Will Rope Fish Eat Guppies: 5 Factors for Best Compatibility

If you’re considering keeping rope fish and guppies in the same tank, will rope fish eat guppies? While rope fish are peaceful creatures, they are also known to have a predatory instinct towards smaller fish.

But don’t worry; several factors can affect the compatibility between African rope fish and guppies.

This article explores the five most important factors before introducing these two species into the same tank.

can different types of guppies breed

By understanding these factors, you’ll be able to create the best possible environment for your roper fish to thrive in peace. So, let’s dive in and discover these pro tips for achieving the perfect balance between rope fish and guppies!

Do Rope Fish Eat Other Fish?

Yes, rope fish may eat other fish if they are small enough to fit into their mouth. Rope fish are carnivorous and eat various small live or frozen foods, including small fish. However, rope fish are not aggressive predators and will generally only eat fish that are small enough to be considered prey.

If you are considering adding rope fish colors to your freshwater fish tank, it is essential to choose reedfish tank mates carefully. Avoid adding small fish that could be potential prey for the black rope fish. Instead, opt for larger fish that are not likely to be eaten by the reed fish.

In addition to live or frozen foods, rope fish may eat pellets or flakes. However, ensuring the food is small enough for the rope fish to eat is essential.

Remember that dragon rope fish are nocturnal and are most active at night. If you have other fish in the tank that are also nocturnal, make sure there are plenty of hiding spots in the fish tank to prevent any potential conflicts between the fish. With proper care and consideration, rope fish can be a great addition to a community tank with many fish.

Will Rope Fish Eat Guppies?

Rope fish have a predatory instinct towards smaller fish, including guppies. However, whether or not rope fish will eat guppies depends on several factors, such as the size of the guppies, the size of the African rope fish, and the compatibility of their personalities.

It’s important to carefully assess these factors before introducing reed fish and guppies into the same tank to ensure the safety of all your aquatic pets.

Additionally, providing plenty of hiding places and monitoring their behavior can help prevent potential conflicts. Ultimately, while rope fish and guppies can coexist, it’s essential to take precautions to ensure their compatibility and prevent any harm.

Understanding the Nature of Rope Fish

Rope fish, also known as reedfish or rope snake fish, are native to African freshwater habitats. They possess a long, slender body with small pectoral fins and a dorsal fin running along their entire length. This striking appearance often raises questions about their dietary preferences, particularly whether they pose a threat to smaller tank mates like guppies.

Rope Fish Diet and Behavior

To truly understand the compatibility of rope fish and guppies, it is essential to delve into their dietary habits and behavior. Rope fish are primarily carnivorous, feeding on small aquatic creatures like insects, crustaceans, and even smaller fish in the wild. Their elongated shape allows them to slither through dense vegetation and hunt effectively.

Interaction with Guppies

The concern about rope fish preying on guppies stems from their instinct as predators. In some cases, rope fish have been observed consuming smaller fish species in captivity, leading to apprehension among aquarium owners about introducing them into a tank with guppies. However, there are instances where rope eel fish and guppies coexist peacefully, fostering a diverse and captivating aquatic community.

Factors Influencing Compatibility

Several factors can influence the compatibility between rope fish and guppies:

Tank Size

Rope fish aquarium size: The size of the aquarium plays a crucial role in the interaction between these species. The likelihood of aggression is reduced in larger tanks with ample hiding spots, such as caves or dense vegetation, allowing both rope fish and guppies to cohabit peacefully.

Feeding Regimen

A well-fed rope fish is less likely to view guppies as potential prey. Providing a varied and nutritious diet that meets their dietary needs minimizes the chances of aggression toward tank mates.

Rope Fish Personality

Rope fish, like any other fish, may exhibit individual personalities. Some reedfish might display a more predatory nature, while others could be docile and less inclined to hunt smaller fish.

Guppy Population

In larger groups, guppies may feel more secure and are less likely to be targeted by rope fish. A larger guppy population can distribute the predator’s attention, reducing potential risks.

5 Tips for Creating a Harmonious Aquarium Community

To foster a successful cohabitation between rope fish and guppies, consider these guidelines:

– Tank Setup

Set up a tank with ample hiding spots like caves, driftwood, and live plants to provide security and retreat options for albino rope fish and guppies.

