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What Do Guppies Eat?

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Guppies are some of the best fish to add to your aquarium because they are quite hardy considering their size and there are so many species or colors that can make your tank more vibrant.

These small fish species are also called million fish or rainbow fish and it is one of the world’s most distributed tropical fish for aquariums.  They originate from northeast South America but are now found all over the world.  

This fish species might be small but they sure do make a statement in a tank because of their vivid colors that can shine so bright in a lighted tank. Some guppies even have iridophores, a cell that doesn’t have any color.  These cells will reflect the light to create an iridescent effect which is why so many of them appear to have a metallic shine.  


What Do Guppies Eat?

Guppies are very easy to keep because they are omnivores.  They can eat both plant and animal matter that is available in the water. 

There are also numerous foods that you can offer your guppy to help keep it healthy and vibrant.  Here is a quick look at some of the best foods these small fish species love to eat;


Fish flakes

You can keep guppies on the main diet of fish flakes.  It is however important to invest in good quality fish food that is high in protein and low in filler foods.  


To determine whether you have good fish food or not, you can check the ingredients.  Good fish foods will include lots of protein products such as fish, shrimp, and meaty products.  Fish foods that contain lots of ingredients like wheat or soy are better suited for herbivore fish species and as such not a nutritious meal for your guppies.

It is also better to invest in fish flakes rather than fish pellets.  Guppies are tiny and cannot consume large pellets.  



Wild guppies mostly feed on algal remains.  It is especially small guppies or guppy fry that eat algae since this food source has tiny particles that can easily be consumed.  This fish species can consume just about any type of algae found in tanks or in natural environments.  

Algae is however not a very nutritious meal and a strict algae diet can cause poor health in your guppies.



Guppies love to eat small invertebrates because these aquatic animals don’t have any backbone or bony skeleton.  Guppies will eat a variety of small invertebrates such as shrimp, jellyfish, worms, slugs, and snails.  This is a good food source for guppies of all ages since invertebrates come in all sizes. 

They can range from microscopic mites to gigantic species.


Plant fragments

Soft plant fragments from aquatic and other plants can also be a good food source for guppies. 

Guppies often search the bottom of tanks or rivers to find soft plant fragments that they can easily consume. 

They are able to consume a huge variety of plant fragments.


Mineral particles

Guppies are so small, they can even consume mineral particles found in water.  They often prefer or do better in hard-water aquariums because these aquariums offer a wider range of mineral particles that they can consume for additional nourishment.


Aquatic insect larvae

This is a terrific food supplement to offer in addition to general fish flakes.  Guppies can eat all sorts of aquatic insect larvae such as mosquito larvae, stonefly larvae, and dragonfly larvae.  These small larvae are valuable protein sources for fish.  



You can also offer your guppy bloodworms in addition to fish flakes.  Bloodworms can be offered live or frozen.  Triangular cone feeders sold in fish stores are ideal for offering your fish live bloodworms.  These feeders allow fish to swim up the cone so they can pull food from the holes in the feeder.  


Fruits and Vegetables

Guppies are omnivores which means they can also eat plant matter.  You can offer them small quantities of food once or twice per week.  Soft fruits like bananas or grapes are ideal for guppies but this food does have a lot of sugar and should be offered in limited quantities.  

Guppies also love to eat various vegetables.  You can offer them all sorts of veggies such as peas, lettuce, and cucumber.  When offering these foods, it is best to offer just a little bit at a time.  It is also important to remove excess vegetables after an hour or so or your tank can become murky.  


Small fish

Guppies will also catch and eat small fry or eggs.  They are also cannibalistic and may even eat their own young.  Breeders usually keep pregnant females in a breeding trap.  These traps keep the female contained and allow newborn fry to swim out of the trap so the mother won’t eat them.  Once the guppies are born, the female is relocated to the original tank and the small guppies are safe from larger fish.


Diet Variations

These omnivores will try to eat just about anything they find in their tank.  They may even nibble at non-food objects to see if it can be a tasty meal.  They sometimes end up eating foods that are not part of their normal diet.  They are also very adaptive and can easily switch between food sources in order to survive in a specific habitat.  


How to Feed Guppies

Feeding your guppies is rather simple.  All you need to do is add a few fish flakes to the tank.  If the guppies gulp up everything within minutes, you can add a little more.  Be careful not to add too much or you will only end up making your tank dirty which won’t benefit your guppies at all.

Ideally, you should offer additional foods to fish flakes so these small fish will get all their needed nutrition.  You can offer a protein source such as frozen shrimp or bloodworms and offer vegetables in addition to the fish flakes you are feeding your guppies.


How Much Do Guppies Eat?

