Guppy Fish: Overview, Care & Breeding

Guppy Fish: Overview, Care & Breeding

Do you live in an area where there is a lot of noise or you want a peace of mind?What can you do? Do some meditation, watch some movies. Not bad.

But here is something even better you can do.

Spend time with a fish in your aquarium at your place. 

They are peaceful, cute, colorful and easy to take care of even for beginners.

Which fish, it is?

The answer is Guppy Fish

Now, who are they? How can we take care of them? What is their lifespan?

Let’s find out everything about the Guppy Fish.

Guppy Fish: Who are they?

Guppy Fish

Guppy Fish are live-bearer tropical fish that also thrive in freshwater aquariums. They are native to parts of South America namely Brazil, Barbados, Guyana, Venezuela, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago.Many different varieties of Guppy Fish are available.

They vary in color. So they are often called as Rainbow Fish.

They participate in breeding and lead to many offsprings at once. Due to the high breeding rate, they are also known as the Million Fish.

Let’s look at the below table to know more about the Guppy Fish at a glance.




Guppy Fish (Latin Name: Poecilia Reticulata)

Also Known as 

Rainbow Fish (because of a variety of colors), Million Fish (because of breeding rate)


Tropical Freshwater Fish




South America 



Care Level





Dense Vegetation such as Plants and warmer waters




2 to 4 years


0.6 to 2.4 inches

Swimming Level

Medium (active)


Multi-Color like a rainbow (Different Varieties of Guppy Fish)

Color Pattern

Cobra, Snakeskin, Tuxedo

Tail Pattern

Mosaic, Leopard, Lace

Native Waters

Hard and Alkaline


Other small peaceful fish

Tips to care for the Guppy Fish

1. Set up the tank and Replicate the natural habitat

Every living thing is accustomed to a particular environment.

So the first and foremost thing which needs to be done is to create a replica of the usual habitat where the Guppy Fish belongs.

This is important to maintain and increase their lifespan and also to keep your Guppy Fish happy.

Now how can you do these?

a) Maintain the Nitrogen Cycle.

Every living thing excretes the waste from their body. 

Now if I tell you that will you live in that place where you have excreted your unwanted waste. A Big NO!

It is similar in the case of a Guppy fish too.

Guppy fish excretes the unwanted waste from its body. These get accumulated in the aquarium and create an uneasy or unsuitable environment for them.

Here is where the nitrogen cycle comes in handy. It helps to remove this unwanted waste and to create a non-toxic environment for the Guppy Fish to live.

Try to maintain this cycle every other day. Also, you can buy the aquarium test kits to check the ammonia (toxic), nitrites (Toxic) and nitrate (Non-toxic) levels for your aquarium.

b) What should be the tank size?

Guppies are smaller in size. Males are smaller than females. Males range from 0.6 to 1.4 inches and females range from 1.2 to 2.4 inches.

The tank size of 5 Gallons is more than enough if you have three or four guppies in your aquarium.

Guppies like to live as a group and each Guppy should be given at least 1 Gallon of space. 

c) Maintain a healthy environment.

Lighting, Filtration, Plants, Decorations and substrate are useful to create a better living environment for the Guppy Fish.

Lighting: Guppy Fish prefer natural day/ night lighting with full spectrum. If your room has a window where the Guppy Fish lives, it would be sufficient to provide ample lighting.

FYI: Artificial Lighting can also be used by keeping your light ON for 12 hours per day.

Caution: Exposure to direct sunlight is not advisable.

Filtration: Filtration is useful to keep the water clean. You can even buy a filter that contains less load. For example, for a Tank size of 5 Gallon, the filter needs to circulate at 25 Gallons per hour.

Plants and Decoration: Decorating your tank with plants can be a good idea as Guppies love them.

Plants like ferns, java moss, watersprite are live plants that grow quickly and create hiding places for the Guppy Fish.

Artificial Plants can also be used but not advisable to do so as sharply pointed plants can cause harm.

Substrate: This is something important as it forms a closer looking environment for the Guppy Fish.

Generally, sand is used as a substrate. It’s also very easy to replace. Substrates like gravel, larger rocks and crushed coral can also be used.

