How to Feed Your Guppies? Guide for Beginners

As a guppy enthusiast and owner for several years, I remember being a beginner and having loads of questions about how to properly feed these vibrant, captivating fish. So, I decided to share my experience and guide fellow guppy enthusiasts, especially the newbies, through the journey of feeding guppies the right way.

guppy fish feeding

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In this article, I’ll break down the fundamentals of guppy nutrition, feeding schedules, and everything you need to ensure your guppies are healthy and thriving. So, let’s dive into the colorful world of guppy care!

How Often to Feed Guppies?

One crucial aspect of guppy care that often puzzles beginners is figuring out how often to feed these energetic creatures. The truth is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you develop an ideal feeding schedule for your guppy pals.

  • Age: The age of your guppies plays a significant role in determining their feeding schedule. Younger guppies or juveniles typically require more frequent feedings – about 2 to 3 times a day. They are still growing and need extra energy for their development. On the other hand, adult guppies can do well with 1 to 2 daily feedings.
  • Activity level: Keep an eye on your guppies’ activity level. If they seem to be constantly swimming around and burning energy, you can lean towards feeding them slightly more often. However, balance is key – overfeeding can be harmful.
  • Tank Mates: If your guppy tank houses other species, adjust your feeding schedule to meet the needs of all the fish in the tank. Find a balance that keeps everyone happy and healthy.

Remember, when feeding your guppies, it’s always best to provide them with small portions. You want to offer them just enough food that they can consume within a couple of minutes. This way, you’ll prevent overfeeding and avoid the risk of fouling up the water with excess food particles.

guppy fish feeding

Feeding Adult Guppies

When it comes to feeding adult guppies, it’s essential to provide them with a balanced and varied diet to ensure they remain healthy and display their radiant colors. In this section, I’ll guide you through the types of food and feeding strategies that work best for adult guppies.

  • Flake Food: High-quality flake food should be the base of your guppies’ diet. These products usually contain a mix of proteins, vitamins, and minerals necessary for your fish’s well-being. Ensure the flakes are specifically designed for guppies or tropical fish in general. You can crush them into smaller pieces if needed, depending on the size of your guppies.
  • Frozen and Freeze-Dried Food: To maintain a well-rounded diet, supplement your adult guppies’ flake food with frozen or freeze-dried options such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia. Rotating these foods helps provide essential nutrients and variety, ensuring your guppies maintain their energetic disposition and vibrant coloration.
  • Live Food: Introducing live food to your guppies’ diet not only adds variety but also stimulates their natural instincts to hunt and chase their prey. Options like brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and small insects can make your guppies’ feeding routine more engaging and enjoyable.
  • Vegetables: Guppies are omnivores and require plant material in their diet to aid digestion and overall health. Chopped spinach, lettuce, or zucchini can be occasional treats for your guppies. Ensure you thoroughly rinse the vegetables and remove them from the tank after a few hours to avoid contamination.
  • Feeding Tips: When feeding your adult guppies, offer them small portions that they can finish within 2-3 minutes. For a typical feeding schedule, aim for 1-2 times per day, preferably in the morning and evening.

Remember, a balanced diet and proper feeding schedule are pivotal when it comes to keeping your adult guppies happy, healthy, and showing off their stunning colors!

guppy fry

Feeding Baby Guppies

Rearing baby guppies, also known as fry, can be an exciting and delicate process. One vital aspect of ensuring their healthy development is providing them with the proper nutrition. This section will guide you through feeding your baby guppies with optimal care and attention.

  • High Protein Food: Baby guppies have a high demand for protein, as they need it for their rapid growth and development. Baby brine shrimp, microworms, and daphnia are excellent protein-rich live food options for your fry. You can also use high-quality crushed flakes or specifically formulated fry food.
  • Powdered Food: Powdered food specifically designed for fry can be a great addition to their diet, providing essential nutrients for their growth. These foods are specially formulated so that the particles are small enough for the fry to consume.
  • Egg Yolks: Boiled egg yolks can offer baby guppies a protein-rich and easily digestible snack. Simply crumble a small portion of the yolk into their tank. But remember, a little goes a long way! Use this option sparingly to avoid water quality issues.
  • Feeding Frequency: Unlike adult guppies, baby guppies have a faster metabolism and require more frequent feedings. Aim to feed your fry 3 to 4 times daily, making sure to provide them with small portions they can finish within a few minutes. Overfeeding can lead to water quality problems and pose risks to their health.
  • Observe and Adjust: Keep an eye on your baby guppies’ development and adjust the feeding schedule and portion sizes as needed. As they grow, you can transition them to the adult guppy feeding routine.

