Do Guppies Eat Algae? Positive Effects of Algae on Your Guppy

Nov 18, 2020

do guppies eat algae

Despite having small tummies, guppies can eat a considerable amount of food. From plant fragments and diatoms in the wild to brine shrimp and chopped earthworms in the fish tank, they sure can nibble on many things. But what about algae. Do guppies eat algae? Now that would have been quite handy, wouldn’t it?

Do Guppies Eat Algae? Here’s What You Need to Know. 

Yes!

Guppies love to eat algae that naturally grow within a fish tank or a pond’s ecosystem.

In the wild, guppies continuously forage for algae while looking for fry, insects, and invertebrates to eat.

And undoubtedly, they’ll display the same behavior inside the tank.

Do Guppies Eat Hair Algae?

Alongside fellow live-bearers like mollies and platys, guppies too eat hair algae.

Hair algae, also called fuzz or thread algae, is notorious for growing on gravel, plants, and decorations.

It grows prolifically and is quite challenging to remove. Luckily, guppies can come to your rescue.

Do Guppies Eat Brown Algae?

Yes. Guppies can also eat brown algae alongside many other varieties of it.

Brown algae have soft textures and don’t stick firmly to the surface. Thus, they’re quite easy to clean.

However, suppose you have more frequent cases of the brown algae bloom. In that case, it’s better to add nerite snails or yellow tangs instead of relying on guppies entirely.

Do Guppies Eat Black Beard Algae? 

Yes, guppies are perfectly capable of eating black beard algae—voraciously, in fact.

Black beard algae grow in dense, bushy clumps and are super difficult to remove. That’s because it has a soft and slippery texture to it.

Do Guppies Eat Staghorn Algae?

Once again, yes. Guppies eat staghorn algae, and they can do that quite fast, actually. 

Grown on aquarium decorations, technical equipment, and even plant leaves, staghorn alga are quite difficult to remove manually.

Can Guppies Eat Blue-Green Algae?

Blue-green algae are known to produce a poisonous toxin that’s harmful to your guppies. So, guppies shouldn’t eat blue-green algae.

Actually, it’s not even algae. It ‘is a type of bacteria called cyanobacteria.

Is Algae Good for Guppies?

Apart from a few exceptions like blue-green algae and certain types of diatoms, moderate algae consumption is good for your guppies.

In the wild, algae form a good chunk of a guppy’s diet.

And in fact, it is quite nutritious too.

Algae is rich in protein, amino acids, taurine, pigments, and lipids, among other nutrients.

It is especially beneficial for guppy fry—serving as a high-protein and nutritious meal small enough for tiny fry to consume.

Can Guppies Survive on Algae Alone?

No. Guppies can’t really survive on algae alone.

While we can’t rule out the possibility entirely, it’s definitely not good for your guppy’s health and well-being.

Your guppy needs a well-rounded diet that includes iron, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, zinc, and many other nutrients.

While algae are nutritious, it cannot guarantee all the nutrient needs required for happy, healthy, and fast-growing guppies.

What Do Guppies Need to Eat?

We have established that guppies can eat algae in moderation. Now let’s see how you should shape your guppy’s food routine to ensure a balanced diet.

As omnivorous, guppies will eat almost anything. Thus, their diets can differ widely depending upon the environment they’re in.

Guppies are opportunistic foragers who love to spend a good part of their day on the lookout for edible stuff in the tank.

Your guppy will readily eat microorganisms, crustaceans, pellets, flakes, and specific types of meat like beef heart and shellfish in the fish tank.

Can Guppies Eat Vegetables?

Yes. And there’s a wide range to choose from, too. Cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, anything you have handy at home. Just make sure you don’t give too much, and there are no seasonings added.

It’s best to blanch or steam the veggies before you offer them as it’ll make it easier for your guppies to swallow.

Can Guppies Eat Bloodworms?

Guppies love bloodworms.

It’s best to feed freeze-dried bloodworms, but make sure to give it sparsely. Bloodworms have high protein concentration.