– Feeding Strategy

Offer a varied diet that caters to the nutritional needs of dragon rope fish, including live and frozen foods. Ensuring they are well-fed helps reduce predatory instincts.

– Monitoring Behavior

Observe the interactions between rope fish and guppies closely. If signs of aggression are evident, consider temporarily providing additional hiding spots or separating the fish.

– Proper Guppy Selection

When introducing new guppies, choose more robust and agile ones, increasing their chances of evading potential threats.

– Regular Maintenance

Perform regular tank maintenance to maintain rope fish water temp, water quality and ensure a healthy environment for all tank inhabitants.

What Fish Can I Put With Ropefish?

When considering tank mates for a Ropefish (also known as Reedfish or Erpetoichthys calabaricus), choosing compatible species that won’t harm or be harmed by the Ropefish is essential.

Ropefish are generally peaceful, but they have some unique characteristics that can influence the selection of suitable tank mates. Here are some fish you can put with Ropefish:

The Best Rope Fish Tank Mates

  1. Bala Shark (Balantiocheilos melanopterus): These peaceful, active, and schooling fish can coexist with Ropefish, given that the tank is large enough to accommodate both species comfortably.
  2. Silver Dollar Fish (Metynnis sp.): Silver Dollars are peaceful schooling fish that can make good tank mates for Ropefish due to their non-aggressive nature.
  3. Corydoras Catfish: Ropefish are unlikely to bother Corydoras catfish, and these bottom-dwellers can add some activity to the lower regions of your aquarium.
  4. Gouramis: Some peaceful Gourami species, like Dwarf Gouramis (Trichogaster lalius) or Honey Gouramis (Trichogaster chuna) can work well with Ropefish.
  5. Dwarf Cichlids: Certain small and peaceful species of dwarf cichlids, such as Apistogramma or Mikrogeophagus, could be compatible with Ropefish.
  6. Giant Danio (Devario aequipinnatus): These active and fast-swimming fish can cohabit with Ropefish, especially in larger aquariums.
  7. Tetras: Peaceful Tetras like Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi) or Cardinal Tetras (Paracheirodon axelrodi) can be potential tank mates.

Avoid the following:

  1. Barbs: While some Barbs might be compatible with Ropefish, many are fin nippers, which can stress and harm the slow-moving Ropefish.
  2. Aggressive Cichlids: Large and aggressive Cichlid species should be avoided as they might see the Ropefish as potential prey or cause stress to the fish.
  3. Aggressive or Large Predatory Fish: Any fish that could perceive the Ropefish as food should be avoided. This includes larger predatory fish or aggressive species that might harass the Ropefish.

Remember, when choosing tank mates for Rope fish, always consider the full grown rope fish size and temperament of the fish, and ensure your aquarium is large enough to accommodate all the species comfortably. Additionally, provide plenty of hiding spots and caves as Rope fish like to retreat to shelters when they feel threatened or stressed.

Will Rope Fish Eat Smaller Fish?

Yes, rope fish will eat smaller fish if they are small enough to fit into their mouth. Reedfish are carnivorous and have been known to eat small fish in the wild and aquariums. Therefore, caution should be exercised when adding smaller fish as tank mates.

Rope fish feeding on small fish can also be fed frozen foods like brine shrimp. It’s important to note that rope fish will eat whatever food is available, including pellets and flakes, but may prefer live or frozen foods like brine shrimp.

If you plan on keeping smaller fish with rope fish, it’s essential to choose tank mates carefully. Avoid adding fish that are small enough to be considered prey for the rope fish. It’s also important to make sure that all fish in the tank are getting enough food, as rope fish can be aggressive eaters and may outcompete smaller fish for food.

In summary, reed fish will eat smaller fish if given the opportunity but can be kept with other fish if proper precautions are taken. Providing a varied diet that includes live and prepared foods can help ensure that all fish in the tank receive the nutrition they need.

Keeping Guppies and Rope Fish Together (FAQs)

What type of food does rope fish require?

