I have found some of the best foods for baby guppies include newly hatched brine shrimp, First Bites from Hikari, and crushed quality flake foods. I also feed my baby guppies frozen cyclops, microworms, and frozen daphnia.
Guppies are said to be one of the world’s most popular tropical fish. It is easy to see why. They are hardy, friendly, and easy for the home hobbyist to breed. If you are hoping to breed some guppies yourself, or if your female has dropped a batch of fry, you will need to know the best foods to feed them.
I have been keeping and breeding guppies for over 30 years. Over that time I have probably raised several thousand baby guppies. One thing I have learned is, if you want your guppies to grow up to be big, colorful, and healthy, you need to start them on the right food.
1. Newly Hatched Brine Shrimp
Newly hatched brine shrimp are live food that is fed to baby fish, usually within 24 hours of the brine shrimp eggs hatching. Brine shrimp eggs are simple to hatch at home with a basic setup. You can either buy a commercial hatching unit or DIY your own (see video below).
The good news on freshly hatched brine shrimp is it is literally a miracle food. Many of the most successful fish breeders around the world cite newly hatched brine shrimp as the secret to their success. The eggs are cheap enough you can hatch a new batch to feed to your baby guppies every day.
With good news, there often comes the bad news. Hatching baby brine shrimp at home is a lot of work. You have to set the hatcher up each morning, run it for 24-36 hours, then clean it, set it up again and run it for another 24-36 hours.
In my opinion, the effort of hatching brine shrimp eggs is worth it.
2. First Bites By Hikari
First Bites by Hikari is a tiny pellet food designed especially for baby fish. According to the manufacturer, it contains all the nutrients baby fish need to develop properly.
I have been feeding First Bites to my baby guppies for as long as I can remember. A packet seems to last forever as you only put a small pinch in each time.
First bites float on the surface, then slowly sink giving even the tiniest baby guppies time to eat it.
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3. Crushed Flake Food
Sometimes people are surprised when I say ‘just feed your baby guppies crushed flake food’. A good quality flake food contains everything fish need to grow and develop. I use Tetra flakes a lot of the time.
Just crush it between finger and thumb and let it fall into the tank. Much like the First Bites, some of the flakes will float, and others will slowly sink.
4. Frozen Cyclops
Cyclops are tiny copepods or crustaceans found in both fresh and saltwater. They are normally available in frozen form, usually in cubes. I feed them to all my small fish including guppies and tetras.
A tank of guppy babies probably won’t eat a whole cube, so I tend to take one out of the freezer, swirl it round in the tank so some cyclops fall into the water, then put them back into the freezer to use another time.
Cyclops make a great addition to a portion of dry food like crushed flakes or First Bites.
Microworms are another live food that you can culture at home. Microworms are tiny worms that are usually cultured on a bed of either oats or mashed potatoes. Microworms are best fed to very young guppy babies, but in reality, all fish will eat microworms.
A single culture of microworms will last for months, and if you start a new culture every few weeks, you can keep them going forever.
6. Live Or Frozen Daphnia
Live or frozen daphnia is another food we can feed to all our fish. Daphnia is too big for very young guppy babies, but as they grow, it should become a staple part of their diet. I try to feed my guppies live or frozen daphnia at least once a week, and ideally more often.
How Often Should You Feed Guppy Babies?
When it comes to feeding guppy babies, feeding little and often is better than giving them one large meal once a day. For the best growth, guppy babies need to eat constantly.
I feed my guppy babies 4 to 5 times a day. I realize this sounds a lot, but I feed them when I first get up in the morning, then again before I go to work. I feed them again as soon as I get home from work, then again during the evening. Finally, if I get a chance I give everything a quick feed before I head off to bed.
How Much Should You Feed Guppy Babies?
It is always tricky to answer the question ‘how much should I feed my….?’ The best answer I can give is to feed your baby guppies as much as they will eat in about 5 minutes. For me, that usually means a small pinch.
I find it is much better to feed a little, then add a little more if they eat it all, than it is to drop a load in, then find most of the food just sinks to the bottom of the tank.
There is a wide choice of different foods to feed guppy babies. Variety is the key, along with feeding little and often. Your guppy babies will grow quicker, stronger, and healthier if you feed them a mix of 2 or 3 different foods and you feed them 4 or 5 times a day rather than just once.