Home » Fish Guides » Koi Guppy (Poecilia Reticulata) Care |Complete and Easy Guide|

Koi Guppy (Poecilia Reticulata) Care |Complete and Easy Guide|

Koi guppy is a wonderful and famous aquarium fish. If you wish to add brilliant color and beauty to your aquarium in an easy way, the best option is koi guppy. So, this article is the path to achieving your wish. Hopefully, by the end of the article, you’ll feel confident adding them to your collocation.

Introduction of guppies

Guppy is one of the most popular tropical fish in the world. At present, you can see there are around 300 guppy types according to their color, body pattern, eye color, tail pattern, and tail shape. Today they are able to be a noble member of freshwater aquariums across the world. 

Koi guppy (Poecilia Reticulata) care

When considering their history, they got their common name “Guppy ”, because their founder name was Robert John Lechmere Guppy. He found this amazing fish type in Trinidad in 1866. After it was taken to the British Museum and then it was named a Girardinus guppy. Since then, guppy has undergone several name changes. But now they have a specific scientific name and it is Poecilia reticulata. 

If you like to find wild guppies, the best places are the streams near the coastal fringes of mainland South America, Brazil, Barbados, and Guyana. Nowadays, in Asia, guppies play the main role in controlling the mosquito population. 

Guppy tank

What is a koi guppy and their Appearance?

There are many types of guppies based on their coloration. It is also one of the popular guppy types based on its coloration and pattern. Koi guppy’s color pattern is similar to koi carp and koi goldfish. That’s why they are known as koi guppies. The most common koi guppy has a white body with a red-orange color tail and head. This appearance can be seen in the female koi guppies too. 

Koi guppy

Other names of guppies 

Around the world, a thing or living creature including fish can be known or defined in various names or various ways. Therefore, guppies also go by many different names. Guppy is known as “Millionfish” because of its inconceivable breeding rate. Guppies are fish that are decorated by nature with a wide variety of colors and patterns. Due to this, some distinguish guppies as “Rainbowfish”. Moreover, they are also known as “Kohaku Guppy”. Scientifically, the guppy is called Poecilia reticulata.

How big do koi guppy get?

On Average, a well-grown male is 1.5-3.5cm (0.6-1.4 inches) in size. The female grows up to 3-6 cm (1.2-2.4 inches). 

Types of koi guppies 

Albino Koi Guppies

Eye color is the major difference between normal koi guppy and albino koi guppy. Albino one has red eyes. This is the unique feature of albino varieties and other koi guppies have black color eyes. moreover, Albino koi guppies have red-orange color on their face, dorsal areas, and tail fins. the body color of the fish varies from pearlescent white to light yellow. Their scientific name is Poecilia reticulata var albino koi. The male fish has a larger and more colorful tail. 

Tuxedo koi guppy

Tuxedo guppy has a lighter color front body and a darker color back body. They have a color combination of vivid orange, white and dark blue. You can see these beautiful colors across the entire body including their fins. In addition to that, Tuxedo koi guppy is art with vibrant multi-colored markings. Further, male and female Tuxedo koi guppies have a colorful and striking look due to their vivid coloration.

If you wish to thrive in their coloration, you should provide a varied diet of meaty foods. Also, you can give high-quality pellets, flakes, frozen, bloodworms, and freeze-dried tubifex foods to enhance their color and health. This guppy variety is very uncommon.

Red tuxedo koi guppy

This koi guppy type has a red tuxedo coloration. The face, dorsal and tail fins of the red tuxedo koi guppy are bright red. They have beautiful flowing red-colored tail fins. 

King koi guppy

King koi guppy also appears in the koi guppy color pattern. The special feature is they have an orange-red color muscle structure on their head. That muscle structure looks like a crown and they got this name because of it. 

Platinum koi guppy

Platinum koi guppy shows the same color patterns as koi guppy. But the rest of their body is platinum-colored.  

Blue koi guppy

Blue koi guppy has a very attractive blue color. They can be distinguished by their blue color head and tail fin. Most probably, their body is white in color. 

Silverado koi guppy

Silverado koi guppy fish also have orange markings on their head area, dorsal fin, and caudal fin area. Moreover, they have a silver-colored body. 

The behavior of koi guppy

They are a relatively peaceful and friendly species. They prefer to swim as a group. Because of that, do not try to keep your guppy alone. If you do it, you cannot see a happy one. They are active and they like to swim all around the time in your aquarium. This behavior adds more vibrant to your aquarium. 

Also, if you observe them clearly, you can find the male fish is always chasing the female. Male guppies try to impress their females by wiggling their fins. But if your koi guppy is hiding all the time, you should highly consider it. Because the reason may be disease or stress. 

Is koi guppy aggressive?

