Male guppies have vibrant colors and are preferred over females when looking for a beautiful aquarium/tank. Keeping male guppies only is a great option if you intend to add beauty to your aquarium and discourage breeding. However, keeping males alone is never a good idea since they need to mate.
It is recommended to keep at least six male guppies together. This helps in reducing aggression in the tank. Guppies are shoaling fish; if you keep a smaller number, one or few will emerge as dominant males that will keep attacking the smaller or weaker ones.
If you can keep male guppies only in the same tank, take precautions because male guppies fight a lot. A big tank is required to minimize aggression since a significant number of male guppies (at least six) will reduce the chances of fighting. Then provide sufficient food and several hiding places for the bullied ones.
7 Factors to consider when keeping male guppies alone
Keeping guppies of the same size will also minimize the tension because big males tend to bully the smaller ones. Although you will love the blend of colors they bring, here are a few factors to consider when keeping only male guppies in a tank.
Guppies are considered docile and can hardly fight other pets in the aquarium. They are also known to be shoaling fish. However, keeping male guppies only will deny them the chance to mate with females, making them very aggressive.
Also, in a group of males, some will have to show aggression towards others to become alpha males. Most of the time, the guppy aggression and bullying are directed toward the smaller and weaker guppies.
Guppies have a lifespan of about two to three years, but with an appropriate diet and good water conditions, they can live for up to five years. Keeping male guppies only means you will have to buy a new bunch every two years. If you kept females, you would have little guppies every once in a while.
Males can also cut short the life of other male guppies when they get into fights and injure them. Although they might not kill them directly, they can inflict injuries, and the guppy might die from blood loss or infection.
3. Keep at least six or more males
Male guppies are aggressive and bully by nipping on their fins and tails. The victim will mostly be small and weaker ones. Keeping more males in the same tank will ensure no specific guppy is targeted.
For example, if you kept three guppies, the two big ones would bully the small ones. However, if you kept ten male guppies, it would be impossible for nine to target and bully one guppy. The aggression will be distributed to different guppies.
In some cases, male guppies with big bellies tend to be slower. If you notice any physical changes in their behavior, ensure they are separated and observed with care until they are okay.
4. Have a big tank
Experts recommend keeping at least four guppies in a ten-gallon tank. If you have a smaller tank, the fish will get stressed due to congestion and lack of enough playing space resulting in aggression.
5. Provide enough hiding places
We have already established that male guppies are aggressive, contrary to popular belief. You can only expect the aggression to increase when kept in a male guppy-only tank. Therefore, you should provide enough hiding places in the aquarium to avoid injuries.
You can put up caves, decorations, and driftwood. Also, you can add live plants like duckweed and java fern because they will be good hiding places and oxygenate the water.
6. Check the size
Smaller guppies are the most vulnerable to attack by the bigger guppies. Keeping fish of the same size will ease the aggression because none of the fish will go down quickly. When small fish are attacked, they only swim away to hide, but same-sized guppies will square out.
7. Provide enough food
Starving your guppies will only make them more aggressive. Also, you will witness aggression during mealtime if you feed them insufficient food. Feeding them enough food will minimize the aggression, and you will ensure they have eaten. Remove all leftovers from the tank because they will cause an ammonia spike if they decay.
Can Male Guppies Bully Each Other to Death?
Although guppies are said to be peaceful, when kept in a male-only tank, they can bully each other to death. Guppies bully by chasing, fighting, and nipping tail and fins. Guppies might not necessarily fight to the death, but the nipping of fins and tails will cause injuries that can make the guppy bleed to death. Severe injuries can also be affected by infections causing fin rot disease that is deadly if not treated.
Check on the guppies regularly for signs of bullying or sickness. Such guppies will spend most of the time hiding and swimming close to the surface. If you notice a specific guppy with bullying habits, moving it to a separate tank would be wise.