How To Easily Setup A 10-Gallon All-Male Guppy Tank!

After recently deciding to create an all-male guppy tank I noticed that there was a distinct lack of information available on the topic and the small amount of information that was available was spread out over several different sources.

Due to this, I decided to publish this blog post going over how I setup my own all-male guppy tank to try and help as many of my readers as possible.

Before I go any further, I just want to quickly say that the majority of the information in this article will work for an all-female guppy tank or a mixed male and female guppy breeding tank.

Another thing that I would like to mention is that I will be building out a 10-gallon (39 liter) guppy tank but the majority of the things I do will be applicable to other tank sizes too.

Can You Keep An All-Male Guppy Tank?

3 Months Of Growth In My All Male Guppy Tank
3 Months Of Growth In My All Male Guppy Tank

You can keep an all-male guppy tank with it being a very popular option within the fish-keeping hobby due to the brighter colors of male guppies.

Another major benefit of keeping an all-male guppy tank is there is no risk of fry being produced via the guppies breeding with this being a common problem in mixed tanks.

Depending on the tank size you are working with, the smaller size of male guppies can also help you when it comes to stocking smaller tanks.

Female guppies are usually 1.2-2.4 inches (3-6cm) while males are only 0.6-1.6 inches (1.5-4cm) 1.5–3.5 cm allowing you to potentially add more fish to smaller tanks than you would be able to keep if you were opting for female guppies.

Just keep in mind that there will be potential for aggression in the tank but I will share some tips and tricks on this later in the article.

Pros

  • Brighter Colors
  • No Baby Guppies

Cons

  • Potential For Aggression
  • Expensive Fancy Guppies

How Many Male Guppies Can Live Together?

My Guppy Tank Stocking Levels
My Guppy Tank Stocking Levels

The number of male guppies that can live together will depend on the size of your tank, the number of hiding spots in the tank, water parameters, and food levels.

You will commonly see people recommend the “one inch of fish per gallon of tank water” advice but things have moved on since then and we have access to better filters and techniques to deal with aggression.

I usually use the Aqa Advisor stocking calculator as it provides a rough guideline for stocking tanks of different sizes.

This really is just a guideline I use though as I add live plants to my tanks as well as several different hiding spots so I am confident in being able to add more fish than it recommends but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

The table below offers some advice on the maximum number of male guppies you can keep in common tank sizes.

Tank SizeMaximum Guppy Count
5 US Gallons (19 Liters)3
10 US Gallons (38 Liters)8
20 US Gallons (76 Liters)15
30 US Gallons (114 Liters)20
A Rought Guide To Stocking An All-Male Guppy Tank

Those figures presume that you have a long tank design and will not be adding any other tank mates to the aquarium.

You can also keep less male guppies in your tank than this too as these figures are maximum counts, not targets to aim for.

Depending on the tank setup, you can sometimes keep far more guppies in these tank sizes, especially if the guppies have been raised together since they were fry as aggression levels are usually far lower if the guppies are used to each other.

Choosing The Right Tank Size!

An Empty 10 Gallon Tank
An Empty 10 Gallon Tank

Experienced guppy keepers recommend that you keep a minimum of 7 guppies in a male-only guppy tank to help reduce aggression levels.

Aquarium Size 18″ x 12″ x 12″ (45x30x30cm)

seriously fish

Seriously Fish is a well-respected fish-keeping website, and they recommend using an aquarium with dimensions of at least 18″ x 12″ x 12″ (45x30x30cm) for your guppy tank.

This means that a 10 gallon (38 liters) tank is the realistic minimum tank size that people should use when building this type of aquarium.

I have chosen a 10 gallon long tank for this project as the guppies I have kept previously tend to prefer to swim side to side rather than up and down although guppies will occupy all levels of an aquarium.

Guppies can be jumpers so it is usually recommended that you use a lid for your tank if possible.

That said, I don’t plan to use a lid for this tank setup but I will be using floating plants and keeping water levels in the tank around two inches below the rim until the floating plants grow out and cover the surface.

Choosing A Substrate For An All-Male Guppy Tank!

Substrate For An All-Male Guppy Tank
Substrate For An All-Male Guppy Tank

Guppies tend to prefer harder water than most other popular fish so an inert substrate will usually be the best option for a guppy tank.

Two decent inert substrates that offer a nice mix of price to performance are Carib Sea Eco-Complete and Seachem Fluorite with both being solid options for a guppy tank.

