Planted Guppy Aquarium – What To Keep In Mind - "Guppy 10-18-2006 11-05-21 AM" by judhi is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Planted Guppy Aquarium – What To Keep In Mind - "Guppy 10-18-2006 11-05-21 AM" by judhi is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Setting up an aquarium for guppies requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure the health and well-being of these colorful and lively freshwater fish. Guppies are popular aquarium pets because of their hardiness, adaptability, and vibrant colors, but providing them with a suitable habitat is essential for their survival and thriving.

Before setting up an aquarium for guppies, it is important to consider the size of the tank, the water quality, the lighting, the temperature, and the type of plants and decorations that will be used. Guppies are relatively small fish that prefer to live in schools, so it is recommended to keep at least five to six guppies in a tank that is no less than 10 gallons (45 liters) in size. The larger the tank, the better, as it provides more space for the fish to swim and reduces the risk of water pollution.

Maintaining good water quality in your planted guppy aquarium is crucial for guppies, as they are sensitive to changes in pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels. A filtration system is necessary to remove waste and toxins from the water, and regular water changes should be performed to keep the water clean and healthy for the fish.

Guppies require adequate lighting to simulate their natural environment and promote plant growth. A lighting system with a timer can help regulate the amount of light the tank receives each day and prevent excessive algae growth.

The ideal temperature range for guppies is between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22-28 Celsius), and a heater may be necessary to maintain a consistent temperature in the tank. Guppies also enjoy live plants, which provide shelter and oxygen for the fish, and decorations that simulate their natural environment.

Planted Guppy Aquarium Size

When it comes to selecting an aquarium size for guppies, it’s important to keep in mind that these fish are relatively small and active swimmers. Therefore, a tank that is too small can lead to stress and health problems.

A general rule of thumb is to provide at least 1 gallon of water for each guppy, but a larger tank is always better as it provides more swimming space and reduces the risk of water pollution.

For a small group of five to six guppies, a 10-gallon (45 liters) aquarium is a good starting point. A 20-gallon (90 liters) aquarium would be even better, especially if you plan on adding more fish or decorations later on.

It’s worth noting that a larger aquarium not only benefits the fish but also makes maintenance easier since larger volumes of water are more stable and forgiving of small fluctuations in water quality. Overall, providing a larger aquarium for guppies will give them a better chance to thrive and live happy, healthy lives.

Male-to-Female Ratio

Regarding how many female guppies per male is appropriate, the ideal male to female ratio for guppies is generally considered to be 1:2 or 1:3. This means that for every male guppy, there should be two to three female guppies in the tank.

This ratio is important because male guppies tend to be more aggressive towards each other, especially when competing for female attention. If there are too many males in the tank, it can lead to fighting and stress among the fish.

In contrast, female guppies tend to be more peaceful and can coexist with each other and the males more easily. Having more females in the tank also helps ensure a higher chance of successful breeding and a greater genetic diversity in the offspring.

It’s worth noting that having too many fish in a tank, regardless of gender, can lead to overcrowding and poor water quality. It’s important to consider the size of the tank and the number of fish it can accommodate before adding new fish to the tank.

Planted Guppy Aquarium – What To Keep In Mind - "Guppy 10-18-2006 11-05-21 AM" by judhi is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Planted Guppy Aquarium – What To Keep In Mind – “Guppy 10-18-2006 11-05-21 AM” by judhi is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


In a planted guppy aquarium, live plants can provide numerous benefits for both the fish and the overall health of the tank. Plants can serve as a source of food, oxygen, and shelter, as well as improve water quality by removing toxins and waste products from the water.

Some popular live plants for a guppy aquarium include java moss, java fern, anubias, hornwort, and amazon sword plants. These plants are easy to care for, provide good coverage for the fish, and can also help control algae growth in the tank.

Fake plants can also be used in a guppy aquarium and can provide similar benefits as live plants, such as shelter for the fish and creating a more natural-looking environment. When using fake plants, it’s important to make sure they are made of non-toxic materials and do not have any sharp edges that could harm the fish.

Live or fake floating plants can also be beneficial in a guppy aquarium, especially for fry. Floating plants, such as water lettuce or frogbit, provide cover and shade for the fry to hide and protect them from predators.

In summary, live or fake plants can be a great addition to a planted guppy aquarium. They provide numerous benefits for the fish and the overall health of the tank, and can also create a more natural-looking environment for the fish to thrive in. For fry, plants, especially floating ones, can provide essential shelter and hiding places to protect them from predation.

Filtration in a Planted Guppy Aquarium

Filtration is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy guppy aquarium. Proper filtration ensures that waste products, uneaten food, and other debris are removed from the water, preventing ammonia and nitrite build-up that can be harmful to the fish.

When considering filtration for a guppy aquarium, several factors should be taken into account:

  1. Tank size: The larger the tank, the more powerful the filtration system should be. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a filtration system that can process the entire volume of water in the tank at least four times per hour. This of course also depends on the amount of water flow that you’d like in your aquarium.
  2. Type of filter: There are several types of filters available for aquariums, including hang-on-back filters, canister filters, and sponge filters. Hang-on-back filters are easy to install and maintain and are suitable for smaller tanks. Canister filters are more powerful and can handle larger tanks, while sponge filters are good for smaller tanks and provide gentle filtration suitable for fry and small fish.
  3. Filter media: Filter media are the materials used inside the filter that trap and remove debris from the water. Some common filter media include mechanical media, which trap larger debris such as uneaten food and fish waste, and biological media, which contain beneficial bacteria that break down harmful toxins in the water.
  4. Maintenance: Regular maintenance of the filter is crucial for its effectiveness. This includes cleaning or replacing filter media, checking for clogs, and ensuring proper water flow.
  5. Cycling the tank: Before adding fish to the aquarium, the tank should be cycled to establish a beneficial bacterial colony in the filter. This process typically takes several weeks, so be patient.

In summary, filtration is a critical aspect of maintaining a healthy guppy aquarium. By choosing the right filter for the tank size, selecting appropriate filter media, and maintaining the filter regularly, you can provide a safe and healthy environment for your guppies to thrive in.

Consider all the above information when setting up a planted guppy aquarium and you should be good to go.