Why Is My Guppy Lying Down?(5 Possible Reasons)

One common question that guppy owners ask is, “Why is my guppy lying down?” But, the answer is not so straight forward. Guppy fish can lay at the bottom of the tank for many reasons. Here are five reasons why:

Stressed Guppy Fish

A stressed guppy is an unhappy guppy. How to tell if guppies are stressed? Is it hanging out at the bottom of the aquarium? Then, this can be a sign of stress.

Overcrowding, poor water parameters, aggressive tank mates, etc. are things that stress fish. An overpopulated fish tank has increased waste, toxins, and reduced oxygen.

Overpopulation messes up the pH level, and the TDS level, and raises ammonia and all sorts of problems. All these factors can cause your guppies or other fish to seclude themselves and stay at the bottom of the tank.

Poor Water Parameters

Having less than ideal guppy water parameters is a significant cause of stress. Lousy water conditions can lead to lethargy, loss of appetite, and symptoms of diseases. Eventually, your guppy fish will die.

When starting a new tank, be sure to cycle it. When adding fish, do not add too many to the tank. Add some plants to help keep the water clean. A filter also helps.

Add a heater if you live in an area that gets cold. The heater will help keep the water temperature stable. Adding an air pump can help keep the oxygen levels in the water ideal. On top of all that, you need to do regular water changes to keep everything running.

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Guppy Giving Birth

Female guppies sometimes lie on the bottom of the tank when in labor. Females look for hiding places to give birth, but if there aren’t any, then they go to the bottom or corner of the tank.

It’s generally a good idea to use a breeding tank or breeding box so that the female can have a stress-free delivery. Separate containers can also help most of the baby guppies to survive.

Adult guppies will eat their babies if they can’t hide. If you want to control the guppy population, then you can let the adults eat the fry.

Aggressive Tank Mates

Guppies are peaceful fish, so aggressive fish shouldn’t share a tank with guppies. Aggressive fish can bully guppies leading to death. Compatible tank mates for guppy fish are oto catfish, platies, plecos, mollies, etc.


Do guppies sleep? Yes. Guppies are diurnal, so they go to sleep at night. Guppy fish float above the bottom of the aquarium during the night. You may notice slight movements of the fins and tail when they are resting, but it’s normal. Don’t forget to turn out all the lights at night so they can get some rest.


A sick guppy may lie at the bottom of the tank and experience difficulty swimming. Also, a guppy that swims sideways or strange at the bottom of the tank may have a damaged swim bladder.

Diseases that cause similar behavior include dropsy, bent spine, and parasitic or bacterial infections. Check for spots or cuts on the body, damaged fins, loss of appetite, etc. These signs tell you that your guppy is sick.

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A guppy fish may hide in the tank if it feels threatened. There is not much room in some aquariums for schooling, so the fish hide instead.

Overpopulated aquariums also cause guppies to hide. 10-gallon tanks are the smallest tank size recommended for guppies. Do not keep guppies in a fishbowl.


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