Lifespan of guppies. (How Long Does Guppies Live?)

Guppies are hardy fish and can live in a wide range of conditions, and this is why beginners love to add them to their aquarium. However, guppy being the most common fish for every aquarist sometimes raises the question, how long do guppies live? What is the lifespan of guppies? Let us find out.

In general, 1-3 years is the average lifespan of guppies. However, it can get affected by various factors. Good guppy genetics, providing adequate and stable water parameters, stress-free environment, and good quality nutritional food will help improve and extend the lifespan of your guppies.

This article will discuss how we can ensure guppy’s long lifespan and which guppy live longer, males or females. Also, we will discuss if water filters can help extend our guppies lifespan. So, let us get into it.

What can we do to ensure guppies’ long lifespan?

These are the ways to ensure your guppy’s long and happy lifespan:

  1. Genetics of a guppy.
  2. Providing good quality food.
  3. Create a stress-free environment for them. 
  4. Providing ideal water parameters.

Genetics of a guppy

The care will not do anything if you have a guppy with bad genetics.

In the majority of cases, guppies with bad genetics pass away before reaching the adult stage.

Make sure to buy guppies from a known, experienced breeder who breeds guppies with good genetics.

Doing this will be a starting point for ensuring the long lifespan of your guppies.

Provide good quality food.

Food also plays a major role in ensuring your guppies’ long and healthy lifespan with good genetics.

Make sure to feed your guppies a variety of food.

Guppies are omnivorous fish species and will feed on anything you serve.

It is crucial to feed a variety of food to your guppies for their health and happy life.

You can go for anything, homemade food or commercial food, to feed it to your guppies.

If you choose commercial food to feed your guppies, make sure to go for a well-reputed brand.

You will find a vast range of commercial food online or in a pet store, like freeze-dried tubifex worms, Freezzed earthworms, veggie pellets, and dried brine shrimp.

There is also a variety of homemade food you can feed to your guppies.

Ensure providing minerals and vitamins to your guppies when feeding homemade food.

You can feed your guppies cooked or fresh vegetables like cucumber, green beans, carrots, etc.

Feeding live food like brine shrimp, daphnia, and vinegar eels will ensure keeping your guppies healthy.

You can feed homemade or commercial food whatever you want, only make sure to provide them with a good variety of food.

Also read: Best Homemade Food For Guppies?

Provide ideal water parameters.

Guppies are hardy fish and can live in a wide range of water conditions.

But, providing them with the condition which comes under the range in which they will live happily and thrive is necessary.

These are the water parameters in which your guppies will thrive:

  1. Provide water temperature between 72-82 °F.
  2. Maintain a water pH level between 6.8-7.8.
  3. Water hardness should be between 8-12.
  4. There should be 0ppm nitrite, 0ppm ammonia, and under 10ppm nitrate.

Water parameters play a primary role in ensuring your guppy’s long and healthy lifespan.

Usually, we use tap water for our guppies, and also it is best for your guppies.

But, tap water contains chloramine, chlorine, and hard metals like chemicals which are not good for your guppies.

Using a water conditioner is essential for treating water before adding it to your guppy’s aquarium.

I prefer to use Seachem prime water conditioner to treat tap water.

Seachem prime water conditioner will help you eliminate chemicals like ammonia, nitrite, chlorine, chloramine, and heavy metals.

Creating a stress-free environment for them.

Ensure all these things to provide your guppy fish with a stress-free environment:

  1. Adequate and stable water parameters
  2. Good water conditions
  3. Avoid adding aggressive fish to your guppy tank.
  4. Avoid overfeeding them
  5. Avoid overcrowding your guppy fish tank.
  6. Add plenty of live aquatic plants.
  7. Run proper maintenance of your guppy fish tank.
  8. Keep them in a large group to form a good school for them.

What affects your guppy fish health?

These are some factors that will affect your guppy fish health:

  1. Inadequate water conditions.
  2. Non compatible and aggressive tankamtes.
  3. Overpopulated tank.
  4. Lack of hiding places in an aquarium.
  5. Inappropriate male to female ratio.
  6. Too much light.
  7. Lack of supply of food.

