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FAQs on Guppy Compatibility

Related Articles: Guppies, Poeciliids: Guppies, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies by Neale Monks, Livebearing Fishes by Bob Fenner,

Related FAQs:  Guppies 1, Guppies 2, Guppy Identification, Guppy Behavior, Guppy Selection, Guppy Systems, Guppy Feeding, Guppy Disease, Guppy Reproduction, Livebearers, Platies, Swordtails, Mollies

Do dwarf chain loach eat (Guppy) fry    2/23/20
Hi Neale!
Hope you had a good Christmas :)
<Yes, thank you!>
Was just wanting to ask if dwarf chain loaches eat guppy fry?
<Unlikely, but potentially possible. Keep the two species together is probably depends a lot on how easily the Guppy fry can hide (e.g., among floating plants) and how crowded the tank becomes. Loaches feed at night, of course, and will consume anything they come across. But they're not skilled fish-eaters by any means, so while you might lose one or two fry, if you shepherd fry into a breeding trap and keep them there for the first couple of weeks, larger fry should be safe enough.>
I have a Ramshorn snail issue in my 130L guppy breeder tank and I heard Dwarf chain loaches eat them so was considering getting some. Haven't been able to find much info on if they are ok with fry and guppies tho so was wondering if you knew?
<Fish fry will be eaten by anything that can catch them, but adult Guppies are more likely to consume them than loaches.>
<Welcome. Neale.>
Re: do dwarf chain loach eat fry     2/29/20

Hi Neale!
Thanks so much. I got 4 and put them in my QT tank. Hopefully they eat some lol. Otherwise Ill have to get assassin snails.
<Clea helena; a fine addition to most tanks.>
Iv not seen any of my fish eat guppy fry so I guess Iv been pretty lucky.
<Likely so, or simply, the output of fry is sufficiently great that even allowing for parental cannibalism, there's enough left over for them to be noticeable.>
I was wondering if clown killifish/clown Panchax eat guppy fry?
<Abso-fracking-lutely. Any of the Panchax-type fish are ferocious predators, albeit of very small, bite-size prey. Cheers, Neale.>

aggressive guppy     5/15/16
A week ago I bought 1 male & 2 female guppies. I put them in my 5 gal. aquarium along with another female from my larger aquarium.
<Here's your problem, Evelyn. Five gallons is too small. 10 gallons would be barely adequate, and 15 gallons is a much more sensible starting point. Just as zoo animals become aggressive or nervous when kept in too-small cages, if you put fish in a tank that's too small, they won't behave normally.>
There is lots of room, to point that at times I don’t see any of them!
<Your ability to see/not see them isn't the issue here, unfortunately. Though the addition of floating plants can help a good deal in situations like this by breaking up lines of sight.>
When I put them in the tank one of the females was aggressive towards the other females. She kept it up to the point that I thought she would kill the other females. So I put her in a box to separate her from the population. Today I put her back into the tank & within a minute or so she was going after one of the other females. She was more that aggressive - she was out to kill! I put her back into the box & now assume my only choice is to flush her? Pls, lmk what you think.
<Flushing is cruel and unnecessary. It's a slow death for any fish, but because it's out of sight, some people can accept that level of suffering because they aren't able to witness it. It's unnecessary because most tropical fish shops will take back fish they've sold, and rehome them for you. Indeed, in the UK the Maidenhead Aquatics chain prides itself on rehoming fish even if they didn't sell them. Big thumbs up from me on that score! Even if your local store can't help, there are tropical fish clubs in many cities that will help out as well. Finally, it's also ecologically damaging, should the fish happen to survive and end up somewhere it doesn't belong, like a local stream or pond. Even a dead fish can carry parasites and pathogens into your local environment.>
Thx, EB
<Bigger tank; more reading are what's needed here. The "fault", if you want to look at it that way, is yours, not the fish. In a bigger tank this/these fish should get along better, though I accept that there is a hierarchy even among female Guppies, and they can be pushy towards one another. Given space the weaker females are able to spread out, minimising harm, and more practically, you can add extra females which will almost certainly improve things. Meantime, let's have you start by READING, here:
Cheers, Neale.>

Rude black skirt tetra        8/4/15
I just put 4 cobra guppies in my tank with 2 black skirt tetra
<Ohh, not compatible. See WWM re BSTs... Gymnocorymbus.... nippy little so and sos>
and one off the guppies top lip when I got up it I went to bed it was fine got up it lip was damaged and couldn't move its mouth
<... what's that song refrain? "You gotta keep them separated." See WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Guppies      1/25/15
My male guppies are attack my male sunburst platy. Why are they doing this and how can i keep them for doing this. We added 4 female guppies to the tank today.
Thank you
<Male livebearers are aggressive towards each other, and pushy towards females. My guess here is that the male Platy has roughly the same bigger, more rounded body shape as a female Guppy, so the male Guppies aren't fighting him... they're trying to mate with him! Always add twice as many females as males to any livebearer aquarium if you want to keep both sexes. Otherwise don't mix them at all. Four males, four females is asking for trouble. Cheers, Neale.>New Male Guppies Chasing Each other      6/5/14
My three new male guppies are chasing each other. I just got them in my tank today. Two tequila fancy guppies and one red tuxedo fancy guppy. Will they eventually calm down and relax after a couple weeks together?
<Nope; it's what they do. Do read:
Male Guppies naturally attempt to drive away other males, so they have sole access to any females that pass by (even if there aren't any in your tank).
Floating plants will break up lines of sight, helping to reduce aggression.>
Thank you.
<Welcome, Neale.>
Re: New Male Guppies Chasing Each other      6/5/14

Thank you Neal.
<Welcome, Neale.>

Stocking fancy guppy/Shrimp community?       11/14/13
Hello WWM crew, sorry to bother you, but I have some questions about stocking my tank that I wouldn't trust to anyone else.
Although by no means complete, fishless cycling for the my 29 gallon (110 Litre) tank is coming along pretty well.
In the meantime I've been researching possible livestock.
3 male and 5 female fancy guppies
(I would like to go with Endler's instead, as they don't get as big, and would be more "in scale" with the other fish, but I'm having trouble convincing my sister)
<Ah, convince more strongly. Farmed fancy Guppies are quite delicate these days, so for casual fishkeeping, your best bets are Endler's or locally bred fancy Guppies from someone you trust (like a local breeder contactable via your city or state aquarium club).>
About a half dozen Red Cherry Shrimp, and maybe some ghost shrimp too.
<Cherry Shrimps especially would be a great choice.>
Maybe a couple of Nerite snails?
<If you like.>
I would like about a dozen of an extremely tiny >1" (>25 mm) fish that can adapt to 7.6-8.0 PH, but the only fish I can find in that size range need very soft water, Perhaps Boraras upthalmoides?
<Ah, yes, indeed these have much different water chemistry requirements to Guppies. Do instead look at Ricefish such as Oryzias woworae, Oryzias melastigma or Oryzias dancena, this third species being especially widely traded these days, in England at least.>
8-10 of one of the three "dwarf" Corydoras species, (C. hastatus, habrosus, and pygmaeus respectively) whichever one is most tolerant of high PH (I'm leaning toward the hastatus myself)
Am I correct in assuming that Corydoras duplicareus doesn't tolerate PH in the 7.6-8.0 range?
<Most if not all (farmed) Corydoras will do okay in hard water provided all else is optimal. pH is actually not that critical, anything in the 6-8 range is tolerable, but I would not keep them in water above 20 degrees dH, so find out about your water hardness as well as its pH, and act accordingly.>
1 Male Honey Gourami (Have heard conflicting reports on compatibility with adult Red cherry shrimp?)
<Quite so. It's best not to keep shrimp with anything physically larger than they are.>
1 male and 1 Female Peacock Goby/Gudgeon. (REALLY hoping these would be ok with the shrimp)
<May be safe, but the Gudgeon will eat the young shrimps, so don't expect much successful breeding.>
Are there any small >3 inches(75mm) Suckermouth catfish that: can be kept singly,  would make good algae eaters, be safe with plants, tolerate 7.6-8.0 ph, and can be kept safely with adult red cherry shrimp?
<None that I'm aware of. Panaque spp like Panaque maccus are solitary and adaptable, but they are indifferent algae eaters (they're more herbivores) and can damage plants.>
And lastly, I know that African dwarf frogs ordinarily should not be kept in community Aquariums, but I was wondering if adding them when there's a steady supply of shrimp and guppy babies, combined with spot feeding would be enough, or should I just not bother?
<I've done it, and it can work up to a point, but it's fiddly ensuring the frogs have enough to eat, and they can/will eat small shrimp and even livebearer fry.>
I would be quite surprised if I could keep all the fish I've considered, both compatibility-wise and in terms of overall stocking, but I would like to keep the shrimp, guppies/Endler's, and Peacock Gobies if possible.
A sincere thank you WWM crew, and others like you that take time to answer questions like this. (Just think, before the internet, the usual place to ask questions like this would be at the pet store!)
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Stocking fancy guppy/Shrimp community?   11/17/13

