How To Keep Baby Guppies Alive

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
Credit: Shutterstock / underworld

The excitement of baby guppies in your tank is only matched by the responsibilities that come with it. Nothing is more disappointing for an aquarium hobbyist than the sight of adult guppies eating their young. That’s why many people struggle with how to keep baby guppies alive.

You can keep baby guppies alive if you maintain a 75-80-degree Fahrenheit water temperature. It’s also important to feed them small amounts up to 6 times per day. Separate the babies from the adults if possible, or simply put plants and obstacles to let the babies hide. Watch out when you change the water so you don’t suck up the baby guppies with the hose.

You can find dividers and nets to separate your baby guppies within the same tank so they don’t get eaten. Baby guppies are most vulnerable in the first few weeks. Follow along as we explore how to keep baby guppies alive and protect them from other fish.

How To Protect Baby Guppies In A Tank

Whether it be separating them or putting plants in the tank, you can keep baby guppies alive with several methods. Keep in mind that not all adult guppies are aggressive enough to eat their babies. However, it’s a common problem. Luckily, you can protect baby guppies in a tank with a few simple tricks:

1. Watch The Tank Closely

Watch the tank closely if the pregnant guppy is about to give birth. It can take up to 40 days for them to give birth in some cases. You will notice them gradually grow bigger as they get closer to the birthing day.

Many people even separate the pregnant mother from the other fish when she is about to give birth. This can reduce her stress, and ensure that you can keep track of all the babies when she gives birth. Count the baby guppies when they are born and quickly separate the mother, so she doesn’t eat them.

2. Provide Hiding Spots

Many people understandably don’t want to put their baby guppies in a separate tank. Of course, that is a great way to protect them so they don’t get eaten, but not everyone has two tanks. You can get around this if you provide hiding spots, such as plants, toys, caves, and barriers.

Direct the baby guppies toward the hiding spots and let them stay there for as long as they need. The adult guppies won’t be able to find them as easily, and they are less likely to eat them. Sadly, the adults may still eat a few baby guppies, as disturbing as that is.

This method is simply meant to minimize the deaths. You can also add oxygen to the tank if you use plants as hiding spots for baby guppies, and that’s a bonus.

3. Maintain A Safe Water Temperature

Water temperature affects all fish, but baby guppies are particularly vulnerable. Keep the temperature between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit to encourage healthy growth and metabolism. They should be safe if the temperature hits 82 degrees, but anything beyond that could be dangerous.

Every fish hobbyist should keep an aquarium monitor in their tank. Your fish will lose energy, consume more oxygen, and even quit eating if the temperature becomes too cold or warm. A safe temperature is important for the baby guppies to eat enough and grow into adults.

4. Feed Them Throughout The Day

Baby guppies require regular feeding throughout the day to ensure proper growth. Some people feed them up to 6 times per day, but that may not be necessary. The “every 4 hours” schedule doesn’t refer to a full feeding.

Instead, you should feed them a small amount of ground and dusted flakes at once. Make sure to feed the adults once or twice per day as well, so they don’t steal food from the babies. Of course, it can be hard to feed baby guppies enough when you’re at work.

In that case, try to feed them once before work, after work, and before you go to sleep. It only takes guppies 6 months until they are full sized.

5. Be Careful With Water Changes

It can be hard to change the water in your tank when you have baby guppies. That’s because the suction of the hose can easily suck the babies up. You must still change the water 2-4 times per month, but you have to keep a close eye on the water.

Try to distract your guppies with toys and food when you change the water to protect the babies. You can also protect the baby guppies if you temporarily separate them when you change the water. Otherwise, simply watch the bucket where you put the dirty water in case you accidentally suck up babies.

How To Stop Guppies From Eating Their Babies

The only way to completely stop guppies from eating their babies is to separate them. You can find separator nets and boxes that let you separate the babies. This is a great option because the guppies will still be in the same tank as the other fish.

Aquarium dividers also make it easier to feed your guppies, change the water, and clean the tank. Sure, you can separate babies using plants and obstacles, but you can’t guarantee they won’t swim away.

What Do You Feed Baby Guppies?

You can feed baby guppies anything from shrimp brine to crushed fish flakes. Powdered flakes are soft and small enough for baby guppies to safely eat them. There isn’t much difference in diet between adult and baby guppies.

That said, their mouths and digestive systems aren’t as big and developed as adult guppies. You can’t feed baby guppies large flakes and chunks of food because they cannot easily eat them.

What To Do If Your Baby Guppies Won’t Eat

Crush the food into dust if your baby guppies won’t eat. The reason they won’t eat is likely that the food flakes are simply too big. You can buy crushed fish food, but even that may be too big for your guppies.

Baby guppies may also avoid food if they are uncomfortable in the tank. That can happen if they are scared of the adult guppies. You may need to separate them with an aquarium divider, so they know the other fish can’t take their food.

Why Do Guppies Eat Their Babies?

Guppies are somewhat aggressive, and that’s why they eat their babies. Not all guppies eat their babies, but many of them do. The other guppies in the tank may also try to eat the babies right after they are born.

You have likely noticed that male guppies often chase and harass the females in the tank. The males are more aggressive than female guppies in most cases, but even the females may eat the babies. That’s why countless hobbyists simply separate the babies for a few weeks after they’re born to keep them alive.

Summing It Up

The best way to keep baby guppies alive is to separate them from the adults. Adult guppies often eat the babies in the tank. Keep the water temperature at 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and change the water every 2-4 weeks. Try to feed the babies small amounts of food every 4 hours if possible to encourage quick growth.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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