Here’s Why Guppies Swim At The Top Of The Tank

Swimming at the top

Keeping guppies in a fish tank at your home is an enjoyable hobby. If you are passionate about your guppies, then you will not only love to see your little ones live a long and stable life but also flourish at the same time. Guppies are an excellent choice for your tank due to their vibrant colors and their playful swimming patterns. But often, you will notice that guppies tend to swim at the top of the tank. So…

Why do guppies swim at the top of the tank? Guppies usually swim at the top of the tank when they feel suffocated due to lack of oxygen supply in the tank water. You can take it as a clear indication that your guppies are struggling to live. You need to use an oxygenated pump to maintain the oxygen level in your tank so that your guppies are comfortable in the water. Keeping the water moving is another good option.

There could be other reasons as well for your guppies to swim at the top of the tank. But first, let’s understand how guppies breathe.

How Do Guppies Breathe?

Like human beings, guppies also need oxygen to breathe.

Guppies breathe by pumping out water through their gills, which derives the oxygen from water.

If you have live plants in your fish tank, it also helps maintain the required oxygen levels in the tank water. Plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen into the water. Guppies, on the other hand, inhale oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

So this cycle benefits both; your guppies as well as the plants in your aquarium.

However, if your guppies do not get sufficient oxygen from the water, they will suffocate. This, in turn, will lead to restlessness in your guppies, and they would swim at the top of the tank.

Now that you know why your guppies are swimming at the top of the tank regularly, let’s understand the reason for it.

You must be wondering if it’s normal for guppies to swim at the top of the tank, or could there be any other reason that is bothering your guppies.

What Causes Guppies To Swim At The Top Of The Tank?

If you notice that your guppies are swimming at the top of the tank, then it is undoubtedly a matter of concern. Your guppies are just not comfortable in the tank.

There are two main reasons that cause guppies to swim at the top of the tank:

  1. It is an indication of a shortage of oxygen or lack of oxygen in the water.
  2. Another possibility is that your fish tank is too deep, and your guppy wants to rest its gills. Swimming at the top allows your guppies to absorb more oxygen by floating.

If you have female guppies or guppy fry in your tank, then their behavior is also the same. They will also swim at the top of the tank due to the lack of oxygen supply in your tank water.

So you need to act immediately if you notice guppies swimming at the top of the tank as they might be in distress. It is not normal for guppies to swim at the top of the tank.

But why?

To understand this, you need to understand the swimming behavior of guppies.

Swimming Behavior Of Guppies

Guppies are very peaceful species. They are friendly creatures and do get along easily.

So to understand guppies swimming behavior, you need to understand their pattern and manner of swimming.

Guppies usually swim actively all around in the tank. Their swimming is not restricted at a particular place or in a specific fixed manner.

Your guppies will be scattered everywhere in the tank. They swim independently in any direction in the tank.

Their random swimming pattern is attractive and makes them look playful.

If you notice any change in their swimming pattern, then there is certainly some problem with your guppy. They need your immediate attention.

You should immediately check the water and lighting.

However, those are not the only things to check. Sometimes guppies can swim at the top of the tank if they are hungry and waiting for some food to be served.

Related Further Reading:

Do Guppies Sleep At The Top Of The Tank?

Sleep is an essential element for any living being to lead a healthy life.

Guppies also need adequate sleep to grow. But guppies do not sleep at the top of the tank.

They usually freeze while sleeping in their place.

So you will often notice your guppy floating or resting motionless with their eyes open at the bottom of the tank, floating at the surface, or maybe resting near the plant decorations in the tank.

Interesting Further Reading: Do Frogs Eat Guppies? (Yes and No – Here’s Why)

Why Are Guppies At The Top Of The Tank After A Water Change?

Changing the water of your fish tank is a common practice that needs to be followed.

You need to change the water of the tank as and when required.

And when you do that, you might notice that sometimes your guppy is hovering at the top of the tank after you have changed the water.

So, you might be thinking, is it common for guppies to swim at the top of the tank after a water change?

Yes, it is natural for guppies to be at the top of the tank after a water change.

Guppies swim at the top of the tank after water change because it takes them some time to acclimatize to the changes in water.

The water surface contains the highest level of dissolved oxygen that is required for guppies to survive.

If your guppies don’t get enough oxygen, then they will eventually rise at the top to gasp oxygen.

However, keep in mind that the reason for gasping could be due to other reasons as well. For example, if the water in the tank is warmer, it would hold less oxygen. This eventually leads your guppies to swim at the top of the tank.

Final Words…

To conclude, you can say that guppies swimming at the top of the tank is definitely not a good sign.

There must be something that is bothering them and pushing them to swim at the top.

In such a situation, you must understand that guppies need your immediate attention, and any delay could prove fatal.