Guppies are among the most popular tropical fish among aquarium fanatics, not just because of their colorful bodies and fins but because they are easy-going, shy, and peaceful. Guppies are not aggressive and easy to take care of, which makes them perfect for beginner aquarists.
Aggressiveness is very uncommon among guppies unless they’re trying to assert dominance during feeding or if they’re in a smaller tank.
Are Guppies Naturally Aggressive?
Though guppies are generally calm and peaceful, some instances can cause your guppies to be aggressive, such as breeding.
Guppies’ mating ritual can be deceiving as it may look like they are fighting. It’s natural for them to chase each other around, but when they breed, you’ll see the small, colorful fish with a tube on its belly, which is the male, chasing the larger, duller fish, the female.
Male guppies become brighter than usual when looking for a mate, while female guppies become paler and rounder than their normal size. Besides breeding, other situations can cause your guppies to be aggressive.
Remember these tips to avoid aggression in them:
Keep More Females Than Males
Female guppies are more prominent than males. They can grow twice the size of the males. On the other hand, male guppies are smaller and more colorful, with a wider variety of patterns.
Males tend to be more aggressive when there is more competition for females. On the other hand, females will feel stressed if the males keep on harassing them. The recommended male-to-female ratio of guppies is 3:1
Make Sure That Your Tank Isn’t Too Small or Overcrowded
Having a too small or crowded tank may lead to your guppies fighting over territory often, which can lead to stress for your fish.
Remember that you need at least two gallons of water for each guppie fish. It’s best to keep them in groups of two to six fish, as they’re schooling fish and like to be in groups.
Add Plants and Hiding Places
Guppy fish like exploring and hiding; adding these can make them happy. In addition, plants will help clean and oxygenate the water.
Live plants such as wisteria, java moss, and flame moss can keep the water clean by accelerating the nitrogen cycle. You can also place pebbles and caves so your guppies can play and hide in them.
Give Them Enough Food
Keep your guppies happy by providing them with enough good food. Not feeding them enough will make them fight over food. Commercial foods like high-quality flakes and pellets are excellent primary food sources.
Guppies are omnivorous and need foods rich in protein, which you can give them every once in a while, such as mosquito larvae, bloodworms, and brine shrimps.
Feed them twice a day, give them as much food as they can eat in two minutes, and remove excess foods to maintain good water quality.
Maintain Good Water Quality
Ensure to keep the temperature, ph levels, and hardness of the water at the correct level. Use hard freshwater between 12–15 dkH with a temperature of 74–82°F.
You can also use a water heater to maintain the ideal temperature range. Keeping good tank conditions can also prevent potential disease and stress to your fish.
Do Guppies Make Good Pets?
Guppies originated from South America and are famous for their patterns, colors, and fin shapes. Males are more colorful, but females are bigger. They make good pets as they’re easy-going and pretty.
Guppies are also resilient and highly adaptable, perfect for new fish keepers. They live for up to two to five years, depending on the care you give them.
Do Guppies Get Along Well With Other Fish?
Guppies are peaceful fish, and they enjoy swimming in groups. They can get along well with other delicate fish.
Guppies are smaller than other fish, so they’re most likely to be bullied or attacked by other larger and more aggressive fish in a tank. You will notice that guppies turn pale in color when stressed.
Avoid putting them with fish prone to aggression, as they can overpower guppies and become food for aggressive fish. Remember to keep consistent tank conditions when putting them with other fish to reduce the chances of diseases and stress to the fish.
These are the types of fish you should avoid putting with your guppies as they tend to grow larger and can show aggressive behaviors:
- African Cichlids
- Male Betta Fish
- Oscar Fish
- Pictus Catfish
- Dwarf Puffer Fish
On the other hand, here are some examples of fish that can go along well with guppies:
- Platy Fish
- Molly Fish
- Cory Catfish
- Most Gouramis
- African Dwarf Frog
- Ghost Shrimp
- Swordtail Fish
- Neon Tetra
- Bristlenose Pleco
Do Guppies Live in Large Groups?
Guppies are usually seen in groups and need to be in groups, just like other shoal fish. They’re schooling fish that feel secure and more comfortable when they’re in a group.
In the wild, guppies school for defense against predators like bigger fish or birds. When kept alone, guppy fish can feel more prone to predators, and more stressed, which can lead to health problems.
They need to be in a group so they can socialize to stay happy and healthy. But keep in mind to use an appropriately sized tank for your guppies if you plan to take care of them in a large group. You will need approximately two to three gallons of water for each guppy fish.
The smaller your tank, the fewer guppies you can keep together. Remember not to overcrowd the tank and always check the water quality.
Just like other animals, guppies can be unpredictable and show aggressiveness when under stress, when they’re threatened, defending their territory, or protecting their young. If your fish is acting aggressively, it can mean that something is wrong with them or the tank itself.
If you plan to take care of guppies, make sure to provide a safe and peaceful environment for them.