Apologies for the late reply, I'm having a bit of computer trouble.
<No problem. Do note I've had to edit your reply a fair bit to make it intelligible on our website; if you write back, please just write a new message, rather than adding comments to your/my e-mail. Thanks.>
That's good to know about the Endler's being less delicate than the Guppies, That should help my case. WOW! Oryzias  wowrae is a real stunner thank you!
Hoping my LFS can get some.
<Are quite widely available in the UK, but fairly expensive.>
I've been wondering whether to get an API GH KH test kit, I guess that decides it.
<A general hardness kit is perhaps the most useful water chemistry kit, followed by a pH test kit, then a carbonate hardness kit. Some dip-strips do all three at once, and while less than totally accurate, they're cheap and useful.>
By the way, I've decided to drop the duplicareus from the list after doing some price checking.
25$ each for a schooling fish is a bit out of my price range. Scratch one Honey georama from the list, then. I guess I'll just wait until it looks like the Shrimp and Guppies/Endler's need some "population control" to add them then. What about a female long fin Ancistrus? Would that be adding too much to the bioload?
<Ancistrus reach 4-5 inches in length, so using the old "inch per gallon" rule (which is good where small fish are concerned) then be sure to allow around 5 gallons for this catfish. They're hardy and adaptable animals, so water chemistry isn't a big deal. They don't like very warm water though, so keep them at or below 25 C/77 F.>
Maybe I'll get a 15 gallon bookshelf for them [the shrimps]. Very helpful, thank you!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Stocking fancy guppy/Shrimp community?     11/20/13

Ah, apologies for that. I guess it should have been a hint to me when nobody else was inserting your replies into their E-mails.
<Not a problem.>
I guess it makes sense that the Oryzias wowrae would be expensive, considering that it was just discovered in 2010, but I've heard that the difficulty in breeding this species is somewhere between guppies and zebra Danios, so I expect it won't take too long for the price to drop.
<Absolutely. But so far, not much sign of it! But definitely yes, once you have some, they seem fairly easy to breed.>
I've been doing some research on planet catfish, is there any reason the smaller Ancistrus claro would not work instead of the common Ancistrus?
<All seem much of a muchness. Some Ancistrus species are fussier about water temperature and water current (PlanetCatfish.com is a great place for this sort of info) but they all seem pretty adaptable.>
Also, for clarification I think  I should mention that I was intending to put the African Dwarf frogs in their own tank, not the shrimp.
<I see.>
Sorry for the confusion.
Many thanks for your help and your time, I really appreciate it.
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Guppies Harassing Platy 11-1-12
<Hi Karen>
So sorry to bother you guys again
<No problem>
but I just introduced 2 Platies to my 26 gallon tank containing 4 sunset guppies and two of the guppies are all over one of the platys hard!!!
<26 gallons should be plenty of space for these fishes to share. What else is in the tank? Is there any cover? Anywhere for the platy to take refuge?>
The guppies are males and I thought the platys were too, but if I'm wrong and if I am do I need to go back and get some female guppies?
<You tell male platies the same way you tell guppies, by whether they have a gonopodium. That's the modified anal fin that is tube-like on the male.
Getting female guppies will certainly take the attention away from the platy, but keep in mind that your tank will be swarming with guppies in six months or less.>
A real newbie here and stressed out because the sites on platys said they do great with guppies!!!
<They should, but those boys got to sow their wild oats, and if there are no female guppies, they will pick whatever to them is next best thing.>
Don't want them to hurt or stress the platy to the point of killing it!!!!
<Can and does happen. Also be sure the platy can't jump out of the tank trying to escape.>
What do I do now? Thanks for your patience with me because I really do want to learn!
<Depends on a lot of variables. Again, what is in the tank besides these fishes? Plants? If not, consider getting some plants so the platy has somewhere to hide. - Rick>

Male Guppy harassing male swordtail.- 10/18/12
Hi all,
<Hi April>
In my 20g long tank I have 2 male orange tailed guppies, 1 male neon swordtail, 1 Opaline gourami -Trichogaster trichopterus, and 2 sunburst Mickey mouse platy - Xiphophorus maculatus. One of my guppies will not leave the swordtail alone. The swordtail has shown no aggression what-so-ever to any other fish in the tank. Is this deviated sexual attention since I lack female guppies?
<Maybe. Could be trying to establish dominance also. What gender are the platies? I'm guessing male, as well.>
It has gone on for two weeks now. I bought a breeding net and have isolated the guppy in it for 4 days. I tried letting him back out and immediately back to the sword, not giving him a break at all. So back in the breeder net he went. I waited another day and tried again, with the same outcome.
<Instinct perhaps.>
I'm fond of both fish, however, I feel one may have to be traded in to solve this problem? I prefer not to add females since I do not yet want to raise fry, but I will if that is the best option. I don't have a separate tank for fry and feel bad knowing they'd most likely get eaten. Would adding more male guppies help in this situation, to possibly make it where one male can not establish a territory?
<Livebearers in general are not territorial.>
Or will my poor swordfish have lots of males chasing him? The other guppy will follow suit if the one is chasing, but while that one is in the net, the remaining one does not mess with the sword much. Only occasionally if they pass each other. I notice such an increase in the swordtail's activity with the guppy isolated. If more males are an option, how many? If not,
would 6 females deter these two guppies from pestering my sword?
<Almost certainly, but watch you don't overcrowd your tank.>
I would then be learning how to raise fry I suppose.
<The guppies handle most of it themselves. They are born large enough to eat crushed flake and they will graze algae.>
The only other tank I have has two 3.5" Yellow Belly Slider turtles in it, so I fear the guppy would become dinner if I moved him to it.
<Quite likely. If you make plenty of hiding places for the sword to escape the attention of the guppy then you may be able to leave the population alone.  Otherwise, if you don't want to return the guppies it would be best to have them in their own tank.>
Thank you for any insight!
<Welcome - Rick>
Re: Male Guppy harassing male swordtail.- 10/18/12

Thank you for your quick reply.
You are correct, the platies are both males. I guess establishing dominance would have been a better choice for my wording, rather than establishing territory. Is it possible the guppy will find his dominance and leave the swordtail alone?
<Depends if the sword accepts the guppy as dominant. Considering his activity is less when the guppy is around, I'd guess he has accepted a subdominant role, but the guppy may be overzealous on enforcement.>
Would adding more male guppies help, or only females?
<Maybe. It would give the dominant guppy more fish to keep in line.>
I had originally planned on a few more males, but worried that could make the problem worse so have held off.
<All you can do is try it and see what happens. I'd start with another two maybe. Don't forget to quarantine first.>
I'd love to have males and females and ultimately fry, just know my tank space is limited so not sure what I'd do with tons of guppies!
<Sell them, keep them, trade them, auction them, give them away, feed them to cichlids. The options will largely depend on pedigree.>
I will look tomorrow for some Indian fern to add hiding places. I have quite a few hiding places already, but will see if more does the trick.
<Livebearers love plants, so more won't hurt a thing.>
<Regards, Rick>

Gourami/Guppy Compatibility Fin Nip 9/6/12
Hi Neale, how are you?  Hope all is well on your end. I have a 10 gal. tank with 6 Corydoras, 1 Honey Gourami (I believe female) and 1 female Fancy Guppy.  I acquired the Guppy in May as a baby, and since she has grown into a very large, long and fat guppy.  I noticed what looks like a bite out of the Gourami's tail (I do not see signs of infection, i.e. no redness, swelling, spots, seems to be acting normal).  I was observing the behavior of the Guppy and Gourami and saw no signs of aggression.  Does it seem plausible the Guppy nipped the Gourami?  I thought female Guppies were peaceful.  I read that at this juncture I should treat the tank for Finrot to head off any possible infections; do you recommend this?  I'm always
apprehensive about introducing medicine into the tank.  If the Guppy is the culprit, I guess I will have to separate the fish?  Parameters: Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10ppm.  Thank you in advance for your advice.    -Lorie
<Hello Lorie. Thank you, yes, all good at my end. Anyway, it's pretty rare for Guppies to be fin-nippers. They can be squabblers, but their upward-turned mouths make it hard for them to take bites out of other fish. I'm sure it happens very occasionally, but it isn't likely. In general, occasional damage to the fins of fish is something you can turn a blind eye to. It happens in the wild, and it happens in aquaria. Fish brush past something jagged, or they fight, or there's some sort of accident with a filter inlet perhaps. In good, clean water (meaning 0 ammonia and nitrite) then slight damage to fins clears up by itself with no need for medicating.
What matters is persistent fin damage because that means serious fighting, fin-nipping, or bacterial infection.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Gourami/Guppy Compatibility Fin Nip 9/6/12

Hi Neale; a little more information.  There had been a spike in Nitrates, 40ppm.  Over the past 4 weeks, it has lowered to 10ppm, as of the last testing on Thursday, 9/6/12.  Also, as I observe them eat right now, I am still seeing no signs of aggression.  Not sure if the guppy is involved at this point, but maybe I should treat for Finrot?  I am trying to identify
if the Gourami's bite mark in it's tail is edged with white, but I can't tell.   Thank you, Lorie
<I would not treat with Finrot medication unless the damage to the fin is getting worse, the fin is cloudier than normal, or you see white or pink gunk around the wound. Fins heal quickly in good water conditions without any help from you. Your nitrate levels are low and not likely a factor here. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Gourami/Guppy Compatibility Fin Nip 9/6/12  9/9/12

Thanks a lot Neale. Much appreciated.  -Lorie
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Male Guppies -Too Much Testosterone? comp., stkg.    3/15/12
I have a tank which is entirely male guppies, six in total. There are two black, one blue, one leopard print, one yellow and one orange. Barry (the orange fish) seems to get sexually harassed by the other males, mostly Leppy, the leopard printed male. I know for sure that Barry is a male as I've had all these fish for about 4 months and at first I simply passed their sexual behaviour off as nothing to worry about. Lately, however, Leppy hardly gives Barry a break, and I noticed that he has a blood-red appearance to his underside and the scales there are rough and projecting off his body.
<Needs to separated ASAP... If no other system to go to, in a floating plastic colander, breeding net/trap or such>
When I first got guppies, the aquarium store gave me two females by accident who had orange tails and I wonder if this is why Leppy harasses Barry so much. Also, is this really caused by Leppy's sexual advances, or is Barry sick?
<Likely the former... All male livebearer systems either have to be quite crowded on large and not crowded...>
The tank is at the right temperature, I don't over-feed them, and I keep the tank clean. Please help.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Planorbarius corneus and guppies    2/10/12
First I want to thank you for your website, it's really great, I've found many useful information. I'm from Czech Republic (so, please, apologise my mistakes), we have websites for aquarists, too, but I have found there just basic information usually, that's why I'm writing to you.
<Fire away!>
To the question: I have one snail Planorbarius corneus (great Ramshorn, as I've found on Wikipedia) in my "baby tank" for guppies and it had laid many eggs recently.
It's a small tank, so I can easily catch them and I want to know, if I crush the small snails, can I use it as feed for the guppies?
<You can feed crushed snails to fish. But these will be a bit tough for Guppies. So I don't think they will eat them.>
Or should I dry it first?
Thank you for answer,
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>

