Can You Keep a Fish Tank Outside (On Balcony)?

A fish tank is a fun spectacle for aesthetic reasons and medicinal benefits, such as helping to heal nervousness and high blood pressure.

Aquariums are generally made for inside the house.

So, Can You Keep a Fish Tank Outside?

The simple answer is yes! It’s possible to place your aquariums outdoors, either on the balcony or backyard. This will provide the fish with plenty of private time while keeping the aquarium out of your way. However, an outside fish tank can be more challenging than indoor placing and has more negatives than positives. Therefore, there are many factors you should consider before going with this option, such as the surrounding environment, design lighting, temperature, maintenance time, fish species, etc.

Why Balconies May Not Be the Perfect Place for A Fish Tank

There are many unsuitable areas around the home for a fish tank.

And while balconies might appear to resolve your problem of finding a perfect outside spot for your aquarium, here are some of the risks linked with it.

1. Unwanted Algae Growth

If your balcony has direct sunlight or excessive daylight, it is better to avoid the place as it’s one of the leading causes of too much algae growth in a fish tank.

2. Dirty And Cloudy Water

Excess algae growth will turn the aquarium crystal-like clear water into the unpleasant green color water, making the tank look unclean.

This can be more hazardous to fish and plants in the fish tank.

3. Endangering Your Fish

If your balcony does not fall under direct sunlight, there is a likelihood to place them.

However, if it is on a shaded side, you need to think about the fish tank’s temperature.

Because the fish tank consists of small amounts of water, it can quickly heat up and cool down depending on the temperature of the surrounding environment.

Rapid temperature swings can cause stress and put the lives of your fish at risk.

4. Frequent Water Temperature Changes

Fish are cold-blooded, which means they cannot regulate your body temperature, depending on the surrounding temperature changes.

If the water becomes unbearable, it may harm the health of your fish. So, maintaining and monitoring temperature is ideal for the aquarium.

It is possible to use heating and cooling controllers or equipment which prevents your tank from getting so cold or overheating.

Yet, there are other things you require to think about and be cautious about before leaving the tank on the balcony.

How Does Balcony Architecture Affects an Aquarium?

The right place for your fish tank depends upon its shape and size, the surrounding area, home layout, and how to use your home.

This also applies to the balcony. Here is how balcony architecture affects an aquarium.

1. Vulnerable To Weather Changes

Your house can offer you shade due to floors, ceilings, walls, and others.

However, the balcony area is mostly an open-attached space under direct sunlight that affects your glass fish tank temperature by overheating the water, negatively affecting the fish. It will also cause a loss of water because of evaporation.

2. Outdoor Predators

Another shortcoming of an outdoor aquarium is being vulnerable to outdoor predators.

Cats and fish-eating birds can easily get attracted to your fish tank and get their way to your aquarium on the open balcony.

If your fish tank design has no lid, it might be exposed to predators as well as you will have to deal with dirt and other stuff that might get in your fish tank.

3. Excessive Dust

Having a fish tank outside will require you to clean it frequently because of the regular collection of dust on the surface.

If the aquarium is accidentally hit by any hard objects such as a stone or ball, it might not break, but it can shock the fish because of the sudden noise.

You should hence avoid placing fish tanks near speakers, televisions, or high-traffic areas.

How Do You Maintain an Aquarium Outside?

While keeping a fish outside is not an issue, having it outside will have other problems to deal with that you will not find indoors.

If you have decided to have an aquarium on the outside, there are several things you should understand about maintaining the tank properly.

These include;

1. Consistent Temperature

Temperature fluctuations will put the lives of your fish in danger.

Therefore, regardless of your fish species, you must ensure that you can maintain consistent temperatures in the preferred range.

For this, you can use an aquarium thermometer to maintain a stable temperature while also maintaining a constant water level.

2. Oxygen and Filters

Oxygen is among the most important ingredients for a healthy aquarium.

Low oxygen levels will suffocate the fish, while excess oxygen can build up gas bubbles in the fish’s heart, causing death.

So, ensure the oxygen level is sufficient and properly maintained for your fish tank.

Filters and air pumps can help to balance and maintain proper oxygen levels in the water.

On the other hand, a filter is used to clean the fish tank water by removing toxins and debris like nitrate and ammonia.

This will help because if not properly maintained or cleaned, the fish tank becomes clogged and causes harm to your fish.

3. Feeding and Stocking

You need to feed your fish sufficiently to keep them healthy and active.

However, overfeeding the fish will result in more waste in the fish tank when they decompose, causing the water to foul and become toxic.

This can cause the fish to become sick and even die.

When it comes to stocking, you should consider keeping fewer fish as it produces less waste and decrease the need to clean the aquarium regularly.

4. Regular Maintenance

For the balcony aquarium fish to have a safe and healthy environment, regular tank monitoring and preventative measures are important.

Otherwise, with time the fish tank might become unhealthy for the fish to survive.

You will be required to continually monitor the conditions of the fish tank and your fish and do more preventative tank maintenance.

What Fish Are Best for Balcony Aquariums?

While many fish varieties are not ideal for balcony or backyard life, even if they can withstand cooler water temperatures, the aquarium owners should choose fish ideal for this type of environment.

More so, if your outside fish tank is large enough to add different species together, their temperature preferences might vary.

But this does not mean that your outside fish tank cannot have different fish types.

Some of the best fish for outside aquariums include;

  • Goldfish
  •  Koi
  •  Minnows
  •  Weather Loach
  •  Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark
  •  Danios
  •  Plecostomus
  •  Golden Rainbow Trout

While you might lose some of the many colors from other fish varieties out of your choice, there is still a variety of colors available.

Goldfish and Koi are highly decorative, eye-catching, and easy to care options.

Exotic fish can be difficult to care for and will not survive outside; hence you better avoid them.


Keeping a fish tank outside may not be the best choice, but it is possible depending on the surrounding area, fish tank size, fish number, and species.

But remember to set up your fish aquarium in a location that makes it easy to view so that if anything goes wrong, you can quickly know the problem and fix them!