What To Do If My Guppy Is Stressed?

Guppies are peaceful fish species and live in freshwater. However, they can come under stress easily if they find anything unusual around their surroundings. It is essential to know how we can calm down our guppy fish in stress. So, what to do if my guppy is stressed? Let us find out.

The primary reason for guppy fish stress is poor water quality, overcrowded tank, and aggressive tankmates. To make your guppy calm from stress, provide adequate water conditions, feed regularly, create hiding spots and avoid overcrowding your guppies aquarium.

This article will discuss more ways to calm down our stressed guppy and why guppy fish comes under stress. So, let us get into it.

How to know if my guppy is stressed?

These are the symptoms that indicate that your guppy is stressed:

  1. Your guppy will be less active.
  2. Your guppy will avoid eating as it will lose its appetite.
  3. You will notice your guppy swimming erratically.
  4. Your guppy will start losing its natural and beautiful colors.
  5. You will notice your guppy gasping at the surface of the water.
  6. An injured guppy will come under stress, so injury is also a symptom of guppy is in stress.
  7. Detect for any physical changes like white spots, bloated stomach, or bent spine as your guppy may be suffering from a disease that is causing stress to the guppy. 

Also read: Are My Guppies Stressed?

What are the causes of guppy fish coming under stress?

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

  1. Aggressive tankmates
  2. Overcrowded tank
  3. Inadequate water conditions and unstable water parameters
  4. Lack of oxygen 
  5. Poor supply of food

These are the most common reasons for your guppy fish coming under stress.

Aggressive tankmates will constantly chase your guppy fish, making them come under stress.

Guppies will not get able to live and swim comfortably in an overcrowded tank and will come under stress.

Poor water condition with unstable water parameters is the primary reason for guppy fish coming under stress.

An overcrowded tank will also result in a deficiency of oxygen in your guppies aquarium, which guppies require to live comfortably. If guppies don’t get enough oxygen, they will come under stress.

Not regularly feeding your guppy will make them come under stress. Also, make sure to provide various nutritional food to your guppies rather than relying on only a particular flake food or pellets.

How to calm down stressed guppy?

There are some things you should take care of to calm your stressed guppy and also to prevent your guppy from coming under stress:

  1. Provide adequate water condition to your guppies.
  2. Provide appropriate and stable water parameters to your guppies.
  3. Feed your guppies regularly.
  4. Avoid overfeeding your guppies.
  5. Don’t overcrowd your guppies tank.
  6. Avoid adding aggressive and non-compatible tankmates to your guppies tank.
  7. Add lots of live aquatic plants and other hiding decors.

Provide adequate water conditions

Guppies are freshwater fish and prefer to live in clean and maintained water conditions.

You can provide your guppies an adequate water condition by doing these things:

  1. Perform a regular water change (25-30% water change weekly)
  2. Use a gravel siphon to siphon out the solid debris and other waste from the substrate.
  3. Keep a regular check on your guppies aquarium’s ammonia and nitrite levels.

Providing your guppies with adequate water conditions will keep them calm and prevent stress. 

Provide appropriate and stable water parameters.

Guppies can live in a wide range of water parameters.

But, providing them with adequate water parameters will make sure to keep them calm and prevent stress.

Provide your guppies with a water temperature between 72-82 °F.

Guppies require a water pH level between 6.8-7.8. 

With adequate water parameters, stable water temperature is also equally essential to calm down stressed guppy and prevent stress.

You can use an aquarium heater to keep a stable water temperature.

Consider using a thermometer to keep a regular check on water temperatures.

ParticularsGuppy Fish Requirement
Water temperature72-82°F
Water pH level6.8-7.8
This table shows the ideal water parameters of guppy fish.

Feed your guppies regularly.

Regularly feeding your guppies is essential to calm their stress and prevent stress.

When you feed your guppies inadequately and irregularly, they come under stress.

You should feed your guppies every day or alternate days.

But, make sure to feed them regularly, don’t skip the routine of feeding them as it can make them come under stress.

Also read: Best Food For Guppy Fish.

Avoid overfeeding your guppies.

Guppies are always hungry, which means guppies will eat every time you serve food to them.

