Snail And Guppy Tank Size Guide

what size of tank to get for snails and guppies

Guppies and snails are both popular choices for home aquariums, but it's important to ensure you have the right tank size to keep them happy and healthy. Guppies are small fish, but they are social and active, so they need enough space to swim comfortably and interact with each other. The general recommendation for guppies is a minimum of a 10-gallon tank, but if you're planning on keeping a larger group or want to provide a more spacious environment, a 20- or 40-gallon tank is ideal. On the other hand, snails require a different tank shape rather than size to thrive. A shallower and longer tank is best, as it maximises floor space and reduces the risk of injury from falling from heights. A 2-3 gallon tank should be sufficient for a couple of snails, but the wider the tank, the easier it will be for them to find food.

Characteristics Values
Minimum tank size for snails 2-3 gallons
Ideal tank size for snails Longer than it is tall, wider than 4 gallons
Minimum tank size for guppies 5 gallons
Minimum recommended tank size for guppies 10 gallons
Ideal tank size for guppies 40 gallons


Guppies are a popular choice for aquariums due to their brilliant colours, lively personalities, and ease of breeding. However, it is important to ensure that they have enough space to live comfortably. While they are small fish that don't require huge tanks, a tank that is too small will make guppies feel crowded, and it will be more difficult to maintain stable water parameters.

The smallest recommended tank size for guppies is 5 gallons for a trio of fish. However, given their quick reproduction rate, a larger tank is often suggested. A 10-gallon tank is commonly recommended as the minimum for guppies, comfortably holding a small group of around 5 guppies or up to 10 with an experienced aquarist. A 10-gallon tank will also allow for the necessary additional equipment, such as a water filter and air pump, without significantly reducing the water volume.

With their rapid reproduction, a larger tank may be more suitable in the long run. A 20- or 40-gallon aquarium will provide ample space for a larger group of guppies and make it easier to maintain stable water chemistry, as there will be less impact from increased waste production and toxin accumulation. A bigger tank also allows for more decorations and equipment to be added without worrying about losing water volume.

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Guppies are social, so they need to be kept in groups

Guppies are a peaceful and social species, so they need to be kept in groups. While they are not schooling fish, they do tend to stick together in a group. Guppies are not a species that can live alone, and a single specimen in a jar or bowl can become stressed and dull. They are healthier in a group and like to hang out together.

The ideal guppy group has one male and two to three females. This is when these fish will feel most content and happy. Keeping them in a group makes them comfortable and safe, and they will display their best colours. A lone guppy will get stressed and is more likely to contract diseases and die prematurely.

Male guppies can stress out females as they constantly chase them to reproduce, so it is important to have a balance. Male guppies are more colourful and have more interesting patterns, so people tend to pick males for their tanks. Females are a bit larger and their colours are not as bright, but they can thrive well alone. If you keep only males, they may become territorial and aggressive towards each other.

Guppies can also be kept with other community fish. They are a good tank mate for many community-friendly fish, such as platies, swordtails, mollies, honey gouramis, cory catfish, cardinal tetras, and otocinclus catfish. They get along with peaceful community fish that are not big enough to mistake them for food and are not aggressive.

When setting up a mixed-breed aquarium, it is important to consider water parameters and tank size. A small aquarium is less stable and more prone to sudden ammonia spikes, and it can cause oxygen deficiency and increased toxin levels. It is also crucial to pick compatible fish to avoid bullying, fighting, and stress.


Snails need a tank that's wider than it is tall

Guppies require a minimum of 10 gallons of water, while snails need a tank that is wider than it is tall. This is because snails can fall from "high" heights and break their shells. A 3-gallon tank is the bare minimum for a betta fish, and even that is pushing it.

If you're looking to keep snails, a 4-gallon tank is a good starting point, but a 2-3 gallon tank can also work. The most important thing is to maximise floor space so that it's easier for your snails to find food. A shallower, longer enclosure is ideal.

When it comes to the shape of the tank, it's best to go for something that is longer than it is tall. This is because snails can fall from heights and break their shells. A wider tank will also give your snails more space to move around and find food.

In addition to the size and shape of the tank, there are a few other things to keep in mind when creating a habitat for your snails. First, make sure the tank has a secure lid, as some species of snails, like Mystery snails, can climb out. Second, provide cuttlebones in the tank, as snails need calcium. Finally, be prepared to clean the tank regularly, as snails produce a lot of slime.

Overall, if you're looking to keep snails and guppies together, you'll need a tank that is at least 10 gallons, with a shape that is wider than it is tall to accommodate the needs of the snails.

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A 40-gallon tank is ideal for guppies

Guppies are colourful, vibrant fish that are incredibly easy to maintain, making them a popular choice for aquariums. While they are low-maintenance, guppies still require a suitable tank that is large enough for them to thrive.

The minimum tank size for keeping guppies is 10 gallons, which can comfortably house around five guppies. However, if you're looking to keep a larger number of guppies or create a community tank, a 40-gallon tank is ideal.

A 40-gallon tank provides several benefits for guppies. Firstly, it ensures that there is no overcrowding, allowing the guppies to freely swim and explore without feeling cramped. This extra space also helps to maintain stable water parameters and reduces the risk of water chemistry disturbances caused by increased waste production and toxin accumulation.

Secondly, a larger tank makes it easier to decorate and accessorise the aquarium. You can add live plants, caves, and other decorations that not only enhance the visual appeal but also provide hiding spots for the guppies. Ample plants can also help maintain water quality by removing toxins and providing oxygen.

Additionally, a 40-gallon tank offers the advantage of chemical stability in the water. The larger volume of water is less prone to sudden ammonia spikes, which can be harmful to guppies. This stability contributes to a healthier environment for the fish.

While a 40-gallon tank may require more space and come with higher initial costs, it is an excellent choice for those seeking to create a spacious and comfortable environment for their guppies, as well as any compatible fish they wish to include in a community tank.

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Guppies need lots of cover to hide in

Guppies are social fish, but they can be shy when exposed to new surroundings. They will hide to feel safe until they become comfortable in their new habitat. Guppies need lots of cover to hide in, as they are naturally skittish and will hide when stressed, sick, or uncomfortable in their tank conditions. They also hide due to bullying from aggressive tank mates, overcrowding, fear, environmental changes, or unfavourable living conditions.

Female guppies, in particular, hide to protect themselves from male harassment during the breeding season. Male guppies become aggressive during mating season, chasing females around the tank. Female guppies will also hide when they are pregnant or about to give birth. They may hide under rocks or plants or use camouflage techniques to blend in with their environment.

Guppies need places to hide and rest, and these spaces can also help control stress and liven up the aquarium. Planted areas, for example, can add more oxygen to the tank while mimicking the guppies' natural habitat. Java moss is one of the easiest plants to grow and provides excellent cover for baby guppies to escape being eaten by bigger fish.

In addition to providing hiding places, it is important to ensure that the tank has favourable water parameters, good water quality, and enough space for the guppies to swim freely.

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Frequently asked questions

The ideal tank size for guppies is 10 gallons, which can hold around 5 guppies. If you want to keep a larger number of guppies, a 40-gallon tank is ideal. For snails, a 2-3 gallon tank is sufficient.

Yes, but it is recommended to have a larger tank if you plan on keeping both together. A 10-gallon tank is the minimum for guppies, so a 20-gallon tank would be a good option for both snails and guppies.

The smallest recommended tank size for guppies is 5 gallons, but a 10-gallon tank is generally considered the minimum.

A 3:1 female to male ratio is recommended to prevent overbreeding.

Tanks for snails should be wider and longer, rather than taller, to prevent the snails from falling and breaking their shells.

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