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How Can I Enhance My Guppy Color? (11 Easy Tips)

Wondering, how to enhance the color of your guppies? Well, In this article I’m going to share with you 10 easy ways to get that vibrant and attractive color on your guppies that will make your fellow fishkeeper jealous!

How Can I Enhance My Guppy Color? (11 Easy Tips) image

Table of Contents

1. Feed high quality and varied diet to your guppies

guppy fish image with text overlay "varied food please!"

Diet plays an important role when it comes to the coloration of your guppies.

That’s why you should always feed high-quality food to your guppies.

Guppies are omnivorous so they can consume both plant-based and animal-based foods.

So you should feed them both types of foods in your fish tank.

You can feed them high-quality flakes and pellets.

There are some guppy fish foods that are specially made to enhance the color of your guppy fish.

For example, hygger Color Enhancing Tropical Fish Flake Food for Guppy (link to Amazon) contains Astaxanthin which enhances the red color in guppies.

These foods contain ingredients that can help to enhance the color of guppy fish.

Below are some of the best color enhancing food for guppies

Fish foodCheck reviews and the latest price
Tetra TetraPRO Tropical Color Crisps With Biotin for FishesCheck reviews and the latest price at Amazon here
Fluval Bug Bites Color Enhancing Fish FoodCheck reviews and the latest price at Amazon here
TetraColor PLUS Tropical Flakes with Color Enhancing Check reviews and the latest price at Amazon here
Aqueon Tropical Color Enhancing Flakes Check reviews and the latest price at Amazon here

In their natural habitat guppies mostly feed on live food.

So you should also regularly feed your guppies with live food. 

Besides, live food is the most nutritious food for guppies so it will help enhance the color of your guppies.

As guppies can also eat plant-based foods, you should regularly feed them frozen plant-based foods.

Below are some of the best plant-based foods (herbivorous diet) you can feed to your guppies

Fish food Check reviews and the latest price
New Life Spectrum AlgaeMaxCheck reviews and the latest price at Amazon here
Aquacarium Spirulina Flakes Natural Fish Food Check reviews and the latest price at Amazon here
Aquacarium Veggie Flakes Natural Fish Food Check reviews and the latest price at Amazon here

Besides, plant-based fish food you can feed vegetables to your guppies.

I have written a detailed article on which vegetables you can feed to your guppies and how to feed them. 

You can read the article here.

So now you know feeding high-quality and varied foods to your guppies and help to improve the coloration in your guppies.

But you should also make sure that you are not overfeeding your guppies.

You should feed your guppies two to three times per day a small amount of food every time.

Exactly how much food you should feed your guppies?

A good rule of thumb to follow is you should feed your guppies the amount of food they can consume within 30 seconds.

Also, after feeding your guppies, make sure to remove uneaten food from your tank. Because the uneaten food breaks down over time can produce ammonia in your fish tank which is deadly for your fish.

2. Make sure your guppies are not stressed in your fish tank

guppy fish image with text overlay "maintain male female ratio"

If the guppies in your fish tank are stressed then this can negatively affect the coloration of the fish.

That’s why to get the best coloration, it is very important to make sure that all the guppies in your aquarium are not stressed.

There are several things that can cause stress in guppy fish.

Female guppies get stressed because of male guppies

If you are keeping male and female guppies together in a fish tank then the male guppies will continuously chase female guppies.

This can stress out the female guppy.

That’s why it is very important to follow the 2:1 (female to male) ratio in your aquarium.

When you follow the ratio then the males will not be able to target only one female!

This will give the other females an opportunity to rest and relax.

You’ll see a lot of aggression in a male-only guppy tank

If you keep only male guppies in your fish tank, you will notice a lot of aggression among the males.

This can stress out some of the male guppies in your aquarium if they are continuously targeted.

So how can you make sure that the guppies in your aquarium are not stress out?

The most effective way is to how to create hiding places in your fish tank.

When you have a lot of hiding places in your fish tank, the fish can hide and relax. This will help to relieve the stress in the fish.

