Guppies are very popular with fish hobbyists. These hardy fish liven up any aquarium with their bright colors and constant activity. But more importantly, they are super-easy to take care of. Look at their food requirements for instance.
What do guppies eat? Guppies are omnivorous fish with a good appetite. They eat everything from store-bought fish flakes and veggie pellets to live or freeze-dried foods, insect larvae, vegetables, and meat. They also graze on algae and spirulina. However, the best diet for guppies to grow and flourish is a protein-rich plant and animal-based nutrition from multiple sources.
Did you know that well-fed guppies live for much longer?
So, let us find out all about the right type of diet and other aspects of guppy food to keep your pet fish healthy and happy.
What Guppies Eat In The Wild
To identify the right type of food for this species of fish, we must look at the feeding habits of guppies in the wild.
Guppies belong to the tropical areas of South and North-East America, where they are abundantly seen in small streams and freshwater pools.
Guppies are non-fussy eaters. In the wild, they will eat anything they find in the water that fits into their tiny mouths.
Being omnivores, they will eat both plants and meat.
Wild guppies enjoy a rich and varied diet of plant and animal matter.
Soft algae form a greater part of the guppy diet.
They also have access to aquatic insect larvae, brine shrimp, invertebrates, and diatoms.
This constitutes the non-vegetarian part of their diet.
Guppies also nibble on plant remains and vegetable matter in the water.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Can Guppies Eat Betta Food? (Here’s What You Should Know)
- Do Guppies Eat Each Other? And How To Stop Them?
- Do Frogs Eat Guppies? (Yes and No – Here’s Why)
Best Food For Pet Guppies
Guppies look hungry most of the time and will happily eat almost anything that you offer them.
Although they have small stomachs, this fish tends to eat large quantities of food if available.
Unfortunately, overfeeding is bad for their health. So, it isn’t wise to feed them just anything.
Guppies thrive on a varied diet of healthy food. You can feed them both home-made and commercially available fish food.
Commercially Available Fish Food Options
When choosing commercially available fish food, flake foods for tropical fish with high protein content are the best.
Most guppy breeders exclusively use this to feed their guppies.
Another good addition to their diet is veggie pellets. These contain marine and vegetable proteins like plankton, algae, and spirulina.
Spirulina improves their resistance to infections.
The carotenoids in vegetarian food enhance the colors in the tails, making guppies appear brighter.
When feeding veggie pellets, take care to choose small pellets that are suitable for the small mouths of guppies.
Treats For Guppies
Apart from normal flake food, you can also treat your guppies to occasional treats like brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and mosquito larvae.
These protein-rich foods contain extra nutrients that supplement their regular diet.
You can offer treats in live form or freeze-dried. However, limit these foods to once or twice a week as they are high in fat and protein.
Brine shrimp are a good source of protein for adult guppies.
Blood worms should only be fed to adult guppies, that too in tiny quantities due to their high-fat content.
Best Home-Made Food For Guppies
Guppies enjoy home-made food.
You can offer them finely-chopped vegetables like lettuce, mustard greens, peas, and zucchini.
You can even feed them bite-sized pieces of fruits like bananas and grapes occasionally.
Guppies also like hard-boiled egg yolk. However, take care to feed it only in small quantities.
Interesting Further Reading: Here’s Why Guppies Swim At The Top Of The Tank
How Often Should You Feed Guppies?
You can feed adult guppies once or twice a day. Supply small quantities of food that they can consume in a minute.
Wait for five minutes after adding food to the tank. If any excess remains, remove it from the water.
Try to maintain a 12-hour difference between feeds.
Although your pets won’t mind eating more food, they will be healthier if you stick with feeding them twice-a-day.
Replace their regular diet with occasional treats once or twice a week.
This will compensate for any nutritional deficiencies and help them grow better.
Although guppies look like very hungry fish, they can surprisingly survive without food for several days.
So, if you must go away for a while, don’t worry about feeding them.
Guppies have enough fat reserves to survive for a week or longer.
However, if you are going to be away for much longer, invest in an automatic food dispenser that releases an adequate quantity of food once or twice a day.
Overfeeding is a common problem with guppies.
Too much food will cause them to eliminate more waste. This will affect the water quality of your aquarium.
Excessive eating will also block their intestines and lead to health issues.
Look out for the following signs of overfeeding, so you can address it promptly.
- Water in the tank gets cloudy or dirty and requires more frequent changes.
- Ignored fish food floats in the tank.
- Your guppies tend to have swollen bellies.
- You notice tubes of waste stuck to the rear of the fish. This happens when their intestines are blocked.
If you notice any of these red flags, reassess your feeding strategy.
Reduce the quantity or frequency of feeding, and your guppies will be better off.
Interesting Further Reading: Can Guppies Live In Saltwater? Here’s What We Found
What Do Baby Guppies Eat?
Did you know that guppies are notorious parents? Adult guppies may, in fact, even feed on their offspring.
Hence, baby guppies, also known as fry, are removed from the adults soon after birth and kept separately until they are big and strong.
Fortunately, taking care of baby guppies is easy.
With proper water conditions, varied food, and adequate light, they will grow quickly into healthy adults.
Baby guppies have different feeding needs from adults. Here is what you must know about feeding them.
Guppy fry have tiny mouths. As they are in a growing phase, they also have high protein requirements.
You can feed fry with a combination of animal and plant matter.
A daily feed of good quality, high-protein flake food will help the babies to grow quickly.
It is a good idea to crush flakes with your fingers and scatter it over a wide area.
You can also feed guppy babies baby brine shrimp, vinegar eels, and micro worms.
Avoid feeding adult brine shrimp, since they cannot digest it just yet.
Guppy fry also like vegetables like boiled spinach and chopped lettuce. They graze on algae.
So, keep the fry in tanks having algae growth, and they will not be hungry.
Finely chopped beef heart and hard-boiled egg yolk are superfoods that you can prepare at home for guppy babies.
Baby guppies digest food very quickly. Hence, they need more frequent feeds than adult fish.
When feeding baby guppies, supply tiny amounts of food several times a day.
However, reduce the supply if you notice the tank turning cloudy or dirty despite often changing the water.
As far as possible, try to stick to the same feeding schedule every day. This is best for their overall development.
To Wrap It Up…
Where guppies are concerned, you should neither feed them too much nor too little.
Give them a diet with multiple sources of food from animal and plant sources, and they will thrive.
Provide your guppies a clean place to live, adequate food, plenty of places to hide, and these little beauties will delight you with their cheerful colors and frolicking nature for much longer.