How Long Guppies Can Go Without Food? (Diet Explained)

Guppies are one of the most well-known aquarium fish, appealing to both novice and experienced hobbyists. They’re friendly, give color to your aquarium, are cheap, and are easy to care for. As a guppy owner, you surely have a lot on your mind. As long as they have a constant living environment, guppies are often placid. And this is when the problems begin to appear.

There are various reasons why your guppy stops eating. The most common reason is stress. Other reasons include poor quality or expired diet, poor water condition or poor water parameters, guppies are sick, or females may be pregnant.

How Long Guppies Can Go Without Food

In this post, we’ll look at the reasons why your guppies could refuse to eat. It’s critical to figure out what’s causing your guppies’ strange feeding habits if you want to keep them healthy in the long run. We should be able to see whether they are fussy eaters or if there are any health concerns near the end.

Why do Guppies Spit out their Food?

There are a variety of reasons for a Guppy to spit out its food, and it isn’t necessarily because they don’t enjoy it. Check here if your Guppy spits out a lot of food so you know why.

Fish Frequently Take A Huge Chunk Of Food and bite off a portion before spitting it out. Guppies’ teeth are located at the rear of the throat, and they crush rather than chew. As a result, they frequently shatter the larger pieces numerous times before finishing them.

They Don’t Like The Meal

Your fish may take a few bites, but they aren’t interested in eating the same food again. Rather than ignoring it, they take many bites since they are unclear about what it is.

The Food Is Too Difficult

We noticed that a Guppy’s teeth are in the rear of its mouth. Feeding fish like this with food pellets is not a smart idea. They will eat better if you offer them flakes that will soak and they will be able to get these to their teeth more easily. Guppies also don’t want other fish to consume their meal, so they’ll try to eat it again.

Your fish will behave differently if they are suffering from health problems. If they act normally, it’s most likely a dietary issue, with one of the aforementioned factors playing a role.

Why Do Guppies Refuse To Eat?

If you currently feed your guppies pellets and want to switch, If they continue to refuse to eat, one of the following possibilities exists:

1. Food That Has Passed Its Expiration Date

Feeding outdated food to your guppies will always backfire. If they have no other choice, many of your guppies will eat it, but they will try to avoid it as much as possible. You may see your guppies nibbling at some food at first, but then stop eating, wasting most of it. And based on their prior feeding patterns, you know that’s unusual. At this point, you must look into the issue. The idea is to see if the diet is the issue or if there is anything else at work.

Why Do Guppies Refuse To Eat

Guppies may refuse food for a variety of reasons, including water quality, illness, insufficient tank oxygenation, and so on. All of these issues will have their own set of warning indicators. Look for indicators of disease, such as abnormal swimming patterns, guppies who look lethargic and have low energy levels, and so on. If nothing comes out, check the quality of the food, especially if you’re using commercial-grade flakes or pellets. To avoid any food-related issues, always use live food or, at the very least, get your fish food from reputable merchants that only sell high-quality items.

2. Guppies That are Stressed

Guppies might is stressed for a variety of reasons. These are some of them:

a. Male-To-Female Ratio is Insufficient

When there is more than one guppy male every 2-3 females, the tank dynamics will surely shift for the worst. During the mating season, guppy males may be highly demanding, intimidating, and freaking out females. This can make them seek shelter everywhere they can and lead them to lose their appetite.

Male-To-Female Ratio is Insufficient

b. Tank Mates That is Predatory

While guppies are pleasant and quiet, not all fish are. Some people may not get along with your guppies, resulting in bullying and even predatory behavior, turning your guppies into victims. They may be seen moving towards the substrate, always seeking a place to hide and avoiding other fish. This will cause the guppies to get stressed, causing them to lose their appetite, weaken their immune system, and change their general behavior.

c. Water Parameter Fluctuations

Guppies are tropical fish that thrive in warm, clean, and well-oxygenated waters. Any significant changes in the water’s properties will have an impact on their behavior and well-being. To avoid this problem, I propose checking temperature, oxygenation, ammonia levels, pH, TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), and other pertinent water parameters on a regular basis.

Set the fish Water Parameters Correctly

Reduced or full loss of food, hiding behavior, irregular or static swimming, and other symptoms of guppy stress might be observed. Guppy stress, if left untreated, can result in a compromised immune system, making the fish more susceptible to parasites, sickness, and diseases.

3. Problems With Water Quality

Replace at least half of your guppies’ water every week to avoid dangerous bacterial development, increased ammonia levels, and poor oxygenation. All of these problems will grow with time, severely affecting the aquarium ecosystem.

Problems With Water Quality

Your guppies will immediately display signs of illness or ammonia poisoning, such as a lack of appetite and a lack of appetite. Improper tank conditions can compromise your guppies’ immune system, allowing parasites and other health problems to thrive.

4. Overfeeding

This is usually caused by feeding your fish too much of the same type of food. If it’s flaked, they may look to be overfed and not eating as much as they should.

5. Frightened Guppy

Fear can cause a fish to refuse to eat. Larger, more aggressive fish generally scare smaller, more docile tank mates away while competing for food in a community tank. To assist alleviate this problem, choose fish for your community tank that is comparable in size and temperament, or feed enough to lessen competition for limited food supplies.

Symptoms to be aware of

Observe your guppies’ general behavior and appearance to see if they’re having problems. The following are some of the red flags to be aware of:

  • Appetitelessness
  • Discoloring
  • Eyes that are swollen or hazy are an indication of parasite diseases.
  • Body injuries that are visible

Near the tank’s surface, fish are gasping for oxygen, and so on. You should also keep a continual eye on the aquarium’s parameters to avoid ammonia accumulation, insufficient oxygenation, harmful TDS levels, and other problems.

