If you’re wondering “what do guppies eat?” then you’ve come to the right place. After reading this you’re going to know everything you need to know about the perfect guppy diet, including what you should and shouldn’t feed them, as well as what they eat in the wild.
So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
- Guppies in the wild have an omnivorous diet consisting of mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, guppy fry, algae, leaves, and food particles left by larger fish.
- Guppies in captivity thrive on a diet that includes a mix of live foods (occasionally), plant matter, and high-quality commercial fish food like flakes or pellets.
- Live food such as mosquito larvae, daphnia, and brine shrimp should be given sparingly due to higher fat and protein content, and potential risks of parasites or bacteria.
- A balanced diet for guppies should encompass plant matter, supplementation with commercial fish food, and occasional freeze-dried or frozen foods.
What Do Guppies Eat In The Wild?
Guppies are omnivores, so they need to eat a mix of meat and plant matter. In the wild, they’d get this from small insects and larvae, as well as plant matter, such as algae and decomposing leaves.
Here’s a deeper look at the different things guppies eat in the wild.
Mosquito larvae will be the staple of many wild guppies. In fact, guppies were introduced to the wild in many different countries solely so they could eat mosquito larvae, and help reduce the chances of people becoming infected with malaria
Brine shrimp is also another staple of many guppies across the world. It’s small enough for them to eat and extremely nutritious. In fact, feeding brine shrimp to your guppies in captivity is going to be extremely good for them.
Guppies feel no love towards their fry and will happily eat them the moment they hatch. It sounds barbaric but guppy fry are an extremely nutritious meal for their parents. And the rate at which they breed means that even with the parents eating a lot of their fry, plenty more still survive.
Guppies need plant matter in their diet as well as small animals, and algae is one common snack. It can be found almost anywhere they live and provides much-needed fiber in their diet.
As well as algae, any leaves that have fallen into their habitat and began to decay also make an excellent meal for guppies. However, it’s important to note that once again they don’t just rely on plants, but a balance of plants and animals
Lastly, your guppies will also eat food particles that have been left behind from bigger fish. This can be scraps of meat from prey, or vegetables and leaf matter that have been eaten as well.
Fortunately, guppies aren’t very fussy, so whatever it is, they’ll eat it!
So What Do Guppies Eat?
You now know what guppies eat in the wild. This means you’ll be able to replicate their diet as best you can in your tank. However, obviously you’ll never be able to replicate their diet completely. But you can come pretty close! Here are all the things your guppy can eat.
In general, guppies like a mix of food including live foods (mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, daphnia), plant matter/vegetables, and high quality fish flakes. It’s vital to give your guppy a balance of the three for the sake of their health.
|Live Food||Mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, and daphnia are high in nutrients but should be given sparingly due to high fat and protein content.|
|Plant Matter||Algae, live plants shedding in the tank, supplemented with additional nutrients found in commercial fish food.|
|Commercial Fish Food||High-quality fish flakes or pellets form the primary diet, should be provided twice a day, with occasional treats.|
|Freeze-Dried/Frozen Food||Offered occasionally; should be insects like daphnia, brine shrimp, or mosquito larvae. Be cautious, as they may expand in water and cause digestive issues.|
|Baby Guppy (Fry) Food||Crushed regular food (pellets, flakes), specialized guppy fry food, hardboiled egg yolk, freshly hatched brine shrimp, and daphnia for optimal nutrition.|
|Inadvisable Foods||Bread should be avoided due to ingredients not in a guppy’s natural diet, lacking essential nutrients.|
|Vegetables||Cucumber, lettuce, peas, zucchini, and carrots are recommended; blanch or boil and cut into small pieces before feeding.|
While it can be difficult to feed your guppy live food all the time (And not recommended due to the high fat and protein content), ideally you should be feeding your guppies live food occasionally. Around 1-2 times a week is a good amount of time to feed them live food.
Some great live food to feed them includes daphnia, brine shrimp and mosquito larvae. You can feed them bloodworm on occasion, however, contrary to popular belief it’s not too good for them, so it should only be used as a treat.
However, one big risk of live food is the increased chance of a parasites or bacteria contaminating your tank through them. So make sure if you are giving your guppies live food, and that you source it from a reputable supplier.
The plant matter is also going to be an essential part of your guppies’ diet as well. They’ll get some of this from algae in your tank as well as live plants that are shedding.
However, oftentimes this on its own won’t be enough. You’ll also need to supplement their diet with additional nutrients (which can normally be found in commercial fish food).
Also don’t expect your guppies to remove all of the algae in your tank. While they are great at eating algae, there are definitely much better and more proficient algae eaters you can choose from.
As well as supplementing their diet with commercial fish food, it’s also a good idea to add vegetables in their diet as well! There are lots of different vegetables you can choose from, which we’ll discuss later on.
Commercial Fish Food
Of course, this is going to be the staple and main bulk of your guppies’ diet. You should be providing them with high-quality fish flakes or pellets twice a day, and giving them anything else as occasional treats.
Flakes are your best bet as they’re much easier to eat and digest, however, you can use pellets that are specifically designed for guppies or small and soft enough for them to eat.
And remember, the right food will be easy to digest, mimic the nutrients of their natural diet and not dirty the water.
Freeze Dried And Frozen Food
Lastly, your guppies will also enjoy eating freeze-dried and frozen food. However, once again these should only be given on occasion and not be the main bulk of your guppies diet. Both tend to expand in the water when they’re left for too long.
This can cause digestive issues such as constipation and swim bladder disease as well as making them a lot harder to eat.
