Guppies are one of the most popular types of pet fish. They have beautiful colors, extravagant fins, and tails, and they are affordable. Being peaceful fish, guppies can also share a tank with other peaceful fish. But are guppies schooling fish? Do guppies need a school?
Guppies are schooling fish and school in a home aquarium and the wild when threatened. Guppy fish are also shoaling fish. Shoaling means that they swim in social groups with others of the same species. Since guppies are schooling and shoaling fish, they should never be alone in a fish tank.
So, when picking tank mates for a guppy, pick other guppies of the same species. But, you can also add other fish for variety. Below, you’ll see some examples.
Schooling Vs. Shoaling Fish
What are schooling fish? Schooling fish refers to a group of fish that swim in synchronization (in the same direction). Usually, fish form schools when they feel threatened. Schooling fish appear bigger, which can deter predators.
What are shoaling fish? Shoaling fish refers to a group of fish that swim together for social reasons. Shoaling fish do not swim as close or packed when compared to schooling.
Do Guppies School With Other Species Of Fish?
Guppies of the same species will school together. Guppies do not tend shoal or school with other guppy types that look different in color, shape, and size. So, guppies generally won’t shoal or school with other species of fish.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t place other schooling fish in your aquarium. Tetras, plecos, cory catfish, and otocinclus are all peaceful schooling fish that can share a tank with a guppy.
You only have to make sure that each species has enough companions to school.
How Many Guppies Do I Need To Form A School?
To ensure that your guppies are happy and have schooling mates, you need to know how many guppy fish to keep. Usually, three to six guppies of the same species are enough. Of course, in the wild, this number is much larger.
But, remember to follow the one gallon of water per inch of fish suggestion. For example, in a 10-gallon fish tank, you can keep five to eight guppies. More if you have proper tank maintenance and guppy fish care.