Can Guppy Fish Live In Tap Water?

Guppies are hardy fish that can live in a wide range of water condition, and every beginner prefer to add them to their aquarium because of their non-demanding nature, but, Can guppy fish live in tap water? Let us find out.

Guppies cannot live in tap water if it is not de-chlorinated. However, you can keep your guppies in tap water after de-chlorinating the water. Tap water contains chlorine, hard metals, and other chemicals which can harm your guppy fish. Consider using a water conditioner to eliminate such chemicals.

This article will discuss how to prepare the tap water before placing the guppy and how long the guppy can survive in tap water. So let us get into it.

Why is untreated tap water harmful to guppy fish?

Keeping your guppy in untreated tap water is harmful to your guppy fish, even for a short period.

Regular tap water contains chlorine, chloramine, zinc, and lead, which is not harmful to humans but can affect your guppies.

Chlorinated water can poison your guppy fish.

Chlorine is usually used to disinfect the water and eliminate bacteria like E Coli in public water systems.

The chlorine present in the water is not harmful to us but harmful for your guppy fish.

Chlorinated water can make your guppy come under critical conditions.

Chlorine directly targets the gills of your guppy and makes it harder for your guppy to breathe.

Fishes gills are very sensitive to harmful chemicals present in water, and if not treated before placing your guppy in tap water, it can be an issue.

Fishes struggling to breathe because of damaged gills can lead to the passing away of your fish.

So, it is essential to keep your guppy in treated water that doesn’t contain chemicals that can harm your guppies.

Chlorinated water removes beneficial bacteria from your guppies tank.

With time, when the nitrogen cycle gets completed, we have good bacteria present in our guppies aquarium.

Beneficial bacteria develop through a regular water cycle and are present in the substrate and filter of your guppies aquarium.

Beneficial bacteria do the work of converting the ammonia present in your guppies aquarium into nitrate.

Ammonia spike in your guppies aquarium can result in guppy coming under critical condition.

Different areas contain different types of tap water.

One can contain a high volume of chlorine, and one can hold metals, lead, copper, and chloramine.

All these are harmful to your guppies. So, it doesn’t matter where you live because tap water needs to be treated before placing your fish into it.

How to prepare suitable tap water for guppy fish?

Treating tap water is essential before placing your guppy into it.

To make the tap water suitable for your guppy fish, you have to make the tap water free from chlorine, metals, ammonia, chloramine.

These all can harm your guppy fish and come into critical condition.

You should use a water conditioner before placing your guppy in tap water for treating tap water.

Water conditioner

A water conditioner is used to eliminate the chlorine content from the water.

You can use a seachem prime aquarium water conditioner for treating tap water.

Using this water conditioner will not only eliminate chlorine content but will also clean the tap water from:

  1. Ammonia
  2. Chloramine
  3. Nitrite
  4. Heavy metals

You can find this product on amazon.

You can also use another method if you don’t want to use a water conditioner.

You can leave the water for one day to get the tap water free from chlorine content.

To ensure no chlorine is present in tap water, you should keep tap water for more than 24 hours.

But, this method will only make your water free from chlorine and not other harmful chemicals.

How long can guppy survive in untreated tap water?

When we do a regular water change, we prefer to keep our fish outside the tank in a bucket filled with tank water.

We don’t suggest keeping your fish in untreated tap water even while doing a water change.

However, your guppies can survive for a couple of hours in tap water, but we are talking about survival and not living comfortably and happily.

Untreated tap water can cause stress to your guppies as a small amount of chlorine can also affect your guppies in many ways.

Never directly fill your guppies aquarium with tap water without treating it with a water conditioner.

One more important thing you should know is never to add a water conditioner when your guppy is present in that water.

Guppy fish ideal water temperature

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

Providing your guppies with a stable water parameter is essential for their health and growth.

Not only a stable water parameter, but an adequate water condition is also equally crucial for your guppy’s proper growth and development.

Your guppies will thrive in a water temperature between 72-82°F.

Make sure to provide your guppy a ph level between 6.8-7.8.

Also read: Guppy Fish Minimum Water Temperature

Does guppy require a filter?

Before knowing if our guppy requires a filter in their aquarium, we should know what work filter does:

  1. Filter helps in keeping your fish aquarium clean.
  2. The filter also makes a good source of oxygen by agitating the water’s surface.
  3. The filter keeps the water free from toxic chemicals like ammonia and nitrite.

Guppies don’t produce much waste, and you can keep guppies without having a filter, but we don’t recommend it.

However, if you don’t want to have a filter in your guppies aquarium, cycle your tank first without having guppies and change 30-50% of water weekly.

You should also add lots of live aquatic plants if you are not using a filter in your guppies aquarium.

Also read: Do Guppies Need Filters? (Surviving Without Filter)


Guppies cannot live in tap water.

Tap water contains chlorine which is harmful to your guppy.

Chlorine directly affects your guppies skin and gills, making them suffocate and harder to breathe.

Getting the water Dechlorinate before placing your guppies is essential for your guppy’s health.

You can use a seachem prime water conditioner for removing chlorine and other harmful chemicals like ammonia, nitrite, and hard metals from the tap water.

We don’t recommend not using a filter in your guppies aquarium.

However, if you don’t want to use a filter, then make sure to perform a water cycle first, adding plants and performing a regular water change.

Reference: ResearchGate, NCBI,

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