Minimum Tank Size For Guppies?

MattS99

Member
I've been keeping guppies for most of my life, over 10 years. Just curious what you guys think is their minimum because I've seen a LOT of different opinions on here.
 

aquatickeeper

Member
10 gallons. Some people say 5 but I don't think that's enough.
 
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MattS99

Member
aquatickeeper said:
10 gallons. Some people say 5 but I don't think that's enough.
5 is my minimum, have had success with them at that size. I used to keep them in 8's too. All males, of course.
 

ariolex

Member
I agree, 10g
 

KeeperOfASilentWorld

Member
10 gallons for 5 male guppies ! Guppies in a 5 gallon is a little cruel in my opinion
 
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MattS99

Member
I've ran quite a few 5 gallons with 3 males, most did pretty well. Only issues were with aggression, aggressors were all rehomed. After aggression problems were fixed, they ran quite well. I'd do it again.
 

BeanFish

Member
I think you can get away with 5 gal but personally 5 gals look miniature to me so I would say 10 gal.
 

bgclarke

Member
Based on my own experience, I'd say 10 gallons.
 

clk89

Member
For a nice group of them I would say ten gallons. For breeding I would say twenty gallons or more.
 
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MattS99

Member
clk89 said:
For a nice group of them I would say ten gallons. For breeding I would say twenty gallons or more.
Not necessarily for breeding. When I bred, I'd leave them and let them all go at each other if I didn't care what I got. If I was looking for specific parents, I'd move the breeding trio into a 2.5 gal. for 2-3 days. Take them out and return to main tank. I'd then use the 2.5 to either temporarily raise fry, or the fry would be fed to my other fish.
 

FishObbessed

Member
10G IMO for 4, 5G for 1
 

Kasshan

Member
whatever size you can accommodate in the space needed, but this is a moot topic, get the biggest you can manage of course.
many moons ago when I worked at petsmart if a kid wants a 1.5g, try to go for the upsale to a 10 gallon and the sales shtick. but alas the stubborn parent won't abide. so either it boils down to a male guppy or a betta.
 

NavigatorBlack

Member
I always keep groups, and don't think males only tanks are cool. I like a 10 or 15, but bigger is good. It has to have a lot of plants though.
I went to a professional fancy guppy operation to buy tanks years ago, He had decided to move to a more lucrative use of his space due to a natural disaster killing many of his breeders.
He had a few hundred 3.5 and 5 gallon tanks for breeding pairs, with 20s and 40s for rearing young.
 

OnTheFly

Member
I prefer no smaller than a 10G for breeding trio and a few adolescents. I've had little trouble with aggression in 10G or larger. Larger grow out tanks. I put a lot of fry in a 5.5G but only for their first 2-3 weeks.
 

clk89

Member
MattS99 said:
Not necessarily for breeding. When I bred, I'd leave them and let them all go at each other if I didn't care what I got. If I was looking for specific parents, I'd move the breeding trio into a 2.5 gal. for 2-3 days. Take them out and return to main tank. I'd then use the 2.5 to either temporarily raise fry, or the fry would be fed to my other fish.
Well that is your opinion. Mine is that you need room to breed healthy quality guppies.
 

OnTheFly

Member
Quite a few pros use fairly small tanks to breed guppies. I don't like the volatility of a tiny tank. You have to watch it too close IMO.
 

Anders247

Member
I'd personally say a 10g.
 
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MattS99

Member
I'm still sticking to my guns at 5, but I really respect your opinions. I just can't disagree with my own experiences.
 

FlutterFish

Member
I've kept a guppy in a 5 gallon once, and I can say that he was absolutely fine. However, once I moved him to a 10 gallon with two other guppies, the whole group was more active than usual. So 5 is my absolutely bare minimum (kind of like my idea as a 2.5 gallon for a betta) but to have them fully thrive, a 10 is my minimum. If this sounds confusing, I'd be happy to explain.
 
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MattS99

Member
FlutterFish said:
I've kept a guppy in a 5 gallon once, and I can say that he was absolutely fine. However, once I moved him to a 10 gallon with two other guppies, the whole group was more active than usual. So 5 is my absolutely bare minimum (kind of like my idea as a 2.5 gallon for a betta) but to have them fully thrive, a 10 is my minimum. If this sounds confusing, I'd be happy to explain.
I think he perked up because he got friends. Guppies are not solitary fish at all. They love being with other guppies, even just livebearers in general. I think your case has less to do with size and more to do with having friends.
 

