Guppies are one of the most popular fish, bred by amateurs and enthusiasts alike. While most of the fish keepers either keep a single fish or breed them in pairs in a tank, can you have only male guppies in a tank? Do they get more aggressive in an all-male company?
Yes, you can have all-male guppies in one tank but you need to take care of aggression issues. Male guppies are aggressive in their approach towards a female when mating. When there is no one to impress, they dominate the lesser ones. Make sure you keep at least half a dozen males when going for all-male guppies in a single tank.
While you can always have all-male or all-female guppies in one tank, which one should you go for as a breeder or as a beginner? Continue reading to find out.
Male Guppies For The Show And Pomp Of The Tank
Male guppies are thought to be more vibrant and colorful than the females. This is not always a true story, but their subtle physical differences might lead people to think so. In such cases, beauty can definitely be in the eyes of the beholder.
To illustrate you with some differences between a male and a female guppy, let’s start with their size. A female guppy can grow as long as 6 cm whereas a male guppy will grow as long as 3 cm.
Another physical difference between the two is that males tend to be slender while females tend to be rounder and boxier, especially when they get pregnant.
A difference that becomes more of preference when prepping the tank for the show is the length of their fins. Male guppies have a more vibrant, colorful, and flowy tail fin than the females.
They are typically more vibrant and colorful to attract females for breeding. This makes them visibly more attractive to be kept as a show pet.
A male guppy’s slender, petite body with flowy tail fin makes it look magical and charming when swimming in a fish tank. Hence, people are more tempted to have all-male guppies in one tank.
Make sure you have at least one gallon of water for each guppy so that they can swim comfortably. If you want to know how many guppies you can keep in your tank without overcrowding it, we highly recommend reading this article. It will explain everything you need to know!
The Appropriate Sex Ratio
It is always recommended that one should keep two females per one male guppy in a tank. This way, the male guppy will be occupied and will not pester one lone female for breeding.
They breed pretty quickly and aggressively. Hence, the ‘load’ of satisfying the male should be shared between multiple female guppies.
Keeping this ratio in mind, you can increase or decrease the number of guppies in your tank. Since they mate fast and produce their young even faster, you need to keep an eye on it.
Some of the guppies are known to eat their fry. If you are trying to save them, try to keep a separate tank for the breeding couple. (We also recommend reading our article on aggression in guppies here!)
Once the fry is ready to be independent, you can release them in the community tank or give it away to other breeders.
All-Female Guppies Tank And Its Challenges
If you want to have guppies for its show quality while controlling the population, go for all male guppies. Another reason why the all-female guppies tank is not always preferable is due to the population issue.
One might think that all-female guppies may never have a population issue. But here is the situation – milt.
Milt is sperm of a male fish and female guppies can store it and use it for reproduction for as long as 10 months! A legacy of a dead male guppy can be kept alive by its milt stored in a female guppy.
They don’t need to breed ten times to store milt. They can do it once and the milt can stay in for about 10 months.
This can cause a lot of suspicious ‘virgin’ birthing and you will be utterly confused when you add all-female guppies to the equation. A beginner will not be able to understand it at first.
They might not look pregnant at first. But if you closely look at their gravid spot (which is near to their anal fin), you will get a clue.
The darker the gravid spot, the more chances of your female guppy of being pregnant. Also, you might even start observing subtle features of their fry in their abdomen.
If you are up for a challenge and can patiently place fry in another tank and do away with them for months, you can have an all-female guppies tank.
Compatible Tank Mates For Guppies
Guppies generally have a peaceful disposition unless they are breeding. Males tend to chase females until they breed and this can happen multiple times. But to other species, they are potentially harmless.
However, when you are going for all-male guppies, you need to keep an eye on aggression issues. Territorial and aggressive tank mates should always be avoided. Also, fishes, which have different water current and temperature needs, should be kept separately.
The best tank mates for guppies are platyfish, molly fish, swordtail fish, cory fish, danios, rasbora fish, and clown loaches. They all can live peacefully and have a similar diet, temperament, and water temperature requirement.
There are also other less compatible but vivid options for tank mates like tetras and gouramis but they can grow defensive and aggressive.
The main requirement is that you need to have enough space in the tank for everyone to live peacefully. The more space they have, the less territorial they will feel.
Make sure you also create hiding space for timid and fearful fishes. Also, the size of fishes should be almost equal to each other so that they do not bully the less dominant one.
Diet For Guppies
Guppies are omnivores. Their main source of diet is proteins so make sure they get plenty of it from their fish food. Check the ingredients and make sure it is filled with a high concentration of protein than the others.
Fish flakes are often a good choice of food for guppies. Avoid products that have more wheat and soy in it, as it makes it less nutritional for the guppies.
You can also feed them live and frozen food. Feed the guppies twice a day. They should consume the amount of food you put in in two minutes. Anything more that lingers will be a waste. Start by dropping food in low amounts and then observe when they start feeling full.
We highly recommend reading our guppy diet articles below:
- Why brine shrimp are awesome for guppies
- Why guppies should never eat bread
- Why your male guppy is bloated
Common Diseases In Guppies
When you are breeding them in community tanks and with other guppies, any of your guppies can be prone to common diseases such as fungal infections, ich, fin rot, etc. You can take the following preventing measures:
- Keep a check of water temperature and change it regularly
- Rinse and quarantine things before putting it inside the fish tank
- Make sure each fish has enough space to swim freely. No overcrowding the aquarium.
- Give them a well-balanced diet in variety to keep their appetite healthy
Medication and your vigilance will help you identify any kind of discomfort that your guppy is going through. Keep an eye on these signs to keep them all healthy and happy together.