Do Guppies Eat Brown Algae?

Algae is not something most aquarium owners want to see in their tanks. It is unsightly and does not look very great in tanks. Having brown algae in aquarium tanks is an event that is almost unavoidable because it can grow even in a well-kept tank.

Yes, guppies and most other live bearers often enjoy feeding on brown algae from time to time. It might be a tasty meal for them and serve as an alternative for food options. Even in the wild, guppies are seen to feed on algae remains and diatoms. Although guppies’ diet is largely dependent on specific conditions of food availability in the habitat, nevertheless algae remains takes the biggest proportion of guppies’ diet in the wild.

Do Guppies Eat Brown Algae

If algae are left in your aquarium, they might start draining vital nutrients and oxygen from the water, and this can negatively affect the growth of fishes and live plants. The presence of algae in tanks and getting rid of them can be a very frustrating experience for most tank owners. So, if algae are present in guppies’ tank, how do you deal with them? Do guppies feed on them?

Brown algae are one of the most common algae that can be found in aquariums. It is typically common in new aquarium set up with low light intensity. The presence of brown algae in your tank can influence the feeding habit of your guppies. This is because they generally feed on the most abundant food when provided with options.

General Feeding Habits Of Guppies

There is a correlation between the abundance of food and the guppies’ preference for food. In the wild, guppies generally feed on algal remains, diatoms, invertebrates, mineral particles, plant fragments, aquatic insect larvae. They tend to favour feeding on more abundant food when presented with two or more food options. Guppies are mostly fed with combinations of food in the tank especially freeze-dried foods and vegetables.

In the wild and sometimes in tanks (if you have three or more guppies), guppies often like to forage in groups because it helps them find food more easily. Some members of guppies love shoaling, and this group often spend less time and energy on antipredatory behaviour and feeding than the solitary ones. Likewise, guppies that shoal are less competitive and less aggressive when it comes to scarce food resources.

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Feeding Pattern Of Guppies

Guppies are largely omnivorous they will make do with almost anything you feed them with. In aquariums, it is best to feed them a small amount of food two to three times a day. Although the size of food you feed them and the quantity is dependent on the number of guppies you have in your tanks and if they are adults or fry. You can preferably feed them with brie, shrimp, daphnia, and crumbled fish-food flakes and so on.

However, you must be careful about what you feed your guppies. The nature of their food can influence your growth, immune system, colour and overall general wellbeing. It is so much fun to watch guppies eat when you feed them with what they like. Likewise, it is not advisable to feed guppies with two different food types at the same time. This is because they tend to all scramble for the most abundant one while neglecting the other one.

How To Prevent And Remove Brown Algae From Aquarium Tanks

Brown algae which are otherwise known as diatoms can be extremely difficult to eliminate from tanks. They grow very fast by sapping the vital nutrients and oxygen meant for your fishes and live plants.

Brown algae are not very appealing to sight and this makes many aquarium owners despise having it in their tanks. Besides, the fact that guppies like to feed on them does not mean it is best for their health.

Brown algae can appear in almost any tank, even the best-kept ones. Once you spot them in your tank, the next thing to do is to start thinking about how to eliminate them. Most of the strategies involved in removing algae from tanks involve cutting the nutrient supply of the algae and preventing its future growth in the tank.

Ways To Eliminate Brown Algae

One of the most effective ways of removing brown algae is the removal of water from the tank with the use of siphon. While removing the water, make sure you move the siphon through the gravel or other substrates. This is to remove fish waste and other materials that can serve as a growth substrate for brown algae.

Brown algae like environments with abundant sulphur. Thus, the introduction of phosphate adsorption resin can help eliminate phosphorus and silicates from the aquarium. Removal of these key elements can make brown algae starve and consequently stop their growth. Likewise, making sure the nitrate level of the aquarium is kept at a low level can help prevent and eliminate the growth of brown algae.

Also, you can introduce animals that enjoy eating guppies, provided they will be a safe tank mate for your aquarium fishes. A couple of aquatic animals and fish are excited with the presence of algae in their environment because they love to feed on them. Feeding on them by these animals will limit or eliminate the growth of brown algae with time.


Guppies enjoy feeding on algae from time to time. However, this does not translate to the fact that it is the best diet option for them or it is best for their overall health. Guppies are observed to derive more nutrients from other sources than algae. Thus, guppies that feed only on algae often show signs of malnutrition.

Having brown algae in aquarium tanks is not an ideal thing. The consistent growth of brown algae in your tank might deny your fishes vital nutrients and oxygen. Although they often grow in any tank even the best-kept ones. This growth can be limited or prevented by watching out for factors that can influence the growth of algae.



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