feeder fish into higher-protein and fixed diet forms. These can dramatically affect either level of aggression in your new softies or how readily they accept prepared foods of this nature. Thirdly, there are the types we would classify as “general diet” and these include chopped up fresh or freeze-dried bloodworms (and frozen brine shrimp sometimes), super worms, and crushed algae wafers.

Behavior and Temperament

Your guppy’s behavior will be determined by its genetics and training. Many “momma” guppies will tend to be more nurturing than their harder-nosed male counterparts, while others may act as if they are the boss of the tank. Some good habits you can begin training young fish is to introduce them slowly into your home aquarium and make sure they have a hiding place in case they become scared or stressed out – these fish can be somewhat skittish.


Guppies can begin to reproduce as early as 2 months of age. Females generally are smaller and more slender than males. The breeding season will be determined by light cycles in your tank. Many fish like to spawn at dawn or dusk, although some can do it in the middle of the day sometimes. If they seem interested midday you may have them spawning often if you offer extremely consistent daylight hours for a few days before their desired time of peak window.

Tank Mates

There are many tank mates for guppies. Some that would be compatible include bettas, Cory catfish, and plecos. However, it is important to research what fish may be compatible with your particular guppy before purchasing them to avoid any potential problems down the road.

When buying guppies, you can also shop for snails or shrimp with them!  This way there will be additional oxygen supply thus are less stressed out by lack of it. It’s worth noting that these shrimp and snails will contribute to filtration as well.