We examined the influence of food quality on the phototactic behaviour of Daphnia magna. Cohorts of a positively phototactic D. magna clone were fed nine diets differing in quality. Diets were obtained by substitution of a fraction of unicellular algae (Scenedesmus acutus) by a biomass-equivalent of fresh yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Some of the diets were enriched with an inoculum of ciliates and organic compounds added as a hay infusion filtrate. Animals fed with a diet containing at least 25% algae showed a similar phototactic behaviour as animals fed with a diet that contained 100% algae. Addition of ciliates to the yeast diets resulted in a lower mortality and a higher reproductive rate compared to diets without a ciliate supplement. The presence of ciliates did not influence phototactic behaviour. Experiments testing for a maternal effect showed that the phototactic behaviour of the animals was strongly influenced by diet during the early developmental stages, but was not influenced by the diet of the mother.