Finding the perfect tank mate for your guppy isn’t as hard as it might seem. Guppies are some of the most popular community fish, found in the wild in ponds, streams, and lakes all over the world. These low-maintenance fish are easy to care for in an aquarium setting because they are hardy and resilient, accepting of most water conditions – but mostly because they get along so well with other kinds of fish.
Often referred to as rainbowfish, guppies are incredibly brightly colored. Males tend to be brighter and more vibrant, but females aren’t too shabby, either. These fish have prominent tails, long bodies, ad narrow heads, available in a wide variety of shapes and colors. They live up to three years and are usually omnivores, preferring to feed on tropical fish flakes.
Native to South America, these fish were first discovered in 1866 in Trinidad. Today, they are often called million fish because they reproduce so easily. They should be kept in a gallon of water for every inch of fish – so a three-inch, fully grown fish should be in a three-gallon tank. They prefer temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit – a massive range that will allow you to accommodate other types of fish with ease.
Although guppies do well in guppy-only tanks, there are plenty of other species you can house with this illustrious fish. Looking for inspiration? Here are some of the best fish you can keep as tank mates for your guppies.
- 1 Cardinal Tetras
- 2 Swordtail
- 3 Corydoras Catfish
- 4 Molly
- 5 Clown Loaches
- 6 Glass Fish
- 7 Halfbeak
- 8 Pleco
- 9 Rasboras
- 10 Red Cherry Shrimp
- 11 Endler’s Livebearers
- 12 Ghost Shrimp
- 13 Honey Gouramis
- 14 Otocinclus Catfish
- 15 Kuhli Loach
- 16 Nerite Snails
- 17 Platy
- 18 Amano Shrimp
- 19 African Dwarf Frog
- Are There Any Fish That I Should Not Keep With Guppies?
1 Cardinal Tetras
Cardinal tetras are easy to care for fish that are absolutely gorgeous in color. Add them to a guppy tank, and you will have one gorgeous-looking aquarium! These peaceful fish enjoy spending their time with other fish and will usually leave other fish alone. They prefer a pH range between 5 and 6 and temperatures between 72 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit. These fish only grow to about two inches in length.
Swordtail fish are known for being incredibly aggressive toward each other – yet they won’t lash out at other fish in your tank. They are easy to take care of but they do like to jump. If you decide to add some Swordtail fish in with your guppies, just add a cover to your tank so that you don’t need to worry about any making their way out of your tank. Otherwise, they are easy to care for, preferring similar environmental conditions as your guppies and only growing to about four inches long.
3 Corydoras Catfish
Cory Catfishes are energetic little fish, spending their days swimming around and cleaning the tank as they look for uneaten food particles. More Corydoras fish equals less clean=up work for you! These fish tend to hang out in the lower levels of the water column and are quite peaceful, getting along well with guppies as well as other community fish. Make sure you have a large tank, as these fish like to be kept in large groups of four or more. They are small, though, rarely exceeding three inches in length.
When most people think of the best fish to be kept in a guppy tank, they usually think of Mollies. Mollies are beautiful community fish and make great tank mates for guppies. They won’t fight with each other and they also have the same environmental needs. You can choose from many different types of Mollies, including Sailfin Mollies, Black Mollies, and Balloon Mollies. They usually only grow to a maximum of six inches in length and are remarkably easy to care for.
5 Clown Loaches
Just about any species of loach will make a great addition to your guppy tank. These bottom feeders generally hang out by themselves and won’t cause too much trouble for your other fish – including your guppies. They don’t usually bother other fish. Keep in mind that there are some species of loaches, including Clown Loaches, that can grow to over a foot in size – you will want to keep this in mind as you are shopping for an appropriately sized tank. Otherwise, though, these fish are calm and easy to care for.
6 Glass Fish
Glass Fish are not aggressive fish and also do not like being housed with aggressive fish. As a result, they are the perfect choice for your guppy fish tank. These beautiful fish add a unique element to your tank, as they have see-through bodies that make them quite wondrous to look at.
They prefer to be kept in schools of at least five – keep this in mind when you are selecting the appropriate tank. You will need one that is large enough for everybody.
The Halfbeak is an excellent community fish, particularly if you are looking to keep it with guppies or other similar peaceful fish. These fish do best with others that are not aggressive, but it should be noted that they love to jump – make sure you have a tight-fitting lid on your tank!
Halfbacks are gorgeous to look at, usually only growing to about two or three inches in length. They have lovely colorful fins that will really stand out among the other fish in your tank.
Plecos are excellent bottom-feeders to help keep your guppy tank clean and tidy. This calm fish is an easy going fish whose main hobby is to eat up all the algae in your tank! There will be little work for you when you have one of these fish in your guppy tank. Plus, they’re quite enjoyable to watch as they slowly move along eating all the algae in sight. It should be noted, however, that they can grow quite large – sometimes reaching 24 inches or more – so you will need a relatively large tank.
Rasboras only grow to about two inches long and prefer similar temperatures and pH ranges as your guppies. They are not aggressive and will enjoy swimming around the tank. These fish do best in schools of six – if you want to have more guppies, just make sure you have a larger tank so all of these peaceful community fish have plenty of room to swim around.
