For the last 30 years, I’ve dedicated my life to the hobby of guppie keeping, breeding, and competition exhibiting. My passion for guppy care and breeding has led me to talk at fish clubs around the nation as a guest speaker for many years. Nearly every time I give a presentation, someone asks me, “What should I feed my guppies?”
Unfortunately, there is no universal solution to that dilemma. You can’t just say, “Buy this meal or that food!” since there are too many factors at play. In this piece, I am grateful for the chance to reflect on the fantastic variety of guppy meals now on the market and provide my own recommendations for feeding your guppy.
An Instant Remedy:
Here are three of my go-to recommendations for feeding your guppies when time is of the essence. Please continue reading for a comprehensive overview.
1 – Best Flake Food:
The first flake food I ever purchased for my fish tank was TetraMin Tropical Formula, and it has been a mainstay ever since.
2 – Hikari Tropical Vibra Bites Fish Food:
The vibrabites are one-of-a-kind because they mimic the appearance of bloodworms so well. Bloodworms are a favorite food of guppy fish, and mine really like Vibrabites.
Manufacturers of Vibrabites say that the premium grade components in their product make fish more vibrant in color.
3 – Best Color Enhancing Food:
The Enhanced Color Enhancing Properties of Fluval Like the rest of the Bug Bites line, the flakes are made from Black Soldier Fly larvae. For its high protein content, fish really like them.
I have been using these flakes for some time, and I have to say that they definitely appear to help bring out the fish’s natural colors, particularly the reds.
These flakes come with my highest recommendation. Guppies will go crazy over these, so give them a try!
Exactly what do guppies like in their diet?
A guppy’s diet consists of both plant and animal matter. Accordingly, they choose a diet that includes both meat and vegetables. Guppies are sometimes referred to be “trash cans” of the tropical fish keeping community, and for good reason. They will eat just about everything you put in front of them.
Many varieties of foodstuffs are available nowadays. Here are a few examples:
- Floating pellets
- Sinking pellets
- Live foods
- Frozen foods
- Freeze-dried foods
- Gel foods
Over the years, I’ve given my guppies all of the above, and even now, I give them a variety of at least four different kinds of food.
Flakes are probably the best food for guppies since they float on the water’s surface for a while before sinking, and guppies like to eat at the water’s surface.
The guppies love little floating pellets, too. Both the Fluval Bug Bites and the Hikari Fancy Guppy Pellets have been well-received by my betta fish.
Opportunistic eaters best describe guppy fish. They are always on the lookout for food, therefore they skulk about just below the water’s surface. Once you sprinkle a few flakes into their tank, every guppy will be scrambling to get a bite.
In order to keep guppies healthy and happy, it’s important to offer them a wide variety of foods. One of the greatest ways to guarantee your guppies thrive in terms of growth, coloration, and reproduction is to provide them with a varied diet.
In the wild, what do guppies eat?
Guppies are opportunistic eaters in the wild, devouring whatever they can get their mouths on. Algae and plant fragments, aquatic insects, crustaceans such as daphnia (water fleas) and mosquito larvae, and other tiny aquatic organisms are some of the foods that guppies in the wild consume.
Our domesticated guppies may be many generations removed from their ancestors in the wild, but they still need a diverse diet to thrive in our aquariums.
Constipation and bloating in guppies may be avoided by providing them with a diet that is representative of what they would eat in the wild.
Wild guppies would undoubtedly consume a great number of juvenile fish, including other guppies. Female guppies are notorious baby eaters.
Guppies’ diets in the wild would change with the seasons and geographic location. Guppies in the Aripo River have been shown to eat a different diet than guppies in the Tacarigua River, according to scientific research.
Suggestions for buying fish food for guppy tanks.
There are a wide variety of meals and food kinds available nowadays, so it’s vital to know what to look for when choosing food for your guppies. From my extensive knowledge gained over the years, I take into account the following factors whenever I am looking to feed my guppies a new diet.
How good are the ingredients?
I feel strongly that fish food should be created with only the finest ingredients. ‘Fillers’ are often added to fish feeds by manufacturers to save costs. In food, fillers refer to anything that may be used to increase the volume without increasing the price. Unfortunately, our guppies don’t get any real nourishment from fillers.
In particular, I prefer to give my guppies food that is rich in krill or krill meal (essentially the same thing). Red fish in particular benefit from a diet that includes krill because of its ability to boost the pigmentation of other hues.
Some of the finest meals also use insect larvae as a key element. Quality ingredients include things like fish or fish meal, spirulina, and algae meal.
