Can I mix guppies with tetras?

Answered by Michael Wilson

Guppies and neon tetras can coexist harmoniously in the same tank, as long as certain conditions are met. Both species are relatively peaceful and have similar water parameter requirements, making them compatible tank mates.

1. Tank Size: It’s important to provide enough space for both species to swim freely. A tank size of at least 20 gallons is recommended to accommodate a small school of neon tetras (6-8 individuals) and a small group of guppies (3-4 individuals). A larger tank is always better, as it allows for more swimming space and reduces territorial disputes.

2. Water Parameters: Both guppies and neon tetras prefer similar water conditions. They thrive in slightly acidic to neutral water with a pH range of 6.5-7.5. The ideal temperature for them is around 72-78°F (22-26°C). Maintaining stable water parameters is crucial for the well-being of both species.

3. Compatibility: Guppies and neon tetras are generally peaceful by nature, but it’s important to consider the temperament of individual fish. Guppies, especially males, can sometimes display territorial behavior and may nip at the long fins of neon tetras. To minimize aggression, it’s recommended to keep a higher female-to-male ratio among guppies and provide plenty of hiding places and plants in the tank to break line of sight.

4. Feeding: Guppies and neon tetras have similar dietary requirements and can be fed a combination of high-quality flake or pellet food. It’s also beneficial to supplement their diet with occasional live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or daphnia. Be mindful of their feeding habits and ensure all fish receive adequate nutrition without any aggression during feeding time.

5. Tank Setup: Creating a well-planted tank with hiding spots and ample swimming space will help reduce stress and provide a more natural environment for both species. Dense vegetation, such as floating plants or tall stem plants, will provide cover for fry (baby guppies) and help create separate territories within the tank.

Personal Experience: I have successfully kept guppies and neon tetras together in a planted 30-gallon tank for several years. The vibrant colors of the guppies and the sleek beauty of the neon tetras created a visually appealing display. I had a mix of male and female guppies, which helped reduce any aggression among the males. The tank was heavily planted with floating plants, providing ample hiding spots for the neon tetras. Regular water changes and careful monitoring of water parameters ensured the health and well-being of both species.

Guppies and neon tetras can make great tank mates if the tank size, water parameters, compatibility, feeding, and tank setup are all taken into consideration. By providing the right conditions, you can enjoy a beautiful and harmonious community aquarium with these two species.