Guppies are quite small and don’t eat much at all.  Ideally, you shouldn’t offer more food than your guppies can eat in five minutes.  To find out how much your guppies need to eat you can add a little bit of food to the tank.  Wait 30 – 60 seconds.  If all food has been eaten, you can offer a bit more.  Wait another 30-60 seconds.  If all foods are eaten again, you can add more food.  It is important to measure how much food you are offering in total.  Once you see that your fish are no longer consuming foods, you can stop offering and you will know how much food to offer during the next feeding.

Guppies will eat less in cooler temperatures than warm temperatures.  This is because the cooler temperature slows down their metabolism. 

This fish species prefer water temperatures that range from 22.2 – 22.1 degrees C (72 – 79 degrees F).  If you can keep your tank in this temperature range, your guppies will eat well and they will be at their healthiest.  


How Many Times Should You Feed Guppies?

You can offer your guppies food up to three times per day.  Most people do however choose to offer foods twice a day and this is perfectly fine.

Ideally, you should offer fish flakes in the morning and other foods such as vegetables or bloodworms at night.  This way you can ensure that your guppies do in fact get all their needed nutrients every day.

Small guppies need to eat more often than adult guppies.  You can offer guppy fry smaller amounts of food more frequently.  


What do Baby Guppies Eat?

Baby guppies are called fry.  These tiny fish can eat the same foods as adult guppies but they are much smaller and as such can only consume smaller pieces of food.  It is best to crush fish flakes before offering this food to guppy fry.  Some pet stores do however sell fry foods that might be suitable for fry to consume.  

Fry can also be supplemented by adding brine shrimp or bloodworms to the tank.  Fry that receives the needed nutrients will grow quickly. 

They reach maturity in 6 – 8 weeks. 

If you detect slow growth in your fry then it might be time to adjust their diet.  

From 8 weeks on, you can introduce fry to the larger tank along with adult guppies.  At this point, they should be able to consume all the same foods as adult guppies and by 20 weeks, they will be fully matured and ready to start breeding.  


What Do Wild Guppies Eat?

In the wild, guppies can only eat what they find in their natural environment.  Wild guppies are quite fond of algae since this is a very common food source in most freshwater habitats.  They also eat various aquatic insect larvae, smaller fish, eggs, mineral deposits, plant fragments, and invertebrates that might be found in the water.


What Is The Best Food For Guppies?

To keep your guppies as healthy as possible, you should offer a versatile diet.  Guppies need lots of protein and vitamins to stay healthy. 

The best food to offer is fish food that is rich in protein.  You can check the food label to see if the fish food includes lots of meat, fish, or shrimp ingredients.  Fish flakes that contain too much wheat or soy can be unhealthy since these foods don’t contain enough protein.

Even if you do offer your guppies a protein-rich fish flake, it is still a good idea to also offer them added protein sources such as mosquito larvae or bloodworms.  

You should also offer them various vegetables so they can get other vitamins that might not be found in local fish foods.  


What Can You Feed Guppies When Out Of Food?

We’ve all had those unfortunate scenarios where you forget to buy food for your beloved pet or when your local pet store is low on a particular brand that you love to offer your fish.  If you find yourself in a pickle with nothing to offer your guppies then you will have to resolve to homemade guppy food.

This fish species can consume many of the foods you might have in your kitchen.  You can offer your guppies chopped or shredded veggies.  They love mustard greens, zucchini, peas, and spinach.  You can also add chopped fruits like bananas, peaches, grapes, or mango to your guppies. 

They love sweet fruits but this food shouldn’t be offered more than two times a week.

For protein, you can go and forage for small insects.  Guppies love mosquito fry, fruit flies and they can also consume tiny earthworms or mealworms.  Avoid offering animal meats to your guppies.  If you don’t have a protein source then it is better to offer greens or fruits for one day rather than offer foods that might be unsuitable for consumption. Your guppies will be able to survive without protein for a day or three. 

By this time, you should be able to get your hands on some proper fish foods.


Can Guppies Eat Goldfish Food?

Goldfish food can be great for guppies because it does contain lots of protein.  The only problem is that this food might be too large for your guppy to consume.  If you are offering goldfish flakes, you may need to crumble these foods into smaller pieces so guppies can consume the food.

It is also wise to offer protein and veggie snacks to your guppies in addition to goldfish flakes because they do require lots of protein to stay healthy.  

Guppies are wonderful additions to your aquarium.  Their bright colors are truly remarkable and they are quite friendly towards other fish species.  As long as you offer them the right foods, your guppies will do quite well while living alongside other fish species.  Breeding your own guppies can also be a fun and educational hobby to start out once you have mastered the basic care skills required for keeping this fish species alive.

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