15 Best Guppy Tank Mates – Full List of Animals Compatible with Guppies

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Guppy fish are a favorite fish of freshwater aquarists because of their undemanding nature, beautiful spectrum of colors, and peaceful temperament.

They’re hardy fish, which is why I always recommend them as a good starter fish for beginner aquarists.

But the feature that I like most about them is that they’re not only aesthetically pleasing, they’re also very useful – guppies love eating mosquitoes and mosquito larvae, keeping mosquito populations and mosquito-borne diseases under check.

Read my detailed guppy care guide, if you want to learn more about water requirements, tank size, feeding schedule, breeding or mating behavior of guppies.

In this current article, you can read about my recommendations on fish that make the best Guppy tank mates and some of the species to avoid when you’re keeping guppies.

Guppy Fish

Guppy Fish

Guppy Fish

Guppies are great community fish, getting along with many other like tempered fish.

They’re also undemanding when it comes to food – they’re omnivorous, so they don’t make a fuss about food and eat live, dried, frozen, and flake foods.

Female and male Guppy fish exhibit very different features, which in specialized terms if referred to as sexual dimorphism.

Males are smaller and display fins in a varied range of colors and patterns. Females are less impressive.

The simple fact that Guppy fish are good community fish doesn’t mean they can be housed with any other fish. Large predatory fish, fish that nip fins, and aggressive fish are bad companions for guppies.

If you’re looking to build a fish community that consists of guppies and other fish, in this guide I’ll recommend 15 tank mates that are compatible with guppies.

Best Guppy Tank Mates

If you want to house your guppies with other fish, here are 15 fish that are compatible with guppies:

1. Swordtails


Swordtail Fish – Wojciech J. Płuciennik (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Adaptable to a variety of water conditions, Swordtails are live bearing fish that breed quite efficiently and get along well with other live bearing fish like guppies or platies.

They get their name from their long sword-shaped fin at their bottom, but their unique color is also an eye-catching feature if you want to create a unique-looking aquarium.

They’re available in a variety of colors and shades that range from green to red.

Swordtails are easy to care for, they like living in groups, but aren’t schooling fish, and just like guppies they’re omnivorous, feeding on flake food, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, daphnia, etc.

They’re active fish and they even like to jump, so a higher tank or a cover on the tank will keep them from jumping out.

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly fish as a companion for your guppies, swordtails are one of the best choices for guppy tank mates.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 10/10
  • Care Level: Easy

2. Platies


Platy Fish

Another live bearing species, Platies make excellent companions for guppies, but be prepared for a lot of baby fish. Just like guppies, platies also breed like crazy.

Platies display many different colors and patterns, so just like Swordtails they’re beautiful little gems that aren’t demanding when it comes to water conditions.

They’re peaceful and besides guppies, they also get along with mollies, swordfish, catfish, and tetras all of which are good companions for guppies as well.

Platies have a good appetite and they’ll feed on flake food, frozen food, freeze dried bloodworms, fruits flies, and mosquito larvae.

Platies are also beginner friendly fish, which makes them a good choice for anyone looking to start a freshwater aquarium for the first time.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 10/10;
  • Care Level: Easy;

3. Mollies


Molly Fish

Mollies are very similar to guppies in size and temperament, which makes them great tank buddies for Guppy fish, but also for many other freshwater fish.

Molly fish are live bearing species and a hardy species that can fare well both in freshwater and saltwater aquariums.

I recommend them to beginner aquarists but also to anyone who wants enduring fish that are community-friendly.

Mollies get along not just with guppies, but also with platies, bristlenose plecos, and harlequin rasboras, both of which are on my list of best tank buddies for guppies.

As far as feeding goes, mollies are not picky, they’ll eat frozen, live, dried food and a fair amount of vegetables.

They reproduce quickly and without much intervention on your part, your only task is to ensure female and male mollies are kept together.

Their peaceful nature and resilience allow them to coexist peacefully with other good-tempered species.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 10/10;
  • Care Level: Easy.

4. Cory Catfish


Cory Catfish

Cory Catfish vary in size and color, but regardless of their type, they’re one of the easiest fish to keep especially because they’re so friendly and peaceful towards other fish.

