Expert Guide : Food for Guppy Fish

Guppies are one of the symbols of aquariums around the world. Every hobbyist recognizes this fish and probably has kept them. Even with all its popularity, many have doubts about the ideal diet for guppies. Keeping these fish healthy is simple, feed them a varied diet and high-quality foods. This article will cover everything you need to know about food for guppy fish in home aquariums.


Understanding the Guppy’s Dietary Habits

Guppies are highly adaptable fish to the place where they live this also applies to their diet. These fish have dietary plasticity, meaning they feed on everything available and fit in their mouth.

When in aquariums, it is essential to offer a balanced and varied diet, only then will these fish display their maximum colors and behaviors.

Before keeping guppies, we must understand their eating habits and the importance of a correct diet. These factors contribute to the health of the guppy (and the tank) but also enhance their colors and make the animals’ bodies strong and able to fight against diseases and other illnesses.


Omnivorous Nature

Guppies are omnivorous tropical fish. That is, they feed on both animal and plant foods. Their dietary preferences demonstrate how adaptable these fish are in nature, living in places where food availability varies considerably.

A diverse (omnivorous) diet is an evolutionary strategy to obtain the maximum amount of nutrients in environments that constantly vary the food supply. By eating different types of food, one supplements any nutritional deficiencies that another food presents.

One of the most impressive characteristics of guppy fish is certainly its colors. Precisely because of this, guppies dominated the aquarium world. Coloration in fish occurs through the deposition of certain pigments in the fish’s skin; fish obtain these pigments through food.

Most of these pigments are called carotenoids. Fish will find them in ingredients such as algae and some species of larvae.

In addition to coloring, by providing a diet that comes close to what guppies find in nature, we enrich the fish’s environment. In addition to being gratifying to see your fish with behavior close to natural, these foods help to trigger reproduction and natural behaviors.

The ideal diet is vital for breeding fish, as pregnant females require a diet rich in nutrients and fats to produce eggs and remain healthy after reproductive stress.


Types of Guppy Fish Food

Omnivorous fish are the easiest to feed, as they do not have specific diets, requiring only one type of food. It is worth mentioning that although there are different types of food available and these fish accept them all well, it’s vital to know that not all of them are beneficial or that you should use them as a staple daily diet.


Flake Foods

Commercial dry flake food is the most commonly used food for guppy fish. These foods are found in stores and play a central role as a staple food for guppies. The quality of the food chosen is vital to the guppy’s health.

Companies formulated many foods specifically for guppies, and these are ideal for use in the aquarium. These foods contain different ingredients and are scientifically made to meet the guppy’s nutritional needs.

Even though these foods contain everything the fish needs, it is not advisable to use just one label, as this can cause dietary monotony. Using more than one flake food label is essential so that, in addition to one label covering any deficiencies, it will also bring something different to the fish.

Finally, flake foods are practical to use and replace, they are the prevalent choice among aquarists.


Live Foods

Live foods are a great addition to a guppy fish’s diet. Brine shrimp, daphnia, and microworms are among the options due to their practicality in raising them at home or obtaining them in stores.

Including these foods in the diet is vital. In addition to making eating exciting, they bring out natural behaviors in guppies, such as chasing their prey. This provides an eating experience closer to the natural environment.

In addition to increasing animal well-being in the tank, live foods are rich in highly digestible nutrients, meaning the fish will be fully utilized with little nutrient loss.

The use of live foods can also cause some problems. Because they (mostly) come from aquatic animals, live foods can carry diseases. Therefore, knowing whether they were raised in hygienic and contamination-free environments is vital.


Frozen and Freeze-Dried Foods

Frozen and freeze-dried foods, such as bloodworms and tubifex, are another convenient option and an alternative to commercial dry foods and contaminated live foods. Because they have gone through freezing, this feeding is free from pathogens and infections.

It’s not ideal for you to use these foods as a staple, but, as with live foods, alternate meals with dry food. They are also widely used as snacks, 3 to 5 times a week.

Because they come packaged, often already divided into portions ready for use, these foods are straightforward to use and store. Negative points are the short expiration date, the likelihood of contamination if handled or stored incorrectly, and the low moisture content freeze-dried food contains.

As moisture content, this can cause digestive problems in guppies, so it is ideal to hydrate the freeze-dried food before offering it. You can feed frozen foods directly in the aquarium or wash them first under running water.


Vegetable Matter

Because fish are omnivorous, plant matter such as plants, detritus, fruits, algae, and biofilms are present in the guppies’ diet. Plant-based foods play a vital role in your diet by providing fiber and pigment.

In aquariums, in addition to commercial foods based on algae like spirulina and vegetable protein, you can offer fresh vegetables. Guppies are gluttonous fish, which are always hungry, whether attacking brine shrimp or eating an entire spinach leaf.

