How To Care For Guppies? – [Begineer’s Guide]

Ever thought of having a fish as a pet? Well, who won’t love to have some little colorful creatures around them?

At some point, we all must have had this thought. And the most popular fishes for this diversion are Care For Guppies.

These cute babies are adorable and they add a whole lot of hues to the boring aquarium.

Guppies are among the most colorful tropical fish of freshwater.

Being small and cute at the same time, these are the easiest to take care of.

For people who found a hobby of petting a fish or bought a new aquarium, Guppies can be a perfect kick start.

These are affordable and need no extra measures to keep them.

Guppies or scientifically known as Poecilia reticulata can adapt to a new environment.

Yes, they are easy to take care of but still, you need some tips and tricks.

So we are here to help you with everything you ever need to know.

In today’s article, we will cover a few crucial aspects that you need to know.

If you plan to buy or already have an aquarium and Guppies, stick till the end.

All you need is to put in some attention and they can thrive in your aquarium.

Let’s get started without further ado!

Where Do They Come From ?

Where Do They Come From

You might have heard other names for guppies. Some call them million fish, some prefer rainbow fish, and so on.

You might have seen these colorful creatures in various aquariums and tanks. Well, do you know where guppies come from?

The majority of guppies are in South America and if you specify the countries.

You can find these beautiful fish in Guyana, Barbados, and Brazil.

But you will be pretty surprised to know that these are now found in other parts too.

As these tend to thrive on mosquito larvae, they are used to ward off mosquitos.

People expect them to be a source of halting the growth of malaria in various affected countries.

So you will more likely find them in coastal fringes in South America.

Aquarium Size Suitable for Guppies:

As these fish are pretty small in sizes, so is their bio-load. This leads to the conclusion that they won’t need much space for living.

Yet that doesn’t mean you can keep them in a tiny jar. They do need a decent amount of space so they can thrive easily.

For basic estimation, you can go with an aquarium that holds 10 gallons of water.

You can keep let’s say 5 guppies in this aquarium and won’t prefer to overcrowd it.

It would need low-maintenance and fish will also remain healthy.

Then there is another rule based on the estimation. It goes like 1 gallon of water is plenty for 1 inch of fish.

The experts suggest that for both sexes, keep them in a trio.

So if you have 1 trio of guppies, you will need 4 gallons of water in the aquarium.

As the number increases, you can work with a 1:1 ratio rule. The rule is you put at least 1-gallon per guppy.

Hence the conclusion is for 3 guppies = 4 gallons, 6 guppies = 6 gallons, and such that.

Filtration for Guppies:

Filtration for Guppies

You weren’t planning to leave the little fish without any filtration, were you?

It is pretty much obvious that like feeding them you also need powerful filters.

But there are preferred by first-timers and are not a necessity.

Some people tend to avoid filtration whereas others don’t. But we urge you to use a filter so the water is clean.

It also saves you a lot of time like changing the water now and then.

Considering the fact these babies have a short lifespan or bio-load, you can opt for a normal filter.

And for a little hint, a tank with 10 gallons needs a filter with a circulation of 50 gallons an hour.

Lighting for Guppies:

If you have a heater installed, you might skip the natural sunlight. As it will cause overheating and more issues.

Yet being tropical fish they need somewhat the same lighting.

You can try to mimic the natural lights in the tank. For this purpose, the best options are day/night cycles with a full spectrum.

If you have a window, that will also do the job and provide the required light.

Whereas if there are no windows around the corner or in the room you can opt for some artificial ones.

Plants and Decorations for Your Guppies:

Plants and Decorations for Your Guppies

An aquarium or tank will be so empty if there is no green in it.

Fishes do need an environment that replicates their natural habitat.

Or else they fight feel foreign, won’t adapt, or be sad and lonely.

Want to know something amazing?

With guppies, you can place some plants in your tank. You can also pick some decorative items for the fish.

Plants like ferns, java moss, water sprite, etc are the optimal choice.

Guppies being prey fish enjoy hiding in plants and play around.

These plants are dense and cover up their nature

. Apart from that, you can add up some artificial caves and PVC tubing.

An ideal substrate for guppies is sand. It has all the perks and almost no setback.

It has a fine texture, won’t cause clogging, easy to replace, and whatnot.

Or if you are not a fan of sand, there are some more options. Go for crushed coral, gravel or large rocks, etc.

The Best Male to Female Ratio:

Now that you have an aquarium and are all set to get some guppies.

There is yet another factor you need to keep in consideration.

You can go to either keeping both genders and anyone of them.

So if you want to opt for the same sexes then you can pick male guppies.

First of all, these are a lot more colorful than the females and you won’t need to worry about breeding.

