guppy fry as feeder fish? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Question guppy fry as feeder fish?

I have kind of an evil question. I have a 46gal tank with 3 boesemani rainbows, 3 pearl gourami and 18ish neon tetras. I would love to supply them with live food, so my thought was "if I added guppies to my tank would the fry be enough to feed the other fish?"
so my questions are-

1 can guppies breed quickly enough to keep up with the demand?
2 if they can breed that quickly how many should I add?
3 will the adult guppies eat the fry as well or will they starve?
4 the neon tetras might not be able to eat the fry, will they eat the eggs?

thax in advance. If something else would work better please let me know.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 12:35 AM
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Guppy's don't lay eggs.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jrill View Post
Guppy's don't lay eggs.

oh my, DUH!!! I can't believe I did that, I know that guppies are LIVEbearers.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 12:44 AM
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1. No.
2. You cannot add that many, the tank would be over stocked.
3. They are known to, but see below.
4. They might. If Guppies laid eggs. Gups are live bearers.

Full answer to the concept:
You are describing 'The perpetual motion fur farm'. It cannot work.

Here is the 'perpetual motion fur farm':
Feed rats to cats.
Kill the cats to get the fur, and feed the bodies to the rats.
Raise a few litters of rats to feed the cats.

Remember the basic food chain:
The prey will only support 1/10 as many predators as there are prey (based on weight).

It takes 10,000 pounds of grass to feed 1,000 pounds of rabbits. It takes 1,000 pounds of rabbits to feed 100 pounds of wolf.

Translate this to fish:
Feed the guppies one hundred grams of fish food.
This will support 10 grams of guppies.
This will support 1 gram of Gouramis.

Remember that the mother Guppies burn up a lot of energy being pregnant, and a certain amount of the food they eat gets turned into baby guppy.
If all they had to eat was baby guppies from other litters, they could not make more babies than they are eating. They could only make 1/10 as many (or less- they need energy to keep themselves alive, too). So if one mother Guppy ate 10 litters, she could produce 1 litter (or less).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good idea to raise live food to feed your fish.
Set up a couple of 'food stations' equipped to keep the 'prey' alive.
Salt water tank to raise brine shrimp, some dishes of oat meal or whatever for certain worms, a box of kitchen compost for other worms, a green water aquarium for daphnia and so on.
People do keep a tank of live bearers to feed to their predatory fish. It is a lot healthier than buying poorly raised feeders.
If you are interested in raising these other animals, then the work may be worth it. Or, if you have a lot of tanks. But to raise enough food, and varied enough food for a balanced diet it is not worth it for just one aquarium.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
1. No.
2. You cannot add that many, the tank would be over stocked.
3. They are known to, but see below.
4. They might. If Guppies laid eggs. Gups are live bearers.

Full answer to the concept:
You are describing 'The perpetual motion fur farm'. It cannot work.

Here is the 'perpetual motion fur farm':
Feed rats to cats.
Kill the cats to get the fur, and feed the bodies to the rats.
Raise a few litters of rats to feed the cats.

Remember the basic food chain:
The prey will only support 1/10 as many predators as there are prey (based on weight).

It takes 10,000 pounds of grass to feed 1,000 pounds of rabbits. It takes 1,000 pounds of rabbits to feed 100 pounds of wolf.

Translate this to fish:
Feed the guppies one hundred grams of fish food.
This will support 10 grams of guppies.
This will support 1 gram of Gouramis.

Remember that the mother Guppies burn up a lot of energy being pregnant, and a certain amount of the food they eat gets turned into baby guppy.
If all they had to eat was baby guppies from other litters, they could not make more babies than they are eating. They could only make 1/10 as many (or less- they need energy to keep themselves alive, too). So if one mother Guppy ate 10 litters, she could produce 1 litter (or less).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good idea to raise live food to feed your fish.
Set up a couple of 'food stations' equipped to keep the 'prey' alive.
Salt water tank to raise brine shrimp, some dishes of oat meal or whatever for certain worms, a box of kitchen compost for other worms, a green water aquarium for daphnia and so on.
People do keep a tank of live bearers to feed to their predatory fish. It is a lot healthier than buying poorly raised feeders.
If you are interested in raising these other animals, then the work may be worth it. Or, if you have a lot of tanks. But to raise enough food, and varied enough food for a balanced diet it is not worth it for just one aquarium.
Holy cow gal, I think you over thought this just a little bit.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 02:12 PM
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Should I have just quotes the laws of thermodynamics?
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 02:23 PM
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They would supplement regular feedings. I've worm, micro shrimp, larva cultures. A steady supply of live food in seperate containers that eat on the cheap. Stuff like bread, yeast, algae, leaf litter, dirt...
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 08:08 PM
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I use to feed guppy fry to angle fish, though I had the guppies in a separate 10gal tank. It wasn't a supply all I needed, more like the occasional snack for the angles
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 08:44 PM
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I think we are all missing the very important question of why do you want to feed them live food? It does not seem worth it.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 10:42 PM
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I can think of 3 good reasons right off the bat, simulate/stimulate natural behavior for better physical/mental health. 2). Breeding/condirioning. 3.) Pleasure gained from taking better care of your fish... but guppies might not be the way to go in your situation. Scuds might be more in order...
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 11:09 PM
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I do this still. I set up a 10 gallon with 2 males and 4 females. Its not an endless supply of live food but its close. Guppies are neat fish in there own right. Some people say a 10 is to small for guppies, but I disagree, as long as u are using the fry as feeders. I've had the same six for 2 years, and they have produced a steady stream of food for my other fish. I'd consider it a treat as its mostly a monthly thing. So far, all my fish seem to really appreciate them. The pair of brevis I have like them the most. They are small fish so I only add 2 once a week or so. I'd say go for it, but use a smaller separate tank. You will never really see them eat fry often. They will get eaten the instant they are born if in the same tank. My guppies are getting up there in age. I have a group growing out as replacements. So far my old breeders are still doing great, but 2 years old is kinda old for a guppy.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridHerp View Post
I think we are all missing the very important question of why do you want to feed them live food? It does not seem worth it.
Live food is more nutritious than what you find in a can.

Yes you can use fry as feeders. Get a 30G tank and you'll have hundreds at a time. But you can also grow daphnia, worms etc....
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 11:14 PM
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Live food is more nutritious than what you find in a can.



Yes you can use fry as feeders. Get a 30G tank and you'll have hundreds at a time. But you can also grow daphnia, worms etc....

I have doubts about the nutritional quality of guppies however and would be concerned about disease and quality.

Daphnia and worms would be better I'd imagine. More nutritious too I'd bet and more sense given the fish you have. Also probably easier.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridHerp View Post
I have doubts about the nutritional quality of guppies however and would be concerned about disease and quality.

Daphnia and worms would be better I'd imagine. More nutritious too I'd bet and more sense given the fish you have. Also probably easier.
You can control quality and disease when you raise them. This goes for any live foods. You can feed the worms white bread or whole wheat. The whole wheat would give the worms more nutrients.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-16-2014, 11:29 PM
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True, it would depend on what foods you put into them. But if you are specifically using guppy fry I feel you have less control over their nutritional content given that they'd still be small and difficult to feed specific things. I'd feel differently if it was older guppies, but meh.

Regardless, I think most of the fish the OP has are more adapt to eating small crustaceans, so those would be better and more natural. I don't think any of those fish are really fish eaters in any substantial way.

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