8 Possible Reasons Why Your Guppy Is Hiding And Not Eating

Why is my Guppy hiding and not eating?

Guppy fish is not expensive fish to keep because they are very easy to maintain and cared for, although they are very beautiful and decorative because of their attractive colors, sometimes things could get very complicated when it comes to keeping them. The complications or problems might come, inform of your guppy hiding and not eating too. If you are unlucky to have your guppy behave this way, it could be frustrating and sad. In this article, we will lecture you on the possible reasons for this type of behavior and what to do about it.

Why is my guppy hiding and not eating? A Guppy fish could be hiding and lacking appetite because of some factors like poor water quality, illness, poor quality foods, and stress.

There are so many factors that might warrant this type of behavior from your guppy fish, the above are some of them, but, we will disclose many more and also go into detail.

Guppies are peaceful, fine, and entertaining fish because their colors are attractive, especially the male guppies, but, what is the need of keeping such an amazing and attractive creature if it only hides and refuses to eat, thereby losing their natural fin color?

Without wasting much time, here are the commonest reasons why a guppy fish might stop eating and start hiding.

Location of the Aquarium: Did you know that the place where the fish tank is located could go a long way to cause guppy fish to hide and lose their appetite?

Yes, they are sometimes shy on many occasions, for instance keeping them in a location that has a lot of traffic might be the main cause of the sudden change of behavior.

Naturally, they don’t like traffic, like people getting close to their tank always and sometimes taping the tank, or disturbing them in many ways.

If you keep the guppy tank in such a location that attracts traffic, then you should relocate it to a more peaceful zone.

They will always hide when people crowd around them, or constantly come close to their tank, and this could also lead to a loss of appetite.

Apart from traffic, try to keep your tank close to where sun reflection could reach and avoid direct contact with the sun in order not to grow too many algae or get them a suitable aquarium light.

Temperature: Another most common reason for this kind of attitude is inappropriate water temperature.

Guppy is a tropical fish, and so, has a specific level of temperature it could tolerate, so when the temperature is not right, it might lead it to lose its appetite and maybe seek hiding places in the tank.

The right temperature is 68-80°F, and such a level of temperature should and must be maintained, so getting them a heater is a must to keep the water temperature under serious control for the overall happiness of your fish.

Although guppies are hard fish that could easily tolerate many conditions, but they shouldn’t be exposed to any condition, take care of them according to their nature.

Poor Quality Food: Feeding is one of the most important, or should we say the most important care any living thing could get.

This includes fish too. The type of food a fish eats determines the overall health quality of such fish etc.

So, If your guppy is refusing to eat anything or eating a tiny bit of food anytime you feed it, then you might have to check the type and quality of food you give it.

There is every possibility that the food is either expired or of poor quality or even unsuitable for them, so check the food and change your food vendor and buy them quality foods.

We all know that food is strength, without having them eat, they will lack strength and might tend to become dull and always hide at the bottom of the tank or even in caves, etc.

Pregnancy: When female guppies get pregnant, they will start displaying some uncommon behaviors such as lack of appetite and isolation.

When you notice this, check her stomach to see if it is big, if it is, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about, as It is natural.

Lack of appetite, hiding, going to the surface regularly, and dullness are all signs that a guppy is pregnant, so watch out for the fry in a little while, as they normally take between 21-30 days to give birth, and sometimes a little bit more time.

Poor Water Quality: Another serious cause of this behavior is poor water quality or dirty water.

No fish could tolerate poor water quality for a very long time without having some problems, so if your guppy is refusing to eat anything and is even hiding, or gasping for air at the surface, then there is every possibility that the water is not suitable for it.

Some chemicals such as ammonia, alkaline, chlorine, and nitrate could build up in the water because of a lack of regular cleaning and changing of water, the fish poops, etc.

Normally, it’s a must to have water testing kits if you are serious with your fish keeping, and some other important things like filter, air pump too.

These will help you to always know the levels of these dangerous chemicals in your guppy tank and keep them in control to 0 levels by constantly changing the water up to 50-70% anytime you notice any of these chemicals.

Also, tools like filter and air pump will keep the oxygen level in the tank very normal, so that your guppy will not have any reason to gasp for air at the surface.

Unsuitable Tank Mates: Sometimes if a guppy fish is hiding and losing appetite, there might not necessarily be anything wrong with it, just that it’s not comfortable in the tank because of the high level of bully and stress going on in the tank.

This is why it’s very necessary or important to only keep fish that are compatible and share the same time in a tank.

For instance, guppies are peaceful and not very aggressive, so keeping them in a tank with aggressive fish like the Oscar, etc will only lead to one thing, either stress or even eat them.

So, if yours is acting this way, then pay attention to the tank to see if any of them is bullying the others.

Again male guppies don’t go very well in groups, it is highly recommended to keep them at a ratio of 3/1. That’s 3 females and 1 male, to stem aggression.

Apart from aggression, fast fish are not that good with Guppies.

This is because guppies are not that fast in swimming, so if kept with fast fish, they will overshadow them when it comes to food, etc, making the guppies starve, which could lead to a lack of strength and lying at the bottom or even death.

Sickness: Sickness is the most common reason a Guppy might refuse to eat and hide.

Many types of diseases could infect this type of fish such as fin and tail rot, bloat, white spot, etc.

All these diseases could be very deadly and could be prevented by taking proper care of them and their tanks.

These diseases could be the reason why your guppy fish is always hiding and lacking the zeal or appetite to eat any food like it normally does.

Some signs of these diseases are white spots on the fish’s body, tiredness or lack of strength, thereby making the fish very dull in movement, hiding, lack of appetite, gasping for air at the surface, dropsy, Swollen or cloudy eyes, and even lying or swimming awkwardly.

When you notice some of these, your best chance is to call a vet and get proper medical advice from him or even the necessary medications.

Tank Size: The type and size of the tank are very important.

This is one thing many fish keepers refuse to understand.

Sometimes, there might not be anything necessarily wrong with the fish, just that the fish have outgrown the current tank it’s in, and wants a bigger house to feel comfortable.

There is no way a fish or even other animals could be placed in a house that could hardly contain them and be expected to be healthy and active.

Guppies could grow up to 2 inches in size, so, each of them should have at least close to a gallon, and they reproduce so quickly too.

So, pay attention to their numbers, and avoid overstocking your tank, which could in return hurt them and could even lead to losing some of them.

Preventive Measures

Always clean their tanks and change their water at least 50% once a week.

Only keep suitable tank mates with them, and avoid fast fish as their tank mates.

Buy only quality foods for them, and from a trusted vendor too.

Heater, Filter, and air pump are a must, for them to be happy and active too.

Call the attention of a vet for medical advice and guidance once you are not satisfied with your fish’s behavior.


These are the commonest reasons why your guppy fish could be hiding and lacking the appetite to eat anything, so take good care of them with the tips above.

Again don’t try to treat them on your own, unless you are a vet, better call the attention of one, once you have any trouble with your fish’s attitude, in order not to make a mistake that will kill it.