Do Guppies Eat Algae? Complete Diet Explained
Today is the time to answer one common and interesting question. Do Guppies Eat Algae? The answer is yes, they eat algae, and they are very good at it. However, algae don’t make up a complete diet. Guppies still need insects, invertebrates, and also fish fry to survive. If we take a look at the algae part of the diet, we can see that guppies get plenty of protein and additional nutrients from algae.
Types of Aquarium Algae
If you are new to the realm of tanks and fish, you may want to know which types of algae are common in aquariums today. You will also want to know how to control them and a few other important factors. Once you know the answer to the “do guppies eat algae” question, you may want to which types of algae are considered as a food source by this fish. Keep in mind that we will list only the most common algae types found in tanks today. In reality, there are countless variations and types present.
Black beard algae
Black beard algae are one of the most common types. Yes, guppies will feast on this type, and they are very effective in decreasing the amount in water. This type uses photosynthesis to feed. A byproduct is a protein known as phycoerythrin. It gives the algae black purple color, which is responsible for their name. Black beard algae grow fast, and the most common reason is low Co2, although unstable levels can contribute to growth as well.
Guppies eat staghorn algae as well. The name comes from the appearance that reminds us of horns. They are members of red algae. They are extremely hard to remove, and they grow when poor water circulation is present. Keep in mind that not many fish will eat this type of algae. Luckily guppies will.
Brown algae are one of the most annoying issues you can encounter as an aquarist. They get food via photosynthesis but also via chemicals such as nitrates, phosphorus, and also silicate. The best way to remove them is to eliminate the nutrients they need to survive. They grow in tanks with inadequate lighting conditions and where the aforementioned chemicals are present in high amounts. Brown algae appear mostly in new tanks, especially when the nitrogen process is active.
Blanket Weed is the hardest algae to remove. It creates green patches that look like wool. It can attach to anything, and it will even emit a bad odor when pressed or touched. The reason why this alga occurs in most tanks is the presence of plants with low quality. Sadly, nothing will eat blanket algae, including guppies.
Blue-green algae is actually an aquatic cyanobacterium. In other words, it isn’t a true algae, but it is commonly found in tanks, and it looks like one, so we had to include it on the list. The acronym used is BGA. It will consume all nitrogen in your tank, and it will create massive surfaces in purple, blue, and green colors. It is very difficult to remove and guppies won’t eat it. The main cause why it appears is a higher level of organic waste. Usually, it is a side effect of overfeeding.
Fuzz is commonly found in new tanks due to imbalanced chemicals present. It is rarely seen in old tanks. In the case of an old tank, low CO2 can contribute the growth. This algae grows extremely fast. You can have small amounts of this algae in your tank without any complications. Common eaters of fuzz algae are amano shrimp, black mollies, otocinclus, and SAE (Siamese algae eaters).
Green water algae
Green water algae are the most common type of them all and one that looks the worst. Luckily it isn’t toxic to your fish, but it is difficult to remove. It is a singular cell organism, meaning they can replicate at extreme levels. Changing the water of a tank won’t be effective due to this very fact. Even if you replace 98-99% of the water, they will occur again within 2-3 days.
They develop when the light is present at extremely high levels. For instance, if your tank is exposed to the sunlight. Secondly, they can develop when high levels of ammonia are present. Using a UV sterilizer is the most effective method to eliminate them. Shrimps and snails will eat green water algae.
Can Guppies Control Algae Growth?
You cannot use guppies to manage the algae count in a tank. The reason is that they are slow in eating algae, and they cannot consume big portions to make a difference. Do Guppies Eat Algae? Yes, they eat them, but they cannot eat a lot of them. If you were planning to use guppies for this purpose, you would need to change your mind.
There are two exceptions. Guppies can eat algae that are present on the glass of a tank and décor. Guppies will almost always consume algae that are on the top of the water. They will do it in small amounts. It is worth noting that the guppies count won’t affect this issue. You still cannot use them to manage algae growth.
Can Guppies Eat Vegetables?
Yes, guppies can and will eat vegetables. A good thing is the fact they will eat most of the vegetables we eat. Be free to give them kale, spinach, cucumber, and zucchini. They will also eat carrots, cabbage, and broccoli.
The most important thing to remember here is that all the vegetables you provide to guppies must be free of dressings, seasoning, or herbs in general. These can have a huge, negative effect on guppies and, as such, must be avoided.
The second thing to consider or better said to keep in mind is that all vegetables must be blanched or streamed before given to guppies. This is a simple process. You need to keep vegetables in boiling water for 30 seconds, and then you are done. This will help them eat faster and easier. Ideally, you can give them leftovers of vegetables you ate. They love eating it, and it is an important part of their diet.
What Else Do Guppies Eat?
Guppies have a versatile and amazing diet. Algae make a big part of the diet. But, guppies also eat insects and sprouting plants. They can eat leftovers from other fish that are present in the water after hunting larger fish. Most of the day, you can see guppies swimming at the bottom of a lake or a tank in our case and looking for food.
In the wild, guppies live in lakes and rivers in South America. They are most commonly found in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and some parts of the United States (southern territories only). There are over 200 different species, and most of them live in these parts of the globe. Usually, they can be found in shallow waters that can support their diet and provide all the necessary nutrients.
If you are looking for a way to provide guppies a natural diet, all of the aforementioned things they eat should be included. Yes, algae will have a huge role in all of this, but don’t forget about other things.
Pellets and Flakes
One question most aquarists have is can guppies eat pellets and flakes. The answer is yes; they can. The best part here is the fact you can actually provide an amazing diet when using these two food sources. Your guppies will be very happy inside a tank with multiple sources of food.
One issue is that not all pellet food and flakes are recommended. If you use inadequate foods of this type, guppies can develop bloating or constipation and, in some cases, even worse conditions.
The solution is to look at the flakes and pellet food that was specifically designed for guppies. These foods can make sure that the fish will have a proper diet. Even better, this food is designed to help females in carrying their young and fertility in general. Other foods are designed to boost their coloration, which will make your tank look great.
Bloodworms can be included in a diet as well. They need to be frozen before you feed guppies, and they must be given in limited amounts. Bloodworms are loaded with protein. If guppies consume too much of this food, they will get constipation. On the other hand, when bloodworms are given the correct amounts, you can see improvement in males’ colors specifically. In rare cases, female guppies may get colors on their fins.
Now you know the answer to the “do guppies eat algae” question. It would help if you remembered that guppies will eat most algae types but not all, and this isn’t their complete food source. They will also eat vegetables, pellets, flakes, and bloodworms. In general, when all of these foods are mixed, guppies have the best diet possible and exceptional life quality.