Guppies: Why They Swim In Corners

why does guppy swim in corner

Guppies are lively fish, so it can be concerning to see them staying in one corner of the tank. There are several reasons why your guppy might be doing this, and most of them are negative. One of the main reasons is stress, which could be caused by transportation, inconsistent water temperature, aggressive tank mates, or a lack of hiding places and live plants. Guppies may also stay in the corner if they are sick, bullied, or pregnant. Additionally, new guppies may stay in the corner until they adjust to their new surroundings. If your guppies are swimming at the top of the tank, it could be because they are struggling for air due to a lack of oxygen.

Characteristics Values
Transportation and new habitat Guppies may be stressed by transportation and a new habitat.
Inadequate water temperature Guppies prefer water temperatures between 65-85 °F (18-30 °C).
Overcrowded fish tank Guppies may be stressed by an overcrowded tank.
Lack of plants and hiding places Guppies may be stressed by a lack of plants and hiding places.
Aggressive tank mates Guppies may be stressed by aggressive tank mates.
Poor water conditions Guppies may be stressed by poor water conditions.
Sickness or disease Guppies may be stressed by sickness or disease.
Ammonia burns Guppies may be stressed by ammonia burns in new aquariums.
Pregnancy Pregnant guppies may stay in one corner of the tank when they are close to giving birth.

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Stress

Guppies are typically lively swimmers, but they may stop swimming and stay in one corner of the tank due to stress. This behaviour could be caused by various factors, including transportation and new habitat, inadequate water temperature, small or overcrowded tank, lack of plants and hiding places, aggressive tank mates, poor water conditions, or sickness.

Transportation and New Habitat

Guppies may experience stress when introduced to a new environment, such as during transportation or when placed in a new tank. They may need time to adjust to their surroundings and feel unsure about what to do, leading them to stay in one corner.

Inadequate Water Temperature

Guppies are tropical fish that thrive in water temperatures between 65-85 °F (18-30 °C). Deviations from this range can cause stress. Cool water may cause guppies to crowd in one corner, while warm water above 86 °F (30 °C) reduces oxygen levels, leading to guppies gasping for air at the surface. Maintaining optimal water temperature is crucial for their comfort.

Lack of Hiding Places and Live Plants

The absence of adequate hiding spots and live plants in the tank can increase guppies' stress levels. They may feel threatened or insecure without places to hide and rest, leading them to stay in one corner of the tank.

Aggressive Tank Mates

Guppies are peaceful fish that get along well with non-aggressive species. If they are placed in a community tank with aggressive fish, they may feel insecure or threatened, causing them to hide or stay in one corner to avoid confrontation.

Poor Water Conditions

Poor water quality, including high levels of toxins such as ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, can induce stress in guppies. It is essential to maintain optimal water conditions and regularly monitor water parameters to ensure the health and well-being of guppies.

Sickness or Diseases

Guppies are susceptible to various diseases, and some illnesses may cause them to hide or stay in one corner. For example, bacterial or viral infections, swim bladder disease, fin rot, or other health issues can affect their behaviour and lead them to seek isolation.

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Inadequate water temperature

Guppies are tropical fish that require warm water to survive. They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but the ideal water temperature for a healthy adult guppy is between 18°C and 28°C (64.4°F and 82.4°F).

If the water temperature is too low, guppies can become stressed, which can cause them to hide in the corner of the tank. Low water temperatures can also lead to a loss of colour, a loss of appetite, poor reproductive performance, a compromised immune system, and other diseases.

To maintain a stable water temperature, it is recommended to use a water heater. The size of the aquarium is also important, as larger tanks tend to have less fluctuation in water temperature. Additionally, it is important to place the aquarium away from drafts, direct sunlight, vents, or other sources of temperature extremes.

When doing water changes, it is crucial to adjust the temperature of the fresh water to match the temperature of the water in the aquarium. A digital water thermometer can be used to measure the temperature accurately.

