Certainly it is more convenient to feed guppies with commercially available flake foods, but it is possible to prepare fish food at home too. In this guide, I will show you how to prepare the best homemade food for guppies.
Preparing guppy food at home is labor intensive and time consuming. Though, if you want to know exactly what your guppies eat, this is the best option.
What do Guppies Eat?
Before you prepare guppy food at home, you should know what guppies eat in general.
Guppies are not very finicky, when it comes to food. They will eat almost anything you give them. Though, it is important to offer them the all necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals in order to keep them healthy and promote good coloration and strong immune system.
Guppies in the wild consume mostly live food: insects, mosquito larvae, small worms and small shrimp. They will also eat soft algae, fruits that fall into the water and other plant matter they find.
While the diet of guppy fish is very high in protein, you want to replicate this as much as you can when preparing food for them.
Preparing Guppy Food at Home
When it comes to homemade food for guppies, there are two options you can choose from: live food and frozen / dried food.
Live Food for Guppies
You can culture your own live food at home. Brine shrimp, daphnia, vinegar eels and micro-worms are the easiest live food you can culture.
Brine shrimp: is the best live food for guppies in my opinion. Brine shrimp has a high protein (60%) and fat (25%) content and also contain carbohydrates. Brine shrimp will help guppy fry to grow faster and reach bigger size.
Adult guppies will also consume brine shrimp with predilection, though you should not feed them very often.
Starting a brine shrimp culture is very easy. You can purchase brine shrimp eggs online and setup a small hatchery. I bought this brine shrimp hatchery from Amazon years ago. This kit includes a special container and brine shrimp eggs. It is very easy to use and does not require aeration or siphoning, unlike other hatcheries.
If you want to have a consistent supply of brine shrimp, I recommend keeping 3 hatcheries running. Brine shrimp eggs require 1-3 days to hatch, so having multiple hatcheries will give you plenty of food.
You can also create your own DIY brine shrimp hatchery very easily. You will only need to purchase the brine shrimp eggs from Amazon.
Daphnia: is relative easy to culture, but they need a separate tank. They will need 6-8 hours of light, heated water as well a gentle water movement. Daphnia will eat algae, yeast and bacteria. You can feed them spirulina powder and crushed algae flakes too.
Culturing daphnia indoor can be difficult, because produces a strong smell. Daphnia is a great source of protein, fat and carbohydrates. It is also rich in vitamins (A and D), which are essential for healthy guppies.
Vinegar eels: are relatively easy to culture but they have a strong smell. I usually have multiple cultures running at once, in case one culture dies off. Although, they do not need any maintenance and are very easy to culture, harvesting the culture is not as easy.
Vinegar eels are a very good source of protein (50%) and fat (20%), therefor it is great food for guppy fry, because will help in growth. Adult guppies should not be fed with vinegar eels to many times, due to high fat content.
Micro-worms: are very tiny worms that are easy to culture in a small sealed container. Just put a slice of bread in a sealed container, give it some moisture and add the micro-worm culture to the top. In about two weeks, you will have thousands of worms. Adult micro worms will usually crawl on the side of the container. With a stick you can harvest them easily and feed them to your guppies.
Frozen / Dried Food for Guppies
Besides live food, you can feed your guppies with other food types such as: shrimp, fish, beef heart, egg yolk, vegetables and chicken breast.
You can combine multiple types of the above enumerated food types and create your own flakes. In the following, I will show you how to prepare homemade flake food for guppies, but fist let’s see how to feed these foods separately.
Shrimp and fish: can be feed to your guppies raw. Make sure you chop them into small pieces, so it fits in their mouth easily. You can feed them any type of frozen fish or shrimp, after you defrost it.
Fish is very beneficial for guppies because contains over 50% of protein and fat (30%). It is rich in vitamins (A, B-12, B-6, D, E) and contains minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zink, potassium, phosphorous and sodium (source).
Beef heart: is a super food, which I feed only to my guppy fry. Remove the fat from the beef heart and chop it into tiny pieces with a sharp knife or use a blender. You can mix it up with the egg yolk of a hard-boiled egg, or you can feed the beef heart as it is to guppy fry. Due to high fat content, I don’t recommend feeding this food to adult guppies.
Egg yolk: is an easy to prepare homemade guppy food. This again, is best for guppy fry, due to high amount of protein and fat content. Egg yolk contains lots of vitamins (A, B-12, C, D), minerals (magnesium, iron, calcium) too. It is a complex food for baby guppies.
Just boil an egg for 10 minutes. Crush up the egg yolk into paste and feed it to your fish in low quantities. Egg yolk will highly pollute water, so if you feed this to your fish, you will need to do more water changes. Though, the growth rate and coloration of guppy fry is significant with this food, compared to other commercially available foods.
Chicken breast: is a great choice, when you want to feed your adult guppies with high protein food. Chicken breast has a low fat (5%) content and high protein (62%) content. Contains lots of minerals such as calcium, cobalamin, magnesium, iron and is rich in vitamin B-6.
Boil the chicken breast and chop it into small pieces before feeding.
Vegetables: feeding high protein foods to your guppies will promote growth. But they also need vitamins and minerals for their health. Feeding them vegetables is a great way to add those nutrients into their diet. Guppies will eat zucchini, spinach leaves, cauliflower, cucumber, carrots, peas, green beans, broccoli, corn, potato, cabbage and kale. You can create a complex guppy food by combining these vegetables with a high protein food such as chicken breast or fish.
Vegetables are rich in vitamins (A, B-6, D, C, E, B-12) and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium).