They’re freshwater aquarium fish that I recommend if you’re a novice aquarist.

Since they’re bottom dwellers, you can bet they love scavenging in the substrate of your tank, but because their fins are barbels are delicate I recommend setting up a sand substrate rather than a gravel one.

You can keep Cory Catfish with guppies but also other freshwater species because they get along with just about any other freshwater species.

Because of their scavenging behavior and preference for the bottom part of the aquarium, they eat leftover food from the substrate and while doing so, they send algae and muck into the tank.

To keep your tank clean, I recommend you house them with other scavengers like snails and shrimps.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 10/10;
  • Care Level: Easy.

5. Honey Gouramis


Honey Gourami (source)

I’m going to start off by saying that Honey Gourami are high-maintenance, so I really don’t recommend them for absolute beginners.

They’re specific things you must observe to successfully keep Gourami, so they’re better suited for more experienced aquarists or those who don’t mind the potential keeping difficulties that come with this species.

For starters, they must be kept in groups of 4 to 6 since they’re social and thrive in groups, so a tiny tank won’t be a good choice for them.

Next, they require planted tanks that ensures they have lots of shade and plenty of hiding places. To recreate the natural shaded environment they thrive in, aquarists usually use floating plants.

They’re a bit of a timid species, but they’re non-aggressive and make a good companion for Guppy fish.

In the wild, they feed on insects and their larvae, but in tanks they eat all types of frozen or live food.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 8/10;
  • Care Level: Hard.

6. Harlequin Rasboras


Harlequin Rasboras (source)

Harlequin rasboras are another freshwater fish that are community-friendly, beginner-friendly and easy-going.

The signature trait of this species is their copper red color that’s accentuated by a triangle-shaped patch on the rear end of their body.

They’re vibrant fish that exhibit schooling behavior, so keep them in groups of 8 to 12. If you keep them in very small groups of 3 or 4, they can become timid or stressed.

They’re great tank mates for Guppies and get along with other freshwater fish like Cory catfish and cardinal tetras.

Harlequin Rasboras are top to mid-dwellers, which is the same tank level that Guppies prefer as well, but you won’t see any territorial behavior or tension between the two species.

Avoid keeping them with large or predatory fish.

Harlequin Rasboras enjoy a varied diet and although undemanding, for best results make sure they get a little bit of everything in their diet: fresh, dried, frozen, or flake.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 10/10;
  • Care Level: Easy.

7. Cardinal Tetra


Cardinal Tetra (source)

Cardinal tetras are lively and colorful species that are easy to keep. Since they’re schooling fish, it’s best to keep them in groups of 7 or more.

They’re often mistaken for their close cousins the Neon Tetra, but while the Neon Tetras have a red stripe that extends from the dorsal area to the tail, the red stripe in Cardinal Tetras is on the entire length of the fish.

Cardinal Tetras are a suitable choice for a community fish and can coexist with Guppies barring one caveat: in a tank with few hiding spots, Cardinal Tetras may eat Guppy fry, so if you plan on keeping the fry provide enough hiding spots or remove the fry.

They are not picky eaters, they’ll eat a mixture of fresh, quality flake foods or frozen foods.

Cardinal tetras are notoriously difficult to breed, and you’ll need a separate breeding tank and a stable water chemistry to successfully breed them.

  • Tank Size: 30 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 9/10;
  • Care Level: Easy.

8. Bristlenose Pleco


Bristlenose Pleco

Thanks to their peaceful temperament, Bristlenose Plecos are a wonderful companion for Guppies and, as their name suggests, they can be identified by the fleshy tentacles on their head.

They’re bottom dwellers and like to feed on algae, which means they’ll keep your tank nice and clean and will stay out of the way of your Guppies, who are predominantly mid-dwellers.

They like hiding spots like roots, caves and plants and they’ll forage in the substrate of your tank having a taste for a herbivore diet.

However, they can’t live on algae and leftovers alone, so make sure you feed them spirulina wafers, granules and vegetables like lettuce or zucchini.