I live in an area with soft tap water that has a lower pH level than most of the active substrates buffer to so I will have to harden my tank water no matter what substrate I use.

This is why I have chosen to go with Fluval Stratum for my guppy tank as I have had excellent results with it in my other planted tanks and it is cheap in my area but it is an active substrate that will passively lower the pH level of your tank.

If you live in an area with neutral or hard tap water then going with Carib Sea Eco-Complete, Seachem Fluorite, or an inert sand will probably be a better option.

Adding Substrate To The Tank

I want at least 1.5 inches (4cm) of substrate in my tank to help the live plants root as well as serve as a home for beneficial bacteria to help keep the ammonia and nitrite levels in check.

You can use the following table to get a rough idea of how much substrate you will need to get 1.5-2 inches (4cm-5cm) of substrate in your tank.

Tank SizeAmount Of Substrate
5 Gallons5lbs (2kg)
10 Gallons10lbs (4kg)
15 Gallons15lbs (6kg)
20 Gallons20lbs (8kg)
30 Gallons30lbs (12kg)

Even if you don’t plan to add live plants to your all-male guppy tank, adding plenty of substrate can help maintain healthy water parameters so is still highly recommended.

Smoothing The Substrate

There are two main options for smoothing the substrate out, a flat even layer across the full tank or a sloped substrate.

I chose the flat, even layer for this tank as I won’t be trying any fancy aquascaping but sloping the substrate so there is more towards the rear of the tank can be a popular option amongst aquascapers.

Using Hardscape In An All-Male Guppy Tank

Gorilla Glue Gel With Rocks And Driftwood
Gorilla Glue Gel With Rocks And Driftwood

Hardscape can be an excellent addition to any guppy tank as it helps to provide sight breaks and hiding spots for your guppies to help reduce aggression in the tank.

Adding hardscape to your guppy tank also provides additional surface area for beneficial bacteria to live on to help keep your ammonia levels in check too.

There are two main types of hardscape, rocks and driftwood and I will be using both of them in this tank.

Popular rocks for guppy tanks setup include:

I opted to use Seiryu Stone for this tank build as it can help to passively increase the pH of my water to counter the soft tap water in my area and any buffering from my substrate.

Popular driftwood for guppy tanks include:

I opted to use bog wood for this tank as its cheap, easy to find, and available in a wide range of shapes.

One potential downside of using bog wood in your guppy tank is that it will passively release tannins into your tank water that will add a brown or yellow tint to the tank.

This will not harm your guppies but some people don’t like the look of it and choose too add Purigen (that I reviewed here) to their filter to remove the tannins.

Pros

  • Provides hiding spots and sight breaks.
  • Surface area for beneficial bacteria to live on.

Cons

  • Increases the budget required for your tank.
  • Takes more time to set the tank up than it normally would.

Several aquarium safe glue formulas have been released onto the market in recent years but in my experience, their bond strength is lacking, especially when used for keeping hardscape together.

I have an article going over using Gorilla Glue in aquariums and although it’s not technically aquarium-safe, a large number of people within the fish-keeping hobby choose to use it.

This is due to the bond strength being far higher than aquarium glue and the chances of there being any potential problems with the glue being very small provided you leave the glue to cure for at least 24 hours before you submerge the hardscape!

In case you were wondering, I use the Gorilla Glue Super Glue Gel in my aquariums as it is just as strong as their regular super glue but the gel is easier to work with when gluing hardscape together.

Planning Hardscape For An All Male Guppy Tank
Planning Hardscape For An All-Male Guppy Tank

By chance, one of the plastic storage bins I use for some fish-keeping accessories has very similar dimensions to the 10-gallon tank I will be using for my guppy tank.

This offered the perfect template to play around with some rough designs for the hardscape for the tank while I waited for my tank to be delivered.

I used the rocks and driftwood that I intended to use in the tank as well as some fake plants to try and get an idea of what I wanted things to look like.

Using Gorilla Glue To Attach Java Moss

Once I was happy with the layout of the hardscape for the tank, I applied some of the Gorilla Glue to the key joining areas between the rocks and driftwood and left the glue to dry.

Using Gorilla Glue to Attatch Java Moss

Although I am terrible at attaching java moss to hardscape, I decided to glue some java moss to the front rock and driftwood in the hope that it will grow in over the coming months.

