How Long Do Guppy Fish Live? Tips For Happy Fish

The guppy fish, also known as rainbow fish or millionfish, is one of the most widely distributed tropical fish.

It is also popular as freshwater aquarium fish species, known for its attractive coloring and ease of care.  

The species belongs to the family of Poeciliidae, and thus it is live-bearing fish. These fishes are highly adaptable and can thrive in different environmental and ecological condition.  

We can say, Guppies are one of the best fish to keep as new aquarium owners. Though they can not live very long, they can reproduce pretty often.    

When it comes to guppy fish there is a couple of common question that arises.  What is the life span of guppies? How long do they live for? Do female guppies have a longer life span than males? Does aquarium affect the life span of guppies? How to improve their longevity? And etc. In short, as far as the life span of the guppies is concerned, it depends on various different factors.

So, how long will guppy fish live for?  Generally, a guppy fish lives for 1 to 3 years; however, if nurtured and taken care of properly, the life span can be extended up to 5 years.

What Factors Contribute To The Lifespan Of Guppy

When it comes to extending the life span of guppies, there are a couple of important factors that need to be taken into consideration. Here are some of them

  • Good genetics of the Guppy fish
  • Feeding a good quality food
  • Maintaining proper and appropriate water parameters
  • Stress-free life
  • Good Quality Water

These are a couple of factors which help to improve the life span of Guppy fish.

How To Improve The Life Span Of Guppy Fish?

When you bring home a guppy fish, it is almost impossible for you to know its actual age. You can not say properly if it is a full grown or close to it. As mentioned, there are 4 important factors that need to be taken care of for increasing the life span of Guppy fish. Here are some details


No matter what steps you take to increase their life span, if your Guppy fish have poor genetics then they will die even before reaching adult age. Therefore, it is very important to make sure that Guppy fish is bought from a reliable fish dealer who is known for breeding healthy fish. One can also rely on a pet store in order to buy his or her Guppy. 

Feeding Good Quality Food

Apart from good genetics, you need to make sure that you are feeding your Guppy fish with quality food. Guppy fish can feed on almost everything. You can try both homemade and commercial food. Make sure to try a variety of different types of food.

In the case of commercial food, make sure to use a reputed brand. When you give them food, make sure that they get a proper quantity of necessary vitamins and minerals. You can find a vast range of food stores for your guppy fish on the internet such as veggie pallets, spitrulina tablets, frozen dried brine shrimp, bloodworm and etc.

Beside this, Guppies also love cooked vegetables like cucumber, spinach, green beans, carrots etc. Many live foods, such as daphnia, vinegar eels or brine shrimp are very important to give them a healthy life. Though these foods are not very easily available.  

Proper Water Parameters

The temperature of the water has a very important impact on the longevity of Guppy fishes. You need to make sure that the water in which they thrive have the best of conditions. The temperature of the water should be between 72-82 °F and you need to make sure that the water is cleaned on a regular basis.

Tap water, in many cases, is a great way for keeping the guppies healthy. But one must be very careful as in case of using tap water, as tap water contains heavy metals, chlorine, and chloramine. These minerals are very harmful to the guppy fish.

Reducing Stress

Make sure that the environment in which your Guppy fish is thriving is stress-free. The fish tank shouldn’t be overcrowded, there shouldn’t be too much light and the ratio of male and female fish should be adequate. Poor water conditions like, low or high temperature, ammonia in water, or radical changes in the parameter of the water can cause huge stress for the guppies.

It is a very good way for the fish to give them a hiding place. Female Guppies need some rest as they are very stressed by the male fishes. So, you can decorate your aquarium with some plants. If the aquarium has live plants, it will increase the life of your fish.

Quality Water

The quality of the water in which the Guppy fish lives must be very good. Guppies can live best and longest when you leave them in properly clean water. That is why, when you buy a guppy in your home, you must have a filtration system in your aquarium.

You have to clean the wastage from the water on a regular basis. This kind of fish can survive in hard water and the water pH should be around 7. The best way to keep them good is to mix a tablespoon of salt in the water. It will be best if you use a conditioner when you change the water of the aquarium. It will eliminate the toxic substance and other harmful elements.

Guppy Care Tips

These are some tips which you need to follow if you want to increase the life span of your Guppy fish.

