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Do Guppies Need Other Guppies?

Guppies are a favorite among freshwater fish aquarium hobbyists. Not only are they easy to care for but they’re also fun to watch. They have beautiful, bright color patterns and an energetic yet peaceful nature. If you have or are thinking about getting guppy fish for your aquarium, you may be wondering whether they need others of their species to thrive. Well, I have the answer for you below:

Guppies are social in nature so if you want the best quality of life for your fish, then they need company in an aquarium. They are a type of schooling fish and therefore don’t do well alone. They can be kept with others of their species (or not), just so long as the fish sharing their tank aren’t too big or too aggressive. Keeping guppies in groups of 3 or more is recommended.

Now that you know guppy fish do indeed need other fish to be ‘happy’, let’s explore this topic further and in more detail below. We’ll discuss whether guppies get lonely or not, if they need to be kept in groups, and which fish make the best tank mates. We’ll also explain how many to keep, depending on the size of your tank and the amount of time you have.

So, if you’re ready to learn more about keeping guppies happy and healthy in an aquarium, then let’s get to it!

Do Guppies Get Lonely?

Unlike human beings, fish likely don’t feel emotions such as happiness or loneliness. However, they will display negative physical symptoms from not having other fish in their tank. If they’re alone, they may swim lethargically about or show little interest in food. They’re natural instinct to breed frequently is also suppressed when they’re kept individually, which can affect both their temperament and health.

Caring for a guppy aquarium can be both time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially if you intend to breed them. They multiply at a rapid rate with each female capable of reproducing between 20 and 50 fry in a single cycle. With so many fish occupying the same aquatic environment, they (along with any plants in tank) can get sick and even die without additional care and proper tank maintenance.

Do Guppies Need to be Kept in Groups?

Guppies are a schooling fish that like to be kept in groups. They’re active swimmers and will often chase each around the tank. Males will wiggle their fins and swim frantically about in an attempt to attract and mate with females. This is part of what makes them so fun and interesting to watch! Be careful not to overcrowd the tank, however, as this can negatively affect the health of the fish.

They’re best kept in groups of 3 (or more) with a male-to-female ratio of 1:2, if you want them to breed. If not, then keep only 1 gender – males are preferred as they are more colorful and tend to be more active as well. It’s recommended that you keep 1 guppy per every 2 gallons of water. For example, if you have a medium-sized or 20-gallon tank, then you can have anywhere from 10 to 12 guppies.

Do Guppies Like Other Guppies?

Guppies not only make great tank mates for others of their species, but for many different freshwater fish – provided they’re peaceful and not too big! As guppies are quite small, they are vulnerable to being bullied and/or eaten by any fish with a big enough mouth! Large and aggressive fish should not be kept with guppies.

Can I Keep Just a Single Guppy Fish?

Guppies are a schooling fish and like to be kept in groups. While it’s okay to keep just one guppy on its own, it’s preferable to have at least 3 in a tank to together. If your aquarium is small, then you shouldn’t have more than 3 as guppies like lots of space to swim about freely in the tank. Overcrowding is a major concern for guppies, since they have the inclination to procreate at a rapid rate.

Can Guppies be Kept in a 5-Gallon Tank?

As guppies are a social fish, they need to be kept with others to thrive in an aquarium environment. However, they need sufficient space to swim about freely and plenty of hiding places for them to feel safe. As the recommended number is a minimum of 3 guppy fish and 1 fish for every 2 gallons of water, you could potentially keep a threesome in a 5-gallon tank, but a bigger, 10-gallon tank would be better.

Which Fish Make the Best Tank Mates for Guppies?

The best tankmates for guppies are smaller fish with calm temperaments. Since guppies are a social or community fish and get along well with almost any other species, there are a variety of options you can choose from regarding possible aquarium companions – including crustaceans! The ‘top 10’ choices (in my opinion) are:


Cory catfish are a docile fish and like to stick close to the substrate in the tank. This provides guppies with plenty of space in the middle or the surface of the tank to swim freely about.


Mollies are a hardy fish and come in variety of colours. As they’re small in size and peaceful in nature, they can thrive in a community tank with guppies.


Platies are colourful, easy-to-care-for freshwater fish that are peaceful and, like guppies, thrive in a community tank environment.


Harlequin rasboras as a lively fish with beautiful, bronze-coloured markings. They’re a docile fish that like to be kept in groups with other small fish (like guppies) in a planted tank environment.


Swordtail are a unique-looking fish that can adapt to almost any aquatic environment. They’re forgiving when it comes to water conditions and require little in the way of care and maintenance.


Various species of tetra fish, such as neons and cardinals are easy to feed and maintain. These tiny, colourful fish do well in community tanks with other small docile fish, like guppies.


Kuhli loaches are unique, eel-like fish that are bottom-dwellers and spend most of their time near the substrate or among plants in an aquarium. They’re peaceful and will often stay away from guppies.


If you have a large tank (25 or 30 gallons), pleco fish make great tank mates for guppies. They stick close to the bottom of the tank and will stay out of the way of guppy fish that usually like to swim mid-tank.


Red Cherry shrimp are a brightly coloured aquatic creature that are easy to keep and can live in an aquarium with guppies – provided they’re not newborns, which guppies like to eat if given the chance!


Nerite snails are safe to keep with guppies, unlike some other snail species. Since they need saltwater to reproduce, they won’t overtake a freshwater aquarium but will still help to keep it clean.

  • An unconventional choice would be to add amphibians to your fish tank. African dwarf frogs, for example, will hang out among the plants or on the substrate at the bottom and out of the way of your guppy fish. Be careful, however, as this species is highly sensitive to water conditions.


To conclude, guppies are a sociable fish that prefer the company of others in a marine environment. They do well when kept in a community tank with other guppies (at least 3, depending on the size of your aquarium) as well as other species of fish, provided they’re smaller and peaceful in nature. While you can keep a single guppy in a small tank, it’s usually not recommended.

Hopefully, you’ve found this article to be both interesting and informative. Thanks for reading and best of luck pursuing your aquarium hobby.

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