Do Guppies Need an Air Pump?

Like many other species of fish, guppies don’t need air pumps in their tanks. However, if the tank doesn’t have a filter or some other method of disturbing the surface, you should provide an air pump. 

If you’re setting up a new tank for your guppies or maintaining your old one, you may be asking, do guppies need an air pump? Can guppies survive in a tank without an air pump? And what to do if you don’t have an air pump?

Read on for much-needed insights!

Do Guppies Need Air Pump?

Guppies do not need air pumps in their tanks. But if your tank has no filter, you need to provide a way of disturbing the water surface. The easiest way to do this (other than a filter), is with an air pump

Guppies, like most other fish, need oxygenated water to survive. This means that the water in your tank needs to maintain a certain balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide.

This balance can be achieved through a process called water gas exchange, which requires the movement of the surface of the water.

Here comes the air pump to the rescue!

Air pumps create agitation on the water’s surface, which makes the exchange easier. That said, you should install an air pump if you need to get an adequate level of oxygenated water for your guppies.

Guppies in freshwater aquarium

How to Install an Air Pump in Your Aquarium

Installing an air pump in your aquarium is pretty easy. All you have to do is follow these steps:

Choose a Suitable Location

Your air pump should not be too close to the tank. After all, it’s an electric device that should not get in contact with water. You should raise it above the tank level, but better not directly above it.

Connect the Air Tube

Now, you need to connect one end of the air tube to the air pump, and the other to the air stone inside the tank. Make sure that the tube is long enough to reach inside the tank.

Create a Check Valve

To do so, just cut the air tube at any point inside the tank. There are two functions to this check valve:

  • Ensuring the proper connection of both sides.
  • Preventing the back-flow of the water when the pump is turned off.

Plug in Your Pump

You’re all set. Now, you can plug your air pump into an outlet and switch it on.

Which Air Pump Size to Choose?

The right air pump in terms of size depends on the size of the aquarium.

If you have a small tank, a small pump will do. A large air pump can be too powerful for a small tank that it can create mini tornadoes that can be harmful to your guppies.

On the other hand, a small air pump in a large tank won’t be able to push air all the way to the bottom. Therefore, you need to check the size of the air pump against that of your aquarium to make sure it’s up to the task.

Can Guppies Survive Without Air Pumps?

If you can adjust and maintain a balanced level of oxygen in your tank, you may be able to keep your guppies alive without an air pump.

In this case, your main task will be to increase the oxygen levels in your tank.

How to Increase Oxygen in the Tank Without an Air Pump?

Use the tips and tricks below to create a suitable habitat for guppies without an air pump:

Use a Wide Tank

Most of the dissolved oxygen can be found at the water’s surface. The deeper you go down the tank, the less the oxygen.

That said, it’s wise to use a wide tank if you don’t install an air pump. This way, you increase the area of surface water, providing more room for air exchange.

Moreover, in shallow tanks, the movement of fish itself may cause the agitation of surface water. This, in turn, increases the levels of dissolved oxygen.

Change the Water Regularly

Frequently replacing the water in your tank with freshwater provides your fish with the dissolved oxygen they need to survive.

If you do this regularly, your guppies can survive without an air pump!

Get an Agitation Filter

If you have a filter that causes water agitation, you can do without an air pump. Filters circulate the water, raising the level of dissolved oxygen.

Add Live Plants

Plants emit plenty of oxygen into the water, which eliminates the need for an air pump. Aquatic plants convert carbon dioxide into the dissolved oxygen necessary for your guppies’ survival.

Break the Water Surface

If you pour water into your tank, you break the surface of the tank water, causing agitation. You can use a simple tool like a cup or a plastic container.

It’s better to do this from a high position so that the oxygen reaches the bottom of the tank.

Light Up Your Aquarium

Long periods of darkness can harm your guppies. In the darkness, plants absorb oxygen and emit carbon dioxide, reducing the amount of oxygen in the water and harming your fish.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to light up your tank. Plants need light for photosynthesis. The type of light to install depends on the amount and type of plants you have in your tank.

Choosing the perfect lighting system for your aquarium can be a challenge. However, experts recommend the use of LEDs instead of fluorescent lights.

The shortcomings of fluorescent lights include:

  • Dimming over time
  • Heating your tank
  • Not long-lasting

Final Thoughts

Do guppies need an air pump? Yes, they do. Guppies are low-maintenance fish that require little to survive. However, like all other living organisms, they need oxygen.

Air pumps create surface agitation, which facilitates the exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen. With that in mind, an air pump is necessary to get a balanced amount of dissolved oxygen in your water tank.

Guppies can survive without an air pump, but this needs much knowledge and effort. Instead of an air pump, you can add live plants, light up your aquarium, or install an agitation filter.

You should better install an air pump if you want to save time and effort. It creates the necessary habitat for your beloved guppies.