Do Guppies Like Current?

Guppies, like many freshwater fish species, dislike strong currents.

Did you know that guppies are the most commonly distributed fish in the world? That’s right! Guppies are extremely popular for their colorful bodies and adventurous personalities.

However, like any freshwater fish species, guppies require a certain environment in order to thrive. One of the most common questions we receive is “Do guppies like current?”

In this article, we’ll be answering your questions and going over some techniques to provide your guppies with the optimum environment.

Let’s get started!

Do Guppies Like Current? And Why?

Guppies typically live in rivers, ponds, and lakes. These are slow-moving waters that generally don’t experience a lot of currents.

If your aquarium has strong currents, your guppies will immediately show signs of discomfort. To make the aquarium better suited for your fish, you must first understand why guppies dislike the current and how you can effectively reduce the current using simple techniques.

Why Don’t Guppies Like Strong Current?

Guppies dislike strong currents because it limits their ability to swim freely. This is largely attributed to their small size and long fins.

A strong current would decrease their free motility and, sometimes, render them completely immobile.

Green Black Orange Clear Guppy

How to Know if the Current Is too Strong for Guppies

It’s fairly easy to determine if the water current is too strong for guppies. All you have to do is look for signs of discomfort or exhaustion on your fish.

One of the most telling signs is if you find your guppies constantly getting flipped over. If you notice your guppies getting flipped vertically or horizontally, it’s time to adjust the water current.

Guppies are smart fish. If they notice an area with a high current, they’ll learn to avoid it completely. This is the second indication that the current is too strong.

Look at your guppies’ swimming patterns. If they’re always swimming in one area or you notice them always going in one direction, it’s a solid indication you should adjust the water current.

Another sign to look for is if your guppies stop swimming altogether. If your guppies frequently look suspended in the water, it’s because they’re swimming against the current.

It’s important to notice if your guppies have surrendered themselves to the current. If the guppies appear to be moving but you don’t see their body movement, it’s another clear indication the current is too strong.

Finally, guppies that sit at the bottom of the tank are another indication of a strong current. If your guppies are exhausted from the water current, they’ll sit at the bottom to get some rest.

Effects of Strong Current on Guppies

A strong current can be deadly for the guppies if not treated quickly. Here are some of the most common problems guppies face.


A strong water current will exhaust your guppies in a matter of minutes. This will get more and more apparent as the guppies try to swim against the flow.

An exhausted guppy will eventually stop trying to swim, rest at the bottom of the aquarium, or just let the current take over completely.


Guppies are freshwater fish that thrive in still waters. If the environment suddenly changes, the guppies will go under immense stress as they try to adjust to the new surroundings.

Stress leads to decreased immunity, depression, and eventually, death.


As the current becomes too overwhelming for the guppies to move freely, lethargy will start to set in.

We’ve seen all sorts of behaviors when dealing with strong currents. Some guppies figure out areas with less current to swim in, others spend most of their time resting at the bottom of the aquarium.

In any case, lethargy is extremely detrimental to your guppies’ health. If the current isn’t adjusted, guppies will eventually stop eating properly and start falling sick.

Guppies Still Need a Little Current

Most of the current in aquariums is generated by air pumps, bubblers, and filters. It may occur to you to simply remove some of these devices to make it easier for the guppies, but we don’t recommend it.

While guppies thrive in low-current waters, they still need some current for optimum conditions.

For example, a current is essential for temperature regulation. It’s also important if you have live plants in the aquarium, as the current carries carbon dioxide over to the plants.

The key here is moderation. Some current is definitely going to do more good than harm.

So, if the solution isn’t to limit the number of electricity-driven equipment, what is?

How to Adjust the Water Current

If you want to reduce the intensity of the water current, we recommend you invest in some live aquatic plants.

This is an excellent and cost-effective solution to reduce the flow of water to the aquarium. These plants will block some of the current and slow the force of water coming from the filters.

It’ll also give the guppies a barrier if they come near the filter, allowing them to maneuver between the plants until they reach an area with a weaker current.

Here are other things to try if the live plants don’t do the trick.

Replace Your Filter

A cheap filter may be the main culprit, especially if it’s oversized. Look for filters with adjustable airflow or small ones that don’t disrupt the flow of water.

Consider Submersive Pumps

Submersive pumps almost always have an adjustable flow rate. They also don’t cause drastic water currents like large, external filters.

Make Sure Water Flow Is Evenly Distributed

A single water outlet can cause a strong current at certain areas in the aquarium. You’ll notice your guppies struggling to swim near the outlet and swimming with ease everywhere else.

If this is causing problems, you can try adding some flexible pipes to better distribute the water flow in the aquarium. It’s best to avoid metal pipes and stick to plastic ones to avoid rust.

In Conclusion

Guppies can make a wonderful addition to any aquarium. They’re colorful, full of life, and love to swim. However, excess water current can quickly turn them into lethargic and stressed-out fish.

If you notice your guppies are struggling to swim freely, take some steps to reduce the water current. Once you do, you should see them back to normal in no time!