Java moss can utilize a surprisingly large amount of ammonia and nitrite in your guppy tank helping to maintain healthy water parameters making it a great addition that is cheap and easy to care for.

I may also add some shrimp to the tank in the future too so the java moss will providing hiding spots for the shrimp once its grown in.

Java Moss Glued Onto The Hardscape
Java Moss Glued Onto The Hardscape

The java moss may look strange right now but over the coming months, it should grow in and cover the rock and work its way up the driftwood.

At this stage of the process, I left the hardscape overnight to let the glue fully cure to reduce the chances of it causing problems in my guppy tank.

Adding Hardscape To An All Male Guppy Tank

Once I was confident that the glue had fully cured, I added the hardscape to my guppy tank to serve as the central island to draw the eye while also serving the practical purpose of providing hiding spots and sight breaks.

Using Live Plants In An All-Male Guppy Tank!

Live Plants For An All-Male Guppy Tank
Live Plants For An All-Male Guppy Tank

I love using live plants in my aquariums and every single one of my tanks has several different live plants in them and my guppy tank will be the same.

People new to the fish keeping hobby often overlook live plants as they think that they will be difficult to keep but all but one of the plants used in this guppy tank setup are beginner-friendly.

Live plants also offer a large number of benefits to your tank too so I highly recommend that you add them if possible.

Pros

  • Absorbs ammonia and nitrite in the tank.
  • Provides surface area for beneficial bactera.
  • Provides hiding spots and sight breaks for your guppies.

Cons

  • Some can be surprisingly expensive.
  • Live plants may need trimming from time to time.
  • Takes time to plant them in the tank extending build time.

Here are all of the plants that I will be using when building my guppy tank:

Everything on that list other than the Cryptocoryne Parva is considered an easy, beginner-friendly plant to keep making them great options for your first planted tank and I go into more detail about plants for guppies tanks here.

The three main plants on that list that I definitely wanted in this guppy tank were the Limnophila Sessiliflora, Java Moss, and the Red Root Floaters as they look great and have a practical purpose.

Aquatic plants will be sifting the water 24 hours a day for ammonium. Plants in aquariums also increase ammonium removal by simply increasing colonization sites for nitrifying bacteria.

theaquariumwiki – Diana Walstad

All three of those plants will use up large amounts of ammonia and nitrites in the tank to help keep the water levels safe for my guppies without the tank requiring large amounts of maintenance in the future.

This simple trick can make it easier to overstock stock the tank and keep more guppies than initially recommended on stocking calculators.

I chose to add the various cryptocorynes as I like the look of them and they will also consume lower amounts of ammonia and nitrites.

The bacopa compact (always get the compact variant for smaller tanks) was added to the tank a day after the initial setup as I wanted two more hiding spots and sight breaks towards the front of the tank.

Adding Live Plants To An All-Male Guppy Tank

Adding Limnophila Sessiliflora
Adding Limnophila Sessiliflora

There are several different ways to add plants to a guppy tank but I like to keep things as simple as possible and keep the taller plants towards the back with smaller plants towards the front.

I also added the heater and filter at this stage to make it easier to gauge space when planting but I will touch on heaters and filters more later in the article.

The Limnophila Sessiliflora has the potential to grow the highest of all of the plants I will be keeping in this tank so I placed it towards the back of the tank behind my hardscape as shown in the photograph at the start of this section.

I want the Limnophila Sessiliflora to grow out over the coming weeks and fill in the back center area of the tank to provide hiding spots and cover while using up a large amount of ammonia and nitrites when growing.

Adding The Medium Sized Cryptocorynes
Adding The Medium Sized Cryptocorynes

Then I added the Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi and Cryptocoryne Petchii in front of the hardscape to grow in and try to hide the cracks between the rocks.

One of the Cryptocoryne Walkeri Var. Legroi is being placed off to the right as shown in the photograph above to try and mask the sponge filter once it has grown in.

These Cryptocorynes will add additional hiding spots and sight breaks while also using some ammonia and nitrite in the tank’s water column to grow.

Adding The Cryptocoryne Parva
Adding The Cryptocoryne Parva

Then I added the Cryptocoryne Parva in front of the central rock that I added the java moss to earlier.

Cryptocoryne Parva will only grow to a height of around 2 inches (6cm) so it is a small plant that will help provide hiding spots for shrimp if I do choose to add them to the tank in the future.

