When Do Guppy Babies Start Eating (and what should you feed them)?

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It is easy to see why Guppies are one of the most popular freshwater tropical fish in the world. They are colorful, hardy, and super easy to breed. In fact, if you are anything like me, Guppies will be one of the first fish you ever breed.

Guppies are livebearing fish, which means the female guppies give birth to live, free-swimming baby fish. The adults show no parental care toward their babies (which are actually called fry). From the moment the babies are born they have to fend for themselves.

Baby guppies usually start to eat within 1 to 2 hours after birth. They are very small when they are first born and so require very small food. Baby guppies need to eat frequently for the first few weeks.

When Do Guppy Babies Start Eating?

Baby guppies are born as tiny free-swimming fish that have to fend for themselves from the moment they are born. Normally, baby guppies will start to eat within 2 to 3 hours of being born

Unfortunately, not only do adult guppies not take care of their babies, they are actually likely to try and eat them, so guppies have an inbuilt instinct to swim away and hide immediately after birth.

After an hour or two, the baby guppy will start their search for food.

What To Feed Baby Guppies?

Over the years I have written numerous articles about what to feed guppy babies. One of the most popular articles I wrote on the subject was ‘What is the best food for guppy fry?’.

There are many different foods on the market that we can feed to guppy fry. It is essential we choose a food that is high in protein, to help the guppies grow, and is made from good quality ingredients to ensure the baby guppies get a wide range of nutrients and vitamins to ensure healthy growth.

Ensuring baby guppies get a balanced diet not only helps reduce the chances of pests and disease affecting them as babies but also sets them up to become colorful, healthy adults. Studies have shown that baby fish that receive a poor diet in the first few months generally do not grow up to become healthy adult fish.


Flake Food

For most of us, flake food is naturally the best place to start when it comes to feeding baby guppies. The vast majority of fish keepers have at least one pot of flake food in their store cupboard. Typically, flake food is made up of a range of ingredients to give the fish a balanced diet.

The best way to feed flake food to baby guppies is to crush it up between your finger and thumb before sprinkling it into the aquarium.

Guppy babies are quick learners and they soon realize the tiny pieces of flake are food. It is important not to overfeed baby guppies, so only add a little at a time. It is far better to feed baby guppies 4 or 5 small meals a day than it is to give them one large meal.

In my own guppy breeding tanks, I tend to add about as much crushed-up flake food as the babies will eat in about 5 to 10 minutes, then repeat 5 times a day.

Live Food

Feeding baby guppies live food takes a little bit more effort, but in my opinion, that effort is rewarded by the growth rate of the babies.

There are a few different live foods we can feed our baby guppies. Newly hatched Brine Shrimp is probably the most nutritious live food for baby guppies but does require the most commitment.

Microworms are also a good live food and are much easier to produce than Brine Shrimp, requiring very little effort from the fish keeper once the colony of microworms is established. Vinegar eels are another fairly easy live food that pretty much takes care of itself once a colony has been established.

Frozen Foods

Whilst newborn guppies are a little too small to take the likes of frozen bloodworms or daphnia, they can eat frozen cyclops. Cyclops are tiny, waterborne crustaceans that inhabit many of the natural waterways around the world.

When I feed my baby guppies frozen cyclops I tend to get a frozen cube and swish it around in their aquarium for a few seconds before returning the cube back to the freezer. Just a few seconds is enough to give the baby guppies ample cyclops to eat.

Homemade Foods

There are some homemade foods that we can feed our guppy babies. Probably the most commonly fed homemade food is egg yolk. Egg yolk is really high in protein and makes excellent food for baby guppies.

To feed egg yolk to baby guppies, start by hard boiling the egg so the yolk is solid. Once cooled, remove the yolk from the white. Egg white doesn’t really offer the bay guppies much in the way of nutrition.

Take a small piece of the yolk and crumble it between finger and thumb into the water. The baby guppies will quickly realize this is food and will devour the egg yolk. Baby guppies really only need a very small quantity of egg yolk.

Two important notes about feeding baby guppies egg yolk. Firstly, if you add too much yolk to your aquarium it will quickly foul the water. Only ever add a tiny amount at a time. I usually add about as much as the babies will eat within about 2 minutes. Secondly, egg yolk is really high in fat and protein so it should not be fed to adults as they will become fat.

How Often Should You Feed Guppy Babies?

Growing guppy babies need to eat little and often. In fact, the more often you can feed them the faster they will grow. Guppy babies have a high metabolism and as such, they convert their food into body fat pretty quickly.

Commercial breeders try to keep it so their guppy fry are eating almost continually. This is not practical for most of us. I aim to feed my guppy babies up to 5 times a day, giving them different food at each feeding. It is important to remember, only to feed them a little bit at each feeding. Food that goes uneaten will quickly foul the water

In my experience, guppy babies grow fastest when at least one of their daily meals is either live food or frozen food.

In Conclusion

Guppy babies are quick to start eating. Under normal circumstances, guppy babies will have their first meal within 2 to 3 hours of being born.

Guppy babies need to be fed suitable food, ideally crushed flake or live food, and they need to be fed little and often, maybe up to 5 times a day.

About the Author

I’ve been keeping, breeding, and showing tropical fish for nearly 30 years. Over that time I’ve done it all! I’ve had great success and I’ve made some really foolish mistakes (like the time I bought an Asain Walking Catfish). Read more…
Richard James

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