Whereas if you want some breeding to occur or simply want both sexes, you will need some tips.

In case you want females and males together, there is a ratio recommended by experts. So the best ratio is 1:2 male to female ratio.

The reason is simple, male guppies tend to chase the female quite often.

Hence keeping the females on a higher number will be a suitable option.

Or you can only pick one trio and more if you want like 2 males with 4 or more females and 3 males with 6 or more females, etc.

Water Temperature:

Water Temperature11

Guppies might be able to adapt to new environments with ease yet you need to keep them comfy.

Yes, we are talking about the water temperature that would be ideal for these fish.

Being a freshwater fish, you will need to maintain a certain temperature for them.

Even though they are pretty tough they won’t survive in unfavorable conditions.

You can create an atmosphere that mimics the Amazon River or lakes from South America.

With the ideal temperature set, you need to maintain it and avoid any fluctuations.

The ideal temperature is between 50⁰F – 84⁰F and 10⁰C- 29⁰C. Sudden and drastic fluctuations can cause a problem.

  You can install a thermometer to keep an eye on. Or buy a small heater if the water needs heating.

While buying a heater ensures that the size is appropriate for the aquarium.

Consider having a 5-gallon aquarium then you need a small heater.

Whereas for a larger aquarium you can opt for a more powerful heater.

Another crucial point is to keep the heater out of direct heat so it won’t overheat the tank.

You can use artificial light in the tank rather than preferring sunlight.

Further, if somehow the water overheats, take some out and replace it with cold water.

It will maintain the balance again in the meantime.

Water Parameters and Changing Water:

For maintaining a healthy life span you need to keep an eye on various factors.

Guppies might be hard and adaptable but they prefer a certain pH level of the water.

For guppies close to normal pH is suitable to thrive.

The pH level and hardness of water are decisive elements for survival.

We all know that the pH level resides from 1 to 14 with 1 to 7 being acidic. The pH of the water is 7 means it is neutral and the later to 14 are alkaline.

For guppies, the most suitable range lies from 6.8 to 7.8 which is also the pH of their natural habitat.

As for the hardness level, the requisite is dGH 8-12.

Water hardness and pH have a concurrence between them which needs maintenance.

If the hardness is high so will be the pH level and vice versa.

Often we are urged to change half of the water in a week so it is clean as fresh. 

Rather than changing half of it, you can even change 10% of the water.

Well, it completely depends on you and how much time you can give.

If you feel everyday 10% is too much, then opt for 30% every 5 days.

Then again the options are countless and depend on you only.

Apart from the pH and hardness, you also need to be careful about dechlorinating the water.

To do so you can choose among the few common methods.

For instance, let the water sit for a week until the chlorine evaporates.

Or you can even buy some dechlorinating kit for the purpose.

Dechlorinate the water and if you change it then do the same in future too.

As for dechlorinating the kits are available at any local store at a cheaper rate.

You need to do the chlorine testing to ensure that the water is clean and ready for the fish.

Moreover, tap water contains a certain amount of chlorine so try to avoid it.

Instead, use filtered, distilled, or purified water yet test it too.

Feeding Guppies:

Feeding Guppies

Coming towards another important task while keeping guppies is to feed them.

Now, this might feel like a piece of cake but is not. There are far more factors involved that need your attention. A proper feed is also helpful to keep the fish healthier.

Rather than sticking to a certain food type, you should go for fish flakes along with other types.

This brings a variety to their diet and the best base is guppy flakes.

You can also opt for Pellet fish food but keep the pellets small so they can eat.

Apart from that guppies also like freeze-dried food or live food. Such as daphnia, bloodworms, shrimp, mosquito larvae, etc.

Another astounding fact is that guppies eat veggies like peas, lettuce, and cucumber.

But that doesn’t mean you can feed them everything all at once.

You must rather stick to avoid overfeeding them and don’t add excess food.

The fish might eat all the food but it later causes issues for the little fish.

It can cause intestinal blockage, which leads to a trail of poop.

Furthermore, the uneaten food will eventually rot and cause pollution.

Feed the right food:

Though guppies can survive on all sorts of foods like dry and wet.

So you can either shop for some pre-made flake food for ease.

A caution is to avoid feeding food with higher protein.

For a balanced diet, rather opt some veggies they like. Brine shrimp, white worms are also some great options.

But feed them only once or twice each day and that too in small amounts.

Feed Them in a Small Portion:

Feed Them in a Small Portion

Your guppies need food but in a rather balanced amount. You can simply divide their diet into portions and feed them throughout the day.

Try to make some variations in their food each time. Like feed them flake food once and later bloodworms.

But always ensure that they can consume the food in two minutes max.

Monitor the Health:

Sometimes people tend to overfeed their fish and the fish might consume all the food.