10 Red Cherry Shrimp
Red Cherry Shrimp aren’t fish, but are instead shrimp that make excellent companions for your guppies. These creatures will enjoy eating algae from the tank glass and will also help tidy up your tank decorations, too. With vibrant red coloring, these creatures only adds to the beauty of your guppies. However, you should know that Red Cherry Shrimp breed quickly, and will multiply quickly if given the chance.
11 Endler’s Livebearers
Endler’s livebearers are a great match for guppies – they are about the same size and they also look somewhat similar. Some people believe they are relatives, and it’s true that guppies will interbreed with Endler’s Livebearers if they are housed in the same tank.
Endler’s livebearers are small fish – therefore, if you put them in the tank with other spices, make sure the other fish aren’t overly large.
12 Ghost Shrimp
The ghost shrimp is a tiny little species that only reaches about one or two inches in length. Like the glass fish, this creature is almost completely translucent – but it should be noted that it is not a fish but instead an invertebrate species. This shrimp loves to burrow, so you will want to make sure you have a nice gravel or sand substrate to give this creature a hiding place. You can have a moderately large tank or a small one – the size of your tank will be determined by how many guppies you already have. Just make sure there is plenty of room to burrow!
13 Honey Gouramis
If you have a bit more experience and are looking for a slightly more challenging fish species to keep with your guppies, you might want to consider raising Honey Gouramis. These fish need heavily planted tanks with lots of shade as well as plenty of places to hide. You can use floating plants in your Gourami and Guppy tank, or you can add tall plants as well. You should keep your Honey Gouramis in groups of four to six, as they are extremely social and like to be housed with other fish.
These fish are good tank mates for guppies because they are easy to keep and well-mannered. Keep in mind that you will need a slightly larger tank though – nothing smaller than thirty gallons.
14 Otocinclus Catfish
Often referred to simply as Oto Catfish, these fish are some of the most loved species in freshwater aquariums. They are even-tempered and shy and prefer tanks with plenty of driftwood, live plants, and other spots to hide. You should keep them in small groups – three or four is best.
These fish are incredibly docile but are also prized for their ability to eat tons of algae. Although they are small, a group of Otos can easily clear out a tank full of algae in just a few days. You may want to also add some supplemental nutrition in the form of algae wafers to ensure that your Photos are getting everything they need.
15 Kuhli Loach
Kuhli loaches look a lot like eels and will add a ton of interest to your guppy tank. These fish are extremely peaceful and get along well with other freshwater species – yes, including guppies! They should be kept in small groups of three to five individuals, but since they are small – rarely growing longer than four inches – you can keep a group in a tank that is 20 gallons or more.
Your Kuhli tank should contain lots of hiding spots like live plants and driftwoods. You will also want to use a lightweight, sandy substrate to avoid scratching the delicate stomach and fins of the Kuhli loach. These fish are nocturnal, so if you think they’ve disappeared for a few days, don’t worry – they’ll start coming out more once they get used to a diurnal schedule.
16 Nerite Snails
Snails play a valuable role in just about any freshwater fish tank. You can include these non-fish species in your guppy tank, where it will spend most of its time nibbling on the algae in your tank. Regarded as one of the best algae-eating snail species out there, these creatures can take an entire tank of algae in no time. They are completely safe to keep with guppies and won’t even bother your live plants.
If you’re looking for a low-cost companion for your guppies – and one that will clean up your tank to boot – then the Nerite Snail is a good choice for you.
Platies are good companions for guppies because they are also live bearers. Just know that you will have a ton of baby platies swimming around in your tank if you keep a school!
These fish are brightly colored and can display a variety of patterns and colors. They aren’t demanding when it comes to your water conditions and they get along well with other community fish you meet keep in a guppy tank, too, like swordfish, mollies, catfish, and tetras.
These fish are voracious eaters and will eat just about anything you give them, including flake foods, freeze dried bloodworms, mosquito larvae, fruit flies, and more.
18 Amano Shrimp
The Amano Shrimp is another good invertebrate for your guppy tank. These creatures are slightly larger than cherry shrimp and can easily be housed in a freshwater tank as long as they are kept with other compatible fish like bristle nose plecos, bettas, guppies, and other peaceful small fish. They hide easily and have a unique diet that influences their color. These omnivores often steal food from other fish, but they will also eat leftovers that fall to the bottom of the tank.
19 African Dwarf Frog
Another non-fish species that you can keep with your guppies is the African Dwarf Frog. These creatures can be a bit sensitive to changes in water quality, but otherwise they get along well with small fish. They tend to hang out toward the bottom of the tank and guppies hang out near the top. Therefore, they won’t interact with each other very often.
The one word of caution about raising African Dwarf Frogs with guppies ist hat the frogs tend to eat very slowly – guppies often gobble up all of the frogs’ food before they get a chance to find it. You might have to feed your frogs with tweezers in order to overcome this. Otherwise, raising the two species together is quite easy, requiring a tank size of only around ten gallons or so.