Why Do Guppies Eat Their Babies?

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The guppy fish is one of the most common aquarium pets. Their curiosity often leads them to explore their surroundings, which can be dangerous for other types or breeds in your home breeding tank! 

For this reason, it’s important not only to take care when breeding but also watch out for how many fries you have at any given time – as even small numbers will become very large quickly with so many nutrients available from food sources such as zooplankton and plant leaves floating around looking tasty before eating too much bite-sized chunk off these nutritious.

Why Do Guppies Eat Their Babies?

Why Do Guppies Eat Their Babies?

Guppies are a peaceful species, but when they reproduce things can get nasty and even horrific for novice hobbyists. Some experienced fish keepers have also reported experiencing horror stories with the newborns.

The sight of a mother eating her own babies is sick and shocking. We can’t believe that such a thing could happen, but it does sometimes with many surprises.


You might be surprised to learn that animals often engage in “filial cannibalism,” or the tendency for parents and they’re young to be at risk of being eaten by other creatures. 

The parental care taken on by animal moms has been seen as an essential trait that increases offspring survival rates while also increasing fitness levels; according to conventional human thought though there can sometimes come a point where nurturing stops – such things include guardship/groomships replacing actual nutrition found within prey species (which would then make them easier targets).

It’s a tough world out there for future generations. Over-population and limited resources mean that some offspring will have to survive against all odds, which is why parents take care of their kids like they’re little sponges – packing them full with love until one day those tiny bodies grow up into something worth noting!

Guppies Eat Their Offspring As A Result Of Stress

Scientists have discovered that the reason why some guppies eat their babies is a result of stress during pregnancy and labor when it becomes necessary for them to enhance self-preservation instincts. 

Even though this doesn’t suffice as an adequate explanation behind Why Do Guppies Eat Their Babies?, scientists believe there are other factors involved in how fish react emotionally with offspring before deciding whether or not to consume them filially (related term).

The mother fish will consume her young in order to enhance the self-preservation instinct, even if there is no war or violence around them.

Reproductive Success Maximization

The more a parent consumes their offspring, the higher chances they have of achieving lifetime reproductive success. It’s called parental investment theory and it states that by eating baby food you are replenishing fat stores while also increasing your own fitness for future generations of children to consume.

Guppy parents will often eat their young if they feel like they are in danger or if they are not well cared for.

Ways To Prevent Guppies From Eating Their Babies?

  1. Feed the guppies a specific diet to increase the energy levels in their bodies, which makes them less eager to eat their babies.
  2. Establish a quarantine tank for new fish that haven’t been introduced into the community yet. This will allow you to keep an eye on each individual fish without having to worry about them being eaten.
  3. Use aquarium plants to divert the attention of hungry guppies away from their offspring. Putting lots of green, leafy plants in the tank will give them plenty to nibble on and provide a distraction from babies that may be hiding between or underneath the leaves.
  4. Set up a breeding trap for your guppies if you know that they are prone to eating their young. This is a special aquarium set-up that has a separate area for the pregnant female to deposit her fry (babies) so they can be safely raised away from the others.
  5. Keep the water clean and well-maintained in the aquarium. This helps to ensure that the guppies and their babies are healthy, which makes them less appealing to eat.
  6. Monitor the behavior of your guppies closely so that you can intervene if they start exhibiting predatory tendencies. This might mean separating a particularly aggressive fish, increasing water temperature, or trying other techniques to help mitigate this natural tendency. Ultimately, it is best to keep only one pregnant guppy in the aquarium if you can’t guarantee that she won’t eat her babies.
  7. Ask your local pet store for advice or consult an aquarist if you are having trouble managing the guppy population in your tank. They may be able to recommend a special breeding program that will help reduce the risk of cannibalism and ensure that your fry has a greater chance of survival.
  8. Try introducing new fish into the tank one at a time or adding them in groups as opposed to one large influx. This can help prevent the guppies from ganging up on smaller fish and preying upon young ones.
  9. Ensure that the guppies have an appropriate number of hiding spaces in the tank. This makes it more difficult for them to find their young without having to move around too much and gives your fry a chance to stay out of sight if they are still small enough.
  10. If all else fails, consider removing pregnant females from the tank and raising their fry in a separate aquarium until they are large enough to be reintroduced. This will protect the babies from being eaten and give you more time to monitor their development.


Guppies eat their babies for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons may include hunger, stress, or even boredom. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that this is a natural behavior for guppies and is nothing to be concerned about. If you are worried about your guppy eating its babies, then talk to a professional who can help you understand and monitor the situation.

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