Do you have a fish tank that is getting overrun by guppy fry?
It’s a common problem for guppy tanks – guppies are called millionfish for a reason! They give birth to what seems like millions upon millions of fish.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage the population of guppies – placing predator fish in thank with the guppies.
We recommend angelfish, keyhole cichlids, or blue acaras if you want a fish that will eat guppy fry. Angelfish, in particular, love guppy fry.
Note: Check out our article “What fish eat guppies?” if you want a list of fish that eat adult guppies.
Angelfish are, in our opinion, the best fish for controlling guppy fry. They will eat over 90% of the guppy fry in a tank!
That’s as good as it gets when it comes to a guppy fry predator. More importantly, angelfish look beautiful and are not typically aggressive to adult guppies if you have a large enough tank (20+ gallons).
The problem with the other fish on this list is that they will sometimes eat your adult guppies. It’s especially common for predator fish to nip the tails off the fancy male fancy guppies.
That’s obviously something you do not want, which is why we recommend the usually peaceful angelfish to control guppy fry.
Keyhole cichlids, and most cichlids, are a great fish to keep the population of guppy fry to reasonable levels. The good thing with keyhole cichlids is they are a fairly easy fish to keep alive and are timid.
Really, keyhole cichlids are shy fish that tend to hide in structure, so you do not have to worry about them getting too territorial and attacking adult guppies. And since they’re usually hiding somewhere they are in the same area as the guppy fry.
This makes for a perfect combination – keyhole cichlids do a great job of eating guppy fry. You should not have much problem with guppies overrunning a tank if you have one or two keyhole cichlids to eat the guppy fry.
Note: Keyhole cichlids grow to about 5 inches, so you will need a larger tank if you want keyhole cichlids. I recommend 55 gallon tank at the minimum.
Blue acara are another great community fish that will eat guppy fry. Again, these are a great community fish, so they generally avoid eating the adult guppies, but they will vacuum up guppy fry.
These are cichlids, which means they’re fairly easy fish to maintain. They also have a surprisingly long lifespan of 10+ years in good conditions.
One thing with blue acaras is that they like a lot of space. We only recommend adding them to your tank if you have a 20 gallon tank, but a 30 gallon or larger tank is probably better.
Other Ways to Control Guppy Fry
There are other ways to control guppy fry than using predator fish. My favorite, and the easiest, method is to simply stock my tank with male guppies – they look better than females and obviously do not give birth.
The downside with only having male guppies is that they only live ~2 years, which is not too bad considering you can purchase guppies for about $1/guppy in the US. Even better, you can often get free guppies from someone that has a guppy problem!
If you want to keep your female guppies, then you should consider feeding them less. Guppies tend to have more fry when they’re well-fed.
Another great way to control the guppy population is to keep the water temperature low. 68F is low enough that guppies slow down with the breeding, but it’s still warm enough that they won’t die.
I don’t like this method as much for three reasons:
- I live in Florida and it’s hot.
- The guppies are not very active in water that is so cold.
- Guppies do not live as long in cold water.
That said, if you live in a colder climate and
Well, that covers it for the best fish to control the population of guppy fry. We recommend fish in the cichlid family if you need a fish that will eat guppy fry – angelfish, keyhole cichlids, and blue acaras work the best in our experience. The only downside with these fish is that they require a tank above 20 gallons.