What can you feed your guppies if you’re out of fish food? Guppies can survive without food for two weeks. If you run out of flake food there is a variety of other options to choose from.
Your children didn’t tell you they had used the last of the flake food yesterday, and now you have nothing on hand to feed your guppies? That’s okay, they will be alright for a few days. The next time you go to the grocery store, there are foods you can pick up to feed them.
What kinds of human foods can guppies eat?
Guppies will eat at the top of the tank. You’ll want to have food that can float or will not sink very quickly.
Guppies can eat a wide variety of vegetables if you run out of your regular flake food. That being said, there are a few things you’re going to want to keep in mind if that’s the route you’re going to take.
- Leaving the food in the tank for longer than 12 hours if the guppy hasn’t eaten everything can contaminate your water. It could alter the PH level and make it dirty.
- Food has to be small enough that the guppies can eat it. It’s recommended that you try to keep the bites of food about the size of their eye.
- The jelly parts of fruit, like the insides of tomatoes or cucumbers, can contaminate the tank. Only feed your fish the solid bits of the vegetables.
If necessary, your guppies can survive off of the algae in their tank for a little bit. You have time for a grocery run.
Here are some suggestions for vegetables for your guppies:
- Mustard Greens
- Bell Peppers
- Shelled Peas
There are some fruits you can give them, but it isn’t really recommended to be a large portion of their diet. The sugar is hard for the guppies to deal with, as they never had anything like that in the wild.
If you absolutely have to, you can chop up grapes or bananas. Just make sure it’s small enough that the guppies can easily consume it and that you remove it from the tank if the guppies aren’t eating it.
About 20 percent of your guppies’ diet should be protein. But pay attention, proteins left too long in the tank can also cause serious consequences.
The excess foods will need to be removed from the tank three to four hours after feeding. Afterward, make sure you do a water 10 – 20 per cent water change to ensure clean water.
If necessary, your guppies can have some of the proteins you might prepare for yourself:
- Raw Shrimp
- Slivered Raw Beef
- Slivered Raw Chicken
- Slivered Raw Lamb
- Cut up Boiled Egg Whites (Don’t use the yolk as it will disintegrate and the guppies can’t eat this).
It’s possible to create your own culture of brine shrimp, daphnia or micro-worms at home. It will require some effort, and some of these will be smelly setups.
You can purchase kits to grow:
- Brine Shrimp (We recommend getting this Brine Shrimp Hatchery Dish here)
- Vinegar Eels
If you don’t want to purchase a kit, you can make a DIY version with the instructions in the video below.
Having a set up for food in your own home does require a bit of commitment. The creatures you are using to feed your fish will need to be looked after as well.
There is also the possibility that your hatcheries don’t survive. You’ll want to make sure that you have backup freeze-dried food just in case.
Still, we want you to know that brine shrimp is actually pretty awesome for guppies. Here is why!
There is always the standard fish flake food that you can get for your guppies. There are also a few alternatives for your little guys:
- Freeze-dried brine shrimp
- Freeze-dried bloodworms
- Freeze-dried tubifex worms
- Veggie pallets
The flake food has all of the vitamins and minerals your guppy will need, so it’s recommended that they eat this at least once a day.
That being said, you can help your fish live it up a bit by offering them a variety. Just make sure you read the instructions on how to feed them if you are using something that you’re not familiar with.
Fish flakes can be scattered over the top of the water. Everything else needs to be divided into portions with only a little being put in at a time.
It’s easy to overfeed your fish with some of the freeze-dried food.
What will happen if I don’t feed my guppies?
Your guppies will be able to survive for a little bit without food, so don’t panic. You can run to the store tomorrow and they’ll still be okay. The adults can survive up to two weeks without food.
Ideally, your fish should eat up to three times per day. You’ll want to feed them small amounts that they can eat in under five minutes so the food doesn’t go foul.
If they don’t have food, guppies can also survive on the algae in the tank. This isn’t their ideal food source, but it will sustain them while you make the trip to the store.
Also, keep in mind, if there is no food and there are babies in the tank, your adult guppies will probably eat the fry.
If you are trying to breed guppies, don’t plan any long vacations. The fry, which are the baby guppies, will likely not survive more than three days without food.
Unlike their parents, the fry don’t have the energy reserves to fall back on when they are forced to fast.
There are solutions like this automatic feeder, though you’ll have to be careful. You’re relying on your auto feeder to keep your fish fed when you aren’t going to be there to check on them. If there is a failure, there could be severe consequences for your fish.
What kind of food can you use in an automatic feeder?
Your auto feeders will require flakes, pellets or crumbles. Anything that can be dispensed easily and will stay dry.
Pros and cons of an automatic fish feeder.
So you’re going on vacation and you’ve decided an automatic feeder is the way you’re going to go. That’s great, these feeders can be very helpful for fish owners.
Here are some things you can look forward to:
- You can preset the amount of food your fish will have, as well as the number of times they will be fed every day.
- There will be less food waste. If you leave someone who isn’t used to feeding fish in charge, there’s a chance they’ll overfeed to err on the side of caution.
- With less food waste your tank will stay cleaner for a longer period of time. Meaning it won’t be such a chore to clean it when you get home.
There are, however, some things that you’ll have to keep in mind:
- Even with an automatic feeder, you’re going to want someone to check on your fish every two to three days. If there is a power outage or your automatic feeder stops working you’ll want your fish to still have someone there.
- It’s possible that the automatic feeder will malfunction and put out more food than is needed. In this case you’re going to have a very dirty tank when you come home. And possibly some sick fish.
I can’t get an auto feeder, now what?
If you can’t afford an automatic feeder you’ll want to make sure you have someone who can come check on your fish every couple of days. Preferably, it will be someone that you can trust who knows how to deal with fish.
You wouldn’t leave your dog with someone who hates animals, right?
Try to have your sitter over a few times to feed the fish while you are there. Training them in advance can assure you a restful time away and less stress for the person watching the little ones.
You can either provide fish flakes for your sitter or have them use homemade food for your pets. It’s probably best to only ask experienced fish owners to look after any cultures you have in your home. That will require more work.
Post a list of all of the foods your fish can eat and what the portions should be if the guppies are having homemade food. Any easy reference or guide will mean far less mistakes.