Just blanch the vegetables for a few minutes in order to soften them up. Use a blender to make a thick paste. Now you have two options: you can put it into the freezer and cut is into pieces before feeding. Or you can put the paste on a baking paper, spread it out and put it in the oven until it dries out completely. Set the oven to 250 °F (120 °C). Please note, that higher temperature will melt the vitamins in the compound.
You can mix some wheat flour and raw egg to the vegetable paste before putting into the oven. This will help in consistency. After the paste is dried out, it will become flakes food. It will not break up between your fingers easily, if you added the raw egg.
You can also add chicken breast or fish to the vegetable paste in order to increase the protein and fat level.
If you want to know what I feed my guppies, please read the linked article.
Homemade Guppy Food FAQ
Below, you can find answers to the most frequent asked questions regarding homemade guppy food:
Can Guppies Eat Duckweek?
Duckweed has very high protein content. It is beneficial in aquariums, because it will suck up all the extra nutrients from the water, making it cleaner.
In the raw form, guppies can’t eat duckweed. However, mixing duckweed into your homemade guppy food is a great way to add extra protein into your guppies’ diet.
Can Guppies Eat Bread?
I’ve wrote a whole article on this topic. In short, guppies can eat bread, however you should not feed them bread or breadcrumbs. Please read the linked article to find out why.
Can Guppies Eat Apple?
Apples are beneficial for guppies, because are rich in vitamin C. If you want to feed apple to your guppy fish, you have to blanch or boil it first. It is a good food to mix into their diet, but I would not feed my guppies apples very often.
Can Guppies Eat Banana?
Bananas are rich in vitamin C and B-6, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium, which are essential for a strong immune system. You can feed slices of banana to guppies time-to-time.
Can Guppies Eat Grapes?
Guppies will eat grapes too. Grapes are rich in vitamin A, C and B-6. Contain minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium. Though, the high sugar content is not very good for your aquarium. It can cause unwanted bacteria bloom.
Can Guppies Eat Watermelon?
Yes, guppies can eat watermelon. In fact, it is really beneficial for guppies, because it is rich in vitamins A and C. Because watermelon is a very seasonal fruit and the nutrient value is low, it is not so popular food in the fish hobby.
Can Guppies Eat Tomatoes?
Yes, guppies can eat tomatoes, though it is not a very popular source of food in the aquatic hobby. I don’t know why. I’ve tried out feeding tomatoes to my guppies. They love it.
Can Guppies Eat Insects?
In the wild, guppies will eat all kind of insects that fall into the water. At home, I would not feed them just any kind of insects.
Insects found into your home can carry diseases or can be contaminated with chemicals, which will kill your pet guppies.
Can Guppies Eat Detritus Worm?
Yes, guppies can eat detritus worms. Here is a video of someone feeding detritus worms to guppies:
Can Guppies Eat Flies?
Guppies can eat flies; however I would not feed them with flies I catch outside. Flies can carry lots of diseases, which you don’t want to introduce to your aquarium.
Can Guppies Eat Garlic?
In lower quantities, garlic is very beneficial for fish. Garlic contains natural antibiotics, which helps combating and preventing guppy diseases.
You can add garlic to your vegetable blend that you prepare for your fish. They will love it. Though, do not add too much garlic, because in high quantities it can kill fish.
Can Guppies Eat Krill?
Yes, guppies can and will eat krill. In fact many commercial fish food contain krill.
Can Guppies Eat Rice?
Guppies can and will eat rice. Due to low nutrient value, fish keepers do not feed rice to fish very often. Adult guppy fish can survive on rice, but does not contain the necessary minerals and vitamins to keep them healthy on a rice diet.
Can Guppies Eat Earthworms?
Earthworms are a great source of protein and can be feed to fish and guppies too. Though, if you collect earthworms in the wild, to feed your guppies, make sure that the area you are collecting from has not been treated with pesticides.
Earthworms are very hardy and can store up the harmful chemicals in their cells.
Before feeding earthworms to guppies, chop them up in small pieces, because otherwise guppies will not be able to consume it.
Can Guppies Eat Planaria?
Planaria is one of the many flatworms, which is very common in aquariums. It can live in both saltwater and freshwater ponds and rivers. The presence of planaria in aquariums is a sign of overfeeding and bad filtration. Planaria can be harmful for shrimp or snails, but are harmless for guppies. In fact, guppies will eat planaria when they get the chance.
Can Guppies Eat Vegetables?
Yes, guppies will eat a wide range of vegetables. Here is the list of vegetables I feed to my guppies: zucchini, spinach leaves, cauliflower, cucumber, carrots, peas, green beans, broccoli, corn, potato, cabbage and kale.
Can Guppies Eat Fruits?
As mentioned above, guppies can eat banana, grapes, apples and other fruits too. You can mix fruits into their diet. Though, because fruits contain a high amount of fructose (sugar) it will pollute the water and can produce unwanted bacteria bloom. This is why fruits are not so popular for feeding fish.
Can Guppies Eat Mealworms?
Yes, guppies will eat mealworms. Though, is you want to feed mealworms to guppies, you will need to chop them up in small pieces. The skin on mealworms is very hard for the guppies, so they will not able to consume it. Mealworms have a high protein content and are harmless for both human and fish.
Can Guppies Eat Snails?
Guppies will not attack snails in your aquarium, because their shell is too hard for the guppies. However, if the shell breaks, guppies might nibble on the snail and eventually eat it. Snails are high in protein. Many fish keepers hate snails and break their shells just to feed them to their fish.
This guide turned out much longer than I wanted, because I’ve included a lot of information.
I really hope that you were able to take something away and gave you a good base on how to prepare food for your guppies and other fish at home.
If you have any questions regarding homemade guppy food, please leave a comment below or contact me through the contact form.