Guppies can live in a pond, but they need heat to stay active. The ideal water temperature for guppies is 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C). You can keep guppies in a pond if the temperature does not fall below 68°F (20°C). Other than that, filtration and water quality should also be suitable.
Let us now discuss all of these factors that play a crucial role if you are planning to keep your guppies in a pond. But first…
Are Guppies Good For Ponds?
Guppies are small bright fish. They make up for a great aquarium fish. Similarly, they are also suitable for ponds.
An outdoor pond is like a natural habitat for them.
Guppies being very active, need a lot of space for swimming.
So, if they are kept in a pond, there won’t be any space constraints.
However, there shouldn’t be any big fish in the pond as your guppies can become a meal for the bigger fish.
Also, guppies being a tropical fish, prefer warm water.
Your guppies will enjoy the outside pond as long as the climate is not chilly.
They can tolerate temperature up to 68°F (20°C). Any temperature below that will create problems for your guppies.
Now that you know guppies can stay in a pond, let’s also understand how long you can keep your guppies outdoors in a pond.
For how Long Can You Keep Guppies in A Pond?
You can keep your guppies in a pond as long as the weather permits.
As mentioned earlier, guppies can tolerate temperature up to 68°F (20°C).
So, if the temperature does not fall below it, you can keep your guppies outdoors for the entire year.
However, that’s a very rare scenario.
As per weather conditions, you can keep your guppies outdoors between April to October.
Around October, when autumn begins, you can shift them indoors in an aquarium with warm water.
Alternatively, you can use a heater in the outside pond to keep the water warm.
However, if the temperature falls below the freezing point, it will be challenging to regulate the water temperature with a heater.
Also, using a heater is not economical and often turns out to be expensive.
In short, you can keep your guppies in an outside pond during spring and summer, and when autumn and winter come, you can shift them indoors in the aquarium.
Alright! But is it safe to keep guppies in an outside pond?
Or is there any danger in keeping your guppies in an outdoor pond?
Let’s talk about that part as well.
What Are The Dangers Of Keeping Guppies In An Outside Pond?
Given below are the dangers associated with keeping your guppies in an outdoor pond:
- Difficult To Regulate Temperature: Temperature is one of the most crucial factors when you decide to keep your guppies outdoors. Guppies grow well in warm water. In winter, when there is extreme cold, it becomes difficult to maintain the pond’s water temperature.
- Predators: Guppies being bright in colors are always visible. It is difficult for them to hide from potential predators. So, if you have other big fish in the pond alongside your guppies, it is a significant threat. Guppies being small in size can become a meal for the other bigger fish.
- Guppy Fry Safety: You need to be careful when your female guppy is pregnant. Guppies breed a lot, and you will find many guppy fry in the pond. As guppies are not known for their motherly nature, the mother guppy can eat her babies. Therefore it becomes difficult to protect the fry in a larger outside pond.
- Feeding Issue: When you have many guppies in a large pond, feeding all of them is a concern. You will find your guppies hungry all the time, and when food is served to them, it is possible that the adult guppies will eat all of the served food. So your guppy fry may get less food. It becomes challenging to monitor whether all the guppies in the pond have got sufficient food.
- Contaminated Water: Unlike in the aquarium, where frequent water changes are possible with ease, it is difficult to maintain the water quality in the pond. The water will get contaminated due to debris and also due to the waste produced by your little ones. Polluted or filthy water will adversely affect the growth of your guppies.
- Monitoring Diseases: It is always easy to monitor the health of your guppies in an aquarium. In an outside pond, it is difficult to monitor the health of your guppies constantly. You may miss out on taking care of a sick guppy as it is difficult to locate a sick guppy in a large pond.
Okay! Although there are certain dangers of keeping your guppies in an outdoor pond, you can certainly overcome those with proper care and hygiene.
Do Guppies Grow Faster In Outdoor Ponds?
Guppies love to swim all day long. So, they will be happy to get more space to swim in a pond than in the aquarium’s confined space.
Guppies do grow faster in outdoor ponds.
The simple reason for this is that they have easy access to live food such as insects, mosquito larvae, and other nutritious foods that help them to have healthy growth.
Another most significant advantage is access to sunlight, which again is very beneficial for their growth.
Due to sunlight and nutritious food, you will find that your outdoor guppies are more colorful than their indoor counterparts.
Now that you know guppies can grow faster in outdoor ponds, you might wonder what food you should feed them so that they have a healthy growth.
