5 Reasons Why your Guppies are Starving to Death


5 Reasons Why your Guppies are Starving to Death:

As much as we would like our guppies to eat and eat and eat so that they would grow into large beautiful fishes that we yearn for, there are days when our guppies just decided that would rather starve themselves to death.

I personally have faced this situation before and have thought to myself what may be causing these guppies to stop eating the good food that I feed them. I use top quality fish food and present to my guppies a variety of food so that they do not get “bored” with the food.

I have therefore compiled a few reasons to explain why they are doing the Gandhi fasting session.

5 Reasons why guppies starve themselves include:

1. They are sick and need treatment.

2. There is something wrong with the water in which they are in.

3. Your filter has been unchanged for too long and needs to be cleaned.

4. The lighting around the tank is scaring them with the ghoulish shadows that is created.

5. The food that you are offering to your guppies lack variety.

The first reason why guppies starve themselves is that they are sick and need treatment. This is one of the main reasons why guppies stop eating. They may be swimming happily today and just stop eating altogether when they are suffering from diseases such as a fungal infection, viral attacks, parasitical attacks, etc. If you notice that they are suffering from a particular disease, do treat your guppies as soon as possible and do monitor the situation well so that your guppies do not get treated with the wrong medication and that they are responding to the treatment given.

The second reason why guppies starve is that there is something truly wrong with their tank water. Sometimes, my guppies appetite start to waver after their water has been changed. Nevertheless, they should get out of the fasting mood within an hour or two. If they still look quirky and refuse to eat the food that is given to them, I suggest that you check the quality of water in your tank. Water that has just been changed could be rich in certain chemicals such as chlorine and chloramine and these elements could harm your dear guppies. Get a chlorine or chloramine remover if you suspect that this is what is causing them to stop eating.

The 3rd reason could be due to unchanged and clogged up filter. I use a corner filter which contains wool and some river stones to weigh the filter down. The good thing about using these filters is that they tell you when they need to be changed by just looking at how black the wool has become. You need to know that a filter that has been aged is a good thing for the tank as the nitrifying bacteria could have already colonized them and therefore able to do the good job of keeping the water clean from ammonia and other harmful elements. However, you wouldn’t want your filter to be too clogged up and left for too long without being changed. The poisonous elements in the filter could have reached its maximum level and there is no more space for the filter to take in any more of those stuff without spilling it back into the tank. So, if I were you, and I start seeing that my guppies looking listless and not eating, I would check whether I had kept up to date with the filter being changed. I wouldn’t want my guppies to die because of my inability to keep up to date with the filter cleaning schedule.

The 4th reason involves the environment and the ambience around the tank. You would be surprised that by just changing the location of a particular tank, your guppies would do better and even eat more! I notice that my guppies that are kept at the waist level or eye level tend to do much better than those that are kept at the lowest levels or near the floor. I believe that its got to do with the lighting conditions and the shadow that is being created as we go around those tanks. In the wild, fishes are just simply wary of shadows from the top and any sudden shadows appearing from the top would be taken as a potential predator lurking around to search for prey. This is the kind of reaction that we get from our guppies when they are at a location that seem to get the most of these kind of shadows. Guppies in this situation will cower at the edge of the tank and they would sometimes refuse food as they are just too scared out of their wits to eat! If you happen to face this situation, make sure that you get the tank or displace these guppies to another location that is brighter and have lesser shadows.

Only put “seasoned” guppies at the lower levels of your available tank space and monitor them closely. For me, I use my lower level tanks to put females that ae about to give birth as they are usually put into a breeding cage and the cage is usually covered with a cardboard to prevent them from jumping out and also has the added advantage of preventing unnecessary shadows from appearing.

You might think that only humans get bored of the food that they eat on a daily basis. Then, surprise yoursel with this information that guppies too get tired of the same food being fed to them. This is epecially true if you feed the guppies dried food and nothing else. If this happens to be the situation, I would advise you to provide your guppies with some fresher live food such as artemia salina or also known as brine shrimps. Hatch your own brine shrimps and your guppies will love you for it.

Do take note also that dried fish food have a shelve life. By this, it means that dried fish food that has been on the shelve for a tad too long might just be good for the decomposing bacteria and small black beetles that might just appear when the food has gone beyond the due date. Throw away old fish food and replace them with newer, fresher dried fish food or get some live fish food such as those yummy looking and moving shrimps to enliven and energise your guppies again.

I hope that you guppy keepers out there have learned something from this post. There could be more reasons to why a fish will not want to eat. If you think that there are other good reasons to explain this behaviour, do drop me a comment!


~ Ardy

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