FlutterFish

Member
Probably true, but still, bigger is better.
 

OnTheFly

Member
FlutterFish said:
Probably true, but still, bigger is better.
You can only expect so much activity when it's a one second swim to the other end of the tank.
 
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MattS99

Member
Random question: Where do you guys buy your guppies. My three options around here have their pros and cons. First is the LFS. They look pretty, but their tank is usually infected with ich, so I avoid. Then Petco. Also very pretty, not sick, but they just are not hardy at all. Then we have PetSmart. Healthy, generally hardy, but their colors are relatively 'boring' compaired to the other options.
 

OnTheFly

Member
Pro breeders. Most of them develop their own strains and compete at shows. That only half solves the issues you mention. While they are healthy, they are just lab rats, raised in sterile conditions with daily WCs, very warm water and no immunity to shock or disease. The nicest looking fish are inbred to some degree so it's unavoidable. Their fry are a different story. Raised in my water in "normal" tanks with substrate, weeds, normal temps and such. This generation is much tougher. I have an arrangement to sell them to a local LFS. He needs fish that aren't so delicate they will fall over dead the first time they see a community tank or less maintained water by the typical hobbyist. Anyway, IMO the safest fish to buy are young fish from another hobbyist. It's more fun to buy adults in full color but they have a tougher time making the transition to new water. There is probably somebody near you that is breeding quality stock.
 

bgclarke

Member
I've gotten my first two groups of three at the LFS. Those were purchased approximately 5 months ago.

Of the six I had, three have died (had to euthanize another one last night).

I've found a local shop that carries pure line guppies and endlers from a breeder in Toronto.
That's where I'll get more guppies in the future, IF I get any more of them.
 

OnTheFly

Member
bgclarke said:
I've gotten my first two groups of three at the LFS. Those were purchased approximately 5 months ago.

Of the six I had, three have died (had to euthanize another one last night).

I've found a local shop that carries pure line guppies and endlers from a breeder in Toronto.
That's where I'll get more guppies in the future, IF I get any more of them.
I consider myself very competent at guppy raising and I still get a similar result from pet store stock. All you can do is make sure you have sufficient minerals in your water and single dose wide spectrum Med them on day one of QT. That cuts my pain literally in half. Once they are healthy, or you get fry you are good. I have pet store guppies living outside subjected to fairly large temp range and they are very healthy. I didn't buy them last week though.
 

bgclarke

Member
The first death (and possibly the second) was my own fault as I didn't do my research and realize they needed harder water.
I remedied that and things were going well until recently.
 

OnTheFly

Member
bgclarke said:
The first death (and possibly the second) was my own fault as I didn't do my research and realize they needed harder water.
I remedied that and things were going well until recently.
They are pretty adaptable over time if they have some minerals, but a sudden change really stresses them, and modern stocks seem pretty fragile.
 
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MattS99

Member
A few years ago, my guppies were probably my hardiest fish out of all of them. The new strains today are a lot weaker, but they can be worked with. The one thing that I've noticed that's a big weakness for them nowadays is temperature, my old ones didn't handle the change well at all (haven't kept them for the last 2-3 months).
 

OnTheFly

Member
Agree Matt. When I buy my expensive stuff they were raised in water 80-85 degrees to ward off parasites. 85F is just nuts IMO . That's not a real fish. They are as delicate at LFS stuff. It seems you have to bring them back to healthy and disease resistance slowly no matter what you buy. In the 1980s I raised pretty stuff at 75F without issue. The LFS offspring I have outside are tough as nails. Born in my water and temps as low as 63F outside. I have not lost a single fish. Their LFS parents were sickly and half of them died in six weeks. That first generation in your water is a solid step towards tougher guppies IMO.

Back on your thread topic, when it's feasible for you give some fish a little more space and over a short time I think you will see some advantages over a 5G. Just give it a try and I think you will be pleased. Many of the things I once believed came into question when I tried new things. The learning is lifelong.
 
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MattS99

Member
I've kept guppies in larger tanks, even stocked a 20 long around 6 of them. I love them in larger tanks, but if you're in a pinch for space (as I was as a kid when I started this hobby) you have to get really creative with your stockings.
 

OnTheFly

Member
I don't see any guppy advantage above 20G other than you can keep a huge colony if necessary with proper maintenance. I use 5Gs occasionally when breeding but the females often cause trouble and I usually have to break them up soon.
 
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