Can Guppies Eat Betta Food? Guppy Food Guide

Jaime Douglas
Jaime Douglas

Writer at The Aquarium Keeper

Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are one of the most popular and cheapest fish in the fishkeeping hobby. A lot of the time people keep guppies with betta fish, because guppies look like smaller versions of betta, and are in most cases peaceful. Others don’t keep these two species together, and just have some leftover betta food laying around for various reasons. Some species can tolerate a wide range of different diets, while others are very picky and can get sick with improper food. So, the question is: can guppies eat betta food? Continue reading to find out!

Table of Contents

Keeping Betta Fish and Guppies Together

Before getting into guppy and betta food, we should clarify if guppies and bettas can be kept together. In most cases, these two species can coexist in the same aquarium, because they are both freshwater fish, and have almost the same water parameter requirements. Even though betta fish portrays a lot of aggressive traits and guppies have long fins, that can increase betta fish aggression, most of the time it should leave your guppies alone. Guppies are really peaceful fish and are not considered fin nippers. For a higher chance of this combination working, we highly suggest doing this combination in a bigger aquarium (at least 20 gallons), and having lots of plants, that would create a lot of line-of-sight breaks.

We also want to mention, that this fish species combination does not work for everyone. Every betta has a different character, and some might tolerate guppies as tankmates, but more aggressive bettas will try to hurt guppies. If your betta is too aggressive, we highly suggest not trying to keep both of these two species together. If you have a peaceful betta, continue reading to find out if guppies can eat betta fish food.

Betta Food for Guppies

In short answer yes, guppies can definitely eat betta food without a problem. You should just know that betta food should not be the main food source for guppies. Betta fish are carnivores, which means they need a meat-based diet, while guppies are carnivores (the diet consists of plants and meat). Guppies need certain nutrients, that can only be gotten from plant-based food sources, so feeding them only betta food can cause serious problems to them.

close up of white guppy in fish tank

These two species have different needs when it comes to food, but occasionally both of them can be fed each others food. Some bettas go for plant-based fish food (algae wafers, pellets), and switching their meals for a short time would not cause any significant problems. The same can be said for guppies because they can eat a wide range of different foods, and be totally fine.

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What is Betta Fish Food?

There is a lot of different betta fish food nowadays. These species are one of the most popular in the hobby, especially with people who have smaller tanks. This popularity leads to a wide range of different fish food types. Bettas need a lot of protein in their diet to be healthy. These species eat other smaller fish and insects in the wild. Here is a short list of different betta fish food, that is available in most fish stores:

  • Live/frozen brine shrimp
  • Live/frozen mosquito larvae
  • Live/frozen wingless fruit flies
  • Live/frozen mysis shrimp
  • Live/frozen bloodworms
  • High-protein pellets
  • High-protein flakes

All of the mentioned food options have lots of protein, that betta fish need in their daily diet. In most cases, people feed their bettas flakes or pellets, and they do absolutely fine.

What Betta Food Can Guppies Eat?

Guppies are not picky eaters, and they will literally devour anything they can find in an aquarium. They are known for grazing on various types of algae, eating leftover food on the bottom, and sometimes even eating their own babies. These species have a big appetite and can tolerate pretty much any fish food. Their feeding character means, that all of the betta fish food mentioned above are suitable for guppies too. Even though betta food contains a lot of protein, guppies can easily digest it and will eat betta food without a second thought.

Best Food for Guppies

As we mentioned before, guppies are omnivores, which means they also need plant-based foods, and can’t be fed betta fish meals only. Plant-based meals like algae wafers, pellets, and blanched vegetables (zucchini, carrot, lettuce) are good for guppies. As for meat-based foods, guppies can be easily fed all the same meals as betta fish (blood worms, brine shrimp, pellets).

It is important as fishkeepers to try and replicate the natural environment of fish so that they would feel comfortable. Keeping a balance between plant-based food and meat food is the key to making your guppies happy. This combination will give all the right nutrients to your fish, boosting their colors at the same time.

Can Betta Fish Eat Plant-based Fish Food?

Bettas are known for eating a high nutrient-rich diet, but they occasionally enjoy a plant-based treat too. Some bettas like to nibble at floater plant roots, others even devour entire algae tablets in a community tank feeding frenzy. Bettas are opportunists, and some will even act as guppies, eating everything they can.

Also, if bettas are not fed enough, they will also go for plant-based fish food, because they are hungry. Before trying plant-based fish foods on bettas, you should know, that replacing nutrient-rich meat food entirely would hurt your betta since they need a lot of meat nutrients to live happily. there is nothing wrong if your betta occasionally eats something that is not meat-based fish food.

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How to Feed Betta Fish and Guppies in the Same Tank?

Feeding both species might be a challenging task to do. Guppies are a menace when it comes to food, because they do not stop eating, and devour anything they can find, while bettas are slower eaters, that like to observe their meals first. To feed both of these species successfully, we suggest putting food in two separate parts of the tank.

Firstly, put plant-based or meat-based fish food in one part of the tank. That will draw the attention of your guppies, and give you an opportunity to feed your betta fish. Secondly, locate your betta, and feed it your desired meat-based fish food. This feeding technique in most cases should easily work, making all of your fish happy and not hungry. If this method does not fully work and guppies have eaten all the betta food, try to create more feeding places next time. If the food is dispersed in various aquarium places, there is a bigger chance that your betta will eventually eat some of the food.

There might be instances, where your betta will also try to eat guppy plant-based food. Don’t worry, because as we mentioned before, bettas can easily tolerate small amounts of plant fish food. If guppies and betta fish are both feeding at the same place without a problem, you can mix plant-based food and meat-based food at the same time. Bettas will eat what they want, while guppies will get all the right nutrients from both food types.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Betta Fish Eat Guppy Fry?

Bettas are predatorial fish, and most of them have aggressive tendencies over other aquarium inhabitants. If the betta has short fins, it might try to eat guppy fry and even succeed in doing it. Separate your guppy fry if you are planning on growing them.

Can Guppies Eat Betta Flakes?

Guppies can eat betta flakes without a problem. Betta flakes have a lot of protein-rich nutrients that guppies can easily digest. Just be careful not to overfeed your guppies, because it is very common to put too many fish flakes in your tank.

Writer's Thoughts

Guppies are amazing and can be kept with a lot of different species. If you are planning on keeping guppies with a betta, be ready to take care of these two species properly. It is important to understand what kind of food every fish needs, even if they are cheap and easily replacable.

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