Can Betta Fish Live in Outdoor Pond?
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Bettas are among the most popular aquarium fish, because they are stunning, easy to care for and don’t require much space. Betta fish can live a happy life in a 10 gallon tank, but can they be kept in an outdoor pond?
Bettas can live in a pond as long as the water parameters and temperature is kept stable at around 74 °F (24 °C). Betta fish can tolerate slight fluctuation in the water temperature, but anything under 70 °F (21 °C) will cause them stress and sickness.
In the following, I will answer some questions I often get from people who are planning to house their bettas in an outdoor pond.
Can Betta Fish Live in a Koi Pond?
Keeping Betta fish with Koi is not an issue at all as long as they have enough places to hide. Bettas are smaller and they need a sense of safety when it comes to living with Koi fish. This is why you need to use an abundance of plants in your pond so that they can hide.
The aggressive temperament of the Betta fish is not going to be an issue in this case. The Koi is larger so your Bettas are not going to attack them anyway. When it comes to aggression between fishes, size matters a lot. The Betta fish is only going to bully other fish of the same size or slightly bigger.
It is going to be more about breaking the line of sight so that they can avoid each other. This approach always works and ensures that Koi and Bettas can live in peace together.
Can Betta Fish Survive in a Pond in Winter?
There is no chance for a Betta fish to survive in cold water. Therefore, when the winter comes, you need to ensure that the water is warm enough with a heater. The other alternative is to take those Bettas inside and keep them in an aquarium until the spring comes.
The Betta fish is expected to live as long as 2-3 days given that the water temperature is 70 °F (21 °C). During the winter, the water can be much colder so they would die rather quickly. This also shows how important it is for the water temperature to be consistent.
Outdoors, it is hard to predict the weather. A rainy day can cool your pond down to the point where it becomes dangerous for your Bettas. One single rainy day can cause a lot of stress for them, which can eventually lead to diseases.
Can You Keep Multiple Bettas in a Big Pond?
Just like with glass aquariums, it really depends on the size of your pond whether you can keep multiple Bettas together or not. If they run into each other frequently, then there will be a lot of fights between them. This can cause a lot of stress and one or more of them can potentially die as a result.
This problem can be solved by using a lot of plants but still, it is best to keep them in a larger pond. You are going to need plants anyway so that they can hide if necessary. Since you need a large pond for it, you might as well mix bettas for other fish species and set up a nice community pond.
Will Betta Fish Breed in a Pond?
Once you have set up a pond where the water conditions are ideal and consistent, you can even breed your Bettas in it. However, this is something that has to be monitored. If you want at least some of the fry to survive, you need to remove them as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that the chances of them surviving are close to zero if you don’t remove them. Also, don’t expect to remove all of them because that is also very hard. If you want to breed Bettas, it is better to breed them in an aquarium.
Can Betta Fish Eat Koi Food or Goldfish Food?
Since Koi are larger, they also need to be fed with bigger pieces of food. Those foods are simply too big for Bettas so you will need to buy food for them separately if you keep them together with Kois. A big benefit of keeping Betta fish in an outdoor pond is that they can eat the mosquito larvae and other bugs that fall into it.
Goldfish, on the other hand, are omnivores and they need plant-based and meat-based foods as well. Bettas should be fed with meat-based foods so if you have any for your Goldfish then you can give it to your Bettas as well.
What works best is to offer your Bettas live foods such as bloodworms and daphnia. They also eat these foods in their natural habitat and it gives them something to be excited about when they hunt for it.
We can conclude that Bettas can definitely live in an outdoor pond, it is just usually hard to set up. If you have the benefit of living in a tropical area, then it is obviously a lot easier. It is all about maintaining the recommended temperature for the Betta fish so that it won’t get sick.
The temperature also has to be consistent, which is hard to manage in outdoor conditions. You are probably going to need a heater or multiple heaters that switch on when the water gets slightly colder. That way, there is really no other thing to worry about.
Dealing with the aggression of Bettas is also straightforward. You will need to use a lot of plants and to make sure there are not too many of them in the same pond.