Do Guppies Eat Plants? All You Should Know

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Yes, guppies eat plants since they are omnivorous. However, they mostly prefer dead or decaying plant matter and algae. The latter will provide your guppies with essential minerals and nutrients. However, don’t rely on your guppies to keep the algae population in check.

Algae will grow faster than your guppies’ appetite. You still need to perform regular tank maintenance to control the spread of algae, which can absorb oxygen and nutrients from the water.

Unlike other fish breeds, like goldfish, for instance, guppies don’t typically eat live plants. So, you shouldn’t worry about your guppies consuming your aquarium plants. So long as you feed them properly, that is.

If your guppies’ diet lacks essential minerals, they might nibble on some aquarium plants. This won’t hurt the plants since guppies aren’t big fans of live plants and won’t feed on them extensively as other fish will.

To prevent that, make sure that your guppies receive a varied diet with enough vegetables in the menu.

Are Guppies Herbivorous?

No, guppies are omnivorous, the same as humans. They thrive on a mixed diet, comprising of animal and plant-sourced nutrients. Their wild diet consists of mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, daphnia, blood worms, algae, spirulina, etc.

All these food sources provide guppies with key minerals, protein, and fats, boosting their growth and keeping them healthy and active. You should replicate this diet to mimic your guppies’ natural needs and make sure they receive all the key nutrients throughout the day.

What do Guppies Usually Eat?

Domesticated guppies enjoy a variety of foods since the market is filled with options. The most common ones include foods such as:

– Fish Flake Foods

Flak foods are typically dried products that you can crush between your fingers before feeding them to your guppies. They will contain several ingredients, depending on the company and the product you’re getting.

Expect a mixed content of various protein sources like:

  • Antarctic krill
  • Omega-rick herring meat
  • Sardine meat
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Pea protein, etc.

Some flake foods contain both animal and plant-sourced nutrients, providing a great mix of vitamins, protein, and minerals. They are also easy to eat since they break in tiny particles that your guppies can easily consume.

– Spirulina Tablets

Spirulina is an algae breed that’s high in vitamin B12, protein (one of the few plants with high protein levels), beta carotene, and amino acids. It is a nutritious plant with a dark-green color that will really benefit your guppies.

Studies have shown that spirulina is great at enhancing the fish’s immune system, helping with digestion, and boosting the fish’s color intensity. Guppies who regularly receive spirulina will remain stronger, healthier, and have longer lifespans than those who don’t.

Spirulina tablets are essential to your guppies’ diet, providing them with consistent protein and vitamins.

– Live or Frozen Food

Wild guppies consume a variety of live food as they require consistent protein intake to remain healthy and live long lives. When it comes to domesticated guppies, you have two options available:

  1. Live Food Cultures

I would say that this is the best feeding option, despite demanding more involvement from your part. It all comes down to how set you are to provide your guppies with fresh and nutritious diets.

If you’re all in, I advise setting up several live cultures, preferably mixed. You can get the kits online and learn how to set up your own live culture. A live culture setup can provide your guppies with long-term fresh food.

You can have live cultures of shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, vinegar eels, each with their own demands.

If you’re interested in starting a live culture for your guppies, check my other articles on the topic.

  1. Frozen Food

You can either buy frozen food products for your guppies or make them. I would recommend the latter, since you can personalize the food and eliminate all the artificial additives that come with commercial options.

The best way to create frozen food recipes is by mixing live food with veggies and creating a nutritious paste. You can freeze the paste and feed it to your guppies in small portions throughout the week. This will provide you with a virtually unlimited food supply for your guppies, so long as you will replenish the paste as it consumes.

– Homemade Food

This is another exhilarating topic since it comes with so many opportunities and different options. Homemade foods typically refer to protein paste, consisting of various food items.

The typical protein paste will include egg yolk, beef heart, shrimp, white fish meat, veggies, etc. Obviously, you should pay attention to the fat content since adult guppies don’t tolerate foods too high in fat.

You can create the veggie paste with whatever ingredients you like, freeze it, and use it for several days. This is the most time-saving option while still providing your guppies with nutritious food along the way.

If you’re interested in preparing homemade foods for your guppies, I’ve also written comprehensive articles on the topic. You will even get specific recipes to put together in case you want to experiment with different contents.

– Blanched Vegetables

The sky is the limit when talking about vegetables and vegetable mixes that you can prepare for your guppies. The keyword here is diversity. Your guppies should get diverse vegetables since each of them comes with specific nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

You don’t need to overcook the veggies. Boiling them for several minutes should be enough to soften them without destroying too many nutrients in the process. Some of the options available include carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, sweet corn, peas for fibers, etc.

You can even boil the veggies and mush them into a nutritious paste, along with shrimp, fish, or bloodworms.

I suggest experimenting with various food options and ingredients to find out what your guppies like. Whatever the case may be, however, always be mindful of the dangers of overfeeding.

Guppies tend to eat more than they need to, which can cause them to overfeed. Over time, this will affect their health and poison the water due to the unconsumed food decaying in the tank.

To prevent that, only feed your guppies once or twice per day, or even once every other day. It all depends on your guppies’ preferences and habits.

Best Aquarium Plants For Guppies

You should consider several factors when choosing the ideal plants for your guppy tank. Some plants, for instance, will consume ammonia and increase oxygen levels. Others will spread throughout the tank, providing guppies with hiding spots, but will also block light.

The most common plants to use for your aquarium include:

  • Guppy grass – A fast-growing plant, excellent at cleansing the water of ammonia, heavy metals, nitrates, and other toxins. Guppy grass doesn’t require much maintenance, it grows fast and will thrive at temperatures between 50 to 86 degrees F. This plant is great for aquascaping, especially when free-floating.
  • Hornwort – This is a hardy plant that will grow up to 15 inches tall. It’s very easy to care for since it requires minimal maintenance, making it ideal for beginners. Just be aware; the plant is allelopathic. In other words, it excretes specific chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants. This is an evolutionary feature that eliminates competition, providing the plant with access to more nutrients.
  • Frogbits – Frogbits is a floating plant that will cover the water, bringing an exotic vibe to your aquarium. The plant is undoubtedly beautiful, resilient, and easy to maintain since it receives all the lighting thanks to its positioning. Just be wary of the plant’s biology since Frogbits can block light from reaching deeper portions of the tank. This can affect the tank’s fauna and flora, especially if the plant spreads too much.
  • Java Moss – Java Moss is another adaptable, resilient, and beautiful tank plant that’s ideal for guppies. This plant can withstand low lighting and varying temperatures with minimal discomfort. It will spread fast, and it’s one of the most popular options for aquascaping.
  • Anubias – Anubias is a very resilient plant that doesn’t need the addition of CO2 to grow. It will adapt to any environmental conditions, making it pretty much indestructible. It also makes for an impressive addition to your tank with its large, green leaves.

Conclusion

While guppies will occasionally consume plants, they won’t feed on live aquarium plants as long as they have a regular and balanced diet. Also, you shouldn’t rely on guppies to cleanse your tank of algae.

Their rate of eating the algae can’t match the algae’s growth speed.

Provide your guppies with a varied diet consisting of live food and veggies, and they will only show minimal interest in nibbling on your tank’s plants.

Updated: November 11, 2021

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