How Long Do Guppies Live: Tips and Facts, Complete Guide

fancy guppies

How long do guppies live? This is one of the most popular questions among beginners, who want to have guppies in their aquarium.

The lifespan of a guppy fish depends on a variety of circumstances.

Guppies typically live for 1-3 years. Some guppies can live for up to five years under the correct conditions, though this is quite rare. However, where they were bred and their genetic makeup will play a significant role in this. Good guppy genetics, eating high-quality food, maintaining stable water parameters, and avoiding stress can all aid in the extension of the lifespan of your guppy.

On the other hand, if your guppy dies a few months after you get them, you may not be able to place the blame on yourself. In certain circumstances, the guppy you purchased may have already reached the end of its life span and was simply being sold to make room for another.

Just make sure that if this does occur, you thoroughly inspect the tank specifications to ensure that everything is in working order. Otherwise, it is possible that more fish will die.


What Factors Affect a Guppies Lifespan?

Guppy Genetics

So, why do some guppies live for longer periods of time than others?

Guppies’ longevity can be influenced by a variety of factors. Some of those things are within your control, while others are beyond your control.

Genetics is the most important factor in determining the lifespan of guppies.

If your guppies have poor genetics, you can’t do anything about it. Guppies with weak genetics will die before they reach the adult stage in the vast majority of cases.

Purchasing your guppy fish from professional guppy breeders who are concerned with raising healthy fish with strong genetics is a smart first step toward increasing the life span of your fish and extending its lifespan.

Pet stores are also a dependable source for purchasing guppies because they typically sell high-quality fish. However, fish keepers have reported on various forums that guppies purchased from pet stores tend to live significantly shorter lives than guppies purchased from breeders, which is a source of concern.

Guppy Pregnancy

Guppies Lifespan

Under most cases, guppies are prolific livebearers, giving birth to up to 30 fry on average, and even more in rare circumstances. Guppies are pregnant for between 21 and 30 days, though the length of the pregnancy can vary. When male and female guppies are present in the same tank, you will quickly notice lots of tiny fry hidden among the plants.

Unfortunately, pregnancy is extremely stressful for female guppies, and they have a tendency to become pregnant on a regular basis. In order to compensate for this, female guppies tend to have a shorter lifetime than males.

You may reduce some of the tension associated with this condition by ensuring that there are always more female guppies in your aquarium than male guppies. As a result, the females will not be harassed nearly as much. In an ideal situation, you’d have at least two female guppies for every one male.

Additionally, supply the fish with plenty of dense foliage and other hiding places so that the females can escape the advances of the male if they so desire.

Poor Tank Conditions

A variety of fish, including guppies, are fatally injured or killed by poor tank conditions.

Guppies will not live as long as they should if their tank is overcrowded, too small, or contaminated with bacteria and parasites. Guppies are tough little fish, but they won’t thrive or live very long if they’re housed in poor settings.


Guppies can experience stress in the same way as humans do. Many factors might create stress in your guppy fish. The following are the most typical sources of stress for guppies.

Bad tank mates

Other fish may stress your guppies if you keep them in a community tank. Angelfish or tiger bars, are aggressive fish that should not be kept alongside guppies because they will hurt or consume them.

Poor water quality

Poor water conditions, such as low or high-water temperature, ammonia in the water, or drastic fluctuations in water parameters, can put your guppies under a lot of stress. To reduce stress, try to provide them with the best available conditions.

A shortage of hiding places

Guppies do not truly hide when they feel comfortable. It is, nevertheless, a good idea to provide them with some form of hiding place. Male guppies can cause female guppies to become quite stressed, and they require relaxation. They’ll hide amongst the plants or other aquarium decor. Having living plants in your aquarium can also assist guppy fry survive. Aquarium plants can help to improve the quality of the water in the tank.

Overcrowded fish tank

Overcrowding in a tank can cause a lot of stress for your guppies. To figure out how many guppies you can fit in a fish tank, use this easy formula: 1 guppy / 1 gallon. This is really effective for guppies.

High illumination

Guppies do have a good night’s sleep. They require rest, which involves the use of darkness. Excessive light causes stress and, finally, death. If your guppy aquarium has artificial lighting, make sure it is turned off for at least 6 hours each day. If you frequently forget to turn the lights on and off, you can place it on a timer.

