Can Pea Puffer Live With Guppies- Learn the Possible Risks

Most probably, you won’t like it if your beautiful rainbow-colored guppies are in trouble, right? But keeping pea puffer fish with guppies creates such troublesome conditions for them.

As you know, guppies are peaceful while pea puffers are aggressive towards them. Again, their requirements are different in various perspectives. 

That’s why instead of keeping them in the same tank, you should introduce other fish species that can make a better combination with guppies. 

Here I will highlight the problems of keeping guppies and puffers together and the species that can be perfect for these two fish species for residing inside the aquarium. 

Can Pea Puffer Fish Live With Guppies?

In a word, it’s a big ‘No’. Guppies can’t reside with pea puffer fish in a single tank. 

As I found from my experiment, they are not tolerable to each other due to varied seasons. I have been studying and experiencing aquarium fish for almost 3 years. 

During this time, I made a lot of mistakes and among those, keeping guppies and puffer fish in the same tank was disastrous. 

As I didn’t know much about them at that time, I put them unconsciously, and then I found that they were not suitable for each other to stay in the same tank. 

Here I want to express those facts in detail so that you can understand why they should be kept separate and how to maintain this term.

Why Can’t Pea Puffer Live With Guppies? 

1. Tank Requirements 

If you want to know about their problem, firstly I should mention their tank requirements. 

Water temperature 

As a hobbyist, you know that every fish thrives at a specific temperature. Guppies and puffer fish also have such requirements but that is different from each other.

Puffer fish love to remain at 77-79°F while guppies feel comfortable within 72-76°F. That means the temperature that is perfect for puffer will be extreme for guppies. 


The pH requirement is also different for the two fish. Puffers love neutral pH that is around 6.5-7. But guppies are well adapted to slightly alkaline water of 6.9-7.8.

Water quality 

Pure water quality is needed for both of the fish. But guppies need more fresh and clean water than puffer fish. 

2. Pea Puffers Are Aggressive

As you know, pea puffer fish is one of the most aggressive fish species. If you place guppies with pea puffers, they might attack the guppies.

Guppies are always mentioned as peace-loving fish species. In that case, if puffers attack them, they can’t defeat themselves properly. Due to their voracious nature, they won’t spare the guppies. 

As a result, the aggressive behavior of puffers may cause death to guppies too. Again, puffers are fast swimmers. On the other hand, guppies are known as slow-swimmer fish.

Sometimes, guppies get injured by the fast movement of the puffers. In most cases, the fins of the puffers may get seriously damaged. 

Even they are so aggressive that keeping two male puffers in the same tank is full of risk. Male puffers don’t attack female puffers. But they are in cursive to the small fish and their same type of gender.

As both of them love to reside in slow-moving water, they will always remain in almost the same stream. This portion increases the possibility of harm to the guppies.

Not only that, both of them love to remain in sandy substrates though guppies can reside in other substrates too. The conflict will be created at that point too.

Hence, specialist or expert aquarium hobbyists always suggest avoiding the combination of guppies and puffers in the same tank.

3. Diet 

Let’s talk about their dissimilarities in diet. The diet is almost different between them as puffers are mainly carnivorous and guppies are omnivorous. 

Besides, puffers are predatory. That’s why they love larvae, brine shrimps, insects, bloodworms, snails, water fleas, baby shrimps, and copepods as their food materials. 

Also, puffers love any type of slow-swimmer fish. Consequently, your puffers may also take the existing guppies as their food due to their predatory nature.

Besides, guppies need a varied diet including high-quality fish flakes, algae wafers, and bloodworms. Providing bloodworms twice a week is beneficial for them.

This difference in diet indicates clearly that guppies and offers can’t stay in the same space at a time without negative effects.

4. Scarcity of Food 

From the upper point, you already know that puffers are voracious fish. As a result, if you supply any food material, for example, bloodworm, the puffers will consume them fast.

