How Long Can Guppies Go Without Food?

In our fish keeping journey, sometimes there comes a situation where we have to leave our fish for some days or weeks. So naturally, the main concern while leaving them alone for some duration is, How long can they live without food? So, how long can guppy live without food? Let us find out.

An adult guppy can live for up to 2 weeks, and a guppy fry can survive for 3-4 days without food. So feeding your guppies once a week should not be the way of feeding them. In an emergency or out for vacation, when you have to leave for days, your guppy can survive for two weeks on their own.

We will discuss how to prepare our tank before leaving your aquarium for weeks in a further article. So, let’s read the article and get all the answers to your question.

How long can guppy live without food?

An adult guppy can live up to two weeks without food.

Guppy fry cannot survive for more than 3-4 days without having food.

We should never feed our guppies food taking a long gap.

In case of emergency, like you going out for vacation, guppy can manage on their own without food for up to 2 weeks.

You have to make sure to do several things before leaving, which we will discuss further in this article.

What does guppy typically eat?

FoodServing QuantityNo Of Times
Mosquito Larvae12-15 at a time2-3 times a week
BloodwormsOne pinch at a time1-2 times a week
Tubifex WormsOne pinch at a time1 time a week
Veggie pelletsOne pinch at a time2-3 times a day
Brine ShrimpOne pinch at a time1-2 times a week

How long can guppy fry survive without food?

Guppy fry will survive a maximum of 3-4 days without food.

Using an automatic feeder if you have a guppy fry in your tank seems necessary.

Feeding your guppy fry once a day in a small quantity is enough for them.

This way, your tank will not get dirty also.

Guppy fry will also feed on algae and any small creatures present in your tank.

Guppy fry will feed on algae, daphnia, or seed shrimp present in water and can live longer without additional food this way.

How to prepare the tank before leaving?

These are the things which you have a take care of before leaving:

  1. Clean the filter before leaving.
  2. Change at least 60-70% of water.
  3. Set the aquarium lights on a timer.
  4. Make sure to remove dead and decaying fish and plants. 

Clean the filter.

Regular maintenance of the filter is essential.

A lot of scattered pieces of waste and rubbish build up in the filter over time.

Removing such waste is essential as it can be a source of ammonia and nitrate.

If you have a canister or internal filter, you have to clean the mechanical filter and remove all the waste.

Ensure that you don’t wash or touch the biofilter media as it contains the good bacteria colony that consumes nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia.

Touching or washing biofilter media can remove such good bacteria.

If you use a sponge filter, all you have to do is clean the sponge with the aquarium water and set it back in the tank.

Clean your aquarium filter before some days of leaving.

Also read: Do Guppies Need Filters? (surviving without filter)

Change the water.

We should change at least 50% of the water on a weekly basis.

When leaving for weeks, you should change 70% of the water before leaving.

Changing water will help you remove lots of fish waste and nitrates from the water.

Doing major water changes like 70% will take more time to develop toxins, nitrates in water.

Set aquarium lights on a timer.

Using a timer for aquarium lights is a good choice.

If you don’t get the timer, it is advisable to turn the lights off rather than keep it on 24/7.

Make sure not to get the aquarium wholly blacked out.

Any sort of light like the light coming from outside is enough for your guppy to stay healthy.

If you have live aquatic plants in your guppy aquarium, then the need for artificial light is essential, as plants want light for 5-6 hours a day for growth.

Remove dead and decaying plants and fish.

Removing dead and decaying plants and fish is essential for keeping the aquarium water less polluted.

The remaining dead and decaying plants and fish can result producing harmful toxins.

Dead plants will decay and turn into nitrates which is harmful to your fish.

Dead fish that remain for a long time in an aquarium will result in an ammonia spike.

Ammonia spike is very dangerous for your guppies as they can come into critical condition.

Ensure to inspect your aquarium carefully, and if you find any of your guppies sick or passing away, then it is necessary to move them out of the tank.

Is using an automatic feeder any good?

The use of an automatic feeder is a good option, but not every time.

In the case of adult guppy, I recommend you not provide food for two weeks rather than setting an automatic feeder.

If you have a guppy fry, then you should use an automatic feeder as guppy fry will not survive after 3-4 days without food.

Providing your guppy fry one small pinch of a meal once a day is enough for them to survive, but going without food for more than 4 days will result in lowering their survivability rate.


Adult guppy can live for two weeks without food, and guppy fry can go for 3-4 days without food.

Make sure to clean the filter and change at least 70% water before leaving.

Set the aquarium lights on a timer and if you don’t get the aquarium light timer, then keep it off entirely rather than let it on 24/7.

Using an automatic feeder is necessary for the guppy fry, but for adult guppy, you can go for not feeding them for two weeks rather than using an automatic feeder.

Reference: NCBI, ResearchGate

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