Such behavior of your guppy fish can confuse you, and you can end up overfeeding them.

So, to make sure you don’t overfeed them, provide them food in a quantity that they can complete in 1-2 minutes. 

Feed them once. If guppies eat it in seconds, you are underfeeding them.

Next time, increase the quantity and see how long they take to complete.

Keep increasing the quantity until they complete it in 1-2 minutes.

This way will ensure that you are not overfeeding them. 

If your guppies take 4-5 minutes to complete eating their food, you are overfeeding them. Consider reducing the quantity in such conditions.

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 WormsOne pinch at a time1 time a week
This table shows the dietary requirements of guppy fish.

Don’t overcrowd your guppies tank.

Overcrowding can be the primary reason behind your guppy coming under stress.

If your tank is overcrowded with guppies and other tankmates, remove some of the guppies from the tank to calm down your stressed guppy.

Overcrowded tanks can come with many issues, such as:

  1. Your guppies tank will get dirty in a quick manner.
  2. Your guppies will find it hard to swim freely because of a lack of space.
  3. The risk of conflicts between guppies will increase because of too many guppies in a tank.
  4. There will be a lack of oxygen available for your guppies because of the overcrowded tank.

Follow the one-inch one-gallon rule to ensure your guppies tank is not overcrowded.

Keeping one inch of fish per one gallon of water will prevent your guppies aquarium from being overcrowded.

Female guppies can be between 1.2-2.4 inches long, whereas male guppies can be 0.6-1.4 inches long. 

Guppy FishNo of Guppies
Male guppies (0.6-1.4 inches)10-12
Female guppies (1.2-2.4 inches)5-7
Both male and female guppies5-8
This table shows how many guppies we can keep in a 20 gallon tank.

Also read: How Many Guppies In A 20 Gallon Tank?

Avoid adding aggressive tankmates to your guppies aquarium.

Aggressive tankmates like angelfish in your guppies aquarium will make your guppy fish come under stress.

The aggressive tankmates will constantly chase your guppies.

Tankmates like angelfish and other aggressive fish will try to hunt your guppies down and eat them. 

So make sure to add any aggressive tankmates to your guppies aquarium and remove the aggressive tankmate if you have one in your guppies aquarium to calm your stressed guppy. 

Consider adding compatible tank mates that are peaceful like guppies and are similar in size to guppies.

These are some best tankmates you can consider adding to your guppies aquarium:

  1. Molly
  2. Platy
  3. Neon tetra
  4. Gourami
  5. Shrimp

Also read: Can Guppy Fish Live With Angelfish?

Add aquatic plants and other hiding decors.

Usually, guppies are active fish and move a lot.

But, they require hiding spots when:

  1. They are under stress.
  2. They are suffering from illness.
  3. There is a presence of aggressive fish around them.
  4. The female pregnant guppy is about to release the fry.
  5. The male guppy is chasing the female guppy for mating. Therefore, female guppies require a hiding place to avoid the constant chasing of male guppies.

All these situations make your guppies hide, and they need hiding spots.

The best way of creating lots of hiding places in your guppies aquarium is to add lots of live aquatic plants.

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

  1. Java moss
  2. Java fern
  3. Water sprite
  4. Duckweed
  5. Christmas moss
  6. Flame moss
  7. Aubias bundle

You can also create hiding spots by adding other decor items like:

  1. Driftwood
  2. Terra cotta pots
  3. Aquarium ornaments
  4. Aquarium rocks

Creating hiding spots in your guppy’s aquarium will make them feel safe.

Your stressed guppy will be calm by hiding in hiding spots.

Also read: Do Guppy Eat Plants?


Some primary things to do when your guppy is under stress are providing adequate water conditions and parameters, feeding food regularly, avoiding overcrowding guppies aquarium, and removing aggressive tankmates if present in guppies tank.

Consider creating lots of hiding spots so that a stressed guppy can hide in them and be calm over time.

Guppies can come under stress because of the main reasons: inadequate water conditions, unstable water parameters, and aggressive tankmates.

Preventing these things will ensure to prevent your guppy fish from coming under stress.

Reference: NCBI, ResearchGate, ResearchGate, Journals, Frontiers

Recent Posts