In summary, maintaining an adequate water temperature is crucial for the health and well-being of guppies. By providing a stable and suitable temperature range, you can help reduce stress and create an optimal environment for your guppy fish.

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Poor water conditions

Ammonia is another water toxin that can cause guppies to swim to the corner of the tank. Even slight traces of ammonia can harm guppies and lead to ammonia burns. This is more likely to occur in a new aquarium, as there are not yet enough good bacteria to break down the ammonia.

Guppies are also sensitive to water temperature. Guppies are tropical fish and prefer water temperatures between 65-85 °F (18-30 °C). Water that is too cold can cause guppies to crowd in the corner of the tank, while warm water will make them swim to the surface to gasp for air.

To ensure the water conditions are optimal for guppies, it is important to regularly test and maintain the water parameters, including temperature, oxygen levels, and toxin levels.

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Aggressive tank mates

Guppies are peaceful fish that thrive in a community. However, if they are housed with aggressive or incompatible species, they may feel stressed, threatened, or bullied. This stress can cause guppies to hide in the corner of the tank or exhibit erratic swimming patterns.

Some suitable tank mates for guppies include Tetras, Mollies, Platies, and small catfish. Non-aggressive bottom dwellers like dwarf corydoras and bristlenose plecos can also be a good match. It is important to choose tank mates that are not too large and do not have a tendency to nip fins.

It is also crucial to provide hiding spots for guppies, as these tiny alcoves provide a sense of security and can greatly reduce stress levels. Caves, plants, or decorations can serve as hiding spots and provide guppies with a place to rest and relax away from the constant activity in the tank.

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Pregnancy

Guppies are live-bearing fish, meaning they give birth to their young instead of laying eggs. Pregnancy in guppies can be identified by the appearance of a gravid spot, a darkening of the colour of the fish's underside, and a boxy shape to the abdomen.

When pregnant, guppies may exhibit unusual behaviour such as swimming up and down the glass of the tank, or in corners. This could be due to stress, which can be caused by various factors. One reason could be that the guppy is following its own reflection, which can be remedied by adding a vertical plant or decoration to the tank. Bad water conditions, such as high levels of toxic gases and low levels of dissolved oxygen, can also cause stress. In addition, swim bladder disease, which affects the fish's ability to control its movement in the water, may be a factor.

Bullying from dominant male guppies can cause stress in pregnant females, so it is important to maintain a proper male-to-female ratio in the tank. Overcrowding can also contribute to stress, as it leads to quicker contamination of the water and an increase in toxic gases. Partial water changes are recommended to maintain healthy levels of dissolved gases and reduce stress on the fish.

If you notice your pregnant guppy exhibiting erratic swimming patterns, such as swimming in circles or struggling to swim down, it may be a sign of labour. It is recommended to separate pregnant guppies from other fish, especially males, to protect them from bullying and to provide a safe environment for giving birth.

Frequently asked questions

Guppies are social fish that are generally active swimmers. If your guppy is staying in the corner of the tank, it could be a sign of distress. There are several reasons why your guppy might be behaving this way, including:

- Stress due to transportation or a new habitat.

- Inadequate water temperature.

- Overcrowding in the fish tank.

- Lack of plants and hiding places.

- Aggressive tank mates.

- Poor water conditions.

- Sickness or disease.

Guppies may exhibit abnormal behaviours when they are stressed, such as hiding, erratic swimming, or laying at the bottom or corner of the tank. They may also show a lack of appetite, listlessness, dull coloration, or rapid gill movements if they are struggling to breathe.

To reduce stress in your guppies, it is important to provide optimal living conditions. This includes maintaining stable water temperature, ensuring proper water quality, providing hiding spots and live plants, and choosing peaceful tank mates that are not too large or aggressive. Quarantining new guppies before adding them to the main tank can also help reduce stress and ensure they are disease-free.

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