How long do guppies live?

How long do guppies live? An old guppy!How long do guppies live? What’s the average life span of a guppy fish? What factors affect how long guppies live and how can you give your fish the best chance of living a long life?

Find out how long your guppy is likely to live based on the average guppy life span…


How long do guppies live?

Usually, with proper care, guppies live for between one and two years. However, “with proper care” is the key part of that sentence. If you keep your guppy fish in a tank that is too small for them, or don’t feed them properly, then they are unlikely to live very long.

How long can guppies live?

It’s not unheard of for guppies to live as long as four or even five years. However, these are exceptions and most guppies will live for between one and two years.

What factors can affect how long guppies live?

There are a number of factors that can affect how long guppies live. These include:

  • water quality – guppies living in poor quality water are more vulnerable to disease and less likely to live a long life
  • water temperature – guppies living in cooler water will grow more slowly and live longer than guppy fish kept in warmer water
  • diet – feeding your guppies a nutritious, varied diet will give them a better chance of living long lives
How long have your guppies lived?

We’d be very interested to hear how long your guppy fish live! And we’re sure other Guppy Fish Care readers would be too! Do your guppies usually live between one and two years? Have you owned any guppies that have lived a surprisingly long time? Or are you struggling to keep your guppies alive for a year or more? Let us know in the comments!

This post is part of our Guppy Info series! Find out more about your guppies…

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  • dave

    hi just in the last two weeks I have lost two males and 3 females my water in the tank is all with in the normal limits and I feed both flake and frozen food and change water by 1/3rd each week the tank is well planted and lit is this just bad luck or could there be something else I should be looking at any ideas please thanks

    • GuppyFishCare

      Hi Dave,

      Do you have exact water parameter readings? Are you sure that ammonia isn’t too high? How big is the tank?

      Presumably the fish haven’t shown any signs of illness or disease?

      How much do you feed them? They only need a small pinch of food each day – or even every other day would be fine.


  • Don

    I have had a small tank of guppies since my daughter was about 3, still have the same line, never added any new fish. I keep the water clean with a filter and change the water every few months. Water is always added as it evaporates. I feed them a small pinch of good quality dry food. Now you wonder, ‘how old is your daughter now’…..she is 24.

    • GuppyFishCare

      21 years of breeding guppies from the same line?! That’s amazing, Don. Well done! :)

      Please do keep adding comments to our articles if you have any tips to share – newbies would definitely benefit from that kind of experience!

  • Kirsty

    My Guppies seem to live around 2 – 3 years. I hadn’t realised they were so short lived as I am more used to keeping Goldfish!! I have just males in a tank with glowlight tetra and shrimp at around 24C. My eldest guppy is currently just coming up three years and looks like it wont go on much longer. It’s tail fin is closed up but it’s still swimming around with its younger tank mates so I’m uncertain if this is just due to it’s age or if it has a bit of fin rot?

  • Dee

    My guppies are all between 3 and 4 years old. I have one tank of males and one tank of females. They’re all from 2 original females, bought at a pet store, that have long since died. Females can have babies for up to a year after they breed just once. The 2 original female fish I had gave birth every 6-8 weeks for months. They averaged 15-20 fry per birth session but one of them had over 60 fry one day. The 2 original mother fish died a few months after they finally stopped having babies. Together, they had almost 250 fry. Only 1/2 of the fry lived to be 1 year old or older.
    The guppies I have now were all born in my tanks, at my house. Interestingly, the females are the ones who eat the most babies, not the males. The male guppies probably would eat the fry if they could but their mouths are much smaller than the females and they can only chow down on the smallest newborns. Because of this, I kept the fry in the male’s tank, not the female’s tank. Besides that, just in case I couldn’t determine a baby fish’s sex in time, it’s better for one young female in the male’s tank to get pregnant than an entire tank of females to get pregnant by a young male in the female’s tank. At about 4 months, you can determine the sex of the baby fish with certainity.
    Guppies that don’t breed generally live much longer than guppies that do breed. Not only that but you can become very overwhelmed with fish if you allow your guppies to breed. The more fish you keep in your tank the poorer the water quality will be and the higher your fish mortality rate will be.

  • bernie placido

    I noticed that when my female guppies give birth, the were always more males than females… Is it meant to be that way for fish like this?

  • Jackie

    My oldest male guppies were over 6 year’s when the died.. water quality always spot on temperature between 21-24 :)

  • Glenn

    Hi, Glenn here.
    Can I just check, does the size of the tank affect the size of the baby guppies as they grow up? Cause my tank is relatively small, probably like 500ML only?

    • GuppyFishCare

      Hi Glenn,

      They will become stunted or could possibly develop growth defects if kept in too small a container for too long. We’d recommend putting them in the very small container only for a very short time, while you look for something slightly bigger.


  • Ann

    I just started my aquarium (15 gallon). I had two small anglefish, 5 tiny tetras, two tiny red platy, and two guppies (one female and one male). They all get along and seem healthy and happy. My favorite were the guppies. They were playing with each other all day yesterday. I didn’t feed them the first day because the guy from the fish store had told me that they had already being fed. After the first day, I fed them with the “tetra color fish food”. I just added less than half tea spoon. They all eat and they finished the whole thing in less than 2 minutes. A few hours after eating I noticed that the two guppies changed their behavior, then they stopped moving and went down to the rocks (I thought they were resting). They were both dead this morning :-(
    What did I do wrong? The people in the fish store checked my water parameters and they told me everything was good (I may buy something to check the parameters myself again). The temperature of my water has been in between 78 and 81 (Do you think that’s too warm?). I keep thinking that it’s been something related with the food. I don’t think I put too much, but should I have made the pieces of food smaller? or maybe it was the kind of food? I also thought about the light. Do you think that guppies may die if the light conditions are not appropriate. I think the light I have is enough, but I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

  • Tyler Craven

    I am a novice guppy breeder I have about 15 guppys 3 female the rest male and I have aprox around 100 gallon tank and how I breed and feed my fish are

    to feed I use just dry food as my guppys dont tend to be keen on brine shrip but am bring them round to eat it
    and to breed I just leave then I have taken two fan tail guppies and two bigger female guppies and seperated them into a tank of there own and am currently seeing if they will breed but in the tank right now there are 6 fry and I havnt seperated the mother after birth I have just left it all natural also in the tank with the guppies are 3 neon tetras 2 black tetras 2 pelcs and every thing is fine

  • Alexox

    I bought my male guppy yesterday, and do u guys have some advices? Thank u

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