If color is something you look for in a fish, guppies are definitely a fish to look into. Easy to care for and extraordinarily beautiful, guppies make a wonderful addition to any aquarium, beginner or expert. We all know, though, that fish looks best when they aren’t alone.
Guppies can coexist with a wide range of freshwater fish. Fish that are peaceful and medium-sized do best with guppies. Steer clear of large and aggressive fish, as they will attack the guppies. Fish that nip at fins will not be a good choice either, as guppies have large, flowy, delicate fins.
When choosing tank mates for your guppies, there are lots of options available. Let’s take a look at some of the best options for guppy tank mates, and then we will go over what to look for in a tank mate in case you want to pick your own favorite tank mates.
What are the Best Tank Mates for Guppies?
Guppies are compatible with a whole host of fish. There are enough fish out there that you could keep with guppies that this article could easily be over 4,000 words long.
However, to save you time and to not make a similar list to all the others out there, we will only talk about our top four favorite tank mates to use with guppies.
Boeseman’s Rainbow Fish
Boeseman’s Rainbow Fish is one of our top picks as tank mate for guppies and much other fish, and for good reason. They look stunning, are peaceful, are super social, and live for a very long time (lasting up to twelve years when cared for properly!).
Additionally, they thrive under the same tropical freshwater tank conditions as Guppies do.
Due to their social nature, Rainbow Fish do best when in a shoal of at least 5 others. Make sure, then, to have a big enough tank to house at least 6 Rainbow Fish, as these beautiful fish can grow up to four and a half inches long.
Rainbow Fish are aptly named, as they have a strikingly colorful appearance. The wonderful blues and oranges of these pretty fish will provide a great compliment to the colors of your guppies.
Another of our favorite freshwater community fish, the Corydoras Catfish is a peaceable bottom-feeder.
There are a number of reasons they work well with Guppies:
- They grow from two to three inches long
- They are peaceful, social fish
- They dwell on the bottom of the tank
- Their darker colors will provide a nice contrast to the Guppies’ colorations
Corydoras Catfish will also scavenge along the bottom of the tank, cleaning up leftover fish food and plant matter.
These cute catfish do best in groups of at least 5, but since they are smaller than the Rainbow Fish, they don’t need quite as big of a tank.
Mollies, like Guppies, are live-bearing fish, meaning that they give birth to live fish rather than spawning eggs. In fact, Mollies and Guppies get along quite well because they are very similar.
Like Guppies, Mollies:
- Are easy to care for
- Will eat just about anything
- Breed very easily
- Are peaceful and social fish
Colorwise, Mollies come in a variety of colors and patterns, but our favorites to pair with Guppies are the solid black Mollies. These black fish will give your colorful Guppies a stark contrast to make their colors really shine through.
Long-Fin Black Skirt Tetras
While some Tetras are known to be fin nippers, these Black Skirt Tetras will leave your Guppies’ precious, flowy fins alone.
With long fins of their own, Black Skirt Tetras will compliment your Guppies’ long fins; and the black color of the Black Skirt Tetras will also provide some great contrasting color.
Black Skirt Tetras tend to be more on the shy side, so they won’t be a problem for your Guppies.
Also, the Black Skirt Tetras do like to be in groups of their own kind and will be social and agreeable with other members of the tank.
What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Guppies?
There are a number of factors that make a good tank mate. We want our guppies to be happy and thrive together with the fish we add to the tank. Factors that affect whether a fish will make a good tank mate include:
- Water Environment
- Tank Space
Luckily, Guppies work great with almost any fish that is peaceful, not too much larger than them, and that inhabits the same water environment they do. However, let’s look at some of the specific things that can make a tank mate become the best tank mate they’ve ever had; or the worst.
Guppies are peaceful fish and are very susceptible to attack and bullying. Thus, it is wise to keep them with other peaceful, non-bullying fish.
Fish with almost any aggression at all will find the precious Guppies to be an easy target.
Guppies don’t particularly care about the size of the fish around them, though they may get stressed out if a fish is massively bigger than they are.
The issue with the size is whether the bigger fish sees the guppies as a treat or not. Fish substantially larger than guppies, even if they are peaceful fish, can start eying the guppies as their next meal, which is obviously not what we are looking for in a tank mate.
When choosing tank mates, it’s a good idea to choose fish that will enhance the colors of your Guppies, rather than take away and dull the color. For this reason, each of our top four favorite tank mates for Guppies had something to do with their color.
Guppies prefer a tropical water temperature of 72 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. While Guppies do prefer freshwater, they can also do well with slightly salty water.
Guppies inhabit the top section of a tank, but won’t necessarily get territorial over it. Still, it’s better to get fish that inhabit other sections of the tank unless they themselves are not going to be territorial either.
Guppies look absolutely fantastic, but they often look even better with other kinds of fish as tank mates. Next time you put Guppies in a tank, try to give them some nice tank mates to live with.