Last Updated on December 15, 2021 by cmoarz
Guppies are adorable quirky little fish. I consider them the puppies of the fish world the way they approach your hand and show a lot of curiosity. Just like puppies, they can also be trained (on purpose or accidentally) to do some strange things, like feeding off the bottom of the tank.
But are guppies bottom feeders naturally, or is this just a bad habit some guppies pick up? The truth is guppies aren’t bottom feeders by nature, but some will opportunistically feed on the bottom of the tank if there is food down there to be had. But that’s not the only reason this happens.
What Type of Feeder Is a Guppy?
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For the record, are guppies surface feeders or mid-water column feeders?
Guppies are in fact surface feeders, although they’ve been known to eat just about anywhere in an aquarium tank where there’s food.
The problem is, many pet stores will use fish pellets and sticky wafers to mass feed guppy tanks and this trains a guppy to feed on the bottom as a bottom feeder would.
If you’ve ever bought new guppies for your tank from one of these pet stores, You probably noticed that they ignore the surface of the water and don’t notice when flakes are being added until they start to sink.
It’s so bad at times they don’t even look up, they just expect something to fall past them onto the substrate.
It’s actually pretty cute watching your guppies dive after sinking pellets and wafers when you’re trying to feed your bottom feeders, But is it harmful to the guppies?
It’s not directly harmful. As long as they are actually getting food then it’s not a big deal how they do it. But it’s wise to break them of this habit as soon as you notice it forming, and here’s why.
When a guppy tries to feed off the bottom, it’s inadvertently competing with actual bottom-dwelling fish. It’s also going after food that might not even be meant for them and their dietary needs.
This could potentially cause starvation issues as well as malnutrition if they aren’t able to compete for the food. It can also drive bottom feeders crazy with their constant pestering.
How to Stop a Guppy From Feeding On the Bottom of Your Fish Tank
Preventing your guppies from diving to the substrate to eat is relatively easy and all you need to do is retrain them.
It will take a little bit of time, but if you keep feeding them at the surface and tap the water to get their attention, they will soon learn to feed at the surface, just like other fish.
Since guppies are so curious, You can use your finger to guide them to the surface before you add the flakes. This should help keep their attention looking upwards.
You can also train them to be more mid-water feeders by crumbling up flakes a bit so they start to slowly drift down. This will help guppies realize where the food is actually coming from.
When it comes to retraining your guppies, be patient and consistent. It may take a few days or even weeks, but they will eventually get the message.
Can Guppies Live With Bottom Feeders?
Yes, they can! Guppies make good tankmates for most types of bottom feeders, such as corydoras and plecos.
Since they both occupy different sections of the tank, there’s rarely an issue of competition for food. In fact, the bottom feeders will help to clean up any excess food that falls to the substrate.
Just be sure to add enough plants and hiding spots for the guppies, as they like to have plenty of places to hide and play.
When it comes to keeping a tank with both surface and bottom feeders, the key is to make sure everyone has plenty of food and their favorite spot to swim.
Do Guppies Like Bottom of Tank Feeding?
To a guppy, Food is food no matter where it is. As long as it’s delicious and fills their bellies, they are more than happy to sit at the bottom of the tank to eat.
In fact, even when you do have guppies who eat at the surface of the water like they are supposed to, they will still forage at the bottom for food from time to time. This is a natural behavior of an opportunistic feeder.
The best way to keep them healthy is to make sure you’re constantly providing the right type of diet. Any pet store that sells guppies will carry their favorite treats, which are usually flakes or stick-on wafers made especially for guppies.
Some of these fish foods will even claim to enhance their colors, which they actually do!