How to Set up a Guppy Tank

Guppies are very fun pets to own, but a proper habitat is key to your pets health. Read about making the proper habitat for your fishy friend.


  1. Image titled Set up a Guppy Tank Step 1
    Get a tank that is at least ten gallons. A ten gallon tank is the norm for guppies. Anything less will likely not cycle and you will be stuck cleaning water every couple of days.
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    Fill the tank with at least 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5.1 cm) of gravel. Ensure that the gravel is thoroughly rinsed prior to adding it to the tank. Gravel comes in a variety of colors, such as red, yellow, and green.
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    Pre-soak any artificial plants in hot water. Insert them and create a little hole (as if you were planting a real tree). Real plants are normally not much more expensive, give a better feel and fish generally don't eat them. Just be sure to check their living conditions before buying.
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    Carefully place the decorations into the fish tank. Make sure the d├ęcor does not have any sharp or pointy objects on it. This could harm your fish by tearing their delicate fins. They can be quite fragile.
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    Place your filter system in the tank, as well as the tank heater.
    • Note: Filters and heaters are nearly always necessary to keep water clean and tank heated to the correct temperature.
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    Fill the tank with water. Make sure that the water is about room temperature because it could kill the fish if it is way too cold or way too hot.
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    Cycle the tank.
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    Place the fish inside. If you just got back from the pet shop, allow the fish bag to float on top of the water for at least 10 to 30 minutes while slowly replacing the bag water with tank water. This will allow the fish to slowly adjust and adapt to the water temperature and pH of the tank.
    • Slowly release the fish into the tank.


  • Getting a filter and heater is a good idea. Although not completely necessary, you would have to clean the tank out a lot more without them.
  • Go creative! Designing a fish tank is fun! Make it colorful, and fun!
  • Buy something to test the PH level, better keep it to 7.0 as it is the best. Guppies can survive to 6.0 to the high 7's.
  • Cycling the tank is a crucial step that can not be skipped. Without a balanced ecosystem many fish will die of ammonia poisoning. It is best to do a fishless cycle so that no fish have to suffer through the long and painful process and you are not stuck with extra fish that you do not really want.
  • Check to make sure the water is the same temp. that it was in the previous enclosure. This could have been a bag, or a small plastic container that the pet store put your fish in to take it home.


  • Do not mix male and female guppies unless you have a plan for what to do with baby guppies. They WILL reproduce and your tank will become overcrowded fairly quickly.
  • Do not add more than 2-3 fish at a time. Taking things slowly will allow your new pets to adjust to their new environment, give the tank time to adjust to having extra waste and reduce chances of disease being introduces to the tank.

Things You'll Need

  • 10+ gallon tank
  • Gravel
  • Plants and/or hiding spots
  • Filter/heater (optional)
  • Correct water temp
  • Net
  • Guppies

Article Info

Categories: Aquariums