Guppies are hardy fishes that can tolerate most beginner's mistakes, making them suitable for a starting aquarist. Guppies will tolerate water parameter fluctuations better than most other fishes.
Guppies can generally withstand temperature fluctations; however, a heater is recommended. A filter is a must. Filters promote benificial bacterias to grow as well as provide oxygen. A air pump isn't required, as long as you have a filter. Several small cups and a few buckets can also used.
Guppies prefer a temperature of 24 - 27 C or 72 - 78 F, although they can live anywhere between 15 - 30 C. The recommended pH level of the aquarium water is between 6.8 and 7.6. Kits to test and adjust the pH level of the aquarium water are available in most pet stores. Many pets stores also offer free water testing. Taking time to check pH levels is an important part of maintaining a healthy tank for your guppies. Guppies like hard water with lots of minerals. 1 teaspoon of table salt can be added to every 5 gallon of water.
Approximately twenty percent or more of the aquarium water should be siphoned out and replaced once a week. Siphoning water from the bottom of the tank is important since removing water from just the surface does not get rid of debris. The debris will eventually break down into ammonia, and then nitrate and nitrite. All of these are poisonous to guppies in excessive amounts. Most pet stores sell siphons that vacuum out waste and leftover food from the aquarium bottom.
The aquarium should be densely planted to provide hiding places for the fries. Guppies will also nibble on plants, this usually isn't a problem. Plants remove carbon dioxide from the water and replaces it with oxygen by a process called photosynthesis. Plants should be given a sufficient amount of light, otherwise they will start taking in oxygen, which could cause a oxygen shortage. Plants also remove nitrates, since they use nitrate as an energy source.
Guppies are omnivorous fishes. They will eat any flake foods sold in store. Some other that guppies can eat are bloodworms, mosquitoes larvaes, skinned peas, egg yolk, minced meat, algae, and foods made for other fishes that guppies can swallow. The stomach of guppy is about the size of it's eye, so feed very sparingly. Guppies should be fed with several small feedings each day as opposed to one large feeding. This is especially important if there are baby guppies in the tank. Adult guppies that are not getting enough food may eat the babies. Guppies should fast (not eat anything) for one day every week. This helps get rid of excessive waste in their stomachs.
Guppies are one of the easiest fishes to breed. Visit the breeding page to learn how to breed and reproduce guppies.
With regular aquarium cleaning and maintenance, guppies will remain healthy. They are a pleasure to own and add a lot of beauty to an aquarium. Breeding and caring for guppies is a great hobby that can be very rewarding. It is no wonder why guppies are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish.