Guppy Rearing Guide

how to raise guppies

Guppies are a popular choice for fishkeeping beginners and experts alike. They are colourful, lively, and extremely fun to watch. They are also inexpensive and easy to care for.

Guppies are one of the most colourful tropical freshwater fish in the world. They are small and relatively easy and inexpensive to take care of. They are a great fish to start with when beginning to build an aquarium or learning to care for fish. With a properly outfitted aquarium, proper feeding, and careful handling, these fish can thrive.

Characteristics Values
Aquarium size 10 gallons minimum, 20 gallons recommended
Water temperature 72°-78°F (22°-26°C), 75°-80°F (24°-27°C) or 78°-82°F (26°-28°C)
Water pH 6.8-7.8, 7-8, or 7.5
Water hardness dGH 8-12, 150-450 ppm
Water changes 10% daily, 30% every 5 days, 25% weekly, or 15-20% twice weekly
Water dechlorination Use dechlorinating kit or leave water open for a week
Filtration Sponge filter or similar
Substrate Gravel, sand, bare bottom, or tile
Decorations Live plants, moss, guppy grass, java fern, hiding places, dense foliage
Lighting 8 hours of darkness per day, 12-16 hours of artificial light per day
Feeding 2-4 times per day, only what they can eat in 2 minutes
Food type Flakes, brine shrimp, earthworm flakes, dried bloodworm, white worms, mosquito larvae, live food, dried food, vegetables
Male-to-female ratio 1:2 or 1:3


Aquarium setup

Guppies are colourful tropical freshwater fish that are small, inexpensive, and easy to care for. They are a great choice for beginners in fishkeeping. Guppies are adaptable to a wide variety of conditions, but there are some important factors to consider when setting up their aquarium.

The size of the aquarium tank is crucial. Guppies are small fish, but they still need adequate space to thrive. The general rule of thumb is to provide one gallon of water for every inch of fish. For a trio of guppies (one male and two females), a four-gallon tank is recommended. For each additional guppy, add one gallon of water, maintaining a 1:1 ratio.

It is essential to dechlorinate the water in the tank. Chlorine can be harmful to guppies, so either let the water sit uncovered for a week to evaporate the chlorine or use a dechlorinating kit. Test the water with a chlorine testing kit before introducing the fish.

Maintain the water temperature between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 28 degrees Celsius). Guppies prefer a consistent temperature, so avoid placing the tank in direct sunlight, and use a heater and artificial light to regulate the temperature.

A filtration system is necessary to keep the water clean and oxygenated. Most aquarium tanks come with a basic filtration system, but it may need to be upgraded depending on the number of fish and the size of the tank. A regular filtration system should be sufficient, but for larger setups, an airstone can be added to increase oxygen levels.

When it comes to substrate, gravel or stones are good options for guppies. Live plants are also beneficial as they contribute to maintaining water quality and provide hiding places for the fish. Rinse all substrate and decorations before placing them in the tank to remove any dust or dirt. Avoid using natural items like clams or roots, as they may introduce parasites or alter the water chemistry.

Lighting is another important consideration. Guppies require a regular light cycle, ideally with eight hours of darkness per day. Using artificial lighting with a timer can help maintain a consistent light schedule. Avoid placing the tank near a window, as natural light can affect water temperature and lead to algae problems.

In summary, when setting up an aquarium for guppies, choose an appropriately sized tank, dechlorinate the water, maintain the ideal temperature range, use a suitable filtration system, provide a substrate and live plants, and ensure proper lighting conditions. By following these guidelines, you can create a healthy and comfortable environment for your guppies to thrive.

Guppies' Favorite Foods

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Water parameters

Guppies are adaptable to a wide range of water conditions, but certain water parameters should be followed for optimal health and growth.

The ideal water temperature for guppies is between 10°C and 29°C (50°F to 84°F). It is important to maintain temperature consistency, as too much fluctuation can cause significant health issues. Guppies are sensitive to sudden and drastic drops in temperature.

The ideal pH level for a guppy is between 6.8 and 7.8, which is close to neutral and falls within the range found in their natural habitat. The general hardness of the water should be between dGH 8-12. It is worth noting that the higher the water hardness, the higher the pH level tends to be.

Guppies require hard water with a high calcium content. This is because female guppies, which can give birth to up to 30 fry every month, need to extract high amounts of calcium from the water to maintain the strength of their skeletons and those of their fry.

The total dissolved solids (TDS) in the water should also be considered. TDS measures the amount of minerals and other materials, such as salt, dissolved in the water. Guppies prefer water with a TDS of between 15-30 gH and a carbonate hardness (kH) of 8 or more.

While guppies can survive in waters with temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C-30°C), the optimal temperature range for their growth and health is between 75°F and 78°F (24°C-26°C).

It is important to maintain stable water parameters, as guppies are sensitive to fluctuations. Keeping the aquarium in a room with a stable temperature can help maintain stable water temperatures.

Additionally, performing regular water changes is crucial. Fresh water is essential in a grow-out tank, as it helps eliminate waste and toxins. Weekly water changes of 15-20% are recommended, with more frequent changes needed if feeding the guppies heavily.

