How Many Guppies Can You Keep in a 10 Gallon Tank?

Video how many guppies in a 10 gallon tank

If you’re curious about the number of guppies suitable for a 10 gallon tank, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, you’ll discover how to calculate the ideal guppy population, whether the gender makes a difference, and when to avoid overcrowding. So, keep reading to find all the information you need!

How Do You Determine the Number of Guppies for a 10 Gallon Tank?

To calculate the appropriate guppy population for your tank, a general rule of thumb is to allocate one gallon of water for every inch of fish. Therefore, in a 10-gallon fish tank, you can accommodate up to 10 inches worth of guppies.

The Deception of 10 Gallons

It’s important to remember that a fish tank shouldn’t be empty and dull. To ensure the well-being of guppies, providing them with a stimulating environment is essential. There are several objects you should place in your 10-gallon tank, including:

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Filter and Heater

Keeping guppies in a tank necessitates the use of a filter and heater. While some filters can hang on the back of the aquarium, most are placed inside the tank along with the heater, reducing available space.

Decorative Props

Consider adding props like houses, castles, monuments, or caves to enhance the aesthetics of your aquarium. These not only beautify the tank but also provide amusement for your guppies. They also offer shade and comfort to young fry and pregnant guppies.

Compatible Tank Mates

It’s advisable to keep a variety of tank mates along with your guppies. Suitable companions for guppies usually include swordtails, mollies, bottom feeders, tetras, gouramis, angelfish, and catfish. Ensure that the tank mates have a calm temperament and are similar in size to the guppies. If you introduce tank mates, it’s recommended to keep 2-3 guppies and consider upgrading to a larger tank to avoid overcrowding.

Aquatic Plants

Lush green plants in a fish tank are visually pleasing and conducive to the well-being of guppies, especially the young ones. Most aquarium plants are easy to maintain and create a comfortable environment for guppies.


Lastly, a tank shouldn’t have an empty bottom. Fill it with sand, gravel, or aquarium soil to enhance the appearance and support the growth of beneficial bacteria, which is crucial for the nitrogen cycle.


Does the Gender of Guppies Matter?

Female adult guppies typically grow to nearly 2.5 inches in length, while males are smaller, reaching around 1.5 inches. Keeping male and female guppies together is generally recommended, but certain considerations apply.

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How Many Male and Female Guppies Should You Keep in a 10 Gallon Tank?

When housing male and female guppies together, it’s best to follow a ratio of 1 male guppy for every 2 female guppies. This balance minimizes aggression and reduces the chances of excessive breeding.

Consequences of Adding Too Many Guppies

Overpopulating a fish tank, regardless of size, is never advisable. If you exceed the limit of 5-6 guppies and tank mates in a ten-gallon tank, several problems may arise:

Unstable Water Parameters

Guppies require a healthy and balanced chemical composition in their water. Contaminated water can be fatal, causing ammonia and nitrite spikes that harm the guppies. Weaker guppies may even die in severe cases.

Frequent Tank Filth

Fish waste accumulates in the tank if not cleaned. A tank with an appropriate water-to-guppy ratio stays clean for longer, as their feces disintegrate easily and are removed by the filter. Conversely, an overstocked tank gets dirty quickly and can lead to diseases.

Aggression and Predation

If guppies lack sufficient space, their harmless nature can turn aggressive. They may attack other tank mates, fellow guppies, or fry.

Deformities and Stunted Growth

Overcrowding can lead to malnutrition as guppies struggle for food, oxygen, and hiding places. Inadequate tank volume impedes their growth and causes health issues. Inbreeding can also contribute to such problems.

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Will Breeding Cause Overcrowding?

If you have a mix of male and female guppies, breeding is highly likely. In a ten-gallon tank, conceiving every other month poses risks. Female guppies can give birth to 10 to 120 fry. At birth, each fry is about one-fourth of an inch and takes six months to reach full maturity, growing at an average rate of 0.3 inches per month. To avoid overcrowding, either separate male and female guppies or prepare a separate tank for the fry.

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Is It Possible to Add More Guppies to a 10 Gallon Tank?

Although it’s not recommended, you can add more guppies to your tank by following a few guidelines.

Use a Reliable Filter

Equip your tank with a powerful filter, preferably an external one to maximize space. Ensure there is ample biological media to foster beneficial bacteria.

Regularly Test and Change Water

Along with a good filter, regularly test and change the water. With more fish, the likelihood of problems increases, so regular water testing helps monitor tank conditions.

Introduce Live Plants

Adding live plants not only improves water quality but also provides hiding spots for guppies. Consider plants like Java fern, Anubias, Duckweed, Amazon sword, Amazon frogbit, Hornwort, Guppy Grass, Water Lettuce, and American Waterweed.

Remove Excess Food

Remove any uneaten food from the tank promptly to prevent ammonia levels from soaring. When keeping more guppies than a 10-gallon tank can accommodate, minimizing waste is crucial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions people have about keeping guppies in a 10-gallon tank!

How Many Guppies Should I Keep Together?

A minimum of three guppies is recommended for a 5-gallon tank. As the number of guppies increases, so should the tank size. Additionally, maintain a 1 male guppy to 2 female guppies ratio.

How Often Do Guppies Breed?

Female guppies can produce offspring every month if the conditions are favorable and male and female guppies are present.

Can You Keep Guppies with Bettas in a 10 Gallon Tank?

It’s not advisable to house guppies with bettas in a 10-gallon tank because bettas often attack guppies. In larger tanks, you can attempt to keep female guppies with male bettas or female guppies with female bettas. However, the outcome depends on the temperaments of the fish.

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Can You Keep Two Male Guppies Together?

Keeping two male guppies together is not recommended as they will fight. It’s better to maintain a male to female ratio of 2:1 or 3:1.

How Many Guppies and Tetras Can You Keep in a 10 Gallon Tank?

A 10-gallon tank may be too small for both guppies and tetras. It’s preferable to have a 15-gallon tank or larger to accommodate them comfortably.


Guppies are captivating fish that embody the beauty of aquatic life. To enliven your home with an aquarium, guppies are an excellent choice. In a ten-gallon tank, you can house 5-6 guppies. However, beginners should start with 3-4 guppies. This guide has provided you with the knowledge to maintain a healthy guppy population in your 10-gallon aquarium without overcrowding. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to explore the rest of our website! Have a great day!

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