Are Guppies Aggressive? (Reason+Prevention for aggression)

Guppies are the most common fish species that every aquarist loves to add to their home aquarium. It’s also a favorite fish among beginners, but it is necessary to know essential facts about the fish before adding them to the community tank. So, Are guppies aggressive? Let us find out.

Guppy fish are not aggressive. However, situations can develop aggressive behavior in guppies like poor water condition, aggressive tankmates, lack of food, overcrowded tank, and stress. To prevent guppies from such behavior, provide adequate water conditions, regular food, and hiding places.

We will discuss more reasons behind guppy aggression and prevention to take in this article. Also, we will discuss if we can keep our guppies in a community tank. So, let us get into it.

Signs of guppies being aggressive.

These are the signs of aggression:

  1. You will notice hiding behavior in your fish.
  2. There will be a rotted or frayed fin.
  3. Guppy fish is chasing each other.
  4. A fish in your tank passes away.

These are the common signs which indicate aggression.

But, these all conditions can also happen in other scenarios.

A male guppy will chase a female guppy for mating purposes, which is common and not aggression.

If any fish has passed away, then the last reason behind it should be aggression, as disease and infection are the primary cause.

Your guppy will usually hide if they see any threat near them, which means the presence of an aggressive tankmate.

Rotted fin can also be the cause of diseases.

Reasons behind guppy fish aggression?

There can be various reasons behind your guppy fish aggressive behavior:

  1. Your guppy is sick.
  2. Your guppies tank is overcrowded.
  3. There is not a regular supply of good nutritional food.
  4. Inadequate water condition and parameters
  5. Stress.
  6. You have added new fish to your guppies aquarium.


Guppy suffering from any disease or infections will become weak, and guppy will show aggressive behavior for hiding its weakness.

It is also possible that the remaining guppies from the school will chase the sick guppy to get it away from their school.

Overcrowded tank

An overcrowded tank can affect your guppies as they will not get enough free space to live comfortably and happily.

There will also be a deficiency of oxygen in an overcrowded tank.

Tank with overpopulation will get dirty soon, and your guppies prefer to live in clean water.

These all factors can trigger aggressiveness in your guppy fish.

Lack of food

If you do not regularly provide your guppies with enough food, your guppy will show aggressive behavior.

If you provide little food to your guppies, they will start competing for the food and act aggressively.

Inadequate water conditions

Poor water conditions and unstable water parameters will make your guppy come under stress.

In such conditions, your guppies will be vulnerable to various diseases.

Sick guppy will show aggressive behavior to protect itself from other tankmates.


Stress can cause aggressiveness in your guppy fish.

Your guppy can come under stress because of the following reasons:

  1. Inadequate water condition
  2. Unstable water parameters
  3. Aggressive tankmates
  4. Injury 
  5. Lack of nutritional food

Also read: Are My Guppies Stressed?

A new batch of fish

Your guppy will try to bully the fishes you have added to their aquarium.

Once the newly added fish becomes normal for your guppies after a couple of days, your guppies will exist such aggressive behavior.

Are male guppies aggressive?

In comparison with female guppies, male guppies are more aggressive.

If you keep only male guppies in an aquarium, then it will make them aggressive as they will not be able to mate.

Male guppies will become territorial and will show aggressive behavior if kept alone.

Only male guppies in an aquarium will chase each other, nib fins, which can make your guppy come under critical condition.

They will bully each other, but they will also try to bully other tankmates if you have added other tankmates after some time in your male guppies aquarium.

Sometimes male guppies will bully each other, and sometimes the male guppies will create a gang and bully an individual male guppy.

Are female guppies aggressive?

Female guppies are peaceful and social fish. Female guppies will love to live with other tankmates and interact with them.

Usually, male guppies’ presence in an aquarium with female guppies results in mating.

Male guppies constantly chase female guppies for mating, which can sometimes make female guppies harassed if they are not interested in mating.

In such a case, female guppies try to hide with male guppies all day, making them helpless, and in this way, aggressive behavior occurs.

Female guppies will show aggression to other female guppies in such cases. It is not at all intentional.

Can guppies hurt each other?

Male and female guppies may hurt each other if there is a presence of a bullying or aggressive guppy in your aquarium.

They will bully each other by chasing and nipping fins.

The presence of aggressive guppies will increase the possibility of guppies hurting each other.

Nipped fins can make your guppy vulnerable to various infections, resulting in the passing away of your injured guppy.

How to solve aggression issues in guppies?

Keep care of these things in case of avoiding aggressive behavior in guppies:

  1. Provide them with an adequate water condition with stable water parameters.
  2. Provide them a good quality nutritional food regularly.
  3. Make sure that your guppies aquarium is not overcrowded.
  4. Provide them enough space to live comfortably and happily.
  5. Avoid keeping only male guppies in your aquarium.
  6. Keep perfect male to female ratio of guppies in your aquarium.
  7. Avoid adding aggressive and non-compatible tankmates.
  8. Keep a large number of guppies.
  9. Add lots of hiding places in your guppies aquarium.

