I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

How Many Guppies Should Be Kept Together? (Explained)

Wondering, how many guppies should be kept together in a fish tank?

You are in the right place!

In this article, I am going to answer the same question.

Keep reading.

Ideally, you should keep at least a trio of guppies together in at least a 5-gallon fish tank. You can keep more than a trio. Just make sure to increase the tank size according to the number of guppies you want to keep. A gallon per inch of a fish is a good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to the right tank size for guppies.

That was the short answer to the question.

But when it comes to how many guppies you should keep in your fish tank there is more than just the tank size.

You will also need to decide whether you want to keep male and female guppies together in the same tank. Or you want to keep only male or female guppies in your fish tank.

I will tell you everything you need to know for deciding how many guppies you should keep in your fish tank and how to keep them successfully in your tank.

Keep reading.

guppy fish image with text overlay "How many guppies should be kept together? (Explained)"

Do guppies need to be in groups?

guppy fish image with text overlay "friends"

Have you ever seen a guppy fish tank with only one guppy?

I guess you may have seen very few if any.

Guppies are small peaceful fish and they look great in a group in a fish tank.

As guppies are small colorful fish, in the wild, they have many predators.

To save themselves from the predators, from a very young age, guppies start to practice antipredatory tactics and they school together to save themselves from the predators.

In the wild, guppies also forage for food together in groups because this way they can find food more easily.

So overall, in the wild, guppies live together for protection and to find food easily.

To keep guppies happy and healthy in your fish tank you should try to emulate their natural habitat.

And that’s why you should keep guppies in a group in your fish tank.

If you don’t want to keep a lot of guppies you should at least keep a trio of guppies in your fish tank. Out of the trio, two should be females and one should be male.

Maintaining this ratio is important for the guppies to live peacefully in your aquarium. I’m going to talk more about the importance of maintaining the ratio later in the article.

Can you keep only one guppy?

guppy fish image with text overlay "one guppy good idea"

Technically you could keep only one guppy in your aquarium.

Though, as mentioned above, guppies live together in the wild to protect themselves from predators and to find food. There is research done where they found that guppies live more together in high-predation regions. When the guppies were re-located to a predator-free environment it is observed that they preferred to live isolated.

Besides, in your fish tank, you are going to feed your guppies regularly so they don’t need to find food themselves. So they don’t need to be in groups in a fish tank to find food.

On the basis of the above reasoning, you could keep only one guppy fish in your fish tank.

Is keeping more guppies in a fish tank difficult?

guppy fish image with text overlay "more guppies difficult"

Guppies are one of the hardiest fish in the aquarium hobby!

They are recommended to beginners because guppies are very forgiving to the mistakes that beginners generally make with their first aquarium.

Guppies are also very cheap. So if you want to keep a lot of guppies in your fish tank it is not going to cost you a lot of money.

So, is keeping more guppies in a fish tank a difficult thing compared to if you kept fewer guppies, say, only a trio of guppies?

Keeping more guppies or a lot of guppies in a fish tank is not difficult.

Honestly, even if you start out with a trio of guppies in your fish tank, very soon you will end up with a lot of guppies because guppies breed a lot!

You just need to follow some best practices if you want to keep more guppies (say 10-12 guppies) in your fish tank.

What are the best practices for keeping more guppies?

There are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind if you want to keep a lot of guppies in your tank.

1. Keep guppies in a bigger tank

guppy fish image with text overlay "choose a big tank"

If you want to keep a lot of guppies in your fish tank, you need to keep them in a bigger tank.

How big of a tank do guppies need?

I am going to talk about this topic in detail later in this article but, for now, for a trio of guppies, you should have at least a 5-gallon tank.

And then a good general rule of thumb to follow is 1 gallon bigger tank per inch of the fish.

Guppies are generally 2 inches long so for every new addition of guppy fish, ideally, you should have 2 gallons bigger tank.

2. Maintain 2:1 (Female:Male) ratio

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

If you want to keep a lot of guppies in your tank then you’ll need to make sure to follow the 2:1 (Female:Male) ratio.

For example, if you want to keep 15 guppies in your fish tank then out of the 15 guppies 10 should be females and 5 should be male guppies.

If you have fewer females in your fish tank compared to male guppies then the females will be continuously chased and harassed by the males. This can stress out the females which can lead to diseases in females!

Also, when there are fewer females compared to males in a fish tank, you’ll notice a lot of aggression among males which stresses the males and could lead to diseases.

3. Feed sufficient food

You will need to feed sufficient food to your guppies if you are keeping a lot of the guppies in your fish tank.