Guppy Fish That is Sick

Another issue that may affect your guppies’ behavior over time is guppy disease. There are a variety of ailments that can affect your guppies, including:

Symptoms To Be Aware Of

Ick or White Patches

This ailment is easily identified because of the prominent white spots that cover the guppy’s body. The condition is treatable if identified in time. If not, it can be fatal, much like any other severe fish sickness.

Velvet Illness

Is a contagious disease that affects both men and women. An infectious disease that looks a lot like Ick. The difference is that the white spots have become gold, and the fish will eventually shed its skin. This can result in a dreadful and agonizing death, and to make matters worse, it’s difficult to detect the problem in the first place.

Velvet Disease

Guppy illness resembles a parasitic ailment caused by a parasite that enters the guppy’s circulation. Except for guppies and a few others, this parasite is normally safe for most fish tanks.


Dropsy is a frequent bacterial infection-caused condition. Due to the infection harming the fish’s liver and kidney, your guppy’s belly will fail to remove any fluids. This will cause swimming difficulties since the guppy will have a swollen tummy and a bent spine as a result.


All of these circumstances, as well as others, will disrupt your guppies’ feeding routine. The ‘good’ news is that, in addition to a loss of appetite, the majority of these health issues are accompanied by a variety of other symptoms. This will assist you in identifying the problem and taking proper action.

Guppy in Pregnancy

Females will go into labor 21 to 30 days after they have mated. They will eat less or not at all, swim in place, or seek hiding locations within the tank’s flora as a result of this. This isn’t caused for alarm because it’s usual behavior for a guppy female in childbirth. It’s your responsibility to spot these signals early so you can separate the female from the male in a separate tank.

Pregnant Guppy

The female may give birth to between 2 and 200 fries during the course of many hours of labor, depending on a variety of factors. These aspects include the female’s genetic composition, tank conditions, and feeding, among others. Don’t be concerned if your guppy female looks to be hungry. She’ll be back to normal after delivering the fry.

What Kind Of Food Should my Guppies Eat?

Guppies are omnivores, therefore meals rich in both vegetables and meat will appeal to them. We found that pellets may be too big, but these, as well as the preferred flakes, are adequate. Rather than adhering to this style, it is recommended that they vary their food throughout the day.

What Kind Of Food Should My Guppies Eat

Give them a little amount of food that they can finish in 20-40 seconds. Using many little pinches of flake foods is the best technique. Don’t feed your guppies all at once if you’re feeding them live food like blood worms or brine shrimp. They should be divided into many doses. Wait for your guppy to eat the first mouthful before continuing to feed.

Invest in Flake Food Formulated Specifically for Tropical Fish

As a basic, daily meal supply, flake food can be obtained from a pet store or a fish shop. While guppies will eat any flake meal, the ones with both protein and vegetable elements are the best.


Replace the occasional flake food meal with a more nutritional one. While guppies may survive on flake food alone, frozen or live plants and animals can supplement a flake food diet with additional nutrients. Replace one flake food meal every 2–7 days with no more goodies than the guppies can eat in 60 seconds.

Feed on a Schedule

Overfeeding guppies can lead to serious complications, including death, therefore feeding the right quantity is equally as important as supplying on a regular basis. For both adults and fry, feed only as much as the guppies would ingest in a few minutes. If food remains after that period, reduce the amount of food given at each meal.

Treat Your Guppies

In addition to usual flake food, brine shrimp, blood worms, daphnia, and mosquito larvae can be fed to them on occasion. These high-protein meals supplement their usual diet by providing additional nutrients.

How Long Can Guppies Go Without Eating?

If you haven’t fed your Guppies in a few days, don’t feel bad. They can go for up to two weeks without it. If you have a few fries in your tank, they have a three-day survival rate if you don’t feed them.

Follow these measures if you’re planning to leave your Guppies alone for a few days and want to make sure they’re comfortable and have the greatest possible water conditions:

How Long Can Guppies Go Without Eating?

Temperatures in the water should be similar to those seen in their native habitat. Temperatures between 72 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal.

Guppies are comfortable in a strong flow as long as they can escape the stream. This shouldn’t be enough to cover the entire tank.

pH values in the water: Guppies are fairly resilient and can withstand pH levels ranging from 5.5 to 8.5. They do, however, favor pH values between 7.0 and 7.2. It is critical to maintain certain pH values in order to limit the amount of ammonia in the water, which can make it hazardous. Guppies will die if the pH level increases above 8.5. The nitrite levels should also be checked.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Female Guppy Refusing to Eat?

There are a few reasons why your female guppy could not be eating, and one of them is because she’s pregnant. Isolating the guppy in a breeder box, experimenting with different foods, and cleaning the tank may help. Putting your female guppy in a breeder box until she begins to feed might make her feel safer in her surroundings.

Why is my Male Guppy Refusing to Eat?

Stress, environmental change, water change, or he doesn’t like the food are all typical causes for male guppies to refuse to eat. You may remove items you know aren’t the reason by starting with an option and working your way through it.

The Bottom Line on How Long Guppies Can Go Without Food?

Guppies have a consistent appetite. If your guppies’ eating habit changes significantly, take a systematic approach to the matter and take necessary action right away. Remember that your guppies should only eat once or twice a day, and only as much as they can take in one minute. You may even feed them every other day in certain circumstances. It relies entirely on how you’ve set up their feeding schedule up to that moment.

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