How Long Do Guppies Live And Why? How to Prolong Their Lives

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 5th, 2022

Guppies live for how long? Guppies are one of the most popular fish species for home aquariums due to their appealing colors. In this essay, I will discuss the life expectancy of guppies and offer advice on how to keep them alive as long as possible.

How long do you think your guppies will live? Guppies can survive in the wild for up to five years if predators do not devour them. Guppies offered in most pet stores are inbred. Therefore they only survive two to three years.

Follow these 5 methods to help extend the life of your pet guppies:

  • Purchase from a Reputable Source
  • Give Them Good Food
  • Maintain a Clean and Healthy Environment in Their Home
  • Avoid introducing stress into the tank.
  • Make the aquarium reflect its natural environment.

Guppies are simple to care for. They may bring your family years of entertainment and fun if you don’t ignore their demands. The goal is to provide them with the attention they deserve.

Continue reading to find out how long guppies live and what you can do to help them live longer.

What Is the Life Expectancy of Guppies?

Most guppies available at pet stores are between three and one year old. Your guppies can live for two or three years if you clean and maintain your aquarium properly, rigidly follow the correct density of its residents, and feed your fish the right amount of food at the right time.

Because they are in their natural habitat, wild guppies can live for longer periods. They might live for up to five years if their natural predators do not consume them. You’re only mimicking their natural environment in your aquarium, so don’t expect your domesticated guppies to live that long.

So, in other words, how long or short your guppies live depends a lot on you – because you are in charge of their lives. You cannot influence their natural genetics, but you can influence the conditions of their habitat, the quality of their food, and their feeding cycles.

What Is the Life Expectancy of Fancy Guppies?

How long do posh guppies live? If all of the parameters are met, you should not be surprised if your fancy guppies live for more than two years. Some people who have gone to great lengths to care for their guppies have them living for up to five years.

Some people believe that male and female guppies have different lifespans. Male guppies have a lifespan of two and a half to three years, while female guppies have a lifespan of three and a half to four years. Their ability to reproduce is terminated one and a half years earlier.

In the wild, these adorable fish can live for up to five years. They can only live for two to three years in a home aquarium. However, if you provide them with the necessary care, you can extend their lives.

Which is more likely to live longer: female or male guppies?

There is no evidence that male guppies live longer than female guppies. However, some argue that if they are kept separately, that is, no opposite sex in the same tank, they will live longer.

Female guppies, according to some, have shorter lifespans because they bear the young.

As a result, if you keep your female guppy reproducing all the time, it will naturally have a shorter life. Male guppies, on the other hand, will have shorter lives if they are constantly impregnating their female consorts.

How long can wild guppies live?

What about feral guppies? Do wild guppies have a longer lifespan? What is the natural life expectancy of guppy fish?

Male wild guppies reach maturity at around 6-7 weeks, while female wild guppies reach maturity at 9-10 weeks. They usually survive for around two years, exactly like pet guppies. However, other elements will influence guppies’ survival in the wild.

In the wild, for example, several predators will hunt down guppies. Larger fish or smaller birds eat guppies.

Extreme weather conditions, such as excessive rain, floods, or numerous days of cold weather, will undoubtedly harm wild guppies. Wild guppies are tougher than pet luxury guppies, but they cannot withstand high temperatures.

Although guppies may survive for 1-2 weeks without food, food scarcity will undoubtedly impact the number of wild guppies.

Chemicals poured in the water, oil, or pesticides can wipe off entire populations of wild guppy.

Will Filters Make Guppies Live Longer?

A tank with a water filter is preferable to one without. However, a water filter is not required to keep your guppies alive for an extended period.

However, because water quality is so important in extending the lifespan of your guppies, you might argue that not having a water filter has an indirect influence.

Guppies will be less stressed if the water is in decent condition. And if the water is in poor condition, it is hazardous to the health of the aquarium’s inhabitants. That’s all there is to it. If you can install a water filter, it will greatly improve the lifespan of your guppies.

What does the water filter do to improve water quality? It keeps ammonia and nitrates from accumulating in the water. These two toxins are harmful to your fish’s health.

However, you may avoid it by regularly replacing old aquarium water with fresh water. If doing so is inconvenient, a water filter can be extremely beneficial. You won’t have to change the water regularly if you use this aquarium addition.

Again, a water filter does not directly affect your guppies’ lifespan. It has an impact on the water quality in which your guppies reside. You won’t need a filter if you can keep the water quality necessary for guppies to live their everyday lives. The primary issue is if you can change the tank water as often as necessary.