If you are continuously feeding less food to your guppies then this can cause aggression during the feeding time.

How much food should I feed my guppies?

When it comes to how much food you should feed your guppies, a general rule of thumb to follow is – you should feed the amount of food your guppies can consume within a minute.

If you want to know more info on this topic then you should check out this article.

4. Maintain the ideal water parameters for guppies

guppy fish image with text overlay "ideal water parameters for guppies"

You should maintain the ideal water parameters that guppies need in their fish tank. Maintaining ideal water parameters is one of the most important things to keep your guppies happy and healthy.

Because, if you don’t, then this can lead to stress among the fish and it can even lead to aggression among the guppies.

So what are the ideal water parameters for guppies?

PARAMETERSVALUES
FISHGuppies
SCIENTIFIC NAMEPoecilia reticulata
CARE LEVELEasy
MAXIMUM SIZE2 inches
AVERAGE LIFESPAN2-4 years
DIETOmnivore
WATER TEMPERATURE64–82° F
WATER pH5.5–8.0
WATER HARDNESS10–30
MINIMUM TANK CAPACITY5 gallons
BREEDINGLivebearers

So overall, keeping more guppies or a lot of guppies is not difficult.

Guppies are one of the hardiest fish to keep in your aquarium.

But you’ll need to keep them in a bigger tank if you want to keep a lot of guppies.

How to decide how many guppies you should keep in your tank? (3 factors to consider)

There are a few things you will need to consider when deciding how many guppies you should keep in your aquarium.

1. How big a guppy fish tank you want to have?

How big a fish tank you want to have is going to be one of the most important things when it comes to deciding how many guppies you want in your aquarium.

If you want to keep a smaller tank let’s say a 5-gallon tank then you should keep only 3 guppies in the 5-gallon fish tank.

On the other hand, if you want a bigger tank let’s say a 10-gallon or a 20-gallon fish tank then you can keep more guppies in the fish tank.

2. How much time you have for maintaining your guppy aquarium?

guppy fish image with text overlay "observe behaviour of your guppy fish"

Guppies are very hardy fish. And generally, they should not take a lot of time to maintain.

However, if you are going to keep a lot of guppies in your aquarium then you will also need to take care of all of them and give them more time.

For example, if you keep a lot of guppies then you will need to observe each fish (which is fun by the way) to check if they are doing well. Or to see if they are showing any early signs of diseases.

If you have a lot of fish then there is more possibility that any fish may develop early symptoms of diseases.

In that case, you will need to take the fish out and then treat the fish. Or else, the disease could spread throughout the tank.

Generally, if you keep up with the regular maintenance of your guppy fish tank and feed your guppies high-quality food then your fish will be healthy no matter how many fish you keep and you will not see any signs of diseases in your guppies.

3. How much money you want to spend on your guppy aquarium?

Guppies are very cheap to get you can get a lot of puppies at a very cheap price.

But if you get more guppies then you will also need a bigger fish tank and bigger equipment like an aquarium heater, aquarium filter, aquarium light, aquarium stand, etc.

Also, you will need more food to feed if you have a lot of the guppies.

Besides, you will need to consider the electricity bill for running all the aquarium equipment.

Here are tables showing the start-up cost of a 10-gallon guppy fish tank

ItemsCost
Fish$ 30
Tank$ 40
Stand$ 50
Food$ 12
Filter$ 25
Aquarium heater$10
Air pump$ 5
Fish net$ 2
Water test kit$ 24
Aquarium plants$ 30
Aquarium tank wall cleaner$ 7
Water conditioner$ 7
Thermometer$ 5
Siphon$ 12
10 gallon bucket$ 20
Medications$ 15
Aquarium plant fertilizers$ 10
Total$ 304

Recurring cost of owning and maintaining a guppy fish tank

There are a few things you will need to regularly by to maintain your guppy fish tank.

1. Fish food
guppy fish image with text overlay "varied food please"

You will need to regularly buy fish food for your guppies.

How much fish food will be enough for your guppies depends on how many fish you are keeping in your fish tank.

And how much the fish food will cost you depends on which fish food you get for your guppy fish tank.

When it comes to fish food for guppies, you should diversify and you should not feed only one type of fish food to your guppies.

