I always receive this same questions by guppy’s lovers/trainees who want to keep guppies in their aquarium:In a nutshell: the life span of a guppy fish depends on numerous factors. Generally,
Guppies generally live between 1-3 years, but it is not unusual for guppies to live up to 5 years if they are kept in good conditions.
Fundamental elements are what help differentiate guppies that live for less than a year, and those that live for over the stipulated three years. Some of the factors are viable guppy genetics, consuming quality food, sanitize/regulated water parameters, and minimize stress can help to elongate the year’s guppies will live.
How to Increase Guppy Fish Longevity?
Below are ways you can help your fish live longer than it would have lived, these methods are proven, and they work.
i) Guppy Genetics
You can do whatsoever you want if your guppies have genetics that is not viable. In most scenarios, guppies with bad genetics will give up the ghost before it attains the adult stage.
Purchasing your guppy fish from expert guppy breeders who care about breeding fit fish with good genetics is a good start to better the life span of your guppy fish.
Pet marts are also a trusted source to purchase your guppies because they usually sell healthy fish. However, fish breeders have complained on various platforms, that guppies purchased from pet marts tend to live less long than guppies bought from breeders.
ii) Giving Healthy Diet
Besides viable genetics, your fish need a quality diet to develop and live a longer life. I WROTE HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT CONSTIPATION
Guppies will consume almost anything you give them. You can provide them a commercial or home-made meal. It is essential to feed them a diverse kind of food.
If you decide to feed guppies with commercial food, select a known brand. You can find many guppies feeds in pet marts or online platforms like veggies, spirulina, etc.
If you fancy preparing your guppies meal at home, make sure you give your guppy fish the needed vitamins and minerals. Guppies prefer fresh feeds and cocked veggies such as cucumber, watermelon, spinach, carrots, green beans, and few others.
They also love live feeds like daphnia, vinegar eels, or saline shrimps. These are feeds that make guppies live longer and healthy though the cultivation of live food is not more expensive.
Whatever you feed your guppies with, be it commercial or home-made food, Ensure they consume varieties of food, and you don’t give them more than they need.
ii) Giving Guppies Accurate Water Parameters
Water parameters are perhaps the most vital factor for keeping guppies healthy and live long. Guppy fish are very resilient and can live in a wide range of water parameters. Here is the most appropriate water quality for guppy fish:
The temperature should be: 72-82 °F (22-28 °C )
The pH level should be: 6.8-7.8
The hardness of the water should not be more than (dGH): 8-12
0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, not more than 10 ppm nitrates
In most scenarios, clean tap water is the best for guppies. But be cautious with the tap water. Tap water contains dense metals like lead, chlorine, and chloramine in low measures, which is non-toxic for human beings consumption but is very toxic for your guppy fish.
Make use of water conditioner when performing water changes to eradicate the toxic elements from the tap water. Some breeders use Seachem Prime to eliminate the harmful components from the tap water.
iii) Reducing Stress
Just like we are humans, guppies can also undergo stress. There are indeed many reasons that will cause stress in your guppies. Below are the most known stress factors for guppies:
Poor tank mates
Bad water circumstances
Absence of hiding space
Overcrowded in fish aquarium/tank
Insufficient male to female ratio
If you rear your guppies in a free(public) tank, other fish might traumatize them. Some other varieties of fish are very hostile like the angelfish, and it is not advisable to keep them alongside guppies in the same aquarium.
Guppies like to have hiding space in a tank, though when they feel safe, they do not hide under leaves. Moreover, it is a great idea to give guppies some sort of hiding spaces. Female guppies are stressed continuously by male guppies while they need to relax. You will notice female guppies hiding between plants or other aquarium ornaments. Having live plants in your tanks aids the survival rate of guppy fries also. Aquarium plants are very useful in improving the parameter of water.
Overcrowding also causes stress to your fish, work on this. You can use bowls, tanks, and the likes if you do not have standard aquariums. There is a reduction of oxygen in the aquarium, and the infection spread fast when there is overcrowding.
iv) Guppies also sleep. They need to relax, and they need dimness for this. Excessive illumination will lead to stress and, finally, death. If you use non-natural light in your guppy’s aquarium, ensure you turn it off within 6-9 hours in every 24 hours. If you are very busy or you often forget things, there is a light that switches on/off automatically, try to get such for your aquarium.
If you want your guppies to sleep more, so they can live longer, it is advisable to stock one male to three females ration to reduce the stress your female guppies might face. I know those male guppies are better-looking, and people tend to purchase more of the male guppies than females. This is not a good idea. Excessive numbers males compared to the female will pester and stress the female guppies so much, and you might lose a substantial number of female guppies to the hand of death. If you purchase guppies for their vibrant colors and not for reproduction, then you are free to stock only males, especially if you run an aquarium for sightseeing or excursion.