Yes, guppies eat algae and can benefit a great deal from it. However, they need a variety of foods in order to lead a long, healthy life. And they won’t clean your tank of algae the way a traditional algae eater will.
Guppies are sweet colorful fish that can be easily maintained. However, aquarists often wonder: do guppies eat algae? Are algae good for my guppies? Can guppies survive on algae alone?
If these questions have ever crossed your mind, you’ve come to the right place. This article dives into everything related to your guppies’ diet and algae-eating habits.
Read on for more!
Do Guppies Eat Algae?
Guppies do eat algae in combination with other food types. They provide them with minerals and nutrients that keep them healthy and strong.
Guppies need more than just algae to keep them healthy.
The one downside is that algae can lower oxygen levels in the tank water. However, it won’t harm your guppies when consumed.
What Are Algae?
Despite the looks, algae aren’t a plant per se. They’re green and, in some cases, grow like plants. However, without a stem, a root, or leaves, algae lack the basic structure of plants.
The term “algae” refers to a family of cells that don’t need much light to thrive. They naturally grow in your aquarium.
What Types of Algae Do Guppies Eat?
We usually generalize when referring to algae. However, there are several types that are safe for your guppies to consume, while others may not be the best option for your fish.
Take a look.
Algae Consumed by Guppies
Your guppies can consume certain types of algae, such as:
Also known as fuzz or thread algae, the green hair algae commonly grow on the gravel and decorations in your aquarium. They’re among the hardest to remove, but guppies save the day by regularly munching on them, cutting back on their growth.
This type of algae is usually found in your newly set-up tank, especially if it has insufficient light. Brown algae are soft and can’t stick to surfaces, which is why guppies enjoy snacking on them.
They typically appear on the sides and bottom of the tank. That’s why it’s easy to clean brown algae with a sponge or a scrubber.
Black Beard Algae
This is one of the types that guppies lovingly devour. Black beard algae are tough to remove. They are soft and slippery and grow within bushy clumps.
Guppies eat staghorn algae fast. This type isn’t easy to remove. They appear on decorations, plants, and technically anything in the aquarium.
Algae Not Consumed by Guppies
These aren’t even algae, which is probably why guppies stay away from them. Check it out.
Despite being commonly referred to as algae, they don’t share any of their traits. They’re actually a type of bacteria called Cyanobacteria that can grow due to excess direct sunlight.
Blue-green algae spread rapidly on glass, decorations, and rocks. They produce a toxic substance that can harm your guppies. Fortunately, guppies don’t eat this type of algae.
Are Algae Good for Guppies?
Algae can be nutritious for your guppies. They absorb nutrients and oxygen from the tank, making them great at providing your guppies with proteins, amino acids, and other nutrients.
Algae can even be beneficial to guppy babies, known as guppy fry, because of their high protein content.
Can Guppies Survive Only on Algae?
Although algae constitute a large portion of a guppy’s diet in the wild, guppies can’t live on algae alone. They need to consume other food types, such as insects, plants, and other fish.
Guppies need a well-balanced diet that includes iron, phosphorus, zinc, calcium, and other nutrients. Algae can be good, but they don’t provide everything that guppies require to grow and thrive.
Generally speaking, guppies like to search for a variety of food sources. However, in a tank, they depend on what you give them in addition to what little they can find in the aquarium.
Here’s a list of things that guppies would eat:
In the wild, guppies consume a good amount of living organisms. However, in a fish tank, guppies may only have access to some microorganisms you can’t see by the naked eye. In general, they tend to prefer snacking on crustaceans and microorganisms.
Like most fish in your tank, guppies will typically eat dry food, like pellets and fish flakes. Although it’s not the most nutritious choice, fish always enjoy it.
Guppies will consume any type of artificial food you throw in their tank. That’s why you must choose a specially formulated brand.
If you have a hard time finding a guppy-specific formula, find the closest one to their species. It should aim at enhancing the fertility and coloration of your guppies.
However, it’s best to steam the vegetables first before putting them in the aquarium. This makes it easier for your fish to swallow.
Following are some examples, but guppies most probably won’t refuse other types as well:
Do Guppies Help Control Algae Growth in their Aquarium?
Not really! Despite their eating habits, guppies can’t keep up with the algae growth rate. They’ll eat the algae alright, but they take their time.
So, you shouldn’t rely on guppies to get rid of the algae in your aquarium. Instead, you’ll need another faster and more efficient solution to end your algae problem.
There’s more to guppies than pretty colors, but don’t count on them to save the day when it comes to algae growth.
To Wrap It Up
Algae can grow naturally inside your fish tank. In fact, even a brand new aquarium will have algae growth within a few weeks.
It might cross your mind to ask: can algae harm guppies? Do guppies eat algae? Are algae beneficial? Can guppies end the algae growth in my tank?
In a tank, algae are harmful to your guppies because they consume oxygen and nutrients. However, they can provide a healthy baseline for their nutrition when eaten.
That said, algae shouldn’t be relied on as your fish’s primary food source. Guppies, in particular, prefer a more diverse diet that includes microorganisms, dry food, meat, and even vegetables
It’ll ensure that your fish stay healthy as they grow and develop.