What happens is that they lead to several digestive problems. You can track their health by the tank water.

If you see the water turning cloudy, take the hint. Or if you seem to have a problem with the algae.

These sorts of things point that something is wrong with the feeding.

For a cloudy tank, you will have to reduce the feed by 20% for a few days.

If it helps then well and good and the water will also get balanced again.

The reason behind this is an excess of toxic substances including nitrite/ammonia.

A Wonderful Addition to Your Aquarium:

A Wonderful Addition to Your Aquarium

Guppies are among the most colorful species and they bring a vibrant feel to the tank.

Also, they can reside with any other fish in the same tank. They won’t get into a fight with most of the fishes.

And above all, they are too adorable to ignore.

Moreover, these are not only appealing to the eyes but require minimal effort.

You won’t need any extra care tips but a few basics. Also, you only have to be careful about the combos being together in a tank.

Tips and Cautions:

Here a few basic tips and cautions that might be helpful for you. Before getting some cute guppies you can take a quick peek at them.

  • You can keep both sexes in the same aquarium. Yet sometimes the male guppies tend to tear other’s fin. So it would be safe to keep them separate for a few days.
  • Though guppies can sustain and get adapted to being with other fishes. You only need to avoid such fish that nip fins.
  • Some fish can attack like the fins and won’t prefer to share the tank. In such cases keep your guppies in a separate tank. Or opt for some friendly fishes to share the tank.
  • When the female gives birth, move the babies to another tank as they are too small. Also, sometimes the parents fish tend to eat the babies.
  • The babies are too small so to ensure their safety you need to cover the filter intake with some fine net or mesh.
  • A single guppy can often feel sad and lonely. So at least keep 2 of the same gender and if you want variation then a trio.
  • If you have bought the female guppy from a pet store, you must know this. The female might be already with a male guppy and have his genetic material. Females can store it for a year so it can fry any time.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many guppies should I get?

It depends on you that how many you want or can take care of.

Though they are pretty colorful and affordable yet you can buy them in abundance.

Always ensure that no matter how many guppies you have, keep the ratio maintained. Keep a male to a female ratio like 1:2.

Also, it depends on the tank size and water capacity. If you want to breed then you can opt for a few females and males.

But if you only want them for adding bling to the room. Go for a few males as they won’t fry and would bring more colors.

What fish can live with guppies?

If you want to keep other fish or mates for the guppies, you need to do some research.

As the guppies can survive only at a certain temperature, look for fish that can thrive.

Try to keep the temperature range in mind while looking for other fish.

Often the tropical or freshwater fish can survive in warm water like guppies.

For instance, goldfish prefer cold water so avoid those. The freshwater fish needs water free from salt.

So avoid mollies, clownfish, and damselfish.

Honey gouramis, Cory catfish, are some options as they are shy and peaceful.

Neon and cardinal tetras are comparing small and need minimal tank space.

Guppies tend to stick to the middle or top of the tank so you can also pick some bottom fish.

Like loaches or Bristlenose plecos are great options as bottom dwellers.

Do guppies die easily?

Even though guppies are considerably tough and are adaptive.

Sometimes they can die easily and there can be a lot of reasons. If your guppies keep dying now and then, read this.

  • First and one of the main reasons is that water quality is poor. You might have overfed them and polluted the water. Or they have digestive issues which cause pollution and rise the toxin level.
  • Then the lack of Oxygen in water can also lead to their death. If you replace the water with either too hot or too cold water. It will cause a sudden transition in temperature.
  • Chlorine can also be a cause as tap water contain it. But if you treat the tap water, you might be able to avoid it.
  • Your tank must have 0 ppm of Ammonia level. In other words, there must be no Ammonia in the tank, and if there is. Your fish will probably die if the level rises as the bacteria turns it into nitrites.
  • If there is uneaten food, it can not only pollute but decompose into ammonia. If there is a dead fish then the decay will increase the level.

Wrapping It Up!!!

Guppies are a great choice if you want to put some colors in your tank.

These species will need less care, can adapt anywhere, are peaceful.

With proper feeding and maintenance, you won’t face any issues.

Then they are also pretty affordable and you can even breed them.

You only need to keep in mind 2-3 points like proper feeding, cleaning the water, and the ratio of genders.

If you follow up on these keynotes, you are all set with your fish.

In the end, if you want to know more about guppies, feel free to contact us.

Though we tried our best to cover up all possible aspects of guppies. Yet we always feel delighted to help out the readers.

Whenever you find it difficult to understand anything about the ways to care for the Guppies, you can simply ask them about it.

We will thoroughly analyze all the things you need to know and provide the best possible and viable answers to the problem. 

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