What Fish Will Eat Guppy Fry?
One major problem that all guppy keepers have is their fish overbreeding. While guppies are easy to care for, they also multiply like crazy, producing 5-30 fry, or even over 100 fry every month.
Male guppies seek partners constantly, but even just one-time contact with a female guppy is enough for her to sustain multiple pregnancies, month after month. This is an issue because you only have so much space to keep all the guppy fry.
At some point or another, you’ll need to take some measures to control your fish population. One of the easiest options is housing guppies together with other species that can eat the fry. That’s one way to prevent overpopulation, and I’ll cover this at large in this article. I’ll also talk about preventive measures to avoid tank overpopulation in the future. But for now, let’s see what fish species are going to help you keep the guppy numbers in check.
Angelfish is one of the most popular species among aquarium hobbyists. These fish are truly mesmerizing given their wide variety of colors and patterns. They’re also generally peaceful and can be kept together with other species similar in temperament. They’ll get along well with guppy adults, as both of these species are friendly and calm.
This species is also great for keeping the guppy population in check. Angelfish have big appetites and they’ll eat as much as you feed them. They won’t shy away from eating the guppy fry in the tank. In a mixed guppy and angelfish aquarium, you won’t have to worry about managing guppy numbers.
Betta fish are another popular species due to their big, flowing tails and fins. They look gorgeous and graceful, although they tend to be aggressive and territorial. This might not be too big of an issue if you have enough room in your aquarium. If your guppies and betta fish aren’t crowded together, it’s unlikely for any fight to break loose.
Betta fish and guppies are also similar in size, so they’re unlikely to cause serious injuries to each other. But the betta fish will certainly eat any guppy fry that comes in their way. Bettas will eat anything that’s small enough to fit in their mouths. For guppy population control, this species is one of the best choices.
Swordtail fish get their name from their thin, elongated, sword-like tailfin. These fish are about twice the size of guppy adults, reaching 5.5-6.3 inches in length. However, what’s great about them is their peaceful, friendly demeanor. They can coexist with all non-violent species in a community aquarium. They rarely get territorial, and this typically happens when they have to compete for mating.
You can safely add a couple of swordtails to your guppy aquarium. This species will also help you keep the guppy numbers in check. Swordtails eat their own fry, so they won’t hesitate from eating other species’ fry either. They’re great for managing the fish population in community tanks. With this species around, you won’t have to worry about guppies overbreeding.
The dwarf pufferfish, also known as pygmy pufferfish or pea pufferfish is almost half the size of a fully grown adult guppy. They reach no more than 1.4 inches in length. But don’t be fooled. They might look cute, but dwarf pufferfish are some of the most aggressive fish you can keep. Think of them as the Chihuahuas of the fish world.
They do best with other aggressive tank mates. Luckily, given their small size, most other fish species can outswim them. Your adult guppies should be safe if you add just a few dwarf pufferfish in the tank. For aggressive population control (no pun intended), this species is the best. Dwarf pufferfish are active hunters and have insatiable appetites. They’ll actively chase and eat guppy fry on the spot.
Guppies and Gouramis are polar opposites, but that’s what makes them a pretty good match. Gouramis are 5-6 inches long, twice the size of guppy fish. But they rarely get aggressive towards smaller fish or species other than their own. The only likely instance for gouramis to become aggressive is when competition between male fish arises.
Gouramis are also very slow fish, so guppies can easily escape them if needed. What qualifies gouramis for controlling the guppy population is their big appetite. They’re like bottomless pits, inhaling everything in sight. Given their size, they’ll also be unlikely to get satiated on just 3-5 fry. If you want a mellow tankmate for your guppies, then gouramis make a good option.
How To Prevent Guppies from Overbreeding?
It’s no secret that guppies are prolific breeders. They reach sexual maturity at 3 months, and they can produce dozens of fry each month until two years of age. I haven’t done the math on that, but I’m pretty sure that’s a hell of a lot of fry we’re talking about here. So, what can you do to prevent this disastrous course of action? Well, there are three things you could try.
First, as we’ve already discussed, you can add other species of fish to your main guppy tank. As long as the aquarium isn’t crowded, your guppies and your fish of choice should get along well. When female guppies give birth to fry, the other fish in the tank will take care of this situation. Sometimes, even other adult guppies will eat their own fry.
The second option is preventing the breeding in the first place. Separate male and female guppies before they get the chance to start breeding. This way, you won’t have to worry about these measures. It’s best if you do this with young guppies before they reach sexual maturity. At around three weeks of age, sexual characteristics such as coloring and fin shape become apparent in males. That’s how you’ll be able to differentiate between the sexes and separate them.
Finally, if your female guppies are already pregnant, you can also separate them before they give birth. Let them give birth in a breeding tank. After they’re done, you can place them back in the community aquarium. Keep the guppy fry in the breeding tank, and add in another fish species that can feed on them.
Guppies bear the nickname “million fish” for a reason. They’re a fish breeder’s dream and an aquarium amateur’s nightmare. However, whether you want to prevent guppies from overbreeding, or you already have excess guppy fry, don’t worry! There are always solutions for this problem.
The easiest way to control the guppy population is by adding other fish species to the tank. Many types of fish will eat the small fry. Any of the species described in this article would make a good match.