Can Guppies Live In Saltwater? How to Acclimate Guppies to Saltwater


Saltwater is harmful to guppies, so you’re looking for more information on whether guppies can live in saltwater or not.

If you’ve ever tried to keep guppies in a saltwater tank, you know it’s not easy. Putting them in saltwater will endanger their lives and make them vulnerable to diseases that can kill them.

Many people say it’s impossible because guppies are freshwater fish that can’t live in saltwater. They die within days!

However, the good news is that there is an easy solution for keeping guppies alive in a saltwater aquarium. All you need to do is the right kind of food and make sure they have enough oxygen available at all times.

GA Pet Sitters will share some tips to provide an optimal habitat for your fish. It’s easier than most people think, we promise!

Let’s read on and discover how to raise guppies in a saltwater environment.

Can Guppies Live In Saltwater

Can Guppies Live In Saltwater


Salt as a Remedy for Sick Guppies

In the aquarium salt has been suggested as a treatment for sick guppies. There are debates as to whether salt is useful or not. 

Salt should only be used if the specific cause of the illness is known. If the fish is already in shock, it might not be able to handle the salt treatment. Some fish are more resistant to high salt concentrations than others.

Do Guppies Live In Freshwater Or Saltwater?



Guppies are freshwater fish, meaning they only live in freshwater. So, sadly, no – guppies cannot live in saltwater. 

In the wild, most guppy strains live in brackish waters of 1.005 to 1.010 specific gravity.

Even “freshwater guppies” that are sold in stores usually need soft water because their wild counterparts live in soft water. The average freshwater guppy lives a year and a half while the average livebearer will live around 3 years (if not eaten first by a bigger fish). 

Guppy strains vary greatly in size, coloration, and temperament.

How to Acclimate Guppies to Saltwater?

You want to get guppies in saltwater, but don’t know how to they can live. Follow six steps to make a good environment for your pets. 

Step 1: Choose the Right Tank 

Since guppies do not have a swim bladder, they need to have a non-flowing current near the surface to breathe. An air stone can be used to create a gentle bubbling current. 

The water level in the tank needs to be high enough above the surface of the water for them to get air. A five-gallon bucket with a live plant in it can be used to create the current if needed. 

If you are trying to breed guppies, do not use an air stone or bucket. This can be done with a bare-bottomed tank with the lid on it.

Step 2: Get a Tube and a Check Valve

A check valve prevents water from flowing back into the fish tank after the air pump turns off. If this happens, the water will rise in the tube instead of fall, which can potentially drown your guppies. 

If you are using an air pump to power the airstone, then you will need a check valve. If you are using a bucket, you do not need one.

Step 3: Flow Saltwater to the Acclimatization Tank 

Use a saltwater pump to fill the bucket or tank with saltwater. A powerhead can be used, but it must be kept on lower power so that it doesn’t cause excess turbulence. 

The water should be the same temperature as the tank you are trying to acclimate the guppies to.

Step 4: Control the Flow Rate

If you are using an air pump, the flow rate must be low enough that it does not blow the guppies away from the surface. If you are using a bucket, the flow rate is up to you.

Step 5: Let the Tank Fill

Allow the acclimation tank to fill until it has filled completely. However, you should not be too quick to rejoice if your fish haven’t fully acclimated. 

At the time, all you have is brackish water. Now, empty the container until there is only an inch of water left in it. 

After that, you can begin the process again. You can increase the flow rate.

Step 6: Move Your Guppies to the Saltwater Tank

When the acclimation tank is completely full, take your guppies out of the acclimatization tank and move them to the saltwater tank.

Note: If your guppies still have trouble breathing even after the acclimation process is complete, cut a bubble wand in half and put it in the saltwater tank. The bubble wand must be cut in half because otherwise, it will not stop creating bubbles.



Do Guppies Need Salt In Their Water?



Most of us add salt to fish tanks because we heard somewhere that it’s good for the fish, but do guppies really need salt in their water? In most cases, the answer is no.

It is true that guppies (Poecilia reticulata) live in brackish water conditions in the wild, but only when young during the early stages of their life cycle. 

In fact, most species of wild fish, including guppies do not need salt in their water. Too much salt can make a fish more susceptible to diseases and infections. 

For example, guppies kept in salted water often develop head and lateral line erosion, which causes them to lose their scales. This is why it’s so important to treat your water with a water conditioner instead of just adding salt to the tank.

How Much Salt Should You Put In Your Guppy Tank?

Guppies and most of their relatives and friends prefer a low salt environment. In fact, guppies do fine even in brackish water.

Salt may be mineralized to add certain elements such as sodium and chlorine, but some people think it does more harm than good.

Salt may be beneficial for plants that require salt in their environment, but it is usually better to find some other way of adding salt to the environment because guppies do just fine without it.

How To Acclimatize Guppies To Saltwater?

The best method of gradually making guppies comfortable with a new salinity is to make a brine solution and float the fish bag in the bucket of saltwater for about an hour. This means the fish are exposed to both water temperature and salinity. 

The next step would be to drip acclimate them for several hours at room temperature. 

It is never a good idea to drip acclimate them in the same bucket containing the brine solution. Because they may become too comfortable with the brine and not be able to adapt when you remove them from the bucket. 

If they are acclimated properly, they will adapt within 24 hours.

Ideal Water Parameters For Guppy Fish



There are many people that have always wondered just what the ideal water parameters are for guppies. Many times, this statement has been met with doubt, since people have many differing opinions on what the perfect parameters are. 

There are almost as many answers for this question as there are guppy keepers. The answer to this is that there are no perfect parameters, and they vary depending on where you live and also your personal preferences.

Knowing how to read the water parameters chart is very important, so please read up on the basics before you simply plug in your numbers.  Many people who are unfamiliar with this might plug in numbers that aren’t accurate which often results in fish loss. 

Some of the ideal water parameters for guppies are:

pH – 6.5 to 8.2 Temp – 74 to 82 F ( 23-28 C)

Guppies will survive in both hard and soft water conditions.

Many people like to keep their guppies in slightly acidic water (pH 6.5 to 7.0). Depending on the hardness of your tap water, you may need to lower or raise your pH.

Guppies prefer a temperature of around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In areas where the room temperature is not this high, people often use aquarium heaters.

Guppies are a schooling fish and should be kept in groups of 5 or more, the more the better! 

Things To Take Away…

You want to get guppies, but don’t know if they can live in saltwater.

The guppy is one of the most popular aquarium fish in the world. Most aquarists would agree that they are also among the best beginner fish that you can keep in a community tank. 

Guppies have a very simple and easy-to-understand life cycle. They start as eggs, turn into fry, then eventually grow into adults. 

This means all you have to do is get your female guppy pregnant, and you don’t have to worry about her being pregnant long because she’ll give birth soon after. Male guppies are generally more colorful than female guppies.


Guppies are freshwater fish and cannot live in saltwater without intervention. It is best to follow our guides on the steps for guppies to acclimate to saltwater. 

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you need any further information, please feel free to contact us – GA Pet Sitters.

Thank you for reading!