Can Guppies Live In Cold Water? What is the Ideal Water Temperature?

Can Guppies live in cold water

Can guppies live in cold water? – this is a common question raised by guppy lovers who live in a cold climate but want to add guppies to their tank. If you are here on this page, perhaps you are trying to determine whether you can keep them in cold water. The answer is not so hopeful, as guppies are tropical fish and thrive in warm water; they do not like staying in cold water conditions. 

It is not only a matter of their preference but also cold water is harmful to them. Although these little beauties are hardy and know how to adapt and evolve well in numerous different environments, you would want to keep them healthy and comfortable.

If you are still asking the question, can Guppies live in cold water? Do Guppies need a heater? Let’s continue reading to know the consequences of housing them in cold water. 


Can Guppies Live in Cold Water?

The answer to your query, can guppies live in cold water is partly yes. Guppies can live in moderately temperate water. When you put them in a cold-water tank, they will likely adapt to the tank environment. 

However, if you want to offer your guppies the best care level, you would not keep them in cold water. They will indeed survive in the cold water but not live a healthy life. They are native to the tropics, prefer slightly warm conditions for their survival. 

The warm water keeps these dazzlers more energetic, playful, and lively; it helps them have a very healthy breeding cycle. On the other hand, cold water will make them less active and prone to impaired immunity; thus, it is better not to keep them in cold water. 

According to the studies conducted by biologist Daphne De Freitas Soares and biology lecturer Hilary S. Bierman of the University of Maryland, guppies exhibit some latest evolutionary traits. Nonetheless, it is not proven yet that their body can evolve to thrive in cold water.


Ideal Water Temperature for Guppies

The ideal water temperature range for Guppies is 72°F to 82°F (22°C to 28°C), although they can survive at 60°F (15°C). If the temperature drops below 60°F (15°C), they will not live long. Ceaseless fluctuation in the water temperature would cause immense stress and thereby boundless health issues and breeding problem.


What Happens When You are Keeping Guppies in Coldwater?

Guppies are hardy and easy to care for species. They adapt and acclimatize themselves well in any environment. 

However, if you keep them in cold water, it can adversely affect guppies’ health and virility; here is what will happen to your Guppies if you keep them in cold water habitat.

Diminished Activity

Guppies are bubbly and fun-loving aqua species. It is simply rewarding to watch them move around in groups and entertaining conversations and interactions amongst themselves. Also, these guppies are great swimmers and love to swim for long distances. But keeping them in cold water habitat can badly affect their happy and funny vibes. 

Guppies are sturdier than most other popular species in the aquarium trade. Thus, initially, they won’t exhibit much of a shock or a reaction when you keep them in cold water; however, if you monitor them closely, you will see a diminishing in activities. 

But do you know why this happens? Well, guppies are cold-blooded fishes like reptiles. Thus, they require a certain amount of heat to stay active in their daily chores. But cold water will make them more passive, a significant reduction in their movement. 

Builds Stress and Weakens Immunity

Guppies are not such emotional beings as human beings. But they can get stressed when kept in cold water for a prolonged period. Living in cold water weakens guppies’ immunity; with reduced immunity, they are inclined to stress out more, ultimately ruining their mental and physical health.

Too much stress can cause various behavioral and aggression-related issues in guppies. Although Guppies are a peaceful and friendly species, keeping them in a habitat without a heater results in bullying other fish in the tank, attenuate the peaceful environment.


Increases the Risk of Diseases

Keeping guppies in cold water situations makes them prone to catch more diseases. In cold water, the chance of a guppy to develop diseases accentuates. If you pay close attention, you will see that guppies often fall sick when they are in the cold-water habitat. 

Frequently, falling sick can lead to the premature death of these beautiful beings; that is why most hobbyists suggest keeping guppies in a tank with a heater so that they can live an active life and reward you with their presence. 


Slow Growth Rate

The determining factor for a healthy habitat for any fish, invertebrates, and other aqua life is to provide an optimal water condition; Guppies are no exception to that.

Guppies living in warmer environments thrive well and have overall healthy growth; on the contrary, Guppies living in cold water are low-spirited and more often fall sick, thereby hampering their overall development.

Ideal living conditions are vital for the necessary growth and physical development of guppies. 


Breeding Problems

Guppies are usually known as proactive breeders. When they live in warm water, they prepare themselves for breeding. But keeping them in cold water lessens their urge to breed. 

These tiny fish usually breed best when they are kept in freshwater tanks. Coldwater significantly affects their breeding abilities. Even if the guppies reproduce in cold water conditions, the fries fail to survive.


Will Guppies Die in Cold Water?