Male-to-female ratio is unbalanced

To reduce stress in your female guppies, the suggestion is a ratio of one male to three females. Male guppies are more attractive, and that people prefer to purchase males over females. This is a bad strategy. The female guppy will die if there are too many males harassing and stressing her. Only buy male guppies if you want to buy them for their brilliant colours.

Read Related Topic: 15 Gallon Fish Tank

Which Guppies Live Longer: Female or Male?

There is no proof that female guppies live longer than male guppies, or that male guppies live longer than female guppies. From experience, females and males, live longer if they are kept separate.

If female guppies are constantly bearing offspring, they may have a shortened life span. Male guppies will live shorter lives if they constantly mate with females.

As a result of stress, the immune system of guppies is weakened, making them more vulnerable to attack by parasites and diseases, any of which can be fatal.

How to Increase the Lifespan of Your Guppy Fish?

Fortunately, there are a variety of things you can do to increase the lifespan of your guppies. If you follow the recommendations below, you will give your guppies the best possible opportunity of enjoying not only a long, but also a happy life.

 Keep Guppies in a Shoal

Guppies are social fish, and they should not be kept alone in a tank by themselves. They will grow frightened, scared, bored, and even depressed if they are left alone for an extended period of time. To avoid this from happening, make sure that they are always in groups of at least three in size.

You should have one male guppy for every two female guppy in your aquarium. The only exception to this rule is if you choose to have three females. Don’t ever bring a group of three males together since they will only end up fighting all of the time.

Provide the Right Water Parameters

Guppy water temp

The temperature of the water has a significant impact on the longevity of guppy. Guppies prefer a temperature range of 72° to 82° Fahrenheit / 22° to 28° C; therefore, you’ll need to invest in a good heater for your aquarium.

Water Parameters for Guppy Fish

Guppies, as previously said, are quite robust and can adapt to a wide range of water conditions. However, keeping them in the following conditions would be optimal for keeping them healthy:


  • Water temperature: 72-82 °F (22-28 °C)
  • pH of Water: 6.8-7.8
  • Water hardness (dGH): 8-12
  • 0 ppm ammonia, 0 ppm nitrites, maximum 10 ppm nitrates


Guppies prefer harder water. Water hardness usually rises in tandem with pH. The pH of tap water in most regions is 7.6, which is ideal for maintaining guppies.

In the vast majority of cases, tap water is ideal for keeping guppies alive. However, use caution while using tap water. Heavy metals, chlorine, and chloramine are present in small amounts in tap water, which are acceptable for human consumption but extremely harmful to your fish.

When changing the water, use a water conditioner to remove the hazardous compounds from the tap water. To remove the hazardous components from tap water, use, for example, Seachem Prime.

However, be careful when using tap water for your fish. Tap water usually contains chlorine and chloramine, which is low quantities, is not harmful for human use, but can cause significant damage in your fish, or even death.

Changing Water for Your Guppies

It is critical to change the water in your aquarium on a regular basis. Fish create waste that is harmful to them. The only way to eliminate garbage and purify the water column is to change the water.


Some fish keepers propose changing around 30% of the water once a week in a low stock (few fish) aquarium. In most circumstances, you can change the water with your tap water, but you must keep the following in mind:

1) Use a water conditioner to remove heavy metals and chlorine from your tap water, or leave your tap water in an open container for 24 hours to evaporate chlorine.


2) Check that your water is the same temperature as the water in your tank.


Use Seachem Prime to treat the water. This solution removes heavy metals and chlorine from tap water and is ready to use right away.

If you have too many fish in your aquarium, you should make larger water changes more frequently.

Last but not least, you should be testing the water on a regular basis. Water testing should be done at least once a week, otherwise you will only be aware that something is wrong with the water if something is wrong with your guppies.

How long do guppies live

Use a Filter to extend the lifespan of guppies

Filtering the water is beneficial because it aids in the removal of ammonia and nitrites from the water more quickly and effectively. However, a guppy aquarium can be set up without a filter as well.

As a result, the filter has no direct effect on the guppies’ lifetime. Water parameters and other environmental factors, on the other hand, play a larger impact in the lives of guppy fish.