What Should You Feed Your Guppies Outside In The Pond?
Guppies are omnivores. That means they eat both plants as well as animal protein.
So, you don’t have to worry about your guppies’ food intake in an outdoor pond.
Being in the pond, they get the opportunity to eat live food such as insects, mosquitoes, algae, and small animals.
This live food is very nutritious for their health.
Apart from what is readily available for your guppies, you can feed them regular food, which you would usually feed them in the indoor aquarium.
You can feed them chopped vegetables such as spinach leaves, zucchini, carrot, peas, green beans, broccoli, and other dried foods such as brine shrimp and bloodworms.
All of these foods contain vitamins and minerals necessary for the growth of your guppies.
And for the guppy fry, you should feed them food in tiny particles that will fit into their mouth.
They should be fed at least once a day and as much as they can eat in about 3 to 5 minutes.
Now, guppies are live-bearing fish that are well known for their breeding propensity.
They breed readily in the wild and in the home aquarium without much attention. But is it possible to breed them outdoors?
Can You Breed Guppies In An Outside Pond?
Guppies can breed in an outside pond, just as they do in an indoor aquarium.
However, if you breed them outdoors, you should take care of certain things to smoothen the breeding process.
Guppies being tiny fish can live in a small pond.
However, if your guppy is about to breed, the pond should be large enough to accommodate the fry as well.
As guppies breed more than 100 fry at a time, more space is required in the pond unless you remove the fry and keep them separate.
The outside temperature also needs to suit the guppies.
As your guppy is breeding outside, you should keep in mind that the outside temperature will affect the pond’s temperature.
A heater is recommended in such a case to regulate the water temperature in the pond.
Also, the pond should be deep so that the water does not get heated up very quickly.
Other types of equipment that will be required for outside breeding are:
- A filter to keep the water clean,
- Fishnet to scoop the guppy and monitor its health,
- A gravel vacuum to clean the substrate, and
- Equipment to periodically remove the debris from the pond to maintain the quality of the water.
Now you must be wondering if it is more challenging to breed guppies in an outdoor pond than in a home aquarium.
The answer is No. Guppies in an outdoor pond require the same amount of care and effort that you will need to breed them in your aquarium.
If water conditions are suitable, guppies can breed in an outside pond without much difficulty.
You can remove the fry from the pond and keep them separate in another aquarium so that they do not get eaten by their parents.
Or, you can provide them with hiding places in the pond.
Alright! Keeping guppies in an outdoor pond sounds good.
But, setting up a pond requires some amount of effort. So, how should you go about it?
How To Set Up A Guppy Pond Outside?
Setting up a guppy pond outdoors is not very different from setting an aquarium at your home.
You need to take care of certain things so that your guppies feel comfortable in the pond and are not stressed due to the environmental change.
Following are some of the points that need to be examined before shifting your guppies outdoors in a pond:
- Size: The pond’s size is the first and foremost thing to consider as your guppies will live in that habitat for some time. Though guppies are small in size, they require ample space to swim around. If you choose to breed your guppies outdoors, the pond should be large enough to accommodate all of the guppies and their fry.
- Temperature: Guppies prefer warm water. The temperature outside in the pond should not fall below 68°F (20°C). There should be a pond heater to maintain the desired temperature. The pond should be deep so that the pond’s water does not get heated too quickly. And at the same time, during winter, when the temperature falls considerably, the pond’s water should not become icy. Also, there should be water circulation in the pond to maintain the temperature throughout the pond.
- Filtration: Clean water is essential for the overall growth of any fish. So, it is useful if you have a filter and an air pump for aeration. Adding aquatic plants is a good idea as it will assist in both filtration and increasing the water’s oxygen levels. Besides, plants will also provide a hiding place for your guppies from potential predators such as birds, turtles, and other animals. Your guppies can also rest peacefully under submerged plants in the pond.
- Direct Sunlight: Guppies enjoy the sunshine as it helps in their optimal growth. However, the direction of your pond should not be such that it faces the direct sun. Direct sun rays will raise the temperature of the pond water if it is left unchecked.
- Avoid Bigger Fish: While setting up an outdoor pond, you will be tempted to have a variety of fish species to make the pond look attractive. Guppies are small in size and also peaceful. So, you should avoid putting any big or aggressive fish in the pond along with your guppies. Otherwise, your guppies can be potential prey to the larger fish.