How to Set Up a Guppy Tank

In this article I am going to show you everything you need to known to setup a Guppy tank. When it comes to pet fish, guppies are one of the most common species. Aside from the fact that they are beautiful, they are also smart and entertaining.  Likewise, It is one of the far-spread tropical fishes in the world.

How to Set Up a Guppy Tank

How to Set Up a Guppy Tank

To set up a guppies’ tank, start by getting the required gallons of water. Line the base of the container with gravel and add other substrates. You can include an external filter to help you clean and maintain the tank. Once all these are in place, you can then add the other decorations like plants in the guppies’ tank.

Aside from the fact that guppies are hardy, they are also peaceful species of fish. Consequently, Guppies can easily cope with community tanks. They can comfortably live with other fish of similar calm behavior.

The above reasons highlight why guppies are one of the significant favorites of most aquarists. They are straightforward to keep as long as you can meet their basic ecological, tank, and nutritional requirements.

If you intend to set up a guppy tank, you should proceed by understanding their environmental demands. You should also understand their suitable tank mates as well as the number of suitable tank mates.

How Many Guppies Can You Keep In A Fish Tank?

On average, you can comfortably keep up to 7 Guppies in 10 gallons of water. However, you can still increase the number to 10 Guppies in 10 gallons of water as long as you can make the tank clean. In summary, the highest ratio of guppies in a container should be 1 gallon of water to one guppy.

Guppies are active swimmers; therefore, they love to have enough space in their tank. Having an overcrowded tank can be detrimental to the health of all the members of a tank. Aside from the fact that they will compete for space, they will also compete for nutrients.

The number of guppies you can keep in a tank can be dependent on the size of your container. Guppies on their own can grow up to 1.5 inches in body size, excluding fins and tail. The average size of these guppies is also a defining factor.

If you have a lower ratio than one gallon of water to one Guppy in a guppy tank can be detrimental to the health of your fish. Likewise, the average size of fish in the container and the size of the aquarium are critical factors to consider while deciding on the number of fish to keep in your tank.

Ideal Water Conditions for Guppies

The water conditions suitable for guppies are not extreme. It is, however, still relevant to meet these conditions to keep the fish healthy in the tank.  The underlying water conditions for guppies should include essential parameters such as; temperature, pH, as well as toxins and ammonia contents.

On average, the water temperature suitable for guppies should be in the range of 72-82°F. This temperature is appropriate to keep the guppies in the right health conditions. Likewise, the optimum pH range suitable for guppies is in the field of 6.8-7.8. A drastic deviation from this pH can be harmful to the fish in the tank.

Similarly, the ammonia and nitrite level of the tank should be at the barest minimum [0 ppm]. Guppies can still cope with about 10ppm of nitrates in their tank. Guppies also prefer hard water over soft water. The hardness of the water in the tank can also affect the pH of the container.

What Do Guppies Need In Their Tank?

One of the attributes of good aquarists is the ability to recognize and meet the needs of their tank members. The tank demands of guppies are not extreme; neither are they challenging to achieve. However, these few things have a significant impact on the quality of their life.

What Do Guppies Need In Their Tank

The basic requirements in the guppies’ tank include; water heater, aquarium lights, live plants or decorations, filters, and essential substrates such as gravel.

The water heater in the guppies’ tank is essential to maintain the temperature of the container. The filter is also necessary for keeping the tank clean and free of toxins. Live plants and other decorations are essential in providing hiding places and cover for the plants. Live plants can also help in the natural filtration of the tank in the absence of natural filters.

Guppies love lights in their tanks; therefore, aquarium light is vital in providing lighting for the container. The other substrates, like gravel, can help to provide a base for the fish. It can also serve as a means for attachment for the live plants and decorations you want to add to your tank.

Cycling Your Aquarium

Cycling of guppies’ tank is an essential process in maintaining the guppies tank.  Aquarium cycling implies the partial change of the water in the tank. The aim of cycling your fish aquarium is to maintain cleanliness and the nitrogen cycle of the container.

Cycling your aquarium can involve you allowing your water to cycle through the filter for about five days. Likewise, you can also change 20-50% of the tank water at a precise interval.

Cycling of the aquarium will also help you grow beneficial bacteria in the tank. Likewise, cycling will assist in the elimination of toxins from the fish tank. These toxins are lethal to the fish in aquariums. The principal toxins in the fish tank include ammonia and nitrites.