So how can you create hiding places in your fish tank?

The best way to create hiding places in your fish tank is by introducing some live aquarium plants to your tank.

The live aquarium plants will not only provide hiding places for the guppies in your fish tank but there are several other benefits of keeping live aquarium plants.

The live aquarium plants help to filter your aquarium water. It also helps to oxygenate your fish tank.

I have written a detailed article covering the 12 benefits of keeping live aquarium plants in your tank.

You can check it out here.

If you are ready to keep some live aquarium plants in your fish tank. Then here are some live aquarium plants that are particularly good for a guppy fish tank.

If you are afraid about taking care of the live plants then here is a guide to help you get started with the live plants.

Besides keeping live plants, you can also create hiding places in your aquarium by adding some ornaments to your fish tank.

Some ornaments such as the ornaments that are made from limestone can alter the water chemistry.

So make sure to check the composition of the ornament before putting it in your fish tank

3. Maintain ideal water parameters

To enhance the coloration of your guppies you will need to maintain the water parameters that are ideal for guppy fish.

When you maintain the ideal water parameters for guppies in your tank, you are creating a comfortable environment in your fish tank for your guppy fish. 

This helps to improve the coloration of your guppy fish!

So what are the ideal water parameters for guppy fish?

There are a couple of water parameters you’ll need to maintain in your guppy fish tank.

1. Keep the temperature between 72° F to 78° F (22° C to 25° C)

guppy fish image with text overlay "I prefer temperature between 72° F to 78° F (22° C to 25° C)"

Guppies are tropical fish which basically means that they come from tropical habitats where the temperature is warmer throughout the year.

That’s why the guppies need warmer water in your aquarium.

Guppies can tolerate a wide range of water temperatures. However, they do best when the temperature is between 72° F to 78° F (22° C to 25° C).

If the temperature of your aquarium water is less than 72° F then guppies will grow slowly and they may never reach adulthood.

Guppies look best when they reach adulthood. That’s why it is important to have warm water in your fish tank above 72° F.

On the other hand, if the temperature of the aquarium water is more than 78° F then your guppies will grow faster than usual. 

This can reduce their lifespan!

So how can you maintain the temperature within the ideal range?

The easiest way to maintain the temperature within the ideal range is to install an aquarium water heater in your guppy fish tank.

I recommend Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater (link to Amazon)

It has a built-in thermostat so it will maintain the temperature within the ideal range automatically.

You can check out its reviews and latest price at Amazon here

Maintain your aquarium water pH between 7 to 7.2

Guppies can tolerate a wide range of water pH.

Guppies can tolerate pH as low as 5.52 ad as high as 8.5.

But guppies do best when water pH is between 7 to 7.2.

You can easily check the pH of your aquarium water using an aquarium water test kit.

I recommend Api freshwater master test kit (link to Amazon)

It is from a reputed brand and it is very popular. Besides, as it is a liquid-based test kit it is pretty accurate.

You can check out its reviews and latest price at Amazon here.

After testing your aquarium water, what if you noticed that the pH of your aquarium is lower than 7 or higher than 7.2?

Well, in that case, there are a few ways to increase or lower the pH of your aquarium water.

How to increase the pH of your aquarium water?

A popular way to increase the pH of aquarium water is by adding baking soda into the aquarium water.

You should add about one tablespoon of baking soda for 5 gallons of your aquarium water.

For example, with you have a 10-gallon tank then you will need to add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to your aquarium water to raise the pH.

Tip- The best practice is to remove fish from your aquarium before adding the baking soda.

How to lower the pH of your aquarium water?

There are a couple of ways to lower the pH of your aquarium water.

  • You can add peat moss to the filter of your aquarium or decorate your aquarium with natural driftwood to lower the pH of your aquarium water.
  • You can also use reverse osmosis (RO) filtration system to lower the pH in your aquarium water. The RO system will not only lower the pH of your aquarium water but will also filter out other impurities such as heavy metals.

