Having one puppy in a tank will stress it. They naturally feel safer in groups. One guppy in a large tank will feel unhappy, frustrated, and uncomfortable. Additionally, an aquarium/tank with several guppies is more beautiful, lively, and outstanding.
Naturally, guppies do better when kept with their mates. They are social, playful, and territorial. Males are aggressive when there are no or insufficient females around them. Therefore, It is not okay to keep a guppy alone because it needs others to live a natural social life. Male guppies kept alone are more vulnerable to stress since they constantly need females for mating.
Since guppies are classified under schooling fish, they need others to move in groups and mark territories. When kept alone, one cannot achieve all those. If it lacks natural social traits, frustration, and stress kick in. Apart from living with their type, guppies can get along with other compatible, peaceful fish species, i.e., swordtails.
Disadvantages of keeping a male guppy alone
The ideal male-to-female ratio of guppies in your aquarium or tank should be 1:3. Giving a male various mating partners makes it feel at peace and not threatened. Hence, there will be little or no bullying, intimidation, or fighting.
Male guppies stress their female counterparts by constantly chasing them around for mating. If there is only one female to share, managing or surviving will be tiring and stressful.
In addition, letting male guppies stay alone or with other male fish species should be avoided. Male guppies like to mark their territories and declare dominance in the tank. So, keeping one by itself will stress it out. Males get frustrated without females since they have a high drive to mate.
Raising only males has its problems. For instance, male guppies are most likely to become hostile and bully each other to claim territory and establish authority. Fighting can cause severe injuries and infections, including on the fins.
Therefore, mixing them with female guppies must keep males busy and distracted. That is, instead of having a male-only tank. The male-female ratio should be around one to two or three.
Can a pregnant guppy live alone?
A pregnant guppy can live alone and become more healthy since there will be no stress from males chasing it around. At Fish Parlor, we recommend the removal of a bullied pregnant guppy from a community tank for isolation.
After giving birth, the mother and her young ones may still need to be isolated to increase their survival chances. If you cannot get another tank, a mesh can be used to separate a vulnerable female so that it can stay alone for some time.
Look for the following signs of pregnancy in guppies:
- A fading fish’s color.
- A fish experiences a change in feeding habits. The fish may eat a lot, eat less, or refuse to eat.
- Increased level of aggression.
- The belly of the fish gets more prominent and assumes a square shape.
- The gravid spot becomes darker and more noticeable.
After giving birth, provide the fry with enough food to support their faster and healthy growth. If the males are too aggressive, let the mother plus her young ones live alone since female guppies may fight others if there is scarce food and they feel the lives of their young ones are in danger.
When should a guppy live alone?
Some situations can force you to isolate or make a guppy live alone. This can be a temporary or a permanent situation. You should isolate a guppy when it is in any of the situations discussed below.
1. Introducing a new guppy
Fish from a large-scale breeder is usually prone to attacks by diseases such as ich. That can happen even if the breeding environment is high-quality to discourage the transmission of diseases. So, it is not easy to guarantee that the new guppy you bring home is not sick and it will not infect other healthy guppies in the tank.
Isolating new guppy fish before mixing them with the rest of the flock gives you time to monitor if it has any diseases. Check its behavior and breathing patterns. If the guppy is sick, treat it first before mixing it with the rest of your guppies.
2. When a guppy is sick
Whenever you notice a sick guppy in the tank, move fast to isolate it from the rest. Without separation, it is possible that the rest can be infected depending on what it is suffering from. Isolation will help identify and treat it with accuracy.
Putting a pregnant guppy in its tank safeguards it against potential fighting, harassment, and biting. A distressed, pregnant guppy can die or give birth to unhealthy fry. Moreover, isolating a pregnant fish allows the babies to develop without serving as a food source for other adult fish.
In conclusion, for a guppy to live a long, healthy life, do not live alone. Only isolate it if there is a serious problem in the tank. Guppies fish thrive by interacting with others. They can also be places with compatible, social fish species like swordtails, mollies, and platies.