An adequate water condition

Water temperature72-82°F
Water ph level6.8-7.8

Poor water conditions and unstable water parameters can affect your fish and come under stress.

Poor water quality will trigger aggressiveness in your guppy fish.

Unstable water parameters are equally responsible for guppies’ aggression with poor water conditions.

Provide your guppy an ideal water parameters and a good water condition to avoid such aggressive behavior.

Nutritional food

Irregular and poor supply of food will make your guppy fish aggressive.

Make sure to provide your guppies with nutritional food in a regular manner.

Guppy FoodServing QuantityNo of Times
Veggie pelletsOne pinch at a time2-3 times a day
Brine shrimpOne pinch at a time1-2 times a week
Mosquito larvae10-15 pieces2-3 times a week
BloodwormsOne pinch at a time1-2 times a week
Tubifex wormOne pinch at a time1 time a week

Avoid overcrowded tank.

An overcrowded tank will make it difficult for your guppies to live comfortably.

An overcrowded tank will result in your guppies being aggressive.

Ensure that you don’t have an overcrowded tank and that your guppies have enough space to swim freely.

Provide large space.

Keep your guppies in a large tank to get enough space to live comfortably and happily.

If you have a 20-gallon tank, then you can keep an average of 10 guppies.

Guppy FishNo of Guppies
Male guppy (0.6-1.4 inches)10-12
Female guppy (1.2-2.4 inches)5-7
Both male and female guppy5-8
Guppies you can keep in a 20 gallon tank

Avoid keeping only male guppies.

Keeping only male guppies will make them territorial and aggressive in the absence of female guppies because they will not get to mate.

Always make sure to add both male and female guppies to your aquarium.

Maintain male to female ratio of guppies.

Keeping more male guppies and fewer female guppies will result in female guppies getting chased by male guppies constantly for mating.

Always keep more female guppies than male guppies to eliminate male guppies’ constant chasing and aggressive behavior.

There should be a ratio of 2:1 which means two female guppies per one male guppy.

You can also keep three female guppies per male guppy.

Avoid adding aggressive tankmates.

Aggressive tankmates will stress out your guppy fish.

For protecting themselves from aggressive tankmates, your guppy fish will also act aggressively sometimes.

So, make sure to add only compatible tankmates with your guppies.

Keep a large group of guppies.

Keeping guppies in a large group will help to prevent guppy from being aggressive.

Guppies prefer to live in groups. So you should at least keep 6-7 guppies in your aquarium.

Also read: Can Guppy Fish Live Alone?

Add lots of hiding places.

Hiding places will help your guppies to hide from aggressive tankmates.

Guppies prefer to take a rest in hiding places. Hiding places also provide safety to your guppies.

Guppies suffering from illness or female pregnant guppy will hide from other tankmates by staying in hiding places.

The best way to provide them hiding spot is to add lots of live aquatic plants.

There are also decors present in the market, like caves, logs, and ornaments that you can use to create a hiding place for your guppies.

Can guppies live comfortably with other tankmates?

Guppies will love to live with other tankmates if you keep them with compatible tankmates.

Consider these things when you add other tankmates in your guppies aquarium:

  1. Water condition and parameters.
  2. Fish behavior.
  3. Dietary needs.
  4. Overcrowded tank.

The requirement of water conditions and parameters should be similar for both guppies and other tankmates to make them all live comfortably.

Aggressive, slow-moving, and large-sized fish is not a match for keeping in your guppies aquarium.

With all these conditions, the dietary needs should also be similar to guppies and other tankmates, ensuring that there is no lack of food.

These are some best tankmates you can keep with your guppies:

  1. Mollies
  2. Gourami
  3. Tetras
  4. Shrimps
  5. Platies
  6. Cory catfish
  7. Swordtails

What can we do with an aggressive fish?

It is essential to take immediate action to prevent your fish from injuries when an aggressive fish is present in your aquarium.

If you have a fish that is constantly bullying and attacking the other fish in your aquarium, it would be best to separate that aggressive fish and place them on another tank for some days.

If you found any signs of injury, then immediately move your injured fish to another tank.

Look for signs of disease or injury regularly and if you detect one, then run a proper treatment first, and when the injured fish recovers, you can add it back to the home aquarium.

Let the aggressive fish live in a separate tank for some days and monitor if it is getting change in its behavior and becoming calm.

If your aggressive fish is not changing its aggressive behavior, it would be best to sell it or gift it to someone.


Guppies are peaceful fish and don’t have aggressive behavior.

Poor water conditions, overcrowded tanks, aggressive and non-compatible tankmates, unstable water parameters, lack of food, and stress will result in your guppy fish showing aggressive behavior.

Provide your guppy with stress free environment and a good water condition to thrive and prevent aggressive behavior.

Reference: ResearchGate, NCBI

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