Guppies and mosquito fish, incomp.  1/17/12
I have been raising guppies for awhile now, but I am new to the mosquito fish. I have one or two female and two or three males mixed in with my guppies. I have noticed that the mosquito fish are very aggressive.
<Yes. Don't mix them with Guppies because of this.>
My question is can they interbreed with my guppies?
<They'll certainly mate, but I'm not aware of viable offspring being the result.>
I have some new males that just appeared in my tank which have not grown very big compared to my other guppy males and have very little color. I recently added a multicolor male guppy the other day and within a day before my eyes this little red guppy I believe to be a mix between the guppy and mosquito tore up his really pretty tail of my new guppy in a matter of minutes. Well at least I believe them to be mosquito fish, they look like guppies but they came from the local river.
<Cheers, Neale.>

3 guppies... comp.  -- 10/12/11
Hello guys
We are worried about our 3 guppies. We have 3 male 'fancy' guppies, all small still (around 2.5 - 3cm) in a 60 litre tank, filtered and heated to
23-24 deg C,
<This is a bit cool for fancy Guppies, though hardy, non-fancy Guppies can do well at this temperature.>
with 5 very small white cloud minnows.
<Watch these don't nip the fins of your Guppies.>
Two of the guppies went into the new tank (fully cycled, water checked etc. before they went in) about 11 days ago. Yesterday we introduced one more guppy and the five minnows. Before the other fish were added, the two original guppies got along quite happily, without too much dominance display, although one did seem more dominant than the other. Within a couple of hours of the others being added though, the more dominant one began to harass the new one with frequent chases and tail 'showing', and continues to do so. The other of the two originals has taken to hiding behind the filter tubes and remaining fairly still for most of the day (he does have little trips out now and then but only for a minute or so, then goes back). He clearly seems overawed by the new situation.
<Overawed is perhaps not the right word. Rather, male Guppies are not sociable, and in the wild fight one another for access to females. Under aquarium conditions they will do likewise. Your aquarium is only just big enough for Guppies, and I'd argue a bigger tank would be much better. But in any event, there's a numbers issue here. A single Guppy will be fine.
Two or three might be able to spread themselves out and avoid trouble. Four or five might not be able to do that, with one always bumbling into the "patch" of a dominant male, with predictable results. Paradoxical though it may seem, in bigger groups this problem goes away because no one male can create a stable territory. Often you'll see aquarists keeping 20 male Guppies seemingly without problems for precisely this reason.>
Having done more research on your site it seems the most common advice is to introduce females, but we really didn't want to deal with handling fry, so had asked in the shop if just keeping males was ok and had been told it would (the shop is Pets at Home in the UK - large chain of stores).
<In and of themselves, males can be kept without females (though doubtless highly frustrated!) But the size of the aquarium and the density of males
within a given volume will make big differences to your success.>
I did do some research before we bought, and even your site seemed to suggest that guppies were fairly easy to keep and OK for newbies, which was echoed by the shop. We really don't want to add females, so if the situation continues or deteriorates we feel we may need to take the guppies back to the shop. My questions to you are whether this will be our only option, or do you have any other ideas, and secondly could this behaviour settle soon when they all 'get used to each other'?
<May get used to each other, but I'd put money on the weaker ones simply being stressed or bullied to death, and being found dead for no apparent reason a few months from now. Floating plants may help by breaking up lines of sight.>
Thanks in advance
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: 3 guppies   10/13/11

Thank you for your speedy reply Neale.
<Most welcome.>
We do have two fairly large plants in there to create hiding places as well as oxygen, so hopefully, they will help.
<Guppies really only use plants at the surface. That's why floating plants like Indian Fern (often called Water Sprite in the US) is so useful. It's also a useful food for all sorts of fish, and grows so fast it sucks up ammonia and nitrite! Do read Bob's piece here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/plantedtkssubwebindex/ceratopteris.htm
If you can get some, you'll find it a godsend. I use the stuff with territorial livebearers like Limia and Halfbeaks and it's very useful. It also provides good homes for females and baby fish, as/when you get into fish breeding.>
I guess you're saying we don't really need to rush to take the third guppy back to the shop because there's a chance they may settle?
<Impossible to say. If the male is clearly stressed and hiding all the time, then yes, returning it makes sense. But who knows who'll buy him, and what sort of world he'll end up in. This tank mightn't seem so bad after all. It's something you need to look at yourself. If he's eating and swimming about a little, then perhaps you might chance it for a few weeks more.>
Our only concern is for their comfort and welfare and we're between a rock and a hard place - leaving the newcomer in the tank stresses one of the original fish, and taking the newcomer back to the shop stresses the newcomer.
In terms of adding further fish in due course, I have to admit that, despite trying to do lots of reading to prepare well, I've become overwhelmed by info and confused as to what's best. Bearing in mind our tank set up and existing fish and that a bigger tank is not really an option for some time, what would be your recommendations for further additions?
<You see, I wouldn't ever choose Guppies for this aquarium. As you're seeing, they aren't the easiest or best fish for beginners. Do have a read here for some ideas:
I have four little girls and the aquarium has been bought as a reward for good behaviour and as a learning exercise for them on care and responsibility, so we did ideally want to have a species of fish for each girl to allow them to identify with them and assume responsibility. So far, two of them have 'earned' their fish - the guppies and the minnows. So what would you add when the other two earn theirs? Please help as I'm becoming befuddled and really want to do this right, for the girls and for the fish.
<White Cloud Mountain Minnows are excellent fish, and a school of 8-10 of them in this tank, together with 4-5 Peppered Corydoras, in a tank maintained at around 22 C, would seem rather a good bet to me. Add a few Red Cherry Shrimp as oddballs, and away you'd go! Guppies just wouldn't be on my radar here.>
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: 3 guppies 14/10/11

That helps hugely. Thank you very much indeed for the time you have taken to help me. Much appreciated.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Best tankmates for guppy   8/2/11
I am looking for appropriate tankmates for my fancy guppy.
<Okeley dokely,>
I currently have 1 male fancy guppy in a 10 gallon aquarium. He was given to me by a friend who had to move to another country. I am setting up a 20 gallon long tank. I would like to get some other tankmates for him, but have been unsure of what fish would go best.
<Well, Guppies are best kept alone, and they do have quite demanding water chemistry requirements that mean that hard water is important, and if all else fails, the use of small amounts of marine aquarium salt mix can be very beneficial.>
My current water conditions are pH 7.8, kH approx. 50, gH btw 50-100, temp 80 deg. I am working on learning how to increase the hardness so it will be optimal for guppies.
<Quite so. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
Using a 25-50% dose of the Rift Valley salt mix should be ample.>
I would like to avoid having the fish reproduce as well as avoid any
significant aggression between fish.
<I see. Well, one good approach is to choose species that consume Guppy fry. Glassfish, for example, will do this, as will Knight Gobies (though these gobies can eat small male Guppies too).>
I have been considering adding (gradually over a period of time) 2 more male guppies and 4-5 male platies.
<Platies need cooler water than Guppies, so long-term, not a good combination.>
I am concerned about inter-male aggression. Would more male guppies reduce the incidence of aggression?
<Yes; the more, the better.>
How aggressive are the platy males?
<Sometimes can be aggressive, but rarely troublesome.>
I am also concerned that it might be too warm for the platies at 80 deg, but too cool for the guppies if I take the temp down to 76.
<Precisely so. Would not mix them.>
Are there any other potential tankmates that I have not considered? It seems like there are few small peaceful fish that like hard, alkaline water.
<Lots of things will be happy in hard water. Obvious examples include X-Ray Tetras, Australian Rainbowfish (these will eat guppy fry too), Wrestling Halfbeaks, Glassfish, Crazy Fish (these do better in slightly brackish water, which is fine for Guppies), Peacock Spiny Eels (though these are tricky pets at the best of times) and a few other things. I'm currently writing something on this topic for WWM that should be up in the next week or two.>
Thanks for any suggestions!
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Best tankmates for guppy   8/3/11

Hi Neale,
Thanks for all the great info. Especially on increasing the water hardness and how to do that gradually. I have read some conflicting information on guppy sites that stated that fancy guppies raised at higher temperatures have shorter life spans, while fancy guppies raised at temperatures in the 70's live longer and develop slower, but are healthy and develop into good specimens.
<All fish, being "cold blooded" grow faster and live shorter lives in warmer water than cold. However, fish also have upper and lower limits to their tolerances. A sturgeon for example will be suffocated by water above 15 C, while Angelfish get chilled and sickly below 22 C. So to a degree you have to choose your temperature according to the fish you're keeping, while understanding that warmer water may improve disease resistance and growth rate, but reduce (slightly) longevity.>
If this is true, then perhaps platies might still be good tankmates at a temp of 76?
<Possibly, but make sure there's plenty of oxygen in the water. Platies can feel stifled in sluggish, warm water.>
Alternatively, I considered x-ray tetras, glassfish and dwarf neon Rainbowfish. I had the following concerns: x-ray tetras- possible fin nippers?
<Not really, they're usually very well behaved kept in groups of 6+ specimens. One problem with fancy Guppies is they're so inbred and slow that almost any fish has the potential to harass them just because they're so stupid and unable to get out of the way.>
glassfish - research seems to indicate that they don't prefer hard, alkaline water Rainbowfish - they might be too large and active to house with guppies, and possibly fin nippers?
<Never seen them nip fish, but do need live or wet-frozen foods, and won't eat flake or freeze-dried.>
Other compatible fish that eat guppy fry would expand my options, as I could then house males only, or a mixed group. I can see how guppies present problems with compatibility with other fish.
<Indeed, fancy Guppies best kept alone or with bottom feeders -- shrimps, Corydoras sterbai, etc.>
My guppy seems very happy and healthy alone... but it seems a little unsatisfying to have only him in a 20G Long tank. Best regards, Eric
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Best tankmates for guppy   8/4/11
Thanks Neale. I think I have a better idea of the different factors to consider and what my options are. I will let you know what I end up setting up with and how it goes.
Best regards,
<Glad to help. Do also avail yourself of the WWM Forum, here: http://wetwebmediaforum.com/
It's often fun to discuss possible options with more the one person, so while I'm happy to hear more, you might appreciate some alternative opinions beyond my own. Cheers, Neale.>

Male Guppy Compatibility, stkg. 5, 10 gal.    7/11/11
Hello there. I have 1 male fancy guppy and 3 peppered Corydoras in a 10 g tank. I would like to add more fish, but upon doing research, I can't figure out what will work with the male guppy (I do not want female guppies-no babies!).
<Mmm, small Rasboras, Danios are some good groups to consider>
I tried a male tiger platy, and it seemed like the guppy was trying to mate with him- the guppy would swim backwards towards the platy, and anywhere the platy was, the guppy was hovering over him. Finally the guppy took to "dive bombing" the platy, so I returned the platy to the store.
I was wondering if honey Gourami's would be okay. Either a male and female, or maybe 2 females would be better?
<Colisa chuna is a good choice... pairs or not>
If not, any suggestions? Someone suggested rainbow fish to me, but I don't care for them.
<Are too active, almost all species too large for a ten gallon>
They also said Neons, but I'm not so sure (I have hard water). My other concern is, even with my air conditioning on, since it's summer, my tank stays at 80-82 F. I was considering just re-homing the male guppy, but still concerned what I could have with those temps. It seems like most tropicals, besides livebearers, like it a little cooler, but maybe 82 is still do-able?
<Better in the mid 70's F.>
I was considering harlequin Rasboras, glow light tetras or gold tetras.
<Depending on just how hard your water is... you might do well to mix in some RO>
Also, my mom is setting up a 5 g tank to get a Betta. Besides Corys and shrimp, she was wondering too if honey Gourami's would be compatible with the Betta.
<Not really>
Does the sex of each matter, meaning would it work if they were all female?
Or could a male Betta and 2 female Gourami's get along?
<Not likely in this volume>
She was also wondering about cherry barbs with the Betta.
<These might go... or Endler's>
Thanks for any help you can give!
<Please see WWM re... the Compatibility FAQs files for each species you have in mind... learn to/use the search tool, indices. Enjoy the process.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Male Guppy Compatibility   7/11/11
I just thought of another idea too. Lets say I do get 2 female guppies and the honey Gourami's- would the honey Gourami's pretty much ensure all the babies are
eaten (I hope that doesn't sound too terrible!)?
<It does not, and they may well do so in the confines of a ten gal.. BobF>
Thank you,
Re: Male Guppy Compatibility   7/11/11
Hi again. Thank you for your response. The honey Gourami's I was considering
are Trichogaster chuna.
<Ah yes... the new/est scientific name>
From my research, I've read they should be kept in pairs of 1 female to 1 male, or 1 male to a few females, since the males can be aggressive with one another. I believe Colisa chuna is the same fish.
<It is>
From your response, it seems it's okay to keep just 1?
<Likely so>
As far as the temperature, of course the heater is turned off, it's just the warmth of the room that keeps the tank at 80-82 F, even with air conditioning. I do not know the measurements of how hard my water is, but it's not slightly hard, it's definitively HARD. What is RO?
<... please learn to, use the search tool on WWM... Reverse Osmosis>
I'm assuming that would be for the benefit of Rasboras or tetras, if I decide to acquire them?
<The latter, yes>
From my reading, it seems guppies are okay in hard water.
As a side note, I really like the dwarf croaking Gourami (Trichopsis pumila), but I haven't seen them sold in stores.
<Are a bit rare, sporadically available in the trade>
I have done research on your site, but it tends to get confusing; not every responder holds the same philosophies.
<A good thing I'd merit>
I really enjoy your site
though- everyone is very knowledgeable!
Thank you,
<Certainly welcome. BobF>
Re: Male Guppy Compatibility   7/11/11

Hi, Lorie here again. Well I'm sure the different philosophies are due to everyone's different experiences with keeping fish. I know too you can't always go by what you read in books. I recently acquired two books on selecting tropical fish for your tank (An Essential Guide to Choosing your Tropical Freshwater Fish, Gina Sandford, and The 101 Best Tropical Fishes, Kathleen Wood). Both books say that you can keep a male Betta fish with 2 or 3 female Bettas. But from doing research on your site, this seems like a very bad idea.
<Exceedingly poor>
I suppose sometimes it's a matter of trial and error to see what works, but I wouldn't risk it with Bettas.
Well I believe I am going with the Harlequin Rasboras- they were my first choice anyway. Although no tetras for now, I will look up reverse osmosis to just learn. I definitely don't know anything about that.
<In a world of dwindling water quality, a worthy tool for making water more potable>
Thank you again!
<Welcome. B>

Guppy vs. Sword...    5/30/11
I am worried about my male Swordtail fish and male Guppy also. They do not seem to be getting along. My Guppy whom has been in the tank the least amount of time seems to be harassing my Swordtail fish whom was one of the first additions to my tank. Most recently my Swordtail fish has taken to hiding in the ornamental castle that I have in my tank. This is causing me much concern as this has never happened before. The castle is a new ornament I have place in the tank, even so I have had many ornaments that my Swordtail could have hidden in before but chose not to. My question is it natural behaviour for the swordtails to hide as mine has never done so before?
<Yes; is natural to hide if being harassed>
Also is it safe to keep my male Guppy and male swordtail together in the tank.
<Maybe not... How large is this system?>
Everything that I have read seems to suggest that they are compatible tank mates?
<Not always, no. But generally it's the larger species, the Sword/Xiphophorus that is more aggressive>
If this is so then why is this behaviour happening between my guppy and swordtail?
<Likely territorial, perhaps deviated sexual drive>
I believe that my swordtail may now be hiding due to harassment from the guppy. As well as my swordtail fish hiding he has taken to just "sitting" at the bottom of the tank. The only other fish that I have that tend to do this are the clown loaches. This is normal behaviour for them I believe but I do not believe that this is normal behaviour for the swordtails. I do not know if this is also being done by my swordtail due to the harassment from my guppy. I would be very great full <grateful> if you were able to help me understand what is going on in my fish tank. To give you some background information on my tank set up, I have nine fish in total 2 clown loaches, 1 algae-eater (I do not what kind)
<Do check on this... some get too big, agonistic>
1 Betta, 1 Angelfish, 1 Molly, 1 Goldfish
<Should be elsewhere>
(I have no clue as to what this fish is, as it was a present. It looks like a spotted goldfish), 1 Male Guppy and 1 Male Swordtail. My fish are all happy and healthy from what I can see. They are kept in a 20 Gallon water tank with the water temperature set at between 72-74 almost constantly (At times it does go below 72 but in a couple of hours will return to 72). I have a water filter constantly on and also a ultra-violet light constantly on.
Any help would be very much appreciated as I want to care for my fish as best as I can.
Thank you
Ella Kuhn
<Do try putting the male guppy in a floating plastic colander (or breeding trap if you have one) in the tank for a few days. Such "time outs" often re-set the social dynamic. Bob Fenner
Re: Sword/Gup comp.  6/6/2011
Thank you for you prompted response. I did as advice and purchased a breeding net and place my male guppy within it. This has leaded me to see what was really going on. The reason my guppy was harassing my swordtail was because my swordtail fish is sick. He has been getting progressively worse.
PLEASE HELP!! I noticed that when the guppy was in the breading net not only was the guppy harassing him but also other fish. So I have placed my swordtail in the breeding net to stop this from happening. His symptoms of sickness are, lying on the bottom of the tank and rapid breeding. His colour and skin/scales all look the same as before. Recently I changed a lot of the water could this be the cause?
<Perhaps, but what about the other fishes, livestock?>
All other fish are fine. I am very worried and wanted to do all I can for my fish PLEASE HELP! I have had him for 18 months and am very attached to him.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/sworddisfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. BobF>

