I remember how frustrated I was when I couldn’t figure out how often I should feed my guppy fry. As I couldn’t find a straight answer online, I often overfed my guppies, doing more harm than good. Fortunately, as years passed, I gained some experience in this field.
As the guppy fry are born, they should be fed four to eight meals a day, in three to four hours intervals. You can reduce the frequency to three or four meals each day after two months and one or two meals a day after five months.
As we proceed, I will elaborate on how often you should feed your guppy fry. Then, I’ll discuss how long guppy fry can go without food and the ideal diet for them.
Still curious? Feel free to check my complete guide on guppy fry. There, I discussed how to care for guppy fry, what they eat, how often to feed them, their growth stages, and much more.
How Often To Feed Guppy Fry?
Guppy fry will not survive if you fail to feed them adequately. Fortunately, their feeding habits do not differ drastically from adult guppies. If you can feed adult guppies, you can also feed their younger counterparts.
Though, you have to make a few minor tweaks to their diet. Adult guppies must eat two to three times a day. Some of them can survive on just one meal a day. It generally depends on the fish.
The babies have voracious appetites, so three meals won’t cut it. If they had their way, they would eat every 30 minutes. This is because their digestive cycle is 30 minutes. But you can’t feed them so frequently.
Aim for four to eight meals a day. Inject a break of three or four hours between meals. You can reduce the frequency to three or four meals each day after two months and one or two meals a day after five months.
You have to design a dynamic diet that includes different types of food. Otherwise, the babies may reject their meals.
Feeding the fry so frequently can be daunting. That is why I recommend getting an automatic feeder, such as the well-known Zacro Petbank Automatic Fish Feeder (link to Amazon).
Profit vs. Casual Breeding
Many people do not have the time to feed their guppy fry eight times a day, especially when it takes them up to six months to grow. That is why they invest in an automatic feeder. But you can’t always trust these devices solely.
First of all, the use of an automatic feeder prevents aquarists from bonding with their fish. Believe it or not, the act of adding food to an aquarium can enhance your relationship with your fish.
If you don’t want to bond with your fish, you should also consider that automatic feeders are vulnerable to malfunctions. They can either overfeed or underfeed your fish.
If that isn’t concerning enough, automatic feeders are not compatible with frozen food. Therefore, some aquarists avoid them altogether.
This is not a problem if your aquarium is a hobby. In fact, you can afford to feed the fry just once a day. Yes, some of them will die. But that is a good thing. You don’t want to crowd the tank with guppies.
The strongest fish will survive on the few meals you provide. If the others die, you can feed them to the adult fish. If the babies share a tank with their parents, you can let nature take its course.
Let the young ones survive on the three meals you feed the adults. This will keep your population of guppies under control.
On the other hand, commercial aquarists don’t have this luxury. They have to feed their babies five to ten times a day because they want the majority to survive.
Can I Overfeed Or Underfeed Guppy Fry?
Baby guppies eat a lot. Nonetheless, you can overfeed them. Overfeeding is terrible because it makes the creatures sick. It can also destroy the chemical balance of their water because they are producing more waste than usual.
This is why you can’t afford to feed the fry every 30 minutes, even though their digestive cycle is 20-30 minutes. You are better off underfeeding than overfeeding.
If you underfeed the fry, you can simply add more food. But if you overfeed the guppies, you can’t take the food they ate away. It’s too late. Therefore, as a beginner, start small. Aquarists recommend 5 to 10 meals a day for babies.
So, start with five meals. Give them food they can consume in five minutes. If the baby fish manifest signs of hunger, such as sluggishness and swimming at the top, you can increase the size and frequency of the meals.
If you’re not around for several days, find a fish sitter, a person that can feed the fish during your absence. Use automatic feeders as a last resort. If the devices malfunction, the babies could starve to death before you return.
At the very least, ask someone to check the automatic feeder every once in a while during your absence. Ask that same individual to clean the tank. For all their benefits, automatic feeders cannot remove leftovers or rotting organisms from the water.
How Long Can Guppy Fry Go Without Food?
Baby fish should eat multiple meals a day. But that doesn’t mean they will die if you reduce the frequency of the feedings. Adult guppies can survive without food for two weeks, especially if they are healthy.
Guppy fry are smaller, which is why two weeks is too long. But they can still survive for three days without food. This should give people with busy schedules some peace of mind.
A baby fish that can survive for two or three days without food can also get by on two or three meals a day. In other words, while you need five to ten meals for the best results, you have some room to breathe.
However, the fry’s ability to survive will depend on several factors, including:
Guppies eat algae. The fry can graze on soft algae for a little while. Some aquarists feed their baby guppies four times or less each day because they expect the creatures to supplement their diet with the algae.
That also includes the organic matter the plants shed. As a rule of thumb, the more algae you have, the longer the fry will survive without your intervention.
- Water Parameters
The parameters can affect your fry’s ability to survive without food. For instance, cold water makes guppies sluggish and eat less. Warm water does the opposite. It makes the guppies more active, increasing their appetite.
The wrong pH, hardness, and temperature will cause stress. Stress will reduce the fry’s chances of surviving without food. You should test the water before you leave. Make sure the parameters are appropriate.
Try aiming for a pH ranging between 6.8 and 7.6. The ammonia and nitrites should be kept at 0 ppm, and the nitrates below 20 ppm. You can test those with the well-known API Water Test Kit (link to Amazon). It is highly accurate and lasts for hundreds of measurements.
Dirty water will make the fry sick, and sick babies require regular meals to recover. Check the filters. Their strength should match the size of the aquarium.
You should also perform a significant water change of 50 percent or more before leaving. Remove all the decaying organic matter you can see. Otherwise, it will pollute the water in your absence.
- Adult Fish
This goes without saying. Guppy fry in a community aquarium are less likely to survive without food because they have to compete with the adult fish for the algae and plant matter.
They may spend more time hiding than grazing on the algae. The resulting stress could also kill their appetite, preventing them from eating when the opportunity arises.
What Should I Feed My Guppy Fry?
Guppy fry can basically eat the same food as their parents. That includes bloodworms, brine shrimp, flakes, egg yolk, vegetables, and beef heart. However, the main difference is that their mouths are significantly smaller.
Therefore, I highly suggest grinding the food before introducing it to the fry. I also recommend mixing different kinds of food while including vegetables in their diet. For example, you may mix cucumbers with bloodworms.
This way, your fry will enjoy both vitamins and protein. For more information, here is an entire article where I discussed what guppy fry eat. I also included some helpful Youtube videos that illustrate the right way to feed guppy fry.
If you found this article helpful, these may also interest you:
- How Long Do Guppy Fry Need To Be Separated?
- Guppy Fry Growth Stages: A Full Guide With Pictures
- Do Guppy Fry Need An Air Pump? (And Which One)
- What Can I Do With Unwanted Guppy Fry?
- Is It OK To Let Guppies Eat Their Fry?
Pro tip: If your guppies breed frequently, you’ll need to know a little more about that process. Feel free to check my complete guide on pregnant guppies.
Guppy fry should eat every three hours, which is about five times a day. Doing so can be time-consuming and isn’t suitable for everyone. Therefore, I suggest considering an automatic feeder. Make sure you pick one that can feed within those intervals.
It is also worth mentioning that your guppy fry aren’t likely to suffer if you feed them less than that. They are better off being underfed than overfed. It is actually a good thing if they look hungry, as it indicates that they are healthy.
When choosing the food for guppy fry, I suggest picking protein-riched types, such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and beef heart. Mix those with vegetables, so the fish also get the vitamins they need.