Guppies are one of the most commonly kept freshwater fish species in the world and with people starting to acclimate guppies to saltwater, their popularity is growing at an even faster pace. Due to guppies being able to mate and quickly reproduce in most tank setups due to being presented with optimal conditions for breeding, we often see people reaching out and asking questions about what they can do if they have too many guppies.
If you have too many guppies in your aquarium then you can look to start giving them away to friends or local pet stores for free with this being a quick and easy way to get rid of excess guppies. Adult guppies will commonly eat guppy fry and baby guppies too so you can try to reduce the number of potential hiding places in your tanks and the guppy population will often regulate itself.
Some people will also choose to add other fish species that are better at eating guppy fry than adult guppies to help reduce the number of guppy fry that survive in their tank even further. Goldfish are a popular option for this but an adult goldfish can also eat large amounts of adult guppies too so they are usually only used for population control in a guppy tank that is already drastically overpopulated before moving the goldfish back to its normal tank once its job is complete.
What Happens If You Have Too Many Guppies?
If you have too many guppies in our aquarium then the cleanliness of the water will quickly become problematic increasing the amount of tank maintenance that is required on your part. You will often have to purchase more food that in turn produces more waste causing tank conditions to deteriorate faster and in some tank setups, the available liquid oxygen in the water will not be enough to support all of the guppies in your tank.
Due to guppies being prolific breeders, they can keep reproducing over and over again even in a tank that is already overstocked so the aquarium keeper will often have to step in and take action to prevent this from happening. We have seen some guppy tanks in poor conditions have fry and baby guppies in them when the tank is already overpopulated resulting in the tank conditions just getting worse as time goes on.
Guppies, especially male guppies can also become aggressive towards each other in an overstocked tank causing the guppies to fight each other. If you notice that the male guppies in your tank are starting to fish each other then this can be an early indication that the population levels in your tank are getting too high and that something has to be done as soon as possible.
How To Control The Guppy Population In Your Tank!
One common way to control the guppy population in your tank is to keep an all male or all female guppy tank to prevent the fish from breeding and causing the exponential growth of your guppy population in your aquarium. Other people will just choose to add a fish to the tank that will eat guppies or reduce the number of hiding spots in the tank to allow the adult guppies to eat the guppy fry in the tank.
Most people often lean towards keeping an all male guppy tank if they do choose to take the route of separating male and female guppies due to male guppies having the brighter colors and more unique patterns. If you are considering this then reading out article on keeping an all male guppy tank is probably worth it as it will help you avoid some of the common mistakes that we see people make time and time again when choosing this path.
Although it is less popular due to the coloration on female guppies not being as desirable as the colors on male guppies, an all female guppy tank is almost always going to be the easier option for most people. If you are new to the fish keeping hobby and looking at keeping guppies as your very first fish then we would recommend that you consider keeping an all female guppy tank rather than an all male guppy tank until you build up some experience with keeping pet fish.
What Fish Will Control Guppy Population?
One of the best fish to control the guppy population in your aquarium is actually adult guppies as they have no problem eating guppy fry and baby guppies. Another very common and cheap fish that will control the guppy population in your tank by eating your guppies is the trusty goldfish but the goldfish is more likely to eat the adult guppies rather than the fry or the babies.
We have a dedicated article going over what eats guppies that may be worth reading as we go over the eleven most commonly requested tank mates for guppies and if they will eat any guppies in their tank or not. We have seen people on social media recommend that you add mollies to your tank to eat the guppy fry and although they are able to do this, mollies can crossbreed with guppies to create the muppy hybrid fish so adding a molly will usually reduce the guppy fry in your tank only to replace them with muppy fry.
Betta fish are a controversial option that can sometimes help to control the guppy population in your tank but it can be hit an miss. Depending on the specific type of betta fish you keep in your tank, its tail and fins can prevent it from moving fast enough to actually eat the guppies in your aquarium so you may end up with a betta fish just swimming around doing its thing without it ever being able to catch and eat any of the guppies.
How Do I Get Rid Of Extra Guppies?
Some local fish stores will happily take guppies off your hands for free if you have an overpopulated guppy aquarium but this will depend on your location as not all local fish stores are able to take fish from outside of their corporate supply chain. It is common for people to give away any excess guppies that you have in your friends and family but this is not always an option either.
Guppies are a very popular feeder fish within the fish keeping hobby so we have seen some people actually be able to sell their excess guppies to other people within the fish keeping community who will use the guppies as a food source for their fish. This is controversial and some people are against the idea of being part of the feeder fish supply chain but in some situations, it is one of the best ways to get rid of extra guppies while also potentially being profitable.
If you are unable to offload your excess guppies to a local fish store or your friends and family, it is likely that they will end up having to become part of the food chain or euthanized anyway with this often being overlooked. We understand that people don’t like the idea of fish intentionally being bred only to be used as feeder fish but if you have accidentally let your guppy tank over populate then this can be an easy way get rid of the guppies quickly.
Where To Release Guppies In The Wild?
Depending on your location, it can actually be illegal to release guppies and other fish into the wild and people have been fined thousands of dollars for being caught releasing fish into the wild. Other areas will have local ponds in parks where you are able to release your guppies into the controlled bodies of water where the guppies are not able to get into rivers and other water ways but the general public can enjoy the fish and children can catch them.
The majority of these public park ponds will have information on their website about if you are able to freely stock the ponds within them with your pet fish but even this is illegal in some areas so always double check prior to releasing your fish! Keep in mind that if you do release your extra guppies into a public pond where other people are releasing their fish it is highly likely that your guppies will end up being eaten by goldfish that have been released as well as various wild birds too.
Still, some people do prefer to take this route as it gives the extra guppies that they have had in their aquariums a chance at life rather than committing their guppies to be food for other fish. We have also seen some reports of bird sanctuaries allowing you to release some pet fish into their water fowl ponds due to the birds on the sanctuary eating the fish in their pond anyway but this does seem to be very rare on location dependent.
That brings our article going over what you can do if you have too many guppies in your aquarium to an end. We hope that we have been able to help as many of our readers as possible and we know how easy it is for people to accidentally let their guppies overpopulate their tank, especially if you are new to the fish keeping hobby. Even experienced fish keepers can commonly have this issue with their tanks so don’t feel bad due to this being a very common problem that people within the hobby have across all levels of experience.