What I Feed My Guppies

  • #1
Hi, I have been into guppies since I was a teenager. My dad raised them for a year or two then gave up. I was not to much into fish until lately, the last 10 years or so. When I had my daughter, the stress from work and having a baby led me to get a ten gallon tank and a bunch of male guppies from walmart...... that was 2009

Of course my hobbby exploded and I had a fishroom in the basement of our first house. Stopped working in 2010 because of physical and anxiety issues. We lived in apartments for a long time so I was not able to keep more than a couple tanks.

Now I have a house all to myself and I have been getting heavily into guppies. I had a fishroom with more than 20 tanks at one point, but that became too much work and stress so I decided to scale it down. I have 4 tanks now, 2 38 gallon display tanks and 2 20 gallon highs on a rack, for growing out males and females.

Sorry to rant on, yes food that is the subject of this post.
Everybody loves to get diffrent food for their fish, and this is my experience.

Dont get the cheap tetramin or omega one. HikarI makes good food. The hikarI "fancy guppy" pellets have been in the hobby for 20 + years, its not a staple for me, but floating micro pellets good quality and it can be a staple.
Colbalt tropical flake is my staple. Along with freeze dried brine shrimp. Freeze dried means that you get the cleanest food with the most nutritional value aside from live. I don't trust live food, I have had too many issues with parasites and bacteria over the years to trust food. I am very careful.

HikarI makes freeze dried tubifex worms. I can say this, you can use them, but you are taking a slight risk doing so. Tubificids are nasty sewer dwelling worms that often eat feces, or whatever else lurks in the nasty muck of drainage ditch or sewers. The irradiating and Flash frozen freeze dried process kills most of the bad stuff. I have been feeding freeze dried tubificids lately, haven't had really any problems, but there is one thing in paticular that can be really bad, and its called "whirling disease"
It is an invasive micro-spore parasite that has migrated from europe to the Americas in the last 30 years. I don't think they have it in Asia. Not yet anyway. Adults that consume tubifex infected with Mycrocerbus cerbalisis or whatever its spelled, will often float vertically and then "tail chase" as if the fish was possed. What actually happens is the microsporazan migrates into the spine and then into the brain of the fish, and it dies a horrible death, often floating vertically. That is what can happen with tubificids. Also, Fish TB Microbacteria can lurk in the worms. I have been told by fancy guppy expert breeders that some parasites and eggs can survive the freeze dried process. This is a topic up for debate, but I'm done taking about it. Use them with caution, and only freeze dried.
Oh another note, before I move on. There is a product called "naladin" that is a type of antibiotic acid that can kill Neon tetra disease, whirling disease, and the other things that can harbor in tubifex worms. One can hardly ignore the fact that these are excellent sources of protein and fat, and they are cheap. If you were to soak the worms (broken apart somewhat) in this acid overnight, wash them with tap water, then put back into the freezer, and if you use freeze dried to begin with and then do this in a small tank or bucket, I can't really see how anything could survive this. Look it up. Naladin.

Moving on. I like the blackworms. California blackworms are irradiated and then flash freeze dried. They are big enough to make your guppies fat and happy, and small enough that the smaller fish and even wild guppies/feeders/endlers hybrids so forth can easily and greedily consume them. Similar nutritional value as tubifex but without the risk of parasites, however your gonna pay a lot more for them than tubifex worms, costing about $20 for 20 grams, which is about 30 cubes.

I like the idea of using food like the fish would eat in nature, but using it freeze dried. Brine shirmp I buy freeze dried. Omega one has freeze dried brine shrimp cubes for sale at petco. I don't like flake. I don't like flake in any form, it spreads out and pollutes the water. If you use flake primarily, use a feeding ring or a stryafoam cup floating , or a diy ring of a plastic butter container lid with the center cut out. ANYTHING to stop that flake from spreading all over and fouling the tank.
I feed the freeze dried brine shrimp alot. I break it up and put it in a glass jar. Freeze dried food should always be pre-soake for a couple minutes so it dosent expand in their stomach. But the big fish get the big parts and the babies get the smaller dust like particles. Its hard to say that live brine shrimp is not better, but I don't want to deal with the mess and smell.

