Why Do My Guppies Spit Out Food? (How To Make Them Eat)

Guppies are ravenous eaters and will eat almost anything you provide to them. However, it can be possible that your guppies spit out food for various reasons. Let us discuss all the possible reasons behind such behavior of guppy fish. So, Why do my guppies spit out food? Let us find out.

Large size and bad quality food is the primary reason for guppy fish spitting out the food. Other reasons are high stress because of environmental problems and diseases like dropsy. Ensure feeding guppies various types of high-quality food and provide good water quality to prevent such issues.

This article will discuss all the reasons and prevention behind guppy fish spitting out food. So, let us get into it.

Is It normal for guppies to spit out food?

It is not normal for guppies to spit out food.

Guppies are ravenous eaters and will eat food every time you serve them.

If your guppies are spitting out food, there are some issues in your guppy’s aquarium.

There can be numerous reasons behind guppy fish spitting out food, of which the primary reason is high-level stress and bad quality food.

Inadequate water parameters, overcrowded tanks, unstable water temperature, and disease are the other reasons.

Let us now discuss all the possible reasons behind guppies spitting out food.

What Is the reason behind guppy fish spitting out food?

These are the reasons behind guppies spitting out food:

  1. The water quality of your guppies aquarium is poor.
  2. Your guppy is under stress.
  3. You are feeding large size food to your guppies.
  4. Your guppies don’t like the food you are providing to them.
  5. Your guppies are bored by eating the same food.
  6. Your female guppy is pregnant.
  7. Your guppy fish is suffering from a disease.
  8. Your guppy windpipe has been blocked.

Poor water quality

Bad water conditions can make your guppy fish spit out food.

Poor water condition can be the reason behind various issues your guppy fish is suffering.

Spitting out food is one of the issues.

The presence of ammonia and nitrite in your guppies aquarium will make your guppy fish lose their appetite.

Guppy fish with a lost appetite will spit out food.

Poor water conditions can make your guppy fish suffer from a life-threatening situation.

Also read: Best pH level For Guppies?

Stress

Guppy fish can show such behavior because of high stress.

Stressed guppy will usually become lethargic and not be interested in feeding because of loss of appetite.

Your guppy fish can come under stress because of the following reasons:

  1. Poor water quality.
  2. Inadequate and unstable water parameters.
  3. Presence of aggressive tankmates.
  4. Irregular supply of food.
  5. Illness
  6. Physical Injury
  7. Overcrowded tank
  8. Lack of hiding spot
  9. Deficiency of oxygen
  10. Improper male to female ratio.

Guppies are tropical fish and live in warm water temperatures.

Sudden changes in water temperature and other parameters like pH and TDS level will make your guppy fish come under stress and lose their appetite, spitting out food.

The presence of an aggressive tankmate will also make your guppy fish lose its appetite.

Your guppy fish will spend all the time hiding from aggressive mates by swimming near the substrate or hiding behind plants.

All this will stress out your guppy fish, resulting in a destroyed immune system, and they will spit out food because of that.

More male and few female guppies in your aquarium will result in male guppy chasing females constantly for mating, making your female guppy come under stress, and they will lose their appetite.

Also read: What To Do If My Guppy Is Stressed?

Large size food

Guppies don’t have a powerful tooth from which they can chew the food.

Guppies can crush the food, so when you provide large food to your guppies, they will spit it out as they will not be able to chew it and break it into small pieces.

Guppy will also spit to food out for breaking them into the manageable sizes that fit their mouth.

Guppies are being picky.

Guppies are ravenous eaters and will eat almost everything you serve them.

However, some guppies can be picky when it comes to particular food from a specific brand.

So, it is possible that your guppy fish does not like the food quality and taste.

Consider replacing the food with some other brand and try feeding them.

Your guppies are bored eating the same food.

When you regularly feed the same food to your guppies, they can get bored eating the same food every day.

Usually, guppies eat everything you serve to them, but they can get bored of the food you feed every day, resulting in spitting out food.

Your female guppy is pregnant.

When female guppy is pregnant, they will avoid eating food because of stress and the space taken up by the fry inside them.

Your pregnant guppy will not be able to eat much food and can spit out some of the food when eating.

Also read: Is My Guppy Pregnant?

Disease

Guppy fish suffering from illness can make them spit out food.

Diseases such as parasitic infections will affect your guppy fish gills.

Guppy fish will suffer fluttering their gills while eating, making them spit out the food.

Other diseases like dropsy will make your guppy fish bloated, making them suffer feeding, and they will spit out food.

Also read: How To Treat Dropsy In Guppy?

Blocked WindPipe

Guppy fish with blocked windpipe will not be able to consume the food and will spit the food out from their mouth.

The windpipe of your guppy can get blocked when they accidentally consume gravel from the surface.

