Guppies do eat plants to some extent. Since guppies are omnivores, they need plant and animal nutrition. However, guppies get most of their plant nutrition from fish flakes and algae in the tank. So, although they may nibble on the leaves, they do not cause extensive damage to aquatic plants.
Let us now understand why guppies are a good fit for planted aquariums.
Why Are Guppies a Good Fit for Planted Aquariums?
Guppies are natives of the tropical forests of South and North-East America.
In their wild habitat, they enjoy a rich and varied diet of both plants and animal nutrition.
Algae form most of the plant part of the wild guppy diet.
The fish find algae in the surrounding water on rocks and plant surfaces like leaves.
Guppies will also nibble on the algae stuck to the leaves of aquatic plants.
For the non-vegetarian part of their diet, guppies eat insect eggs and larvae, mosquitoes, small crustaceans, and plankton.
Guppies have good appetites and are not fussy about food. They are easily satisfied with whatever they can find.
They do not chase or attack other organisms for food.
Food that resembles their natural diet in the wild will help guppies thrive in captivity.
With the right nutrition balance, they will grow to their maximum size and live longer.
Your pet guppy will be happy and healthy when you offer a balanced mix of the following foods.
Store-Bought Fish Flakes
The easiest way to feed your guppies is with readymade guppy food.
You can use these flakes as the main part of their diet as it is created with the nutritional requirements of the guppy fish in mind.
Hence, it will contain both animal and plant matter in balanced quantities for your fish.
Guppies get their beautiful colors from the food they eat.
So, consider adding algae and spirulina tabs to their diet to enhance their colors.
In the wild, guppies eat invertebrates, insect larvae, and shrimp.
Guppy fry needs these protein-rich foods for better growth.
Adult guppies also need protein to stay healthy.
When you keep guppies as pets, frequently treat them to similar live or freeze-dried foods.
Add occasional treats like brine shrimp, ghost shrimp, micro worms, vinegar eels, and blood worms to their diet.
It will boost their growth rate and keep them healthy.
Vegetables And Fruits
Although your guppy will survive on store-bought fish flakes and live foods, they will immensely benefit from fresh vegetables and fruits in their diet.
Fresh vegetables and fruits offer healthy vitamins and minerals.
You can feed them chopped salad greens, kale, shelled peas, cucumbers, zucchini, and cabbage.
They will also enjoy fruits like bananas, kiwis, and oranges.
Since guppies are tiny fish, they need small quantities of food at a time.
Cut fresh food into small pieces to make it easier for the fish to eat.
Plant-based foods contain essential ingredients for the health of guppy fish.
Hence, it is a good idea to have live aquatic plants in their tank.
The guppies will enjoy nibbling on the plants and picking algae off the leaves.
However, it will not harm the plants as these fish are too small to cause extensive damage to entire plants.
Benefits Of Keeping Guppies In Planted Aquariums
Plant-based nutrition is an essential part of the guppy diet. However, it does not have to come from live sources.
Guppies can obtain their required plant-based nutrition from store-bought fish food.
Nonetheless, access to live plant-based nutrition is the better choice.
Although guppies can live in a tank without any plants, the presence of plants is immensely beneficial for this fish for the following reasons.
- Guppies enjoy grazing on plants: Guppies like to feed on algae that attach to the plant leaves and walls of the tank. It satiates their hunger and provides nutritional benefits. When there is a lack of plant-based nutrition in their diet, guppies will compensate for it by nibbling on aquatic plants in their surroundings.
- Plants keep the water clean: The waste eliminated by fish in an aquarium causes the nitrate levels of water to increase. Too much nitrate content is toxic to the fish. Floating plants can control this problem to a great extent. By removing most of the nitrates from the water, it reduces the need for water changes.
- Plants provide hiding places for guppy fry: If you breed your guppy fish in the same tank as the adults, they need places to hide for survival. Dense plants will contain plenty of safe hiding spots. The fry can conceal themselves in the roots and leaves and stay safe. These roots will also house tiny aquatic creatures like copepods and seed shrimps that the guppy fry can eat.
- Replicates their natural habitat: In the wild, guppies live in water bodies with plenty of vegetation. A planted aquarium will resemble their natural habitat. Hence, the fish will thrive and be happy in such an environment.
Ideal Aquarium Plants For Guppies
Since guppy fish nibble on plants, you should choose the plants for your aquarium wisely.
Avoid poisonous plants that can harm their health. Some of the plants that you can safely add to your guppy tank are the following:
- Guppy Grass: This fast-growing plant cleans and oxygenates the water. It grows abundantly and offers hiding places for guppy fry.
- Java Moss: This hardy plant with stringy leaves adapts to any lighting condition. It offers plenty of hiding places for guppy fry and grows well in a short time.
- Duckweed: This is one of the best plants for beginners. In the presence of enough light and nutrition, duckweed grows explosively. It is a good source of nutrients for fish. You can even use it to prepare a homemade superfood for your guppy.
Do Guppies Like Floating Plants?
Non-poisonous plants are generally a good addition to guppy aquariums. Floating plants are even better than those that attach to the substrate. They look good and create a natural environment for the guppy fish.
Additionally, most floating plants clean the tank of nitrates and improve the oxygen levels of the water. Floating plants also have exposed roots that offer plenty of hiding places for the guppy fry.
If you keep your baby guppies with the adults, they can stay safe from their parents by hiding in the roots. The roots will also contain small organisms that the guppy fry can eat.