Due to their low-maintenance, attractive appearance and peaceful temperament, guppy fish are becoming more and more popular among aquarists.
When someone considers buying guppy fish, one of the things that they want to know will be the lifespan of these fish. Basically, they have a 2-year lifespan, which is far less than most fish. But if you grasp the feeding method and be more patient, you can have them in your tank for more than 5 years.
In this article, I’m going to talk about the factors that influence the lifespan of guppy fish and how to prolong their lifespan. With the knowledge below, you’ll know how to better take care of the guppy fish to let them stay with you longer.
Will the environment influence the lifespan of guppy fish?
The environment here means their habitat and the fish tank. Will the lifespan of guppy fish in their habitat be different from those kept in a small tank? The answer is definitely positive.
Most fish live longer in the wild compared to in captivity, but guppy fish do the opposite. In the wild, guppy fish can only live for 2-3 years while in captivity, they are supposed to live up to 5 years.
The reasons behind the short lifespan of wild guppy fish are complicated. In the wild, guppy fish will suffer from extreme weather such as freezing winter. They also need to worry about the attack of predators.
Moreover, the food is hard to get due to a great number of competitors. And more chemicals poured into the water by humans have deteriorated the water quality, making it hard for guppies to live.
Other factors that determine the lifespan of guppy fish
Except for the place they are living in, there are other factors influencing the lifespan of guppy fish, which have been listed below:
1. Genetic factor
Have you ever noticed that if the parents are short, their children will not be tall; if the parents are fat, their children will not be thin. This is how genetic factors influence humans, and it also applies to fish. If everything you do is correct and suitable, but your guppies still die, the reason might be they are born to have a short life.
2. Poor water quality
The most important thing about fish-keeping is maintaining good water quality. People can’t live long in a polluted environment, not to mention fish. The water in your fish tank contains a lot of toxins decomposed from the waste your fish produce, the decay plants and the dead body of your fish. If you don’t clean the water on a regular basis, the water will be contaminated, thus leading to a short lifespan of fish.
3. Improper feeding
Feeding fish is not so simple, you should know what food your fish eat, where they eat, and how much and how often they eat.
Guppy fish can live without food for about 2 weeks, but they are just alive. If you check on their health, you’ll find they can’t live longer. So feeding matters a lot in a fish’s lifespan.
Under great pressure, people will get sick or be depressed, and so do fish. Guppy fish will suffer from stress because of many reasons. The fluctuation in water temperature, the changes in water conditions, the attack of other fish in the same tank and the overstock of a fish tank will bring stress to guppy fish.
As we all know, stress is the main cause of many diseases since it will weaken the immune system of your fish. Once they become sick and can’t get proper treatment, they will die soon.
Do male and female guppy fish have the same lifespan?
Generally speaking, the average lifespan of each guppy fish is about 2 years, but the actual lifespan differs for individuals. So we can not tell whether male guppies live longer than females or not. But females will have a shorter lifespan than average if they get pregnant too often.
Pregnancy can be stressful for female guppies. Guppies are live-bearers and easy to produce. If the ratio of male and female guppies in your fish tank is not proper, the female fish will be pregnant frequently, and this is harmful to their health. So it’s not strange to find female guppies live shorter.
To avoid this from happening, you should pay attention to the ratio of guppies. The suggested ratio is one male with two females. This can allow the female guppy to take a rest after pregnancy and reduce stress.
How to prolong the lifespan of guppy fish?
To know how to prolong the lifespan of guppy fish, you should take a look at how to keep guppy fish first. In the following, we’ll give you detailed guidance on how to better take care of guppy fish.
1. Choose a suitable tank
The first thing you should consider is the tank size for the guppy fish. Choosing a tank with suitable size can help get rid of overstock.
Guppy fish are small-sized fish that can only grow up to 2 inches. According to how many guppy fish you want to keep, the tank size can be different. They are also schooling fish that prefer to live in groups. So you can prepare a 10-gallon tank to settle 7-8 of them.
2. Add necessary accessories
Water temperature fluctuation will make your guppy feel stressed, so you should maintain a stable water temperature.
Guppy fish are tropical fish that enjoy the warm water. The range of water temperature is 74–82°F (23–28°C). The room temperature is supposed to be within the range most of the time, but in summer and winter, the temperature may not be in this range. So, you should rely on a heater to reach and maintain the temperature.
Guppy fish won’t produce much waste but it’s also necessary to buy a filter. A filter can help remove the waste and toxins in the water and generate oxygen.
Guppy fish don’t require too much light, but if you’ve added some plants to your tank, you may need a light to promote their growth. Plants play an important role in the aquatic environment, I’ll recommend you buy some and also choose the right light.
Guppies will feel stressed for some reason. In addition, to take measures to keep them away from pressure, you can also do something to comfort them. One of the easiest methods you can take is to add some decorative stuff for them to hide, such as rocks, plants, driftwood and caves.
3. Choose the right tank mates
Tank mates are their companions for them, which can make them feel happy. But if you pick up the wrong partners, you’ll put your guppy fish in danger. Guppy fish have a beautiful tail that will attract some fin nippers to bite, causing injuries. Thus, you should avoid fish that are fin nippers. Also, you should let off some big and aggressive fish considering the small size and peaceful temperament of guppies.
So what kind of fish can you keep with guppy fish? Here is a short list for you:
- Platy fish
- Zebra Danios
4. Feed them properly
Firstly, you should know what guppy fish eat. As omnivores, guppy fish like live foods, such as blood worms and brine shrimps. They can also eat pellets, flakes, and frozen and freeze-dried food. Sometimes, they will eat the algae in your fish tank if they feel hungry.
Secondly, you should know where they eat. Guppy fish are top feeders, which means they will swim to the top of the tank to take in food. So you should feed them with food that will float on the top or won’t sink to the bottom too soon.
Finally, you need to pay attention to how much and how often they eat. Guppy fish need to eat 2-3 times per day and do not feed them with food that they can’t eat within 2 minutes, or you will overfeed them. After 2 minutes, remove the uneaten food as soon as possible to avoid water contamination and overfeeding.
5. Maintain the tank regularly
It’s complicated to maintain a fish tank, but if you can follow the instructions below, you’ll offer your guppy fish a comfortable and clean environment.
Tank maintenance can be divided into daily maintenance and weekly maintenance.
Daily maintenance contains the water test, equipment checking and waste removal, which are simple and not time-consuming.
Weekly maintenance means tank cleaning, which will cost more time. To clean a fish tank, you should:
- Get everything prepared
- Dechlorinate tap water
- Clean the glass of the fish tank
- Clean the substrate in your fish tank
- Use a net to collect the visible waste floating in the water
- Clean the decorations and equipment (filter is not included) in your fish tank
- Clean the filter after 2 weeks
- Change 10-20% of water
- Test the water and pour it into the fish tank
Guppies are short-lived fish that can only live for 2-3 years, but they can live longer in good care. In this article, we’ve discussed the factors that will influence the lifespan of guppy fish and how to take care of guppy fish so as to prolong their lifespan.
People will feel sad when they lose something, especially when they shouldn’t have lost it. I can imagine how sad you will be when you lose your guppy at the wrong time, so please pay more attention to them and learn how to properly treat them. And I hope this article can help you in keeping guppy fish.
Back to Fish Care