Food also plays a very important role in the coloration of guppies. That’s why it is very important to feed high-quality food to your guppies

Here are some of my guppy fish food recommendations:

Best flake foods for guppies
Flake foodFeaturesCheck price at Amazon
New Life Spectrum Optimum Flakes– Includes both meaty and plant-based ingredients
– Enhances guppy fish color
– Improves immune system
Click here
Aquacarium Tropical Flakes– Includes both meaty and plant-based ingredients
– All natural
– Does not cloud the water
Click here
Tetra Tropical Color Flakes– Very popular
– Includes both meaty and plant-based ingredients
– Enhances guppy fish color
– Does not cloud the water
Click here
Best pellet foods for guppies
Pellet foodsKey featuresCheck price at Amazon
New Life Spectrum Float Surface Feeder – Includes both meaty and plant-based ingredients
– All-natural ingredients
– Enhances guppy fish color
– Semi-floating
Click here
Hikari Micro Pellets– Includes both meaty and plant-based ingredients
– Semi-floating
– Does not cloud the water
Click here
Best plant-based fish foods for guppies
Veggie fish foodFeaturesCheck price at Amazon
Aquacarium Veggie Flakes– Flake food
– All natural ingredients
– Does not cloud the water
Click here
New Life Spectrum AlgaeMax– Sinking wafer
– Made from algae
Click here

Besides these commercial fish foods, you can also feed some human foods to your guppies. Here’s the list of foods you can feed to your guppies.

2. Filter media cartridge

On a weekly basis, you will need to change the filter media in your aquarium filter.

Filter media doesn’t cost a lot of money and it can last a long time.

You can get filter media for less than $20

3. Aquarium water test kit

How often you will need to purchase an aquarium water test kit depends on which test kit you are using.

If you get API freshwater master test (link to Amazon) it then it does cost a bit for a test kit upfront. But it will last you for a long time so in the long run, it is worth it.

Generally API master test kit will last you for at least more than a year.

4. Aquarium water conditioner

You will also need to purchase an aquarium water conditioner regularly.

How long will your aquarium water conditioner last depends on the size of your fish tank and the size of the aquarium water conditioner bottle.

For example, if you get Seachem prime water conditioner of 16.91 Oz pack (link to Amazon) which is around 473 ml which can treat about 473 gallons of water.

So, if you own a 10-gallon fish tank and if you do let’s say 50% water change i.e. 5 gallons of water every week then it can last you for two years!

5. Medications

You will also regularly need to purchase medications for your aquarium.

How much and how long will the medications last depends on the usage.

6. Electricity

You should also not forget that all the aquarium equipment needs electricity to run.

Some equipment like aquarium filter, air pump, and aquarium heater you will need to keep them on 24/7.

And other equipment like aquarium light you don’t need to keep them on 24/7. Generally, you should keep aquarium lights on for 8 to 10 hours during the day and keep it off during the night.

How much the electricity bill will cost you is going to depend on which equipment you use in your fish tank and their wattage. And also, the price of electricity in your area.

Generally speaking, a 10-gallon tank will consume about 150 KW energy per year. So you could calculate the electricity bill by multiplying 150kW by the price of electricity per KW in your area.

For example, the average electricity per KW in the USA is 10.42 cents. So by multiplying 150 KW by 10.42 cents we get 15.63 dollars.

Can you keep male and female guppies together in a fish tank?

You can keep male and female guppies together in the same tank.

But there are a few things you need to keep in mind while keeping them together.

1. Maintain the ratio of (2:1) female-male ratio

The most important thing you will need to keep in mind while keeping male and female guppies together in the same tank is that you will need to maintain a ratio of (2 : 1) female-male guppies ratio.

This is important because if you don’t maintain the ratio and say if you keep fewer females then the females will constantly get harassed by male guppies.

This will stress out the female guppies which could lead to shortened life span and more stress which could eventually cause diseases to the females.

Maintaining the ratio is not only important for the females but is also important for the male guppies.

Generally, female guppies are quite picky when it comes to mating partners.

Female guppies may not allow some male guppies in your fish tank to mate.

So if you maintain the ratio then the male and female guppies will have more choices and most likely everybody will get a mating partner.

2. Add a lot of hiding places in your fish tank

guppy fish image with text overlay "create some hiding places for me"

When you keep male and female guppies in the same tank, even if you maintain the ratio, still, you will see male guppies constantly chasing and harassing the females in your fish tank.

This can stress out the female guppies which could cause diseases down the road.

To cope with this problem you should add a lot of hiding places in your guppy fish tank. So the females can hide from the males in your fish tank and rest and recover.

How to create hiding places in a guppy fish tank?

There are few ways you can create a lot of hiding places in your guppy fish tank and at the same time, give your fish tank a unique look!

  • Add live aquarium plants
guppy fish image with text overlay "i love live plants"

You can add live aquarium plants in your guppy fish tank to create hiding places for the fish in your aquarium. Here is the list of the best live aquarium plants for guppies.