Generally, they are not aggressive. They are a fairly peaceful fish type. But like other fish, their behaviors cannot be predictable. So, there is a chance to be aggressive with your koi guppy. Under some circumstances, your fish will show aggressive behaviors. These circumstances are;

  • When keeping male guppies than females
  • When your aquarium is more crowded with male fish of other varieties
  • Overcrowded of your tank
  • When you do not provide enough foods
  • The pregnancy period of female
  • When water quality is poor
  • When they are infected by disease (Major causing agents: Parasite, Nematode, Virus, Bacteria)
  • Have a koi guppy with an aggressive personality

You can prevent these circumstances by keeping more females than males. Adding more hiding places, avoiding overcrowding, and providing enough food. If your guppy is aggressive, there are signs to identify it easily. 

  • Aggressive swimming behaviors
  • Damaged and frayed fins
  • Fish are always hiding
  • Your fish are chasing each other
  • Dead fish

The lifespan of koi guppy 

Generally, these fish live around 2 years. But their lifespan depends on several factors. Because, this can be increased due to genetics, quality foods, good water parameters, and lack of stress. Male fish matures in seven weeks or less. 

Koi guppy care in Aquariums

Koi guppy tank size

You should provide at least one-gallon space for one fish. It is recommended to keep at least a trio (three) together. Because if you keep your guppy alone, they will feel lonely. So, the recommended tank size is a four-gallon tank for three guppies. But if you wish to add more guppies or already have more fish, you should add one gallon per one koi guppy.

As examples:

Number of guppiesTank size
3 guppies4-gallon tank
4 guppies4-gallon tank
5 guppies5-gallon tank
6 guppies6-gallon tank

If you choose small aquariums without concern for these recommendations, it can stunt fish growth, reduce lifespan, and enhance their aggression.

 Best tanks for guppies:

  1. Hagen HG Fluval Flex Aquarium
  2. Marineland Portrait Glass LED Aquarium kit
  3. Fluval Spec V Aquarium kit, 5-Gallon
  4. Aqueon Fish Aquarium 5.5-Gallon Starter Kit
  5. Hygger Horizon 8-Gallon LED Glass Aquarium kit
  6. Fluval Edge 2.0 Black Aquarium kit 6-Gallon

How many koi guppies should be kept together?

The best ratio of guppies that are kept in each aquarium is 1:2 males to females. This mix is very important. If you wish to keep a peaceful aquarium, you have to keep one male to two females. Female fish do not highly consider the territory like a male. Anyhow, if you keep more males than females, you can see their aggressive behavior and it is not a beautiful view. 

Care Level:Easy
Colour Form:Most common orange-red
Lifespan:Up to 2 years
Size:Male –1.5-3.5 cm (0.6-1.4in)
Female- 3-6 cm (1.2-2.4 in).
Minimum Tank Size:5 Gallons
Tank Set-Up:Freshwater with plants and caves
Compatibility:Species tank or peaceful community

Tank setup

The best substrate for koi guppies 

The best substrate for them is sand. It is easy to remove uneaten foods and dirt. Moreover, it is easy to replace. But your personal preference is different from this, you can use larger rocks, gravels, and crushed corals too. Here, you should keep in mind, that substrates like coral have the ability to influence the pH level of your water in the aquarium. Further, do not use substrates with sharp edges. It can damage your guppy fish’s tails and body.

Filter system for koi guppies 

Generally, they do not produce a large bio load. But it is better to install a good filter system in your guppy tank. It helps to keep your tank clean. Power filters are the best filter for beginners because they can be used easily. Normally, it is recommended a filter that has the ability to circulate 50 gallons per hour for a 10-gallon tank. 

Lighting for a koi guppy tank

You can choose any lighting condition that you prefer. But when selecting this you should try to choose a lighting condition that can mimic the natural lighting condition of guppies. Because they can thrive better under natural lighting conditions. Natural lighting conditions define the full spectrum, natural day and night cycle. But if you place your tank in a room that has natural light, it is adequate for your koi guppies.

But the room where you place the tank does not have a window or does not enter natural light into the room, you have to use artificial light. Provide 12 hours of light every 24 hours. 

Plants and decorations for koi guppies

You can use any decorations to house your aquarium. As prey fish, they enjoy concealing plants and decorations. The best live plants for the guppy tanks are ferns, java moss, and water sprite. Those live aquatic plants provide the hiding spots for your guppy. Artificial plants are also good. But avoid the plants that have sharp edges. Because it can damage your guppy. In addition to that, you can place PVC tubing and artificial caves. 

Water quality condition

Normally, guppies are hardy fish. But do not keep them without monitoring water parameters. You should provide their preferable water parameters to create a happy and healthy guppy.  

pH level

They have the ability to tolerate a pH level between 5.5 – 8.5. But the ideal pH level is between 7.0-7.2.