Guppies are hardy and resilient species; they can adapt pretty well in any given habitat. However, they are cold-blooded species and need heat to thrive; it is evident Guppies suffer when the temperature dips below 60°F (15°C).

Keeping Guppies in a habitat where the water temperature constantly fluctuates and dips below their optimum temperature can be perilous. Such water conditions make them more vulnerable to various health hazards.

They will quickly get stressed out due to cold water situations. Also, keeping guppies in cold water will make them fall sick repeatedly. And frequent sickness can affect their immunity, eventually resulting in their death.


How to Keep Guppies Without a Heater?

Guppies need stable and slightly warm water for them to thrive and live healthily. Thus, most of the aquarists suggest using a water heater for guppies. 

However, if you are not willing to add a heater to your guppy tank for whatever reason, you ask yourself can guppies live in cold water without a heater or not, or are there other ways to keep them without a heater?

Well, you can keep them without a heater, as many aquarists do that. But make sure you are taking all the vital measures so that your guppies do not feel the need for a heater. 

Here below, we have a few tips, which you can opt for to let your guppies thrive well without a heater.

Keep the Aquarium Under Sunlight

To keep Guppies without a heater, the first thing you can do is, go all-natural; harvest the solar energy!

A natural way to keep your guppies warm is by keeping the fish tank in a place where it gets maximum sunlight. Find a suitable place in your house that welcomes direct Sunlight for most hours during the day. The heat from the sun will keep the tank water warm, which your guppies will love the most. 

Equip Artificial Aquarium Lighting

Equipping your aquarium with appropriate lighting is not just about adding aesthetics; it also discharges heat into the tank.  

It will help you achieve higher temperatures for your guppy tank, which will undoubtedly make them active and swim around happily in the warm water. 

Place the Aquarium in the Kitchen or Near the Fireplace

If you cannot find a spot where the Sunlight penetrates directly into your living space, you can always find a spot in the kitchen or near the kitchen where the temperature is warmer.

Near the fireplace or the heater is a great spot to keep the aquarium tank in which Guppies live.

Both of these are warm spots in your home that emit a lot of heatwaves.

You and your guppies can enjoy the cozy warmth during the winter months if you keep the tank near the fireplace or the heater. It generates enough heat, making the tank water achieve the right temperature for guppies. And your tiny fishes are going to have much fun playing about in the warm aquarium water.

Insulate the Aquarium

Insulating your aquarium is also a great idea to keep your guppies warm and happy with their utmost of activities. There are a few ways to insulate your tank and trap heat inside so that your guppies are kept warm for their healthy living.

You could use insulative bubble wrap at the bottom and the back of the tank using mounting tape; if you like during the winter months, you can on the two sides of the tank to trap more heat in the water in the tank.

You could also consider sticking paper in layers on the aquarium wall and retain heat inside the tank. You can also use a thick towel or blanket and wrap it around the tank to keep it warm.

You could also insulate your tank while using the heater to save energy consumption; most aquarists insulate their tanks back and the bottom and pipe sleeves to trap the tank water’s heat.

Keeping Guppies in an Outdoor Pond

Guppies in an outdoor pond

Do you have an outdoor pond? And are you thinking of keeping guppies in that pond? Well, it depends on your geographic location.  If you live in a temperate zone where the temperature stays more or less stable, yes, you can keep Guppies in outdoor ponds. 

On the contrary, if you are the one living in a place where the temperature dips below 60° F (15° C) at any time of year, then you cannot keep them in your outdoor pond. 

Unstable water temperature severely affects their immune system; Unlike Goldfish, Guppies cannot go on hibernation during the winter months. 

Heating the outdoor pond is not an economically viable option; if you still wish to have them in your outdoor pond, you can keep them spring to early autumn months; at mid-autumn, you could move them to an aquarium tank with a heater where you can control the temperature.


Related Readings:

Can Guppies Live Alone? Do They Get Lonely?

Do Guppies Need a Filter?

Can Guppies Live With Angelfish?


Can Guppies Live in cold water with Goldfish?

Both Goldfish and Guppies are hardy and peaceful by nature. However, Guppies are tropical fish species whereas, Goldfish, on the other hand, is coldwater fish; during winter months, they go on hibernation to keep their immune system intact.
Related Readings:

What other fish species can you keep in cold water?

Goldfish is the first species in the aquarium trade and is the most popular species among hobbyists to date; guess what? They are coldwater species, need no heater. Some of the fish you can keep in cold water are White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Weather loach, Paradise fish, Rosy Barb, Gold Barb, Platies, Bristlenose Pleco, Danios, galaxy Rasbora, Amano Shrimp, Cherry shrimp, Crayfish, Endler’s Livebearer, etc.

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