Adding Red Root Floaters To The Tank
Adding Red Root Floaters To The Tank

I didn’t add the red root floaters until the end of the tank build as I was planning to purchase some new tubs of them specifically for this tank.

Once I realized that I had plenty in my shrimp tank I simply moved some over to my guppy tank as they will grow in and propagate to fill out the surface of the tank over the coming months.

Bacopa Compact
Adding Bacopa Compact

I actually went through this full tank build before deciding to add some bacopa compact to the front left and front right of the tank.

The day after doing the initial tank setup, I felt that the foreground of the tank looked a little bare and wanted to add some additional hiding spots and sight breaks to that area of the tank.

Adding The Heater, Filter, And Light!

Adding The Heater And Filter

If you haven’t added your heater, filter, and light to the tank yet then now is the time to do it.

There are a large number of kit tanks or all-in-one tanks that are designed for beginners that include these accessories but they are often low quality and usually not suitable for even a basic setup.

For example, the Tetra Aquarium Starter Line 105 was my first recent aquarium purchase but I had replaced the heater, filter, and light within a month as they failed to meet my needs.

For this guppy tank, I will be using the following accessories:

Depending on your setup, there may be better options than these for your needs so I want to quickly go over why I choose these for my guppy tank.

Lighting

Aquarium Lighting Unit
The Nicrew C10 Lighting Unit

There are some great lighting units out there but I am a huge fan of the The NICREW C10 and I have two of them now and it will probably be my light of choice moving forward for all of my tanks.

Its cheap, easy to set up, easy to use the 24/7 light cycle, and the light spectrum helps to encourage great growth in most live plants. Due to having such a wide lighting spectrum, it also helps to replicate the colors in your guppies so you can enjoy them in all their glory.

Filters

AQQA Sponge Filter Unit
AQQA Sponge Filter Unit

You could technically add enough plants to make a Walstad guppy tank where the live plants act as the filter and as I mentioned earlier in the article, several the plants in this setup will help deal with ammonia and nitrites.

I have chosen to add a AQQA Sponge Filter as they are cheap, easy to use, and help oxygenate the water while also adding a small amount of water flow.

This article on using filters and air pumps with guppies goes into more detail on this topic but I highly recommend the use of a small sponge filter if possible.

A Cheap USB Air Pump
A Cheap USB Air Pump

Unfortunately, you will have to purchase an aftermarket air pump separately but I use cheap USB air pumps for mine and they work very well.

You can read my full review of this filter here but I have one of them in all of my tanks now and think they are a great option due to their ceramic media bay helping to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria for your tank.

I initially added the Hygger double sponge filter to this tank and you can see it in some of the photographs below but I felt like it took up too much space in such a small tank so switched it out for the far smaller AQQA sponge filter.

Heaters

Cheap Aquarium Heating Unit
Cheap Aquarium Heating Unit

Depending on your location, you may not actually need a heater for your guppy tank and I know plenty of people here in the UK that keep and breed guppies without adding a heater to the tank.

They simply ensure that their central heating system for their home keeps the room warm enough to keep their guppies happy.

I have chosen to add a cheap aquarium heater to the tank as a backup that will kick in and warm the tank if there is a problem with my home heating and this is a common strategy.

If you live in an area that is particularly cold or can’t rely on the central heating system for your home then something like the Fluval T50 would be a better option due to it being far more reliable than the cheaper aquarium heaters on the market.

The lower critical minimum temperature for feral guppies in Germany was reported to be 12.4°C

research gate

A recent study on the feral guppy population in Germany has found that the streams occupied by the guppies drop as low as 54°F (12.4°C) at certain times of the year but this does not mean that domestic pet guppies have that same temperature tolerance.

I would highly recommend the use of a heat source that can consistently maintain a temperature range of 63-82°F (17 – 28 °C) for your guppy tank.

Adding Water To The Guppy Tank

Adding Water To The Guppy Tank

There are several different ways to add water to your guppy tank but I usually fill a bucket with tap water, use my gravel vacuum to gently siphon the water into the tank, and then condition it once the tank is full.

Yes, this method takes longer than using a hose but it offers more control and is often easier in my experience.

Depending on the equipment you have available, you may have to come up with your own unique system and I know one friend who filled her 5-gallon betta tank by filling bowls of water over and over again and emptying it into the tank.

