Do Guppies Need an Air Pump? (Complete Guide)

guppy fish

Guppies are among the hardiest freshwater fish you could get for your aquarium.

Due to their endurance and, of course, the variety of colors that they have has made them a common choice for many hobbyists and especially beginners. Nevertheless, despite their ability to survive, they too need certain conditions to live a happy and healthy life. 

With this said, do Guppies need an air pump? To be exact, an air pump is not always compulsory but it is preferable if you want your Guppies to be healthy. There are alternative ways to boost the oxygen levels in your tank but they are time-consuming and often insufficient which is why you should add an air pump to your tank. 

If you are new to the hobby and you need more clarification on taking care of Guppies, read below as we will discuss the topic in more depth. You can also see our recommendations for air pumps for Guppies and the answers to some highly important questions about this particular type of fish.

Do Guppies Need an Air Pump?

Like any living organism, your Guppies need oxygen to survive. While an air pump is not always mandatory, it is preferable that you purchase one for the best aquarium results.

Especially if you are a beginner, I guarantee that you will have a hard time adjusting and maintain good oxygen levels without one. And if the oxygen levels drop, you will have to deal with various diseases and infections which often lead to the death of the Guppies.

There are ways to increase the oxygen levels in a tank without an air pump, but they require a fair amount of professionalism and knowledge.

For example, there are advanced hobbyists who manage to keep the oxygen levels high with an increased amount of plants. Nevertheless, this requires constant monitoring and attention while most people simply want to have a healthy aquarium in the easiest way possible. 

If you still would rather not spend extra on an air pump, you would have to change the water on a regular basis with fresh water. However, this is a time-consuming method that is also not as sufficient as an air pump.

If you haven’t bought a filter yet, there is the option to get an agitating filter which is a valuable replacement of an air pump but is more expensive. In the end, an air pump will always be the cheapest, simplest, and most sufficient way of providing oxygen to any tank.

Air Pump Recommendations 

When it comes to aquarium equipment, you will never run out of options. Just open Amazon on your computer and you will see dozens of options in every price range. This is why we have selected a few of the better choices from the ocean of products that you should definitely consider when you have a tank with Guppies.

Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air PumpOpens in a new tab. (Link to Amazon)

This multi-purpose pump is undoubtedly one of the most valuable options in the current market. It is known for its durability, high performance, and quietness. It also gives you the option to control the pressure through a pressure dial. 

Most importantly, the Hydrofarm Active Aqua Air Pump comes in four different sizes. In other words, there is a suitable version for any tank size to ensure maximum efficiency and convenience. Unfortunately, it does not come with any tubing or air stones but this is not a major issue when they are also available at low prices. 

Fluval Q1 Air PumpOpens in a new tab. (Link to Amazon)

Our next favorite is the Fluval Q1 Air Pump which also comes in different sizes for your convenience. For example, you should consider this Q1 version if your tank is below 50 gallons in capacity and the Q2 version for larger aquariums. 

The Fluval Air Pump is well-equipped with a noise-canceling mechanism that ensures the ultimate silent operation. We consider this to be the most suitable choice for beginners who want a high-quality air pump that costs less than usual. 

Tetra Whisper Air Pump

Opens in a new tab.

Check Price on AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Our last suggestion is pricier but suitable for aquariums of all sizes. It is by Tetra which is one of the most renowned brands in the business. The Tetra Whisper Air Pump is the most powerful pump out of the three we mentioned. It has been designed for deeper and larger tanks and will perform just as good in deep water. 

It is good to know that the Tetra Whisper line includes air pumps of various sizes, thus, you can choose one of the weaker options if you have a smaller tank. Once again, you will have to purchase the necessary tubing and accessories additionally as they are not included. 

Last but not least, there is one more factor that makes Tetra Whisper stand out and this is the limited lifetime warranty. Overall, no other air pump can beat this one in this price range.

Additional Information: How to Add Oxygen without an Air Pump?

As we already mentioned more than once, it is crucial that your fish have enough oxygen to stay healthy. We also discussed several ways to do that without an air pump.

Here are a few other basic ideas that are, unfortunately, not always applicable and often insufficient. 

Choose a wider/shallower tank

Haven’t bought a tank yet? If this is the case, then you have the option to choose a more suitable one in case you do not want to use an air pump. The highest oxygen content in an aquarium is at the surface of the water. When you choose a wider tank, you ensure that more water will reach the air outside of your tank. This is one good way to have more aeration in your aquarium. 

Use a cup or some other type of container to pour water

You need to break the water surface in order to send oxygen down the aquarium. It is close to the mind that you can simply use a cup or something else to pour water from high in order to insert oxygen to the lower levels. 

This is a simple but effective method if done frequently. It is, however, time-consuming and you really have to do it over and over every day. 

Add more plants

We already discussed the importance of plants. By adding more plant species that will convert CO2 into oxygen, you will increase the oxygen levels.

It all depends on how densely you plant your tank and how you take care of it afterward. Just do not forget that you need to leave the lights for as much as possible every day.

If you keep your aquarium in darkness for too long every day, the additional number of plants can actually work against you and decrease the oxygen levels in a tank. 

Additional Questions:

Does Guppy Fry need an air pump?

Although an air pump is not always necessary with fully-grown Guppies, it is a compulsory accessory for Guppy fry. Babies are obviously not as strong as the grown-ups and require additional care and assistance. Therefore, you need to make sure that they have enough oxygen. 

How long can fish survive without an air pump?

As we already discussed, an air pump is not a compulsory item if you plan to consistently use the other methods. Once you reach that advanced level of fish keeping, you will surely be able to maintain a healthy aquarium without the use of an air pump. 

If, however, you do not use an air pump and at the same time you do nothing to transfer oxygen to the lower levels, your fish may not survive for more than a few days. Whatever the case may be, an aquarium requires every-day attention and maintenance. It goes way beyond feeding the fish and changing the water from time to time. 

Overall, we believe that you should keep an air pump at home even if you do not normally use one. After all, what will happen to your aquarium if you happen to travel for a few days? In other words, spend the extra dollar to ensure the healthy life of your fish pets. 

Can Guppies live in a fishbowl? 

Many beginners believe that you can keep various species of fish in a fishbowl. In all honesty, you cannot. Yes, they will survive for some period of time especially if you add some accessories but in the end, they will die. 

It is the same with Guppies. You can keep Guppies in a bowl but it will be a painful existence. If you care about your Guppies, you will get them a good tank and equip it with all the necessary accessories. 

A fishbowl is extremely small in size. Even the smallest fish like Guppies require space to swim. Moreover, Guppies live in groups, thus, you need to have at least 5+ for them to remain calm and happy. 

Such small containers get contaminated within days. Guppies do not create a lot of waste compared to other small species but they will, of course, eventually pollute the water. Without the necessary filtration, this will lead to sicknesses and death. 

Overall, there are countless reasons not to put fish in a fishbowl. It is unfortunate that even the name misleads to the thought that fishbowls would be a good home for fish. On the contrary, it means certain death for the fish. 

Saurabh Kumar

I am a passionate fish keeper, with years of experience. You will find some really useful tips and information on this blog about Freshwater Aquariums.

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