With patience and attention to detail, you’ll be able to cater to your baby guppies’ dietary needs and watch them grow into healthy and vibrant adults, adding more color and charm to your aquarium!

guppy fish eating

Best Food for Guppies

Now that we have a clear understanding of the feeding requirements for both adult and baby guppies, it’s crucial to identify the best food options for their diet. Remember that a diverse and balanced diet is key to ensuring your guppies’ well-being, vibrant colors, and overall health.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of the best food choices for your guppy friends:

  • High-Quality Flake Food: This should be the staple of your guppies’ diet, as it is specially formulated to meet their nutritional needs. Look for reputable brands that offer guppy or tropical fish-specific flakes. Check the ingredients to ensure they contain essential vitamins, minerals, and a combination of protein sources.
  • Frozen and Freeze-Dried Food: Enhance your guppies’ diet with frozen or freeze-dried options like brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and tubifex worms. These provide additional proteins and nutrients that may not be available in flake food alone.
  • Live Food: Live food such as brine shrimp, daphnia, mosquito larvae, and small fruit flies or insects stimulate your guppies’ natural hunting instincts and offer a variety of nutrients. Keep in mind that overfeeding or relying solely on live food can lead to health issues.
  • Vegetables: Adding occasional vegetables like spinach, lettuce, zucchini, and peas to your guppies’ diet can help promote proper digestion and provide additional nutrients. Thoroughly wash and chop these vegetables before adding them to the tank, and remove any leftovers within a few hours to avoid contamination.
  • Fry Food: If you’re raising baby guppies, supplement their diet with specifically formulated fry food or powdered versions of the options listed above. These foods provide the essential nutrients needed for their rapid growth and early development.

Your guppies will flourish and display their beautiful, lively colors when offered a balanced and varied diet. Rotating food options and sticking to appropriate feeding schedules will ensure that your guppies stay healthy, happy, and a delight to observe in your aquarium!

guppies eat bloodworms

Feeding Guppies Live Food

Incorporating live food into your guppies’ diet can not only introduce diverse nutrients but also offer an engaging feeding experience. As they hunt and chase their live prey, your guppies will mimic their natural instincts, keeping them active and stimulated.

In this section, I’ll provide some guidance on selecting live food and how to integrate it into your guppies’ diet.

  • Types of Live Food: Brine shrimp, daphnia, mosquito larvae, and small insects, such as fruit flies, are among the popular choices for feeding guppies. These small, protein-rich organisms are easily digestible and provide essential nutrients for your guppies.
  • Frequency: Feeding live food should not be a daily occurrence, as overfeeding can lead to health issues. Instead, treat your guppies to live food 2 to 3 times a week, alongside their staple flake food and other occasional food items.
  • Quality: The quality of the live food plays a vital role in your guppies’ health. Always source your live food from reputable suppliers to ensure they are free from parasites or diseases. Some enthusiasts even decide to cultivate their live food at home to gain control over quality and accessibility.
  • Portion Sizes: When feeding live food to your guppies, exercise caution when determining the portion sizes. Offer small amounts so that your guppies can consume the live food within a couple of minutes. This practice prevents overfeeding and minimizes the risk of live food staying in the tank and fouling the water.
  • Caution with Wild-Caught Live Food: It’s crucial to avoid feeding your guppies wild-caught live food, such as mosquito larvae, directly from a natural source. While they may look like a free and abundant resource, doing so can introduce harmful parasites, bacteria, and even pesticides to your tank, putting your guppies at risk.

Incorporating live food into your guppies’ diet can be a great way to provide variety, natural stimulation, and valuable nutrients. Ensuring the live food is high-quality and following proper feeding practices will keep your guppies healthy, active, and showing off their vibrant colors!

Feeding Guppies Pellets and Flakes

As we’ve established, guppies thrive on a diverse and balanced diet, and pellets and flakes play a crucial role in fulfilling their nutritional needs. These products are designed to provide essential vitamins, minerals, and a combination of protein sources to ensure the well-being and vibrant colors of your guppies.

The following tips and recommendations will help you precisely use these dry foods in your guppies’ feeding routine:

  • Selecting High-Quality Food: Always search for reputable brands when purchasing pellets and flakes for your guppies. Choose those specifically formulated for guppies or tropical fish in general, and verify that they contain important ingredients such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Size Matters: Ensure the pellets or flakes are appropriately sized for your guppies’ mouths. Adult guppies can typically handle most flakes and small pellets, while baby guppies will require smaller flakes or crushed pellets. You can always crush the flakes or pellets into smaller pieces as needed.
  • Read the Labels: Reading the label and instructions provided by the manufacturer can be helpful to determine the correct quantity and feeding recommendations. However, always use your judgment based on your guppies’ needs and monitor their responses to adjust the amount and feeding frequency.
  • Combining with Other Foods: To add diversity to your guppies’ diet, consider supplementing the pellets and flakes with other food options we’ve discussed, such as live food, frozen or freeze-dried food, and vegetables. Offering them different nutrients can optimize their overall health and bring out their most vibrant colors.
  • Feeding Frequency and Amounts: Feed adult guppies 1-2 times daily and baby guppies 3-4 times daily, providing them with enough dry food to consume within 2-3 minutes. Monitor your guppies during feeding times and adjust the quantity as necessary to avoid overfeeding or leaving leftover food in the tank that can compromise water quality.