Remember that the farther up on the list of components a certain ingredient appears on a package of fish food, the higher the concentration of that ingredient.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, how do you like the food?
As was just said, guppies eat just about everything. A diet rich in diversity is essential for them. Our guppies will get a protein boost from a diet designed for predator fish. Needless to say, if we give our guppies a diet that was made specifically for algae eaters, then that food will be quite rich in algae.
Images of fish may be seen on the front of many different types of fish food packages. Try to choose one that already has a guppy, since this is a good indicator that the food is appropriate for guppys.
A protein-rich meal or an algae-rich food may be added to a guppy’s diet on occasion, but only as part of a well-rounded diet.
How hard is it to get the food down your guppies’ throats?
These days, everyone’s schedule is jam-packed. The food you provide your guppies should be simple to prepare and serve.
When it comes to my guppies, I find that flakes or pellets are the most convenient to feed since I can just take the tub, pour some food in, and walk away. Live or frozen items might be a little more of a problem when feeding guppies.
I also think it’s crucial that food doesn’t have an overwhelming aroma. My wife claims that the home always smells like fish food when I keep some of my guppy tanks inside the house.
Can water quality be affected by the food?
You know how difficult it is to feed fish when the food dissolves the second it enters the water. Unused fish food is a major contributor to water pollution.
There have been times when I’ve attempted food, and it was mush within seconds of being dropped into the tank. For this reason, it’s crucial to consider a food’s performance in water before buying it.
Ask at your neighborhood fish shop whether they use a certain meal for their fish if you’re looking to experiment with a different brand. If they do, inquire about the results of feeding it to fish.
What is the price range for meals?
Most people are taken aback to learn that I put the price of the food last on my list when picking out fish food for my aquarium.
I don’t care how much aquarium food costs since I can buy anything I want regardless of my budget. However, if the food is prepared with premium components, the fish will eat it, and it will improve the quality of my aquarium.
In the same vein, it’s not a good investment to buy cheap food that my fish can’t digest, which in turn degrades my water quality and fills my home with a foul odor.
Are fish really interested in eating it?
Whether or if the fish will really consume the meal should be, presumably, the only consideration.
If the fish refuse to take the meal, it is useless no matter how high the quality of the components.
What should guppies eat?
A successful feeding routine for guppies consists of providing little amounts of food on a frequent basis. If you give your fish too much at once, some of it may drop to the bottom of the tank, become stuck under decorations, or get wedged between rocks, where it will decompose and produce harmful levels of ammonia.
Ammonia spikes in our aquariums are most often caused by uneaten fish food, and the danger of an ammonia spike increases with aquarium size.
I try to give the guppies in my fish room fresh food at least thrice a day.
- Breakfast consists of a staple diet, such as TetraMin Tropical Flake, given to the fish every morning. Providing a broad variety of vitamins and minerals, flake foods are the foundation of a healthy diet for guppies.
- When I get home from work, I give my guppies another meal, sometimes fresh food and sometimes frozen. My guppies love feeding on mosquito larvae.
- It’s not uncommon for me to give them a tiny pellet in the evening, or if I have any Repashy Community Blend in the fridge, I’ll give it to them instead.
Feeding guppies requires extra caution. Small fish like these never stop eating and are very easy to overfeed. Guppies should only be given as much food as they can eat in 30-60 seconds at a time. It’s true if you feed them many times a day, in my opinion.
When should guppies be fed?
When it comes to feeding guppies, I stress the need of doing so often and in little amounts. As far as I’ve seen, feeding your guppies multiple little meals throughout the day is preferable than feeding them a single huge meal every day.
Even guppies need daily feedings. Despite the fact that they can survive without food for a few of days, it is best to provide them with food every day of the week.
A few folks out there advocate for “fast days” when the fish get no food. I don’t think the fish would gain from it, to be honest. Guppies are opportunistic feeders in the nature, so they consume a little amount of food repeatedly throughout the day, 365 days a year.
To what extent should guppies be fed?
There are too many unknowns to provide an accurate recommendation for how much food guppies should be given. Guppies should be fed twice or thrice day, and each feeding should be no more than as much as they can finish in one to two minutes.
Too much food in the guppies’ tank may lead to two problems: either the guppies will overeat and become bloated, or the food will sink to the bottom of the tank and decompose, leading to an increase in ammonia levels.
Guppies do better when they are fed many little meals each day rather than one large one.
What kind of foodstuffs can guppies eat?
Since guppies can eat almost everything, there is a virtually infinite variety of items that may be fed to them.
