When ponders think fish, most likely they're thinking koi. But did you know there's a member of the guppy family that makes an ideal pest controller for all-season ponds?
The Mosquito Fish, which originates in the backwaters and freshwater ponds of North and Central America, provides natural mosquito control for your outdoor pond. Tiny compared to koi - growing to only 3" - Mosquito Fish feed upon the larvae of mosquitoes and other insects before they can grow into biting pests.
These fish are natural to North America as far north as central Illinois, and will tolerate winter conditions as long as the pond is deep enough and well aerated. Males and females are easy to differentiate. The males are smaller in size, have a pointed anal fin and are much thinner than the female. The females are larger in size, have a rounded anal fin, and a pregnancy patch on the lower portion of the body.
Because they are livebearers, it's fairly easy to raise your own fry in ponds with plenty of plants for hiding. Ideally, the environment should have a covering of floating ferns and a breeding box to protect the fry. Adults may eat the fry without the breeding box.
If insufficient natural foods are present, supplement their diet with a quality flake food.