Pellets and flakes provide a solid foundation for your guppies’ diet, and with appropriate portion sizes and feeding schedules, they can support the optimal growth and coloration of these captivating fish. By selecting high-quality products and combining them with other food sources, you’ll ensure a well-rounded and nutritionally balanced diet for your guppies.

Feeding Guppies Homemade Food

Feeding homemade food to your guppies can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to contribute to their nutrition and overall health. By preparing homemade meals, you can control the ingredients and provide diverse options for your guppies’ diet.

Below, I’ll share some tips and ideas for creating your homemade guppy food:

  • Blending Ingredients: A homemade food blend can consist of a variety of ingredients rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Some common components include fish or shrimp (precooked and peeled), spinach, peas, carrots, and lettuce. Consider the nutritional requirements of guppies and consult reputable resources to ensure that the chosen ingredients offer the essential nutrients they need.
  • Correct Consistency: Blend the ingredients into a smooth, paste-like consistency. Depending on your guppies’ size, you may need to adjust the level of “fineness” in the blending process. For baby guppies, ensure the paste contains no large chunks that might be challenging for them to eat.
  • Storage: To store your homemade food, spread the blended mixture onto a wax paper-lined tray or baking sheet to create a thin layer. Freeze the mixture until it becomes firm, and then cut it into small, bite-sized cubes. Store these cubes in airtight containers or plastic bags within the freezer.
  • Feeding Instructions: When it’s time to feed your guppies, take out a small portion of the homemade food and allow it to thaw at room temperature. Depending on the size of your guppies, you may need to crumble the food into smaller pieces. Offer them an amount they can finish within 2-3 minutes, and adjust the quantity as necessary, avoiding overfeeding.
  • Balancing with Commercial Food: It’s essential to maintain a balanced diet for your guppies, which includes commercial flakes or pellets alongside your homemade food. This practice ensures your guppies receive all the critical nutrients they require to thrive, as commercial foods are formulated specifically to cater to their nutritional needs.

Feeding your guppies homemade food offers you an opportunity to bond with your aquatic pets and have complete control over the ingredients in their diet.

With proper research and attention to detail, you can create healthy and tasty meals that contribute to the well-being and vibrant coloration of your guppies. Make sure to balance this homemade option with commercial food to ensure a well-rounded diet for your fascinating fish.


How Long Can Guppies Go Without Eating?

There may be times when you’re away from your aquarium, and you wonder how long your guppies can manage without their regular feeding schedule. While it’s not ideal to skip meals for your guppies, it’s essential to understand their tolerance for food scarcity in case of unforeseen circumstances.

  • Adult Guppies: Mature guppies have a greater ability to withstand periods without food compared to their younger counterparts. Adult guppies can typically manage without eating for up to 7-10 days, although this is not recommended as a routine practice. It’s crucial to note that even though adult guppies can survive without food for an extended period, doing so can cause stress and negatively impact their health and immune system.
  • Baby Guppies: The situation differs for baby guppies, which are in their crucial growth stage and require a constant supply of nutrients to develop properly. Baby guppies should not go without food for more than one day, as their high metabolism and limited fat reserves can make them susceptible to starvation.
  • Vacation Feeding Options: If you plan to be away from your aquarium for a few days, consider investing in an automatic fish feeder to maintain a consistent feeding schedule for your guppies. Alternatively, you can explore slow-release vacation feeders, which are blocks designed to dissolve gradually over a period, releasing food for your guppies. However, some vacation feeders might not be suitable for guppies, so it’s essential to research before selecting this option.
  • Predictable Feeding Schedules: As a responsible aquarium hobbyist, it’s critical to establish a predictable and consistent feeding schedule for your guppies. Doing so ensures they receive the necessary nutrition for their growth, health, and vibrant coloration.

Understanding your guppies’ ability to manage without food can help you plan for potential emergencies or short absences. However, to ensure their well-being and optimal development, always aim to maintain a consistent feeding schedule for your guppies whenever possible.

In any case, knowing how long guppies can go without eating can be useful information for emergencies or unavoidable interruptions to their regular feeding routine.


Feeding your guppies may seem overwhelming at first, but with a clear understanding of their nutritional needs, feeding schedules, and food options, you’ll soon become an expert at keeping these aquatic gems thriving. Remember to aim for a diverse and balanced diet, providing high-quality food choices like flakes, pellets, live food, and even homemade meals.

Monitoring and adjusting the portions and frequency of feeding will result in healthy, vibrant guppies that will bring life and fascination to your aquarium. With patience and dedication, you’ll undoubtedly become a master at feeding and caring for these stunning, delightful creatures. Happy guppy keeping!

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