How do I feed my fish? With a small measuring cup and a ear syringe meant to give toddlers motrin. You can ask for and get them free from CVS or Wallgreens. I buy a freeze dried garlic jar from the store and drop a few pieces in the container and let it soak for 5 minutes, but not every time. Guppies will come right up to the syringe and eat from it like a baby seal would. You can also use baby bottles if you want to be cute with it.

My last topic, pro biotics. Pro biotic food can increase the growth of fish by 50% or more. It leads to healthy gut flora, and cleaner tanks. Colbalt now puts pro-biotics in all their foods. Their pellets sink, so go with the flake. Its very reasonable price and a good quality food. They have diffrent foods for chiclids, color flake, brine shrimp flake, ect ect.
I highly reccomend spending the 6 or 7 dollars on a big container of probiotic flake, and using it off and on reguarly. Keeps the fish healthy, and the tank cleaner. Healthy gut flora means the Good bacteria out-competes the bad, and your fish are less likely to get bacterial infections or mycrobacteriosis.

I also have medicated flakes, stored in mason glass jars with labels, for a rainy day. I have all the following flakes, tho I rarely use them anymore....
- Levimasole
- Pancur
- General cure
- Terramycin
- Kanamycin
- Doxycycline
  • #2
  • #3
Thanks for posting this.

As you know from posting on my other thread, I’m having no luck with guppies. I initially dismissed them as “beginner” fish but my daughter was enamoured with them so we got some. I find them very engaging and quite charming fish.

Do you have recommendations for finding stock? I am in Canada with one LFS and a major chain store. I have lost more guppies than I care to think about and while the store will give me credit back or replace them, I am so sad to see them die.

I am a fairly experienced fish keeper with 9 tanks and most of my fish are thriving, so I’m getting very discouraged with gups.

Is there something in particular I should be doing or looking for when I choose fish? Would you also recommend a preventative round of parasite meds? I suspect but cannot be sure it’s parasites killing them (some have had white poop, some have had bloating, some have had no symptoms at all, some have died in days, a few others in weeks). I’m down to one lonely guppy and I know I should add more, just don’t want to consign them to an early grave.

Thanks again for posting - a great benefit from your experience and much appreciated.
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  • #4
that's nice, have you ever had honey gouramis
No but I plan on setting a few tubs outside along my fence among the flowers with some pond plants in it, and putting a few guppies in the tubs. A gourami would be a decent fish for a pond like setup with water lily. Ill get one.
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  • #5
The stores around me, petco, petsmart, have a large assortment of matching guppies male and female that are kept separate and virgin. During the spring summer and fall I am able to go in every friday and pick out some nice healthy fish straight out of florida. Petco gets them assorted out of California, but that is where the nice red cobra, yellow lace, and snow white guppies come from. Its a very nice selection with 2 stores of each kind in my city. I can only say that whenever I buy fish online they usually die, so I stick with pet store fish.

If they are healthy fish going into a healthy established aquarium, the only thing I would suggest is de-worming them.
Levimasole, General Cure, and or Pancur can all be bought in flake. You need to treat for parasites and two diffrent types of worms, but I do believe you can combine all three during a 3 or 4 day quarantine period. Heat, salt, and stress coat in a 5 or ten gallon tank. 82f 1tsp per gallon aq salt
I do believe you can combine General cure with Levimasole, try this approach ^
That is my Q procedure, GC flake and Lv. Flake for a few days, and the other stuff before they go into my big tanks.
If you need to treat for bacterial issues, the only time I would do that is if you buy a bunch of guppies at once or they go into a tank that is not fully cycled.
  • #6
Have you fed Repashy? Repahy grup pie is doing good things for my endlers.
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
No it' a gel? I do want to try to make a gel food again. Last time I used two packs if gelatin and it was too hard. Looked like my guppies were chewing gum
  • #8
lol chewing gum...well, Repashy's my bread & butter fish food. Once the Corys start on it, the guppies follow them to dinner every time. : )
  • #9
I'm a big repashy fan. It's easier for my fish to eat over pellets. Nothing like chewing gum in any way.

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