Guppy male to female ratio

Guppy male to female ratio

guppy male to female ratioMale guppies have a tendency to harass females. They chase them around the tank constantly and display their colors in front of the females in an attempt to mate. Unfortunately, all this attention can make the female guppy fish very stressed, which can lower their immune system and make them ill.

An important part of guppy fish care is keeping more females guppies in your tank than males. The males will then divide their attention between the females rather than chasing one female all of the time.

But how many male guppies and how many female guppies should you keep in your tank? What is the correct guppy male to female ratio?

In order to stop your female guppies from getting stressed by too much male attention, we suggest sticking to a guppy male to female ratio of 1:2. In other words, two female guppies for each male guppy.

A 1:2, male to female ratio means that each male guppy fish has two females to pursue. This allows one female to have a break while the male chases the other female!

So, when deciding how many guppy fish to keep in your tank, you should think in terms of “trios” – groups of three. You could choose to keep:

3 guppy fish: 1 male and 2 females

6 guppy fish: 2 males and 4 females.

9 guppy fish: 3 males and 6 females.

…and so on. Just make sure that you have a big enough tank!

One last thing to consider is that, unfortunately, female guppies can look a little drab! The male guppy fish are the colorful ones that looks nice in your tank, whereas females have shorter fins and are usually much less colorful. Because of this, not all fish keepers are happy sticking to a 1:2 guppy male to female ratio.

If you’re concerned about your tank not looking colorful enough then you could consider not keeping any females and just stocking your tank with colorful males. Of course, this means you won’t get any babies being born into your tank!

What’s your male to female ratio? Share it with other Guppy Fish Care readers in the comments, below.

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


  1. I have 3 make guppys that re brightly coloured and are very playfull and full of energy, I’m soon hoping to either get 6 females for them if not I will add 3 more male guppys that are totally different colour I them and look like fire.

  2. I have 7 males and 1 female in my community tank. My female gave birth to 12 fries last week. All the fry are safe in a bottle kept in the community tank poked all over with a needle. I just feed them micropellets. But they seem to grow fast 🙂

  3. Hi
    Having problem with a female swimming wonky .
    She hangs in the corners with her tail at about 70 degrees
    She looks very unhappy .
    Any ideas please

  4. Just got 3 females and 1 male. I hope to start breading them as feeder fish for my oscar. They will also look very lovely in my daughter’s room in the 10 gallon tank

    • Leann Deboard

      Well then expect lots of babys they will populate a 20 gallon in a matter of a few months so good idea to use them as food be careful to give the fry atleast two to three weeks to make sure you keep an appropriate ratio

  5. I have 10 guppies, out of which 2 males and 8 females. Is that ratio ok. As I am a beginner, I am not sure this ratio would yield me more baby guppies.

    • Leann Deboard

      That ratio is perfect really as the male has plenty of females to keep him occupied and the females get rest wich keeps them less stressed

  6. I have seven males and one female, and she is normally the one who bullies them.

  7. Brittany C Donato

    I just bought these fish. At first I didn’t have any knowledge of how popular they are with breeding. I first bought 4 male guppy from PetCo and they are soooooo beautiful! Then I went to a PetsMart and they only had 3 female guppy so I got the last! But now im so interested in these fish and doing alot of research I now realiZe ratio isn’t correct. I believe I will go to PetCo and get 5! more female!

  8. I have about 2 female golden guppies which recently gave birth to about 15 fries. . and about 10 male ones among which 5 are not mature. . . will this lead to tail nipping, fight or strain to the females. . and i also have 11 neon tetras in the same tank with lot of fanworts, and stones

    • Leann Deboard

      Do they get along well or do you see the females looking stressed or lossing scales if the answer is no then either wait till the fry can be sexed or buy more females sometimes their personalitys mix well so there is no need to change anything if they dont fight

  9. Sorry, this was just bugging me when I read it, Guppy ratio of males to females is 1:2, the ratio of females to males is 2:1, though!

    • GuppyFishCare

      Good spot, Liss!

      You’re absolutely right, of course. We’ve corrected the article!

      Thanks a lot for pointing this out!

  10. Jakey Pancakey Higman

    I have found from experience that a ratio of 4 females to 1 male is a more appropriate number. Male guppies act almost like lions, trying to herd females into their own prides. If you have too many males and not enough females the females do not get a break. They become stressed, and stressed fish have lower immunity systems. Lower immunity systems means quicker death, smaller life.

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