Guppies are unpretentious small aquarium fish, the simple content of which explains the popularity of the species among both beginners and experienced breeders. An important feature is that they are viviparous – fry are formed in the mother’s abdomen and are born already capable of independent life. One individual can produce from 10 to 100 babies at a time, depending on their age, but then the question of feeding offspring arises. We offer you to figure out how and what to feed guppy fry correctly and what nuances you should pay attention to.
Feeding features of guppies
Before the offspring guppy appears, the pregnant female is placed in a separate aquarium so that the young that appears does not become food for other adults. The guppy fry is housed and fed separately until they become competitive for life in a shared aquarium. The diet of small fish differs from the diet of adults guppies and has the following features:
- Periodicity – for babies, it takes 5-6 meals a day, all the food should be eaten in one feeding. The settling of food debris at the bottom of the aquarium creates a dangerous increase in the nitrogen content for guppies, which can lead to the death of the offspring;
- Food sizes – unlike food for adult fish, food for small guppies should be much smaller. Dry food before serving in the aquarium is pressed between the fingers to a state of dust;
- Lighting – it is forbidden to turn off the light in the aquarium, especially the first week;
- The volumes of food served. From birth, for the first two weeks, guppy fry should receive an abundant amount of food, which would exceed their weight by an average of 60%. In a period of up to two months, the portion size to weight ratio is doubled. Only after two months of age, the grown-up guppies fish begin to feed moderately – first, offering food in an amount of a third of the weight, and in the future – 15%.
Three months after they are kept separately, the young grow guppy can be returned to the common aquarium – they are already old enough and large fish will not be able to harm them.
Nutrition in the early days
Almost immediately after birth, the guppy fry begins to look for food. The most important feeding period for the breeder is the first 3-5 days when the babies should receive abundant, nutritious food with the lights on all the time. On the first day and throughout the week, you can offer the fish the so-called “live dust” – small live food. Such food includes ciliates shoes, rotifers, micro worms on oatmeal made from carrot juice, brine shrimp nauplii, etc.
In the first 5 days, food should be made up to 5 times a day, at any time the babies should find high-quality food – this will allow them to fully develop and grow strong.
Natural food for guppy fry over a week old
Natural food is preferred by many experienced professional aquarists. From the second week, feeding is reduced to 4 times a day, supplementing the early ratio with complementary foods in the form of crushed bloodworms, nematodes, tubifexes (no more than 2 times a week). You can dilute a micro worm, which is well eaten and absorbed by young guppies, according to the following scheme:
- Prepare a nutrient medium – mix cornflour with a little water until a creamy consistency is obtained, add a little yeast to the mass;
- Either take a micro worm from another owner of the aquarium, or find fallen leaves outside in a humid environment, and run into the corn mass;
- After a few days, the micro worm will multiply enough to feed the aquarium pets.
Guppy fry older than a week are given:
- Egg yolk from a hard-boiled egg. It must be kneaded with a fork, slightly diluted with water from the aquarium, and placed in a piece of gauze. The resulting bag is lowered into a container with guppy fry and shaken so that egg dust comes out – the young guppies will eat it;
- At home, you can feed the offspring with an omelet. In the process of cooking, add a teaspoon of dried and chopped nettle or rolled oats to the egg. With constant beating, pour 50 ml of boiling milk into the mass – in the process, the egg will curl up, and the finished small omelet can be offered to the guppy fry;
- Milk powder. The container with milk is placed in a water bath and boiled until completely evaporated. The resulting powder is collected and offered as a top dressing for small fish;
- Curdled milk. To curl up the milk protein, the product is poured with boiling water, and the resulting curd is washed to remove the formed whey. Feeding is done from a net, shaking it to release small particles;
- Cheese. Hard or processed cheese without additives with a neutral taste is grated on a fine grater and dried a little. Such feeding is given only in small quantities, as its surplus can adversely affect the quality of the water.
The described substitutes cannot be a complete food for guppies fish, they can be introduced into the food system, but with the obligatory alternation with other foods. It is important to add a small number of algae, phytoplankton, and other plant components to the diet. From a month, the feeding of guppy fry is enriched with crushed bloodworms, tubule, cyclops, daphnia.
Purchased feed for guppies
It is widely believed that feeding guppy babies with dry food are only possible when they reach the age of one month, and the maximum frequency of such feeding in the first four weeks cannot exceed once a week. However, many people prefer feeding aquarium fish fry on the basis of special balanced food, to which nothing needs to be added. There are proposals from MicroMin, Micropan Sulfur, etc., designed specifically for raising offspring.
Starter feed from the German company Tetra is popular. It comes in the form of a dense paste, which contains the following components:
- Beef and fish liver;
- Brine shrimp;
- Egg yolk;
- Mosquito larvae;
- Sprouted wheat crushed into flour, etc.
Feeding by “start” is carried out as follows: the neck of an open tube is lowered into the water, a portion of food is removed from it by light pressing, which gradually dissolves in the aquarium water and becomes suitable and convenient for use by guppy fry.
A big plus of purchased formulations is their balance, which is quite difficult to achieve when using natural food. So, vitamins A, T, carotene, calcium fluoride, and other important components are added to the feed, which is necessary for growth and development.
Proper feeding of guppy fry from the first days is the key to obtaining beautiful and healthy adults. Regardless of the chosen scheme – eating with commercial feed or live and home food – it is important to follow the basic rules regarding the frequency of feeding and its amount. Any food for a guppies fry should be varied in composition, balanced and fresh, otherwise, you can lose offspring altogether.