Guppies can live in saltwater. Guppies tolerate up to 150% of seawater salinity. So you can keep your guppies in saltwater, provided you take sufficient care to acclimate them to the saltwater. Guppies are very colorful, lively, and extremely fun to watch fish, and they adapt to a variety of conditions.
Now, you must be wondering whether guppies actually live in freshwater or saltwater.
Do Guppies Live In Freshwater Or Saltwater?
Guppies do well in freshwater aquarium. However, their natural habitat is brackish water.
Brackish water is partly fresh and partly salty water. It is naturally found in swaps and estuaries.
However, you can easily create it at your home as well.
For preparing brackish water at home, follow the below-mentioned steps:
- Firstly, choose a tank that is suitable for brackish water. Glass and acrylic aquariums are suitable, but tanks containing metal frames, thermometers, hoods, or other accessories are not. You’ll also need a hydrometer for measuring the gravity of your tank.
- Take a large plastic bucket with enough tap water to fill up your tank. If your tap water is treated with chlorine, you’ll need to condition it before adding salt.
- As per the manufacturer’s directions, mix in the proper amount of marine salt for preparing brackish water. Marine salt is easily available at most aquarium retail stores. Usually, freshwater aquarium salt and table salt are not good choices.
- Stir the water until the salt fully dissolves. This may require several minutes of continuous stirring, depending on the amount of water and its temperature.
- To ensure that you have added the correct amount of salt, test the gravity of the water. Brackish water has a density of 1.003 to 1.010, and guppies prefer water density on the lower end of that scale. You may adjust it as necessary.
- Transfer the saline water to your tank. Pour the water very slowly to prevent it from splashing.
- Cycle the tank water and then check the gravity, temperature, and pH of the water before introducing your guppies. Guppies tolerate a water pH range of 6.8 to 7.6, but they prefer something which is in the range of 7 to 7.6.
If you are transitioning a freshwater tank to brackish water, prepare the brackish water in a plastic container and then replace 25 percent of your tank’s existing water with the brackish water.
Repeat this process once every week until the tank reaches the ideal gravity.
Now that you know how to prepare brackish water, let’s see how fish survive in saltwater.
How Do Fish Survive In Saltwater?
Many kinds of fish live in the salty waters of the oceans.
As oceans contain a high amount of salt in the water, fish pump out the excess salt.
They do this through their kidneys and by using specialized cells in their gills.
The kidney of the fish plays a vital role in this. It maintains the proper balance of salt in the body.
Okay! That explains how other fish survive in saltwater.
But what about guppies?
Is salt required in the water for your guppies to live a stable life?
Do Guppies Need Salt In Their Water?
Guppies, like a lot of livebearers, can live in freshwater, brackish, or marine water.
As mentioned earlier, guppies do their best in brackish water.
But having said that, you should also know that it mainly depends on the place where they were initially raised.
If your guppies were earlier raised in water with high mineral concentrations or a slight salinity, then your guppies will need salt in their water.
On the contrary, if your tank contains well water with lots of minerals in it, salt is not required.
Also, keep in mind that you should not put too much salt in your fish tank.
Excess amounts of salt can damage the kidneys of your guppies. This can also lead to their death.
How Much Salt Should You Put In Your Guppy Tank?
This is a common question that may arise in your mind.
How much salt is needed in your guppy tank entirely depends on the size of your tank and how much water it can hold.
Usually, a tablespoon of salt per 10 gallons of water is sufficient.
The amount of salt needed also depends on the water source.
The water source determines if the water contains minerals in it or not.
If it contains minerals, your water is already saline, and additional salt is not required.
How To Acclimatize Guppies To Saltwater?
Guppies are very sensitive. Like any other creature, guppies take some time to adjust to the change in their habitat.
You cannot simply put your fish in any condition and expect it to acclimatize to that condition overnight.
If your guppies are currently kept in a freshwater aquarium, then slowly drip some amount of salt in the tank water.
Keep your guppies in this brackish water for about a week.
In the meanwhile, keep a check on their well-being.
If you find your guppies are healthy and normal, then it means they have adjusted well to their change.
You can now transfer them to the saltwater aquarium.
Alright! Now that you know everything there is to know about guppies and saltwater, here’s something very important to keep in mind…
Ideal Water Parameters For Guppy Fish
Water hardness and pH levels are both critical parameters of the water for guppies.
To keep your guppies healthy, the ideal water conditions are:
- Water Temperature: 72-82°F (22-28°C)
- Water pH: 6.8-7.8
- Water Hardness: (dGH): 8-12
Things To Take Away…
Guppies are well known for their hardiness and great ability to adjust to different environments.
But if you really want your guppies to feel comfortable, then you should take special care of your guppies.
You can do this by making your aquarium the best place that suits their needs.