Do guppies need a filter?

Do guppies need a filter? This guppy is in a badly polluted tank with no filter!Some fish, such as goldfish, produce a huge amount of waste. A filter helps to remove this waste and houses a colony of good bacteria, which remove water pollution.

But what about guppies? Do they produce a lot of waste? Do guppies need a filter?

There’s no definite answer to whether guppies need a filter – some people insist that they manage fine without one, while others would never keep guppies without a filter. Here at GFC, we recommend that you add a small filter to your guppy tank.

You may want to consider a sponge filter powered by an air pump (make sure you buy the right size for your tank and have air pump tubing too!).

A sponge filter should be perfectly adequate for guppies and is better than having no filter at all, as it will certainly help keep the water a little bit cleaner.

It isn’t necessary to have a large, powerful filter for a guppy tank as, compared to goldfish for example, guppies don’t produce very much waste and won’t pollute their water quickly as long as they are kept in an appropriately sized tank.

In fact, more powerful filters can actually be dangerous for your guppies! The strong current created by the filter can drag them in to the filter or pin them against the side of the filter inlet!

Of course, whether you have a filter or not, you should do regular water changes to make sure that your guppies’ tank water doesn’t get too polluted!

What do you think? Do you have a filter in your guppy tank? If so, what kind of filter do you have? Add a comment below to let other guppy keepers know what you think works best!

This post is part of our Guppy Care series! Read more…

  • sary

    Hi. i have a 6gal fluval fish tank n the filter is kool. i put spong onto the filter tube so the guppies won’t get suck into it. also i turn the filter low. is that a good idea? Thx

    • GuppyFishCare

      Hi Sary,

      That sounds like a good idea. As long as enough water is still passing through your filter (ie. the sponge isn’t blocking it) then it makes sense to protect your guppies from being sucked into the filter that way.

      Thanks for your comment!


  • Omar Sayed

    i have an under gravel filter but my guppies are kept with another kind of fish
    is it cool or what?? ^^

    • GuppyFishCare

      Hi Omar,

      This really depends on the other kind of fish. Do you know what type of fish the other fish are?


  • Grace Segars

    Hi. My name is Grace and I am trying to decide if I want to own guppies. I have a ten gallon tank so I will probably get about six females and three males, but I have a few questions:

    1. I only have room for nine guppies, so how can I (if possible) keep the guppies from breeding?

    2. I do not have anywhere to buy fish besides a Petsmart and a Petco near my house. Is it safe to buy guppies from these companies if I take great care of them once I buy them?

    3. I am actually not completely sure of everything I will need for my guppies…? :)

    • Ryan D

      I wouldn’t go for that many guppies as when a female gets pregnant they can have around 50 fry! Just stick with males or get a much larger tank.

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