It is vital to maintain this range of pH levels in the water to ensure that any ammonia in the water is not toxic. If pH is above 8.5, ammonia toxicity can occur.  It can even kill your guppy. 


The ideal water temperature that you should need to maintain is between 72 Fahrenheit to 84 Fahrenheit. 

Water hardness 

The ideal water hardness is between 8-12 dGH.

Koi guppy breeding 

Identify female koi guppy

The female guppy has a shorter dorsal fin than the male. Also, the caudal fin of female fish is shorter. It is not wider and longer than male fish. The female guppy has a triangular-shaped shorter anal fin. Further, you can identify female koi guppies easily, because they have a more rounded body. Female koi guppies have the ability to grow up to 6 cm and comparatively, they are longer than males. Female koi guppies have gravid spots on the underside of their body. 

Koi guppy male vs female differences

Female koi guppyMale koi guppy
Rounder bodyvery slender
Bigger than malelong body
Grow up to 6 cmGrow up to 3 cm
have gravid spots on the underside of the bodyDo not have gravid spots
Shorter dorsal fins that do not flow in the waterLong dorsal fins that flow in the water
Shorter caudal finsWide and long caudal fins
Shorter triangular-shaped anal finA long and narrow anal fin that helps to deliver the sperm into the female guppy

How to breed koi guppies

  1. Firstly, you should choose breeders. Here, you consider the appearance that you should need their offspring. It depends on various factors such as color, pattern, and also tail shape. And you should select healthy koi guppies as breeders 
  2. Here you can select one male and two or three female guppies to reduce the aggressive behavior of males. And if you put a 1:1 ratio, it can generate stress for the female fish. 
  3. You should create a suitable breeding environment. You should select a 10-20-gallon tank as a separate breeding tank
  4. Install sponge filter in the tank
  5. Don’t forget to create hiding places in this tank by using live plants such as java moss
  6. You should maintain the temperature between 73-83 Fahrenheit using an aquarium heater 
  7. You should feed them by using quality, nutrients rich foods
  8. When they are ready to mate, male koi guppy approach females from below
  9. Then extend the male’s gonopodium, which is the thin rod near the anus.
  10. Then initiate the mating process
  11. Female guppies have the ability to store sperm for up to several months inside them.

    So, they can give around 3 births per single mating. 
  12. The gestation period can be around 28 days. But this period can range from 21-40 days. This time you should highly pay attention to female koi guppy fish.
  13. Large and round patches develop on the stomach of the pregnant female koi guppy namely gravid spots. 
  14. After giving birth, you should remove the female and male fish immediately into the separate tank, because there is a possibility to eat their babies. 

How many babies do koi guppies have?

Female koi guppies have the ability to give birth to 20-200 fry per spawning. But it depends on the health condition, size, and age of the female koi guppy.  

How to care for fry

You should create a better hiding place for the fry. As soon as they are born, koi guppy fry will eat anything and everything that they can. Freshly hatched brine shrimp and powdered dry foods are great choices to feed the fry. In addition, After 6-7 days, you can provide frozen and other live foods such as micro worms, and daphnia.

Egg Yolk is the best feed for your fry. Anyhow, always try to provide nutrient-rich foods to achieve the fast-growing rate. Do not forget to provide tiny pieces. You have to feed them several times throughout the day (four to five times per day). Further, you should avoid overfeeding. Also, change 50% of water per week to maintain the water quality of the tank. 

How do you feed koi guppy?          

What to feed koi guppy in the Aquarium?

Koi guppies are omnivores. Because they eat both animal matter, plant matter and also algae. Your koi guppy is not a fussy eater. They eat anything that you provide them. But you should meet their nutritional requirements to generate a healthy and happy fish. You can provide flakes and pellets to feed your koi guppy. You should choose rich protein foods. But you should avoid the flakes that have fillers like soy and wheat. Further, you can add live and frozen foods like blood worms, mosquito larvae, and brine shrimps. 

They also eat plant matter. You can give small partitions of fresh vegetables such as: 

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach

The one vital thing is, that you should not provide only one type of food to your koi guppy. Because it causes nutrient deficiency. Always try to make a balanced diet for your koi guppies. 

How long can koi guppy go without food?

Normally, koi guppies can survive around one week without providing food. This survival rate can vary with the availability of the food matters in the tank. Those are aquatic plants, algae, and mosquito larvae. If you want to increase the natural food available in the tank, you can encourage the vegetation to grow by providing adequate light conditions. 

When to feed a koi guppy?

If you have adult koi guppies, it is better to feed them once or twice a day. But if you have fry, you have to feed them several times throughout the day (four to five times per day). Because they have a small stomach. Also, fry has a faster metabolism and needs much nutrition to grow. 