Turning Everything On

The photograph above shows how I have intentionally left a large spacing between the surface of the water and the rim of the tank to reduce the chances of my guppies being able to jump out until my floating plants grow in.

If your tank doesn’t have a lid and you are not planning on using anything to cover the top of the tank, I would highly recommend that you leave a gap of at least 1.5 inches (4cm).

Current State Of The Guppy Tank Build
Current State Of The Guppy Tank Build

At this stage of the process, you should have something similar to the photograph above.

We have a suitable tank, the substrate is in, the hardscape is in, live plants have been added to the tank, the heater is on, the filter is running, and we have a decent lighting unit.

Prepping The Tank Water
Conditioning The Tank Water

The next thing we are going to do is condition the tank water and this is far easier to do than most beginners think.

For this specific tank, I will be using the following products at this stage:

Depending on your setup, you may not need these or there may be a better option so here is a quick rundown of what I use each of these for:

API Tap Water Conditioner

API Tap Water Conditioner
API Tap Water Conditioner

I filled my tank with tap water that contains chlorine, chloramines, and several other chemicals that can be toxic to fish.

API Tap Water Conditioner neutralizes all of these and makes your tap water safe for your guppies and prevents them from having any problems.

The product is very easy to use and you follow the dosing instructions on the label with the cap of the product serving as your dosing tool.

If you are using RO, well water, or some other water source for your guppy tank then you may not need this product but the majority of people will need to actively neutralize their chlorine and chloramine levels.

Tropica Specialised Nutrition

Tropica Specialised Nutrition
Tropica Specialised Nutrition

Guppy poop only contains two of the main macro nutrients required for healthy live plants so I dose Tropica Specialised Nutrition in the tank to help add the other macro and micro nutrients for healthy plant growth.

There are several other popular aquarium plant fertilizers on the market that work well with Seachem Flourish Advance and APT Complete being popular options.

Depending on the aquarium plants you choose to use in your guppy tank, root tabs may be a better option than a liquid fertilizer but the majority of people will get great results with either of these three liquid fertilizer products.

API Proper pH 7.5

API Proper pH 7.5
API Proper pH 7.5

Products like API Proper pH 7.5 will not be required by everyone and it will depend on the hardness of the water you are using to fill your guppy tank.

As I mentioned earlier in the article, my area has particularly soft water so I knew I would need to add some type of water hardener product to increase the pH level of my water.

Even if you do live in an area with soft water, there is a chance that you may not need to use a product like this if you source your guppy fish from a local breeder.

If your guppies have been bred in your local area and the breeder using tap water without conditioning it then there is a high chance that your guppies will be fine in your tap water too due to it being so similar to their breeders.

Most people purchase their guppies from a big box fish store or an online dealer who does not live in their area so they choose to follow the pH recommendations of seriously fish and try to keep their tank water between 7.0 and 8.5.

Initial Water Test For The Tank
Initial Water Test For The Tank

At this stage of the tank build, I used some aquarium test strips to check the chlorine and pH levels of the tank.

As you can see from my photograph above, the API Tap Water Conditioner has dealt with the chlorine in the tap water and the API Proper pH 7.5 has helped increase the pH of the tank water.

Letting The All-Male Guppy Tank Age

The Guppy Tank At The Start Of The Aging Process
The Guppy Tank At The Start Of The Aging Process

The concept of letting the tank age to form an actual ecosystem rather than just cycle the tank is really starting to grow in popularity and it is surprisingly easy to do.

Rather than just waiting for the beneficial bacteria colonies in the tank to build up so ammonia gets transformed into nitrite and nitrite gets transformed into nitrate, you wait for the tank to come alive.

This means you wait to see noticeable growth in your live plants so take a photo of your tank now for comparison.

Algae growing on the glass of your tank is another great sign that the tank is coming alive and is habitable for fish, shrimp, snails, and other animals.

A Great Video On Letting A New Aquarium Age

The video above is a little long but does a great job of explaining the concept for anyone who would like to know more.

There are several popular ways to help your tank through this process but I use the “Father Fish method” as it has always worked well for me and allows you to add some guppies to your tank the day after building it.

A Video Going Over The Fish-In Cycle Method I Use

Father Fish explains his method in full in the YouTube video above but it is a little long and slightly repetitive so here is a breakdown with the timelines that I use.

