9 Beautiful Guppy Tank Ideas For Your New Aquarium!

Guppies have been one of the most popular fish in the hobby for decades and I often see people reaching out for ideas on aquascaping their guppy tank.

Due to seeing so many people reaching out for advice, I’ve curated a collection of stunning aquascapes suitable for all skill levels.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced aquarist, these nine beautiful guppy tank ideas will inspire you to create a captivating aquatic environment for your fish

The Beginner Planted Tank

Beginner Planted Tank
Beginner Planted Tank

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Rotala Rotundifolia
  • Bacopa Caroliniana
  • Java Fern
  • Anubias
  • Cryptocoryne
  • Echinodorus

As the name suggests, the beginner-planted tank is ideal for newcomers to the hobby who want to keep guppies.

Use the Tropica plant suggestion tool to find easy-to-grow plants that you like the look of. These plants thrive in low light and don’t require CO2, making them perfect for beginners.

I also have a list of recommended plants for guppy tanks that I’ve personally tested and found to work well.

Most substrates will work for this setup, but a dirted tank is often the most cost-effective option. Aquasoils are also effective but their higher price tag can put beginners off using them.

Crypts And Echinodorus

Crypts And Echinodorus
Crypts And Echinodorus

Plant List

  • Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  • Cryptocoryne Petchii
  • Cryptocoryne x Willisii
  • Cryptocoryne Lutea Hobbit
  • Cryptocoryne Parva
  • Echinodorus Aquartica
  • Echinodorus Reni

This type of guppy tank heavily features Cryptocorynes and Echinodorus plants. These plants are cheap, easy to care for, and readily available in stores making them perfect for beginners.

Once established, they look beautiful in aquariums. A single pot of Cryptocoryne Wendtii from Tropica or Dennerle usually contains 6-10 plantlets that can be separated and planted individually in your aquarium.

Many Echinodorus plants are huge when fully mature so I usually avoid the larger variants in tanks under 29 gallons.

Smaller varieties like Echinodorus Aquartica and Echinodorus Reni are suitable for tanks over 10 gallons making them perfect for guppy tanks.

Cryptocorynes and Echinodorus plants often experience a melting stage, where their leaves melt away before new, healthy submerged leaves grow back. This is normal; leave the plant in place and watch for fresh growth.

The Walstad Method

The Walstad Method
The Walstad Method

Plant List

  • Limnophila Sessiliflora
  • Hygrophila Polysperma
  • Rotala Rotundifolia
  • Salvinia
  • Red Root Floaters
  • Cryptocoryne
  • Echinodorus
  • Anubias
  • Java Fern

I’m a huge fan of the Walstad method because it’s a quick and easy way to set up a thriving planted tank.

I have detailed articles on setting up my Walstad betta tank and shrimp jar which have been very successful.

The basic concept involves using about an inch of cheap topsoil at the base of your aquarium, capped with about an inch of sand or fine gravel to create the substrate.

Instead of using a filter, you rely on fast-growing stem plants like Limnophila Sessiliflora, Hygrophila Polysperma, and Rotala Rotundifolia, along with floating plants like Salvinia and Red Root Floaters for natural filtration.

Lightly stock your tank with a few guppies and the plants should maintain safe and stable water parameters without a filter.

A good rule of thumb is to plant half of your tank with fast-growing stem plants, cover the surface with floating plants, and stock to half the maximum recommendation from the AqAdvisor stocking calculator.

More experienced fish keepers can stock more heavily and adjust their planting strategy this method offers a quick, inexpensive, and effective way to build a thriving guppy tank.

A Heavily Planted Tank

A Heavily Planted Tank
A Heavily Planted Tank

I love heavily planted tanks, and they work well for guppies as they provide plenty of hiding spots and visual barriers to reduce aggression.

The idea is to fill the aquarium with as many plants as possible and then cater to their needs.

You can choose easy, medium, or difficult plants, provided you adjust your lighting, CO2 usage, and fertilizer dosing accordingly.

This flexibility allows you to adapt the tank to your experience level: beginners stick to easy plants, intermediates try medium plants, and experts tackle the more challenging ones.

Guppies complement these tanks beautifully, with their vibrant colors contrasting nicely against the green plants.

My article on guppy types can help you find the perfect guppies for your tank.

Unlike an aquascaped tank where plant placement is meticulously planned, you can freely place plants wherever you like, similar to a jungle-style aquascape but with a broader range of plant types, not just those with wide, thick leaves.

Open Swim Space Tank

Open Swim Space Tank
Open Swim Space Tank

Plant List

  • Staurogyne Repens
  • Bacopa Compact
  • Anubias Coin Leaf
  • Anubias Nana
  • Bucephalandra
  • Java Fern Trident
  • Cryptocoryne x Willisii
  • Cryptocoryne Lutea Hobbit
  • Cryptocoryne Parva
  • Eleocharis Pusilla
  • Moss

An open swim space tank maximizes the available swimming area for your guppies.

While this type of setup isn’t my favorite—I prefer heavily planted tanks—it does have its appeal.

Guppies tend to spend a lot of time near the surface, leaving the middle and lower levels of the water column unused with this tank setup.

Use short plants that won’t take up much space and a good filter to maintain safe and stable water parameters.

This setup is easy to establish and perfect for beginners, though advanced fish keepers can get creative with their hardscape to make the tank more interesting.

A Cube Tank Setup

A Cube Tank
A Cube Tank

Cube tanks are popular with beginners because they are affordable and easy to find, making them an attractive option for those on a budget.

Since guppies spend much of their time in the top third of the water column, the overall footprint size of their aquarium is important.

A rectangular aquarium is often a better option as it offers a larger footprint providing more horizontal swim space.

You can keep a small number of guppies in a cube tank, and most plants will thrive but rectangles are better options.

A Low Tech Aquascape

Low Tech Aquascape
Low Tech Aquascape

Low-tech aquascapes are an excellent way to ease into the world of aquascaping.

Guppies, with their bright colors, are a great choice for this type of setup, as they contrast beautifully with the green plants.

Creating this type of aquascape is often easier than it seems, as you can rely on easy-to-grow plants that thrive in basic conditions.

The Dennerle plant tool can help you find suitable plants that flourish in low-light, CO2-free environments.

Easy stem plants work well for the background, while crypts or anubias are perfect for the midground.

Carpeting a low-tech tank can be challenging, but attaching moss to a flat stainless steel grid is a good solution for the foreground.

Many people incorporate medium-difficulty plants, as affordable modern aquarium lights are often better than expected.

A High Tech Aquascape

High Tech Aquascape
High Tech Aquascape

High-tech aquascapes are challenging to create and significantly more expensive than other options.

These setups typically require supplementary CO2, which can add at least $100 to your costs, though many people opt for a high-quality CO2 system that can drive costs even higher.

A high-end aquarium light is recommended to help the plants utilize the CO2 effectively and grow rapidly.

You will often need to use root tabs, liquid fertilizers, or both to optimize plant growth and prevent algae from taking over.

Beginners should avoid this option and use something featured earlier in the article.

A Paludarium

A Paludarium
A Paludarium

The final option is a paludarium, which can be quite challenging for newcomers to the hobby.

Unlike a traditional aquarium, a paludarium includes a section above the waterline for terrestrial plants, reducing the water volume and the swim space available for your guppies.

I recommend beginners avoid paludariums until they have more experience.

Those who keep guppies in a paludarium typically need a larger tank than usual to compensate for the limited swim space.