  1. Use a good quality substrate. If you’re planning planting live plants, then you need to use a subtrate suitable for planting.  If you’re not, then you have a few more choices. 
  2. Do not use cheap plants for the aquarium where you want to keep that guppy fish. You may use java moss or spawning moss that provide a nice hiding place for the fish.
  3. Do not overfeed them.
  4. Don’t be ignorant about the breeding time of the fish. Proper care needs to be taken when the fishes breed. Generally, the gestation period will take 26 days to 31 days.

Here are some sings of the fish going into labor:

  1. They will be very calm and secluding herself.
  2. They will be shivering.
  3. They will hang out near a hot temperature.
  4. Their food habits may change.

Once You know the breeding signs, remove the female fish from the aquarium. At that particular time, they must be taken care in a proper way. If you are unable to do so, ensure you have plenty of coverage and hiding places for the females to hang out in. 

The newborn fry must be fed a suitable food in order to reach their greatest growth potential. Some amount of boiled spinach will be great in this case.

The fish takes six months to grow in full size. For the male fish, it will be 1.5 inches and for the female, it will be 2.5 inches long.  

All those points mentioned above are very important for the guppy fish.

If one can follow all this information in a proper way, he or she will be able to keep the guppy fish alive for at least two years. In the end, they must be given the best chance like all other animals. That is all the human can do for them.

How To Maintain The Health Of Guppy Fish

Guppies are one of the popular freshwater fishes that have a distinctive pattern and colors. It is quite easy to manage and handle a guppy fish. But, contaminated water might have a detrimental effect on their health. You have to make sure that the volume of PH and water temperature level is balanced. In addition, the water tank should be cleansed thoroughly on a regular basis. Feed the guppies with a proper diet in order to ensure optimum health. Sufficient lighting, hideouts, and filtration must be included in the water tank.

Even though guppies are tiny species, it requires a huge gallon of water and ample space to swim swiftly through the tank. For example, you might need four gallons in a tank in order to manage four guppy fishes. It is highly recommended to prevent overcrowding as it hampers the life span of guppies. They might fall sick or even lead to death.

How To Breed Guppies?

Always try to maintain a ratio of 1:2 (male to female) especially in the case of a guppy fish since there is a tendency for the male fish to go after the female with the likelihood of causing its death also. Therefore, it is always better to have less male fish than females. The other option would be to place all the male fish in a separate tank.

Though guppies need light during the day, overexposure to it can be fatal. Therefore, it is advisable to switch off the lights for eight hours every day. You can even set up a timer to facilitate this. See that your tank has small caves, which can help the guppies to relax. Such hideouts would be able to simulate a real life situation.

Ensure that you have adequate stocks of flakes with protein content to give a balanced diet for your guppies. It is advisable to feed the guppies with flakes either once or twice per day. Give just the amount of flakes, which guppies can consume in order to keep them healthy. Avoid overfeeding, as it could be fatal so if you find they are not eating all the flakes provided, it is better to skip a meal. Feed the guppies with small amounts of live frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, mosquito larvae, earthworms etc.

Clean The Tank Correctly

It is imperative to cleanse the tank on a regular basis. The water has to be replaced; dust particles like gravel and substrate should be removed from the tank. Frequently change the filter to prevent invasion of parasites. It could even hamper the health of the guppies. However, you need to make sure that before pouring fresh water into the tank, its overall temperature and PH of the water need to be tested in advance.

Ensure that the temperature is maintained between 70 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Any slight variations in temperature could affect the health of the guppy fish. If the water temperature is found to be higher or lower, the survival rate of the guppies will be impacted. Therefore, it is always better to maintain a stable temperature by using a tank thermometer.

It is also essential to maintain a PH level ranging from 6.8 to 7.8. The PH of water should be frequently monitored and make necessary adjustments accordingly. You may use an acid buffer or an alkaline buffer in order to bring down the level of PH. These are readily available at the local aquarium store and can be ordered online.

What Are The Benefits Of A Filtration System?

An appropriate filtration system is required to ensure optimum quality of water and maintain the health of guppies. This equipment can be purchased directly online or at a local fish shop. Check out our guide to aquarium filters.

How To Care For Sick Guppy

You need to pay close attention while placing fresh guppies into the water tank since it might carry pathogens. A sick fish need to be quarantined prior to transferring them to another water tank.


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