What Are The Best Substrate For Guppies? In 2022

Choosing the suitable substrate for your guppies is extremely important. Sand can be the best substrate for your guppies, and this is because sand has a fine texture and has lesser chances of getting stuck in the mouth of a guppy. You can also use gravel or more enormous rocks as a substrate.

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Do Guppies Like Substrate?

No, guppies are not at all bothered about the substrate, and they usually spend most of their time on the surface, and most of them do not need a substrate in the tank. However, gravel or layers of sand can be used to keep the live plants healthy and promote their growth.

Is Substrate Good For Guppies?

You can see most fish owners having various kinds of substrates in their tanks, such as pebbles, rocks, sand, or gravel. These substrates can be suitable for guppies in many ways. First of all, it enhances the tank’s appearance and makes it look like a natural habitat for guppies.

Secondly, substrates speed up the growth of live plants in the tank. This provides your guppies a lot of space to hide behind and secure themselves from other aggressive fishes.

However, cleaning may get a challenging task as the substrate needs to be removed regularly to maintain the cleanliness of the water.

What Substrate Do Guppies Need?

what substrate do guppies need
what substrate do guppies need?

Guppies usually need sand as a substrate in their tanks. This is because guppies love plants. And for the plants to grow effectively, the sand seems better than gravel.

It is fairly easy to clean and is usually soft. If the guppies go towards the bottom of the tank, the sand gives them a convenient surface.

What’s Best Substrate For Guppies “Include: Best Substrate For Breeding Guppies

Have any questions in your mind like: ” What’s the best substrate for breeding guppies? Should I use gravel substrate for guppies? or Should I use sand substrate for guppies?” Let us explore further.

You may notice that various tank owners use different kinds of substrates such as sand, gravel, or larger rocks. Adding these substrates gives an aesthetic look to the tank and appears more like the natural habitat of guppies.

Substrates are also suitable for the rapid growth of live plants. However, this can even pollute the water and make it dirty. Also pretty challenging at times to clean the tank with a substrate.

You can get the substrates in various colors, sizes, and textures from small pebbles to large rocks. Though substrates are not wanted, they have their own set of benefits.

Gravel Substrate For Guppies

Gravel substrate can be a home for various beneficial bacteria. These colonies of bacteria are needed to remove the waste from the tank. Though these bacteria can also exist in the absence of gravel substrate, gravel substrate is required to grow and develop beneficial bacteria.

This, in turn, ensures the safety of guppies. A bare-bottom left tank requires that the water be changed regularly to get rid of harmful waste materials. Substrates also help keep the nitrate and ammonia levels low in the tank.

Substrates help form a suitable habitat for the guppies, and they also give the fish a lot of places to hide. These substrates also minimize the reflection in the tank, which can cause a lot of stress on the fish.

You can also choose to use the substrates to maintain and enhance water chemistry.

Also, substrates ensure safety and provide a secure habitat for the guppies.

layer of sand

Getting a layer of sand is always better than gravel because live plants can grow the best in the sand and hence provides a lot of space for the guppy fry to hide behind. These plants also get all the nutritional benefits for their growth.

Vermiculite and laterite are the most commonly available substrates for the plants in the tank, as these substrates store and give away nutrients for the live plants. You can use these substrates after combining them with gravel.

However, some plants might need an extra depth to the substrate, which needs to be kept in mind while assembling the tank.

Gravel substrate

Gravel substrate also boosts the aesthetic appeal of the fish tank. These substrates also help hide the waste particles and other substances that can be seen floating in the tank water.

Most fish owners prefer gravel as their best choice for freshwater tanks. Though there are various benefits of this substrate, one of its main benefits is that it can let the water flow easily through it, which helps prevent the accumulation of bacteria and amoeba in this substrate.

This often leads to the collection of aquarium mold in the tank, making the guppies sick. Also, you should note that gravel substrate is quite heavy, which means it is less likely to get pulled towards the aquarium filters.

This reduces its chances of clogging and does not make it less effective in any way. You can purchase gravel in a wide variety of colors which gives you many options to customize your fish tank and make it suitable for your fish.

Sand Substrate For Guppies

Sand often restricts the water flowing through it, unlike gravel. If guppies in your tank want to scavenge and borrow in the sand, they will surely start filtering the substrate.

There are various other benefits of using a sand substrate compared to gravel. Sand usually looks more appealing and natural and gives the feeling of a natural habitat inside the tank.

However, there are various cleaning issues associated with the sand. sand substrates that are closely packed do not need to be changed very frequently.

There are many small gaps between the sand substrate, which means all the waste products and food matters get on top of the substrate and do not sink to the bottom. This means there are few chances that these food matters will decay or rot.

Considerations of Animals and Plants: 

The animals and plants you choose to keep in your tank may prefer either gravel or sand. For example, guppies need sand substrate as the plants grow well and fast in sand and give a lot of space to the guppy for hiding.

However, goldfish might have a higher risk of suffering from an intestinal blockage if they begin to ingest sand, and hence they need to be placed in a tank containing gravel substrate.

Even the aquarium plants can have their own choices for gravel or sand substrate, so you need to do a little bit of research to realize the necessities of the animals and plants.

Also, while placing the substrate in the tank, you need to use it in appropriate amounts. An inch of sand at the bottom and two to three inches of gravel are ideal for small to medium tanks.

About two inches of sand and three to four inches of gravel are needed for large-sized fish tanks. It would help if you did not change the substrate regularly and only removed it when it got muddy.

What Do Guppies Like In Their Tank?

what do guppies like in their tank
what do guppies like in their tank?

Maintaining a guppy is not as hard as you think, but you need to pay attention to their needs to ensure health and happiness.

It would help if you kept them in a large-sized tank that could give them enough space to swim freely.

Live plants or artificial plants are something they like the most. These plants give them the feeling of their natural habitat and provide a lot of space to hide.

They prefer having peaceful tank mates that are less likely to harm them. Also, they prefer proper lighting, toys to play with, and ideal water parameters for their survival.


Substrates can add an aesthetic look to the guppy’s tank. Though there are many options to choose from, such as gravel, pebbles, sand, or large rocks, most fish hobbyists choose gravel or sand substrate.

Gravel seems to be a better option as it does not restrict water flow and hence does not allow any bacteria to accumulate in the substrate.

Also, gravel substrates are pretty heavy and do not get pulled towards the filters and cause any damage to them. Sand substrate, on the other hand, restricts the water flow and does not need to be changed frequently.

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