In that case, being calm, guppies are not aggressive to their food materials and so they won’t get the food material.

But, from their caring tips, we know that guppies need to take food twice a day for their appropriate growth.

If puffers consume the guppies’ food, the problem of food scarcity will be created. Consequently, your guppies will tend to suffer from various diseases and after a certain time, they will die.

5. Care Requirement 

The caring strategy is also different for these two types of fish. For example, a healthy environment is mandatory for guppies. You should provide high-quality water for the undisturbed growth of guppies.

But, puffers do not need such high-profile water. They also need pure quality water but they can also adjust with a little bit of disturbance. 

Also, puffers are messy eaters. As a result, the food leftovers remain in the water and make the water polluted. Such an environment is crucial for the guppies. 

On the other hand, keeping male and female guppies in different tanks is not an essential point. But to save the puffers, you should not keep more than one puffer in one tank.

If you do so, the puffers will start fighting among themselves and harm each other. But you can keep many male and female guppies in the same tank.

Criteria for Searching Perfect Tank Mates For Guppies

As you are looking for the answer to whether puffer fish are tolerant to guppies or not, that means you are searching for some choices for your pufferfish. 

Hence, I am going to provide a list of some fish that can reside well with puffer fish with their reason why they are tolerable to pufferfish. 

I am providing the criteria so that you can match the characteristics of the fish that you are going to introduce to your aquarium or fish tank.

  • Try to find a fish species that can keep the water clean so that your guppies can get a healthy environment as water quality is an important issue for guppies.
  • Fish that are friendly towards guppies have a soothing and calm nature. 
  • Peaceful and calm-natured fish that will not be aggressive towards your guppies.
  • The fish species have the same environmental requirements as guppies.
  • The species may create a colorful and vibrant look by mixing with guppies to provide an ornamental look inside your aquarium. 

For your convenience, I would like to suggest some fish species that can fulfill the above criteria. If those are available in your area and they are your preferred one, you can introduce them to your fish tank-

  • Cory catfish
  • Tetras (Remember, tetras sometimes eat guppies fry, so keep the breeding tank different if you bring tetras).
  • Harlequin rasbora
  • Clown rasbora
  • Brilliant rasbora
  • Cherry shrimp
  • Amano shrimp
  • Platy fish
  • Clown loaches
  • Mystery snails or apple snails

Criteria for Selecting Tank Mates for Puffers

Next, I would like to mention some fish species that you can take to spare with puffers. But, you should keep in mind that as puffers are predatory, you should keep a fish which is a fast swimmer. 

Also, you should prepare enough hiding space for the fish so that puffers can’t do any harm to it in any case. 

Here are some fish species that are acceptable to keep with puffers. But they are not always preferred as the possibility of causing harm to that species remains. 

  • Cherry shrimp
  • Danios
  • Neon tetras
  • Kuhli loach
  • Otocinclus
  • Ember tetras
  • Siamese algae fighters
  • Filament barbs


Do pea puffer fish eat snails?

Yeah! Puffers need fleshy or living things as their diet. Among different types of snails, they like to have Ramshorn snails and bladder snails along with other types of food.

Can guppies survive with female puffers?

Yeah, but you shouldn’t put them together. As female puffers are not as aggressive as male puffers, you may keep them with guppies. But it’s better to avoid mixing them in the same tank.

Can dwarf puffer live with guppies?

Not really! You should not place any dwarf puffer fish with your guppies in the same aquarium as they are also aggressive and will create all the same problems as common puffers.

Final Words

Hence, these words were all about the experiences that I learned from my aquarium ecology where I placed my mistake of keeping guppies and puffers together. 

If you don’t want to put your guppies at risk, you shouldn’t bring any puffer fish to your fish tank where guppies already exist. 

After going through all the detailed information, it must have been clear to you that puffers are dangerous for guppies. 

Hence, try to manage any type of species that can continue friendly behavior to the guppies and will create a vibrant look mixing with the guppies.

Howard Parker

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