8 Reasons Your Guppy Isn’t Eating (And What To Do)

Last Updated on 2023-05-24

Guppies are one of the most popular and well-known aquarium fish, appealing to both newcomers and seasoned hobbyists. They are gentle, add some color to your aquarium, inexpensive, and simple to maintain. However, you may notice your guppies appearing to act strange at times compared to their normal behavior.

Guppies will take some time to adjust to new circumstances, which may cause them to refuse nourishment for a period of time. Guppies also tend to have varied dietary preferences and may even refuse to eat certain items if the conditions of the tank aren’t optimal. 

Continue reading to find out why some Guppies refuse to eat. We should be able to detect if they are picky or if there are any health issues to consider towards the end. We’ll also give you some suggestions on how to care for and keep your Guppies happy and healthy.

Why Do Guppies Spit out Their Food When Eating?

There are a variety of reasons for a Guppy to spit out their food, and it is always because they don’t enjoy it. 

Excessively Large Food: Fish will frequently bite off a piece of food before spitting it out. The teeth of guppies are found at the rear of the throat, and they crush rather than chew. As a result, the larger pieces are typically shattered multiple times before being completed.

They Don’t Like the Food: Your fish may take a few nibbles, but they won’t eat the same thing again. They take many bites rather than ignore them because they have no idea what it is. At feeding time, pay attention to see if your guppies are trying the food but not consuming it. This may be the time to switch. 

Tough Food: The teeth of guppies are located toward the back of their mouth. It’s not a good idea to feed fish like these food pellets. They will eat better if you feed them soaking flakes, as they will be able to reach these closer to their teeth. Guppies also don’t want other fish to eat their food; thus, they eat quickly.

Why Is Your Guppy Not Eating?

If you are currently feeding your guppies pellets and want to switch, you can try introducing some flakes at feeding time. If they still continue to refuse to eat, check out the possibilities below:


Guppies are live-bearing fish; thus, they may not be able to consume enough before giving birth. Transfer the female fish to a breeding tank if you feel she’s pregnant. She can have her privacy here, and she won’t have to be concerned about the safety of her children. In live-bearing fish, dark patches and a swollen abdomen near the bottom fin are symptoms of pregnancy.


When fish are anxious, they may refuse to eat. When cleaning or moving fish from one tank to another, this can happen. Variations in tank temperature have the same effect. When you introduce new tank mates, stress might ensue, causing fish to first avoid eating. You can lessen stress by executing partial water changes on a regular basis instead of a full-scale tank cleaning.


If your fish is sick, it’s not going to eat. Other indicators of disease include your fish remaining in one area of the tank, appearing listless, or swimming unnaturally. This could be an indication of sickness that can be treated, or it could be a natural age-related progression of an older fish.


Fear can make a fish refuse to eat. When vying for food in a communal tank, larger, more aggressive fish typically intimidate smaller, more docile tank mates away. Choose fish for your community tank that is similar in size and temperament to help relieve this problem, or feed sufficiently to reduce competition for limited food resources.


It may seem that your fish aren’t eating if you feed them too much. Make certain you’re giving the right amount. At feeding time for your guppies, keep an eye on them to see how much they eat and how they behave. Try different kinds of food on picky eaters to determine if appetite improves after the vet screens out health issues.

How Do You Get Guppies to Eat?

Guppy fish are always hungry and can easily be overfed. They’ll eat everything you give them. Overfeeding can harm your fish’s health. Feeding your guppies once or twice a day is enough. Make sure they have a healthy diet with a variety of foods.

Provide them with a tiny portion of food that they can consume in 20-40 seconds. The ideal method is to use multiple tiny pinches of flake foods. If you give your guppies live food like blood worms or brine shrimp, don’t feed them all at once. Divide them into several doses. Wait for your guppy to finish the first bite, and then feed some more. 

Invest in flake food designed for tropical fish. Flake food can be purchased at a pet store or a fish shop as a basic, daily food supply. While guppies will consume any flake food, the best brands are those that have both protein and vegetable materials. 

Substitute more nutritious delights for the occasional flake food meal. While guppies may live on flake food alone, frozen or live plants and animals provide additional nutrients that can be used to augment a flake food diet. Every 2–7 days, replace one flake food meal with no more treats than the guppies can consume in 60 seconds.

Feed on a schedule: Overfeeding can cause major problems in guppies, including death, therefore feeding the appropriate amount is just as crucial as providing on a regular basis. Feed only as much as the guppies will consume in a few minutes, for both adults and fry. Reduce the amount of food supplied at each feeding if food remains after that time.

Give them treats: Aside from regular flake food, brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and mosquito larvae can be given to your guppies on occasion. These high-protein foods provide additional nutrients to augment their regular diet.

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Why Is My Female Guppy Not Eating?

There are a few reasons why your female guppy could not be eating, and being pregnant could be one of them. It may help to isolate the guppy in a breeder box, alternate food, and try cleaning the tank. Separating your female guppy into a breeder box until she starts to eat can help her feel secure in her environment.

Why Is My Male Guppy Not Eating?

Some of the common reasons for male guppies to not eat would be stress, environment change, the water needs to be changed, or he doesn’t like the food. By starting with an option and working through it, you can eliminate things you know are not the cause. 


Even if guppies don’t eat on sometimes, there’s no need to be concerned unless they’re sick.

They’ll ultimately start eating again if you keep your water temperatures in the appropriate ranges and vary up their feed.

It’s disconcerting to see them spit out their food or ignore it completely, yet these teeny fish are tougher than most people think. If they’ve been properly cared for, they’re a joy to have in any aquarium.

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