Setting up an aquarium isn’t difficult, but you need to be creative for the perfect execution of your plan. There are many things to consider when creating the perfect environment for your pet guppy, and you need to choose wisely to avoid problems later on. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about setting up an aquarium for guppies, from the different types of tanks available to the ideal aquatic plants and how many fish can safely share an aquarium without any issues!

Guppy Aquarium Setup – A Complete Guide
Guppy Aquarium Setup – A Complete Guide

Guppy Aquarium Size – How Big of a Tank Do You Need?

The first step in preparing your tank for your fish is to determine the appropriate guppy aquarium size. While there is no hard and fast rule about the tank size suitable for guppies, there are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing a tank for its new members!

Regarding how big guppies get, a typical adult guppy will reach a length of about 2 inches (5 centimeters). To maintain its health and comfort, a single adult guppy will require at least two liters of water. Remember that guppies prefer to swim in a horizontal rather than a vertical direction, so a long tank rather than a tall tank would be ideal for them. The minimum recommended tank size for guppies is 5 gallons (around 20 liters).

If this is your first time making a guppy aquarium setup, then make sure that you choose a tank that can hold at least three guppies (but preferably more) because these fish cannot survive long alone. 

Essential Equipment for a Guppy Aquarium

You’ve made up your mind that you want guppies, and who could blame you, given the rainbow of colors and sizes they come in? Now, you’re going to need a fish tank and some other accessories, right? If you’ve decided on the size of the aquarium you want to use, the next step is to gather all the necessary components for a successful guppy aquarium setup. Read more to find out!

Guppy Aquarium Temperature

With guppies, a fish tank heater is usually a necessity. Water temperatures between 74 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 27 Celcius) are optimal for them. An adjustable heater is an ideal option for an aquarium because you may occasionally need to raise the water temperature. Keeping the water temperature below the optimal range may diminish their metabolic rate, which in turn can decrease their food consumption and slow down their growth (if you have fry or juveniles). 

If you keep the guppy aquarium temperature too low, it can cause your guppy to fall sick or it can even die. Most fish stores may tell you they are fine at room temperature, but given that the average person keeps their house at 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), a heater is probably a better option! There is no need for a separate thermometer if your heater already has one built in. The good news is that if you invest in a quality heater, it will reliably maintain the tank at the ideal temperature. A thermometer is a handy tool for quickly determining if something is wrong.


A filter is another crucial piece of equipment for your tank. Many aspects of your guppy’s well-being depend on the work that your filter does. A filter is essential for maintaining a healthy environment in your aquarium, which is why you should install one right away. Filters are necessary for avoiding the accumulation of harmful trash and chemicals in the tank and for good housing bacteria that consume harmful ammonia.

However, this isn’t their only function. Keeping the water in your tank circulating is another benefit of installing a filter. Since guppies are native to moving water environments like streams and rivers, they should feel right at home in this environment.


Lighting is essential for a guppy aquarium setup, as plants and fish alike require it for survival. When exposed to light, aquatic plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, whereas, in the dark, they do the opposite. When exposed to illumination, guppies become more active, searching for food and interacting with one another. Guppies are more likely to develop abnormalities if they do not have access to sufficient lighting in their fish tank.

Light and dark are essential to our survival, just as they are to fish. Light is nature’s alarm clock, signaling that it’s time to rise and shine. Your fish will benefit just as much from a day-and-night cycle in their aquarium as you do. There should be at least eight hours a day without light for a guppy. If you turn out the lights, the fish can rest and recover from the stress of being chased by other fish by going into a dormant state.

Tank Decorations

It’s also important to decorate the aquarium since this will provide entertainment for your guppies. So many options exist for tank ornaments that you can really let your imagination go wild.

However, make sure to include lots of plants and ornaments that provide hiding spots for your guppies. Plants in the tank will help purify the air and create a more natural environment for your guppies. If guppies are housed singly, they can get along fine without hiding spots in the tank. When housed in a community tank with larger fish, hiding spots create a sense of security and comfort. The greatest locations for guppies to hide are aquarium decorations made of plastic, ceramic pots, PVC pipes, rocks, driftwood, and silk or live plants.

You can also make the guppy aquarium setup in contrast with the decor of your room, so be imaginative when choosing the tank decorations!

The Planted Guppy Aquarium

Maintaining guppies in a planted guppy aquarium is much better for them in terms of health, calmness, and happiness than maintaining them in an aquarium without any plants at all. For the cover, guppies prefer dense vegetation or rotting logs in the wild. Adding plants, driftwood, and other decorations to the fish tank helps create an environment similar to the fish’s natural home. A planted guppy aquarium is a nice spot for a pregnant guppy to give birth to her fry, and the guppies will feel more secure sheltering there.

Planted Guppy Aquarium
Planted Guppy Aquarium

Microorganisms found on plants, especially java moss, are the primary food supply for guppy fry. Since adult guppies do feed on their young, the tiny crevices between leaves and branches are ideal hiding places for the young. Make sure to give your plants a good rinsing before adding them to the tank, as store-bought plants might have parasites that you don’t want to add to your tank.

Let’s explore the aquatic plants that work well in a guppy aquarium setup:

  • Anubias Nana

Anubias Nana is an excellent plant since it has big leaves that your guppy can scurry through and hide under. It also maintains a compact size, making it well-suited for a 10-gallon aquarium.

  • Duckweed

Guppies love floating plants like duckweed because they make them feel secure, and the roots give them something to swim between. Additionally, they will provide excellent cover for your guppy fry if you intend to nurture them to adulthood. It requires almost no upkeep, and if it gets too big, you can just scoop some out.

  • Anacharis 

Anacharis elodea, often known as Brazilian water weeds, purifies aquarium water and is commonly sold as an oxygen plant for goldfish. Under ideal conditions, they can multiply rapidly and clean the water in your planted guppy aquariumso that your guppies can thrive.