How Often Do Guppies Need to Eat?

by Cindy Quarters, Demand Media
    This female guppy's body shows she's ready to give birth.

    This female guppy's body shows she's ready to give birth.

    Guppies don’t require a lot of care, but they do need a few things, such as a clean home, adequate space and enough food to eat. Give your guppies a good place to live and the right diet, and you can enjoy these colorful little fish for years.

    Adults

    Feed your adult guppies a small amount of food one, two or three times a day. Feed them no more than they can eat in about five minutes so the uneaten food doesn’t foul the water. Offering them a pinch of food in the morning and another pinch at night is plenty, though the size of the pinch should take into account how many fish you are feeding. It won’t harm the fish if you miss a day, even though they may make a great show of swimming to the top to look for food whenever you walk by.

    Fry

    Fry is the term used to describe baby guppies. Guppies are live-bearers, which means their babies show up as tiny, swimming guppies, not as a glob of eggs on the inside of your fish tank. If you don’t separate fry from the larger fish, including their parents and other mature guppies, the babies quickly become the bigger fishes' main course. These little fry guys are hungry all the time, and you should feed them four to eight times a day while they are small. You can reduce the number of feedings as they grow.

    Foods

    Guppies are omnivorous; they'll chow down on just about anything you give them. For fry, feed crumbled fish-food flakes, hard-boiled-egg yolk, and baby brine shrimp. Older guppies can survive on just fish food flakes, but they'll benefit from the addition of live foods two or three times a week. You can buy live foods or frozen whole foods at the pet shop, or you can raise live foods at home. Give them brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms and mosquito larvae. They’ll also eat the algae that grow naturally in the fish tank, though algae often grow faster than guppies can eat them.

    Considerations

    While the optimal feeding schedule for guppies is once or twice a day, that doesn’t mean that you can't go on vacation without hiring a fish sitter. Guppies, even juveniles, can go a week or two without being fed and do just fine. If you’re worried about them, get them a vacation block, a pre-formed block that dissolves slowly, releasing a small amount of food each day; or have a friend drop by and feed them once a day. Guppies are at risk of overfeeding, which can foul their water and cause them to get sick and die.

    References

    About the Author

    Cindy Quarters has been writing professionally since 1984. She writes travel, pet, gardening and technical articles, with work published in "Radiance Magazine" and the "AKC Gazette," as well as online. Quarters earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Washington State University and a master's degree in management information systems from West Coast University.

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