Guppy Tank: Setting Up A Guppy Tank (Complete Guide)

 If you're about to catch guppies, one of the most important things to do is set up the tank correctly. If you're wondering how to install a guppy tank, wonder no more! Because you are in the right place!

Guppy Tank: Setting Up A Guppy Tank (Complete Guide)
Guppy Tank: Setting Up A Guppy Tank (Complete Guide)

 In this article, you'll learn everything there is to know about the correct guppy tank setup, including what size to get, what plants and tank mates you can use, how to set up the tank, and if you need to add your guppies. right away or not.

To learn everything you need to, continue reading!

This is an informative article. Nodisk One is not permitted to make a diagnosis or recommend any form of veterinary care. If your pet is in pain or ill, we recommend that you take him to the vet.

What size tank should you use?

 First, before setting up your tank, the first thing you are going to need to do is get the size right. While there is no maximum size your guppies should be kept in, there is definitely a minimum.

 When keeping guppies, you shouldn't go below 5 gallons. Each guppy needs about 1.5 to 2.5 gallons of water to be happy, and you shouldn't keep guppies in a shoal less than 3. Anything less than that, and they'll become stressed.

 If you want to add more tank mates or different tank mates, you will need to consider the size of tank they will need and purchase accordingly.

What will the tank need?

 When keeping tropical fish you will need to ensure that the water is kept clean and warm. Thus, the tank itself will not be enough.

Heating And Thermometer

 In addition to a tank, you will need to purchase a heater and a thermometer. This is because the tank temperature will need to stay between 72-78°F. Anything below 72°F and your guppies are at risk of getting sick. Some of the diseases they can suffer from include fin rot, constipation, and swim bladder disease.

 Luckily, if you buy a decent heater, it will constantly keep the tank temperature where it needs to be. Additionally, the thermometer will make it simple for you to verify that nothing is wrong.

In some cases, you may also need a fan to make sure the tank temperature doesn't get too high.


 Another extremely important tank equipment that you will also need is a filter. In order to keep your guppy content and healthy, filters fulfill a number of crucial tasks.

 Keeping your tank clean is, of course, the main reason you'll want a filter in it. Filters are essential for removing any buildup of debris and chemicals in the tank and harboring beneficial bacteria that remove ammonia.

 But that's not their only goal. Having a filter in your tank will also keep the water moving. Guppies are used to swimming in streams and rivers, so this movement of water will feel natural to them.

 And finally, the movement of water will also increase the amount of oxygen entering the tank by increasing the surface area of ​​the water. Obviously, guppies need oxygen to breathe, which helps keep the oxygen level in the tank high.


 Decorations are also essential as they will entertain your guppies. Depending on how your tank looks, there are many different decorations to choose from. However, just be sure to add plenty of decorations that provide hiding places for your guppies as well as plenty of plants. The plants will help oxygenate the tank and make it more natural for your guppies.

 When choosing plants, you need to choose ones that will suit your guppy and make him happy. Some great plants include:

- Anubias Nana - This is a great plant with large leaves that your guppy can hide between and underneath. It also stays quite small, so it will have no problem pushing through a 10-gallon tank.

- Duckweed - Floating plants are great for guppies because they help them feel secure, and the roots also give them something to swim between. If you plan to keep your guppy fry alive, they will also be a great hiding place for them while they grow. And if it ever gets out of control, the upkeep is incredibly low because you can just pull some out.


 Although technically not essential, you should definitely consider adding substrate to your tank. A substrate will give your plants a place to put their roots, while helping the tank feel natural to your fish.

 The good thing about substrate is that once you put it in place, you never have to get rid of it. It will sit at the bottom of your tank forever. However, you will need to use a gravel vacuum regularly to make sure it doesn't get too dirty.

Organic supplement and water conditioner

 When you're first starting out, you'll want to add a biological supplement to your tank to help the beneficial bacteria grow faster. And you will also need a water conditioner every time you add water to the tank to make it habitable for your fish. Luckily, both are relatively cheap and they'll last a long time. The water conditioner I purchased lasted over a year in my 10-gallon tank!

You now have a basic understanding of all the items you will need to start your tank!

