How Long Do Guppies Live (Ways To Prolong Their Lives)

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Guppy fish

In the previous post, we already learned about the perfect water temperature range for guppies. Today, we will discuss guppy’s lifespan.

So, how long do guppies live?

It’s common for guppies to have a general lifespan of about two years, especially living in aquariums. In their natural habitat, they can live up to 5 years.

Well, you may wonder why there is a huge difference between the two conditions and how we can prolong their lives?

We will introduce ways to do it in the next content.

A/ Ways to make your guppies live longer

The average lifespan might be only two years for guppies living in aquariums, but we have some good news.

There are some great and easy ways on how you can make your guppies live longer. General caring tips that you need to know in any way to ensure healthy fish.

This is more information about ensuring that your guppies are living longer.

1- Giving the Right Water Parameters

There are many things about the water temperature for guppy fish that you need to consider. However, to recap, you need to remember that the water should be at a temperature between 72-82 °F.

Besides the temperature, there are some other water parameters that you need to control in order to make sure that your guppies have a healthy and prolong life.  These are what you need to look for:

  • Temperature: 72 to 82°F (22 to 28°C)
  • pH: 6.8 to 7.8
  • Nitrites: 0 ppm (parts per million)
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrates: 10 ppm maximum
  • Hardness (dGH): 8 to 12

You must be careful in using tap water that has high levels of heavy metals, chlorine, and chloramine.

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This can shorten the lifespan of the fish. Guppy fry should have warmer water to ensure healthier growth and to ensure a longer lifespan.

2- Feeding Quality Food to Your Guppies

Good quality food and making sure that they are getting all the vitamins that they need will ensure that they live longer than just the two years. 

Buying quality food flakes for guppies is always recommended.

But only fish flakes can’t give a balanced diet.

A well balanced diet will need to include other fish food like bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp. These can be fresh or frozen food.

Guppies are omnivores, so they will eat anything that is put in front of them and that is small enough for them to consume.

But most important is that you should never overfeed your guppies. This is the one thing that causes death in guppies very easily. Removing the food that they didn’t consume ensures a clean tank and prevents overfeeding.

3- Reducing Stress

The moment that a guppy fish is getting stressed, it is going to shorten its life and it will not survive as long as you hoped it would be.

Stress can be caused by many factors.

Overstocking your tank

The main factor of stress is when there is too much fish in the tank. Each fish needs to have enough space to swim around without worrying about other fish. If the tank is too crowded, the fish will start stressing.

It’s recommended that one guppy should have at least 1 gallon to swim in.

Low water temperature

Water that is too cold can let fish stress, or struggling with low oxygen levels in the water can also cause stress.

These are all stress-related problems that can be fixed without any problems and that can prolong your guppy’s lives in an aquarium.

Aggressive tank mates

Another thing to remember is that adding the wrong fish with your guppies can also cause stress. Large fish that can see guppies as food like large Angelfish isn’t recommended. Cichlids and any other aggressive fish can cause stress for guppies.

4- Don’t let them reproduce too much

Something that you might not have thought about, is that the more you are breeding with your guppies, the shorter you are making their lifespan.

This is with reproduction; stress is always present. Especially when the female is near giving birth.

It’s why you should not keep continuing breeding if you want to make sure that your guppies are healthier for a much longer time.

5- Choose the healthy guppies for your tank

Besides all the above-mentioned information we gave, there is one other thing that is essential about having healthy guppies that are living as long as possible. This is to choose healthy guppies when you buy them.

It’s one of the biggest mistakes that aquarium owners are making. Buying the cheapest guppies that they can find in order to save money or to be able to buy more fish for their aquarium. But cheap guppies mean that the guppies might not be healthy.

These are the two things to consider to ensure that you have healthy guppies in your tank.

Buying your guppy fish from trusted and experienced breeders

Experienced guppy breeders are breeding healthy and strong fish. They have the experience to breed the best and healthiest fish.

Don’t let your guppy inbreed

Don’t let your guppies inbreed. Meaning doesn’t let the male guppies breed with their offspring again.

This will lead to gene and congenital problems later on. Especially if you start inbreeding more often and without introducing a new male into your aquarium to bring in new genes.

B/ Related question

These are some other questions that are related to guppies. Questions that we are getting quite often. This is just making sure that you are going to get the correct answers to the most frequently asked questions about guppies.

How long can guppies go without food?

If your guppies are healthy, they can go without food for 2 weeks. Making these fish great to have, if you are going away frequently.

However, if you want to make sure that your guppies survive two weeks, you need to consider the condition of the tank.

A filter clean, 50-70% water change the day before you leave, and putting your aquarium lights on a timer is the three essential steps before you leave your guppies without food when you are going away.

Female and male guppies- which one will live longer?

In general, the females are living a lot longer than the male guppies. Normally females can have a lifespan of two years, while the male can only live for 1 year after it reaches adulthood.

This is why the males have a secret weapon. They can reproduce even 10 months after they have died. Their sperms can be stored and be viable for up to 10 months in the females.

How long is a guppy fish pregnant?

The normal gestation period of guppy fish is between 21 to 31 days.

There is a couple of things that are playing a role in how long a guppy fish stays pregnant.

For example, a warmer tank will prevent the guppy to stay pregnant for too long, and being stressed can also cause the female to stay pregnant for too long.

Or, if she is stressed early in the pregnancy, she can have a miscarriage.

How long does it take for guppies to give birth?

There isn’t an exact time estimate for how long it takes for guppies to give birth. It can be anywhere between one hour to a couple of hours.

It depends on how many fries the female will have. For a first-timer, the female might take a bit longer to give birth than a female that has done this a couple of times.

You should make sure to wait a couple of hours before you consider her done with giving birth. She can have anywhere between 12 to 30 fries. However, this is just an estimate of the average fries a guppy can have.

How long does it take for baby guppies to grow?

If the fry’s living conditions are correct, it will take about 6 months for the fry to grow into full size. The full size would be about 1.5 inches long for males, and 2.5 inches for females without measuring the tail.

For the fry to grow into full size faster, you need to consider the temperature of the water, the quality food you are giving them, and the quality of the water. If anyone of these isn’t correct, you can struggle to get your fry to the right size and to get your fry to live.

How long does it take for guppies to breed?

Female guppies are ready to breed between the age of 10 to 20 weeks. Male guppies can start breeding at 7 weeks. This means that they can actually start breeding, even if they aren’t fully grown yet.

Once they start breeding, females will breed every 30 days after giving birth. This will continue until the female reaches the age of 20 months. Then, she will stop reproducing and will not give birth anymore.

The Male will continue to breed until he dies, and then his sperm will still be able to reproduce for 10 months within the female.

C/ Conclusion

There are some great ways on how you can prolong guppies’ lives. To recap, these are some of the ways on how you can ensure that your guppies live as long as possible.

  • The right water temperature
  • Quality food
  • Reducing stress
  • Don’t let them inbreed too much
  • Buying guppies from experienced and trusted breeders.

The moment that you are taking care of your guppies correctly, you will be able to enjoy your guppies for a longer time. Maybe a lot longer than the normal age of 2 years.

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