How Long Do Guppies Live? (The Beautiful Ones!)

how long do guppies live

Looking for an aquatic buddy to take home with you? The guppy fish makes one of the top pet choices for several reasons. Whilst they do not live as long as dogs or other pets, they certainly will keep you company for a good amount of time if you take good care of them.

So, how long do guppy fish live?

  • On average, guppy fish live for 2 years
  • Male guppies tend to have a longer lifespan compared to female guppies.
  • Guppies in captivity live longer than those in the wild.

Read on to learn more about the lifespan of various types of guppies and how you can help your guppies live longer.

Overview of Guppies

Guppies are tropical fish that come in a variety of colors, appearances as well as tail shapes.

These popular freshwater creatures are native to northeast South America specifically in Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, Suriname, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.

There vibrant and varied appearance has made them very popular in most households. They are commonly found in lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds.  

According to estimates, there exists over 300 species of guppies grouped into three main categories: the common, endler and swamp guppies. Guppies are relatively easy to take care of making them one of the best pet choices for beginners.

How Long Do Guppies Live?

On average, guppies have a lifespan of 2 years.

This varies with a number of factors.

For instance, if male and female guppies are kept in the same aquarium, male guppies tend to live longer than female guppies. This is because of the stress endured by the female guppies when carrying multiple pregnancies. However, in separate tanks/aquariums, their lifespan is roughly the same.

how long do guppies live

In general, smaller-sized fish tend to have shorter lifespans. Guppies in captivity, however, tend to live longer compared to those in the wild.

The lifespan of guppies also varies with different types of guppy fish. See the variations explained below;

1. How Long Do Fancy Guppies Live?

A tank-kept guppy will live for 1 to 3 years on average.

Scientifically referred to as “Poecilia Reticulata” the fancy guppy is also known as the rainbow fish because of how colorful they are or million fish because of how quickly they reproduce.

Fancy guppies are one of the oldest and largest types of guppies popular for their extensive tails and colorful appearance. 

2. How Long Do Endler Guppies Live

On average, endler guppies have  a lifespan of 2 to 3 years. Female endler guppies will normally have a shorter lifespan than males.

The endler guppy gets its name from Canadian biologist John Endler who discovered it in 1975. Male endlers tend to have bright and varied colors commonly spotting black, orange and metallic green colors.

3. How Long Do Feeder Guppies Live

The feeder guppy is known to have a lifespan of up to 5 years if provided with proper care. However, with poor water conditions and care, the fish`s lifespan can be shortened to just a few days or weeks.

Feeder guppy’s origin is traced to South America and South Caribbean surviving in most environments but thriving in areas with dense vegetation. Unlike the endler guppy, feeder guppies are much less colorful mostly spotting brown and grey shades.

Related articles: How long do goldfish live?

How Long Can Guppies Go Without Food

Despite their huge appetites, guppy fish are hardy and can go for a long period without food. Depending on several factors, guppy fish can go for up to 2 weeks without food.

In the wild, depending on their size, age and hardiness, guppies can go for days without food. In an aquarium, this translates to 2 weeks under the right conditions although this is not recommended unless it’s an emergency.

Guppy fry (baby guppies) on the other hand are not as hardy as the adult fish and can only survive for 2 to 3 days without food. Additionally, irregular feeding of fry may lead to the formation of deformities, illness or even death.

Guppies are omnivorous fish and can feed on a variety of foods as they are not picky eaters.

In an aquarium, their diet would consist of peas, lettuce, brine shrimp, daphnia as well as algae due to their foraging nature.

Ideally, guppy fish require to be fed once or twice a day. In the wild, a guppy fry`s diet consists of insect larvae and algae. They are frequently used to control mosquito as they feed on the mosquito larvae. [1]

In captivity, the fry can feed on micro worms, baby brine shrimp, daphnia, or vinegar eels.

How to Help Your Guppy Live Longer

1. Provide good quality water

Water quality in a tank or aquarium is a key factor affecting the lifespan of a guppy fish. Poor water quality leads to an increase in the chances of disease and having poor health.

One of the ways to ensure water is of good quality is by installing a water filter and performing regular water changes to reduce the amount of waste accumulating in the fish tank or aquarium.

2. Balanced diet

A balanced diet is equally important in increasing the lifespan length of your guppy.

Guppies are omnivorous and generally require a variety of nutrients to achieve optimal nutrition. Feeding them a variety of foods in small portions 2 to 3 times a day will work to ensure they get the balanced nutrition they require.

3. Observe the water temperature

Guppies are originally tropical fish and therefore require similar temperatures to survive and live optimally.

Optimal water temperatures for a guppy fish are 74F which can be maintained by a good aquarium heater.

Guppy owners should exercise caution as temperatures that are too high contains less oxygen while lower temperatures are likely to cause diseases to the guppy.

4. Proper breeding

Genetics plays a key factor in ensuring that the guppy fish lives longer. Because of cases of poor breeding, guppies can end up with poor genetics and diseases.

Poor genetics can be avoided by buying fish from experienced breeders. Potential guppy owners should also watch out for signs of illness in guppies by observing their tails.

5. Give them friendly mates

Stress also plays a role in influencing the lifespan of guppies. This can be reduced by making sure for instance, that guppies cohabit with friendlier species to reduce chances of fights and aggression.

Besides the damage that guppies get from fighting, stress by itself has been known to significantly reduce the lifespan of this fish. Providing hiding places for guppy fish as well as reducing overcrowding will work to reduce stress and increase their lifespan.

Guppy fish are generally colorful, hardy, and easy to care of and would be perfect for beginners as well as experienced owners especially those who do not have a lot of time to spare.

Here is more on how to care for your Guppies;

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