Can Guppies Live Together? + How To Stop Guppies From Fighting?

Image of a guppy swimming in the wild

Guppies are favorites among aquarists worldwide as they add plenty of vibrant colors to a fish tank. They are peaceful fish and prefer to be kept in groups. The most common tank mate for a guppy is another guppy. So, can guppies live together?

Yes, guppies can live together. They are schooling fish and so like to be kept in groups. Guppies are peaceful fish. However, they can get aggressive and start fighting with each other if the male-to-female ratio is incorrect, there is overcrowding in the tank, or if they don’t get sufficient food.

Once you decide to have a large tank with multiple guppies, you need to keep certain things in mind so that all of your guppies can live in harmony with each other. But first, let’s understand the tank setup for your guppies.

Perfect Habitat And Tank Setup For Multiple Guppies

When you set up an aquarium for guppies, the best way to set it up is to make it closely resemble the natural habitat of guppies.

Since you will be keeping your guppies in a group, you need to ascertain that certain things are in order so that you can provide them with the best environment.

Firstly, guppies are active and schooling fish. So, you need to have a large aquarium for your guppies.

This will give them adequate space for swimming.

Regular water changes are also essential as clean water is a prerequisite for any fish to survive and live a long and stable life.

Guppies are tropical fish. So, the temperature needs to be ideal for them.

The ideal temperature for guppies is 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C).

They flourish in this temperature range and when backed by a nutritious diet.

A heater needs to be placed in the tank to regulate and maintain this water temperature.

Most importantly, your tank needs to be appropriately cycled before adding any fish into it.

Tank cycling will ensure that the water is safe for your guppies to live.

You can place live plants in the tank to replicate the natural surroundings of guppies in the wild.

Besides, live plants clean the water. A filter is optional in a guppy tank.

However, it is recommended as it helps to remove waste particles from the water and purify it.

Artificial lights should also be placed in the aquarium.

Alright! Now that you have set up a near-perfect tank with all the required equipments, let’s understand the number of guppies you can keep together in the tank.

Recommended Further Reading:

How Many Guppies Can Be Kept Together?

The size of your aquarium will decide the number of guppies you can keep in it.

A single guppy needs 2 gallons of water in the tank.

So, if you have a 10-gallon tank, you can keep 3 to 5 guppies together.

You need to keep in mind that the tank should be large enough to accommodate your guppies.

They should not be cramped for space. Otherwise, it will affect the health of your guppies.

However, keeping guppies together just on the basis of tank size is not enough.

You also need to maintain a proper male-to-female ratio in the tank.

Do You Need To Balance Out The Male-To-Female Ratio Of Guppies In A Tank?

Guppies are primarily peaceful.

However, male guppies can become a little aggressive when it comes to mating if they do not find a suitable female partner.

So, you need to maintain a male-to-female ratio of 1:2.

It means two female guppies for one male guppy. The female guppies should always outnumber their male counterparts.

This is because the male guppies tend to chase female guppies to impress and mate with them.

If the number of male guppies is more than that of the female guppies, it will lead to harassment of the female guppies.

Your female guppies may fall ill due to the stress caused by the harassment.

Okay! You have taken all the efforts to set up a tank, but what if you still find that they are not living peacefully with each other?

Related Further Reading:

Do Guppies Fight With Each Other? 

Guppies are known for their peaceful nature. This does not mean that they do not fight with each other at all.

There are times when you will notice your otherwise silent guppies fighting among themselves.

This is particularly when certain conditions are not met.

All species of fish are wired to mate. Guppies are no exception to this universal law.

You may find your guppies showing aggression if they do not find a female partner to mate with.

This happens if you have a male-only guppy aquarium.

Many aquarists prefer to keep only male guppies as they are more colorful compared to female guppies.

But this can turn out to be a little tricky as male guppies can become aggressive if there are no female guppies around to mate with.

Another scenario when you will find guppies fighting is when they want to show dominance.

Not all guppies have similar behavior.

You may find a particular guppy bullying the other weak guppies to mark its supremacy in the tank.

Besides, you will also notice aggressiveness in guppies if the tank is overcrowded.

Guppies love swimming all over the place in the tank.

If there is not enough space to swim freely, it will cause discomfort to your guppies, and they may start fighting with each other.

It is also possible that your guppies will start fighting with a particular guppy if it is introduced later in the tank.

It might take some time for other guppies to adjust with the new addition in the aquarium.

Fighting is natural to all fish species.

The good thing is that there are ways to stop the fighting. Let’s have a look at the various ways to curb their fight.

Related Further Reading:

How To Stop Guppies From Fighting?

Guppies chasing each other is common.

During the mating process, it is normal for male guppies to chase female guppies continuously.

However, if you notice a particular guppy biting or nipping fins of other guppies, it needs your attention and intervention.

This usually happens when a male guppy wants to show dominance over other tank mates.

Continuous bullying of weaker guppies can cause stress to them, and they may fall sick.

You can stop the bullying and fighting of guppies by:

  1. Adjusting the male-to-female ratio: Male guppies can become aggressive in the absence of a female partner to mate with. So, you need to maintain the male-to-female ratio. The female guppies should be more than male guppies. For every male guppy, you should have 2 to 3 female guppies. This will ensure that every male guppy gets a female to mate with. It will also not put additional pressure on your female guppies as they will not be continuously pestered for mating.
  2. Providing hiding places: You should provide hiding places for your weaker guppies so that the dominant guppy will not be able to bully them. Also, a hiding place will ensure that your weak guppies get a place to rest and protect themselves. You can provide hiding places by putting plants or rocks in the aquarium.
  3. Avoiding overcrowding: Overcrowding is another reason for guppies to fight among themselves. Guppies are active swimmers. If they are cramped for space in the tank, they will become aggressive towards each other. To avoid this, your tank should be large enough to accommodate all guppies.
  4. Feeding enough food: Guppies can become aggressive if they are starving. To ensure peace in your aquarium, you should ensure that all guppies are well fed.
  5. Keeping guppies in large groups: Keeping your guppies in large groups is another way to control bullying. If you have a large tank, you will have the luxury of keeping more guppies in the tank. This way, no particular guppy will get bullied continuously.
  6. Separating the aggressive fish: This is the last option that you can resort to. Sometimes, it so happens that even after providing all the favorable conditions to your guppies, there is still one particular guppy that is aggressive. If you find that only one guppy is aggressive and it is causing harm to other guppies, you should immediately remove it from the tank. You can keep the aggressive guppy in another tank for a couple of days to see if it mellows down. If you see a change in its behavior, you can put it back in the main tank. Otherwise, you need to keep it separate so that the other guppies can live in harmony with each other.

Do Guppies Kill Each Other?

Guppies do not usually kill each other.

However, there are instances when your guppies can die due to the injury caused by fighting.

So, it is advisable to keep a close eye on the behavior of your guppies.

During fighting or bullying, guppies nip the fin or tail of the other guppy.

This can result in injuries to their fins and eventually lead to their death.

Sometimes, your bullied guppy may also die because of the infection caused by the injury.

A bacteria or a parasite may enter the guppy body through the injury, leading to death.

Interesting Further Reading:

Final Thoughts

Guppies are hardy fish. Due to their attractive colors, they are appealing to many aquarists.

Guppies are social fish, and so they prefer company.

They are usually found in groups in the wild and therefore do well in captivity if kept together.

Guppies are peaceful creatures. However, they exhibit aggression if their requirements are not met.

Having said that, you don’t have to do much to satisfy them.

You just need to follow certain things mentioned above, and your guppies will be more than happy.

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