2) Maintain the water quality

Guppies are native to South American freshwaters and prefer a warmer water environment.

Although, Guppies are hardy and can adjust to different water conditions, still its better to adjust the water parameters. 

a) Keep the water temperature between 72°F- 82°F

b) Maintain a stable pH between 7.0 to 7.2 to keep the ammonia in check. You can use the nitrogen cycle as mentioned above.

FYI: Aquatic animals excrete toxic ammonia

c) High water currents can be caused by filters used in the aquarium. Place some plants or other substrates to maintain the water current so that the Guppy Fish can move around and swim freely without any stress. 

3) What does Guppy Fish eat? Feed them the best combo.

Guppy Fish eat an omnivorous diet i.e they can eat both vegetables and meat.

You can feed them tomatoes, spinach, lettuce and also processed foods like flakes and frozen foods like bloodworms, mosquito larvae, etc.

The best combination of both meat and vegetables can keep your Guppy’s diet protein-rich and healthy.

4) Who can live with a Guppy?

We know that Guppy Fish are peaceful.

So they can live with other peaceful fish like the Platy Fish, Molly Fish and even the Swordtail Fish.

Also, Guppies can live with other Guppies as a group.
They can be kept in trios with a male to female ratio being 1:2 inside an aquarium.

5) Keep the diseases away.

Ich disease can be a common problem among Guppy Fish. A small white dot can be noticed on the Guppy Fish’s skin due to the effect of this disease.

Guppy Fish can have fungal infections at their tail 

So ensure to prevent the disease from coming in the first place. You may choose to do the following:

  • Keep the water clean and regularly replace the water
  • Maintain optimum temperature
  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Quarantine the objects before placing inside the aquarium

Related Questions or FAQs on Guppy Fish

1) What are the different types of Guppy Fish?

Guppy Fish Types

There are different varieties of Guppy Fish.

However, Males are more colorful and smaller than females.

Guppy Fish vary in color pattern and tail pattern.

Guppy fish with varying color patterns across their body are:

a) Tuxedo: The lower part of the body contains a darker color pattern than the upper part of the body just like a tuxedo suit.

b) Snakeskin: These guppies have a chain-link pattern across their body just like a snakeskin pattern.

c) Cobra: These guppies have spots similar to that of a cobra

Guppy fish with varying tail patterns are:

a) Mosaic: The Tail is designed like a mosaic-like pattern.

b) Leopard: Tail Fins contain spots similar to that of a leopard

c) Lace: Snakeskin Guppies contain fine, web-like shapes like a lace

2) Do Guppies have sex? Breeding Tips

Male and Female Guppy

Yes. Male Guppies can even detect which female guppies are virgins and who are pregnant.

Different varieties of Guppy Fish can breed with each other to give birth to an offspring of a hybrid variety.

Leopard Guppy can breed with a tuxedo guppy to give birth to a hybrid offspring.

Its always better to choose healthy guppy fishes for breeding.

How can you create a Breeding environment?

Breeding can be done at your tank or a communal tank.

You will need a separate tank specially for the guppies which are going to be mated. You can select them as you wish. 

It ensures the safety of the female Guppy and their offspring.

The only disadvantage is that you need to buy an extra tank for it.

On the other hand, if you go to a communal tank, any guppy fish can mate with each other.

Water Conditions for Breeding

Just like the normal water conditions mentioned above, breeding can be started at the water temperature ranging from 73°F- 81°F

Gestation Period

Males will approach females from below and then mate with each other. The gestation period can last up to a month and can range from 25 to 40 days.

Females can give birth to a maximum of 200 offsprings as they can become pregnant more than once per single mating process.


3) Who founded the Guppy Fish?

Robert John Lechmere Guppy founded the Guppy Fish in the 1800s.

4) Can Guppy Fish live without food? Is so, for how long?

Yes. For a week.

So if you are planning to go on a vacation for more than this tenure, then keep your Guppy Fish with someone who can take care of it or you can use an automatic feeder.

Plants kept at the light can grow which can be a source of food for your Guppy at your absence.

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