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Can Guppies Live In Bowl Or Should You Use A Regular Tank?

Guppies are one of the most commonly kept fish in the world due to how beginner friendly they can be as well as the wide range of colors and patterns available on the fish for their low price tag helping to brighten up your aquarium.

One thing that is hotly debated within the fish keeping community is if guppies can live in a bowl or not and technically, both sides of the argument are correct so we wanted to publish this article to clear a few things up.

The problem with most fish bowls is that they are far too small for guppies to live in but any fish tank that size would also be unsuitable for guppies too.

There are a very small number of larger sized fish bowls on the market that are over three gallons making it the absolute minimum size possible for three guppies but larger tanks are always recommended.

There are some five and ten gallon fish bowls out there that are more suitable for guppies but they can be difficult to find depending on your location.

If possible, we would always recommend that you go with a regular rectangle fish tank for your guppies rther than a bowl if possible as they are easier to find and tend to be much cheaper than the larger fish bowls on the market but a 3 gallon fish bowl can work.

Can Guppies Live In A Bowl?

Guppies can live in a bowl with minimal issues but it can be difficult to find a fish bowl that is large enough for guppies to live in and most of the suitable bowls that guppies can live in tend to be overpriced.

The average one or two gallon fish bowl is too small for a guppy to live in and even a three gallon fish bowl is only suitable for a very small number of guppies.

More and more people are starting to keep a single guppy in a tank and this can be done with minimal issues when implemented correctly.

This is probably the only realistic option for anyone who is wanting to keep a guppy in a bowl rather than a tank due to how hard it can be to find the larger fish bowls and too any guppies in a tank potentially resulting in aggression between the fish.

We have seen some custom made fish bowls available that are commonly advertised on social media sites that may be a good work around for this though.

Still, they do tend to be much more expensive than the off the shelf fish tanks and bowls that are commercially produced so ordering a custom made larger fish bowl that is large enough for multiple guppies may cause problems with your budget.

How Many Guppies Can Live In A Bowl?

The general rule of thumb is that you should try to aim for a five gallon tank for guppies and keep one guppy per gallon of water in the tank.

As fish bowls are available in a wide range of sizes with most being under five gallons, this can be problematic but some people do keep three guppies or less in a three gallon fish bowl without issue.

There are only a small number of 3 gallon fish bowls easily available on the market that are not too expensive though and anything larger than this can be difficult to find.

If you are keeping guppies in a smaller fish bowl then we would recommend that you try to stick to just female guppies as a male only guppy tank can have problems with aggression in smaller tanks.

Unfortunately, many beginners to the fish keeping hobby will find this article too late and may have already over stocked these small fish bowls with a large number of guppies.

Our article on what to do if you have too many guppies is probably worth reading in that situation but upgrading to a larger fish tank will often be the best option for most people.

How To Take Care Of Guppies In A Bowl?

Taking care of guppies in a bowl is very similar to taking care of guppies in a regular fish tank.

Provided you don’t overstock the tank, you should be able to deal with the waste from your guppies as a part of your weekly tank maintenance without it becoming much of a problem or you needing to try and install a water filter to the bowl.

Just keep in mind that adult guppies usually only need to be fed once per day, sometimes twice if you feed smaller portions of food with this often being the best option when keeping your guppies in a fish bowl or small tank.

This is due to the smaller portions of food offered to your fish more frequently making it easier to see if you are overfeeding your fish.

In smaller tanks, the main problem is often leftover fish food going bad and causing problems with your water parameters rather than the waste of your guppies.

Over feeding is very common within the fish keeping hobby for beginners as people often offer their guppies far too much food so you really should work on portion control when keeping your fish in a bowl rather than a tank as the lower water volume can go bad quicker.

How Long Can Guppies Live In A Bowl?

Provided that the fish bowl is large enough for your guppies and regular tank maintenance i carried out to keep the water parameters within range for a guppy, they are able to live in a fish bowl indefinitely.

Due to the small size, infections can spread quicker in fish bowls compared to fish tanks but provided you take precourtions against infection breaking out, this tends not to be much of an issue.

There are some people on social media who have shared photographs and videos of their fish bowl setups containing guppies that they have had for years.

As we mentioned back at the start of the article though, the main problem is that it is difficult to find a suitable fish bowl that is large enough to keep guppies in a bowl for the long term.


That brings our article going over if guppies can live in a bowl or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the downsides and problems with keeping guppies in a fish bowl. Although it can be problematic, some people do keep their guppies in a bowl with minimal problems though but if you are a new fish keeper, we would always recommend that you go with a traditional fish tank over a bowl as they are cheaper and easy to find in a suitable size for guppies.