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How Long Can Guppies Go Without Food?

For all those who love to keep guppy as pets in the aquariums, there are occasions when they do not know how to care for their fish.

For example, how would you ensure your guppies are well if you leave for a couple of weeks in their aquarium without anybody looking after and feeding them?

Yes, this is a very common scenario when we have pets that we cannot take along with us when the entire family goes on an extended holiday on a weekend or some other occasion. If it is only a matter of a few days, perhaps you can find a way but how about your absence from home for a few weeks?

Will your colony of guppies survive without food and nobody around to look after their other needs such as changing the water and switching off the lights in the night?

Well, it is natural for you to be concerned about the well-being of your fish during your long vacation away from the home, there are still some things you can do to keep them safe and healthy.

So, after all, how long can guppies survive without food?

How Long Can Guppies Go Without Food?

The good news for you is that the adult guppies can survive a long time without food. So, how long guppies can survive without food?

Yes, they are supposed to be alive and healthy for about two weeks without food. That’s a really long time for any living creature to survive without food. Now you know your guppies are tough, especially when it comes to surviving without food.

Some guppy owners claim that they returned home after 4 and 6 weeks and they found all and most of their guppies alive and in good health. So the actual tolerance to lack of food in case of adult guppies can be well beyond 2 weeks.

But young guppies, or guppy fry as we call them, may not stay without food for so long. Their tolerance to lack of food may not last beyond 3 days at a stretch. This means if you have guppy fries in the aquarium and you are going to be away from home for a considerable period of time, you must make some arrangements for their food.

The actual tolerance level to lack of food for these young guppies may not be more than a day. They may start dying if you leave them without food even for more than a day.

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Should You Set Up An Automatic Feeder?


Video: “How To Set Up the Eheim Feed-Air Digital Automatic Feeder”


Yes, if you have baby guppies in your tank. Setting up an automatic feeder is a great option in this situation. But you should do this with a caution in mind. While your baby guppies need regular feeding and may benefit from auto feeder, it is not recommended that you feed your adult guppies with an auto feeder.

If both adult and baby guppies are in the same tank and if you use an auto feeder to feed the young guppies, chances are that both young and adult guppies may end up feeding on the food dropped by the auto feeder. While this will help young babies, this is not recommended for adult guppies who may end up getting overfed and this is a situation that you must avoid.

As a matter of fact it is not important how long guppies can survive without food during your absence. What is important is to understand that they must not be overfed.

If you feed adult guppies 6-8 times a day as may be the case for young guppies, it may prove disastrous for all the fish in the tank. When all of them eat so many times, they would defecate and urinate in equal measure. This would increase the fish waste in the aquarium and pollute it.

With no cleaning in your absence the filth may keep piling up to the level when the water becomes too polluted for the fish to survive. As one or two fish die in the tank, the pollution level starts growing even faster, killing more fish, setting off a chain reaction and killing all or most of the fish before you return.

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Last update on 2020-11-26 at 03:42 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

So, if you are setting up an auto feeder for your young guppies, make sure the food is being dropped in tiny amounts and it reaches only the intended recipients. This you can ensure by transferring baby guppies or the adult ones to a separate aquarium. This may not always be an option given not everybody would like to invest in another aquarium.

Another possibility is to adjust the auto feeder to drop only a small amount of powder food once a day. These fish can survive on a tiny portion of food. This will ensure they don’t end up creating too much waste inside the aquarium.

In a fish tank with well-established algae and micro fauna, young guppies can survive feeding on these materials as well as small creatures such as daphnia and seed shrimps that may be present in the water. These food sources offer a complex diet and young fish may not need much additional food.

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Final Thoughts

So let’s ask the question one more time. How long guppies can survive without food?

If you are going to be away from home for a long time, food is not the only concern. In fact, it can be easily addressed while there are some issues that might need an even more serious contemplation.

For example, if the water is not changed during your long absence, it may become excessively polluted and toxic for the fish to survive. So just before you leave for your holiday, change a major part of the water so that it stays fresh and healthy till your return.

Also clean the filter thoroughly so that it keeps the water filtering for and debris that may otherwise pollute the water. Make sure the temperature of the water is maintained between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Anything organic compound such as uneaten food, leaves, dead fish may cause an ammonia spike in the water and make it toxic for the fish so remove all such things. You should set a timer for the lights to switch on and switch off at the right time so that the fish has a regular day and night feel.

If you can arrange, a fish sitter would be the best option to have for as long as you are out of your home. This would ensure there is no major disruption in the living conditions of your fish while you are away.