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I find guppies amazing because they have beautiful colors and breed so quick! But what if I want to keep them in a pond? I did not know so I looked into it and this is what I found!
Can you keep guppies in an outdoor pond? Yes, as long as all the parameters are suitable. Especially important is temperature, as they are tropical fish. Between 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (24 – 28 °C) is the best. Make sure your winter do not get too cold.
The most important thing is not keeping fish in parameters that are not suitable for them. Not only should you keep them at the right temperature, but also in a suitable environment. After reading this article you will know everything you need to know, and you will know if it is possible to keep guppies in a pond under your circumstances.
The right climate and weather
As you will probably already know, guppies are tropical fish. Therefore it is impossible for me to keep guppies in a pond outside all year round, because I live in Europe and the climate just won’t allow it. Chances are this is different in your case.
The ideal temperatures are between 74 – 82 °F (24 – 28 °C), but they also survive in lower temperatures. From people’s experience 55 °F (13 °C) seems to be the lowest. However, this is just surviving and not even close to adequate conditions. Let alone thriving.
I personally would not keep guppies in a temperature that low, because it is cruel to keep fish in a temperature that is that far from their ideal temperature. It causes stress and lowers their immune system, making them prone to diseases and illness. It will also reduce their activity and cause breeding issues, as well as decreasing their live span.
If you are living in a suitable climate with the right temperatures all year round, I would definitely keep some guppies in a pond. It gives them more space to breed, which they will most likely do like crazy.
The right climate is key. If the temperature does not drop below 68 °F / 20 °C during winter you can keep guppies in ponds and tubs outside without a heater all year round.
Other water parameters
So now you know the desired temperature, it is important to make sure the other water parameters are also suitable for the fish. Just like aquarium water, there can be no ammonia and nitrite at all present in the water. You can use a water test kit to make sure your water is safe.
If you have some live plants in your pond (which you definitely should try if you don’t, they actually help keeping your water clean) these will help keep your water suitable for the fish.
If you want to learn more about all the desired water parameters, I would recommend reading this article I wrote. There you can learn about all the desired water parameters in more detail. Yes, these are parameters for an aquarium, but they are the same for a healthy pond.
Keep in mind what other fish you add
Guppies are tiny. They are beautiful aquarium fish, and will make for a fine pond fish. However, they will also make for fine food for bigger fish. Make sure you do not add the fish to a pond with bigger fish like bass or other fish. They will get eaten.
Guppies are often sold as feeder fish in a pond. You can minimize the chance of them getting eaten by providing enough hiding spaces. Because these fish are so tiny you could for example have a shallow part of the pond which can be the domain of the guppies.
As for the desired pond size you can take 5 gallons of water per guppy and you will be more than fine. That’s plenty of space for such a small fish.
Although they can survive in just a couple of inches/centimeters of water, make sure that your pond super shallow. Why? Because a tiny bit of shallow water can heat up super fast under the sun. The temperature can rise to temperatures that a guppy can not survive. Therefore, have part of your pond be a lot deeper and add some water circulation so the temperature is the same throughout the pond.
What should you feed the guppies?
To start off, a pond will provide a lot of food for the guppies without much effort already. Think of mosquito’s and other insects. (As a small sidenote, your guppies eating a lot of mosquito’s is also a huge benefit)
Also, guppies will eat algae and small animals in the water. This will be a big source of their food. But not enough. You will need to feed your fish at least once a day. Not that they can be left without food for a couple of days when necessary.
To feed the fish, just regular fish food will suffice. It will be exactly the same as in an aquarium. There is dedicated guppy food on the market, which I could recommend but I am not going to do that. The only good thing about that is that it is the right size as it fits in their tiny mouths.
And I am especially not going to recommend fry food as you can easily make that yourself. The fry will feed on the microfilm in the pond, as well as algae and some of the fish food that fits in their mouths.
What I always do is crush some of the dried food that I feed my fish to make sure the fry can also eat it. If it is too big for the fry they will not be able to eat the food.
Alternative fish for colder temperatures
Like I said, I am not able to keep guppies in a pond due to my climate. Maybe this is also the case for you. What other fish could you then keep in your aquarium that are about the same size as guppies but can deal with the colder temperatures much better? Well, I would recommend the White Cloud Mountain Minnow.
The white cloud mountain minnow can deal with much lower temperatures, ranging between 60 – 72 °F (16 – 22 °C). If you have a little bit more moderate winters this might be a good option. However, it can still not handle temperatures below 60 °F / 16 °C so keep that in mind.
What I would do if you have a pond and you would like one of these two fish in your pond, I would keep them in the pond during summer and take them out in the winter. This is obviously only possible if you have a small pond where you can easily catch the fish again.
Feature image / guppy image – Author: tartaruga33 Licensed under: Some rights reserved No Changes Made
Pond image – Author: Nowis Licensed under: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported No changes made
White cloud mountain minnow image – Author: sannse Licensed under: No changes made