Do Guppies Need A Filter?

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Guppies are beautiful, hardy fish that are very easy to keep alive. They are not very picky when it comes to their environment and generally do not require much overall care.

That being said, it’s natural to wonder whether it is necessary to have a filter for your guppies or if you can go without one. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know in order to make the right decision.

Generally speaking, guppies do not need a filter. Guppies range in size between just 1.5 cm and 6 cm. Their small size limits the amount of food they need to consume and therefore reduces the waste that they create as well.


Fish waste is one of the biggest reasons to have a filter in your fish tank, however, since guppies do not create much waste you shouldn’t ever need to buy one.

While guppies may not need a filter, there are always benefits to having one in your fish tank. One of the biggest benefits is that filters help to keep the water clean and reduces the need for regular water changes.

If you are going to provide a filter for your guppies, it is highly recommended to buy one that is fairly small and does not disturb the overall environment. In the wild, guppies are usually found in slow-moving waters like ponds, lakes, and rivers so they typically do not prefer strong currents. 

Filters that are too strong can also be dangerous for your guppies. If the filter produces too strong of a current, your guppies may end up getting caught in the filter, and we all know how that goes. 

Tank Size

Guppies are fun and playful swimmers, so in order to keep them happy and keep your tank clean, you will want to make sure to provide them with enough space.

Although they are small, it is recommended to have only about 5 guppies per 10-gallon aquarium, especially if you are not providing a filter. Smaller tanks will naturally build up waste much quicker than larger tanks, so it is important to consider this when setting up your tank.

Tank Accessories

Another thing to consider when it comes to providing a filter for your guppies is what other accessories will be housed with them. Guppies love plants and adding them into your aquarium always makes it more fun to look at.

While any fish usually prefers the natural feel of real plants, they are also okay with settling with the fake ones. The only downside to fake plants is that they easily build up algae over time.

Algae is not necessarily bad for your fish tank, as long as it is kept to a minimal level. Too much algae can reduce the oxygen and nutrients in your tank, which could potentially kill your fish when overexposed.

If you are going to provide an ample amount of fake plants, this may be another reason to consider adding a small filter for your guppies. If you are not wanting to purchase a filter and are still wanting to add accessories, you can also take them out to clean yourself when they become too overgrown with algae. 

Other fish

One of the last things to consider is whether your fish tank is going to house only guppies or other fish as well. A fish tank that only has guppies doesn’t need a filter but a fish tank with other fish most likely does.

As mentioned, guppies do not create very much waste in their aquariums, but that may not be the case with other fish. Just because a fish is small does not mean that it will be as clean as guppies are.

If you are going to house your guppies with other fish, adding a small filter is most likely going to be the best choice. If a filter is not an option for you, it is probably better to only stick with guppies.

As long as you are able to assess all these aspects of your fish tank, deciding whether you want to add a filter or not should be a fairly easy choice.

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