Yes, male guppies can live together. You can either keep a male-only tank or a mixed tank with both males and females.
When you’re new to fish keeping, you’re always on the look for compatible, low-maintenance fish. Since male guppies are the prettiest of both sexes, it’s understandable that someone might want to keep males only.
For this reason, we often get asked: Can male guppies live together?
Can Male Guppies Live Together in the Same Tank?
Male guppies aren’t particularly aggressive and you can easily keep more than one male in the same tank. In fact, people can start with six males in a tank without any female guppies at all.
Guppies are also called the million fish or the rainbow fish. Males are even more colorful than females.
Most people will find that guppies are adaptable. That’s why they are one of the most common types of tropical fish to raise in a freshwater aquarium.
Do Male Guppies Fight?
In some cases, you might notice a quick fight or two. The fights are often limited to harmless pestering, but they can escalate to serious injuries sometimes.
Keep in mind that fish can be territorial. They’ll fight over scarce food, living space, or female fish.
This happens a lot when the fish are new to the aquarium. However, once the fish start to settle down and get used to their surroundings, the fighting should subside.
How to Limit Male Guppy Fights
Rarely, the male guppies will continue to fight after settling in, but that doesn’t mean you have to separate them.
Dispelling the fights should be easy enough. Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you maintain a peaceful tank:
Start with a Large Tank
In smaller tanks, the chances of aggressiveness will double. That’s why you should start with a large tank.
On average, the water to guppy ratio is two gallons per fish. If you’re starting with six males, that’s 12 gallons of water. Go for the tallest tank you can get, guppies love having room to wander up and down the aquarium.
Pick Same-Sized Fish
An alpha male can rise in a small guppy group. This stronger male will then pester the others and will sometimes peck their fins. Too many fights can permanently damage the weaker male’s fin.
You’ll know that your fish is fighting constantly when you notice the damaged fins. Just be careful, it might progress to fin rot.
To balance the odds out, pick males of (roughly) the same size. This way, there won’t be an obvious alpha in the aquarium that bullies the rest.
Adjust the Feeding Cycles
Male guppies fight over resources or out of boredom. That’s why maintaining a proper feeding cycle is crucial.
For the first three months, it’s recommended to feed the guppies between five and eight times daily. Once they mature, you can dial the meal frequency back a notch. Two to three times is enough.
We’d still recommend using at least one live meal per day, to keep your fish busy. A fish that’s hunting won’t have time to pick fights.
Since guppies are omnivores, their diet should be protein-rich. Live meals can contain:
Just remember to chop up the worm meal before giving it to the fish. Pre-packed dry flakes are also a good option.
Provide Enough Hiding Spots
Larger tanks give the fish enough room to wander around without bumping into each other. You’ll also need to make sure they have enough hiding spots.
Just don’t overcrowd the aquarium’s floor with plants and gravel. Two hiding spots per fish is more than enough.
Keeping Both Guppy Genders in a Tank
Guppies are vicious breeders. Female guppies are livebearers, meaning that they don’t lay eggs. Instead, they give birth to living baby fish (also called fry.)
Guppies’ Breeding Cycle
For the first half of its life, a guppy goes through a new breeding cycle every month. For each cycle, the female guppy can lay anywhere between 20 and 60 fry.
Long story short, you can keep both males and females in the same tank, just expect a very sharp increase in the tank’s population within a couple of months.
Male to Female Guppy Ratio
If you want both males and females in a tank, you’ll need to balance out the ratio. Remember that the male guppies will fight over scarcities.
A 2:1 ratio works best in most cases. That means keeping two female guppies for every male. This helps keep the breeding-cycle fights to a minimum.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to re-adjust the aquarium’s water content accordingly. A good rule of thumb is a gallon for every inch of guppy. A male guppy averages 1.5 inches and a female guppy is around 2 inches.
Keeping a Male-only Guppy Tank
Male guppies are mostly peaceful and they don’t get lonely as long as there are other fish in the tank, even if they won’t breed.
Why Choose Male Guppies?
There are many reasons why people choose to keep a male-only guppy tank. Most commonly it’s one of two reasons:
- Vibrance. Male guppies are more colorful.
- Breeding frequency. Guppies’ breeding cycles aren’t very convenient for domestic tanks.
How Many Males Guppies Should be Kept in One Tank?
You’re probably thinking that more males in a tank mean more trouble. If you’ve seen a breeder’s aquarium, you know that can’t be true.
In larger aquariums, you’ll rarely see one fish step up as alpha. Meanwhile, this happens a lot in groups of three to five male guppies.
That’s why breeders can keep more than a dozen male guppies in a tank without any issues. Breeders also keep both genders in the same tank, this balances out the male count.
For a small domestic tank, we recommend starting with six male guppies. Remember to choose them all around the same size and move them into the tank at the same time.
To sum up, male guppies are vibrant and mostly low-maintenance. If you’ve ever wondered “can male guppies live together in the same tank?” Now, you have your answer.
A male guppy can live a long happy life with other males as long as the aquarium is suitable. To keep both females and males, you’ll need to follow a 2:1 ratio to avoid breeding fights. Just be prepared to handle their population!
Whether you want a colorful aquarium or you don’t want to deal with baby fry, you can also keep a male-only tank.