If your guppy eats too many bloodworms, chances are it’ll feel bloated and constipated.

Treats like frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp improves the colors of your guppies significantly.

Just make sure to feed them in moderation.

Can Guppies Eat Flakes and Pellet Foods?

Absolutely. And it’s one of the best ways to ensure a balanced and holistic diet for your guppy.

Just make sure that the brand you have selected is formulated for guppies or is at least compatible.

Guppy-specific brands are designed to enhance coloration and fertility while ensuring all required nutrients for overall development. If you are having trouble finding a formula made exclusively for guppies, you can go with another tropical fish formula.

My personal choice is Hikari fancy guppy blend when I don’t have time to make their food.

Can Guppies Control Algae in Aquarium?

Not really.

Guppies do eat different kinds of algae, but they can’t be left alone in charge of removing it from the tank.

Guppies cannot eat algae fast enough to make a lasting and significant improvement in the tank. They love to spend the time scraping off algae from any surface, but they’re simply not apt enough to compete with algae’s growth rate.

If there’s only a thin layer growing on glass or décor, guppies can tackle that themselves. But if you’re talking about rapidly growing big algae blooms, they simply can’t. In that case, you can put your money on the following:

1. Chinese Algae Eater

2. Siamese Algae Eater

3. Bristlenose Pleco

4. Otocinclus Catfish

5. Twig Catfish Shrimp

6. Cherry Shrimp

7. Amano Shrimp

8. Zebra Nerite Snail

9. Horned Nerite Snail

10. Rabbit Snail

This list is not inclusive of all the amazing algae-eating aquatics. Still, the ones mentioned here do more than a decent job.

However, it’s not fair to your tank’s creatures to be solely responsible for getting rid of the algae.

If there’s a recurring pattern, make sure to get to the bottom of it and address it.

An algae scraper will get the job done in no time and take some burden off the tank’s residents.

Algae scraper

As it sticks to the glass magnetically, you don’t even have to worry about getting your hands dirty.

How Does Excess Algae Growth Affect Guppies?

The growth of algae in any tank has the good, the bad, and the ugly side. And it’s no different for a guppy tank. 

The good is that algae give off more oxygen than they consume while breaking down carbon dioxide and nitrogen compounds into oxygen and sugar. 

The bad is that, well, a pea-colored tank is not exactly a pleasurable sight. 

The ugly is that if you let algae take over your tank, it will consume most of the nutrients and oxygen—leaving almost nothing for your guppies. 

If the situation goes out of hand, the oxygen and nutrient depletion will hinder your guppies’ development—often resulting in fatalities. 

How Do Guppies Contribute to Algae Growth?

Now that’s one question that you might not have expected in this blog.

Do guppies eat algae? Yes. Do guppies also contribute to algae growth? Also yes. But how?

We all know that algae thrive on waste produced by guppies or any other aquatic creatures.

Now guppies are very prone to overeating. And overeating means overproduction of waste as well.

That waste floating in the water will act as the primary source of nutrients for algae growth.

So, in addition to an effective filtration system, make sure you don’t overfeed your guppies as well.

Conclusion

Do guppies eat algae? Yes, they do.

Guppies love to forage on algae, even more so on black beard and staghorn algae.

As a result, guppies can make great additions to your tank’s cleaning crew.

However, don’t forget that omnivorous guppies have a varied and somewhat complex diet that cannot be fulfilled by algae alone. Thus, it’s best to feed them balanced manufactured food, made with a tropical fish’s needs in mind.

You may also like to know:

Do Guppies Eat Each Other?

Can Guppies Live in Saltwater? 

Can Guppies Live in a Bowl?

rohit gurung author at urbanfishkeeping

About Rohit Gurung

My never-ending love and fascination with Aquascaping started when I received a red-eared turtle for my 10th birthday.

Apart from researching and writing, I spend hours gazing at my 3 turtles. And yeah, I bask alongside them too.