Guppy Fry: A Large Litter

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Guppies can be fed all kinds of food, including dry, wet, live, and frozen. It is important to feed them a balanced diet with a mix of protein and vegetable-based foods. Guppy flakes are a good foundation for their diet, but it is important to supplement these with other types of food. Pellet fish food can also be used, but make sure the pellets are small enough for their mouths.

Guppies can also enjoy live or freeze-dried food in their diet. Popular options include brine shrimp, daphnia, mosquito larvae, and bloodworms. In addition, guppies like vegetables such as lettuce, peas, and cucumbers.

It is recommended to feed guppies small amounts 2-4 times per day. Guppies should be able to consume the food within two minutes to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to intestinal blockage and water pollution. Monitor your guppies' digestive health by observing the tank water; if it becomes cloudy, reduce the amount of food by about 20%.

For guppy fry, it is important to feed them a variety of high-quality food to ensure they get all the necessary minerals and vitamins. Feed them live food daily and offer them dry food as well. Guppy fry should be fed 3-5 times a day.

Guppies: Flow Rate Tolerance

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Tank maintenance

Guppies are a great fish to start with when building an aquarium, as they are small, colourful, and relatively easy and inexpensive to take care of. They are also very adaptable to a variety of conditions. However, there are still some important steps to follow to ensure your guppies are healthy and thriving.

Firstly, it is important to have the right size tank. Guppies are very small fish with a small bio-load, so they don't need much space, but they do need enough room to thrive. As a general rule, one gallon of water is enough to support one inch of fish. For three guppies, you will need a four-gallon tank, and for any additional guppies, you should stick to the 1:1 ratio rule, providing at least one gallon of water per guppy.

The next step is to dechlorinate the water. You can do this by letting the water sit with the lid open for about a week, or you can buy a dechlorinating kit. It is important to dechlorinate the water and to continue to test and treat the water regularly to maintain the right conditions for your guppies. The ideal water temperature for guppies is anywhere between 10°-29°Celsius (50°F – 84°F). It is also important to maintain the right pH level, which should be close to neutral, between 6.8 and 7.8, and the water hardness should be dGH 8-12.

You will also need a filtration system in your tank, and it is recommended to use a sponge filter to avoid strong water flow. Guppies like to have hiding places, so you can add some substrate to the bottom of the tank, such as stones or gravel, and add plants and decorations. Live plants are recommended, as they help to keep the water clean and provide a food source for the guppies. Java moss, guppy grass, and java fern are good options, as they are easy to care for and do not require special lights or fertilizers.

In terms of lighting, guppies should get about eight hours of darkness per day, so you can set a light on a timer, or turn it on and off manually. Avoid placing the tank in direct sunlight, as this can affect the temperature of the water.

To keep your tank clean and your guppies healthy, you should clean the tank once a week, changing about 25% of the water and replacing it with fresh, dechlorinated water. You can use a siphon hose to vacuum up any leftover food or algae from the bottom of the tank. It is also important to clean the glass, decorations, and filter regularly.

By following these steps and maintaining the right water conditions, you can ensure that your guppy tank is a healthy and happy environment for your fish.



Guppies breed very rapidly and with ease, so you won't need to do anything special to get them to breed. However, you should ensure that the conditions in the tank are suitable. Keep the tank between 75 and 85°F (25 and 30°C), and set up a gentle filter to keep the water clean and oxygenated. Guppies prefer a pH level of around 6.8 to 7.8, the same as their natural habitat, and a water hardness of dGH 8-12.

Male guppies are usually brighter and more vivid in colour than females, and they're also smaller. You should keep two or three female guppies for every male guppy. Males can be aggressive and will chase females around the tank, so keeping more females than males will reduce this issue.

You'll know a female guppy is pregnant when a spot called a gravid spot, located behind its anal fin, gets darker and its stomach starts to grow. The gestation period for guppy fry is 21 to 31 days. One week before a female is about to give birth, or when you notice its belly developing an angular shape, move it to a separate breeding tank.

The breeding tank should be bare-bottomed, with a temperature of around 77-80°F (25 to 26.66°C). Use low-floating plants to provide cover for the fry, who tend to sink, and some high cover for when they start to swim upwards. Java moss or spawning moss are good options. Guppy parents can be cannibalistic, so you will need to remove the male before the female gives birth, and the female as soon as she has finished.

Alternatively, you can use a breeding trap inside your main tank. Place the female in the trap before she gives birth, and the fry will be able to swim out through the small holes, but the mother won't be able to get to them.

A healthy female guppy will produce between 18 and 40 fry, which are born fully formed and able to fend for themselves. They can emerge in several groups over 24 hours.

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Frequently asked questions

The ideal water temperature for guppies is anywhere between 10°-29° Celsius (50°F – 84°F).

The ideal pH level for a guppy ranges from 6.8 to 7.8.

The ideal water hardness for guppies is dGH 8-12.

Experts recommend at least a 1:2 male-to-female ratio for guppies because male guppies tend to harass females and chase them around too much if alone.

Guppies can be fed all kinds of food, both dry and wet, and both live and frozen. You can feed them brine shrimp, earthworm flakes, dried bloodworm, white worms, mosquito larvae, and vegetables such as lettuce, peas, and cucumbers.

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