Will Your Zebra Danios Eat A Guppy’s Fry?


When you’re looking for compatible freshwater tankmates, you should also think of the repercussions of keeping them together. In the case of Zebra Danios and Guppies, you might be concerned about how they will behave towards each other’s young.

Yes, Zebra Danios will eat Guppy fry. Similarly, Guppies will eat Zebra Danios eggs. However, Guppies spawn a lot more often than Danios do.

It’s a fact that big fish will eat smaller fish. Both Guppies and Zebra Danios are capable of (and known to) eat Guppy fry. This can be an advantage or a disadvantage to you and your fish depending on what you want to accomplish in your tank.

How Do You Preserve Guppy Fry?

Keeping Zebra Danios and Guppies together in one tank is a problem if you want to raise more Guppies.

Both of these species don’t care for their young so they’ll sure to let their fry or eggs get eaten by them or other fish.

So if you want to raise Guppy fry, follow the tips below.

Keep them tip #1: Separate the pregnant Guppy into her own tank just before she goes into labor. Then, protect the babies by putting the mother back into the main tank afterward. This prevents the babies from getting eaten by mommy Guppy.

Keep them tip #2: Put lots of plants in your tank as hiding places and source of infusoria (baby food) for the Guppy fry.

This is just the opposite of the method discussed earlier. Having lots of different kinds of plants establishes the tank, gives babies hiding places, and provides food for the very young.

Zebra Danios Eat A Guppy's Fry?
Zebra Danios Eat A Guppy’s Fry?

Keep them tip #3: Place a physical barrier to protect the fry. You can choose to scoop up the fry into a breeder box or place a divider to not have the burden of keeping another tank. Putting up these barriers is possible if your main tank is big enough to accommodate all the adults plus the babies such as a 55- or a 75-gallon tank at least.

Keep them tip #4: You’ll know the Guppy babies are grown enough to join the main tank if they’re already juveniles and can no longer fit the mouths of either the Danios or the Guppies.

Keep Track of What’s Important:

If you’re going to keep the Guppy fry, just remember that MORE FISH means:

  • more waste

When there’s more ammonia-causing poop to go around in the same amount of space, water quality is compromised more easily. The smaller your tank is, the faster the water goes bad. You’ll be testing and changing the water more often.

Make sure you keep ammonia and nitrite levels down. Otherwise, your fish may become unhealthy, leading to diseases and overall poor health.

  • more space is needed

Fish need space to swim around. Having two very active species in Guppies and Zebra Danios would spell lots of trouble if territories are encroached, not to mention the consequence of toxic water as we told you earlier.

  • less oxygen

Even if you had a powerful air stone and filter, more breathing bodies would mean less oxygen for everybody to share. One of the most common problems in an overstocked tank is fish staying at the top and gasping for air.

  • more mouths to feed

More fish equals more mouths to feed. It may be an extra cost to you to buy more fish food, do more water changes, probably move up to a bigger tank or buy an extra and maintain both. It will take up more of your time, too.

Guppy Fry
Guppy Fry

If this is something you can’t afford, it would make more sense to lose the Guppy fry.

What Do You Do With Too Many Guppies?

Just like any livebearer, Guppies multiply very quickly. Letting them breed unchecked will result in your Guppies overrunning your Zebra Danios and eventually overstocking your aquarium. They’re not classified as invasive for nothing. If you don’t control the population, you could be taking care of a couple of hundred new Guppy fry every month!

Lose them tip #1: If you have the chance, prevent Guppies from breeding in the first place by taking care of only males. That way, they won’t reproduce and you have brightly colored Guppies to complement the Danios.

Lose them tip #2: But what if you already have both male and female Guppies? Before these ‘Millionfish’ makes true its moniker, you can keep Guppies with Zebra Danios and both can feed on the fry. To do this, make sure both species are in complete schools (at least 6 each) in a large enough tank, such as a 40-gallon. With this size, you have enough room for both species to move around and be their energetic selves.

Also a side note, not having enough Zebra Danios would make them quite nippy towards the Guppies. This could result in injuries, so always make sure you have a complete school to balance out the Danios’ sometimes bossy attitude.

Lose them tip #3: Don’t overfeed your Zebra Danios so they’ll get interested in the Guppy fry.

Giving Danios a little break from their favorite food now and then would make them more interested in eating Guppy fries. This is a way to control how many fries they eat. If you think you still have too much, skip several more feedings per week.

Lose them tip #4: Along with tip #3, remember not to put too many hiding places for Guppy fry such as plants and tunnels. If the Danios can seek out most of the fry, your Guppy count would stay low with only a few fries surviving per brood.

Lose them tip #5: Other compatible species that would do the job of eating Guppy fry are Platies, Black Skirt Tetras, Gouramis, Male Swordtails, or Rams. These are all compatible with your Guppies, too, and would do the job as well. In our experience though, Zebra Danios have the energy (and therefore appetite) to do the job effectively.

You can also try larger fish such as Angelfish and Keyhole Cichlids, but these would force you to put up a larger tank if you don’t already have one.

Lose them tip #6: We don’t think the Guppy parents would miss their babies too much if you put the little ones up for adoption. If you have a friend willing to take some of them off of your hands, you won’t have to have them eaten. Being part of a community fishkeeping group online or in your town would also give you access to people who might be interested in buying them from you.

Guppies with Zebra Danios
Guppies in Tank With Zebra Danios

You can also take them to a pet store that may or may not buy them from you depending on the quality of the fish.

As we always remind all of our fellow fishkeepers, don’t dump unwanted fish in our waterways as they may have unfavorable ecological consequences that could become permanent.

Conclusion

You might adore these fish but you should stay in control. Overstocking is a very real threat to the longevity of all your fish. Therefore, it’s important to make sure, whether you choose to keep the Guppy babies or not, that you can maintain their health and activeness in a clean and healthy environment.

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