Guppies are among the most popular tropical fish in the aquarium trade for their smaller size, vibrancy, and friendly demeanor. While guppies feed on green algae, protozoan, and mosquito larvae in the wild, they’re reliant on us for their nutrition and overall well-being.
In this article, we’ll discuss different types of commercial and homemade guppy foods, their basic nutritional requirements, and feeding schedules. Will also mention a few guppy food products that we use.
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Commercial Guppy Foods
Being omnivorous, Guppies need a well-balanced diet of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to thrive in their environment. In addition, vitamins and minerals also contribute to their sustenance.
Commercial Guppy foods strive to strike the right balance between these components and try to offer a food source that’s not only preferred by your fish but is nutritious as well.
Tropical flakes are one of the best food sources for guppies as they can be sprinkled over for them to eat. You can easily crush them into smaller pieces and help your guppies readily gobble them up.
They’re also more affordable than other commercial food types and come in a lot more varieties to choose from. You can try a few products before finalizing the one that is enthusiastically accepted by your guppies.
However, flakes can disintegrate pretty quickly and contribute to poor water quality. This can be a pretty withering issue, given the small (borderline abusive) size of most guppy aquariums. In addition, flakes don’t drown easily and may make it difficult to feed bottom-dwelling fish in community tanks.
Here are a few guppy food flakes that you need to try:
1. Aqueon Tropical Flakes
One of the most affordable options, the Aqueon Tropical Flakes comes in a variety of sizes, starting from 0.45 Ounces. It’s specifically made for tropical fish and contains color supplements and essential vitamins.
- Pricing is spot on.
- Contains the natural food sources of tropical fish, including guppies.
- Floats for a long time before dissolving and breaking down.
- Clouds the water if not removed after feeding.
- Flakes are a bit oversized for guppies. Do crush them before using them.
2. API TROPICAL FLAKES
Enhanced with an easy-uptake protein formula, API Tropical Flakes can be a well-balanced food alternative for your guppies. As per our experience, most guppies and other tropical fish love this formula. It also delivers optimum growth and reduced ammonia levels.
- Contains natural ingredients and squid for necessary amino acids.
- Infused with nutritionally enhanced protein for faster uptake and reduced fish waste.
- Added essential vitamins and minerals.
- The flakes are pretty brittle and may get pulverized during shipping.
- Pricing could’ve been improved.
3. Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Flakes
Rich in Omega-3 and amino acids, Fluval Bug Bites Tropical Flakes can be the daily high-protein diet alternative for your guppies. The flakes contain black soldier fly larvae as the main ingredient—making it a great food alternative for tropical fish species. Bug Bites comes in a 3.17-ounce pack.
- Flakes are optimally sized for small and medium fish.
- Pricing is very practical for beginner fish enthusiasts.
- Well-balanced crude protein, fat, and fiber ratio.
- The flakes disintegrate pretty quickly and cloud the water if not removed quickly.
Larger pellets, understandably, aren’t well-suited for smaller fish species like guppies, but small and medium pellets are made with more precise control over the ingredients and are one of the excellent food choices for them.
Apart from minimizing wasteful disintegration and algae bloom, pellets are denser than flakes and mostly pack more nutrients into a smaller volume. This is especially true for nutrients like protein, which is essential for guppy growth and development.
However, pellets are typically more expensive, and some guppies are initially quite hesitant to try them because of their larger size and crumbliness. Pellets are also not suitable for guppy fry.
1. Ultra Fresh Royal Guppy Mignon Pellet
With an appropriate ratio of meat and vegetable contents, the Ultra Fresh Mignon Pellet is specifically made for adult guppies and other livebearer tropical fish species. Complete with multi-vitamin and natural minerals, Ultra Fresh is available in two size variations.
- Added beta-carotene for color enhancement.
- Easy digestion formula for guppies to keep the tank clean.
- Contains natural spirulina and seaweed.
- A bit hard and large for smaller guppies. However, you can crush the pellets to feed the fry.
2. API TROPICAL MINI PELLETS
Similar to the API Tropical Flakes, the Mini Pellets are nutrition-rich and maintain clear water. The pellets float pretty easily and endure water for long before disintegration. It also includes an enhanced protein that ensures easy digestion and uptake of nutrients.
- As pellets, these are quite cost-effective.
- Pellets are small enough to be eaten by guppies and other smaller tropical fish.
