Many aquarium owners fill their tanks with guppies. These colorful fish aren’t only beautiful to watch swimming around, but are very easy to care for.
However, many often don’t realize that guppies are tropical fish meaning they need to have tropical-like living conditions.
Below is more information about this fish breed and ways you can properly care for it, such as making sure the tank’s water temperature is correct and that they receive a proper diet.
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What are Guppies?
Guppies, also known as rainbow fish, are a type of fish that are popular to use in aquariums as they are one of the most low-maintenance options. Guppies are live-bearing and can live anywhere from one to three years.
Where Did Guppies Originate?
This breed is originally from South America, particularly Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Guyana, and Jamaica. Eventually, the fish (which is part of the Poeciliidae family) was introduced to different countries thanks to explorers admiring its small size and stunning colors. In addition to this, guppies were used around the globe as a way to help prevent massive mosquito populations as they eat the larvae of this insect. Today, the guppy has grown to be one of the most popular aquarium fish in the world.
Types of Guppies
There are over 300 different types of guppies. While it might seem a little difficult to tell each type apart, you can usually do so by looking at their tails. A few fish owners will find guppies have
- Flag tail
- Spear tail
- Halfmoon tail
- Double swordtail
- Spade tail
Besides their tails, guppies can be identified by their stunning colors. Some you’ll find are metallic, albino, and solid-colored.
As its name suggests, metallic guppies feature shiny scales that seem to glow in the water. These colors range in their shades with some being bright blue and others being deep green.
Albino guppies are best known for their vibrant white scales and red eyes. While some might have faint hints of different colors, they aren’t bold.
Solid-colored guppies feature one solid color on their body. These colors include blue, purple, green, orange, and red. They also tend to have a solid color on their fins and tails rather than streaks of different hues on them.
Some guppies have a solid black body and sometimes different colors mixing in, like purple and green. This type of guppy is known as Black Moscow and tends to have a friendly disposition.
Are Guppies Easy to Care For?
While some might be a little skeptical of having guppies due to them being tropical fish, they are very easy to care for. In fact, guppies are often recommended for those who are starting their first aquarium. While you will need to take basic steps to care for your fish, they typically don’t require extra care and are affordable to keep.
Caring for Your Guppy
Because guppies are tropical fish, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind to ensure they have the proper living environment.
What Temperature Do Guppies Like? What Temperature Should a Tropical Fish Tank Be For Guppies?
One of the most important things to monitor when keeping guppies is the tank’s temperature. Because guppies are tropical, they need to have their water warmed anywhere from 74 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything higher or lower than this will prove to be deadly for your fish.
What Kind of Environment Do Guppies Like?
Guppies need to have a somewhat tropical environment with warm and slightly salty water. A filter is also good to include in their tank but it’s not mandatory. This is because guppies don’t create as much waste as other fish. Because of this, it doesn’t need to clean the tank often.
For those looking to find the perfect water environment for their guppies, look for a pH of 6.8 to 7.8. This water hardness prevents their living space from being too acidic. While guppies can adapt to different pH levels, it’s important that it doesn’t go extremely below or above these measurements. Keep in mind that if you don’t keep the correct water temperature, it can be very harmful to your fish. In fact, health concerns such as stress, white spots, velvet disease, and tail rot could occur.
This type of fish also likes large spaces to swim around in. Because of this, it’s important that you give them a big tank to explore. Guppies also like to have small amounts of light shining into their tank. However, fish owners need to make sure that this light isn’t intense as it could heat the tank up too much. This can end up causing the water to be too hot which could be fatal.
What is the Nitrogen Cycle for Guppies?
Fish create nitrogen when they excrete waste into their tank. This process can then create ammonia in the tank’s water. If not removed, it could poison your fish. Because of this, you want to make sure to cycle your tank. In other words, clean the tank out and replace it with fresh water. This process should be done every two weeks as this is the normal nitrogen cycle for guppies.
If you’re concerned about not being able to tell when there might be too much nitrogen in the tank, you can use a monitor. This device can be placed inside the water where it will alert you to the current conditions. If you find that the nitrogen or ammonia levels are too high, you can then work on cleaning the tank.
How to Clean Their Tank
While you can clean the tank with fish in it, this is not ideal. This is because your fish could become stressed and the sudden change in water temperatures could shock them. Instead, carefully remove them from the tank into a holding container that is filled with the right water conditions. Once you do so, you’ll want to remove about 25% of the tank’s water and replace it with fresh water. Before you do this though, you might want to take a special fish tank hose to vacuum up any debris on the bottom of the tank. Aquarium owners might also need to scrub the tank’s walls off with a clean sponge if algae or dirt is sticking to it. If you have large rocks or fish homes inside the tank, you should make sure to clean these as well.
After you clean their tank, test the water first before you put your fish back in. This way, you can be sure that the pH level and temperature is correct. It will also ensure that your fish don’t go into shock due to the changing conditions.
How Much Space Per Guppy
How much space depends on the number of guppies living in it. For instance, if you have three guppies, you should put into four gallons of water. On the other hand, if you plan to put ten fish in the tank, nine gallons is ideal. You can use this basic measurement ratio to determine the right amount of water for your aquarium.
What Do Guppies Eat?
Guppies are omnivores so they do eat meat, such as brine shrimp and other fish. Some fish owners also feed their guppies bloodworms and mosquito larvae. In addition to this, guppies enjoy eating algae and vegetable pellets. You can find these items in most pet stores or order them online from a reputable site.
How to Feed Your Guppy
To properly feed your guppy, just sprinkle a small amount of their food over the top of the tank’s water. Your fish will then swim to their meal and gobble it down.
If you feed your guppy fish flakes, you’ll want to give them a pinch of it twice a day, ideally in the morning and at night. However, fish flakes should really only be given to older guppies as younger guppies need food with more vitamins and minerals.
You can feed your guppy by hand or install an automatic feeder. This feeder can usually be set to release food at certain times throughout the day. If you decide to use this method, you do need to make sure to check it often. This way, you can ensure there is enough food inside and the machine is working correctly.
Overfeeding Your Fish
It’s vital that you don’t overfeed your fish, something that can be very easy to do. Despite having a small stomach, guppies are voracious eaters. Due to this, they will eat more food than they need. If you find your fish has signs of a blocked intestine, a bulging stomach, or is producing more waste than normal, you’re probably giving them too much food.
This tropical fish is a great option to add to your aquarium as it’s not only easy to care for but has a fun personality. However, aquarium owners need to make sure that their guppies have the right living conditions so they are happy and healthy. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep the tips listed above in mind.