Do Guppies Eat Aquarium Plants?

Guppies are omnivores, meaning they need to consume both animal and plant proteins in order to remain healthy. Because of that, your guppies will snack on algae, but won’t make a full meal of it.

As an owner of guppies or any animal for that matter, it’s always important that you replicate the meals they have in the wild. For a guppy, they need their fair share of animal and plant nutrition to thrive in their tank.

That said, this post will further discuss these questions: do guppies eat aquarium plants? What plants are best for your guppies’ growth? And which ones are toxic?

Let’s dive right in!

Do Guppies Eat Aquarium Plants?

If you’ve had your guppies for long, you may have noticed how big of an appetite they have. You may also have noted that they’re not that picky about their food either.

That’s because guppies are omnivores. The diet of these animals must contain both animal and plant-based proteins. Your guppies will need to consume them regularly and in balanced quantities to thrive.

Another interesting fact is that the guppies’ original habitat is the tropical forests of south and northeast America. These shorelines are rich with colorful algae and aquatic plants growing out of the underwater rocks.

Beautiful Guppy Isolated on Black Background

How to Choose Aquarium Plants for Guppies

Since your guppies need their daily intake of plants, you need to make sure that they’re suitable for your fishes to have. Additionally, the plants should meet a guppy’s needs, which we go through later.

Keeping that in mind, here are the three main things you should know before purchasing aquatic plants for your guppy tank:

The Light

Aquarium plants are light-sensitive. How much light they’ll need depends on the plant’s kind. In other words, you should know your tank’s conditions then choose the algae accordingly. This way, the plants will survive longer in your tank.

The Shade

Guppies need shade where they live for breeding and hiding purposes. You should choose aquarium plants that are big and will provide enough shade for your fish. As an added plus, they’ll keep your tank clean and oxygenated.

The Caretaking

Taking care of fish pets can be difficult enough. So, to make things easier for you, why not choose plants that won’t require much work on your behalf either?

Go for hardy plants since they can survive in all water types and only need low temperatures to grow well.

Can Guppies Live With Plants?

Aquatic plants are a major part of a guppy’s native environment. That’s why it’s encouraged to fill your fish tank with plants since your guppies can and will enjoy living with them.

Not just that, but these aqua plants will be quite convenient for your guppies for a number of reasons.

Why Do Guppies Need to Live With Plants?

Guppies benefit a lot from planted aquariums. Most owners, though, prefer to take the easy way out and replace plant-based proteins with store-bought alternatives.

We don’t recommend following in their steps, however, since it’s better to have your tank look as close as possible to the guppies’ native habitats.

The reasons why your guppies need to be living with plants are the following:


As we’ve mentioned before, guppies enjoy eating which means they like to nibble and graze on food all the time. Having enough plants around, along with algae growing on the tank’s walls will make your guppies pretty happy.

This way, you also get to balance out their diets without doing half the work. Additionally, these plants can become homes to aquatic creatures, such as copepods and seed shrimps that your guppies can eat.

Keeping the Water Clean

Guppies release significant waste in their tanks since they eat a lot. This leads to nitrate levels increasing in the water. After a while, the nitrate will accumulate in the tank and become toxic to your fish.

However, a planted aquarium will reduce the percentage of nitrate and limit the number of times you need to change the water.

Providing Cozy Hiding Spots

Your guppies need their privacy when mating. Young fish especially need enough places to hide if you’re keeping them in the same tank with their parents. That’s because the adults often feed on their young as a survival tactic.

With enough plants around, the young guppies can live peacefully and the older ones can breed in private.

Imitating a Tropical Forest

Pet guppies thrive better in tanks that closely replicate their natural habitats. Tropical forests in the south and northeast of America are full of aquatic vegetation.

So, grow as many plants as possible in your tanks to keep your fish happy and healthy.

What Plants Are Toxic to Guppies?

All things said and done, it’s just as important to know which plants will cause harm to your guppies. This way you can avoid filling your aquarium with them.

Plants that are toxic to guppies include:

  • Angel’s trumpet
  • Azalea
  • Black walnut
  • Caladium
  • Foxglove
  • Larkspur
  • Monkshood
  • Morning glory
  • Peony
  • Pinks
  • Snapdragon
  • White snakeroot
  • Wisteria
  • Yew

What Live Plants Are Best for Guppies?

On the other hand, what plants should you grow in your fish tank along with your guppies? Well, any of the following aqua plants are safe for your fishes to graze and feed on:

  • Java moss
  • Java fern
  • Hornwort
  • Water sprite
  • Anacharis Elodea Densa
  • Water Wisteria
  • Anubias Nana
  • Flame moss
  • Vesicularia montagnei
  • Duckweed
  • Red root floater
  • Salvinia natans


Do guppies eat aquarium plants? Yes, guppies should regularly consume plant nutrition as part of their diet. That’ll imitate their feed in the wild and keep them satisfied in captivity. It’ll also help them grow to be big and healthy.

In other words, fill your fish tank with algae and aqua plants so that your guppy can feed on them. Make sure first that the greens you choose are beneficial for your guppies and won’t harm them.