What Factors Can Reduce the Lifespan of a Tank-Kept Guppy?

So, why do some guppies outlive others?

A variety of factors can shorten guppies’ lives. Some of those elements are under your control, while others are not.


The genetic composition of a guppy has a significant impact on its lifetime.

If the guppy’s parents lived long, the odds are that their children will also. Of course, you take potluck when you buy guppies from a fish store.


Guppies aren’t dubbed “Millions Fish” for nothing!

Guppies are prolific livebearers, giving birth to up to 30 fries on average, and even more in extraordinary situations. Guppies are pregnant for 21 to 30 days. However, this varies according to the species.

So, if your tank has a mix of male and female guppies, you’ll soon notice dozens of small fry hidden among your plants!

Unfortunately, pregnancy is an extremely stressful time for female guppies, and they get pregnant a lot. As a result, female guppies have a shorter life than males.

You may alleviate tension in your tank by ensuring that there are always more female guppies than males. That way, the ladies won’t be bothered as much. A minimum of two female guppies to one male is ideal.

Also, give plenty of thick foliage and other hiding places for the fish so that the females can flee the lads’ approaches if they so want.

Inadequate Tank Conditions

Many fish, including guppies, die due to poor tank conditions.

If the tank is overcrowded, too small, or unclean, your guppies will not live to their full potential. Guppies are tough fish but won’t flourish or survive long in inadequate environments.


Aside from pregnancy and bad tank conditions, other important stresses that might limit the guppies’ lifetime include incorrect water parameters and inappropriate tank mates.

Stress lowers the immune system of guppies, making them prone to parasites and infections, any of which can kill them.

How to Make Guppies Live Longer

So you’re aware that house guppies can’t survive longer than three years. Don’t be disheartened. Some successful methods can help them live longer. If you provide them with high-quality care, they can live for up to five years. How are you able to achieve this?

1. Purchase from a Reputable Supplier

Genetics, like all living things, plays a crucial part in lifespan. If your guppies are significantly inbred, they will not live to their full potential. Guppies with weak genetics seldom reach maturity.

As a result, you should only purchase guppies from reputable breeders and pet stores. At the very least, these sorts of pet businesses are diligent when it comes to breeding their fish and sourcing them from recognized breeders.

If your guppies are not inbred, you will not have any genetic abnormalities that might lead to premature death. As a result, getting your first batch of guppies from guppy breeders who safeguard their reputation as reliable fish breeders is advisable.

These breeders are concerned with providing good fish breeds to their consumers and pet fish owners. Do not acquire pet fish from individuals or businesses simply because they are less expensive. They frequently offer their fish at a lower price because they are unconcerned with the quality of their product.

2. Provide them with high-quality food.

When you combine strong genetics with high-quality food, you can be confident that your guppies will live a long time in your aquarium. Giving your fish good food entails feeding them various foods such as plankton, tropical flakes, boiled peas, algae wafers, daphnia, and many others.

Good nutrition will help your baby guppies develop quickly, and your elder guppies stay healthy and active. You may swap their meals for commercial food or your handmade creations. They should not be compelled to consume the same type of food every day. That’s the simplest way too boring people.

You may also offer your guppies delicacies like bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and vinegar eel. These live meals will give them the impression that they are in the wild. Guppies are easy to feed since they will eat almost everything you put in front of them.

Fish food purchased from a pet store is a fantastic source of vitamins for the fish. You can guarantee that they get all of their vitamins, though, by making their meal personally.

Green beans, cucumber, carrots, and spinach, cut into tiny fish sizes, will keep them healthy. But keep one thing in mind: don’t overfeed your guppies.

3. Maintain a Clean and Healthy Home

Guppies are tough and can live in any environment. They can even live in sewers. But you’re trying to make their lives last longer. As a result, one of the first things you must supply them with is a clean and healthy aquarium.

First and foremost, you should provide them with the highest quality water possible. With the ideal water conditions listed below, your guppies can live for many years:

  • Temperatures range from 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 28 degrees Celsius).
  • Nitrites – 0 ppm pH – 6.8 to 7.8 (parts per million)
  • 0 ppm ammonia
  • Nitrates – no more than 10 ppm
  • dGH (degrees of hardness) – 8 to 12

If you can only use tap water in your aquarium, use a water conditioner before filling it. The water conditioner will remove chloramine, chlorine, heavy metals, and other potentially toxic substances from the water.

If you cannot afford a water conditioner, expose the water to the sun’s rays for at least one day before placing it in the tank. Chlorine and other harmful chemicals can be removed by exposing them to sunlight.

