How Long Can Guppies Go Without Eating?

Keeping fish is certainly a little different from keeping other animals. If an animal such as a cat or dog may be entrusted to someone else or currently there seems to be an animal care center that will take care of it.

However, the fish will certainly be a little different if we really have to go and there is no one to take care of or feed our pet guppies. Because there are many things to do besides feeding, like changing the water, or even turning the lights on or off.

If you really have to go and there is no one to take care of your guppies, how long can the guppies survive without eating? The answer is that depending on the conditions of your aquarium, maybe 2 weeks is a normal time for guppies to survive without eating. But there are some stories where guppies can survive up to 1 month without eating.

Although guppies can last quite a long time without eating, there are a few things that must be done before leaving your guppies so that the safety of guppy fish is more guaranteed when left.

Changing aquarium water

Water changes should be done regularly, usually, regular water changes only need to be done as much as 15% – 30%. However, that is the amount if it is a normal day and the aquarium is not left out for a long time.

If you want to leave it, you should replace the aquarium water by 50% – 70%. Why do you have to change that much water? This is done to reduce ammonia levels as much as possible in the aquarium, so it will take a longer time for ammonia levels to return to high.

In case you didn’t know, ammonia is a substance that is toxic to fish if the amount is too high in the water. This ammonia is produced by fish waste, food residue, and also decay from dead aquascape plants.

So, reducing the water by 50% – 70% will reduce ammonia levels significantly and it will take a long time for ammonia levels to return to high. This way, it will be relatively safer when you leave the aquarium for a few days and make the fish safer too.

At least the day before leaving or leaving the aquarium for a long time, the aquarium water must be replaced by 50% – 70%.

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Cleaning filters

The second thing that must also be done when leaving the aquarium for a long time is cleaning the filter. Cleaning this filter can be done at the same time as changing the water. Usually the filter consists of a sponge and also a bacterial medium.

Cleaning the filter also has to be done regularly, such as changing water, but the frequency can take longer than changing water. When cleaning the filter, especially the sponge , you should clean it using drained aquarium water.

Usually, to clean the sponge , all you have to do is squeeze it so that small dirt comes out of the sponge . Why should this be done using drained aquarium water? Because in the sponge there are also ammonia-decomposing bacteria, so using the same water can reduce the number of these bacteria.

In addition to cleaning the filter, adding media for live bacteria can also be done so that the number of bacterial colonies can increase so that they can decompose ammonia in greater quantities. The less ammonia, the higher the chance for the fish to survive.

While cleaning the filter and draining the water, don’t forget to clean the remnants of the plants that have withered. This is done to reduce organic waste which will turn into ammonia if left alone.

Use the timer on the lamp

Of course the aquarium will contain lights to help with lighting, especially if you have an aquascape then lights are very important things to have. I’m pretty sure if you guys own an aquascape, a timer is a must-have and use.

The timer is useful for turning the lights on and off according to the settings provided, making it easier for us because we don’t have to do it ourselves. If you don’t have a timer , you should buy one so that the aquarium is safe when left.

If you really feel you don’t need it, you shouldn’t turn on the aquarium lights. Because if it is turned on of course it will live for a full 24 hours. Both fish and plants need time to rest according to their natural environment.

If you continue to see light in the absence of night or the light is turned off, the fish will become stressed because they can’t rest. Fish will continue to feel that it is daytime because there is still sun or light from a lamp.

It’s best to let natural light in if possible. Of course, if you use natural light, it will follow the time of sunrise and sunset which will have a better effect on fish than if the lights are on continuously.

Using the automatic feeding device

Actually, there are other options besides starving your guppies, namely by using an automatic feeding device. There are already many of these tools that sell on the market, especially online at various prices.

I myself have never used this kind of tool because it is not necessary at this time. The way this tool works is quite simple, and seems to be similar to the timer used for lights. This tool will work according to the specified time, you only need to set the time and fill the food storage area that has been provided.

My fear of using this tool is that the amount of food that falls into the aquarium is too much, so a lot of it is left. Then the leftover food will contribute to the increase in the ammonia content in the aquarium.

The fish are not starving, but the toxic ammonia content is increasing rapidly so this may be even more dangerous for the safety of the fish.

What to do when you come back from a long trip?

The first thing that must be done immediately is a water change. Depending on how long you’ve been away, it’s possible that the water in the aquarium has evaporated a lot so it’s been reduced a lot from the initial amount.

Immediately replace the aquarium water and add new water to reduce the ammonia content and add fresh oxygen to the aquarium. In addition, check if your fish are still complete and if any die, immediately remove the fish so as not to increase the ammonia content in the aquarium.

Then, the thing that is no less important is to give your favorite guppy fish food. Just give enough food that suits your habits and don’t overdo it.


Guppies can indeed survive without food for a while, but the condition of the aquarium must also remain supportive so that the level of safety can be higher. Actually, guppies can also eat anything, such as algae, mosquito larvae, and even water fleas. So, if there are other sources of food, guppies are certain to survive.

In quite a number of cases, fish kept outdoors can survive without being given food. This is because there are natural food sources such as mosquito larvae, water fleas or other small animals that can be found in the water.