One of the most popular aquarium fish is the guppy. The small and colorful fish is very adaptable. Beginners, in particular, like to keep guppies because they have few demands. But they also inspire experienced breeders. Here you can find out what makes the lively eye-catcher in the aquarium.


  • Name: Guppy, Poecilia reticulata
  • Systematics: Live-bearing toothcarps
  • Size: 2.5-6 cm
  • Origin: northern South America
  • Attitude: easy
  • Aquarium size: from 54 liters (60 cm)
  • pH value: 6.5-8
  • Water temperature: 22-28 ° C

Interesting Facts About the Guppy

Scientific name

Poecilia reticulata

Other names

Million fish, Lebistes reticulatus


  • Class: Actinopterygii (ray fins)
  • Order: Cyprinodontiformes (Toothpies)
  • Family: Poeciliidae (viviparous toothcarps)
  • Genus: Poecilia
  • Species: Poecilia reticulata (Guppy)


When fully grown, the guppy is about 2.5-6 cm tall. Males stay smaller than females.


Almost all colors and drawings are possible with this animal. Hardly any other fish is so varied. The males are usually more splendidly colored than the females.


The small fish comes from waters in northern South America (Venezuela and Trinidad).

Gender differences

The sexes are easy to distinguish based on their appearance: males are slightly smaller and more distinctive in color. Depending on the breed, their caudal fin is also much larger than that of the female animals. In the case of cultivars or the wild form as well, it is sometimes not that obvious. Here it is advisable to look at the anal fin. The anal fin of the females is triangular, while that of the males is elongated. The male’s anal fin is also known as the gonopodium. It is the copulation organ.


Guppies are viviparous; a litter consists of around 20 young animals. After mating, the females are able to store the semen for some time. This means that several pregnancies can result from just one mating. This fish species do not take care of the brood. Adult animals even eat their own offspring. If you want to breed, you should separate the young guppies from their parents right after they are born. You can socialize them again later. If the offspring no longer fit into the mouth of the adult guppies, you no longer have to fear losses.

Life expectancy

The guppy is around 3 years old.

Interesting Facts


In the wild, the guppy primarily eats plant-based food. But it is omnivorous. In the aquarium, also proves to be extremely uncomplicated when it comes to food. He eats almost all common smaller types of food.

Group size

The sociable guppies should always be kept in a group. With some guppy keepers, pure male keeping is popular because it is sure to keep offspring. It is common and very practicable to keep many females with a few males in a group. This gender ratio is justified by the fact that the individual female in this constellation is less exposed to the obtrusive advertising behavior of the males. However, behavioral researchers found that guppy advertising and mating behavior can be influenced by gender ratio. It may even be more beneficial to keep more males than females, for example, 6 males and 3 females. However, there shouldn’t be too many males per female: The study results suggest that this again leads to a stressful situation for the females. It is of course important to prevent this!

Aquarium size

The tank should have a volume of at least 54 liters for this fish. Even a small standard aquarium with the dimensions 60x30x30cm fulfills these criteria.

Pool equipment

The guppy has no great demands on the pool equipment. Dense planting protects the offspring from adult animals. Dark ground emphasizes the magnificent colors of the animals but is not absolutely necessary.

Socialize guppy

A peaceful fish like the guppy can be socialized well. However, it is better not to keep it together with a very calm species. Otherwise, its active nature could cause unnecessary stress in these fish.

Required water values

The temperature should be between 22 and 28 ° C, the pH value between 6.5 and 8.0.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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