4. Maintain good water quality in your aquarium

guppy fish image with text overlay "maintain good water quality"

Maintaining good water quality in your aquarium is very important!

If your aquarium water quality is not good then this can stress out the guppies in your fish tank. As a result, your guppies will look dull.

What do I mean by good water quality?

Basically, you will need to make sure that your aquarium water doesn’t contain any ammonia or nitrite.

And the nitrate level in your fish tank should be below 40 ppm. (If you can, I recommend keeping it below 20 ppm)

Why is it so important to maintain good water quality in your fish tank?

If your aquarium water contains ammonia and nitrite then it can be deadly for your fish!

Also, though nitrate is far less harmful to your fish compared to ammonia and nitrite, still, high levels of nitrate are deadly for the fish. 

That’s why you should always make sure that the nitrate level in your fish tank is under 40 PPM.

How can you maintain good water quality in your guppy fish tank?

As I said earlier, your fish tank water should not contain any ammonia and nitrite so it’ll be safe for the fish in your tank.

And to make sure that your fish tank will never contain any ammonia and nitrite, you’ll need a healthy colony of nitrifying bacteria commonly known as beneficial bacteria in your fish tank.

The beneficial bacteria convert the ammonia and nitrite produced in your fish tank by fish poop, uneaten food, and decayed plant into less harmful nitrate.

How do I get the beneficial bacteria in your fish tank?

Ideally, you will need to cycle your fish tank before putting any fish in your fish tank.

I have written a detailed article covering different ways to cycle your fish tank in this article.

Once your fish tank is cycled then you will not see any ammonia and nitrite in your fish tank but you will see some nitrate in your fish tank.

Though nitrates are far less harmful to fish compared to ammonia and nitrite, still, a high nitrate level is harmful to the fish.

That’s why once the nitrates level in your fish tank reaches more than 40 PPM then you will need to reduce it!

So how do you reduce nitrate in your fish tank?

There are a couple of ways to reduce nitrate in your fish tank.

1. Weekly partial water change

You should regularly do the weekly partial water change of your aquarium water.

You should change about 30% to 50% of your aquarium water depending on the nitrates level built up in your fish tank throughout the week.

For example, if you have a relatively smaller tank then the nitrate level in your fish tank will build up pretty quickly. 

So you will need to do more partial water changes about 50% of your aquarium water every week.

On the other hand, if you have a larger tank then you may not see a lot of nitrates in your fish tank.

So in this case doing a partial water change of about 30% of the total aquarium water will be sufficient for a week.

When you do a partial water change of your aquarium water then you are basically reducing the concentration of nitrates in your fish tank.

Tip– While doing a partial water change, always dechlorinate the water using a dechlorinator before adding it to your fish tank.

2. Add live aquarium plants

Though nitrates are harmful to the fish in your aquarium they are actually food for the live aquarium plants.

Nitrates are fertilizers for your live aquarium plants!

So if you keep some live aquarium plants in your fish tank then the live aquarium plants will absorb nitrates from your fish tank which will help to keep the nitrates level low in your fish tank.

Now you may be thinking, can planting some live aquarium plants in your fish tank will help to get rid of all the nitrates in a fish tank?

Or if you plant some live aquarium plants in your fish tank, will you never need to do worry about high nitrate levels in your fish tank?

Well, the answer to the above questions is not simple and straightforward!

Because it depends on how many fish you have in your fish tank, the size of your fish tank, and what types and how many live aquarium plants you have planted in your fish tank.

For example, if you have a relatively large fish tank and your fish tank doesn’t contain a lot of fish relative to the size of your fish tank. And you have planted a lot of fast growing aquarium plants in your fish tank then probably you will never need to worry about nitrates in your fish tank.

Because the live aquarium plants will absorb all the nitrates produced by your fish!

But on the other hand, if you have planted some live aquarium plants but they are not enough to consume all the nitrates in your fish tank then you will need to do a partial water change every week to reduce the concentration of nitrates in your fish tank.