  • Day 1 – Set the tank up and leave the heater to warm the water over night.
  • Day 2 – Add the initial fish, 1 to 3 guppies depending on tank size.
  • Day 8 – Add the second batch of guppies, usually 1-3 depending on tank size.
  • Day 15 – If your tank size permits, add 1-3 more guppies.
  • Day 22 – If your tank size permits, add 1-3 more guppies.

Before adding the next batch of guppies to your tank, you want to check the water parameters of your tank with some aquarium test strips or a API Master Test Kit to check that your water parameters are not too far out of line.

Your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels will fluctuate on a daily basis for the first four to six weeks and this is totally normal as your beneficial bacteria colonies are building up in your tank.

During this time period, you want your ammonia and nitrite to be less than 1 ppm and your nitrate to be less than 20 ppm before adding new fish.

This slow ramp up method with live plants in the tank help to keep these water parameters in check and help develop the ecosystem of your guppy tank as fast as possible.

If you have used the same plants as me then you should be able to see noticeable growth in your Limnophila Sessiliflora and Red Root Floaters with algae starting to form on the glass helping to confirm everything is going to plan.

The initial fluctuations in your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels should start to slow after around six weeks as your bacteria colonies start to form in the tank and you want to try to maintain the water parameters in the table below after the 12 week point.

Water Temperature63-82°F (17 – 28 °C)
Water FlowStill-Low
pH7-8.5
GH8-12 dGH
KH4-8 dKH
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<10ppm
Guppy Water Parameters

This may seem difficult but its really not as the live plants in your tank really help keep your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels in check.

People who don’t keep live plants in their tank can easily have problems with these water parameters but they are essentially fuel for your plants.

Rather than letting the ammonia and nitrite levels build up, the Limnophila Sessiliflora, Red Root Floaters, and Java Moss use them as fuel and turn them into plant growth.

The various types of Cryptocoryne in the tank help with this too but they tend to grow at a far slower pace, at least for the first month or two.

Adding The Guppies To The Tank

Adding Male Guppies

There are several different ways to add your guppies to your tank with the two main methods being pop and drop and drip acclimatisation.

You will often see people online argue over what method is the best but in reality, both methods have their place but they should be used in different situations.

Pop And Drop

The video above offers an excellent overview of when the pop and drop method should be used and to keep things short, it is when you are purchasing your guppies online and they have been in the bag during shipping for at least a day.

Problems with the water in the bag start the second you open it so you should get your guppies out of the bag and into your tank as quickly as possible thus the name “pop and drop”.

You pop the bag and drop the guppies into your tank but in reality, you should place a net over a bucket, pour the contents of the back into the net so the water runs through the net but catches the guppies, and then add them to your tank.

This reduces the chances of you adding any potential problems to your tank that came in the water the guppies were shipped in as well as removes the ammonia spike in that water due to all of the fish waste build up.

Drip Acclimatization

Drip Setup For Guppies
Drip Setup For Guppies

As I already had the initial three guppies I would be adding to this guppy tank, I chose the drip acclimatization method.

I placed a small amount of water into a bucket, added the three guppies to it, placed one end of my drip acclimation tube into their new tank and the other into the bucket and dropped water into the bucket from the tank for around three hours.

This slowly changes the parameters of the water in the bucket to that of the tank and helps your guppies get acclimatized to it.

Please keep in mind that the ambient temperature of my room is fine for guppies but if your home is cold, you may want to add a heater to the bucket if possible.

I then caught the guppies in a net and added them to their new tank.

Dealing With Aggression In An All-Male Guppy Tank!

Guppies Chasing Each Other
Guppies Chasing Each Other

There will always be some level of aggression in an all-male guppy tank but there are steps that you can take to try and minimise it as much as possible.

I have a dedicated article going over guppy aggression but here are the basics that most beginners need to understand.

The most common ways of reducing male-guppy aggression are:

  • Offering Plenty Of Food
  • Feeding At Multiple Locations
  • Keeping At Least Seven Male Guppies
  • Maintaining Suitable Water Parameters
  • Adding Hiding Spots And Sight Breaks

Food – It can be difficult to know how much food you should feed your guppies but I usually add a suitable food to the tank, leave the guppies to eat, and then come back after 30 minutes to remove any uneaten food. I also feed my guppies twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

Feeding Locations – Some male guppies can have problems with food aggression so feeding your guppies in multiple locations of the tank may be a good idea.

