Guppy Fish Care (Poecilia reticulata)

Guppy poecilia reticulata 2

Last updated on August 13th, 2022 at 10:14 am

Guppy fish, or Poecilia reticulata, is one of the most popular fish among aquarium hobbyists. These colorful freshwater fish have been bred into a wide range of color varieties, making them great for beginner fish keepers, as well as advanced aquarists. This fish species can be found in the wild in Latin America and parts of the Caribbean, but they have also been introduced to other tropical regions around the world due to their popularity as pets. They are members of the Poeciliidae family, which also includes mollies and platys.

Guppies are small freshwater fish native to Trinidad and Venezuela, among other countries, and they can be found in pet stores across the United States. Like all other freshwater fish, guppies require an adequate tank size, clean water, and healthy food to thrive. The following tips will help you take good care of your pet guppy fish so that they can live a long and healthy life in your home aquarium or terrarium.

Caring for guppy fish, or poecilia reticulata, can be tricky if you’re not familiar with them and their needs. Luckily, there are plenty of resources available to help you understand your guppy fish and how to care for them properly. Let’s go over some of the basics, starting with…

Origin and descriptions

Guppy poecilia reticulata 2

Guppy fish are native to South America, but they have now been introduced worldwide, and are often bred in captivity. The guppy is sometimes referred to as a livebearer because they lay their eggs externally. Guppies are excellent aquarium fish due to their small size and long lifespan. They can live 3-5 years and usually grow between 1/2-2.4 inches long.

Guppy poecilia reticulata come in a wide variety of different colors. These colors include reds, oranges, yellows, blacks, whites, and more. It is common for one male guppy to be able to impregnate multiple females at once. This has led many people to believe that you need multiple males for each female in order for them all to reproduce successfully. This isn’t true though!

Sunburst Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus) Care

Species profile

Guppy poecilia reticulata 2

Guppy poecilia reticulata belongs to the family Poeciliidae, which is one of five families of live-bearing fishes. It is a native of South America and was introduced into North America in 1859. The guppy has been widely used as a model organism for studying mechanisms underlying speciation and evolution.

It has also been used extensively in research on population genetics, developmental biology, behavior, ecology, and toxicology. As a result, it is one of few species that have been domesticated by humans for use as pets.


Guppy fish are freshwater fish that should be kept in either a freshwater aquarium or pond with appropriate filtration, aeration, and cleanliness. A typical tank will be from 10 to 30 gallons, depending on how many of these little fish you plan to keep. They can live in a community aquarium with other small tropical fish as long as they have sufficient hiding places and driftwood for shelter.

Guppy size

Poecilia guppy varies in size with females slightly larger than the males, the size of male guppies ranges from 0.6-1.4 inches (1.5-3.5 cm), while the female guppies can grow up to 1.2-2.4 inches (3-6 cm) in length.

Guppy fish tank size

Although a 5 gallon aquarium can house 2 or 3 guppies comfortably, but given how quickly they reproduce, a 10 or 20 gallons aquarium would be better in the long run.

Guppy fish tank mates

Guppies prefer to be kept in schools of at least six or more, but never less than three. They can live with other small fish such as White Cloud Mountain Minnows and some tetras, but should not be kept with fish that grow too large or aggressive for them.

Guppy breeding

Guppy poecilia reticulata 2

Oftentimes, beginner aquarium hobbyists start off with a single female guppy and find themselves with a swarm of them. A few spawnings can be born from just one insemination by a male since female guppies can store sperm. You should always divide up male and female guppies in order to prevent your system from filling up.

25 Amazing Brackish Water Fish Species

In a typical spawning, a female guppie will give birth to 10-50 wiggling fry (guppies babies). In many cases, newly born guppies babies who are kept in an aquarium will be eaten by other fish, so you should keep them separately in a breeding tank.

It is not uncommon to observe an increase in fish with congenital abnormalities after breeding many generations of a population. If you have an isolated fish pond, inbreeding is a common problem with a simple fix: add more diversity! It is common for guppy keepers to trade fish with one another, or they can buy new fish to add to their aquarium once they have cleared quarantine.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Guppies are generally peaceful, social fish. They may quarrel with other guppies, but they tend to get along well with many different species of fish. If you plan on keeping other species of fish and live plants in your tank, keep in mind that guppies need plenty of space; they are known to nip at plants, sometimes eating them completely. Be sure to provide a large aquarium and give your guppies ample room to avoid overcrowding problems and injuries.

Guppy fish care

Guppy poecilia reticulata 2

Guppy fish are a popular aquarium species, and for good reason, they’re colorful, active, and easy to care for. Even so, many people are intimidated by guppies because of their delicate appearance. But with proper care, these little fish can live a long life in captivity—and one that you can enjoy watching!

What they eat

Guppy fish are omnivores that thrive on a diet of plant-based foods and worms. To keep your little guys happy, try feeding them cucumber slices, lettuce leaves, peas, and mealworms. They’ll also enjoy some freeze-dried brine shrimp every now and then!

Because guppies are active swimmers with high oxygen requirements, you should avoid any high-protein fish food; that means no flake or tablet foods like spirulina.

Dalmatian Lyretail Molly (Poecilia latipinna)

Tank requirements

Because of their size, guppy fish do best in relatively small tanks. It’s also important to provide plenty of hiding places for your little guys, especially if you plan on housing more than a few at a time. The larger your tank is, however, the easier it will be to maintain proper water quality and temperature consistency – so opt for something on the slightly larger side if you want to create an impressive display.

In terms of shape, glass aquariums are by far one of the most popular options available today. They’re sturdy, long-lasting, and easy to care for; they also come in all sorts of different sizes, shapes, and colors – making them perfect for virtually any setting or style. Guppies can live in community tanks with other peaceful species like platys, swordtails, and mollies. However, keep in mind that they may not get along with other species of tropical fish as well as some cold water species.

Adding plants to their habitat will help keep water quality high while providing cover from larger tank mates. In addition, floating plants also offer hiding places for fry.

When choosing plants, remember that guppies are omnivores; plant selections should include ones containing plenty of algae or mosquito larvae which make good food sources. You may want to consider adding snails to your tank if you have hungry guppy fry—these fish love snails!

How long do guppies live

In captivity, they can live for 3-5 years. Can be longer with proper care

Parasites and diseases

Guppies are prone to several parasitic diseases and can suffer from fin rot, ulcers, and gill disease. These illnesses may be caused by a number of factors including stress or poor water quality. Guppies are also prone to internal parasites, specifically tapeworms, which can make them feel like they have worms in their intestines.

Gold Dust Molly (Poecilia sphenops)

The best way to prevent these illnesses is through proper fish care and cleanliness. It’s important that you quarantine new fish before adding them to your main tank, feed your guppies high-quality food, keep your tank clean, perform regular water changes, and keep track of how much light your tank receives on a daily basis.


Guppies are notoriously easy to kill. They can be preyed upon by any fish with a mouth large enough to swallow them. Some predators of guppies include neon tetras, big-eyed fish, freshwater shrimps, and frogs. In aquariums, pufferfish are considered the greatest enemy due to their voracious appetites and their ability to eat other tank mates without hesitation. In large tanks, they will also eat baby guppies.

Do they make good pets?

The guppy is one of those popular fish that most pet stores carry. They are relatively inexpensive and breed quite easily, which makes them an appealing fish for aquarists. However, many people stop at just having a school of fish swimming around in their tank and never truly understand how to properly care for these animals. While they can be low maintenance and easy to raise, guppies require proper care to live long and healthy lives.