  • Add aquarium decorations

You can add different types of aquarium decorations like driftwood and rocks and other decorative articles in your guppy fish tank to create hiding places for the fish in your tank.

  • Maintain the ideal water parameters
guppy fish image with text overlay "ideal water parameters for guppies"

Now, this goes without saying- you have to maintain the ideal water parameters in your guppy fish tank to keep all the fish in your fish tank stress-free and healthy.

Here’s the table containing the ideal water parameters that guppies need in their tank.

PARAMETERSVALUES
FISHGuppies
SCIENTIFIC NAMEPoecilia reticulata
CARE LEVELEasy
MAXIMUM SIZE2 inches
AVERAGE LIFESPAN2-4 years
DIETOmnivore
WATER TEMPERATURE64–82° F
WATER pH5.5–8.0
WATER HARDNESS10–30
MINIMUM TANK CAPACITY5 gallons
BREEDINGLivebearers

Besides maintaining the ideal water parameters you should also make sure that your fish tank doesn’t contain any ammonia and nitrite. And you should make sure that the nitrate levels in your fish tank are less than 20 PPM.

How many males and females should I keep together?

You can keep as many males and female guppies in your fish tank as far as you are doing the following couple of things.

  1. Maintaining the (2 : 1) Female-Male ratio

As I talked about it earlier you need to maintain the (2 : 1) Female-Male ratio to cope with the aggression in your guppy fish tank.

  1. Choose the right fish tank size according to the number of fish you want to keep in your tank

If you want to keep a lot of male and female guppies in your fish tank then you will also need a larger tank to keep them compared to if you just want to keep a trio of guppies which will need only a 5-gallon tank.

When it comes to tank size for guppies, a good rule of thumb to follow is 1 gallon per inch of the fish.

Guppies generally grow up to 2 inches. So two gallons for a guppy fish is a good rule of thumb to follow.

Can you keep only male guppies in a fish tank?

guppy fish image with text overlay "male only guppy tank"

Male guppies are more colorful and vibrant than female guppies.

But, is keeping only male guppies in a fish tank a good idea?

Well, you could keep only male guppies in your guppy fish tank.

However, the most important issue you will notice when you keep only male guppies in your guppy fish tank is aggression among the males.

You will see the male guppies constantly chasing each other and harassing each other.

This can stress out the fish!

But if you really want to keep only male guppies in a fish tank there are a few ways to cope with the aggression.

  • First of all, you should create a lot of hiding places in your guppy fish tank so that the fish can hide, and rest, and recover.
  • You should also keep all the male guppies in the fish tank well-fed so they will not get aggressive during the feeding time.
  • You should also keep at least 6 male guppies so the aggression will spread out among them.
  • Also, you should generally choose a larger tank for a male guppies so they will have a lot of space to swim around and hide.

These are a few ways to cope with the aggression in a male-only guppy fish tank.

There are also a few other ways to cope with aggression.

I have talked about all the ways to cope with aggression in a male-only guppy fish tank and everything you need to know to maintain a healthy male-only guppy fish tank in this article.

Can you keep only female guppies in a fish tank?

Probably you don’t want to deal with the aggression of male guppies in your guppy fish tank.

Or you don’t want any guppy fry in your guppy tank.

In these cases, keeping only females in a guppy fish tank could be a great idea.

And you can certainly keep only female guppies in your guppy fish tank.

However, if you are keeping only female guppies in your guppy fish tank because you don’t want any fry in your guppy fish tank then it is kind of a tricky thing.

Because even if you keep only females in your guppy fish tank there is a possibility that some of the females have already been pregnant by a male. So you will end up with guppy fry in your tank.

Another drawback of keeping only female guppies in your guppy fish tank is that females are not as colorful and vibrant as male guppies.

How many guppies you should keep in a tank according to the tank size?

Here’s a table showing how many guppies you should keep according to the size of your aquarium.

Tank sizeNumber of guppies
5 Gallons3
10 Gallons6
15 Gallons9
20 Gallons12

Conclusion

Guppies are the hardiest freshwater fish to keep.

This is the reason they are recommended to beginners and they are very popular in the aquarium hobby.

Generally, you should keep guppies in groups. And ideally, you should keep at least a trio of guppies in at least a 5-gallon fish tank.

You can keep more than a trio of guppies but then you will also need to increase the tank size of your fish tank according to the number of fish you are going to keep in the tank.

Besides, there are other factors that can affect your decision on how many guppies you should keep in your fish tank.

I have covered all the factors in detail in the article so hopefully, they have helped you to make the right decision.

I hope you found this article helpful.

If you do, please share it

Happy fishkeeping!

Leave a Comment