Bullying, snapping Guppies?  1/29/11
Hi there. I'm new to your site, but have enjoyed reading your advice to other fish owners. It's all been very informative.
<Good to hear!>
I have a 10 gal. tank with 5 fish: 1 male Dalmatian Molly, 2 Red Wag Tail Platies (I believe they are both male), 2 male Guppies (1 Tequila Sunrise, 1 Red/Black Tuxedo).
<The wrong fish for 10 gallons. The social behaviour of livebearers is such that in small tanks they create problems. In addition, Platies need cooler water than Mollies or Guppies. Platies should be kept at 22-24 C/72-75 F, whereas Mollies and Guppies do better in the 26-28 C/79-82 F range. Keep Platies too warm and [a] the males will be over-aggressive and [b] their lifespan will be substantially shortened.>
I'm not looking to be a breeder, so I got all males.
<Actually, you'd have been better with virgin females. Males tend to be aggressive, especially when kept in tanks too small for them.>
I've had the water tested at the store on 3 separate occasions, and have been told that conditions are perfect. The tank has a filter and a heater.
The temperature is a pretty constant 78-80 degrees. I would like to add more fish, but my concern is the Red/Black Tuxedo Guppy. He's the smallest fish in the tank, but it appears to have a Napoleon complex. He'll chase one of the Platies and snap at him constantly until he's backed him into a corner.
<Yes, Poecilia species, including both Guppies and Mollies, are substantially more aggressive than most Platies. The rounded shape of the Platy will also suggest it's a female Guppy from the perspective of the male Guppy, so if aggression isn't the issue, unwanted sexual activity might well be.>
The Platy will ultimately go into hiding in a barrel. I can only imagine Tux loses interest, as he then goes after the other Platy. It started out with only Tux chasing the Platies, but now the Tequila Sunrise has joined in. I've NEVER seen any form of retaliation from the Platies. My Molly is an absolute joy to watch, a very docile fish. I've always thought of Guppies as "friendly's" in a community tank. Are they bullying the Platies, or is this just play?
<You chose the wrong fish and kept them in the wrong tank.
Please do review the needs of fish species prior to purchase, and you shouldn't have this sort of thing happen. In a 10-gallon tank, your best bet would a trio of Endler's Guppies (a male and two females) and just let nature take its course, and few fry will survive, likely few enough that you'd have a stable population of half a dozen or so. Mix with some Cherry Shrimps as bottom feeders and you'd have a lovely, peaceful, colourful community.>
Thank you so much,
<Cheers, Neale.>

Help if you can. Bottom feeder... attacks!    12/21/10
Hi there,
<Hello Tania,>
Don't worry the baby mollies are fine, I was just wondering if you could give me some advice on what to do about one of my fishes. I have a 3 bottom feeder,
<What's a bottom feeder? Do you mean Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, sometimes called the Chinese Algae Eater even though it doesn't come from China and eats very little algae? Or Pterygoplichthys pardalis, the Common Plec of the aquarium trade? Gyrinocheilus aymonieri is a highly aggressive and territorial fish that should not be kept in community tanks. Both Gyrinocheilus aymonieri and Pterygoplichthys pardalis need at least 250 litres/55 gallons.>
Corys, 3 Guppies, some tetras and now my 6 baby mollies along with their mother, I've noticed in recent days that one of my guppies tails seems to be getting strips taken out of it.
<Can happen. Do understand that male Guppies and male Mollies are aggressive once sexually mature. In the wild they attack one another to try to monopolise access to the schooling females. The strongest males drive away the weaker ones, so the only males that mate with the females are those males with the best genes. Much like the way lions fight to become leaders of a pride of females. Anyway, keep at least two (adult) females per (sexually mature) male, and keep either one male or three males, to avoid a situation where one male is able to bully one other male all the time. In other words, keep one male and 2+ females, or 3 males and 6+ females, but not 2 males and 4 females. Do further understand the minimum aquarium size needed for each species. Realistically, Guppies will need at least 70 litres/15 gallons, and Mollies at least 135 litres/30 gallons.
Anything smaller and it's unlikely the males will space themselves out enough to avoid fighting. Because Mollies are at least twice the size of Guppies, and therefore at least eight times as heavy, male Mollies can very easily damage Guppies when kept together. I would never recommend people keep them together except perhaps in a very large aquarium, 250 litres/55 gallons or more. The addition of floating plants provides hiding places at the surface, and so a few clumps of Floating Indian Fern is perhaps the single best thing you can add to a Guppy or Molly aquarium. Rocks and plants at *bottom* of the tank do virtually nothing useful since Guppies and Mollies are surface fish -- if you look at their mouths, you can see they open upwards, for slurping down insects at the air/water interface at the top of the water.>
I haven't seen any aggressive behaviour but could it be the mollies as they are getting older?
<Yes. Or the Chinese Algae Eater, if you have one. Nasty, nasty fish.>
I have now separated the guppy but don't really know what to do about it, They are only small strips but I don't want it to get to the point where I have to kill the fish.
<A breeding net (rather than a small floating trap) can be used to isolate the male until he heals, which he should do under his own steam. The use of an anti-Finrot medication would be useful, or else 4-5 grammes/litre salt, though salt at that concentration can't be used with Corydoras and other non-salt-tolerant water fish.>
Is there anything I can do?
<Do read about Guppies and Mollies.>
I am planning to give the mollies away when they get bigger but I was just wondering if you had anything that might help until then?
<Many articles here at WWM; start here:
Many Thanks
My smaller baby fish died yesterday as well, he seemed to just stop. Thank you for the advice on him though.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Guppies and Neons, env. incomp.   6/18/10
Sorry for bothering you again.
<No problems.>
I have a tank with two guppies and eleven Neons and I was just wondering if I should give the guppies away since the tank temp is usually about 73-74 F?
<Indeed, and Guppies also need hard water which Neons can't abide. I'd tend to look at your water chemistry first and see what you have. If you have soft water, the Neons are the obvious fish to keep. If you have hard water,
the Guppies will do better. Once you have the right fish, it's easy to set the heater up or down as required.>
I remember you mentioning that guppies would rather around 82 F and I am worried that they are stressed.
<"Stressed" isn't perhaps the right word here, but fancy Guppies at least are more prone to diseases when kept towards the cooler end of the temperature range. If yours are fine, then you needn't worry, but if you find you're constantly battling Finrot and Fungus, then temperature may be an issue.>
Thank you!!!
<Cheers, Neale.> 

Guppy, Betta incomp.    3/27/10
last week I got my first fish, 4 guppies all male I think
<... easy enough to sex...>
and they were fine for a week and the water quality is fine.
<?... need data, not opinions>
then my friend bought me a red Siamese fighting fish
<not compatible>
which the pet store said would be fine with my guppies. after only a few hours of having the new fish in my tank one of my guppies was dead with no visible marks on him so I thought it might just be stress or something but the other guppies were fine, now after about 12 hours the fighting fish has attacked two more guppies so I removed him from the tank. but now the last guppy has become aggressive towards the two injured guppies and I have no idea what to do.
<Uhh, separate them... Please... learn to/use the search tool:
linked on the left shared border of every page on WWM... with terms like "Guppy and Betta compatibility"...
Read on! Bob Fenner>

Male Guppy and Glofish... and Blk skirts... Incomp. stkg.    1/18/10
Hello! I recently bought a male guppy, a female guppy, two black tetras,
<Gymnocorymbus ternetzi? These are not compatible with Guppies; will nip them. Also, need to be kept in groups of 6+ specimens.>
and a tiger barb.
<Again, groups of 6 or more essential, otherwise they become very aggressive and nippy, especially once sexually mature.>
Before I purchased these, I had two African dwarf frogs, a pink Glofish, and a snail. I was wondering why my male guppy will not leave my pink Glofish alone and if there is anything I can do to keep him from chasing it and how I can get him to mate with my female guppy since I am interested in raising the fry?
<Your mistake here is to keep your fish in the wrong numbers. Schooling fish should be kept in groups. That means 6 of each, at least. The schooling fish are the Danios, the Tetras, and the Barbs. Guppies should be kept in groups of at least two females per male. If you insist on keeping these fish in groups for which their psychological programming is not set up for, then you're going to have problems. End of story.>
I tried using the search engine and it gave the stuff that I read before and it didn't give me any help. Thanks!!
<Do please read on the needs of your fish BEFORE you buy them. Doing what you're doing and buying "one of each" like candies isn't going to work. It is cruel to the fish and it creates problems for your. Cheers, Neale.> 
Re: Male Guppy and Glofish
All of the fish seem fine
<"Seem" is the operative word here.>
and I haven't had any problems with the rest of the except for the male guppy and the Glofish. So, do I need to buy more of each fish
<Assuming your tank is big enough, yes. You could keep 6 Black Widows and 6 Tiger Barbs in a 20-30 gallon tank without problems. Do bear in mind both species gets fairly big when mature, about 5 cm/2 inches, so these ARE NOT species for 10 gallon tanks!>
or do I need to get rid of certain ones?
<If the tank isn't big enough, this may be necessary too. I'd certainly get shot of both the Tiger Barbs and the Black Widow Tetras if you plan on keeping Fancy Guppies. Both those species are notorious fin-nippers, and sooner or later they'll have a go at the male Fancy Guppies. In fact, Fancy Guppies are honestly best kept in a tank of their own, possibly with species that stick to the bottom of the tank, like Corydoras catfish (again, a schooling species).>
This is new to me and I was in the pet store talking to one of the guys that takes care of the fish there and he said that they would all get along.
<Well, if this "expert" told you one barb and one tetra would be happy, he isn't an expert on anything to do with fish. Do always remember guys in the pet store range from long-time hobbyists through to teenagers working Saturdays. So be wise to that fact, and double-check anything you hear with something in a book. There are plenty of super aquarium books for newcomers to the hobby, one of the best of which (in my opinion) is "A Practical Guide to Setting Up Your Tropical Freshwater Aquarium". For under $10 it's an easy to read and very practical guide that'll help save you money in the long term. In the meantime, peruse these three articles:
These'll give you some idea about how much space fish need, which ones are least likely to cause problems, and how you can craft a community tank that looks like a habitat rather than just a box filled with fish.>
I appreciate all of your help!
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale>

Rogue Male Guppy-- 12/04/09
Hello, I have 4 Male Guppies and a Corydoras, and the smallest of the guppies (red mind you..) is nipping at all of the other guppies.
<Mmm, how big is this system?>
It constantly chases the others around. I read on your site you an separate it from the others for about a week, and then reintroduce it, but is this the only option?
<You could "float" it in a breeding trap or net... or a small plastic colander in place>
I mean I don't want to get rid of it, I just want it to stop. I was going to get a few females, but I read the post about the males fighting over the females or the females killing the unwanted males, and that has scared me a little.
I have a 38 litre (10 Gal) tank, PH is around 7.4, temp is 26c.
Thanks, Teresa
<Mmm, I would try isolating the rogue individual as discussed... otherwise, trading it out. A ten gallon is really too small for guppies unfortunately.
Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppysysfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