5. Always make sure that your fish tank has sufficient oxygen

guppy fish image with text overlay- oxygen oxygen oxygen
guppy fish image with text overlay- Ideal water parameters for Guppies

Guppies need dissolved oxygen in a fish tank.

If your fish tank doesn’t contain sufficient oxygen then this can stress out the fish which can negatively affect the coloration of your guppies. 

Worst, it can even lead to the death of your guppies!

So how do you make sure that your fish tank always has sufficient oxygen?

Well, if you have not overstocked your fish tank then generally your fish tank will contain sufficient oxygen.

But as oxygen is so important for the fish, to be on the safest side, you can introduce an air pump in your fish tank (link to Amazon)

The air pump will produce air bubbles in your fish tank which causes water agitation on the surface of the water of your aquarium which helps to oxygenate the fish tank.

Besides, you can also introduce some live aquarium plants in your fish tank to increase the oxygen in your fish tank.

The live aquarium plants will release oxygen in your fish tank during the day.

Here are the best oxygenating plants for your aquarium

6. Keep guppies in group

image of a group of guppies in a fish tank with text overlay friends

Guppies are schooling fish i.e. they live in groups in their natural habitat. 

So you should emulate the same in your fish tank and keep at least three guppies in a fish tank (the more the better!).

Keeping guppies in a group helps to relieve stress. And it may help to improve the coloration of the fish.

When keeping guppies in a group make sure to maintain the male to female ratio.

You should have at least two females for a male in your fish tank.

For example, if you want to keep 6 guppies in your fish tank then out of the six, two should be males and 4 should be females.

Maintaining this ratio is very important because male guppies continuously chase female guppies which stresses the female guppies.

So, when you have more females than males in your fish tank, the males will not be able to target only one female, their attention will be spread out among females which gives the females sufficient time to rest and recover.

Also, make sure that you are choosing the right tank size for your guppies according to the number of guppies you are going to put in your fish tank.

A general rule of thumb to follow when it comes to tank size for guppies is 1 gallon per inch of the fish.

Now, the size of guppies can vary from 1 to 2.5 inches or 2.5 cm to 6.3 cm.

So generally, 2 gallons for a guppy fish is a good rule of thumb to follow!

If you keep more guppies in a relatively smaller tank then waste such as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate will build up pretty quickly in the fish tank which will stress out the fish which will affect the coloration of your guppies.

7. Don’t put aggressive fish in your guppy fish tank

guppy fish image with text overlay Who likes bullies?

In the natural habitat, guppies mostly live in smaller streams and pools where there are not a lot of species of fish or big species of fish.

You should emulate the same in your fish tank and you should not keep a lot of species of fish in your fish tank. 

Most importantly, you should not put big, aggressive fish in your guppy fish tank.

If you keep big aggressive fish with your guppies then the big fish may chase guppies continuously. This can stress out guppies which can affect their coloration.

Some big species of fish can even eat guppies!

So guppies will try to hide from the predator fish. 

One of the things they do to not get noticed by aggressive, predator fish is they dim their body coloration which we don’t want!

But what if you want to keep some other species of fish in your fish tank?

Well, you can keep some small, friendly fish in your guppy fish tank.

Following are some examples of the fish you can keep in your guppy fish tank.

I’ve also mentioned their water requirements and diet information to help you get started.

Add some good small peaceful guppy fish tank mates here with tables.

8. Install an aquarium light in your guppy fish tank

guppy fish image with text overlay "guppies look great under aquarium light"

In the natural habitat, guppies have a consistent day and night cycle.

You can emulate the same in your guppy fish tank by installing an aquarium light in the fish tank and keeping it on for eight hours every day during day.

Also, in the natural habitat, guppies are mostly found in smaller streams and pools where they generally get bright light. 

So you should emulate the same in your fish tank and provide bright light to your guppies. 

Installing an aquarium light to maintain the day and night cycle is especially important if your guppy fish tank is not in a well-lit area.

Maintaining a consistent day and night cycle will help to keep your guppy stress free which will help with their coloration.