Besides being useful inhabitants of aquariums, the Bristlenose Pleco is also a good beginner-friendly fish that’s hardy and undemanding.

They’ll play well with other freshwater fish as well as long as they’re not aggressive.

  • Tank Size: 30 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 10/10;
  • Care Level: Easy.

9. Otocinclus Catfish


Otocinclus Catfish (source)

Relatively timid, the Otocinclus Catfish are great scavengers of freshwater aquariums being known for their insatiable appetite for algae.

This species is small reaching a maximum of 2 inches at maturity, and they’re fast swimmers. In fact, you’ll notice them darting from one side of the tank to the other in mere seconds.

They’re not a difficult species, but they’re delicate little ones that don’t do well in improper water conditions.

They have the best chance of survival in well-matured, clean and stable aquariums.

Oto Catfish enjoy soft filmy and soft green algae varieties, but they can clean out a tank full of algae in a day, so supplementing their diet with algae wafers and soft veggies is necessary.

They are community-friendly fish that can be paired with Cory Catfish, Amano Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp, and other freshwater fish including Guppy.

When housing them with Guppies, keep an eye on them as Guppies may be nippy from time to time.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 9/10;
  • Care Level: Moderate.

10. Nerite Snails


Nerite Snail

Nerite snails are a docile and popular freshwater snail recognized for their prolific algae-eating capabilities.

They’re a great match for guppy fish and an excellent snail to keep around if you’re looking for a low-cost option to keep algae under check in your tank.

Because Nerite Snails need saltwater to breed, you don’t have to take measures to keep their population under control.

Along with the Amano Shrimp, Nerite Snails are referred to as part of the aquarium cleaning crew.

When buying these snails, look for active snails that are free from cracks, gashes or nicks. Look for snails that are affixed to the glass (those are the active fellows!) and keep away from those on the bottom of the tank lying upside down motionless.

They’re a hardy species that adapts to a range of water conditions and they’re happy and content in planted aquariums that constantly shed plant matter, thus, they’re never excessively clean for these snails.

  • Tank Size: 10 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 9/10;
  • Care Level: Easy.

11. Kuhli Loach


Kuhli Loach (source)

These unique eel-shaped freshwater fish are great companions getting along with a variety of freshwater fish including our beloved guppies.

They prefer being in groups of 3 to 5, but they’re mostly nocturnal, so you might not see much activity from them during the day especially until they become accustomed to your tank.

They prefer tanks with lots of live plants and driftwoods, and because of their delicate bellies and fins, the Kuhli Loach are better off in a sand substrate.

Because they don’t get bigger than 4 inches, it’s possible to keep a group of Kuhli Loach even in 20-gallon tanks.

They enjoy burrowing in the substrate of your tank and exploring hiding places, so make sure you provide enough driftwood, caves and rocks for them to hide.

Kuhli fish are known to jump, so I recommend that you tightly cover your tank to prevent them from jumping out.

As per their preferred diet, they enjoy live foods best, but will accept any other variety including freeze-dried, frozen, wafers, flake food, and tablets.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 9/10;
  • Care Level: Moderate.

12. Red Cherry Shrimp


Red Cherry Shrimp

If you’re not exclusively considering only fish for your tank, the Red Cherry Shrimp can be a wonderful addition to an aquarium that contains guppies.

They’re not fussy and can be kept even by beginner aquarists. They breed quickly, and they interact well within their own species.

Generally, fish and shrimp are not a good combination because newborn shrimp end up as food for the fish, but Guppies can be an exception, especially that Red Cherry Shrimp are fast breeders.

Red Cherry Shrimp need a balanced omnivorous diet that includes fresh vegetables (boiled zucchini and spinach) and processed foods (pellets, flakes and specialized shrimp food).

If you do decide to add Red Cherry Shrimp to your tank of Guppies — and I encourage you to try it — make sure you also add enough hiding places and don’t starve your Guppies, otherwise they’ll start looking for food where they shouldn’t be…

  • Tank Size: 10 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 6/10;
  • Care Level: Moderate.