Rope fish are not picky eaters and can survive on a diet of feeder fish, frozen or live foods, and even flakes. It is vital to provide a varied diet to meet their nutritional needs.

Can I keep guppies and rope fish together in the same aquarium?

Keeping guppies and rope fish together is possible, but it is not recommended. Rope fish are known to be opportunistic feeders and may view guppies as potential food sources. Additionally, rope fish require a larger tank with plenty of hiding spots, while guppies prefer a more open space.

Are rope fish aggressive towards other fish?

Rope fish are generally peaceful and do not behave aggressively toward other fish. However, larger or more aggressive fish may view rope fish as potential prey. It is crucial to consider the compatibility of tankmates before introducing rope fish to your aquarium.

Can rope fish survive in a community tank with other fish?

Yes, rope fish can survive in a community tank with other fish if their tankmates are compatible. It is best to choose peaceful, non-aggressive fish that are similar in reedfish size to avoid conflicts.

How many rope fish should I keep in my aquarium?

Rope fish are social animals and should ideally be kept in small groups of 2-3 individuals. Keeping multiple rope fish together helps to mimic their natural social behavior and reduces stress in the aquarium.

Can rope fish be bred in captivity?

Yes, rope fish can be bred in captivity. It is advisable to set up a separate rope fish breeding tank with appropriate water parameters to breed rope fish and provide hiding spots for the rope fish eggs. Breeding them can be a rewarding and fascinating experience.

Do rope fish eat flakes?

Yes, rope fish can eat flakes. While they primarily feed on live or frozen foods, rope eel can be trained to accept flakes as part of their diet. It is vital to offer a variety of food sources to ensure their nutritional needs are met.

Do rope fish have poor vision?

Yes, rope fish do have relatively poor vision. They rely more on their sense of touch and electricity perception to navigate their surroundings. Providing a tank with plenty of hiding spots and structures can help rope fish feel secure in their environment.

Where do rope fish prefer to stay in the tank?

Rope fish are bottom-dwelling fish and prefer to stay near the bottom of the tank. They will often hide in caves, plants, or under decorations. Providing plenty of hiding spots and structures at the bottom of the tank will help create a comfortable environment for them.

Where to find ropefish for sale?

Ropefish, known for their rope eel like body, reed fish for sale can be found at some online aquarium retailers and local fish stores.

How big do rope fish get?

How big does a rope fish get? Rope fish are elonged and can reach up to 15 inches in length. That’s about the size of a ruler! Their slender build makes them well-suited for long tanks.

How long can a rope fish live out of water?

They are like lungfish, can breathe air for several hours thanks to a lung-like swim bladder. But for long-term health, they need to be returned to water as soon as possible.

What is the ropefish max size?

Rope fish full size: Ropefish are typically around 15 inches long, though some sources inaccurately list them as growing up to 3 feet. Their elongated bodies make them a fascinating addition to aquariums large enough to house them comfortably.

Will rope fish eat shrimp?

Yes, ropefish are opportunistic feeders and may eat shrimp smaller than their mouths. If you have adult ropefish, avoid dwarf shrimp or juveniles.

Will rope fish eat neon tetras?

Yes, rope fish are opportunistic eaters and will view neon tetras as prey due to their small size. Consider larger tank mates for your rope fish.

Can rope fish live with goldfish?

Not ideal. Rope fish prefer warmer water than goldfish. Goldfish may also fin nip slow-moving rope fish. Consider other tank mates for each.

What do reed fish eat?

what does a rope fish eat? Reed fish are opportunistic carnivores. They feast on live worms, insects, crustaceans, and even small fish that fit in their mouths.


So, will rope fish eat guppies? In conclusion, while African rope fish are naturally carnivorous and may exhibit predatory behavior towards smaller fish like guppies, establishing a harmonious aquarium community is possible with careful planning and attention to the needs of both species. Providing an adequately sized tank with hiding spots and a varied diet can create an environment where rope fish and guppies can coexist peacefully, adding vibrancy and diversity to your aquatic oasis. Remember to closely monitor their interactions and make adjustments as necessary to ensure the well-being of all your aquatic companions. Happy fish keeping!

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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