One common question that many aquarium owners have is what is a Guppy’s lifespan In a tank? and most importantly how to increase it, let’s dive in and answer the question in detail along with some important tips and information to help you.
Guppies are really neat little fish that make for perfect beginner pets, plus they are awesome for advanced fish owners too. They love to live in schools and they love to move around too. If you have guppies in your home, you will know exactly what we are talking about.
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What Is The Lifespan Of A Guppy?
Guppies are indeed quite hardy fish and they are fairly easy to take care of as well. When it comes to a good fish to have in your home aquarium, the guppy definitely makes for a good choice. They are resilient, they are fun to watch, and quite colorful too. Moreover, if you take good care of them, they can actually live for a good few years. Depending on the tank, water quality, food, stress levels, and other deciding factors, a guppy can live anywhere up to 5 years.
Now, that is of course the absolute maximum lifespan of a guppy. Most guppies lifespan is anywhere from 1 to 3 years, with 2 years being the average and 3 years being very impressive. Guppies that live for up to 5 years are the ones that have been taken care of the best, plus there is some luck involved when it comes to living to a super old age.
How Long Do Guppies Live In A Tank?
Like we said before, guppies can live for up to 5 years, but the maximum of 3 or even just 2 years is already quite a long time for them to live for. When it comes to living in the wild versus living in a tank, there are many factors which can come into play. Generally speaking, a guppy will live longer in a tank simply due to the fact that it does not have any natural predators in there.
The outside world is a wild one and unfortunately there are a ton of predators ready to eat these little guys. That being said, if you have bad tank conditions and don’t take care of your guppies, they might just have a better chance at a long lifespan in the wild. If you take great care of your guppies, you can expect them to get around 2 years old in your own home aquarium.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that guppies are usually already fully grown upon purchase, thus making it difficult to judge their age. If you have a guppy that only makes it a few months, it may not be your fault. You could have simply bought an older fish. The problem here is that judging the age of a guppy without some hardcore scientific testing is just not viable, so knowing how old the fish is that you bought can be nearly impossible.
How To Increase The Lifespan Of Guppies In Your Tank
Like we touched on before, how long your guppy’s lifespan is will greatly depend on how you treat it and take care of it. There are indeed several things that you can do in order to ensure a maximal lifespan for your precious little guppies. Follow the tips below and you and your new guppies will live a long and happy life together.
You need to eat, we need to eat, and guppies need to eat too. Simply put, they need food, so feeding them properly is a crucial aspect when it comes to prolonging the lifespan of your guppies. First of all, when it comes to a schedule, you should feed adult guppies twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
Be careful not to over feed them as this can cause some fairly serious problems. To make sure that you are not over-feeding your guppies, only let them eat what they can chow down in 5 minutes, but no more. This is both to prevent the guppies from eating too much as well as to keep excess foods from rotting in the aquarium water and polluting it.
When it comes to the types of foods that you feed your guppies, they are quite hardy and definitely are not picky. They are omnivorous fish so they will mow down virtually anything in front of them that can fit in their mouths. Be sure to keep your guppy on a very diverse diet as they do best when they have a steady mix of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Unlike some other fish that only eat plants or meat, guppies will eat it all.
You can give your guppies food in the form of fish flakes and they will do just fine, but they will definitely benefit from some live foods and other variation a few times per week. Other than generic fish flakes, you can feed your guppies things like hard-boiled egg yolks, baby brine shrimp, normal brine shrimp (we have covered a separate post here on hatching brine shrimp), mosquito larvae, blood worms, daphnia, and other such foods. You can go with live foods or freeze dried foods as well. The trick here is to provide your guppies with a healthy and steady diet.
Water Quality & Parameters
Water quality is one of the most important factors in keeping your guppies healthy. While they are fairly resilient and durable fish, they do need pretty constant water parameters and really clean water if you expect them to live past 1 year of age. Water quality will help keep your guppy healthy by preventing algae growths, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria, preventing chemical buildups, and maintaining a healthy level of oxygenation.
You definitely need to get yourself a good water filter if you have a bunch of guppies and plants. You should look into a good 3 stage filtration system that engages in all 3 major types of filtration. You need mechanical filtering for waste and debris, biological filtering to break down ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, and chemical filtering to remove any other pollutants and odors.
Engaging in prosper filtering practices will ensure that you have healthy guppies. Keep in mind that you also need to do regular water changes, with around one quarter to one third of the water being changed each week. Also, you need to remember to clean the filter on a regular basis as well.
Furthermore, when it comes to the water parameters, guppies like fairly hard water with a neutral pH level. Keep the pH level in water in your aquarium around 7.0 and your guppies will do just fine. Furthermore, if you really want to ensure that your guppies live for a long time, you can also invest in a protein skimmer that removes protein based waste from the water, plus you can get yourself a UV sterilizer too. Moreover, you can even invest in an air pump for oxygenation if you choose.
Finally, guppies can actually live in both fresh water and salt water, but actually tend to do the best in brackish water. So, for every 5 gallons of water in the aquarium, you should add 1 tablespoon of aquarium salt. Keep in mind not to use normal table salt as this is not what is needed. Unless you plant on plating up your guppies up for lunchtime, you are better off with no salt at all as opposed to table salt.
Males, Females, & Tank Mates
Guppies are very peaceful fish and will definitely avoid confrontation with other fish. That being said, they are small and quite defenseless, so you should not put them in a tank with bigger fish, especially if they are carnivorous or omnivorous. Guppies do make for easy prey, so make sure that you aren’t just feeding your other fish when adding guppies into the mix. These fish do best in species specific tanks, which means only having guppies. Aside from some snails or small herbivorous or very peaceful omnivorous fish, having tank mates might not be the best idea.
Males and females will usually do just fine with one another, so there is really no need to worry there. Also, when they are in good water conditions, guppies will often breed even without encouragement from the owner.
Closely related to the water quality is the temperature of the water your guppies are living in. The temperature of your aquarium can in fact make a big difference in the lifespan of your guppies. They tend to do the best in water temperatures of around 75 degrees. Now, they can tolerate water temperatures up to 80 or 82 degrees or as low as 70 or 68 degrees, but they won’t live as long as they would in 75 degree water too (we have covered temperature for Guppies in more detail on this article).
Guppies living in warmer waters tend to get bigger and eat more, but due to their increased metabolic rate and complications associated with heat, they will die faster. On that same note, colder waters can slow your fish down, reduce its metabolic rate, and often causes illnesses which can and often do kill guppies. So, the takeaway here is to keep the water at a nice 75 degrees and you will be giving your guppies the best chance at a long life. More on heaters here.
Another thing to help your guppies live for longer is to keep their stress level to a minimum. This means having good lighting conditions, keeping the water parameters stable, keeping water temperatures from changing, keeping them on a regular diet, and not overcrowding the tank. Stress can be one of the biggest killers of guppies, so just make sure to have a big enough tank and keep things from fluctuating. Also, guppies do like plants to swim around and hide under (we have covered some good suggestions here), so provide them with some of those as well, as it will make them feel comfortable.
We hope we have been able to answer your Guppy Lifespan questions. At the end of the day, if you follow all of our tips, you should be able to keep your guppies alive for at least 2 years, if not longer. Simply give them their best chance. That is all you can do!
Featured Image credit: PxFuel