Guppies are a great alternative to goldfish if you are looking for a freshwater fish that is easy to care for. They come in a range of colors and shapes. Because they aren’t tropical fish, you won’t need expensive equipment like a tank heater.
Many people put small fish like guppies and goldfish in bowls, but they will not have as long or healthy of a life. Give your guppies room to move around by purchasing at least a five-gallon tank. If you plan on having more than about three guppies, consider going with a 10-gallon aquarium. While this is a bigger investment up front, it will provide a great environment for your fish. Luckily, guppies are fine with the oxygen from the surface and with temperatures in the 70s, so you won't need many additional items.
Guppies are a freshwater fish, but you may not be able to use water straight from the tap. Chlorine is a problem for fish, so you need to use dechlorinated water. You could buy water for the tank, or you could use tap water and leave it in an uncovered container for 24 hours. This lets the chlorine evaporate. Room temperature water works well for guppies.
Guppies are a social fish, so it is a good idea to get several. Two females and one male is a great place to begin. A ratio of two females to one male is good balance for your tank. Keep in mind that guppies do bear live young, so plan ahead to decide what you will do with the fry.
Rocks and Decorating
If you plan on raising fry, having plants in your tank is a great idea. This will give the pregnant females and fry somewhere to hide. However, guppies often rest on the bottom of a tank and may prefer a smooth surface. Skipping rocks or gravel will allow this, as well as making the tank easier to keep clean.
Kimberly A. Smith has been a freelance writer for two years. She graduated from the University of California at Davis and the California Culinary Academy, then pursued a career baking wedding cakes. During her time at CCA, she received certification in nutrition and food safety. She currently attends the University of Oregon School of Law.