Guppy Lifespan – How Long Does a Guppy Fish Live for?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

A lot of people who want to buy pet fish always ask a frequent question, “How long does this fish live for?” it is always a bothersome question for people who fail to keep their pet fish alive for a couple of months.

How long does a guppy fish live for? Guppies could live up to 5 years if they are taken care of and given enough attention. However, the average healthy guppy lives up to 2 or 3 years only.

No matter how much we think we know everything about guppies, there are more things that are unraveled with every attempt to surf the internet. Scientists are discovering something new every single day about this amazing species. Let us now dive deeper into the topic at hand.

Do guppies become stressed?

It is very essential to know that there are some reasons that shorten the lifespan of fish in general.

Similarly, there are ways to help lengthen the lifespan of fish as well. Hence, it is always important to be aware of those reasons that could be endangering your guppies’ health and threatening their lives. For example stress!

Stress is something we should never ignore or overlook. Stress is often caused by any unexpected and sudden changes in the temperature of the water or the conditions of the tank in general.

Overcrowded tanks and disorganized schedules of feeding could cause stress to the guppies as well. In addition to that, lighting could be a very terrible factor that stresses your fish out.

When it comes to guppies, they need very bright lighting to function properly. But at the same time, give them darkness when it is night to help them sleep and save their energy.

To solve these things that could stress the guppies, you need to be careful with the water’s temperature, the lighting, and the food you provide the guppies with. Give them a variety of nutrients, avoid placing them with their tank enemies and get a big tank that gives room for every fish to swim freely.

Water quality

Of course, water quality is the number one priority! Guppies’ lifespan could be lengthened when the water’s conditions are perfect and stable. Adding a filter would improve the water’s quality. The filter would purify the water regularly and there would be no wastes that could make the water seem murky.

You need 3 filtration systems to make sure that the water’s quality is perfect.

  • Mechanical filtering for debris and wastes
  • Biological filtering to get rid of ammonia and nitrates
  • Chemical filtering to remove any unpleasant smells and wastes

What is more, you have to change the tank’s water every week in order to prevent the risk of getting any toxins in your tank that might infect the guppies with diseases.

Besides, adding a tablespoon of salt would enhance the water’s quality as guppies love fresh water with a bit of saltiness. A tablespoon of salt for 5 gallons of water would be enough. Taking care of the water would certainly guarantee having healthy and energetic, stress-free guppies.

Guppy genetics

What would you do if you did everything to provide your guppies with the best tank conditions, yet some of them died almost instantly?

You do not need to feel so guilty about that…here’s why: if something is wrong with a guppy’s genes, there is no way you can fix that no matter how perfect your tank is. Guppies that have genetic problems and poor genetics would die before even becoming adults.

To prevent this tragedy from happening in front of your eyes and to prevent tormenting yourself, if you plant to buy guppies, you need to purchase them from an authentic pet store and from someone who cares about guppies’ health and pure breed.

It is always better to get your guppies from breeders rather than pet stores because breeders are professionals who are concerned with the guppies’ health and they provide them with the right food and conditions.

Which gender has a shorter lifespan?

There are a lot of answers to that question. Females would live shorter if they give birth to baby guppies all of the time. On the other hand, males would live shorter if they mate females all of the time.

Anyways, male and female guppies would actually live longer if they were separated into two different tanks to prevent the continuous mating process.

How to lengthen your guppies’ lifespan?

Number one; you really need to take care of their food. You need to have a fixed feeding schedule. Feed the adults twice a day with a twelve-hour gap between each meal. Never ever overfeed them because this would lead to more wastes, leftovers and this would foul the water at the end of the day.

It is a must that your make their meals consist if diverse foods..mix proteins with vitamins and minerals in order to improve their health and energy. Live food is important but do not provide them with it a lot because it could cause parasitic or bacterial infections.

Are guppies aggressive?

Guppies are peaceful fish…however, they hate overcrowded tanks. It is quite ironic because a tank filled with guppies will never be empty of them.

But still, it is better to give them enough space to practice their random swimming patterns. They will fight among each other and against other fish if they feel they do not have enough room to swim freely. Therefore, they would become aggressive.

It is always a good idea to put lots of plants in a tank filled with guppies and other species to help the fish hide from any fit of “guppy aggression”

What else controls the lifespan of guppies?

You might think this is too far-fetched but it is not.

If you do not have plants in your tank, there is a high chance your guppies would die faster. The presence of plants helps in controlling the amount of nitrates and they would always be a good hiding place for guppies or something that is like a safe haven to them which would make them stress-free.

What is more, do you know that giving your guppies algae wafer and boiled peas could help a lot in lengthening their lifespan? Another good thing that would help improve the guppies’ health is lowering the water’s temperature a bit. Cold water helps in slowing down metabolism and this helps in improving the guppies’ health.

Related Questions

Are guppies good pets? Indeed they are.  Guppies have beautiful colors and do not need much effort from their owners. They are very entertaining pets as well.

Are guppies hardy? Yes, they are very hardy as long as the water conditions are stable.


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