Do Guppies Eat Their Babies? (& 3 Ways How To Prevent It)

When your guppies are beginning to expand their family, things tend to get a bit nasty and even horrifying. Have you ever wondered, do guppies eat their babies? It may sound unbelievable, but this phenomenon is 100% real.

But before you shy away from these apparently monstrous creatures, please read the guide below. Guppies are loved by many for a reason. They can be trained, and you can protect their fry.  So, keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Do Guppies Eat Their Babies?  

Yes, they do. Though guppies are one of the calmest breeds and are generally pretty peaceful, they often end up eating their fry. This weird and disturbing activity is termed as filial cannabilism. However, there is no real cause behind this. They do it simply because they are hungry. Guppies aren’t great parents, and the moment their fry are born, they are already on the menu.

Why Do Guppies Eat their Babies? 

So, the question arises. Why do guppies eat their babies? Sadly, there’s no explanation that you can single out. We don’t have one explanation that reasons rationally and satisfyingly. There may be multiple factors and conditions involved. Years have passed on, and marine scientists are still trying to find out why guppies kill their babies. 

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How to Stop Guppies Eating Their Babies? 

Fortunately, if your guppies are eating their babies, there are a few things you can do to stop it from happening. If you want to keep your guppy fry are alive then follow the steps below:

Separate the Newborn Fry . 

The best thing you can do is separate the fry when they’re born. In an ideal world, when your guppy is pregnant you can move her to a breeding aquarium (or if you don’t have space a breeder box). Make sure you set up this aquarium in advance so that the fry instantly gets a safe place to live in. And then once your female guppy has delivered all its babies, just take her out of the aquarium and put her back in the main one.  

Wait for Them to Grow Bigger 

Then you can introduce the offspring to the main tank when you feel that the babies have grown enough. They must be able to swim fast and should be large enough to not fit the adults’ mouths.  

Once the guppies are placed together, always try to keep the tank filled with some fish food. You can also keep plants and mini props inside so that the young ones can escape whenever an elder guppy is coming after them. 

Now, check out this video by Guppy Channel on why Guppies eat their babies!

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions people have about guppies eating their own babies.

How Many Baby Guppies Can a Pregnant Female Fish Have?

A pregnant female Guppy fish can have quite a lot of baby fish in one go. In fact, up to 50 babies can be born from one pregnancy! This is why Guppies are often seen as an easy-to-breed option for those keeping freshwater fish at home.

 When do Guppies Stop Eating Their Young? 

Guppy parents usually stop eating their fry after about two weeks have passed since they were born. At this point, the babies will have grown a bit and they’ll simply be to big to eat.

Do Male Guppies Eat Their Babies Too? 

Just like the ladies, the males will also eat their own fry. It’s just something that comes naturally to them. That being said, it’s best to remove both the adult Guppies from the baby fish tank as soon as you’re sure that the babies have all been born.

Conclusion 

Guppy parents are forgetful of their offspring. Once the babies are born, they’re entirely dependent on the mercy of their adults. There’s no element of love or protection. It’s up to you to look after the young guppy babies and identify how you can keep them safe. 

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About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!