Guppies are beautiful freshwater fish with colorful bodies, flowery fins, and the kind of active lifestyle that make them a focal point of any indoor tank.
But are they easy to keep?
Believe it or not, guppies are one of the easiest fish to keep – even if you are a brand-new beginner fish keeper and haven’t set up an aquarium in the past.
Sure, there are definitely some things you want to square away before you jump right into the world of keeping guppies. And they are a little more finicky than a goldfish or betta.
With the help of this detailed guide, though, you’ll find keeping guppies a whole lot easier than you would’ve thought initially.
Are Guppies Good for Beginners?
There are a couple of different reasons that guppies make a perfect fish for beginning fish keepers.
For starters, guppies are (by and large) very easy to care for – almost to the point that you can “set and forget” a lot of your tank maintenance.
Sure, you’re still going to need to feed your guppies on a regular basis. You’re going to need to treat and refresh the water every now and again. But you aren’t going to have to babysit your tank the way you might have with exotic fish and some crazy saltwater enclosure.
Guppies are also very adaptable and very easy to breed, too.
This means that you are going to be able to keep your guppies in a wide variety of tanks and enclosures. It also means that you’re not going to have a hard time coming up with more guppies to expand your enclosure (or even build out new aquariums or help start the aquariums of other beginners looking to get into the swing of things).
At the end of the day, guppies are a fantastic choice for beginners.
Tips and Tricks for Beginners Getting Into Keeping Guppies
To make sure that you have the best time keeping guppies, though, you need to be sure that you go into this process with both eyes open.
Here’s a quick rundown of some tips and tricks that will help beginners just getting into keeping guppies start off on the right foot.
Pick the Right Fish
Straight out of the gate you want to be sure that you are raising happy, healthy, and well-adjusted guppies.
This is the biggest piece of the puzzle!
Fish shops that have guppies with a great genetic makeup, wonderful dispositions, and beautiful colors – not to mention fish that are gorgeous and obviously healthy – are where you’re going to want to get your initial stock from.
Fish folks that have sad, aggressive, or dull looking guppies are probably best avoided. You don’t need to make this mission any harder than it has to be.
Start with the right fish and you’ll be starting with a huge advantage.
Setting Up Your Tank
Setting up your tank right is essential if you’re going to give your new guppies a perfect place to call home.
At the very minimum you are going to need to invest in quality components like:
- A solid water filter from a reputable brand
- A great air filter that you know you can trust
- A heating unit that will keep your tank water at ideal conditions
… As well as at least a little bit of substrate (sand, rocks, or synthetic – it doesn’t really matter) and some structure for your guppies.
Most fish folks are also going to recommend that you mix in some aquatic plants, a little bit of moss, and some driftwood to make things a lot more livable, too.
Getting Your Water Right
At an absolute minimum you want to be sure that your guppies have at least 5 gallons of water to themselves – which means you should start with a gallon tank (or larger) if you want to keep more than one guppy at a time.
Keeping at least two guppies is highly recommended, particularly because these fish are such social creatures.
They love to be in a school or a shoal, they love to be active and to play with one another, and when you keep them alone they really have a tough time adjusting.
Start with at least a gallon tank (20 would be better) and then make sure that the water is conditioned correctly, is holding the right temperature (between 72°F and 82°F) and that your oxygen and pH levels are really dialed in.
Square all of that away and you’ll be good to go.
Feed High Quality Food
A lot of new guppy owners are shocked to learn that these beautiful rainbow fish are actually omnivores – which means they are going to eat both animal and plant food sources.