Species NamePoecilia reticulata
Common NameGuppy
Care LevelEasy
Lifespan2-3 years
Adult Size0.6-2.4 inches (1.5-6 cm)
Minimum Tank Size5 gallons (19 liters)
Temperature74°F – 82°F (23°C – 28°C)
Water ConditionspH 6.8-7.8, Soft to moderately hard water

About the Guppy – Species Summary

Guppies, with their colorful display and lively nature, are among the most popular freshwater aquarium fish worldwide. Originating from South America, they have been bred to produce a myriad of color patterns and fin shapes. They are renowned for their adaptability, making them an excellent choice for novice aquarists. Guppies have a compelling history, playing pivotal roles in scientific research, particularly in the fields of genetics and ecology.

Guppy Lifespan

Typically, guppies live for about 2-3 years. While their lifespan may seem short, the rate at which they reproduce and the sheer number of offspring they produce in a lifetime are astounding. The lifespan can vary depending on factors like water quality, genetics, diet, and overall care. A well-maintained aquarium and a balanced diet can often result in guppies living on the longer side of their lifespan.


Guppies stand out because of their vibrancy and diversity in coloration. With a plethora of patterns and colors available, no two guppies necessarily look the same. The males are especially colorful, with splendid patterns on their caudal fins, while females are generally larger and display more muted colors. Through selective breeding, many strains have been developed, from snakeskin to tuxedo and many more, adding to the visual appeal of these fish.

Average Size

Guppies are relatively small fish. Females are larger, usually measuring between 1.2 and 2.4 inches (3-6 cm), while males are smaller, ranging from 0.6 to 1.4 inches (1.5-3.5 cm).

Guppy Care

Tank Size

For guppies, a tank of at least 5 gallons (19 liters) is recommended, especially if you plan to keep a small group. While they can survive in smaller spaces due to their size, providing them with ample room will result in better health and more vibrant displays of behavior.

How To Set Up Their Tank

Recreating a natural environment will benefit your guppies. Use a substrate of fine sand or gravel. Adding live plants not only provides hiding spots but also aids in maintaining water quality. Plants like Java moss and hornwort are excellent choices. Floating plants can also be beneficial, as they provide shaded areas and prevent guppies from jumping out.

Lighting Requirements

Guppies don’t have specialized lighting needs. Standard aquarium lighting that supports plant growth and sets a regular day-night cycle is sufficient.


The ideal pH level for guppies ranges between 6.8 and 7.8. They are adaptable and can thrive in slightly varying pH levels, but it’s always best to keep it stable within the ideal range.


Guppies prefer temperatures between 74°F and 82°F (23°C – 28°C). Consistent temperature within this range is crucial for their well-being, and sudden changes should be avoided.

Water Parameters

Soft to moderately hard water is ideal for guppies. To maintain optimal water quality, consider weekly water changes of about 25%. This helps in removing excess waste and preventing the buildup of harmful chemicals.

Disease Potential

Like many aquarium fish, guppies can be prone to certain diseases such as fin rot, ich, and fungal infections. Quarantining new fish and plants, maintaining water quality, and observing for signs of distress can prevent most diseases. Regular health checks will ensure that any potential issue is addressed promptly.

Food & Diet

Guppies are omnivorous and have a varied diet. Flake food designed for tropical fish provides essential nutrients. For a balanced diet, occasionally supplement with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. Vegetable matter, like blanched peas or spinach, is also appreciated.

Behavior and Temperament

Guppies are peaceful and social fish, often seen swimming in schools or shoals. They are active, mostly staying in the middle and upper regions of the tank. Their curious and playful nature can be a joy to observe.

Tank Mates

Due to their peaceful nature, guppies coexist well with many other non-aggressive fish species. Tetras, mollies, platies, and non-aggressive catfish are all good companions. It’s essential to avoid larger or aggressive species that may see guppies as food.


Guppies are livebearers, which means they give birth to live young instead of laying eggs. They are prolific breeders, and if males and females are kept together, breeding is almost a certainty. A female guppy can give birth to anywhere from 20 to 200 fry at a time. It’s advisable to have a separate breeding tank or a breeding box within the main tank, as adult guppies might eat the fry.

Guppy FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)