Keep Seven Male Guppies – The fewer male guppies in your tank, the higher the chances of their being aggression but this often catches beginners out. A large number of people online recommend keeping a minimum of seven male guppies in a suitable tank.

With the method I use to build an ecosystem in the tank that I explained earlier in the article, you slowly ramp up the number of male guppies in the tank so aggression can be higher in the first two to three weeks.

Water Parameters – Problems with water parameters can stress your guppies and increase the chances of them becoming aggressive. Try to maintain the following water parameters in your tank once its established and has a solid ecosystem in it.

Water Temperature63-82°F (17 – 28 °C)
Water FlowStill-Low
pH7-8.5
GH8-12 dGH
KH4-8 dKH
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
Nitrate<10ppm
Guppy Water Parameters

Hiding Spots And Sight Breaks – The easiest way to reduce the amount of aggression in your tank is to add plenty of hiding spots and sight breaks with plants being my preferred method due to the other benefits they offer your tank.

I have added three red circles to a top-down photograph of my guppy tank below that helps explain this point.

Hiding Spots And Sight Breaks
Hiding Spots And Sight Breaks

Each of the red circles represents an area of the tank that will be filled by a plant of at least 4 inches (10cm) once the plants have had the time to grow out.

This means there are plenty of hiding spots on the left and right-hand sides of the tanks, hiding spots between the main background plants and the two front satellite plants, and hiding spots in front of those plants too.

Guppies will also be able to hide in the Limnophila Sessiliflora once its grown out too with this single plant offering a huge number of hiding spots.

A Guppy Hiding In The Plants
A Guppy Hiding In The Plants

The photograph above was taken on day one of the tank build and shows one of the guppies hiding amongst the Limnophila Sessiliflora already.

I noticed one of the other guppies hiding in there too but I spooked it when I moved my camera close to the glass and it swam off.

The guppies are not hiding in the Limnophila Sessiliflora all day, they are in there for a short break to get away from their tank mates and then they freely swim out into the water column and go about their business, especially if its feeding time.

On Going Maintenance For An All-Male Guppy Tank!

A Complete API Master Test Kit Test

The work doesn’t stop once your all-male guppy tank is setup and thriving as there will be a number of on going tank maintenance tasks that you will have to carry out on a regular basis.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Feeding Your Guppies
  • Monitoring Water Parameters
  • Water Changes
  • Plant Grooming
  • Treating Sick Fish

Here is a quick run-down of each task.

Feeding – I feed my guppies twice per day using a 30 minute feeding window each time and any food that is not consumed by the guppies within those 30 minutes is removed from the tank.

There are plenty of suitable food products on the market but I use Bug Bites and frozen daphnia as the core foods for my guppies as they love them but guppies will pick at algae and small insects in their tank throughout the day to top up their diet.

Water Tests – I use the API Master Test Kit for my water tests as it is more accurate than test strips. I have an article on how I use the API Master Test Kit with my tanks that may be helpful to you if you have never tried it before.

You can use aquarium test strips too with these being a cheaper, faster option but they tend to be less accurate.

Focus on your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels but try to keep your pH level over 7.0 if possible.

Water Changes – You will usually have to do a partial water change when your nitrate levels get too high but some people implement a partial water change weekly.

Personally, I don’t like to change water in my tank unless I absolutely have to as new water can potentially cause problems with chlorine, pH, and temperature.

Plant Grooming – Limnophila Sessiliflora is a great plant for this type of tank but it can grow at a rapid pace so it will require trimming on a semi-regular basis.

Sick Fish – Some guppies will end up getting sick over the coming years and may require treatment.

Potential Male Guppy Tank Mates

Cherry Shrimp And Amano Shrimp

The only none guppy tank mates I plan to add to this setup are shrimp with Amano shrimp being the most likely option.

I like to use Amano shrimp for their algae eating abilities as well as the the amount of fish food they eat from the substrate of the tank.

Adult Amano shrimp can be over 2 inches (5cm) in size making them larger than the average male guppy that comes in at 0.6-1.6 inches (1.5-4cm) 1.5–3.5 cm.

I am confident that this size advantage will be able to prevent any aggression towards the Amano shrimp and I am happy to try them in the tank.

Depending on how my guppies react to the Amano shrimp, I may also add some cherry shrimp to the tank but their smaller size may increase the chances of aggression.

I have a dedicated shrimp tank that I can move them to if there is any aggression though and I will only test one cherry shrimp initially before adding more to the tank.