Can Guppy Fish Live Alone?

Most fish like to live in groups and a community fish tank, especially schooling fish. Guppies are not schooling fish, but can guppy fish live alone? Let us find out.

Guppies cannot live alone as they are social fish and prefer to live in company. Therefore, you should add other compatible tankmates to your guppies aquarium. You can have only guppies in your aquarium rather than keeping a single guppy. Alone guppy can come under stress and suffer various issues.

We will discuss the compatible tankmates we can add to our guppies aquarium, the best male to female ratio to keep in an aquarium, and more. So let us get into it.

Can we keep a single guppy fish?

In case you are planning to have a single guppy fish because of the following reasons:

  1. You don’t have enough space to set up a decent size aquarium.
  2. You are currently not experienced enough to manage a group of guppies.

If these are some of the reasons you are planning to add a single guppy fish, we don’t recommend doing it.

The best way of keeping guppies is one male and two to three female guppies together in an aquarium.

Keeping your guppies in this pattern will make them live comfortably and happily.

This pattern will ensure that there is no bullying among guppies and they don’t come under stress.

Keeping one male and two female guppies will not make female guppies come under stress, as male guppies chase female guppies regularly to reproduce. This ratio will eliminate this issue.

If your single guppy is happy and satisfied, you should also not let your guppy live alone.

If you want to keep a single guppy fish, you should consider keeping it with other compatible tankmates.

Keeping only male guppy fish.

If you have only a single male guppy and plan to add more male guppies in case of providing company, then it can be an issue.

Male guppies living in an aquarium can become aggressive and territorial.

They can bully each other, nib on each other fins, and can injure themselves.

Injuries can result into causing infection to your male guppies.

It is best to keep one male guppy with two to three female guppies.

Keeping one male with two to three female guppy will eliminate the issues of aggression and territorial behavior from male guppy.

But, there are other things to be taken care of while keeping male and female guppy together in the same tank.

Male and female guppies in the same tank will result in breeding.

Preventing your guppies aquarium from overcrowding is essential.

Female guppies can produce 200 guppy fry on an average in one pregnancy.

The best way to prevent your guppies aquarium from overcrowding is to let the guppy fry live with adult guppies.

Adult guppies will feed on guppy fry, and in this way, you can control the number of guppy fry in your guppies aquarium.

You can remove the hiding places as guppy fry will use that hiding place to hide from adult guppies until they become large enough to get fit into guppies’ mouths.

Another best way is adding a carnivore fish to your guppies aquarium to control the population of guppy fry.

Female betta fish will do the work. Female betta fish is a carnivore fish species and will feed on guppy fry.

Avoid adding male betta fish, as bettas are semi-aggressive fish, and try to attack your adult guppies.

Keeping only female guppy fish.

It is good to keep female guppies to give company to your single female guppy and solve the loneliness problem.

Keeping female guppies will avoid bullying and aggressive behavior when kept without female guppies in an aquarium.

There will also not be an issue of the overcrowded tank with guppy fry.

You need to know that your female guppies can be pregnant even if no male guppy is present in your home aquarium.

This can be possible if the female guppy has already reproduced with the male guppy before you add them to your aquarium.

There are some disadvantages of keeping female guppies, like female guppies are less attractive as they don’t have bright colors like male guppies and are also larger than male guppies.

However, we will consider adding other compatible tankmates with your female guppy.

It will provide your female guppy with a fantastic community of fishes to live with; your aquarium will also look incredible and attractive.

Can we keep guppy with other tankmates?

If you don’t want to keep more than one guppy, adding other tankmates is best to avoid your single guppy feeling lonely.

Guppies come under non-aggressive fish species and are very social also.

Your guppy will enjoy living with other tankmates.

It is essential to add a compatible friendly fish when deciding to make a community aquarium. Otherwise, there will be bullying, aggressiveness, stress, and injuries.

These are some of the best tankmates you can add to your guppies aquarium:

  1. Molly
  2. Gourami
  3. Tetras
  4. Platies
  5. Swordtails
  6. Shrimps

Guppies are compatible with fishes that are not aggressive and are not big enough to eat them.

There are other very essential things to consider when planning to make a community fish tank:

  1. Water parameters
  2.  Dietary needs
  3. Size of an aquarium
  4. Breeding issues
  5. Overstocking

Providing the ideal range of water parameters to all the fishes present in the aquarium is essential otherwise, they can go under stress, and there can be a critical condition for your fish.

Make sure to add fishes with the same dietary needs as guppies, so they don’t face any shortage issues and get all their nutritional needs required to thrive.

Don’t make a mistake by keeping your fish in a small aquarium just by looking at their size.

Your fish needs enough space to live comfortably.

There are other problems of small size aquariums like small size aquarium will be dirty soon, and there will always be a risk of ammonia spike, which is very dangerous for your fish health.

Fishes like guppies can breed in excess if kept both male and female together in the same aquarium, leading to overcrowded tanks and inadequate water conditions.

Ensure to add fish of the same gender to avoid the overpopulation issue in your aquarium.

Overstocking can lead to problems like deficiency of oxygen, water being dirty soon, and increasing toxin levels, which is very harmful to your fish health.

Make sure to add fish with your guppies, which are not fin-nippers, as male guppies have a colorful and attractive fin, and fishes who are fin nippers can end up nipping guppies fin.

How many guppies can we keep in an aquarium?

The number of guppies to keep in an aquarium entirely depends on the size of your aquarium.

Below is the table showing how many guppies you can keep in a 20-gallon tank:

ParticularsNo of guppies
Male guppies (0.6-1.4 inches)10-12
Female guppies (1.2-2.4)5-7
Both male and female guppies5-8

You can follow the one inch per one-gallon rule, which states to keep one inch of fish per one gallon of water.

The best male to female ratio of guppy is 2:1 or 3:1, which is two or three female guppies with one male guppy.

Avoid overstocking your tank with too many guppies as it can lead to various problems, and your guppy can suffer from several issues.

Also read: How Many Guppies In a 20 Gallon Tank

Can guppy fry live alone?

Like adult guppies, guppy fry also likes to live in a community and interact with other friendly fishes.

They will love to live with small friendly fish.

Guppy fry is very tiny in size, and there is a risk in keeping them in a community tank as adult fishes will treat guppy fry as their food.

Placing them in a breeder box in the community tank will fulfill the purpose of letting them live with other fish, and also, they will be safe there.

Also read: Can Guppy Fry Survive In a Community Tank?


Guppies are social fish that prefer to live in a company. I don’t recommend keeping a single guppy as they can come under stress being alone.

Guppies are shoaling fish and love living in a community tank to interact with other fish.

Keeping only male guppies in a tank will lead to bullying and territorial issues between them. So instead, consider keeping two to three female guppies per one male guppy.

Make sure to add compatible friendly tankmates with your guppy if you plan to have a community tank.

Reference: Wikipedia, NCBI

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