You should not be concerned about your guppies’ longevity if you can give them with the correct water conditions without using a filter.

If you want to make sure that the water in your tank is clean, you’ll need to install a proper filter that has mechanical and biological elements. Check to see that the filtration system you chose circulates the water around the tank at least four times an hour when it is in operation. Identifying the GPH rate on the filter package can help you determine whether or not the filter will be powerful enough for your aquarium.

Not to mention the fact that the number of water changes you’d have to conduct if you didn’t have a filter would be excessive, which would stress out your fish as well.

It’s also important to vacuum the substrate once a week and perform partial water changes to ensure that the aquarium remains clean and hygienic.

Use a Heater

Heater is also very important in a Guppies tank as well as a filter. While they may be able to survive for a while in their current state, their overall lifespan will be significantly decreased if they are not provided with filters and heaters.

All it will take is one cold day to for the temperature in your tank to drop dramatically, resulting in the death of your guppies.

More to read: Star Sapphire Cichlid

Provide Your Guppies with High-Quality Food

To prosper and live a longer life, your guppies require high-quality food in addition to strong genetics and other conditions.

Guppy fish are omnivores and will consume nearly anything you put in front of them. You can feed them both store-bought and homemade food. It’s crucial to provide them with a diverse diet.

If you’re going to feed commercial food, be sure it’s a reputable brand. Veggie pallets, spirulina tablets, freeze dried brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, and freeze dried tubifex worms are among the many types of guppy food available at pet stores and online.

If you choose to make your own fish food, make sure your guppy fish gets the vitamins and minerals it needs. Cucumber, spinach, carrots, green beans, and other fresh and cooked veggies are favourites of guppies.

Live food, like as daphnia, vinegar eels, or brine shrimp, is an excellent way to keep guppy fish healthy. The cultivation of living food, on the other hand, is not simple.

Whether you feed your guppy fish store-bought or homemade food, make sure they have a wide variety of foods and don’t overfeed them.

How Often to Feed Guppies and How Much to Feed Them?

Guppies should not be overfed. Overfeeding can cause health problems in your fish, reducing their lifespan.

Only feed your guppies what they can clear up in a few minutes. Food that hasn’t been eaten should be removed from the tank with a net so that it doesn’t fall into the substrate and decompose, polluting your water.

The recommendation is to feed your guppies twice a day, providing a new type of food with each feeding.

You could feed your guppies flakes in the morning and frozen or live food in the evening, for example.

Fry Feeding

It is almost certain that you will have offspring in your tank if you keep a mixture of male and female guppies in it.

The fry will not live for very long if they are eaten by the adults, so make sure there are plenty of dense bushes where they may hide. Until the fry are large enough to eat crushed fish flakes and other adult foods, you can feed them infusoria or commercially prepared fry meal until they reach the appropriate size.

Keep Your Guppies with Calm Tank Companions

Guppies are highly social fish who don’t like to be left alone, so you’ll need to keep them company if you want them to thrive.

Guppies, like the majority of fish, will get extremely agitated if they are maintained with tank mates who are huge, aggressive, and who may see the guppies as a food source. It is imperative that fin nippers are avoided at all costs since they will follow after the guppies and attempt to take bites off of the guppies’ flowing tails. So as long as you maintain your guppies with little, gentle fish, everything should be fine.


Guppies make excellent tank mates with the following fish:

  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Peaceful tetras
  • Mollies
  • Gouramis
  • Endler’s livebearers
  • Corydoras


Choose a Reputable Supplier for Your Guppies

A Reputable Supplier Should Be Used to Purchase Your Guppies.

When purchasing guppies, be certain that you are purchasing them from a trustworthy seller who sells high-quality fish.

Often, the fish offered in pet stores are not kept in the best of conditions, and they are often sourced from fish farms where producing large numbers of fish is more essential than raising high-quality stock.

The best location to purchase guppies is from a guppy breeder who specialises in producing them. Guppies are available in approximately 55 different types, providing lots of variety, and expert breeders will always use their best breeding stock to ensure that the quality of the fish they produce remains high.


Provide Hiding Places

As previously mentioned, you need to make sure your guppies have plenty of hiding places in their aquarium because small fish might be cautious and bashful when they first arrive. As previously stated, male guppies can harass and stress out female guppies, therefore they require safe havens where they can seek refuge if they so choose.