13. Crystal Red Shrimp


Crystal Red Shrimp

The Crystal Red Shrimp is a uniquely-looking shrimp that can be identified by its red and white striped body. They’re freshwater shrimp just like the Red Cherry Shrimp.

They are difficult to breed, which accounts for their higher price and they tend to be hard to care for.

Again, shrimp and fish should not be kept together, because there’s a high chance that newborns will end up as live food for fish, and in the case of the Crystal Red Shrimp, a rather expensive one at that.

If you make sure your guppies are well fed and your shrimp have access to plenty of hiding spaces, you may get lucky and get away with housing shrimp and fish together, especially that guppies are not predatory by nature.

Most of the keeping and feeding recommendations we’ve discussed at the Red Cherry Shrimp also apply to the Crystal Red Shrimp.

  • Tank Size: 10 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 5/10;
  • Care Level: Moderate.

14. Amano Shrimp


Amano Shrimp

Larger in size than Cherry Shrimp, the Amano Shrimp are peaceful bottom dwellers that can be housed in a community freshwater tank provided they are kept along compatible fish like bettas, bristlenose fish and even guppies, and other peaceful, small-sized fish.

Their bigger size and their excellent ability to hide to the point where their owners may think they died.

The coloring of Amano Shrimp depends on their diet — when they have access to fish food only, they have a reddish coloring, when feeding on algae and detritus, they display a greenish tint.

They’re omnivorous and they get into the habit of stealing food from other fish and each other, which makes for some rather funny scenes.

They like eating fish food leftovers, but they need their diet supplemented with additional food like flakes, pellets, frozen and live food. They also like vegetables like cucumber or squash.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 7/10;
  • Care Level: Easy.

15. African Dwarf Frog


African Dwarf Frog (source)

If you don’t want to add shrimp to your tank of Guppy fish, perhaps you’d be interested in adding frog.

The African Dwarf Frog coexist well together with small fish including guppies, especially that they hang out in different parts of the aquarium — guppies are middle dwellers, the African Dwarf Frogs are bottom dwellers.

The only drawback of keeping the two species together is feeding difficulties. The African Dwarf Frog is a slow eater and Guppies will absolutely devour all the food and leave next to nothing for ADFs.

Therefore, it becomes necessary to spot feed these frogs, which beginner aquarists may take issue with. If you’re not up for the challenge, it’s probably best to avoid adding this frog as a companion to your guppies.

  • Tank Size: 20 gallons;
  • Compatibility: 5/10;
  • Care Level: Moderate.

These are the fish that you can house together with your guppies to create a peaceful and happy freshwater fish community.

Species to Avoid Keeping with Guppies

There are some species that you should avoid keeping with your Guppies either because of predatory behavior or aggression towards guppies.

These species include:




Some guides may tell you that Guppies and Angelfish are compatible. I’m afraid I don’t share the same opinion, and I don’t recommend keeping the two together.

If you’re adamant about keeping them in the same tank, you can get away with it if you keep your guppies with small angelfish, otherwise they’ll end up eating your guppies.

Swordtails, Mollies, Cory Catfish and Bristlenose Plecos make better companions for Angelfish.


Peacock Cichlid

Peacock Cichlid

Cichlids will certainly not shy away from tasting your guppies, plus their aggressive nature is another reason why you shouldn’t keep these two species together.

Besides their aggression, Cichlids are also territorial fish and it’s only a matter of time until Guppies cross into territories claimed by Cichlids.

Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend adding Cichlids to your tank of guppies.

Endler’s Livebearers


Endler Guppy (source)

It’s not like these two species don’t get along, they do, in fact they get along so well, they crossbreed.

You want to avoid this because crossbreeding can create weak offspring, which means a lot of health problems.

Other Large Fish

Avoid keeping guppies with other large fish that may mistake them for food. Predatory fish and aggressive fish are also a bad match for guppies.