How to Set Up a Guppy Tank

 Now that you know everything you need in advance, the next step is to start setting up your guppy tank. The steps you should really take are outlined below.

 Remember, this is the most efficient way to install your tank, so you don't waste a lot of time and energy. What to do is explained in great detail below.

Wash the tank and check for leaks

 The first thing to do is wash the tank and, in doing so, simultaneously check for leaks. When you wash your tank, take it to the bath or outside and fill it completely with water. Once you've done that, use a sponge inside to clean the glass. Just be sure to use the soft side, so you don't scratch it. 

 While you're doing this, you should also watch for leaks. These will normally occur around the seams of the tank. Now, this is the important part. Once you have cleaned the tank and checked for leaks, remove all water before moving your tank. If you try to move the tank while there is still water inside, you risk breaking the tank. So use a gravel vacuum or cup to get all the water out.

Tank location

 Next, you will need to choose where you are going to keep your tank. Once you place your tank, it will be very difficult to move it again.

 There are a few things to remember when placing your tank. First, it's often best to avoid places exposed to direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will massively increase algae growth in the tank and potentially heat the tank.

 From there, you also need to make sure that you place the tank where the temperature doesn't fluctuate too much. This means avoiding places close to the sun, as well as radiators and wherever there is a draft.

The smaller the tank, the more a temperature fluctuation will affect it.

Start decorating

 Now is the time for the fun part. You should start decorating your tank however you want. If you have substrate, be sure to place it first before adding the plants and decorations you want.

 If you are going to add plants to your tank, you will need to use a spray bottle to keep them moist until you are ready to fill the tank with water. And if you want to add substrate, then generally around 1.5-2″ of the substrate is the normal amount.

Fill the water tank

 Now is the time to fill your water tank. The easiest way to fill the tank is with a hose, so if you can, do it with a partner. However, if this is not possible, a bucket will also do.

 When filling your water tank, do not pour the water directly into the tank. This will massively disrupt the substrate and your decorations.

Instead, what you should do is use a plate or something similar and let the water slide over it.

 Also, make sure at this point that you are using a water conditioner to remove chemicals from tap water.

Added the rest of the equipment

 Now is the time to add the filter and heater to the tank. If you have purchased an aquarium kit, there will often be a space specifically for them. However, if not, you will need to place them wherever you want in the tank. Normally in the back is better.

 When you add them to your tank, the filter will work immediately; however, the water heater will take some time to heat the water. This is also the time when you should also add a thermometer in the tank.

Cycling tank

 The last thing you will have to do is cycle your tank. There are two types of tank cycles that people follow. The first is a cycle without fish (recommended) and the second is a cycle in fish.

Fishless cycle

 A fishless cycle involves letting the bacteria in your aquarium grow without having any fish in the aquarium. When your aquarium is spinning, ammonia levels will rise and fall rapidly, so keeping a fish in the aquarium when this is happening can often prove fatal.

 To cycle without fish, you must add a biological supplement to your aquarium (the bacteria needed to keep ammonia levels low) as well as fish food in the aquarium, which will rot and produce ammonia.

 Normally you will do this for 3-4 weeks before the ammonia levels balance out. So test the water regularly, and when the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels have been consistently low for a few days, you can safely add your guppies.

Cycle in fish

 The other method is a cycle in the fish; however, this is definitely not recommended. It's riskier, as your guppies can die, and it's also cruel to keep them in water with high levels of ammonia.

 If you are going to cycle in fish, you should have an ammonia detox ready in case the ammonia levels get too high. Ammonia Detoxifier works by converting ammonia in the tank to ammonium which is harmless but on which the beneficial bacteria in your tank can still thrive. On top of that, you will also need to perform frequent water changes, potentially daily.

 Just with a fishless cycle, you will also need to add a biological supplement to the tank to help grow the colony of beneficial bacteria as well. And finally, you will need to test the water at least twice a day to make sure the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are all good.

As you can see, this can be very stressful for your fish and is always best avoided.

To Sum Up

 As you can see, good planning is the key to a good guppy tank setup, and if you plan ahead, you'll save a lot of time and energy later.

 Remember that when setting up your guppy tank, you need to make sure you have a heater, filter, substrate, and decorations ready.

Only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, are used by Nodisk One to substantiate the information in our articles.