Caves, driftwood, and rocky overhangs are all excellent features to include in your landscaping. Floating plants are an excellent addition to the tank because they provide a safe haven for tiny fry to hide until they are large enough to avoid being eaten by the larger fish in the tank.

Only keep females

Another suggestion is to keep females only.

If you only maintain female guppies in your tank, they won’t be as stressed as when there are males in the tank. They’re also not going to cause each other any worry. Females who become pregnant will be stressed if there is a mix of men and females. Having males in the tank will also make the tank more aggressive.

You can avoid all of this by having just females in the aquarium.


How Long Can Guppies Live Without Eating?

Your guppy can go for around two weeks without eating before starving to death. You should never let them go longer than 3-4 days without eating. Even though they have a two-week life expectancy, they will starve to die during that time, and allowing this to happen is cruel.

Allowing your guppies to go without food for 3-4 days is an excellent idea. In reality, fasting them is beneficial because it clears their digestive tract and reduces the risk of constipation.


About Wild Guppies

What about guppies in the wild? Do wild guppies have a longer lifespan? What is the wild life expectancy of guppy fish?

Male wild guppies reach sexual maturity at roughly 6-7 weeks, whereas female wild guppies reach sexual maturity at around 9-10 weeks. They survive for around two years, just like pet guppies. The longevity of guppies in the wild, on the other hand, is influenced by a variety of circumstances.

Guppies, for example, are prey for a variety of predators in the environment. They are eaten by larger fish or smaller birds.

Extreme weather conditions, such as excessive rain, flooding, or many days of cold weather, will undoubtedly harm wild guppies. Wild guppies are tougher than fashionable guppies kept as pets, but they cannot withstand extreme weather.

Although guppies can go for up to two weeks without food, a food shortage will undoubtedly have an impact on the wild guppies population.

Chemicals, oil, or pesticides poured in the water can wipe out entire populations of wild guppy communities.


Guppy colours

guppy colour

Due to the fact that these fish are available in practically every colour imaginable, they have earned the nickname “Rainbow Fish” for their vibrant appearance.

Generally speaking, the top and upper half of the body are a paler colour, while the rear half is a brighter, more vibrant colour than the rest.

It is possible for some kinds to have a metallic appearance as well. They have iridophores, which are cells that do not contain any colour and reflect light, resulting in an iridescent effect on the skin.

Guppy eggs

Guppies are not known to lay eggs. They are live-bearing fish, which means that the eggs will remain in their bodies until the fry are big enough to eat them on their own. When they reach the appropriate age, the female gives birth to her fry. However, just because they do not lay eggs does not rule out the possibility that eggs are present.


Recap on How to Extend Guppy Lifespan

As a result, you can take actions to extend your guppies’ natural lifespan of one to three years. Here’s a quick rundown of the key points we discussed in this guide:


  1. Guppies should only be purchased from a reputed specialist breeder.


  1. Keep your guppies in a large enough tank – at least 10 gallons for five guppies.


  1. Keep a minimum of two females to one male guppy if you want to keep both male and female guppies. This helps to relieve the stress produced by many, concurrent pregnancies by preventing females from being harassed by males.


  1. Maintain your fish tank by keeping it clean and well-maintained.


  1. To ensure that the water is circulated effectively, use a filter that is powerful enough for the size of the tank you have.


  1. Provide the guppies with the water parameters and temperature that they prefer.


  1. Don’t overfeed the guppies and feed them a high-quality, varied, nutritional diet.


  1. Provide calm tank mates for the guppies.


  1. Make sure the tank has plenty of lush plants and other hiding spots so the guppies feel safe and comfortable, and females may get away from the males if necessary.


  1. All of these suggestions will keep your guppies from becoming stressed. One of the key variables that can affect guppies’ life expectancy is stress.



In the world of freshwater fish, guppies are one of the most well-known and popular choices for both beginners and experienced aquarists.

They give a lot of colours to tanks and are also quiet, relatively inexpensive, and simple to care for and maintain.

The most essential thing you should take away from today’s lesson is that guppies who are relaxed tend to have longer lives than those who are stressed. As a result, if you follow the advice and ideas we provided, your guppies should live for the longest time possible.

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