In the following, I’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of a few of the most common dietary choices.
|Type of Food||Pros||Cons|
|Flake Food||There is a vast variety of flakes on the market, with prices ranging from a few dollars per tub to over $20 per tub. Flakes are available in tropical, coldwater, and color-enhancing varieties.||The quality of flakes tends to decrease rapidly upon contact with water. The bulk of the nutrients in flake food are supposed to leach into the water within 20 seconds of the flakes being wet.|
|Pellet Food||In recent years, pellet food has dramatically improved, and some kinds now include high-quality ingredients, such as Black Soldier Fly Larve.||Typically, pellets are either floatable or sinkable. The difficulty may be that sinking pellets sink too quickly for mid-water feeders, while floating pellets are ineffective for bottom feeders. You may need many types of pellets for your aquarium.|
|Freeze-dried Food||Freeze-dried meals, including as freeze-dried bloodworms and brine shrimp, are a great method to provide nutrition to your guppies in a convenient manner. Freeze-dried foods have a lengthy shelf life.||Before giving freeze-dried items to your guppies, you must rehydrate them. Otherwise, your guppies may grow bloated.|
|Live Food||Live foods are likely the greatest quality meals you can provide for your guppies, since they closely resemble some of the items guppies would consume in the wild.||It may be difficult to get live meals, they do not keep well, and there is always the risk of bringing pests or illnesses into the aquarium via live foods.|
|Frozen Food||Many of the advantages of living foods are present in frozen meals, but without the inconvenience of keeping them alive. Frozen meals come in a broad number of varieties, making it easy to provide a diverse diet.||Obviously, frozen items must be kept frozen. You must give them to your guppies before they spoil if they thaw.|
|Gel Food||Gel food, such as Repashy Community Blend, is created from high-quality components, is simple to combine when necessary, and stays stable in the aquarium water for many hours after addition.||Gel meals are somewhat pricey and need preparation and storage in the refrigerator (for a few days) or freezer (for a few weeks)|
|Homemade Food||You may change the components in homemade feeds for your guppies based on whether you want to improve their color, increase breeding, or put on weight.||Homemade food is difficult to prepare and, since it lacks binding elements, typically disintegrates fast in the tank, making a mess.|
Which flake foods are the best for guppies?
I feel that every fish keeper should stock their aquarium with high-quality flake food. The majority of us begin with flake meals when we purchase our first aquarium.
I have tried and had success with all of the flakes mentioned here, and I currently have the most of them in my fish food cabinet.
1 – TetraMin Flakes:
TetraMin Tropical Formula was the first flake food I ever purchased, and it has since been a mainstay in my fish room.
TetraMin is comprised of high-quality ingredients, and Tetra has a long history of producing fish food.
This meal is now created with shrimp, making it more appealing to fish, and it comes with the Tetra clear water guarantee, ensuring that it will not muddy the water.
2 – New Life Spectrum Optimum Flakes:
Recent Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes are a relatively new addition to my fish room, but I must say, almost all of my fish like eating them.
Garlic has been added to the Naturox Optimum flake, which, according to the maker, makes it more appetizing to fish and may even encourage hesitant feeders to consume it.
This cuisine has high-quality ingredients, including protein from Krill, herring, squid, and mussels.
3 – Xtreme Aquatic Community Crave Flake:
At the time of writing, Xtreme Aquatic Community Flake is storming the market and gaining popularity among hobbyists and breeders.
I must admit that my fish seem to like this meal, and the guppies in particular go crazy for it. Xtreme Aquatic Community Flake is created in the United States using Krill and Spirulina.
This meal was designed by a fish farm to raise the size and quality of their breeding stock without the use of hormones.
4 – Xtreme Aquatic Krill Flakes:
The second flake meal from Xtreme to enter my list of the finest flake foods for guppies is Xtreme Aquatic Krill Flakes.
According to its name, Xtreme Krill Flakes are composed of krill, which gives them their characteristic red hue. Both my guppies and the shrimp they share a tank with like this meal.
This food somewhat tints the tank water pink, but it’s well worth it since my guppies really like it.
5 – Fluval Bug Bites Spirulina Flakes:
Although you wouldn’t want to serve your guppies just Fluval Bug Bites Spirulina Flakes, I’ve discovered that they make a wonderful supplement to my guppies’ diet.
This flake meal provides a variety of vitamins and minerals that your guppy may not otherwise get.
Fluval Bug Bites is renowned for its high-quality components, and many fish, particularly guppies, consume it swiftly. I just published an essay titled Are Fluval Bug Bites Beneficial for Fish?
