The water lily and the guppies

Water lily

Water lily

This is why I keep guppies–for the water lily. One water lily in a free-standing black tub. Keeping even such a small lily pond means setting up a whole system. I add  hornwort and anachris to aerate the water. I add water hyacinths to help clear the water with their roots and for a few more flowers.  The snails and the duck weed just show up. As do mosquito larvae. And since we’re expecting a bumper crop of mosquitoes this year, the lily pond needs fish more than ever.

I started with goldfish. That turned out to be a great way to feed the raccoons. The survivors thrive, though. After a season in the tub, their colors are brilliant, but they get so big, most of them get snagged by the raccoons. Now they are strictly indoor fish.

So I tried putting guppies in last summer. They did great until it got cold out. I swear I was meaning to set up a tank for them. Since then, I’ve chronicled the cycles of the new batch of guppies. I collected the babies of the last few weeks so they wouldn’t get eaten, appalled at how many they were. There’s at least five in the home tank that I haven’t caught.

As for guppies in the lily tub, the advance team seem to be doing okay. And just this last week, it finally, finally become warm enough to send the rest of the baby guppies on summer vacation.

All twenty-six of them. Those mosquitoes don’t stand a chance.

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5 responses to “The water lily and the guppies

  1. Brother Chuck

    Perhaps you could either put out something that the raccoons like better than goldfish or provide the fish with something to shelter in. I’m thinking that some pvc pipe, bolted in place and longer than a raccoon’s arm (by at least 1 fish length), should do the trick.

    Or you could always keep fish that bite back…

  2. I’ve tried giving the fish a hiding place. That just gives the raccoons an excuse to totally trash the pond. The water lily has survived several manglings and gnawings. If they decide to eat the guppies, hey, that’s the cycle of life, and I don’t have to go to the pet store for more.

    Besides, guppies are more interesting than goldfish.

  3. Where I love, water ponds with guppies is very common, because it never gets cold in the tropics. Am gonna get myself a guppy pond if the balcony in my new apartment is big enough.

  4. It doesn’t have to be very big at all. My pond guppies overwintered in a broad goldfish bowl about 10″ across. Enjoy your guppy pond/water garden!

  5. Ouch, I meant, “Where I live…”, of course, I live in Malaysia :D

    I know, guppies don’t need much space…but I’ll be moving to Singapore soon, and there, a balcony may barely have standing room. Besides, it might be hard to find a corner that stays shaded all day long. Guppies don’t do well if they get too much direct sunlight …