It is, however, not to include fish in your tank during this cycling period. The cycling period can take up to two weeks, depending on the cycling method you are employing.


Filtration of guppies’ tank is a process that is very crucial in maintaining the guppies’ tank. It is vital to keep the water quality of the tank at a standard that is suitable for the guppies. You can either employ the use of an external filter for your guppy tank; or depend on live plants and useful bacteria for the natural filtration process.

guppy tank filtration system

Filtration in the guppies’ tank will help you get rid of waste, keep the tank clean, and get rid of debris and particles. Consequently, ensuring proper filtration in your fish tank will help you maintain clearer and cleaner tank water.

However, the use of filters is not compulsory in the guppy tank. The reason is that guppies do not produce as much waste as most other types of aquarium fish.  Nevertheless, if you operate your guppy aquarium without a filter, then you should ensure you carry out regular water changes in the fish tank.

Inexperienced aquarists should make use of filters to be on the safe side.


Guppies are tropical fish; hence they prefer the temperature of their tank to be slightly elevated. Having a tank heater for guppies’ aquarium is even more essential if you live in a region where you have varying temperatures in different seasons. It is also crucial in frigid areas.

Guppies tanks thrive in the temperature in the range of 72-82°C.  It is vital to maintain this temperature range because guppies don’t do well if the temperature of their tanks fluctuates. It might not be safe to depend on the natural warmth of the climate to help you maintain your guppies’ tank.

The size of the heater you should get for your aquarium is dependent on several factors. These factors include; the size of the fish tank, the number of fish in the tank, the climate and temperature in your region, and if your aquarium is outdoor or indoor.

If you live in a region with an average temperature higher than 68°F, you might not need a heater.


Water circulation in the fish tank implies the overall movement of water in the tank. One of the factors that must be in place to ensure proper distribution of water in your tank is to ensure the cleanliness of your tank.

Aside from the effect of good water movement on the health of guppies, it also has a massive impact on the flourishing of live plants. It also ensures the proper circulation of useful oxygen in the fish tank. Simultaneously as it provides the distribution of necessary oxygen, it will also help get rid of water CO2.

You can enhance the circulation of water with the use of wavemakers and circulation pumps in the aquarium. The positioning of the wavemakers and the distribution or water pumps are also influential on how effective they will be.


The fact that guppies can thrive in the absence of artificial lights does not mean they don’t need it. Although the natural light that finds its way into your transparent tank wall might be enough for the fish; it might not be sufficient to sustain the live plants in the tank.

It is not advisable to expose your aquarium to the direct ray of sunlight; hence, the need for artificial lights. Allowing too much ray of the sun into your guppy tank can consequently lead to the harmful growth of algae in the tank.

However, if you intend to set up artificial light for your guppy tank, it is essential to follow a regular pattern of schedule. This schedule will help you imitate the natural day and night pattern for your fish.

Decoration and Plants

Decorations and plants are critical parts of a fish tank. They are valuable additions to the aquariums with a lot of advantages. Although the introduction of live plants and decorations into your fish tank can mean a little more maintenance; the pros, however, outweigh the stress.

Live plants provide an alternative form of filtration to the guppy tank. Consequently, they help to speed up the rate of the nitrogen cycle. They also help in maintaining a clean and healthy environment for the aquarium community.

As part of their contribution towards natural filtration, live plants also contribute to the growth of beneficial plants in the tank.  Simultaneously, plants also inhibit the growth of algae. They achieve this by competing with them for valuable nutrients.

Also, live plants make the aquarium more attractive and help the tank simulate the natural habitat of guppies. They can also serve a valuable food alternative for guppies, particularly fries. Decorations, together with live plants, can offer proper resting and hiding places for guppies. Consequently, they can protect your aquarium members from stress.

Valuable live plants that you can introduce to your guppy tank include; Java fern, Hornwort, Amazon sword, a chain sword, African fern, Amazon Frogbit, as well as Moneywort.

How To Introduce Guppies To The Tank

The knowledge about introducing guppies to a tank is particularly crucial for inexperienced aquarists. The process of adding guppies to tanks if you have existing tank members is quite different from when you are introducing the guppy to new tanks as a startup.

Before adding fish to a new tank, ensure that the entire tank parameters are all set. Go to the nearest fish store and purchase your guppy fish. It is easier when you understand the conditions the guppy thrived at the store before you buy it.

