How Long Do Guppies Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer : 4-5 years

Guppy is a freshwater aquarium fish. Its scientific name is Poecilia reticulata. It belongs to the kingdom Animalia and the family Poeciliidae. It is a tropical fish and is popularly known as million fish or rainbow fish. They are one of the most widely distributed fish across the world because they get adapted to different environments easily. They basically originate from South America but are found in many parts of the world.

Guppies are profitable to humans as they are used in pest control. They feed on the larva of mosquitoes and control the mosquito population of the place. Guppies can thrive in almost all freshwater bodies such as river streams. They are widely found in the wild even though they have many predators. Their predators include big fishes, animals, etc.

How Long Do Guppies Live?

In wild, even though Guppies are largely distributed around freshwater bodies but they have many predators. Male guppies are more vulnerable to predators as they are shiny as compared to females. Hence, they have a shorter life span as compared to females. It is believed that the average life span of a guppy in wild is around 2 years.

In the aquarium, Guppies need specific conditions such as temperature, salinity, etc. The temperature should be around 22-24 degrees C and the salinity should be kept in check. A female guppy is capable of giving rise to 200 fries (baby guppies) at a time. It should be kept in mind that when devoid of food, guppies can consume their own offspring. That’s why they should be kept well fed at all times. If taken care of, guppies can live for 4-5 years in an aquarium as they have no predators and are always under observation. The following table shows the lifespan of guppies at various places:-

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Type Of GuppiesLifespan Of Guppies
1. Tank Kept Guppies4-5 years
2. Guppy With Poor GenesFew months
3. Wild Guppies2 years

The lifespan of guppies in an aquarium depends on certain factors such as temperature, salinity, genetics, etc.

Why Do Guppies Live For This Long?

Guppies are known to be the most beginner-friendly fishes. They can adapt to almost all types of environments. But they have a relatively shorter life span. Factors that cause the death of guppies include the degrading quality of water. Guppies are freshwater fishes and due to the degradation of water, they are dying at a much faster rate. Pollution is the main cause of it. In aquariums, the quality of water can be kept in check.

Another reason why guppies die is due to overfeeding. Guppies try to eat as much as they can which results in constipation and finally lead to their death. Overcrowding is another reason. This is because the oxygen level gets down. More fishes consume more and more amount of oxygen making water oxygen-deficient for other members. Temperature and salt concentration should be kept in control and the guppies of good genetics survive the most.

Conclusion

The first guppy was discovered in 1860 in South America. They are mostly found in Brazil. Guppies are known for their rapid growth and easy-to-maintain quality. The male is smaller as compared to the female. The average size for an adult guppy is 2 inches. Even though they are highly adaptable but like other fishes, they also require a certain level of care.

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Guppies in wild can live for around 2 years whereas the guppies living in aquariums can live up to 5 years. This is because guppies in aquariums have no predators and are well-taken care of. The main reason why guppies have a relatively shorter lifespan is the degrading quality of water. Because of increasing pollution, the availability of fresh water is decreasing, hence guppies die. Water parameters are most important to keep the guppies alive. Water parameters include temperature, water pH, hardness of water, and toxic chemical concentrations. An aquarium is a relatively better option to keep guppies alive for a longer period of time.

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23736726
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/346357a0

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