Prefer to offer vegetables of organic origin, free from pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. Wash the vegetables well and place them in the aquarium. It is essential not to leave the vegetable submerged for too long (maximum 2 hours or until the fish no longer show interest) and remove any leftovers; otherwise, there may be ammonia spikes.

Algae such as spirulina and nori are excellent sources of carotenoids. Pigments play a significant role in the health of guppy colors. Fresh or blanched vegetables, such as peas, cucumbers, or zucchini, can be offered as a nutritional supplement and are a vital source of fiber.

Use these plant foods to replace a meal or as a snack, serving around five times a week.


Feeding Frequency and Portions

In addition to the type of food chosen, the frequency and quantity of food are essential for the health and well-being of the guppy and the proper functioning of the tank. The first step is to have an established eating routine. Schedule the times you have available to feed the fish.

Remember that the food must be suitable for the guppies and all aquarium inhabitants.


Feeding Frequency

The ideal feeding frequency is close to nature. Under ideal conditions, guppies should receive food as many times a day as possible. However, given the conditions found today, especially for those who live in large cities, feeding 2 to 3 times a day is enough.

When following a high-frequency eating routine, you must offer minimum food portions. Even though this fish spends the day feeding in its natural environment, it ingests small amounts of food at a time.

Another problem is the excess food in the aquarium. If there are leftovers after feeding, it is ideal to remove them using a net or siphon.


Feed Quantity

We must control the amount of food offered. Excessive feeding negatively impacts the health of the fish, as well as the stability of the tank. A practical tip is to carefully observe the guppies during feeding, providing an amount to be consumed in a few minutes.

Observation at this time is also essential to know if all the fish are healthy and feeding. Avoiding leftover food in the tank, maintaining good water quality, and keeping the fish out of obesity also minimize food waste.


Consequences of Overfeeding

Overfeeding is one of the common problems in domestic freshwater aquariums, and its consequences can be harsh, even leading to the death of all aquarium inhabitants.

By overfeeding guppies, they end up ingesting more nutrients and calories than their body needs, which leads to the guppy’s body secreting large amounts of nutrients, polluting the water in the aquarium. Another consequence is intestinal problems due to excessive amounts of food and nutritional imbalance, which leads to constipation, impaction, and bloating in guppies.

Obesity is also common and in addition to the accumulation of excessive fat in the guppy’s liver and other organs, its lifespan has decreased considerably.

Overfeeding inevitably causes uneaten food to accumulate in the tank. These leftovers will decompose quickly, generating ammonia and other unwanted compounds. This results in water quality being lost rapidly, leading to extreme ammonia spikes, which destabilize the system and can lead to fish illness or death.


Special Considerations for Guppy Fry

Baby guppies, also called “fry,” have unique dietary needs that are different from adult fish. As they are at the beginning of their development, these little guppies must receive highly nutritious food at least 3 to 5 times a day.

At birth, guppy fry are small and fragile. These fish are born fully formed from their mothers, and from the moment they give birth, the guppy fry can start feeding.

The first weeks of life are the most critical periods, where fish need a strict dietary routine to promote rapid and healthy growth, and nutritional problems at this stage will affect the fish’s growth.


Food for Guppies Fry

For newborn fish, given the size of their mouths, the size of the food is important. To achieve this, companies have developed foods suitable for frying guppies. These foods are generally presented in powder form and are a practical option for feeding guppy fry.

In addition to commercial foods, we can use live foods, such as infusoria.

Infusoria is a generic term and refers to a variety of species and types of microorganisms (protozoa, microcrustaceans, yeast, etc.) grown in water that encompasses a variety of aquatic microorganisms and are used as feed for baby guppies. These microorganisms are naturally abundant in the world and can be grown at home easily.


Ensuring a Varied Diet for Vibrant Colors

As you have already learned in this article, guppies’ diet is essential for them to demonstrate all their colors, as different foods contain different pigments that will be deposited in the fish. Among these pigments, carotenoids are the most common, they are found in plant-based foods, such as algae, and carrots, and also in some foods of animal origin such as nauplii and bloodworms.

The key to having healthy and colorful fish is a variety of foods in the diet. The variety not only keeps the fish healthy but is responsible for enhancing their natural colors.

Closely monitor your guppies’ diet, by doing this you can evaluate the fish’s response to the diet. Vibrant colors and active behavior generally indicate that the fish are well nourished, while faded colors can indicate a deficiency of some kind.



Keeping guppies in the aquarium is certainly a very exciting activity, mainly due to the behavior and colors of these fish. To stay healthy and colorful, guppies need a balanced diet.

Use a variety of foods such as commercial, fresh, dried, and live foods. Have a pre-established feeding routine and avoid overfeeding, this avoids problems in the tank and the health of the fish. Remember that guppy fry needs a high-quality diet, several times a day to develop perfectly and grow without future problems.

The coloring of guppies depends on the intake of pigments contained in their food, such as carotenoids. We invite you to share your experiences with feeding your guppies.