A rainbow guppy (guppies) swimming in an aquarium

Guppies are a popular choice for first time pet owners, and it’s easy to see why. These small, colorful fish are easy to care for, and they make great fish in a community aquarium.

Guppies are native to northern parts of South America, but they can be found in aquariums all over the world. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, including solid colors, stripes, and spots. They’re also relatively small, with adults reaching a maximum size of about 2.5 inches.

With their big eyes and beautiful colors, Guppies have become a favorite of aquarium hobbyists. They would have never become so popular if it weren’t for their great personalities, and hardiness. They are very social and enjoy swimming around with other Guppies.

Guppies are social creatures and do best when kept in groups of at least five fish. They’re also very active and love to explore their environment, so it’s important to provide plenty of hiding places and plants for them to explore.

Guppies are also surprisingly hardy and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. This makes them an ideal choice for first time pet owners who may not have the experience or knowledge to keep more delicate fish species.

Guppies are a popular fish among beginner and experienced aquarists all over the world. The fish is unique with the males able to have every imaginable color variation. They are very active and pleasing to the eye. If this wasn’t enough, this is one of the most affordable fish at the store.  Beautiful fish without costing a fortune is a win for any family.

Guppies are an excellent choice for first time pet owners who want a colorful, active fish that’s easy to care for. With the right setup and diet, guppies can be a great addition to any family.

Guppies are also relatively inexpensive, costing between $3 and $5 each so they’re a great choice for those on a budget. There are some types that are much less common and they can sell for more than $40 per fish! They’re also easy to find in pet stores and online, so you won’t have to search far and wide for them.

Overall, Guppies are a great choice for first time pet owners who want an easy to care for and colorful fish. With the right setup and diet, they can be a wonderful addition to any family.

Information about Guppies

  • Average length: 0.6 – 2.4 inches
  • Colors: Leopard spots, black, neon blue, red, orange, silver, platinum colors, and red
  • Attention Needs: Low
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
  • Good Pet: Yes!
  • Good with Other Guppies: Yes
  • Good with Other fish species: Yes as long as they’re peaceful species
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Training: Guppies can learn simple tricks like following objects and jumping over loops
  • Weight Gain: Normal
  • Health Concerns: Guppies Disease and White Spot Disease
  • Average Life Span: 2 – 5 years

Physical Appearance of Guppies

a golden colored guppy with a red tail swimming

Guppies can have different colors, fin types, and pattern variations. The fish has a small head with an elongated body and their mouth points upwards. The males have smaller bodies with larger fins and very vibrant colors. Females have bigger bodies but have more plain colors.

Female Guppies in the wild have gray colors while the male ones have many different colors. In most cases, the top part of the fish appears to be paler looking while the lower side has bright stripes. Some scales have a metallic color while others are translucent.

The color variations on their tail fins range from plain colors, leopard spots, and grass like appearance, to mosaic. Some Guppies have sword-like tails, round ones, triangular, spear-like, and others are fan-shaped.

Expect to see multi-colored Guppies or plain colored ones. Breeders are continuously mixing different varieties of Guppies and each day a different type with a different color is taken to the market. There are even mutt Guppies that are obtained from a mix of different crossbreeds.

Temperament of Guppies

Guppies are peaceful fish that can live as a community. The fish are very active, you’ll be able to see how active from the way they are always moving around in the aquarium. If you have a male in the tank, it often wiggles its tail in an attempt to attract females in the tank. It’s not recommended to have more than one male in the tank because they can become aggressive with each other while trying to reclaim dominance over the community.

Guppies live very well with other non-aggressive fish species. When you choose tank mates for your Guppies, the rule of thumb is to look at the mouth of the species. Look for fish with a mouth that’s smaller than your Guppy. If your Guppy can’t fit in their mouth, that should ensure that your Guppies aren’t eaten by bigger fish. 

The Guppies enjoy jumping in water and do it both in the wild and in aquariums. It’s common to find Guppies jumping from their tanks if left open. We recommend that you keep your tank lid closed when you are not around to keep them from jumping out.  Your fish could die or get eaten by pets in the house.

Tank Conditions

a guppy with several different colors swimming

Tank size

Guppies are very small with the largest only getting to about 2 inches long. Because they are small fish they don’t release a lot of bio load into the water. These fish don’t require very large tanks, and a good rule of thumb is to have a gallon of water for every inch of fish. The minimum tank size for Guppies is a 5 gallon one, but we recommend going with at least 10. With a 10 gallon tank you can fit 5 Guppies comfortably inside.

Water pH

In their natural habitats, Guppies live in close to neutral waters with a pH of about 7. We recommend maintaining the pH in your fish tank to as close to 7 as you can.


Guppies thrive in fresh warmer waters with temperatures ranging between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. A water heater within their tank is necessary to ensure the water will be warm enough at all times.

Experts recommend that aquarists place the water heater at one end of the aquarium and a thermometer at the other end. The reason for this spacing is because the water must travel all the way to the other end of the tank, making sure you have a consistent temperature throughout the entire aquarium.


a beautiful silver guppy with a bright red tail

Filtration is an important aspect of a guppy fish tank and the size of the filters depend on the size of the aquarium. Guppies are not known for creating a lot of waste. With that in mind, you don’t need to invest in an expensive filter if all you have are Guppies. Because Guppies are smaller fish, the intake of the filtration system should have a mesh to avoid sucking up your smaller fish.