It is a slightly different ball game when you are introducing a guppy to a tank with existing tank members. You should ensure that the current fish are compatible tank mates for the incoming guppy. Likewise, you should ensure that the water parameters are suitable for the guppy before adding it to the tank.

Also, importantly, you should have it in mind to protect your existing tank members while adding a new guppy. This protection is to prevent the introduction of disease or parasites by the fresh fish. You can quarantine the new fish in a separate tank for about two weeks before adding it to the main tank.

Breeding Guppies In a Community Tank

Aquarists often prefer guppies because you can easily breed them in community tanks. A community tank is an aquarium that is specific for housing more than one species of fish. It often contains fish with similar environmental, water, and nutritional demands.

It is quite easy to breed guppies in a community tank as long as you have enough space in the tank. Likewise, you should ensure that you properly feed them at reasonable intervals. It is also essential to keep them with only suitable tank members with similar peaceful nature.

Likewise, the addition of live or decorative plants to the tank is crucial for providing hiding, resting, and breeding space. Consequently, these plants will protect them from the stress that might want to result from troublesome tank members.

It is equally essential to protect the guppy fry in a community tank. The best scenario is removing the pregnant guppies from the community tank to protect the fry. Simultaneously, you are also protecting the pregnant female from stress.

Most suitable guppy tank mates and even other adult guppies, including the mother, can eat up guppy fry. While some species eat them out of hunger, others crunch them for fun. Therefore, if you are interested in protecting and keeping your guppy fry, you should breed them in a separate tank from the community tank.

Tank Maintenance

Guppies have their standard water condition and tank parameters where they thrive best; hence, it is essential to maintain these conditions. Without proper maintenance, you are mainly endangering the life of your guppies.

Proper maintenance of the guppies’ tank will help in preventing the accumulation of toxins. It is also vital to prevent the spread of disease and the growth of parasites.

One of the ways to ensure proper maintenance of your tank is by guaranteeing adequate cycling of the fish tank.  You should ensure the appropriate cycling of your tank at a regular interval. Similarly, you should provide proper filtration of your tank. You can either make use of artificial filters or allow the cycling process to complement the natural filtration by plants and some useful bacteria.

Likewise, you should ensure you get rid of leftover food from the guppy tank. This procedure will help to prevent the buildup of organic waste in the tank. Likewise, ensure the instant evacuation of dead or sick fish from the main tank.

You can also carry out a routine check on the health of the fish, and you can manually get rid of parasites from the tank. You should also prevent and get rid of algae growth in the aquarium. The presence of a water heater in the tank will also help you maintain the optimum temperature of the fish tank.

Good Guppy Tank Mates

Guppies are peaceful fish. They are non-aggressive, sociable, and thus, they are ideal for community tanks. Therefore, they find it very easy to cope with tank mates of similar non-aggressive fish species.

Good tank mates for guppies include; platyfish, mollies, Bristlenose Pleco, Angelfish, tetras, Betta fish, shrimp, Danios, Rainbowfish, snails, and shrimps.

However, you must be confident that your guppies are not exposed to injuries, bullying, or stress from their tank mates. Also, they must have similar environmental, nutritional, tank, and water requirements.

Can You Keep Guppies in Glass Bowl?

As much as you find cool images of aquarium fish in a glass bowl; it is not as cool as it seems. Keeping guppies in a glass bowl is not in anyway a good idea.

Aside from the fact that glass bowl might not give enough space to the guppies; it will also give room for the accumulation of toxins. The accumulation of toxins is as a result of the inability to fit up a functional filtration system.

Keeping guppies in fish bowl can lead to unstable water parameters, including temperature and oxygen level. This instability is due to the small water volume in the fish bowl. Consequently, this instability will undoubtedly lead to the death of guppies.

The inability of guppies to survive in a glass bowl explains why glass bowls are commonly called ”house of death” for fish. Aside from guppies, several other aquarium fish will find it difficult to survive in glass bowls.


Guppies are hardy. They are sociable and non-aggressive fish with bright colors that can beautify your tank. They are active swimmers, and watching them swim around their tank can provide you with so much fun. Due to their nature, guppies can also live peacefully with other non-aggressive species.

Setting up a guppy tank is not very difficult. The essential thing is to identify and meet their basic requirements with your tank set up. Ensure that you set suitable water and tank parameters, maintain the cleanliness of the guppy tank, and keep them with suitable tank mates.