Do Guppies Eat Their Babies? (How To Save Them?)

Any guppy keeper will be curious to know when their female guppy is pregnant, do guppies eat their babies? So let us find out.

Guppies do eat their babies as they lack parental instinct. Adult guppies will feed on guppy fry when kept in the same tank. Guppies will look at guppy fry as a tasty snack and will eat them. However, raise guppy fry in a separate tank to protect them from adult guppies and other tankmates.

There are various ways to protect the guppy fry with mother guppy and other tankmates, which we will discuss in this article. So let us begin.

Why Guppy Fish Eat Their Fry?

Right after giving birth to the fry, guppy fish don’t show any parental care, and in case if you let them be in the same tank, then your guppy will eat the fry.

Whenever you let the adult guppy and their fry live in the same tank, then an adult guppy will end up eating their fry; such behavior is called filial cannabilism

Filial cannabilism occurs in various insects to mammals and primarily occurs in many fish species.

There can be various reasons for your guppy eating their fry:

  1. Adult guppy will eat their fry thinking that they are food.
  2. Female guppies will eat their fry to restore their fat storage.
  3. Adult guppies will eat the fry, which is weak to protect themselves.
  4. Adult guppies will eat the weak fry for the continuation of strong offspring.
  5. Stress factors can also lead adult guppies to eat their fry, as stress can knock the self-preservation instinct in adult guppies. 

So, all the above points can be the reason behind your adult guppy eating their fry.

Looking at all the above points of why adult guppy eat their fry explains that there is no particular reason for adult guppy eating their fry. 

How to Stop Guppy Fish From Eating Their Fry?

There are various ways to get guppy fry safe from adult guppies. All the ways ensure that the baby guppy is completely separate from the adult guppy.

Down below, we will discuss some ways to protect the baby guppy from adult guppies.

Separate Tank

Separating the pregnant guppy from other guppies and tankmates in another tank is the safest method of keeping the babies safe.

An owner can also go for a breeder box by keeping the pregnant guppy in a breeder box and then extracting the guppy after giving birth.

An owner has to make sure that the water parameters of the other tank in which they are going to shift the pregnant guppy should match the home aquarium’s water parameter.

Also, make sure to extract the pregnant guppy from the aquarium and shift it back to its home aquarium as soon they give birth.

Letting the pregnant guppy with fry after giving birth will result in the mother guppy eating its fry.

Also read: Should I Separate My Pregnant Guppy?

Breeding Box

The breeding box is like a plastic container that gets attached inside the aquarium and makes a whole different space to keep your pregnant guppy there.

The breeding box helps to separate the pregnant guppy from other tankmates in the aquarium.

The water will flow inside and outside the breeding box, but the pregnant guppy will not be able to get outside the breeding box.

The benefit we get from the breeding box is that we don’t have to worry about the water parameter.

Make sure to extract the guppy from the breeding box as soon the guppy gives birth; otherwise, the mother guppy will end up eating its babies.

You can release the fry to the community tank when they are in the condition of being able to protect themselves.

Also, make sure not to keep the guppy fry inside the breeding box for a more extended period, as it can harm their growth process.

Provide Live Aquatic Plants And Hiding Places

To prevent your guppy fry from the adult guppies and other tankmates, add live aquatic plants so that the guppy fry gets able to hide from the hungry tankmates.

Live aquatic plants, especially floating plants, make a great hiding place for your guppy fry.

The roots of floating plants help guppy fry to hide in.

Aquatic plants also help clean the water and become a good source of food for guppy fry.

Guppy fry feeds on algae which get attached to live aquatic plants.

This method doesn’t separate the guppy fry from the other tankmates and only creates a hiding place.

So, if you are breeding your guppy professionally, then this method is not for you.

This method is for those not breeding their guppy professionally and who don’t know what to do with the guppy fry.

Those who are breeding their guppy by profession should use a breeding box or another tank to keep the pregnant guppy separate from other tankmates.

Also read: Does Guppy Eat Plants?

How to know If guppy is pregnant?

You can know whether your Guppy is pregnant by watching these all symptoms in your Guppy:

  1. Your Guppy’s eating habits will get changed; either they will have a huge appetite or will not eat anything at all. 
  2. The gills of your Guppy will remain partially open.
  3. Your Guppy’s stomach will almost take the shape of a square.
  4. Your Guppy may behave more aggressively or will become more nervous.
  5. Guppy will remain in or around one spot of the aquarium, mainly on a side with a heater. 
  6. The color of your Guppy will get faded. 
  7. Your Guppy will have an arched back and will emerge to be pushing.

Also read: Is My Guppy Pregnant?

Will Other Tankmates Will Also Attack On Guppy Fry?

Every adult fish in the aquarium will attack the guppy fry and will try to eat it. So Guppy fry will be their food and nothing much.

If you want to keep the guppy fry in the same tank without using a breeding box, then you should add lots of live aquatic plants to your tank.

Live aquatic plants will give your guppy fry a place to hide.

Also read: Can Guppy Fry Survive In A Community Tank?


Guppies are not good at parenting. Mother guppy eats their babies after giving birth; such behavior is called filial cannibalism.

Make sure to shift your pregnant guppy to a breeding box or another separate tank.

Extract the mother guppy from the breeding box or a separated tank to their home aquarium as soon it releases the fry, as mother guppy will end up eating the fry if we keep the guppy with fry for a long time.

Add lots of live aquatic plants in your aquarium if you don’t want to shift the fry to a separate tank or in a breeding box.

Reference: NCBI, ScienceDirect

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