The Fish Keeping & Aquarium Guide.

Does Parrot Fish Eat Guppies? Here’s What You Need to Know.

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Parrot fish are popular with aquarium enthusiasts due to their vibrant colors and unique appearance. However, many fish owners may be concerned about the compatibility of parrot fish with other species, particularly guppies.

While parrotfish are known to be peaceful, they are also known to have a voracious appetite. This raises the question: do parrot fish eat guppies?

The answer is not a straightforward one. Parrot fish are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. While they may not actively seek out and hunt guppies, they may still consume them if given the opportunity.

Additionally, the size of the guppy about the size of the parrot fish may play a role in whether or not the parrot fish will attempt to eat them.

Fish owners need to understand the potential risks and take steps to ensure the safety of all fish in their aquariums.


Parrot Fish Diet

Natural Diet


Parrot fish are omnivorous, meaning that they eat both plants and animals. In the wild, their diet consists of various algae, small invertebrates, and even small pieces of coral.

Their unique feeding mechanism allows them to scrape algae and other small organisms off rocks and coral with their beak-like teeth.


Captivity Diet


In captivity, parrot fish can be fed various foods, including commercial fish flakes, pellets, and frozen or live foods. It is essential to provide a varied diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients. Some good options for parrot fish include:

  • Spirulina flakes or pellets
  • Brine shrimp
  • Bloodworms
  • Mysis shrimp
  • Chopped seafood
  • Seaweed sheets

It is important to note that parrot fish should not be fed exclusively on live or frozen foods, as these can be high in fat and lack the necessary nutrients. A balanced diet is vital to keeping your parrot fish healthy and happy.

In conclusion, parrot fish are omnivorous and have a varied diet in the wild. Therefore, a balanced diet of commercial fish and various live or frozen foods is recommended in captivity to ensure optimal health.


Guppies as Part of Parrot Fish Diet

Guppies in the Wild


Parrot fish are known to be opportunistic feeders, and they will eat almost anything that they can fit in their mouths.

This includes small fish like guppies, which are often found in the same habitats as parrot fish. In the wild, parrot fish feed on various small fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.

Guppies are found in various freshwater habitats, including streams, ponds, and rivers. They are known for their bright colors and are often kept as pets. However, in the wild, guppies are preyed upon by various fish, including parrot fish.


Guppies in Captivity


In captivity, parrot fish are often fed a diet of commercial fish food, which may include a variety of ingredients such as fish meal, shrimp meal, and algae.

However, some parrot fish owners may supplement their fish’s diet with live or frozen foods, such as guppies.

While guppies can be a nutritious addition to a parrot fish’s diet, it is essential to note that they should not be the sole source of food.

Parrot fish require a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrients, and feeding them only guppies could lead to nutritional deficiencies.

In addition, guppies may carry diseases or parasites that could be harmful to parrot fish. Therefore, it is important to quarantine any live fish before introducing them to a parrot fish tank to prevent the spread of disease.

Overall, while parrotfish may eat guppies in the wild and captivity, providing them with a balanced diet that meets all of their nutritional needs is essential.


Potential Issues with Feeding Guppies to Parrot Fish

Nutritional Imbalance


Parrot fish require a balanced diet to thrive and stay healthy. Feeding them only guppies can lead to a nutritional imbalance, as guppies alone do not provide all the necessary nutrients that parrot fish need.

For example, guppies are low in calcium, essential for developing strong bones and teeth in parrot fish. Over time, this can lead to health problems such as skeletal deformities or weak teeth.




Feeding parrot fish too much can lead to obesity and other health issues. In addition, guppies are small and easy for parrot fish to catch, which can lead to overfeeding if not monitored closely.

Overfeeding can also lead to poor water quality, as uneaten food can quickly decompose and produce harmful toxins in the aquarium.




Parrot fish are known to be aggressive towards smaller fish, such as guppies. Therefore, feeding guppies to parrot fish can lead to stress and injury for the guppies, as well as an increase in aggressive behavior from the parrot fish.

This can create a hostile environment in the aquarium and lead to other health issues for all the fish involved.

In summary, feeding guppies to parrot fish can lead to potential issues with nutritional imbalance, overfeeding, and aggression.

It is essential to provide a balanced diet for parrot fish that includes a variety of foods to ensure their overall health and well-being.


Alternative Foods for Parrot Fish


Parrot fish are known for their unique beak-like mouth adapted for feeding coral polyps and other calcareous organisms.

However, they are also opportunistic feeders and will eat various foods. Here are some alternative foods for parrot fish:


Commercial Foods


Parrot fish can be fed commercial foods formulated explicitly for herbivorous fish. These foods usually contain vegetable matter, algae, and other plant-based ingredients.

Pellets and flakes are the most common forms of commercial fish food.


Live Foods


Parrot fish can also be fed live foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms. These foods provide a more natural diet and help keep the fish healthy and active.

However, live foods can be expensive and carry diseases if not properly sourced.


Frozen Foods


Frozen foods such as krill, mysis shrimp, and spirulina can also be fed to parrot fish. These foods are often more nutritious than commercial fish food and can provide a varied diet. Frozen foods are also convenient and can be stored in the freezer for long periods.

In conclusion, parrot fish can be fed various alternative foods besides their natural diet of coral polyps and other calcareous organisms. Commercial fish, live, and frozen foods are all viable options for keeping parrot fish healthy and happy.

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