4. Avoid introducing stress into the tank.

One of the detrimental aspects of the health of any living organism, including fish, is stress. If you overcrowd your tank with more fish than is advised, you will cause stress.

Each fish must have a minimum area of mobility to be healthy. If each fish’s swimming space in an aquarium is excessively limited, they will turn against each other, and you will soon have anarchy in the kingdom within your tank.

How long do guppies live in captivity? Guppies, as previously said, live roughly three years; however, they can live longer if stress in the tank is reduced. Aside from a lack of room, various factors might cause stress in your aquarium guppies.

  • There is no hiding spot – Now and then, fish would like a place to hide when larger species abuse them.
  • Inadequate tank mates – Guppies do not get along with angelfish or other larger fish. These bigger guys can eat them.
  • Incorrect male to female ratio – The ideal ratio is three females to one male. More males than females will overstress the females and shorten their lives. If you want to maintain guppies for their lovely colors, only buy males and no females.
  • There is too much light in the tank.
  • The water of poor quality
  • Aquarium is overcrowded

5. Match the Aquarium to the Fish’s Natural Habitat

Guppies will have a happier life if they are kept in a tank that is as near to their native habitat as possible. Of course, you can’t truly reproduce all the conditions in which they live in the wild. However, you may add natural features to the tank to replicate their natural circumstances.

Using natural river plants in your aquarium is preferable to the plastic ones at pet stores. However, these organic plants are also available at pet stores. Natural green plants will also help to control the level of nitrates in the water and keep it alive.

However, ensure these plants have been sterilized before introducing them to the tank’s residents. Some organic plants may contain microorganisms that will hurt your fish. To avoid unfavorable outcomes, you should disinfect all items you intend to introduce into the tank.

Guppies, do they sleep?

Sleep is extremely vital for the human lifespan. Guppies, anyone? Guppies, like humans, sleep. They, too, require rest. They require darkness to sleep. As a result, if your aquarium is continually lit, it will affect the health and lifespan of your guppies.

So, if you use aquarium lights, make sure to switch them off at the end of the day or at least six hours every day. You can use a timer to avoid forgetting to turn the lights on and off.

How Long Can Guppies Go Without Eating?

Your guppy can go for about two weeks without eating before starving. You should never let them go more than 3-4 days without nourishment. Even if they can live for two weeks, they will starve to death during that period, and allowing this to happen is highly cruel.

3-4 days is a reasonable length of time to go without feeding your guppies. Fasting them is beneficial since it helps to empty their digestive tract, minimizing the likelihood of constipation.

How Often Should I Feed My Guppies and How Much Should I Feed Them?

Guppies should not be overfed. Overfeeding might cause health issues and limit your fish’s lifetime.

Feed your guppies only what they can finish in a few minutes. Uneaten food should be removed from the tank with a net so that it does not sink into the substrate and decompose, polluting your water.

I recommend feeding your guppies twice daily, using a new type of food at each meal. You could, for example, feed your guppies flakes in the morning and frozen or live food in the evening.

Fry feeding

If you mix male and female guppies in your tank, you will have offspring regularly.

Unfortunately, those small guppies won’t live long if the adults eat them, so make sure there are thick plants for the fry to hide in. The fry will consume infusoria or commercially pred fry food until they are large enough to eat crushed fish flakes and other adult food.

How long do newborn guppies take to grow?

If the fry’s life circumstances are optimal, it will take around 6 months for the fry to reach full size. Without measuring the tail, the total size would be roughly 1.5 inches long for males and 2.5 inches long for females.

To ensure that the fry develops to full size as quickly as possible, consider the temperature of the water, the quality of the food you feed them, and the quality of the water. If any of these are incorrect, you may struggle to get your fry to the proper size and keep them alive.

How long does it take guppies to reproduce?

Female guppies are sexually mature between the ages of 10 and 20 weeks. Male guppies can begin reproducing as early as 7 weeks of age. This implies they can begin breeding even if they aren’t completely developed.

Females will reproduce every 30 days after giving birth and after they begin breeding. This will continue till the female is 20 months old. After that, she will cease reproducing and no longer give birth.

The male will continue to breed until he dies, at which point his sperm will be able to reproduce within the female for another 10 months.


So, to summarize and address the question, how long do guppies live? Guppies can live in the wild for up to five years if their natural predators do not consume them. They can, however, only endure two to three years in a home aquarium.

You may help your guppies live longer if you follow the proper procedures for keeping them healthy and active. Good quality food, clean water, and just enough swimming room for everyone are among these elements.


Editorial Staff

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