Many aquarists have enjoyed raising guppies in an indoor tank. However, as their guppy population quickly grows, they find themselves considering larger options such as an outdoor pond.
Guppies can survive in an outdoor pond. Though guppies are typically low-maintenance fish indoors, they require more care and attention when living in an outdoor space. It is more difficult to maintain the water temperature, population, and feeding in an outdoor pond.
Whether you are just starting to “dive in” to the world of fish keeping or are a long-time veteran, guppies are an excellent fish to raise. As you bring your fish-keeping hobby out of the tank and into the outdoors, a whole new world of possibilities and problems arises. Below you will find everything you need to know about raising guppies in an outdoor pond.
Why a Guppy Pond?
Guppies are known for their rapid reproduction. Standard reproduction takes only 30 days and can result in up to 50 viable guppies at a time.
Although they are small in size, as the population doubles or even triples in a matter of months, you will find yourself quickly running out of room in your household aquarium.
The solution? Move to the great outdoors!
Using an outdoor pond gives your guppy population more room to grow. Not to mention an excuse to install a cool water feature in your backyard.
Another added bonus from a guppy pond is a smaller mosquito population. When mosquito eggs laid in the water hatch, the guppies will eat the larvae as well as any algae that form.
Raising guppies in an outdoor pond will require different care and conditions than an indoor tank. Keep reading to find out where to put your guppy pond and how to care for them outdoors!
Guppy Pond Location
Choosing where to put your guppy pond should be based on more than just where it will look best.
As tropical fish, guppies enjoy being exposed to sunlight. However, too much or too little sunlight will alter the water temperature.
Ideally, a guppy pond should be half exposed to the sun. Guppies will swim back and forth between the two areas as they need.
Try to find an area in your yard that receives partial sunlight for the majority of the day.
Don’t have enough room in your yard to build a pond? Use a patio pond instead!
Patio ponds take up less space but still give you more room than a typical indoor tank. Watch the following video to see how easy a patio pond is installed.
If you already have an existing water feature in your yard, make sure it meets the necessary conditions for raising guppies in the section below.
Do not add guppies to any natural water features such as a pond, lake, or stream. Guppies may not be native to your area and can become an invasive species if conditions allow them to breed quickly.
Although small, guppies will eat the algae, bug larvae, and plants that the native species need. Keep guppies in a smaller pond where they will not affect the native species.
Guppy Pond Conditions
Perhaps the most limiting condition needed for raising guppies is the water temperature.
Guppies originate from tropical regions of the world and therefore require warmer temperatures in order to survive. Water temperatures for your outdoor pond should remain around 72 to 80°F.
The lowest temperature your water can reach without killing your guppies is 68°F; however, this should not be the consistent temperature.
If the weather is frequently below 70°F, consider installing a heater to help regulate the temperature all year long.
Guppies prefer to live in water with a pH of 7.0 or higher. If the water contains minerals such as calcium or magnesium your guppies will thrive from the added nutrients.
As already mentioned, guppies need protection from the sun. Aquatic plants are an excellent way to provide shade in sunnier areas of your outdoor pond.
These plants will also help with aerating the pond.
Other aeration methods include waterfalls and fountains. However, because guppies–especially their fry– are so small, they do not fend well against strong currents. If a waterfall or fountain is used, be sure to include plants anyways. They will give the guppies shelter from any resulting currents.
Your outdoor pond will also need some form of a filtration system. To avoid creating additional currents in the pond, opt for a sponge filter instead.
Another benefit of including aquatic plants is that they act as a natural filtration system. Including aquatic plants is a must for an outdoor guppy pond.
Although guppies are typically a docile breed they can become territorial if the male population starts to outnumber the female population. For every 3 males, ensure there are at least 4 female guppies.
Outdoor Pond Issues
Caring for guppies in an outdoor pond at first thought might seem like caring for them in just a bigger tank. However, as the tank grows and moves outside, a whole realm of new dangers and issues arises.
Moving your guppies outside exposes them to a whole slew of predators including birds or lizards.
To help protect your brightly colored guppies from predators, consider laying a thin netting over the pond. This will not only protect them from becoming prey but will also keep them from jumping out of the pond.
As I first mentioned, ensuring your guppies are kept at the proper temperature is the most limiting factor in raising guppies outside. Although a water heater seems like an easy solution, it can run up an expensive electric bill.
To avoid paying hand over fist for heating your guppy pond, you will need to bring your guppies inside during the colder months of the year. This could be a time-consuming task and prove an issue, especially if you moved your guppies due to a lack of space inside.
Although problems can arise, raising your guppies outside can be a fun experience. Like everything else, there will be a learning curve but there will also be great rewards.
If you like the article above, here are some other similar articles you should check out!
Can Betta fish survive outdoors?
Can different types of Guppies breed?