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Whenever I give guppy talks at fish clubs around the country, I am asked many of the same questions. One question which comes up a lot is Can guppies eat Mosquito Larvae?
Yes, guppies can eat mosquito larvae. Mosquito larvae are a really good source of protein, fiber, and fat for your guppies, especially pregnant female guppies. Mosquito larvae come in black, white, and red. They can be fed to your guppies either live or frozen.
I have been keeping and breeding guppies for over 30 years. I was given a 10-gallon tank with a small group of guppies in the mid-1990s and I haven’t looked back since. I don’t think a day has gone by when I haven’t had at least one aquarium in my fish room full of guppies.
What Are Mosquito Larvae?
Mosquitos are small flying insects that use water as part of their reproduction cycle. Mosquitoes have 4 separate stages in their lifecycle, egg, larvae, pupa, and adult.
During the first 3 stages, the mosquitoes remain waterborne. Only when they become flying adults do they leave the water. Guppies can eat mosquitoes at any stage in their life, but the larvae stage is the easiest for us as fishkeepers to take advantage of.
Mosquito larvae come in three different colors, red (usually sold as bloodworms), black and white. Your guppies won’t care which color you feed them.
Mosquito larvae form a major part of the aquatic food chain. Wherever they live, there will be many species of fish eager to eat them. Guppies are no exception.
Are Mosquito Larvae Good For Guppies To Eat?
Mosquito larvae are packed full of protein, fiber, and fat which your guppies, especially pregnant female guppies, need to develop strong, healthy bodies and bright colorful fins. Mosquito larvae seem to be irresistible to guppies, especially when fed live.
Feeding mosquito larvae to pregnant female guppies will help them develop healthy, well-developed babies. Mosquito larvae are also useful for bulking up females in the days after they have given birth, or if you are preparing them for breeding.
Mosquito larvae are too rich to be fed as a main food source. They should ideally be used as part of a varied diet that includes flake or pellet foods. A guppy fed exclusively on mosquito larvae will be overweight, unhealthy, and short-lived.
If you are looking for other food suggestions for your guppies, why not check out my article Best Homemade Food For Guppies
What Forms Are Mosquito Larvae Available In?
The most commonly available forms of mosquito larvae are either live or frozen. Red mosquito larvae are also sold freeze-dried, under the name Bloodworms. There are pros and cons to both ways of feeding mosquito larvae to your fish.
Live Mosquito Larvae
Live mosquito larvae are usually sold either in small bags or containers. When buying live mosquito larvae, take a couple of minutes to make sure all the mosquito larvae are alive and wriggling.
Give the bag or container a gentle shake. The larvae should wriggle around all through the water. Healthy mosquito larvae wriggle constantly. If the larvae are still or sitting on the bottom of the bag, don’t buy them. There is no nutritional value for you guppies if all the larvae are dead.
When you get the mosquito larvae home, snip the corner off the bag. Place a net over a bucket and tip the contents of the bag into the net. The mosquito larvae will stay in the net while the dirty water passes through into the bucket.
You can now feed the larvae to your guppies then dispose of the dirty water from the bucket. Pouring the whole bag of water straight off into your aquarium will just foul your aquarium water.
Once you have added the mosquito larvae to the aquarium they will wriggle around. Your guppies will almost instantly start eating the larvae. The majority of the larvae will be consumed straight away (depending on how many fish you have), but those that aren’t eaten will happily wriggle around for a day or two until a guppy munches them.
One advantage of feeding live mosquito larvae is the fact they remain alive in the aquarium until they are eaten. Unlike pellet or flake foods, which will break down in your aquarium if uneaten and foul your water, live mosquito larvae won’t have a negative effect on water quality.
The main disadvantage of feeding live mosquito larvae to your guppies is that they don’t live very long in the bag. You can’t pick up a few bags and feed them over the coming weeks like you can with dry or frozen foods.
You really need to buy them a day or two maximum before you want to feed them. My guppies would love a feeding of live mosquito larvae a few times a week, but I would be back and forth to my local store picking up bags of mosquito larvae.
Frozen Mosquito Larvae
Frozen mosquito larvae are usually sold either as cubes in blister packs or in half-pound frozen slabs. You can either drop 1 or 2 cubes into the aquarium and let your guppies pick at them or you can defrost them in a cup of water and then pour the whole cup back into the aquarium.
Either way, guppies l will eat the larvae, even if they sink all the way to the substrate.
An advantage that frozen mosquito larvae have over live mosquito larvae is that they can be kept in the freezer for months, probably years until you need to use it. You just need to pop a single cube out of the blister pack as often or little as needed. Frozen foods are a very efficient way to feed your guppies.
On the flip side, the disadvantage of using frozen mosquito larvae is that there is no way to tell the quality of the larvae before they were frozen. Were the larvae active and healthy before being frozen into cubes or were they a soup of dead larvae? Only ever buy frozen mosquito larvae from a reputable supplier.
How Often Should You Feed Mosquito Larvae To Your Guppies?
Mosquito larvae are an extremely rich source of protein, fat, and fiber for your guppies. You should only feed mosquito larvae as part of a varied diet or as a treat. I usually feed mosquito larvae to my guppies a couple of times a week. On other feedings, I give them a good quality mini pellet or flake food as well ask some frozen brine shrimp.
Can You Produce Mosquito Larvae At Home?
CAUTION: In many countries mosquitoes present a real danger of spreading diseases to humans. Take care when producing your own mosquito larvae!
Yes, you can produce your own mosquito larvae at home. Simply place a bucket or other container of water outside during the spring and summer months. Sooner or later the mosquitoes will find the water and lay their eggs in it.
Within a day or two, the bucket will be squirming with small, wriggling larvae. At this point, you can fish out as many as you need with a net and feed them directly to your guppies.
Remember to collect the larvae on a regular basis, otherwise, all you have done is create a mosquito farm in your backyard.
What Other Live Or Frozen Foods Can Be Fed To Guppies?
Guppies will eat just about anything you put in their tank. I have had great success feeding some of the following, either live or frozen.
- Brine Shrimp
- Mysis Shrimp
Like so many live or frozen fish foods, mosquito larvae are a great addition to your guppy’s diet. They make a perfect supplement to the dried flakes and pellets you usually feed. Remember, mosquito larvae are very rich in protein, fat and fiber so should only be feed as a treat or part of a varied diet.