My guppy fish... beh.  9/10/09
Hello there,
I bought 3 guppies 4 days ago, I bought the male and female guppies from different stores.
<Very wise; you've avoided getting brothers and sisters, so the resulting fry should be better quality than otherwise.>
They are both yellow fancy guppies. (the only reason why I bought the guppies separately is that one of the stores sell the females for an extra $4 - total cost, $10 each).
I've got 1 big female and one average sized female. The problem is, the male isn't interested in mating.
<Or he has mated, and you just haven't noticed?>
He is not chasing the females. Is this just temporary or permanent?
I know he needs to get used to the water parameters... The other thing is that my larger female often attacks the other guppies.. its like she is the dominant one. The other female also sometimes attack the male guppy. Why are they doing this?
<No idea. Generally the females tolerate each other well, but you do find variation, and if the tank is too small for them, or you don't have some floating plants (such as Indian Fern), then occasionally they will snap at each other. They should settle down in time. Do of course check that you really do have three females: don't go by the size or colours, but by the shape of the anal fin.>
Much help is appreciated
thanks a lot
<Cheers, Neale>
Re: my guppy fish, beh./comp.  9/11/09

Thanks for your fast and helpful reply,
<You are most welcome.>
I'm happy to see that they are slowly getting along. Yesterday, I saw the male chase the bigger female a couple of times.. which is good! But he lefts the other female alone because she always chases him away. Hmmm they are currently in a 47gallon tank so I don't think that they are overcrowd..
<I agree.>
their companions are 5 bronze Corys (planning to make it 8), a couple of Otos and Siamese algae eaters. The Otos are as plump as they can be which is good and so are the Siamese.
<Good to hear. Do try adding some more Otocinclus; they are schooling fish, and do much better kept in groups of 6+.>
I do have 2 angelfish which I'm worried about. But they don't seem to mind the guppies.
<Angelfish sometimes nip the tails of Fancy Guppies.>
I have a 2.5 gallon tank set up to breed the guppies and I can't wait to see some guppy fry.
Again, thank you for your helpful advice!
<Good luck with your Guppy breeding. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: my guppy fish 9/13/09
Just to let you know, my big female guppies gave birth to 14 guppy fry!!
I'm so excited and I totally unexpected her to give birth so early. They are currently in the 2.5 gallon tank with a steady temperature of 26C. What food should I feed them?
<Very finely powdered flake food is usually fine. You can buy baby fish food, such as Hikari First Bites, but for livebearers, they're not strictly necessary. The important thing is to offer several meals per day, since the
baby fish only consume very small amounts. 4-6 meals per day is recommended.>
I have Microworms and decapusulated brine shrimp. the guppy trios are finally getting along with is good. I guess that there are more guppy fry but the angels got the rest...
<Indeed, is their nature.>
I might buy more Otos in the future but the only downside is that they cost $14 each here in New Zealand! I can't believe it!
anyways, thanks for your advice and information.
<Glad you're had success! Welcome to the world of fish breeding! Cheers, Neale.>

Pregnant Guppies, barb incomp.    08/28/08 Ok, now I have a new issue, nothing bad or anything this time. <Oh?> It seems that my two female guppies have gotten pregnant, I had a male in the tank for a few days but he was being harassed by the tiger barbs so i moved him to a different tank. But now i noticed that the females are getting quite large, I haven't changed food levels so that is not the reason. How soon will they give birth, I also heard the females can store sperm and become pregnant for several months after without the male. <Some livebearers can indeed produce multiple broods from a single mating. Heterandria formosa is the "master" of this art, being known to be able to stretch batches of fry across six months after mating. All other livebearers are less proficient at this, and should be "empty" of embryos within six months of mating. So far as I know, livebearers don't "store sperm" but rather delay the maturation of some of the embryos, so that some embryos develop immediately, and others later on. In any case, it takes 3-5 weeks for the fry to be delivered after mating.> And were the barbs bothering the male guppy because of his tale or because he was not yet fully grown, the barbs bothered the female guppies when i first added them to the tank but quit within a day or two. <Tiger Barbs, and indeed many other Barbs as well as many Tetras, nip the fins of male Guppies. They cannot be kept together.> Thanks, Dennis <Cheers, Neale.> I need help/advice;

Poecilia, compatibility
  7/29/08 hey! umm.......well, my oldest guppy's tail is being nipped at. His tail looks pretty bad. Could this be a case of tail rot and I do not know about it? or is a species of fish in my tank picking on him? in my tank I have: Guppies Zebra Danios Rasboras neon tetras red eyed tetras glow light tetras mini catfish I have two gigantic zebras and two smaller ones. I put the big ones in my breeding trap to separate them from Flame (my old guppy). but, they have been in there for about a week and his tail is still getting nipped at piece by piece. Before I had the big zebras in the breeder, Flame's tail had gotten nipped all the way back to his body. It has grown back some. but I can still see that his tail is getting torn up. oh, I have had Flame ever since October. -Sarah <Short answer is that Flame Tetras (Hyphessobrycon flammeus), Glowlights (Hemigrammus erythrozonus), Rasboras and Danios are rarely fin-nippers. But Red-Eye Tetras (Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae) are known fin-nippers. I have no idea what "mini catfish" are so can't comment on them! You will need to treat with a Finrot/Fungus medication promptly to PREVENT a secondary infection: untreated, your fish can become infected and sicken. Something like Maracyn (popular in the US) or eSHa 2000 (my preferred option here in the UK) would work well. Avoid salt or Melafix -- these have little useful function against Finrot. Cheers, Neale.>
Question about Guppy-tail-nipping Danio 5/16/08 Hello, I only have a 10-gallon tank. <Too small for Danios or Guppies. Danios need at least 60 cm length swimming space -- they live in fast mountain streams! Male Guppies are aggressive, and in small tanks fight with one another and harass females.> I bought 2 Glo-fish, and 2 zebra Danios (one rather feisty one, unfortunately) to start. One Danio died due to high ammonia, I believe. <Did you add all these fish at once? Did you cycle the tank before adding fish?> He was replaced by a long-finned leopard Danio and a guppy. Two days after buying, the long-finned Danio died (unknown cause). <You shouldn't add any new fish until you understand why the last one died.> One day after introducing the guppy, his tail became 'split' and I blamed this on the rock in the tank. However, today, I saw the original, more aggressive Danio take a nip and part of the guppy's tail went floating down! <Not at all uncommon. Fancy Guppies should never be kept with Danios, Barbs, or Tetras.> I'm wondering now if the aggressive zebra had something to do with the other deaths. Usually, I've seen you recommend more Danios in this case. I have two questions. <Can help, but your tank is too small even for the ones you have.> Do you have an information on whether the Glo-fish Danios will school with the zebras? <May do, but they need to be in groups of at least six specimens for schooling behaviour to be triggered at all, and in very small tanks (like yours) my experience of Danios is that they just as often turn aggressive, eventually the one dominant male killing all the other Danios.> Mr. Aggressive seems to not nip them, but he certainly chases. <The chasing is stressful, and prevents the other fish feeding or relaxing. Long term, can and will lead to the weaker fish losing condition, perhaps dying.> I'm concerned about overloading my little tank. Perhaps a larger, calm fish? <Not in this tank. Too small. A 10-gallon tank is too small for most community fish, and really unless you are an EXPERT fishkeeper, best avoided completely. The price and space difference between a 10-gallon and a 20-gallon tank is trivial, and yet a 20-gallon tank is MUCH easier to stock and maintain.> I have no idea what that would be, by the way. <Nothing.> Is it a bad idea to have a guppy in there with Danios? Maybe their tails are too beautiful to resist. <A Fancy Guppy is merely a stupidly slow, stupid in intelligence fish as far as other fish species go. Most fish will nip at them given the chance, even "good" species like Angelfish.> After his behavior today, I have him separated from the others until I figure out how to handle him. <You need to completely re-stock this tank, as your combination of fish will almost certainly not work in the long term. I have stocked 10-gallon tanks, and they can be huge fun, but you have to choose species EXTREMELY carefully. Consider things like cherry shrimps, gobies, dwarf Aspidoras species, Corydoras habrosus/hastatus, dwarf Mosquitofish, Kuhli loaches and so on. Things that don't move around much, stay at or under 2.5 cm/1" in length, and have no aggressive/nippy characteristics.> Thank you so much, Amy <Regards, Neale.>
Re: Question about Guppy-tail-nipping Danio 05/20/08
Thank you so much. I appreciate the response. <You are most welcome.> We added 2 fish at a time (a month apart each) to a new tank, which did cycle according to expectations. It's been about 3 months now. pH level seems a bit high, about 7.6. Water hardness is 300. <Nothing to worry about there. At 300 mg/l hardness, I'd expect a pH above 7, and 7.6 is fine. Most community fish will do very well in water of this sort.> Considering upgrading the tank. Will have to do research on the best method for this. <Easiest method is simply buy another tank, and then carry everything across, including the filter. A mature filter will work fine in a new tank, provided it isn't exposed to dry air for more than a few minutes and that the water in the new tank is basically the same temperature and chemistry to the old tank.> How do you get rid of fish you do not want? <Various ways, but often the easiest is to ask your retailer to "trade them in". Most stores are used to this, because it's part of the hobby. Especially when you start breeding fish! Sometimes you get credit, sometimes not. Depends on the store. If that's not an option, you can join a tropical fish forum (there are many) and you'll often see they have trading sections where people give away or sell unwanted fish. Often folks simply end up with multiple tanks as they realize that not all their favourite fish live together, so they create two or more tanks, each perfectly suited to a different type of fish.> I do not want to kill any other fish. <And I certainly don't want you to do this, either!> I really do appreciate your time and knowledge. <Happy to help.> Amy <Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Question about Guppy-tail-nipping Danio 05/20/08
Thank you again. I'm surprised by the 'trade them in' policy. I will ask! Amy <Good luck, Neale.>