Which pellets are the best for guppies?
Similar to flakes, pellets come in a variety of grades and include a variety of substances. Pellets may also be either sinking or floating, making it simpler to feed certain species.
I like using a pellet that floats for guppies, or at least one that is made to sink slowly.
Pellets have one key benefit over flakes, which is that they retain water longer than flakes. Typically, flakes dissolve within a few seconds, although pellets might endure for many minutes.
The market for tropical fish food is obviously shifting toward pellets rather than flakes.
Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Formula:
If I could only only give my guppies one meal, it would be Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Formula. Black Soldier Fly Larvae, which are abundant in protein, are the major component of Bug Bites.
In addition to salmon, fish protein concentrate, green peas, and potatoes, this dish also includes salmon.
In my experience, these pellets float briefly before sinking slowly, allowing the guppies adequate opportunity to consume them.
Hikari Micro Pellets:
Hikari has a long history of producing high-quality fish feeds, and their reputation precedes them.
Hikari Micro Pellets are mostly a floating fish food, meaning that the pellets float to the surface, where guppies like to consume them.
The special micro coating of Hikari Micro Pellets prevents nutrients from seeping into the aquarium water before the guppies can consume them.
Hikari Micro Wafers:
These micro wafers from Hikari are the second meal on my list of the best pellet feeds for guppies.
Fish meal, krill meal, and cuttlefish meal are used to create Hikari Micro Wafers, which are also composed of other high-quality ingredients. These wafers are more likely to sink than the micro pellets, but my guppies don’t appear to bother.
Vibrabites are distinctive in that they were made to resemble bloodworms. Guppys like eating bloodworms, and mine really enjoy Vibrabites.
Vibrabites are composed of high-quality chemicals that, according to the producers, enhance the colors of fish.
Every fish in my aquarium enjoys eating Vibrabites. If you have never tried it, you should do so immediately.
Which live meals are the best for guppies?
Live foods are, as the name implies, foods that are alive! Live foods are the closest we can get to imitating the natural diet of guppies. However, most of us just feed live items as a supplement to a guppies’ commercial food diet.
As they are living organisms, live foods do not include any fillers or artificial components.
Most people have given live bloodworms to their fish at some time. These crimson animals, which are really the larvae of non-biting midges and not worms at all, squirm as they move through the water.
They are enticing to fish due to their continual writhing and vivid red colour.
Bloodworms are often used to tempt fish who are hesitant to eat as well as those that need to gain weight.
Daphnia, often known as water fleas, is another meal that many of us have at some time offered to our fish. Daphnia moves erratically through the water, which is where its common name comes from.
Daphnia is prevalent in almost every natural watercourse in the globe; hence, it would very probably form part of the diet of guppies in the wild. Daphnia consumes microalgae, which then forms part of the guppies’ diet when they consume the daphnia.
Larvae of the Mosquito
Mosquito larvae are a great treat for my guppies. Two things: 1) they go crazy everytime I add it to their tank, and 2) I can raise my own mosquito larvae in a bucket of old tank water in the backyard if I wait for mosquitoes to deposit their eggs in it.
Mosquito larvae are easy prey for guppies because they spend a lot of time on the water’s surface, where they can breathe.
What kinds of frozen meals can guppies safely eat?
Like with live food, frozen food allows us to simulate a guppies’ normal diet. Frozen meals have the benefit of being more convenient to store than fresh foods, and they also come in a far broader range.
I give my guppies a variety of frozen meals, such as;
- Mosquito Larvae
- Tubifex Worms
- Mysis Shrmip
- Brine Shrimp
Most of the time, we get frozen fish feeds in blister packs, which are convenient to toss in the aquarium one or two at a time, depending on the number of guppies you are feeding.
When shopping for frozen meals, I often go for the variety pack. This manner, I can feed my guppies a diversified diet without having to buy many packs of food.
Can you recommend any high-quality freeze-dried snacks for guppies?
It’s convenient to have access to freeze-dried fish meals, which have the same nutritional value as their live or frozen counterparts. You may add freeze-dried items to your guppy’s regular meal as a treat or to increase the amount of healthy nutrients and minerals they get.
Caution: rehydrate freeze-dried items before giving them to your guppies.
Tetra Freeze-dried Bloodworms:
Both my Bettas and my fancy guppies love the Tetra Freeze-dried Bloodworms.
Guppies will like these freeze-dried bloodworms as a treat or as a supplement to their regular meal.
If you soak them beforehand, you’ll discover that they make a great supplement to your guppies’ diet.