How much feed needs for koi guppy

 You should provide the number of foods that can be finished within two minutes. It avoids the overfeeding of your fish. Do not forget to remove the uneaten foods. It helps to maintain healthy fish and a good quality water condition in your aquarium. 

What fish can live with a koi guppy in the aquarium?

The general rule is that the koi guppy is a fairly peaceful and friendly type. You can choose them for your community fish tank. You can create a beautiful image by adding more koi guppies into the tank. Most fish lovers keep only male koi guppies, because of their vibrant colors. Here you should consider the tank size. One male guppy per 2 gallons of water. But if you like to keep both female and male guppies, you should put them at a ratio of 2 females to one male. On the other hand, you have the chance to house them with other community fish types. These are:

  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Gouramis
  • Corydoras
  • Swordtails
  • Angelfish
  • Gold Fish
  • Peaceful tetras 

Also, you can keep them in the same tank with crustaceans such as:

Important thing is, that you should avoid the larger aggressive fish types such as aggressive tetras, red-tailed sharks, and barbs. Because guppies can be their prey. And they will nip at koi guppies’ fins.  Further, do not add koi guppy with carnivorous big fish such as Piranha, Pacu, Aligator gar, Arowana, and Arapaima.

Can I put guppies with koi fish?

You can not put guppies with koi carp because guppies are quite small fish. Because there is a high risk to be prey for koi carp. So, do not try to keep these two species in the same home.

Koi guppy diseases 

White spots, Ich or IckSmall white spots on the skin and fins.

Rubbing the skin.

Loss appetite
Increase the water temperature slowly to 80 Fahrenheit.     

Add the medications according to the guidelines: Seachem Paraguard is best.      

Or add 1 teaspoon aquarium salt per gallon.      Keep this stage for 4 to 7 days·

Reduce the temperature back to normal slowly.   Make a large water change of about 70%.
Velvet (Oodinium)Cover the body with tiny gold dots or gold dust.

In the last stage, skin starts to peel off and bleeding
The best medicine is the copper medication·       Turn off the lights of the tank until the sick fish recovers completely.

After symptoms-free, make the 70%-90% water changes.
Fin, Tail RotFins or tails stuck togetherSeparate the sick fish into the hospital tank·       Bacterial infection – Treat with an antibiotic such as Maracyn, Maracyn 2, Tetracycline, or Seachem ParaGuard.

Fungus infection- treat with special medications·    
Ammonia burns– provide high-quality water
ProtozoanThe protozoan is a small parasite that attaches to the guppy’s skin and then slowly enters the body.Install a heater and maintain the stable water temperature·

In early-stage: treat with Malachite Green or Formalin.

Advanced stage: treat with copper medicine such as Seachem Cupramine.

After treatments, make a large water change of about 50-70%.
Columnaris and Mouth FungusDevelop a bacteria colony on the mouth or middle area of the guppy.

It looks like a big white splash.

Difficult to swim. 

Loss the appetite.
Treat with Maracyn antibiotic or Formalin.

Make a 50% water change and add one teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon. Continue this every day for 3 days. Keep the fish in salt water until the fish are cured. Then make a water change of about 50-70%.

Also, you can use a 30 minutes potassium permanganate bath. But you should do this carefully.

You should not exceed 10mg/l in a bath. This is powerful oxidizing and overdose will burn your fish. 

Does Koi guppy eat plants?

Yes. Koi guppies are omnivores which means they eat animal and plant matter too. You can provide plant matters such as green vegetables: Lettuce, Cucumber, Peas, Tomatoes, and Spinach. 

Are koi guppies rare?

Normally, koi guppies are not rare. But koi tuxedo guppy is very uncommon. This species has vivid orange, white, and dark blue coloration. This coloration can be seen in both male and female koi tuxedo guppies.

How much is a koi guppy worth?

The cost of the guppies depends on exclusive traits, colors, and patterns. Normally the worth of a single koi guppy is ranging $13 to $15. 

 What is the most expensive Guppy?

The most expensive guppy species in the world is “Purple Moscow Guppy” or “Purple Guppy”. They are not very common to see in the market. This type of guppy’s cost is around $40-$100. It can be varied due to their strains. 

How quickly do guppies breed?

Guppies reproduce rapidly. Under optimal conditions, the female can give birth every 30 days. Each fry group may have 20 to 50 baby guppies.  

Can a dead guppy give birth?

It is possible. Especially, if the death of a pregnant female occurs right before the birth. But if the female dies before birth a few days or weeks, the fry will die too


Credit to : V Tales

Read more: The Complete Guppy Care Guide 2021 Update:Tank Requirements, Fancy Varieties, Breeding

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.