Do Guppies Need A Filter? + How To Keep Guppies Without A Filter?

Image of a guppy swimming in water

Guppies are one of the few fish that do not produce a lot of waste. Therefore, you will not find polluted water in their aquarium often. So, do guppies need a filter in the aquarium?

No, guppies do not need a filter. They don’t produce a lot of waste. However, it is recommended to have a filter in their aquarium. A filter cleans the water and removes the toxic ammonia and nitrates. It also aerates and oxygenates the tank water, which is essential for the growth of guppies.

Let us now understand the importance of a filter in an aquarium and whether guppies need a filter or they can live without it.

What Is The Purpose Of Aquarium Filters?

The primary purpose of keeping a filter in the aquarium is to clean the water and maintain its quality.

Clean water is the pre-requisite for any fish to thrive and live a long and stable life.

However, there is more to the filtration process of a filter than just cleaning the water.

There are 4 main benefits of using an aquarium filter:

  1. Mechanical Filtration: It helps trap the leftover food, waste created by fish, debris, and decayed plants in the aquarium water. It acts as a garbage bin to collect all the trash generated in the tank. All the waste particles get separated and accumulated in the filter media. You need to clean the media regularly before it overflows.
  2. Chemical Filtration: It helps in removing the impurities such as medications and tannins from the water. Tannins lower the pH of the water and soften it.
  3. Biological Filtration: Ammonia and nitrogen compounds get dissolved in the aquarium water due to the fish’s waste. Biological filtration helps in consuming these compounds with the help of aquarium plants and beneficial bacteria. It makes the water safe for the fish to live. It also provides a place for beneficial bacteria to grow.
  4. Oxygenate The Water: A filter helps in creating surface agitation in the tank. Due to this agitation, the oxygen levels in the tank water increase. Thus, a filter plays a crucial role in oxygenating the water in the aquarium.

Now you know the importance of a filter in the aquarium.

But, do guppies need a filter? Or can they survive without a filter?

Recommended Further Reading:

Can Guppies Survive Without A Filter?

Guppies are hardy fish. They are known for their versatility and adaptability to various conditions.

Since they produce little waste than other fish species, keeping a filter in the aquarium is entirely the owner’s choice.

Guppies can survive without a filter, provided the quality of the water is maintained.

A periodical water change should be done to prevent water from getting polluted.

However, even though guppies emit fewer excreta, they do pollute the water.

Also, water gets filthy by any leftover food and other toxins.

The filter cleans the water by removing the debris, ammonia, nitrates, other toxins, and waste excreted by your guppies.

It makes the process of filtration easy and quick.

So, a filter is recommended as clean water enhances your guppies’ overall growth and keeps them healthy.

Alright! That was about the adult guppies. But what about guppy fry? Do they need a filter, or can they survive without it?

Let us talk about that as well because baby guppies need more attention as compared to adult guppies.

Do Baby Guppies Need A Filter?

Just like adults, baby guppies also need a filter. Guppy fry need more care and attention than the adult guppies.

Since guppy fry are tiny, they are more sensitive to bacterial and fungus infection. So, clean water is essential.

A filter will clean the waste and debris for the water and prevent it from becoming cloudy.

Excess debris affects the pH of the water in your tank, which adversely affects the health of your little guppy fry.

Dirty water can cause respiratory problems for your guppies.

And it can also make it difficult for your guppy fry to find food in the aquarium.

Now, guppy fry are tiny, and so they produce comparatively less waste than the adult guppies.

Therefore, they don’t need the same amount of filtration. A small filter can do the required work.

Okay! It is now clear that a filter is recommended for a guppy tank.

However, you can certainly decide to not use a filter. In that case, you will need to take some extra care of your little ones.

Related Further Reading:

How To Maintain A Guppy Tank Without A Filter?

Guppies are very versatile fish. As mentioned earlier, they do not produce much waste as compared to other fish.

So, if you are a seasoned aquarist with good knowledge of handling fish, you can manage a guppy tank without a filter.

However, there are certain things that you need to take care of if you do not opt for a filter in the aquarium:

  • Frequent Water Change: The water quality should be frequently monitored in the absence of a filter. You should periodically do a partial water change at least once a week. You can initially start with a partial water change, say about 50%, to check the water chemistry. After that, you can take a call on how frequent water change is required.
  • Aquarium Size: The size of the aquarium also plays a role. In a small aquarium, water will get polluted immediately by the waste excreted by guppies. So the chances of ammonia levels spiking in the water increase in a small aquarium. A large aquarium is recommended in such a case as the volume of the water is more. Also, the aquarium’s size should depend on the number of guppies you are keeping in the tank.
  • Avoid Overstocking: Do not overstock your guppies in the aquarium. The level of toxins in the water will increase because of the more waste that guppies will produce. It may even result in depleting the oxygen levels in the water. Due to this, your guppies will often fall sick and may eventually die due to illness.
  • Plants In The Aquarium: Live plants are a good choice for a tank without a filter. They will act as a source of natural filtration system in your aquarium. Also, they will serve as a food source and provide a resting place for your guppies. Besides, live plants will also release oxygen into the water and help control the algae growth in the aquarium. Java moss, Java fern, Amazon sword, Hornwort, Moneywort, and African Fern are some of the live plants that can be used in your guppy tank.
  • Aquarium Maintenance: Maintaining your aquarium is very important. It is your fish’s habitat, and it will determine how healthy your fish will be and how long it will live. Changing the water frequently, adding some clean water in the aquarium, removing any excess or leftover food, and cleaning the decaying plants are ways to maintain your aquarium.

Related Questions

Should the filter be fully submerged? Filters are placed in the aquarium as per the type of the unit. Internal filters are fully submerged in the aquarium to work correctly. They are mostly placed near the substrate, and its air pump, if separate, is placed outside the tank. Hang on filters are placed above the water level in the aquarium, unlike the internal filters. Canister filters due to their design cannot submerge in the tank and are placed outside the tank.

Should the filter make bubbles? A filter does make moderate bubbles. However, if more bubbles are created on the water’s surface, it means the filter is not working properly. There is a possibility that the debris has congested the filter in the water.

Does a filter provide oxygen? A filter helps in increasing the oxygen levels in the water. It causes the water to move from top to the bottom of the tank. Due to the continuous movement and flowing of the water, oxygen increases. Stagnant water has low oxygen levels.

Interesting Further Reading:

Parting Thoughts…

A filter is convenient for maintaining the water quality in the aquarium.

It helps in aerating and oxygenating the water in the aquarium. It makes your life easier.

However, in the case of guppies, you can do away with a filter provided certain things are taken care of.

Frequent water changes, adding lots of live plants, no overstocking of fish, regularly monitoring water chemistry, and aquarium maintenance are few points to take care of while setting up a guppy aquarium without a filter.

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