How Many Guppies Should Be Kept Together?

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Last Updated on 2023-12-29

If you’re wondering how many guppies should be kept together, then you’ve found the right article! In this article, not only will you learn how many guppies need to be kept together, but you’ll also learn by the size of your tank as well!

If this sounds helpful to you, make sure you keep reading to find out everything there is to know!

Key Takeaways:

  • Male-to-female guppy ratio should be 1:3 to avoid stressing females due to breeding pressure from the males.
  • Having more females gives each girl more resting and breeding space, as well as preventing male aggressiveness and in-fighting.
  • Males can be grouped in a minimum of six to maintain power balance and avoid attacks among them.
  • Too few males lead to unbalanced power, while an excessive number results in males attacking one another randomly.

How Many Guppies Should Be Kept Together?

Fancy guppies should be kept in a ratio of 1:3. The same rules apply; if there are too few females in the tank, males will harass them constantly. You should also remember that some fancy guppies can be aggressive, so choosing the right combination of males and females is important to ensure that everyone is comfortable and happy.

How Many Male And Female Guppies Should You Have?

Guppies should be kept in tanks in a ratio of 1:3, which means there should be 3 females for every male. This is because if more male fish are in the aquarium, they will constantly chase the smaller number of female fish, stressing them out.

Female guppies who experience stress will have a weakened immune system, which increases their risk of being sick and probably results in mortality. Therefore, having more female guppies than male guppies is recommended while setting up your aquarium.

To ensure the male guppies don’t end up fighting, it’s important to figure out the right ratio. This will also give the female guppies a chance to rest and give pregnant guppies a chance to carry their babies to term without having to worry about their male counterparts all the time.

As the number of guppies in your tank grows, you can increase the number of males to females. This is because at some point, there will be enough females that they will all be able to have a break at some point.

Why Are Your Guppies Grouping Together?

It’s common for guppies to group, or “school,” in one area of the aquarium. This behavior allows them to show protection and safety in numbers. It also helps guppies communicate with each other and allows them to find food more easily.

If your guppies are grouping together too much, it could be a sign of overcrowding or an aggressive tank mate. To solve this problem, you should add more plants and other decorations to the tank to provide them with hiding places. You can also increase the water temperature to make it easier for them to swim around and explore different areas.

Ensure your aquarium has enough space for all your guppies to school together without overcrowding each other. The ideal tank size for guppies is at least 5 gallons minimum for 2-3 fish and should be filled with plenty of hiding places and decorations.

This will help ensure that your fish are comfortable and have plenty of room to move around without worrying about being attacked or harassed by other fish. 

Can You Keep One Guppy On Its Own?

If you want your guppy fish to be healthy and happy, you shouldn’t keep it alone. Guppies are social fish that do better when kept with other fish, whether of the same breed or not. If they are kept alone, they won’t do as well.

You can keep males and females together or keep your guppy fish with other fish that get along with them. It’s essential to research what other fish do well with guppies before adding them to your tank. When you decide to add another guppy, make sure they are of similar size and age so they can get along better.  

Ultimately, the number of guppies you keep together should depend on the tank size, the number of males and females, and the fish you have. Keeping a ratio of 1:3 is always recommended for regular guppies. 

Keeping Male Guppies

How Many Guppies in a 5 Gallon Tank? 

When it comes to keeping fish, a 5-gallon tank is the smallest size aquarium you should go for. The compact size of these fish tanks may seem like a benefit, but actually it’s the biggest problem. Because of the small amount of water in the tank, the parameters can change quickly and ammonia can build up a lot quicker. With that in mind, in my opinion:

You can keep 2 female guppies and 1 male guppy in a 5 gallon tank. Doing this will ensure that the males don’t harass females or attack each other. Any more guppies than this and your tank will be too overstocked which can cause the water quality to become poor.

One thing to be aware of is the level at which guppies breed, as it will overstock your tank very quickly. While it’s possible to keep guppies in a 5 gallon tank, I’d definitely recommend 10 gallons or bigger.

How Many Guppies in a 10 Gallon Tank? 