Guppies are lively and sociable community fish that get along well with other species similar in size and temperament, but make sure you read up on possible compatibility issues between different species, so you’ll be better prepared to avoid any problems with your fish.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
Questions and Answers

Thank you for all the great info above. It’s been about 30 years since I’ve had an aquarium and boy have things changed! I feel that now I have a better chance than before to keep my fish alive.
I’m going to start with a little 10 gallon community tank and see what happens. Again, thank you for the info. Pat

    Hey Pat, I’m happy to see when someone gets into this hobby, but I’m more exited when someone starts this hobby again after so many years.
    I highly recommend reading our guide on nitrogen cycle, before you add fish to your new aquarium. This will save you from a lot of trouble and will help you understand how to keep your fish healthy and alive right from the start.
    What fish are you planning to keep in the 10 gallon aquarium? Will you start with guppies?
    Good luck with your new fish tank!

Grace Mathis September 17, 2019 Reply

Great article! Thanks for all the info! I’m very keen to get my community tank started! Do you have any plants which you recommend for this kind of community?

    Something is killing my guppies there is on damasoni barb a golden algebra eater a swordtail plates every day or so I find dead guppies

Hey Fabian! I was wondering if you can keep guppies with a pea puffer? I have a 10 gallon aquarium with 6 guppies and I would love to get a pea puffer. Is this a good idea?

    Yes, you can keep guppies with a pea puffer, though you should note that probably your baby guppies will not survive. Also note, that pea puffers are carnivores and they eat mostly snails or meaty food (blood worms). So feeding them flakes or other guppy food is not enough.

This advice was extremely useful and straight forward. Thanks so much for going into such detail. I started out with just one female betta and recently upgraded to my 40 gallon tank and am very excited for my new hobby. Thanks!

I want to setup a new aquarium with guppies and shrimp. The guy from the pet store told me, that cherry shrimp are not good guppies tank mates. Then I found this article, where you recommend to keep shrimp and guppies together. Now I’m confused and can’t decide what to do. Any suggestion or help would be highly appreciated. Thank you!

    Hey Emily. Keeping cherry shrimp and guppies together is a controversial topic. As you can read above in my article, cherry shrimp are not the best guppies tank mates, I have them a 6/10 rating for compatibility level. On the other hand, it is possible to setup a guppy aquarium, where you will use the shrimp as a cleanup crew.
    It is known that guppies will eat baby shrimp, so the shrimp population will not grow. The question is what you want to do. Do you want to breed cherry shrimp for profit or just want to setup a beautiful and balanced aquascape with guppies and shrimp?
    If you want to breed shrimp for profit, you should avoid keeping them with other tank mates. If you want a beautiful and healthy guppy aquarium, shrimp are a really good addition to the tank. Make sure you add lots of live plants, hiding spaces and provide large surface area. Shrimp will thrive in a guppy aquarium if you set it up correctly. They will not overpopulate the tank, but their population will grow overtime.
    Start with at least 10 shrimp in order to have the best results.
    So the guy from the store is maybe right, but tank conditions and your goal matters more. So, really hope this was helpful and you can decide what to do.

      Hey Fabian! This was really helpful! Thank you! I already have my tank setup with 6 guppies and will purchase 10 shrimp next week.

        I always recommend adding the shrimp first, but it can work this way too. Make sure you keep the lights off when you add the shrimp, so the guppies will not rush to them. Give your shrimp a few hours to find a safe place and then turn on the aquarium lights. Guppies will be curios at first, but don’t worry they will not bother the shrimp, once they get used to them. Don’t forget, that shrimp are very sensitive to some fish medication. So, if your guppies get sick, and you plant to use any medication, make sure you choose one which is shrimp-safe. I’m just telling this, because I had the same problem when first started keeping shrimp and guppies together and nobody told me that fish medication is harmful for shrimp.

Can rummy nose tetra live with a swordtail and molies and guppies?

    Yes, rummy nose tetras can live with swordtails, mollie, guppies and even platies. Rummy nose tetras are peaceful species, however, they might eat the small fry.

Hi Fabian, I just started a guppy community tank (20 gallons) with some snails and a butterfly loach, so far everything is going great, however, I am wondering if there are any types of medication you recommend for me to have on hand in case of any issues. After searching the internet it seems para guard by Seachem is a highly recommended product for most illnesses. Let me know what you recommend, thank you!

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