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Can Guppies Live in Cold Water?

Guppies are adorable and friendly little tropical fish. They are a favorite amongst aquarium enthusiasts. They are usually kept in freshwater and have strong adaptability to the environment.

If you have bought a guppy fish for the first time, you must be wondering about the right temperature of water to keep it in.

A lot of new fish owners wonder whether Guppies can live in cold water or not.

We will address all your concerns about guppies and their living conditions in this article.

Can You Keep Guppies in Cold Water?

Yes, Guppies can live in cold water. However, it is not suggested to keep them in cold water. Guppies are tropical freshwater fish and enjoy warmer temperatures.

While guppies can survive in mild cold temperatures, that’s not what best suited for them.

If you want your guppies to thrive well in the fish tank and enjoy the water, then you must keep them in their ideal temperature range.

And what’s the ideal temperature range for Guppy you ask?

The Ideal Temperature Range for Guppy Fish

The ideal temperature range for guppies is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Guppies will thrive well in this range.

However, 60-degree Fahrenheit is the lowest temperature at which your guppies will survive. Anything less than 60 degrees can be harmful to your guppy fish and put its life at risk.

Hence, avoid temperatures less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Happens When Guppies Are Kept in Cold Water?

Keeping guppies at a temperature outside their ideal range can cause several issues. It opens the doors to diseases, breeding problems, and behavioral issues.

Let’s look at some issues that may arise as a result of keeping guppies in cold water:

1. Breeding Problems

Guppies are less likely to breed in cold water as compared to warm water. They are known for their propensity to breed exceptionally well in warm waters.

Guppies breed best when kept in marine fish tanks or freshwater. Cold-water affects their breeding capabilities.

Even if guppies breed in cold water, there is a high chance that the guppy fry will not survive in such temperatures.

The fry needs warm temperatures between 76 to 80 degrees to grow and develop into adult fish.

2. Increased Risk of Diseases

The colder the water, the more chance of your guppy fish developing diseases. You will often find your guppies falling sick when placed in cold temperatures.

Frequent sickness can eventually lead to death. To prevent this from happening, keep your guppy fish and their fry in their ideal temperature range.

3. Stress

Keeping guppies in cold waters also weakens their immunity. As a result, they start feeling stressed out.

Too much stress can cause behavioral issues such as aggression and bullying.

Also read: How to Tell if Your Aquarium Fish Are Stressed?

4. Slow Growth and Development

Ideal living conditions are needed for the proper growth and development of any pet. Guppies that live in warmer temperatures thrive well and grow up to be strong and healthy.

They are also less prone to diseases ad live longer.

On the other hand, guppies that live in colder water have a greater chance of remaining unhealthy, falling sick, and catching diseases that hinder their growth and development.

5. Decrease in Activity Level

Guppies are cold-blooded, like many reptiles, and they need a sufficient amount of heat to stay active. This is the reason why guppies have the best activity levels in warmer temperatures.

Coldwater hampers the activity levels of guppy fish. It also makes them lethargic in the absence of heat, and as a result, their activity decreases.

Keeping Guppies in Cold Water Without a Heater

Guppies require a stable and warm temperature in order to grow and stay healthy. Most aquarists use a heater in their aquariums or fish tanks to regulate the temperature.

A heater helps monitor the temperature and adjust it manually according to the needs of the fish.

Before you go ahead and keep your guppy fish in a tank without a heater, remember this:

  • If you do not install a heater, your guppies will experience stress due to the temperature changes.
  • When guppy fish are stressed, their immunity weakens.
  • When their immunity weakens, guppy fish refuse to eat.
  • When guppies don’t et enough nutrition, they have a higher chance of falling sick or catching diseases.
  • Guppy diseases are hard to treat and can eventually cause your pet to die

However, there are certain things that you must-do if you really want to keep your guppies in cold water without a heater:

1. Provide Sufficient Lighting

Adding lights to the aquarium will not only make the surroundings brighter and more vibrant.

It will also emit heat into the tank. The heat emitted from the lights in the tank will warm the water up.

This will help in bringing the temperature somewhat close to the ideal range for guppies.

2. Ensure Direct Sunlight

A natural way to keep the fish tank warm is to place it in a spot that catches direct sunlight. Find a place in your house that gets direct sunlight. The best spot is on the window sill.

The sun’s heat will warm up the water in the tank. Hence, your guppies will become more active!

3. Keep the Aquarium in the Kitchen or Near the Fireplace

The two hottest places in the house are the kitchen and the area near the fireplace.

Just like you enjoy sitting in front of the fireplace during winters, so do your guppies! Keeping your aquarium near the fireplace will help the heat generated from the fire to transfer to the fish tank.

Similarly, the heat generated in the kitchen while you cook or bake can also help keep your fish tank warm. This will help in increasing water temperatures to the level preferred by guppies.

4. Retain the Heat Inside the Aquarium

There are several ways to insulate your tank, so the heat stays trapped inside.

Paper is a good insulation material. You can stick layers of newspapers on the outside of the aquarium to trap the heat.

You can also cover your tank with a thick towel or a blanket.

Keeping Guppies in an Outdoor Pond

Whether or not you can keep your guppies in an outdoor pond depends on the temperature outside.

If you live in an area with extreme climates that drop down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you must refrain from keeping your guppies outdoors.

However, you can keep your guppies in an outdoor pond in spring or during summer when there is an adequate amount of heat and sunlight.

Keep your guppies in an outdoor pond only when the temperature does not drop below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of the season.

Fish Species that Can Survive in Cold Water

Many of us live in areas with extreme climates. Suppose you are someone who experiences winter all year round.

In that case, keeping guppies without any insulation or heat might not be such a great idea. There are several other fish species that you can keep as pets in cold water without harming their growth.

Let’s take a look at some of the species that thrive well in cold temperatures:

1. Clown Killifish

Clown killifish are cold-water fish that can survive well in a fish tank without a heater. They have vibrant blue eyes, vertically striped bodies, and flame-shaped tails.

They prefer water with a pH between 6.5 and 7.8. They swim on top of the tank and lay eggs in floating plants.

2. Goldfish

Goldfish can tolerate temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for a goldfish is between 40 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, goldfish produce a lot of waste, so their tank requires filtering, water-changing, and thorough cleaning more often.

Also read: What Fish Can Live With Goldfish? 10 Best Goldfish Tank mates

3. Celestial Pearl Danio

Celestial pearl danios are colorful and vibrant species with blue bodies, golden spots, and red-orange fins. They prefer cooler waters with a pH of 6-8 and can survive well in a tank without a heater.

If you are getting a celestial pearl danio for your tank, get a school of 6 or more fish. Your tank will indeed look stunning!

4. Rainbow Shiner

This brilliant purple and pink torpedo-shaped fish is native to the United States.

Rainbow shiners prefer living in cold waters. They are peaceful fish and can live with other species that enjoy the same water conditions as them.

However, rainbow shiners are a bit pricey than other species and may cause a dent in your pocket if you buy more than one.

5. Hillstream Loach

Hillstream loaches are natural, alien-like algae eaters that do a fantastic job in clearing away green algae from your tank.

They enjoy cooler waters with a pH of around 6.5 to 7.7 and can live in a tank without a heater. They also have the ability to breed if they are fed well and taken care of.

Final Words

Guppies can survive as long as you provide favorable living conditions for them. You must ensure that the temperature does not drop down below 60 degrees Fahrenheit at any point in time.

A heater is an excellent option if you live in a cold climatic zone and wish to keep guppies as pets!

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