How to prevent guppy from spitting out food?

Ensure these things to prevent spitting out food and make your guppy fish eat:

  1. Provide good water quality to your guppy fish.
  2. Ensure adequate and stable water parameters.
  3. Feed your guppy fish high-quality food.
  4. Feed your guppy fish various types of food.
  5. Avoid providing tough food to your guppies.
  6. Provide guppy fish stress-free environment.

Good water quality

Providing your guppy fish with good water quality will prevent your guppy fish from showing such spitting behavior.

Providing guppy fish with good water quality will also make your guppy fish eat.

To ensure good water quality, perform 35% water change weekly in a regular manner.

Also, consider adding a good filtration system with biofilter media to keep your aquarium clean and safe from ammonia and nitrite.

Adding live aquatic plants will also help keep the water clean.

Also read: Best TDS For Guppies?

Adequate and stable water parameters

Providing adequate and stable water parameters will prevent guppy fish from spitting out food and make your guppy fish eat.

ParticularsGuppy Fish Requirement
Water temperature72-82
Water pH level6.7-7.8
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite0ppm
NitrateBelow 25ppm
This table shows the ideal water parameters of guppy fish.

To ensure adequate water parameters, ensure these things:

  1. Provide your guppies a water temperature between 72-82 °F.
  2. Keep the water pH level between 6.8-7.8.
  3. Ensure that the ammonia and nitrite remain at 0ppm, whereas nitrate is below 25ppm.

Consider adding a heater to your guppies aquarium to stabilize the water temperature.

There are test kits available on amazon to check ammonia levels.

You can buy it from Amazon API TEST KIT.

Also read: What Is The Ideal Water Temperature For Guppy Fish?

Feed high-quality food

Feed your guppies high-quality food to prevent them from spitting out food and make them eat.

Feed high-quality pellets and flake food to your guppies with a good smell and taste to make them eat.

Low-quality food can cause digestive issues to your guppy fish.

Also read: Can Guppies Eat Betta Food?

Feed various types of food to guppies.

Feeding only one type of food to your guppies will make them boor from one food, and they can start spitting out the food.

Guppy FoodServing QuantityNo of Times
Veggie pelletsOne small pinch at a time2-3 times a day
Mosquito larvae10-15 pieces2-3 times a week
BloodwormsOne small pinch at a time1-2 times a week
Tubifex WormsOne small pinch at a time1 time a week
Brine shrimpOne small pinch at a time1-2 times a week
Zucchini (Blanched)One small slice2-3 times a week
This table shows the dietary requirement of guppy fish.

Consider feeding your guppies various food like bloodworms, tubifex worms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and vegetables.

You can feed live bloodworms to your guppy fish once or twice a week.

Consider feeding tubifex worm to your guppies once a week.

Also read: Best Food For Guppy Fish.

Avoid tough food

Guppies cannot chew and will find it hard to break down the hard food, making them spit out the food.

Instead, consider blanching the food before feeding it to your guppies.

Blanching is the process in which we soften the food so that our guppies can easily feed on them.

Also, break the food into small pieces before feeding to your guppies to a manageable size that fits the guppy mouth.

Also read: Can Guppies Eat Bloodworms?

Provide stress-free environment

Providing a stress-free environment to your guppy fish will prevent them from spitting out food and make them eat.

Guppy fish in stress because of any reason will lose their appetite.

You must know that guppy fish being under stress for a long time, will become prone to various diseases and parasites.

Ensure these things to provide your guppy fish stress-free environment:

  1. Provide water temperature between 72-82 °F.
  2. Keep the water pH level between 6-7-7.8.
  3. Ensure that the ammonia and nitrite remain at 0ppm, whereas nitrate is below 25ppm.
  4. Provide a hiding spot for your guppy fish by adding aquatic plants and other hiding decors.
  5. Avoid adding aggressive tankmates to your guppies aquarium. Instead, consider adding peaceful fish like neon tetra.
  6. Keep male and female guppies in a ratio of 1:2, which means one male guppy and two female guppies.
  7. Avoid overcrowding your guppies tank by following the one-inch one-gallon rule, which means one inch of fish per gallon water.
  8. Make a schedule for feeding your guppies and continue it in a regular manner.

Ensuring all these things will prevent your guppy from stress, and they will eat properly.

Also read: Are My Guppies Stressed?

Conclusion:

There are numerous reasons behind guppy fish spitting out the food, of which large size and poor quality food is the primary reason.

Other reasons are stress due to environmental problems, illness, boredom eating the same food, and gut blockage.

Feed your guppies different types of food so that they don’t get bored eating the same food every day.

Provide good water quality and adequate water parameters to prevent your guppies from showing such behavior.


Reference: ResearchGate, Journals,

Hemant

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