If you’re going to give your guppies freeze-dried and frozen food, make sure you’re giving them insects that you’d feed to them while they were still alive. This includes daphnia, brine shrimp and mosquito larvae.
What Do Baby Guppies (Guppy Fry) Eat?
If you’ve got guppies in your tank then the chances are they’re going to have babies. And once they have babies, the next logical question to ask is “what do baby guppies eat?”
Well, to be honest, what you’d feed your guppies is pretty similar to what you’d feed the fry. The trick though is that you’ll need to crush it up for them to be able to eat it properly. A great way to crush their food up is to use a pestle and mortar.
Pellets, flakes, freeze-dried, and frozen food can all be crushed up and fed to your guppy fry! However, that’s not the only option you have to feed them!
You can also purchase food that’s specifically designed with guppy fry in mind. It’s higher in protein and nutrients and gives guppy fry the extra boost they need! Hikari First Bites are an excellent choice and they’re going to help your guppy fry mature perfectly.
As well as this, you can also feed your guppy fry the yolk of a hardboiled egg. Just keep grinding it up until it’s like a paste, and then sprinkle it into the tank for them a couple of times a day.
Lastly, you can also feed your guppy fry freshly hatched brine shrimp and daphnia as they get a little bigger. They’re an amazing source of protein and nutrients for your guppy fry.
Just make sure that you’re varying their diet to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
(Find out how to selectively breed your guppies.)
Now, check out this video by True Aquarium on what guppies should eat!
What Should Guppies Not Eat?
Here are some detailed bullet points on what guppies should not eat: –
- Foods that are high in fat, salt, or sugar: Guppies require a diet that is high in protein and low in fat. Foods that are high in fat, salt, or sugar can cause health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. –
- Toxic foods: Some foods can be toxic to guppies. For example, avocado, chocolate, and caffeine can all be harmful to guppies. It’s important to avoid feeding your guppies anything that is toxic to them.
- Spoiled or expired foods: Guppies should never be fed food that has gone bad. Spoiled or expired food can cause digestive problems and even make your guppies sick.
- Bread and meat: Bread and meat are not suitable for guppies. Guppies are omnivores and require a diet that is high in protein. Bread and meat do not provide the necessary nutrients that guppies need.
- Dairy products: Guppies are not able to digest dairy products properly. Feeding them dairy products can cause digestive problems and even make them sick.
Can Guppies Eat Betta Food?
Guppies can eat betta food, however, this shouldn’t be the main part of their diet, and instead should only be given to them as a treat, just like live food. While betta food will give your guppies some nutrition, it’s made with carnivores in mind. So a lot of the essential nutrients guppies need will be missing from it.
Another problem with betta food is that it might be to big to fit in your guppies mouth. You may need to break it up into smaller pieces otherwise your guppies may have trouble eating it.
Can Guppies Eat Goldfish Food?
Guppies can eat goldfish food, but it’s not going to be as nutritional as food designed for them. So while you can give it to them as a treat, you should make sure it’s not the staple part of their diet.
If you’re going to feed your guppy goldfish flakes make sure you’re crumbling them up first so that your guppy can eat them easily as well.
Can Guppies Eat Bread?
You should avoid feeding your guppies bread. Remember the rule of thumb is to keep your guppies diet as close to their natural diet as possible. Bread is full of ingredients that a guppy definitely wouldn’t eat in the wild, and shouldn’t be eating full stop.
Some of these ingredients include corn syrup, sugar, folic acid, and colouring’s.
Can Guppies Eat Tropical Fish Food?
Not only can guppies eat tropical fish food, but it should also be a staple part of their diet. Picking the right tropical food for your guppies is essential for their health, longevity and happiness.
In most cases, it will be best to feed them tropical fish flakes, however, in some cases, they may prefer pellets. Whatever you choose just make sure they’re full of high quality ingredients.
You can check out this guide on the best foods for guppies for more information.
Do Guppies Eat Algae?
Another common question that people ask is whether guppies eat algae.
While guppies do eat algae, it’s not going to be enough to make a noticeable difference in your tank. And it’s also not going to be enough to sustain them and keep them healthy. As well as letting them eat algae you should also make sure they’re getting enough protein and other nutrients in their diet as well.
What To Feed A Guppy When You’re Out Of Food?
If you’ve run out of guppy food for whatever reason, then fortunately, there’s plenty things around your house you can use to tide them over. Just remember though, these are only temporary solutions, and you should think about getting proper food ASAP.
Just like guppy fry, you can also feed adult guppies the yolk of an egg. Make sure you cook it and break it up into small pieces for them first however.
As well as feeding them the yolk of an egg, you can also try feeding them various vegetables if you have them lying around the house.
What Vegetables Can You Feed Guppies?
Fortunately, there are SO many different types of vegetable you can give to your guppy. Cucumber, lettuce, peas, zucchini, and carrots are all excellent choices. Just remember to blanch or boil them first so they’re soft enough for your guppies.
Once you’ve done this break them down into small bite-size pieces and sprinkle a few bits into your tank. Just make sure that you’re removing any pieces of food that haven’t been eaten. They can make the water go bad a lot quicker than normal food does.
Now you should have a solid understanding of all the different things that guppies can eat. For the most part you’re going to want to feed them a high-quality tropical fish food.
However, this should be supplemented with live food such as daphnia, brine shrimp and mosquito larvae. It should also be supplemented with plant matter such as algae, and blanched vegetables.
Giving your guppies a balanced diet is the key to keeping them healthy and shouldn’t be overlooked.