What do guppies eat? An essential part of proper guppy care is learning about guppy food and making sure that your guppies eat the right things. Eating the wrong type or the wrong amount of food can be very bad for your guppies’ health.
In this article, we look at the various types of guppy food that you can feed your fish. This not only includes classic “fish food” that you can buy at pet stores, but also additional treats that you can use to supplement your guppies’ diet.
Finally, we discuss overfeeding your fish – and how bad this can be for them! – and tell you how much guppies should eat and how often to feed them.
What is guppy food? Is it different to other fish food?
You can feed your guppies standard “fish flakes” as the foundation of their diet, though it’s always a good idea to supplement this flake food with other things, such as live or freeze-dried foods (more on this later!).
The best kind of flake food to buy for guppies would be a tropical flake food designed to enhance their color. For example:
Otherwise, different types of flake food are generally very similar to each other, and any type should be as suitable for guppies as it is for any other fish.
Pellet fish foods are also available. However, these are often too large for guppies’ mouths. Special smaller pellets – also known as micropellets – are available for small-mouthed fishes like guppies, but we generally suggest sticking to flake foods as the foundation of a guppy diet.
What other foods can guppies eat?
While flake foods are the core guppy food, you should also feed your guppies other foods to ensure they have a healthy, varied diet. This includes vegetables, live foods and freeze-dried foods.
Popular live or freeze-dried foods include:
If you feed live food then there is a small risk of transferring disease to your fish. To avoid this, frozen and freeze-dried foods are available. They’re not quite as nutritious as live food, but they do offer many of the same benefits without the same risk of disease.
Finally, you can also feed your guppies vegetables, such as:
How much food should guppies eat?
“How often should I feed my guppies?” is one of the most common questions we receive from new guppy owners! And it’s a good question, as overfeeding can be very bad for your fish.
Guppies only have very small stomachs – about the same size as one of their eyes! This means that adding too much food can cause them to eat too much and block their intestines. A trail of poop behind your guppy is a sign that your fish has over-eaten!
You should feed your guppies one or two times per day, but only in very small amounts at a time. Slowly add extremely tiny pinches of food to your tank, for about thirty seconds, never adding more than your fish can eat in that time.
If you leave food in your tank after feeding then it will rot and pollute your water. You should therefore remove any uneaten food after the feeding session. It’s often a good idea to feed just before doing a water change, as you can then remove any uneaten food when changing the tank water.
If you keep your water at a fairly low temperature then your guppies will eat even less. Their metabolism slows down at lower temperatures, which means they need less food than when they are kept in warmer water.
The main thing to remember when deciding how much to feed your guppies is this: it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll ever seriously harm a fish by under-feeding it, however, you could certainly do it a lot of harm by over-feeding it!
How long can guppies live without food?
How long guppies will survive without food depends on a many factors, such as their age, how healthy they are and the temperature of their water (guppies eat less when kept in lower temperature water).
As a rough guide, you could expect a guppy to survive for approximately one week without any food whatsoever. Much longer than that and you’ll most likely lose some of your fish to starvation.
If you’re going on holiday then you could buy an automatic fish feeder that will release set amounts of guppy food at regular intervals. However, this is risky, as the feeder could malfunction and release too much food! Another option would be a feeding block – a block of food that sits in the water for your fish to nibble on – but these have their problems too. Feeding blocks can make your water cloudy and throw off your water parameters.
If possible, ask a friend or neighbor to come in and feed your goldfish once or twice, but remember to teach them how to do it properly! Your friend may not know much about feeding guppies, so you should tell them how much to feed them, when to feed them and, ideally, you should dish out appropriate amounts of food for them in advance.
Where to buy guppy food
Rather than buying guppy food from the supermarket (where the food on offer tends to be lower quality), you should buy your fish food from quality pet shops or online from well-known brands such as Tetra, Hikari or Hagen.