Decorations of living or plastic plants, hollow loops, and hiding places for your fish all make great additions to your tank. Remember Guppies are active fish that can get stressed if they don’t have places to hide things to swim around.

Tank Maintenance

Cleaning your fish tank once a week will help maintain healthy water conditions. 25 percent weekly water changes are also ideal at ensuring good water quality for your fish and reducing illnesses. 

Other than cleaning and regular water changes, Guppies don’t really require much for attention. They’re known for being great pets if you’re a busy person.

Best Tank Mates for Guppies

Guppies are community fish and they can get along well with several species. Here is a list of best tank mates for the Guppies:

Many families keep Angelfish along with Guppies but it is not a good idea. This is because larger Angelfish can eat the Guppies. Endler’s Livebearers are also great tank mates for the Guppies but they are known to crossbreed with the Guppies. Crossbreeding can lead to the birth of weaker offspring and this is why Guppies and Livebearers are not kept together. Aggressive or large species like Cichlids and Goldfish should also not be kept with Guppies because they will eat them.

Health Issues

Guppies are susceptible to common illnesses discussed below. The good news is that, despite Guppies being prone to illnesses, most of them are curable if detected early enough. In this section, we’ll also discuss preventative measures to prevent spread of common sicknesses.

Most Guppy illnesses can be controlled or prevented by doing the following:

  • Regular water changes in the tank
  • Maintaining a stable water temperature
  • Feeding the fish quality food and not overfeeding
  • Reduction of stress due to overcrowding or lack of hiding areas
  • Quarantine any new fish for about 2 – 3 weeks before introducing them into the tank

Fin/Tail Rot

Fin Rot is a common illness caused by bacteria in an aquarium. It’s associated with the deterioration of a fish’s fins, scales and skin. The affected areas can become discolored, frayed or disintegrate entirely. In extreme cases, fin rot can be fatal to a fish if left untreated.

The most common cause of fin rot is poor water quality. Bacterial growth can happen when ammonia and nitrite levels become too high, or PH levels become imbalanced. Overcrowding in the aquarium can also lead to fin rot, because poor water quality is more likely when there are too many fish in a tank.

In order to prevent fin rot, it’s important to maintain a clean and healthy environment for your fish.

White Spot Disease / Ich

Ich Disease, also known as Ichthyophthirius multifiliis or white spot disease, is a common parasitic disease that affects many species of freshwater fish. It’s caused by tiny parasites that attach themselves to the surface of a fish’s skin and gills and feed on them. These parasites appear on your fish as white spots on their body and fins, resulting in distress and discomfort.

The best way to prevent Ich Disease is to maintain a clean and healthy aquarium environment. This means ensuring that temperature, pH, hardness, and other levels remain within the correct range for the fish species being kept. Careful tank mate selection is also important; some fish are more susceptible to Ich than others. If a fish is already infected, quarantine them in a separate tank.

Guppy Disease

Guppy disease is a general term used to describe any health issue that can affect guppies. This includes both bacterial and parasitic infections, as well as genetic disorders. Most of these conditions are easily preventable with good water quality, nutrition and husbandry practices.

Common bacterial diseases include fin rot and furunculosis. These are caused by a variety of bacteria which can enter the water through poor hygiene practices. Fin rot can cause their fins and tail to become discolored and frayed, while furunculosis causes dark lesions on their body.

Parasitic infections are also common in guppies, most notably freshwater ich (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis). This is a single-celled parasite that causes white spots on their skin. Other parasites that can affect guppies include gill flukes and anchor worms.

Genetic disorders are also a risk in guppies, particularly when it comes to breeding them. These include deformities such as twisted spines or bent tails, as well as color mutations that can lead to discoloration or pigmentation loss.

Feeding Guppies

a pile of colorful fish flakes

Guppies often have problems with overfeeding because they won’t stop eating as long as food is offered to them. Give your fish food that they can finish within 20 to 40 seconds once or twice a day. Guppies have tiny stomachs and overfeeding leads to obstructions in their intestines.

The quality of food given to Guppies can determine the vibrancy of their colors. 

Guppies are omnivorous and can eat almost any food. The best commercial foods are fish flakes as opposed to pellets. Remember Guppies are very small bodied and pellets can easily choke them to death. Several pinches of fish flakes during feeding times should be just fine for your fish.  Shredded vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, and peas are also good for your Guppies.

Other than the flakes, you should also supplement your pet’s diet with live foods or frozen foods. Some of the best frozen or live foods are:

  • Brine shrimp
  • Bloodworms
  • Daphnia

Feeding Fry

You’re probably wondering what a fry is. The term simply refers to baby Guppies.  If you have some fry you’ve bred, avoid giving them live food because the food could be too big for their mouths. You can however cut the live foods into small bits for the young ones. The high protein quantity in live foods helps them grow much faster.

Related Questions:

How Long Can I Leave My Guppy Unattended?

With most pets, an owner might feel bad being away for a long weekend without giving them fresh food. With Guppies, you can be away for a whole week and your fish will still be healthy. Guppies can go without food for one week but you’ll still need to have automatic filtration and a reliable water heater to maintain their water quality while your away.

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Contributing Author & Social Media Expert

Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.