Can Guppy Fish Live Without Oxygen?

The very common question that the beginners ask me before or during their fishkeeping journey is, Can guppy live without oxygen? So let’s know.

Guppy cannot live without oxygen. They need oxygenated water for their survival. Guppies breathe through their gills which pump water, taking out the oxygen from the water. To increase the oxygen level in the water, the air pump and air-stone play a vital role. Adding plants also do the work.

We will discuss different ways by which we can increase the oxygen level in water for our guppies in this article. So, let us know all about it.

How long can guppy survive without oxygen?

Guppy and all other fish cant survive without oxygen.

Oxygen is essential for all fish.

Your guppy will not survive for too long without oxygen.

However, guppy can survive for up to two days in shallow water conditions.

How does oxygen change works in water?

We all know that water molecules are created by H2O (Two hydrogens, one oxygen)

Water contains oxygen, but guppies cannot use that for their survival.

Guppies need O2 (Oxygen molecules) to survive.

There are two ways of adding oxygen molecules into the water for your guppies:

  1. Add fresh water to the tank.
  2. Agitating the water’s surface with the help of an air pump or air-stone.

Keep in mind that the more the surface area, the greater gas exchange will occur, and there will be more oxygen for your guppies.

Possible reasons behind the low oxygen level in your fish tank?

The temperature of the water plays a vital role in the oxygen level of your fish tank.

Coldwater carries more dissolved oxygen than warm water.

Guppies prefer to live in warm water.

Some chemicals and medicine you use for your guppies can lower the level of oxygen from the water.

However, you can increase oxygen levels by using an air pump or an air-stone.

Does guppy require a water pump or an air stone?

Guppies and every other aquatic animal require oxygen to survive.

To increase the level of oxygen, movement in the surface area of the water is essential.

For the agitation in the surface area of the water, an air pump or an airstone is needed.

If you want to increase the level of oxygen in your guppies aquarium, then you should use an air pump or an air-stone.

Can guppy survive without an air pump?

The only use of an air pump is to create movement in the surface area of the water.

Still surface of the water cannot absorb the oxygen from the air.

Adding an air pump to your guppies aquarium is the most effective way to increase the level of oxygen in water by agitating the water’s surface.

You can also keep the oxygen level maintained without an air pump by doing such things:

  1. Change the water on a regular basis. 
  2. Add filter to your guppies aquarium.
  3. Add lots of live aquatic plants to your guppies aquarium.
  4. Add wavemakers to your guppies aquarium.

You can also make sure that your aquarium has a large surface, as a large surface will increase the level of gas exchange from the air.

Is filter required in an aquarium for guppy?

The requirement of the filter depends on the pollution in your aquarium.

If you have lots of live aquatic plants and do a regular water change of 70% weekly, then there is no need for a filter in your guppies tank.

Guppies don’t produce lots of waste.

However, we always suggest adding any internal or external filter in your fish aquarium as it helps clean the water and clears harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrates.

For knowing if guppies need a filter and how they can survive without a filter, you can read my article Do Guppy Need Filter

How do aquatic plants help in an aquarium?

Adding live aquatic plants in your guppy aquarium helps produce oxygen in an aquarium.

Using an air pump or air-stone also helps your guppy provide oxygen, but they are too noisy.

By adding lots of live aquatic plants to your guppies aquarium, you can get rid of the air pump and air-stone.

Your guppies will help plants produce oxygen by releasing CO2.

Guppies will also produce waste which will turn into nitrates.

All live aquatic plants need to continue the process of photosynthesis and release oxygen are:

  1. Light 
  2. CO2
  3. Nutrients (nitrates)

These are some of the plants which you can add to your guppies aquarium:

  1. Java moss
  2. Amazon Sword
  3. Duckweed 
  4. Guppy grass

Also read: Do Guppy Eat Plants


Guppy or any other fish cannot live without oxygen. Therefore, oxygenated water is essential for your guppy fish.

You can increase the level of oxygen in water by adding an air pump or air-stone in your guppies aquarium.

Air pump and air-stone do the work of agitating the water’s surface.

Adding lots of live aquatic plants will also help increase the oxygen level in the water.

Reference: NCBI, ResearchGate

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