- Contains essential vitamins and minerals.
- The smell could be a bit pungent, but that’s par for the course when it comes to fish pellets.
3. Omega One Color Mini Pellets
Deserving a place among the premier sinking pellets, Omega One Color Mini Pellets offers a well-balanced diet for your guppies. Apart from being rich in crude protein and fat, it contains natural salmon, halibut, green algae, and necessary vitamins for optimal growth and development.
- Sinking pellets allow the guppies to identify them as food pretty easily.
- Doesn’t make the water cloudy if not overfed.
- Optimum size for larger guppies.
- The pellets sink pretty fast and make it challenging for the guppies to keep track.
Freeze-Dried and Frozen Options
Given their nutritional advantage, freeze-dried guppy food options are pretty popular among guppy keepers. In addition to being highly nutritious and containing vitamins, minerals, and proteins, they can be used to introduce variety to the diet of your guppies. They can also improve the immune system and enhance the vibrancy of your guppies.
Nevertheless, they can be costlier than pellets and even flakes. If not produced in controlled environments, they may also introduce parasites into the tank. Similar to any organic element, frozen foods can cloud the water temporarily.
We recommend buying freeze-dried food from reputed brands and offering them to your guppies as a treat once in a while.
1. Amzey Natural Freeze Dried Blood Worms
Blood worms are considered a complete food source for both freshwater and marine fish. Your guppies, hopefully, will love the natural taste and nutrition of Amzey Freeze Dried Blood Worms. It also enhances colors and fulfills the protein requirements to a great extent. However, don’t overfeed, and introduce the worms only as treats to omnivorous species like guppies.
- A high percentage of crude protein and crude fat.
- Added vitamins and carotene for health and coloration.
- Produced in a controlled environment to avoid parasites.
- The dried blood worms can cloud the water if not eaten.
2. Tetra Baby Shrimp
Solely containing natural sun-dried freshwater shrimp, Tetra BabyShrimp is a premier source of protein and fat for your guppies. It also contains necessary vitamins and carotenoids to enhance color and sustain their health. However, it must be fed in conjunction with other commercial pellets and flakes.
- 100% natural source of protein and is well accepted by guppies.
- Floats for a long time and doesn’t disintegrate easily.
- Enhanced with Vitamin C.
- You need to crush the shrimp before feeding them to the guppies.
3. Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Daphnia
Daphnia is arguably the most well-suited food source for smaller freshwater fish like guppies. The Hikari Bio-Pure Freeze Dried Daphnia contains the premier quality bio-encapsulated daphnia and multi-vitamins for optimum growth and coloration. It comes in 0.42-ounce air-sealed packs.
- Small portion sizes. Designed for smaller fish species.
- Works as a laxative for guppies.
- Proprietary freeze-drying technique to retain color, texture, and taste.
- It is a bit more costly than other alternatives.
Homemade Guppy Food Recipes
Although rewarding, making fish food is not particularly popular among fish keepers. Some aquarists, mostly professionals, prepare treats and staples for their fish from fresh, chosen ingredients. As we’ve had our fair share of such experiences, we’ll be sharing them with you today.
1. DIY Flakes
Flakes for guppies are pretty easy to make and store. Very minimal cooking skills and basic ingredients and equipment should be adequate to prepare your fish flakes.
You’ll need a base to start with. A base could be anything from fish to beef liver, but we recommend tilapia, cod, shrimp, or mussels for guppies. You should also add leafy greens or vegetables like carrots or peas. Algae from the aquarium could also be a nutritious addition.
Choose ingredients that are fresh and offer nutritional value. Guppies need a lot of protein to sustain their metabolic functions. You may also add carotenoids and vitamins to the mix.
Add a teaspoon of binder, such as potato starch, to keep the ingredients together.
Blend all the ingredients thoroughly till you’ve reached a homogenous mixture, and spread it on a baking sheet over an aluminum foil into a thin layer.
Place the baking sheet in a preheated oven and dry it at 150-170°F for 3-4 hours or until it’s completely dry and crumbly. Break the larger pieces down and store the flakes in air-tight containers to use them for months.
2. Nutrient-Rich Gel Food
Homemade gel food can be a fantastic food alternative for your guppies. DIY gel foods are designed to sink to the bottom and provide a mess-free treat to your finned friends.
- Base: Use agar agar or gelatine as base.