Besides, the aquarium lights are not just for maintaining the day and night cycle in a fish tank.

Specially designed aquarium lights can enhance the coloration of the fish in the tank.

There are also some aquarium lights that come with multiple color options. So you can experiment with multiple colors and see under what color your guppies look the best.

Fluval LED light fixture (link to Amazon) has a fully programmable light that automatically emulates 24 hours light cycle (sunrise, midday, sunset, and night)

You can check its latest price and reviews at Amazon here.

Besides, Finnex Stingray 2 (link to Amazon) is a great aquarium light that can enhance the coloration of your guppies. And can also help to grow some live aquarium plants in your tank.

The best part, it comes with a pocket-friendly price tag!

You can check out its latest price and reviews at Amazon here

9. Experiment with the substrate and background of your guppy fish tank

an image of guppy with aquarium substrate with text overlay Guppies can react to the substrate!

In the natural habitat, fish generally react and change their coloration according to the environment they are in.

So, the guppies in your fish tank can change and react to the coloration of the substrate and background of the fish tank.

So you should experiment with the substrate and background of your guppy fish tank and see how your guppies react and change their color. And stick with the combination of substrate and background where your guppies show bright and vivid colors.

10. Keep water current gentle

guppy fish imahe with text overlay I like gentle water current!

The guppies will show the best coloration when you provide them a comfortable environment in your fish tank.

In nature, guppies are not found in fast-flowing rivers or streams.

So you should keep this thing in your mind when you are designing your guppy fish tank. 

And make sure that nothing is producing a strong water current in your guppy fish tank. 

Generally, you’ll need to look at the filter outlet of your fish tank and make sure that it is not producing a strong water current in your guppy fish tank.

Generally, sponge filters provide a gentle water current. So they are usually recommended for a guppy fish tank.

However, some hang on the back filters, and internal filters can also work for guppy fish tanks.

11. Everything else to keep in mind when it comes to the coloration of guppies

guppy fish image with text overlay Everything else to enhance color of your guppies!

There are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to the coloration of guppies.

1. Male guppies are brighter and more colorful than females guppies

Male guppies are brighter, colorful, and more attractive than female guppies.

So if you want the best coloration in your guppy fish tank then you could consider keeping only male guppies in your guppy fish tank.

But keeping only male guppies in a fish tank has its own disadvantages. 

Basically, in a male-only guppy fish tank, you will encounter a lot of aggression among the male guppies.

I have written a detailed article covering different ways to cope with this aggression in this article.

2. The coloration of guppies improves during the mating period

If you are keeping male and female guppies together in your guppy fish tank then during the mating period you will see enhanced coloration in your guppies.

3. Juvenile guppies will not have as good coloration as adult guppies

If you have small, juvenile guppies in your guppy fish tank. And if you are wondering why your guppies are not as bright and colorful as some of the other guppies you may have seen then it is because your guppies are probably very small.

In this case, you just need to feed them a high-quality diet and wait until they reach adulthood which doesn’t take a long time!

Guppy fact Guppies can reach their maturity at the age of 2 to 3 months.

4. Genetics can affect the coloration of guppies

There will be some guppies who are just genetically better than others. So they will show better coloration than other guppies. 

On the other hand, there will be some guppies who will not show as good coloration as other guppies who have good genes no matter what you do.

So, in this case, you just need to keep in mind to get guppies from a good source.

Conclusion

Overall, you may have seen, throughout the article, the general idea to improve the coloration of the guppies in your fish tank is to create a good and comfortable environment for your guppies in your fish tank by emulating their natural habitat and feeding they varied, high-quality diet.

When you create an ideal environment for your guppies in the tank and feed them varied, high-quality food, they’ll be stress-free and that’s when they show their best coloration.

I hope all the tips I have mentioned in this article will help you to keep your guppies as stress-free and comfortable as possible in your guppy fish tank. So they can show the best coloration.

If you found the article helpful, please share it with someone who could benefit from it.

Happy fishkeeping!

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