Poor water conditions

Poor water conditions will make your guppies come under stress.

It can be when you are not providing them with an ideal water temperature or there are chemicals like ammonia in the water.

This can make your guppies come under stress.

With adequate water conditions, stable water parameters are also essential to prevent your guppies from coming under stress.

Aggressive tankmates

Deciding which fish to add to your guppies aquarium is a crucial decision you should take by looking at many aspects.

Guppies are peaceful fish and will be compatible with living with nonaggressive fish.

Make sure not to add slow-moving fish and big fish whose mouths can fit your guppy easily.

Adding fish like angelfish will stress out your guppies as they are very aggressive fish.

Overpopulated tank

Too many guppies in a tank will make your guppy come under stress.

An overcrowded tank will lack oxygen in the water, and your guppies will suffer from breathing.

Also, your guppies will not have enough space to swim freely, and as a result, they will come under stress.

Lack of hiding places

Usually, guppies don’t hide when they feel safe. But, female guppies can hide from male guppies as male guppies can stress them out by chasing to reproduce.

If there is no hiding place, then your female guppies will come under stress because of male guppies, and also, sick guppies prefer to hide from other tankmates to protect themselves.

Add hiding places so that guppies can hide when they feel unsafe. The best is adding live aquatic plants.

Live aquatic plants will make a good hiding place for your guppies and help improve the water quality.

Male to female ratio

More males than females will make your female guppy come under stress because of the constant chasing of male guppy to mate.

Always add three female guppies per 1 male guppy or at least have a 2:1 ratio which means two female guppies per one male guppy.

Too much light

Guppies are diurnal and sleep at night like we humans.

Guppies need darkness to sleep. However, keeping lights on for too long will cause stress in your guppies, and they can even suffer from critical conditions.

Keep the lights on for only five to six hours if you have artificial light in your aquarium.

Lack of supply of food

If your guppies do not get a regular supply of food, then they will come under stress.

Make sure to regularly provide your guppies with nutritional food to prevent them from coming under stress.

Which guppy will live longer, male or female?

There has not been any research on which guppies can live longer, male guppy or female guppy.

However, both male and female guppies will live longer if we keep them separate.

This is because female guppies will be weak after mating many times and releasing fry, and the same goes with male guppies when they will mate with female guppies constantly.

How long do wild guppies live?

Wild guppies will have an average of two years of lifespan like a pet guppy.

Male wild guppies mature at 6-7 weeks, whereas female wild guppies mature at 9-10 weeks.

Wild guppies lifespan is the same as pet guppy, but various factors can affect it.

Wild guppy swims around bigger fish in the wild, and bigger fish can hunt them down.

Birds will also try to hunt wild guppies.

There is no surety of stable water temperature in the wild as it can get affected by extreme weather changes. Sometimes there will be too cold in which wild fish will suffer.

The possibility of a flood or too much rain is always there in the wild.

However, wild guppies are harder than our pet guppies, but they cannot tolerate such unstable water parameters and conditions.

Chemicals dumped in the water can clear off the entire wild guppy population.

Food can also affect wild guppies. Usually, guppies can live for one to two weeks without food, but the scarcity of food will surely affect the numbers of wild guppies.

Will guppy live longer if I add a filter to my tank?

Guppy’s lifespan will not be affected if you are using a filter.

However, a filter helps clean the water and remove ammonia and nitrite from the water.

You can keep your guppies in an aquarium without adding a filter by providing them with the necessary water conditions.

Water parameters and conditions do affect the lifespan of your guppies.

Therefore, maintaining parameters and conditions will help you improve the lifespan of your guppy fish.

Also read: Do Guppies Need Filters?


Guppies live for an average of 1-3 years.

Many factors can affect your guppy’s lifespans, like poor water conditions and parameters, stress, bad guppy genetics, and lack of food.

Provide your guppy with good nutritional food, ideal water parameters, and stress-free environment to ensure their long lifespan.

Reference: Journals, NCBI, ResearchGate, Wikipedia

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