Top Five Tank Mates for Guppies

Guppies are a favorite fish to keepers of all experience levels. What makes them great for beginners is their hardiness and sociability. They’re very active and are not shy, and they are entertaining in a species-only tank.

But what if you want to build a community tank around them? What tank makes should you choose?

There are an overwhelming number of fish to choose from, so first we need to note the traits and needs of the Guppy:

  • They are a shoaling fish. This means that, while they like to have others of their kind around, the types can be mixed and matched for a variety of colors and patterns.
  • Males range in size from 05 to 1.5 inches and females from 1 to 2.5 inches. You’ll want to choose tank mates that aren’t so big that your Guppies can be eaten, but not so small that your Guppies can eat them. 
  • Guppies are bold little fish and are not easily bullied. However, they can be bullies themselves, so you’ll want to choose tank mates that will not be intimidated and spend all their time hiding.
  • They really like to eat, so you will need to be mindful when feeding so tank mates are not out-competed for food.
  • They can tolerate a very wide range of tank and water parameters, so it’s easy to match them with fish varying needs.
  • While Guppies frolic and swim all over the tank, they tend to spend most of their time at the top.

Now here’s our list of the top five tank mates for Guppies



Cory catfish are adorable little schooling fish that do best in groups of six or more and are great for beginners. 

Some things that make corydoras great tank mates for guppies are:

  • They’re very peaceful fish that generally mind their own business. 
  • They are bottom dwellers, so neither fish will compete for space in one part of the tank.
  • They are around the same size, so there’s no danger that the Guppies will see them as a snack. Alternatively, cories would never consider adult Guppies to be food. Except for fry. If you want baby fish of either species to survive you’ll need to put them in a breeding box or net.
  • They mostly come out at night, leaving the tank open for Guppy antics during the day.

Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin Rasboras are happy little schooling fish that are great for beginners..They’re peaceful and do best in large groups, with a minimum of 8-10 to keep their stress levels low. (There’s bravery in numbers!)

What makes them great tank mates for Guppies is:

  • They can live in a wide range of water parameters and fluctuating temperatures.
  • They are not territorial.
  • Though they tend to stay in the same area of the tank as Guppies, they are not territorial.
  • They’re about the same size as Guppies, which is just right.

Cardinal Tetras

CARDINAL TETRA FISH | Splashy Fish Store

Cardinal Tetras are brightly colored schooling fish that do best in large groups in planted tanks. Their care is a little harder than some of the other fish on this list, but is not overly difficult.

What makes them great tank mates for Guppies is:

  • They occupy the center of the tank.
  • They’re peaceful.
  • They enjoy the same tank parameters as Guppies.
  • Since they live in larger schools, they are less likely to be afraid of Guppies and hide.
  • They’re smaller than adult Guppies, but not so small that they would become snacks.

Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose Plecos are another species that require a moderate, rather than an easy, level of care. They need deeper substrate so they can burrow as well as a more spacious tank to accommodate their larger size of 4-5 inches. A minimum tank size is 30 gallons, with longer being better than taller.

What makes them great tank mates for Guppies is:

  • They’re solitary, so you don’t need a group of them.
  • They tend to be sedentary during the day.
  • They are bottom dwellers and blend in with their surroundings, and don’t compete for swim space.
  • They are herbivores so they don’t compete with Guppies for food.
  • They mind their own business and pay little to no attention to tank mates.

Female Bettas

Female Betta Fish For Sale | Splashy Fish Store

Female Bettas are slower swimming fish that can live peacefully with Guppies. When the Betta has a softer temperament, she may integrate herself with the Guppies, and it’s fun to watch them all interact!  

What makes them great tank mates for Guppies is:

  • They are solitary fish so you don’t need more than one.
  • They are enthusiastic eaters and are less likely to be out competed for food than other potential tank mates.
  • They are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of tank parameters
  • They don’t require a lot of tank space.
  • They are not shy and are much less likely to hide.

Whether you want large schools of tank mates, or just a single addition to your Guppy tank, one of these types of fish will give you what you’re looking for.