2 Male Guppies Not Getting Along   3/12/08 We just got our first fish tank - 1 gallon - and then after a few days when the water was "right" we put in two male guppies. <Hmm... 1 gallon isn't a fish tank, it's a bucket. And not even a very big bucket. Completely unsuitable for Guppies, and won't work in the long term, so not even worth wasting effort trying to fix the problem. Go, now, and buy a 20 gallon tank, minimum, for Guppies. Anything less will cause you problems. Trust me on this.> At first they seemed rather happy eating and swimming all over checking out their new space. Then one of the fish (Wubbsy) started acting strange and his tail looked haggard. He will hide at the bottom of the tank near the heater and filter and hang out there while the other guppy (Pablo) will swim all over the place. <Haggard tail could be fin-nipping from the other male, or else Finrot caused by poor water quality, or both. Hiding is because male Guppies are aggressive, and attack each other. In tanks less than 20 gallons, they WILL NOT COEXIST!!!!!! It's like getting a Palaeontologist and a Creationist to share a classroom -- sooner or later one of them will beat the other one into the ground!> When it's feeding time the more aggressive Pablo will hover above the other and eat all the food first. It's as if he's keeping him pinned down. Wubbsy, the scared little guy barely eats and is chased by the other. Do I need to remove them from each other? <Remove both. To another tank. Ideally different tanks, but failing that, just the one 20 gallon tank.> Too much/not enough light? <Nope.> Change the water? <Nope.> Lower the heat? <Nope.> Add salt? <Nope.> Not feed them for a few days? <Nope.> There are so many sources for information out there that I'm a little unsure of what advice to take. I'm new to all of this and my two daughters are upset that Wubbsy seems unhappy and scared of Pablo. What's a mom to do before one of the fish dies and I have two distraught daughters on my hands? <What a Mom should do is set a good example. Fish are animals. They don't want cute names. They want proper care, the right environment, sensible tankmates. So, your job as a responsible Mom is to demonstrate that with the pleasure of owning an animal comes the responsibility of providing what that animal needs. I'm sure as a Mom you've frowned at some bad parenting you've seen and said, Hey, some people really shouldn't have kids. Right now I'm the judgmental Mom and you're the Mom with the neglected/misbehaving child. So, with that said, it's time to raise your game and prove me wrong. We have plenty of information on Guppies here at WWM, for example here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/guppies.htm Avail yourself of these, and then if you want more help, get back in touch!> Nicole <Good luck! Neale.>
Re: 2 Male Guppies Not Getting Along   3/12/08
Thanks so much - we'll give it a whirl. I really only wanted something small to start to see if we could handle the responsibility of fish (or any other pet for that matter). <Ah, doesn't work this way... tanks below 20 gallons are difficult to look after and it is less easy to choose suitable livestock. For the beginner, something in the 20-40 gallon range is dramatically easier to maintain.> With my little tank what would you suggest for a first time fish owner? I do not have room for anything much larger. And I need two fish - one for each of my girls. They fell for the pretty guppies but if that is not suitable for what we can offer space-wise what are some options? <The best fishes for inexperienced aquarists are Danios and Corydoras catfish. Keep Danios in groups of six, and Corydoras in groups of at least four specimens. The former swim at the top, the latter at the bottom. Both are fine in 20 gallon tanks and are very adaptable re: water chemistry, diet. The problem with bigger, non-schooling fish is they tend to be territorial and aggressive, and from there come problems! So I'd tend not to worry too much on one for one little girl and another for the other little girl (though I appreciate the sentiment). Instead, encourage the girls to think of the fish as a *family*, where all the members of a group of Danios or Corydoras need one another and get lonely kept apart. Not only is this is a good life lesson, it's not far from the scientific truth either.> We did the pet store rounds and everyone had a different version of what was needed, what we should buy, etc. <A book helps, but in the meantime, check out these: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestk.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestocking.htm > It really is hard to get good advice out there that doesn't come with a sales pitch. Nicole <I appreciate this. The guys in the store may mean well, but their main goal is to sell stuff, and oftentimes their knowledge of fish may be strong in some areas but weak in others. Books are a better resource than web sites because they're edited. Here at WWM you get the best of both worlds: people like me and Bob Fenner write for magazines and books. But nothing beats having a nice book you can sit down and spend the evening reading. It's also good to educate children to the value of books, even if it is only having them learn to identify the fish they see with the pictures in the book. As they mature, they won't have that fear of books so many young people seem to have these days. Good luck, Neale.>

Guppies tails being eaten  -- 07/01/07 Hi, we have a 60 litre tank with several tetras, 2 Silver Dollars, 6 Platys (with a week-old baby in a net cage!) & one Clown Loach. A few days ago we acquired 4 Guppies which we assumed to be male due to their colourful tails. All was fine for the first 2 or three days then, one morning, we found a severely traumatised little person minus tail! We quickly separated him from the others but he died shortly after. We noticed that one of the other Guppy's tails had been nibbled, though not to a great degree, and kept an eye throughout the day. However, yesterday morning, he too had died. Whatever's happening seems to be doing so during the night. Might you be able to advise as we find it so distressing & feel we've done something awfully wrong. Many thanks, Don & Jenny. <Greetings. As you perhaps realise, a 60 litre (16 US gallon) tank is too small for silver dollars. Silver dollars potentially over 10 cm (4") in length and are exceptionally active and fast moving. I'd hesitate to recommend them even for a tank two or three times the size of yours. Clown loaches are schooling fish, and should be kept in at least a trio. Keeping a single specimen isn't very fair to the fish, and you'll probably find it is shy and nervous. Clown loaches are even bigger than silver dollars, and definitely need a bigger tank than yours. For a trio, even a 200 litre tank would be too small. So that's the analysis of your livestock over! Almost certainly the guppies are being nipped by the tetras. Silver dollars generally aren't nippers, so I'd cross those one of the list. But Serpae tetras, black widow tetras, flame tetras, and a few others are regularly implicated. So if you let me know which tetras you have, we can try and identify the culprit. In some cases the problem is too few members of the school, but in other cases the tetra concerned feeds on skin and scales in the wild, so is simply doing what comes natural. Either way, mixing tetras and fancy guppies is almost never a good idea. Even Neons have been known to nip fins under such circumstances! In the meantime, treat for Finrot/fungus. Cheers, Neale.>

Reply... Neale, Don & Jenny... Silver Dollars...    7/2/07 Hi Neale, many thanks for your reply and advice. Our Silver Dollars are about 3-4 inches and seem quite happy. Our Clown Roach 2-3 inches & also seems happy. He/ she is out and about quite a lot from under his log. We intend getting another as we had 2 to start with but one vanished overnight some weeks ago!- but haven't been able to locate a small one. We have a few Neon tetras, 5 Leopards and 4 Blue. Our one remaining Guppy seems unscathed and absolutely fine! Is it possible he might be responsible for the de-finning and ultimate demise of his three amigos? As you've probably surmised, we are novice fish enthusiasts, having started keeping fish at the end of March. Most of our purchases ( Tetras, Platys and, more recently, our unfortunate Guppies) have been the result of advice given by a Fish Specialist shop in Rhyl from whom we also bought our tank & equipment. We have already decided to get a second tank. Ta muchly, Don & Jenny <Hello Don & Jenny! Guppies can be nippy towards one another. Males are aggressive, especially when kept in small groups without females. Whether to the point of killing each other I cannot say. Never heard of that. Possible though. I have no idea what "leopard" tetras are. Never heard of them. Do you mean Leopard Danios? Small, minnow-like fish with spotted bodies that swim blazingly fast? Danios can be pugnacious, and tend to be fairly high energy animals. Work best in groups of 6 or more; any fewer and they often harass their tankmates, not out of malice really, but simply frustration, and the need to chase things and burn off some energy. Blue Tetras are fairly uncommon and I don't have personal experience, but they're said to be peaceful. Neons are not normally nippy but they have been know to bite Siamese fighting fish, so the possibility of nipping a fancy guppy definitely exists. As for questions of "happiness", there's two kinds of happy. There's what works now, and then there's what works in the long term. Your fish quite probably are happy know because they're young. Fish are often adaptable animals and will thrive in less than perfect conditions. But clown loaches and Silver Dollars get big and live for 10+ years, so long term you need a plan. I'd recommend keeping an eye out over the next 6-12 months for a bigger aquarium. There's nothing more miserable than a big clown loach by itself wedged into a too-small aquarium. Clown loaches are notoriously sensitive, sometimes making suicidal jumps out of aquaria when they feel stressed and other times getting Whitespot very easily. Clown loaches are "allergic" to most standard medications, as I trust your retailer told you, and you must never use things like anti-Whitespot potion in a tank with clown loaches. Hope this helps, Neale>

Mixing FW Fish  -- 04/29/07 Should I put a Danio and a rainbow shark together with guppies and Cory catfish? <The male guppies have long flowing tails that are going to be irresistible to the Danio and the shark. You will gat some torn fins on the guppies when you add these fish.-Chuck>