- Protein: Fresh tilapia, cod, shrimp, and other fish.
- Greens: leafy vegetables, carrots, peas, spirulina, and algae. Try to avoid spinach as it can bloat your fish.
- Additional ingredients: You may also crush and use commercial fish food for additional vitamins and minerals. Spirulina may also be a great addition.
- Clean water
- Small saucepan
- Measuring spoons
- Mixing spoon
- Molds (optional)
- Prepare the base (agar agar/gelatine) by boiling 1 cup of water in the saucepan and mixing 1 teaspoon of the chosen powder. Wait till it dissolves completely, and simmer for a minute.
- Blech the chosen protein and veggies by boiling them briefly in the water.
- Blend them into a smooth puree.
- Amalgamate the gel and the puree in a bowl before adding the additional ingredients. Add water to achieve the desired consistency.
- Pour the mixture into molds, bowls, or even dishes to refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Cut the gel into small cubes to feed your guppies as treats. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
3. Live Food Culture
An optimum balance of live food and commercial food can maximize the growth and color of your guppies. While live food culture may seem enticing, it’s almost similar to keeping an additional tank with all the responsibilities.
Some live cultures may include:
- Micro worms. Tiny nematodes are perfect for small fish and fry. They thrive in oatmeal, yeast, and water. They also reproduce quickly.
- Vinegar eels. They require a simple culture of vinegar, water, and sugar.
- Daphnia. Grows particularly well in pond water and feeds on green algae. These small crustaceans provide excellent nutrition.
- Brine shrimp. Can be hatched from readily available cysts with saltwater and light. They’re great for fry and small fish.
Maintaining water quality and providing enough food is the key to successful fish food cultures. Perform regular water changes and avoid overharvesting to minimize the ammonia levels in the water. Also, make sure not to introduce pathogens in the tank by sourcing the first batch from reputed sellers.
Also Read: Betta Fish Series – Feeding Your Betta
Feeding Schedule and Portions
Whichever type of food you may feed your guppies, the frequency and feeding schedule play critical parts in their development and overall well-being. Let’s discuss them in brief.
Frequency of Feeding
Young guppies grow rapidly and require a huge portion of protein and fat in their diet. They may even require to be fed five to eight times daily. As juvenile fish can only eat so much in a single serving, they need to be fed more frequently. Don’t leave a large amount of food, as uneaten food can dirty the tank and cause diseases.
Adults, on the other hand, don’t grow as intensely and are happy with less frequent feeding routines. After 3 months of age, feeding your guppies once or twice a day should be adequate. We usually shuffle between food types to keep it interesting for the inhabitants and try to introduce live/frozen food as treats.
Adult guppies are best fed with commercial flakes, guppy pellets, and frozen food to fulfill their needs for vitamins and minerals. Occasional treats of homemade food and live food may also be offered to ensure a well-balanced diet. Growing guppies may also be fed with products containing carotenoids for better orange and red coloration.
It’s best to feed newborn guppies brine shrimp and commercial food made exclusively for them. Commercial fry foods are more balanced and provide the smaller guppies with sufficient protein and fat to support their growth.
Overfeeding poses significant risks to guppies, potentially leading to severe problems, including fatal outcomes. Therefore, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of not just feeding guppies regularly but also ensuring the right quantity.
Whether dealing with adult guppies or fry, the key is to provide an amount that they can consume within a couple of minutes.
If there is leftover food after this timeframe, it is advisable to decrease the portion offered during each feeding session. This practice helps maintain a balance in their diet and prevents the potential negative consequences like ammonia spikes, nitrite spikes, and stress.
Monitoring Guppy Behavior and Adjusting Portions
It’s critical to monitor the guppies’ feeding behavior to adjust the portion sizes. Depending on the water temperature, water parameters, and age, their feeding habits vary, and it lies to you to understand their feeding requirements.
A warmer temperature makes the guppies more active and hungry, especially fry. Cool temperatures make the juvenile guppies sluggish and reduce their metabolism—making them want less food and halting their growth. Depending on their behavior, adjust the food portions and try to keep guppy fry in a warmer range of 76 to 80F.
Also Read: Top 10 Warm Water Fishes
The Bottom Line
We’ve discussed the most healthy food for guppies and included a few products we love. Hopefully, now you’ll see your guppies grow to be healthy and vibrant.