Are Guppies Aggressive Fish? {Should You Separate Them?}

Though guppies are not known to be widely aggressive, this is the reason you can find them in public aquarium around the world.

Fish lovers adore guppies as a peaceful and sociable pet.

Aquarists often get worried when they see guppies, especially males, been aggressive to each other, especially when they want to be territorial or claim a particular space in the aquarium.

Are Guppies Aggressive

Guppies are not aggressive fish.  They are one of the most social and peaceful fish you can add to your tank. The only time that they might show slight aggression is when they are about to give birth.

No doubt that most guppies are territorial, and whenever any other fish challenge them in their corner, they become aggressive. They mostly respond to attacks from other guppies by biting their opponent fins, tails, or other parts of their bodies.

If you’re not very observant, you will not know guppies are becoming aggressive in the tank/aquarium because mating and fighting in guppies come in the same form.

They usually chase themselves in the tank whenever they want to mate, the same way they pursue themselves in the tank when they are fighting. So you need to be watchful as they interact in the aquarium.

Are Guppies Aggressive Fish

Let me give you a quick explanation of how you can differentiate between the two chases in the aquarium. Whenever you see a multi-colored guppy with wide tail trailing a not too colorful guppy and smaller tails, then you are observing between behavior above guppies and noting related to aggression.

But if it persists, it can stress the female guppies, especially if the males outnumbered them. Then you might need to start treating them for different ailments if not swiftly sorted, but it is advisable to create hiding spots in the aquarium and ensure the male guppies don’t outnumber the females.

Based on experience, you can find handsome male guppies chasing each other in the aquarium, even in a pond with a single female. They are not fighting for anything, though, they are struggling for dominance. Here is what you should be worried about, fighting and fin nipping are the two primary signs of aggressive guppy behavior. Once these two traits are noticed, then you need to place some live plants in the tank/aquarium to serve as hiding spots for weak males.

Space is also essential in an aquarium/tank. Ensure your tank is spacious, you don’t stock guppies that will make your tank crowded, and these solutions can help reduce the aggressive tension. More things you can do is, isolate the bullies and be mindful of male to female ratio.

Are My Male Guppies Fighting Or Playing?

In a male-dominated tank with no female guppy, then aggressive will be much because of a tussle for dominance. In this kind of environment, you will notice constant fights while the weak or stressed ones are hiding around the live plants or gravel.

Aggression leads to fights, and fights lead to injuries on the fin or tails. The territorial and bully traits of male guppies are due to the power they want within their habitat. Don’t forget to solve this by introducing females or isolating bullies.

What Is Guppy Ideal Male to Female Ratio

To solve aggressive behaviors, then you need to take this seriously. Aquarium infection is knocking when your guppies start having injuries due to constant aggression that leads to fighting. Reviewing the ratio of female to male guppies will go a long way to calm their aggression.

You know female guppies are always a side attraction to the male, an awesome way to give your guppies a peaceful environment is to do away with the only male. One male should be kept with not more than 2-3 female guppies.

This ratio will reduce aggression to females, and it will curb the number of pregnancies. While using a female introduction to minimize aggression, you must be conscious about overpopulation because all your gains against aggression can be lost when the aquarium is overcrowded. You must be mindful of the fries the female will produce because if not separated, it might serve as food to the adult guppies.

Is It Possible For Guppies To Kill Each Other?

Though this is not common, guppies kill each other. This mostly happens if there is an introduction of different species of fish to an aquarium filled with guppies. There is always aggression that leads to death when there are mixed species in an aquarium.

Fight between guppies can also lead to death because injuries that will be gotten can cause infection and, most times, lead to death. In fishery, this is classified as death due to secondary infection.

Aquarist knows that bacteria are everywhere in the aquarium when guppies aggression causes nip on the fin then bacterial might find their way to the injurious part then leads to guppies death. Moreover, This should not stop you from hearing guppies, this is not a common scenario as I have said, but we need to let you know so you will know aggression that might lead to death exist in guppies.

Take Note of these Nuggets Before Keeping Guppies

1) Keep to 3:1 female to male ratio. This will help the guppies less competitive and eradicate aggressive traits.

2) No matter how convincing your reason is, don’t keep only males in a tank/aquarium

3) Ensure you keep guppies in a spacious tank, create hiding spots with live plants.

4) Feeding is paramount, don’t overfeed them but make sure they are well fed.

5) Isolate bully guppies to prevent your fish from having injury that can lead to death.

Please note: If all the above nuggets are kept, then be calm because they might be playing or preparing to mate.

Can You Keep Guppies With Other Species In An Aquarium?

Yes, but you must be wary of aggressive species, sluggish fish, fin-nippers, and big fishes are not good aquarium mate for guppies. Below are species you can keep with guppy fish.

i) Cardinal Tetras fish
ii) Honey Gouramis
iii) Mollies fish
iv) Bristlenose Plecos
v) Swordtails fish
vi) Platies fish
vii) Cory catfish
viii) Otocinclus catfish
ix) Harlequin rasboras

In conclusion, three criteria you must look out for before allowing any fish to cohabit with your guppies are

i) They must share the same peace nature
ii) The species you are introducing must not be a cannibal to guppies
iii) Ensure they have some dietary requirements.
iv) The species must enjoy similar water parameters.

Do everything to create functional enabling environments for your guppies to thrive; aggression leads to fighting and then to the death of fish. Guppies are peaceful; this is a clarion call to educate you and not to scare you from keeping them. Share your experience or questions with us below, and we love to read comments.


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.