Guppies and Chinese Algae Eaters  4/8/07 Hi, <<Greetings, Matt. Tom with you.>> Just having a read through your website. Very helpful. <<Glad to hear it, Matt.>> I have a 25 litre tank with both male and female guppies as well as 4 golden Chinese algae eaters. Fairly small, the largest is 2 inches. The shop said it would be fine however your site is giving me some doubt! <<Again, I'm glad to hear this. Even without going into my usual diatribe on CAE's, Matt, they grow too large for a 25-liter tank.>> Will the guppies be fine as they should be too small and fast to be latched onto by a CAE? <<Just responded yesterday to a reader who found exactly the opposite to be true 'sadly for one of the Guppies. Nearly identical circumstances, coincidentally. In short, your Guppies are not safe at all.>> There doesn't even appear to be algae in my time <<tank?>>, should I consider giving them the flick? <<Immediately, if not sooner than that.>> If so what other bottom dwelling fish can live in fresh water tanks at room temp.? As I mainly got them as they are something different! <<Oh, they're different all right! Personally, I'd look into a few of any of the Corydoras varieties of Catfish. Personable little fish that get along well with nearly all fish, certainly with your Guppies. Mine are kept at 78 degrees F. so you'll want to do some careful acclimating if 'room temperature' is far below this.>> Cheers Matt <<Best regards, Matt. Tom>>

Happy Guppies - how to keep males from harassing the females.  1/9/07 Hello, <Hi> I raised 5 guppy babies. <Congratulations, fish-grandma!> They are adults now and I have 3 males and two females.  The males are relentless and annoy everyone due to the imbalance of male/female ratio. <All livebearers behave this way; I've found that my male guppies are especially nasty, even towards each other.  It's just their temperament.> I really don't want tons of guppies but only want the ones I have to be happy. <I understand and think that's kind and wise.> The two females look stressed from the males, the males are aggressive toward the females and the lone male Swordtail. <Doesn't surprise me. How large is this tank?> Should I buy more females and ignore the guppy fry to make my clan happy, or will I end of with tons of unwanted guppies? <The latter, unless you have larger fish that will "control" the population.  A few options: (a) keep the males and females in separate tanks (but do keep in mind that female livebearers can store sperm, and basically self-impregnate at will for about 6 mos.), (b) establish a suitable community tank with larger fish to eat the fry (I have a 44 gal. FW community tank with boesemanni rainbows and male and female platys; I haven't seen a baby platy in years now...), (c) have a separate tank that you can feed the fry to (if you can bring yourself to do it - I never could!), or (d) find another home for either the males or females, and just keep one sex of livebearer.  As far as I know, these are pretty much your options.  I've said it before, but I'll say it again - with their rate of reproduction, I am *amazed* that livebearers haven't taken over this planet!> Thanks, MDM <You're welcome. Jorie>

I've got a dwarf puffer that I've had in a guppy tank for some time now.    7/13/06 <<Why in a guppy tank?  Guppies eat so quickly compared to DP's, and DP's are notoriously vicious for their size.>> Yesterday, I walked past the tank, and I noticed that the dwarf puffer had a fry coming out of its body.  I quickly did a bit of research, and I found that dwarf puffers lay eggs, not birth live.  Yet there are about 3 or 4 babies swimming around the tank, each with barely-there puffer spots. <<??? DP's certainly do lay eggs.  That's quite confusing indeed!>> My question:  How is this possible?  Could it be that it's not a dwarf puffer, but a different type? <<No.>> I've owned many dwarf puffers over the past few years, and they always look the same as the one I had.  Is it possible that maybe a guppy gave birth to fry, and this puffer ate a baby whole, and it didn't break down in the puffer's body and he passed it as it was when he ate it? <<I'm not sure.  I do know that live Artemia have been expelled out of some fishes' digestive tracts, but I've never heard of this happening with DP's.  What exactly does the fry look like?>> I've never seen anything like this, nor have I heard of anything like this happening, but none of my guppies have even looked pregnant, much less given birth before. Help! <<I wish I had more information for you.  Are you certain the fry was coming from its body? Study it closely and make a definitive ID; DP, guppy, or neither. Lisa>>

All-male guppies with platys and mollies   6/9/06 Hello Crew Jasmine here again. I currently have some platys (one male, 4 females) and mollies (2 males, 4 females). I am thinking of getting 5 male-only guppies (since I am not wanting to breed guppies and the females take up bio-load without looking very nice). Do you think there be too much aggression between the male guppies without any females guppies? <Mmm, no. This species is often raised in single-sex settings to avoid such interactions> Do you think the male guppies will start harassing the platys and mollies? <Not likely that much... Poecilia reticulata are slower than these others> As usual, many thanks for your advice. Best regards Jasmine <Bob Fenner>

Bettas and Guppies ... comp.  - 06/02/2006 Hi WWM! <<Part of it, Helen. Tom here.>> I know Bettas and guppies shouldn't normally be kept together as the Betta may confuse them for other males. <<True. Additionally, a Betta doesn't require "mates" ("buddies", for our American readers) :)>> Wherever I've read this though the tank in question has had only a few plants or is relatively small. <<All a Betta requires...>> In a 125l tank with many, many places to retreat and no other occupants except ten guppies and a pair of catfish would it be possible to safely keep a Betta? <<What kind of Catfish, Helen? Some might think Guppies are "food". As to your question, it's generally not recommended to keep other fish with Bettas. Additionally, Guppies are easily stressed. Easily! A Betta will be tickled to death with a 20L tank, all by itself, and the Guppies will be happier for it.>> My main concern isn't that it could successfully hurt the guppies but that it might stress itself through constantly trying. <<My main concern, Helen, is mixing fish that shouldn't be "mixed".>> Thanks, Helen <<You're welcome, Helen. Tom>>

Guppies Not Making It In a Community Tank  12/03/05 HI Bob, Thanks for taking time to read this, I am sure you are very busy.  As always, well done and thank you for the continued excellence hard work and invaluable advice on the wet web (my most visited site according to my net monitor).  Now to my question.  I have three tanks: one is a 45 inch well planted tropical with a small  heater and a small filter, housing one red fighter fish, he is a happy chap and  very chilled out unless provoked (he hates guppies), I was thinking of putting in 2 cherry barbs or maybe a couple of white cloud mountain minnows. Good idea or bad? I read on the wet web that they are compatible as long as the temperament is right. < The flowing fins of the Betta are very tempting for barbs and other quick fish to nip at. Over time the Betta's fins will be picked away.> Secondly I have a 2 and a half foot cold tank with 4 white cloud mountain minnows, 2 small Plecs (not sure what species to be fare) 1 baby shabumpkin, <<Shubunkin>> 1 baby chocolate Moore and one a 1 & a half year old Ranchu. Well planted with a two foot bubble curtain and strong filtration with minimum water movement. Is this an ok set up (it is very mature and all fish seem happy as can be, never sick etc. in fact one of the minnows is 3 years old!!) < The Pleco usually likes warmer water temps than the cooler water fish.> Now the main question. I also have a three and a half foot tank. full length bubble curtain, a six inch filter with carbon sponge and carbon cartridges running opposite a 12 inch Fluval 3 filter, heated too the norm of 24 to 25 C. It is very well planted with plenty of space and hiding places, play areas etc. In it I have 3 Opaline Gourami 3 Kissing gourami (babies) 2 Gold gourami (babies) 2 clown loaches (medium sized - no where near the full adult)# 2 pepper Cory 1 male lyre tail sword 2 standard male swords 2 female swords 5 light glow tetra 5 rummy nose tetra a couple of Siamese algae eaters 5 guppies 3 male two female 1 male sail fin molly 1 female silver molly 3 baby black mollies #moving to a four foot tank when larger Why is it that out of everything I have that it is only ever my guppies that I struggle with? I never have any issue with the other fish, they all appear in great form, the water quality is Spot on, correct pH and NIte levels are fine, temp is steady. Because it is heavy stocked I use a lot of filtration and strongly oxygenate the water with the large bubble curtain. From time to time and one by one they succumb to fin rot (is it a result of nipping?) random death for no apparent reason and occasionally red spots on the caudal fins.  Could you spread some light on this issue please. Take care and thank you oz < The guppies are slow and small with the males having long fins. Male livebearers are constantly harassing the females and the male guppies with their long tails are getting nipped by the other fish. The stress from these activities will affect their immune system and they will die from diseases.-Chuck> 

Algae Eater With Guppies - 10/17/2005 Hi, <Hello.> I have a 36 gal tank with guppies and live plants. I have had some algae growth on my plants and hoped you might suggest a good fish to add to my tank that will eat algae on the plants but is safe to keep with guppies and their fry. One of the people at the LFS I use a lot suggested Otocinclus. <A very effective, but very sensitive fish.> I've also read about using Plecos, but that they can damage plants if they are large. <Ancistrus "Bushynose" Plecs are a good choice, and stay under 5" roughly.> The algae on the plants appears to be mostly green hair algae. There is some on the glass and a little on the substrate that appears to be more of a green slime. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. <You might consider shrimp of genus Caridina or Neocaridina.... the "algae-eating" shrimp, Caridina japonica, and the "cherry" shrimp, Neocaridina denticulata sinensis v. red, are both readily available in the hobby now and excellent consumers of algae. Not to mention cute!> Thanks, -Rob <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Guppies and Corys  9/25/05 I am setting up a new freshwater tank (36 gal) and am interested in keeping guppies and Cory cats. I've noticed on this site that a lot of people seem to have this combination. I am actually moving the guppies from a smaller tank due to reproduction. Will the guppy fry be safe in the same tank with the Cory cats or would they turn into a meal? I do have breeding grass for them to hide in which has helped them survive with the adult guppies. <Should do fine together, if a guppy fry is on the bottom of the tank and slow enough to get eaten by a Cory then there was probably something wrong with it anyway.  Corys aren't much for hunting fish and keep to themselves, as long as you provide some hiding places for the fry they should be fine.  Gage>

Guppies (12-18-03) I love guppies but am not so fond of other livebearers. Can you suggest some fish I can put with them? I have a 55 gallon.<You should be able to find lots of fish choices here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm.  Cody>

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