Last Updated : June 21, 2021

Can guppies live in cold water

Guppies are some of the friendliest and most adorable tiny tropical fish you can ever take care of. This is why aquarium enthusiasts love them. These are often kept in freshwater and can adapt well to the environment they live in.

If this is the first time you will be looking after a guppy fish, you are probably curious to know about the best temperature for guppies. Do guppies need a heater or can they live without one?

Can guppies live in cold water

Can guppies survive in cold water?

Guppies can survive in cold water. But, it is not recommended to let them stay in cold water. Since guppies are tropical freshwater fish, they prefer warmer temperatures.

Although guppies can live in mild cold temperatures, this is not really suitable for them.

To ensure that your guppies enjoy the water and thrive well in your tank, make sure you maintain an ideal temperature range.

Recommended temperature range for guppies

The recommended temperature for guppy fish ranges from 70 up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit where they can thrive well.

But, the lowest temperature where guppies can survive is 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower than this is already harmful to your fish and might put it in grave danger.

Thus, you need to ensure that the temperature doesn’t go any lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

What will happen to your guppy fish if you keep it in cold water?

There are several problems that can occur if guppies are kept at temperatures lower than the recommended range. These issues include the following:

Breeding concerns

It is less likely for a guppy fish to breed in cold water than warm water. Guppies are known for their exceptional breeding in warm waters.

They also tend to breed best if you keep them in freshwater or marine fish tanks. Cold water can affect their ability to breed.

Even if a guppy breeds in cold water, chances are the guppy fry won’t survive in these temperatures. The fry requires warm temperatures of 76 to 80 degrees for them to grow and turn into adult fish.

Higher risks of diseases

When the water is colder, there is also a higher chance for guppies to develop diseases. Guppies often fall sick if you place them in cold temperatures.

This frequent sickness may eventually cause death. To avoid this issue, guppies and their fry should be kept at the ideal range of temperature.


The immunity of guppies also gets weaker if they stay in cold waters, which can then lead to stress. Excessive stress may lead to behavioral problems like bullying and aggression.

Slow development and growth

It is important to maintain ideal living conditions for any pet to grow and develop well. Guppies living in warmer temperatures grow healthy and strong and thrive well. It also reduces their risk of diseases, making them live longer as a result.

Guppies living in cold water, on the other hand, tend to be unhealthy. They can also fall sick and catch diseases that can hamper their development and growth.

Decreased activity level

Like most reptiles, guppies are also cold-blooded and they require enough amount of heat to remain active. It explains why guppies tend to be most active in warmer temperatures.

Cold water can affect the levels of activity of guppies. The absence of heat might also make them lethargic, thus reducing their activity.

Can guppies live without a heater?

Can guppies live without a heater

Guppies need a warm and stable temperature for them to stay healthy and grow. Many aquarists use heaters in their fish tanks or aquariums for regulating the temperature. A heater can help in temperature monitoring and adjusting it manually based on what the fish needs.

While guppies can live without a heater, there are a few things you need to remember:

  • If you don’t install a heater, your guppy fish will suffer from stress because of temperature changes.
  • A stressed-out guppy fish can have a weaker immunity.
  • Once their immunity gets weak, guppies will refuse to eat.
  • If your guppies don’t get proper nutrition, there is a higher chance for them to catch diseases or fall sick.
  • It is difficult to treat guppy diseases and they may eventually die.

Good thing that there are a few things you can do if you want to keep your guppy fish in cold water with no heater.

  1. Provide enough lighting

Installing additional lights in the aquarium will brighten up the surroundings and make it more vibrant. At the same time, the lights will also emit heat inside the tank. This emitted heat from the lights in your tank will warm up the water. it will also help bring the temperature closer to what is ideal for guppies.

  1. Guarantee the presence of direct sunlight

One natural way of keeping your fish tank warm is by putting it in an area where it can catch direct sunlight. Look for a spot in your home that receives direct sunlight, which is often the window sill. The heat of the sun will warm up the tank’s water to make your guppies more active.

  1. Place the aquarium near the fireplace or in the kitchen.

That spot near your fireplace and the kitchen are the two hottest areas in your home. Just like you, your guppies will also love to sit before the fireplace when cold winter days come. Keep your aquarium close to the fireplace since the fire’s heat will be transferred to the tank.

The heat generated in your kitchen every time you bake or cook can warm up your fish tank as well. It will help increase water temperatures to the specific levels that guppies prefer.

  1. Maintain heat in your aquarium

You can try several ways for insulating your tank for the heat to stay trapped inside. A good insulation material you can use is paper. Just stick some layers of newspaper outside the aquarium for trapping the heat. A blanket or thick towel can also be used for covering the tank.

Guppies can live for a long time as long as you give them favorable living conditions. Make sure the temperature doesn’t go lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit at any given point. A heater is the best tool you can use if you want to have guppies as pets even if you are living in a cold place.

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