Once we hit the 10 gallon stage you can actually add a couple more guppies. In my opinion once you get to 10 gallons, if you’re an experienced fish keeper you can keep 5-6 guppies, if you’re new to the game you should only keep 3-4. This way you have more wiggle room with mistakes. Although guppies are harder fish, there’s no point putting them into undue stress if you don’t need to.

How Many Guppies in a 20 Gallon Tank? 

Lastly, once you get to 20 gallons, you’re going to be able to keep a lot of guppies. We’re talking 10 plus! However at 20 gallons, there are so many other great fish to choose from, I myself would opt for something else, like Swordtails.

Does Gender Matter? 

To inexperienced people, all guppies (and other fish) look the same, and there are no visible differences between males and females. Not true, though! Male and female guppies have a lot of differences, and gender is crucial when calculating how many to hold in a tank.  

Generally speaking, males have longer and slender bodies, but female guppies look rounder and curvier. That said, females tend to be bigger than males. Male guppies tend to grow up to 1.5 inches long, while females can reach two or even 2.5 inches in size. 

As you can guess as well, males tend to be more aggressive, if there are too many of them in a tank at a time. Because of this, you should always be keeping 1 male for every 2 or 3 females. There is one caveat to this however…

How To Keep Male Guppies Together

You can keep male guppies together in groups of 6 or more. When you have too few male guppies then one may end up getting bullies more than the rest. However, once you get over six, there will still be aggression, but it will be spread evenly between all the guppies.

One thing to think about when keeping all males together is that, their colors are a lot brighter when they’re trying to attract a female. So sure you can keep all males together, but you may not get the coloring you’re looking for when doing so.

What Will Happen If You Add Too Many Guppies? 

Overpopulation for inexperienced fish keeper’s is a recipe for disaster. While it can be done, I like to understock tanks so you have room for error. As well as this, it gives each fish more room to swim and be happy! Here’s what will happen if you add too many guppies to your tank.

It Will Get Dirty & The Water Quality Will Get Worse

First of all, if you add too many guppies to a tank, especially to smaller tanks, the water will get dirty quicker. Not only can this make it go cloudy, but the dirtier the water, the more ammonia there will be in the tank, which is fatal to all fish.

That doesn’t even take into account the increased risk of disease and infection either.


While guppies aren’t aggressive by nature, if they are in a tank which is too small, then it’s only expected that they’ll end up being more aggressive towards each other. Especially the males. This can be mitigated to some degree by adding more plants, but even then, if the tank is too small, it still won’t stop it 100%.

Deformities and Growth Issues 

Malnutrition is another common problem that you may face in an overcrowded guppy aquarium. Without enough space, they will never grow to reach their full size, which doesn’t sound too bad until you realise, this will result in more and more deformities. Especially in cases where inbreeding is occurring as well.


Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about how many guppies they can keep!

Do Guppies Need to Be in Groups?

Guppies like to be with other fish, so if you want them to have the best life possible, they must be in an aquarium with other fish. They are fish that swim in groups, so they don’t do well alone. They can be kept with or without other fish of the same species as long as the other fish aren’t too big or mean.

Can You Put Different Types of Guppies Together?

Yes. If you want a more varied tank, this is the best choice. There are almost 300 species of guppies, and many subspecies come in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Can Different Types of Guppies Breed?

Yes, guppies of different types can have babies. For example, endler guppies and fancy guppies can have babies together. But the impregnation might not work every time. Inbreeding can cause genetic changes that hurt the new strain’s ability to live long and make it more likely to get sick.

Can You Mix Guppies with Other Fish?

Guppies are friendly, peaceful fish that get along well with many other peaceful freshwater fish of the same size. Guppies get along well with swordtails, mollies, platies, Cory catfish, and other fish.


Guppies are a great addition to any aquarium, and the number of guppies you should keep depends on several factors. It’s essential to consider the space available in your aquarium, the types of guppies you’re keeping, and their behavior. Don’t forget the 1:3 ratio in keeping male and female guppies. This way,  you can ensure your guppies are happy and healthy in their new home. 

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