Omega One Freeze Dried Tubifex Worms:
Guppies may get a much of the protein they need from tubifex worms. However, there is a substantial risk of disease transmission to our guppy aquariums whenever we feed live tubifex worms.
Guppies fed Omega One Freeze Dried Tubifex Worms have a far lower chance of contracting foreign infections.
For a long time now, I’ve been providing these Tubifex Worms to my guppies, and they’ve always loved them.
I’m trying to figure out what would be the greatest diet for my guppy.
On several events, we wish our guppies would develop more rapidly, become more robust, or gain weight in case they are underweight.
Protein is essential for guppy development. The growth and development of your guppies may be supported by providing them with meals that are strong in protein.
Because of their high protein content, live or frozen meals are great for guppy diets. Particularly beneficial are bloodworms and brine shrimp. Feeding a high-protein pellet or flake diet is more practical.
Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Fish Food:
Earlier I expressed how much I love the Bug Bites brand. Bug Bites Tropical Formula is perfect for guppies since the grains are so fine and it floats for so long before it sinks.
Bug Bites Tropical Formula doesn’t dissolve or lose its nutritional value in water, so fish may enjoy it without worrying about missing out.
Hikari Fancy Guppy Food:
When it comes to food, Hikari has a stellar reputation, and their Fancy Guppy Food is no exception. This diet is designed with elegant guppies in mind.
High levels of linolenic acid in Fancy Guppy Food encourage development and spawning in the fish.
In the same way that this meal floats for a time and then sinks gently, it is also great for guppies.
Can I give my guppy fish regular fish food?
The short answer is “yes.” In general, most fish are able to eat most fish food. Guppies may eat food meant for other fish species, such as Angelfish, Tetras, or even goldfish.
However, there are diets that are tailored specifically for predators, and these foods tend to have a very high protein content. Protein aids guppy development, but an excess might cause gas and bowel obstruction.
What kinds of foods shouldn’t guppies eat?
Guppies can consume a wide variety of foods, but they should stay away from others.
Bread is a staple dish that you should stay away from. Bread is bad for guppy teeth and should be avoided at all costs. Guppies won’t be able to digest it, and it will cause them to rapidly gain weight.
Animal flesh and processed meals designed for human consumption should not be given to guppies. Guppies won’t benefit from eating these items, and their presence in the water would likely make it toxic and even kill the fish.
How long do guppies typically go between meals?
Adult guppies, when healthy, can go without food for two weeks or longer. Not so long ago, I prepared an essay entitled “How Long Can Guppies Live Without Food?” to address this exact question.
Most young guppies can survive for a week without food, while smaller fry may only make it a few days.
A guppy’s time between feedings is directly proportional to its size and health.
If I’m going to be away for a week or less, I don’t even bother having someone come in and feed my fish. If I’m going to be gone for more than a week, I have someone come feed my fish every three to four days.
I was wondering whether I should utilize an automatic feeder.
When you are on vacation, an automatic feeder is a terrific method to keep your fish fed. For up to two weeks, you may schedule them to bring your guppies a meal once, twice, or thrice daily.
Mini pellets are the most suitable for auto feeders, however flakes and freeze-dried feeds may also be utilized successfully.
The Noodoky Automatic Fish Feeder, which I purchased on Amazon for less than $20, has been a huge success. It’s simple to set up and has worked reliably thus far.
Can you recommend a good diet for guppy juveniles?
Regular feedings are critical to the development and growth of guppy fry.
Five or six times a day, when I have guppy fry in my fish room, I attempt to give them food. It’s important to feed them often but in modest amounts, and to make sure the food is small enough for them to ingest.
Both of the aforementioned foods have shown to be effective for me.
Hikari First Bites:
As far as suggested foods go, Hikari First Bites is probably the one that vets and breeders recommend the most. To put it simply, it was made for the sole aim of producing robust juvenile fish.
I’ve been feeding my guppy fry this stuff in my fish room for as long as I can remember. Baby guppies thrive on it, and their growth is rapid.
Northfin Fry Starter:
I’ve just just learned about Northfin Fry Starter meal, but it appears like it’s excellent. All of my guppy fry eat it, and they flourish when fed it.
All fillers, hormones, and synthetic colors have been left out of the formulation of this food, which has been created using only the finest ingredients.
Whether you’re keeping guppies for a hobby, for breeding purposes, or to compete, feeding them properly is essential.
Guppies are opportunistic eaters who will consume almost anything; nevertheless, for optimal growth, health, and reproduction, they need a balanced diet of high-quality foods.