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Old 01-15-2013, 03:37 PM   #1 
Juicebox
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Location: Mass,USA
Outdoor Tub Pond info please

Im really interested in creating and keeping an outdoor tub pond this summer with some guppies in it.. ive been checking about 30 youtube vidoes and googled some stuff but i cant find all the information i need.. im hoping people on here have done i and can provide me with more information..

im goin to use a tub from walmart or some similar store. 40 - 50 gallons i think will be the size ill choose.i think i will need a heater for night time and some filtration,this is where my questions begin.

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Question 1

Heating..

for a 50 gallon tub what size heater do i need, will i need just a small heater a 50 watt or will i need a 150 - 200 watt heater, it will only be for night time,i think it can drop to 40 - 50 in night time here in mass..

then i need to know how to i run a heater from my house to a tub pond in the back garden?

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Question 2

Filtration...

same with filter, is a filter needed? i am goin to use plants,just wondering if i sould also use a filter, keep in mind ill have guppies breeding so i need some sponge filter or some filter that wont suck them up..

then i need to know how i run wires from my power outlet in my house to my filter.

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Question 3
Wiring....

am i goin to need to purchase a 100 foot extension lead to run to the tub..

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Question 4
Water changes...

how often do i change water in this tub and how much water do i change each time?

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Question 5
Water circulation..

Air pump,do i need some air pump,air stone to move the water and keep it from being still water. again if i need this then how do i run wires to the tub

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Question 6
Decor..

Do i cover the entire bottom of the tub with gravel or do i leave it bare.. do i add big rocks,hiding caves,anything like this??

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Question 7
Plants..

is it best to go with an npt, use soil,cap with play sand and plant the plants into the soil, or do i go bare bottom or gravel and put the plants into the tub in plant pots so i can easily move them around and take them out and such..im thinking keeping plants in plant pots might be easiest best option as i will b tearing it all down when winter comes and moving the plants to an indoor tank

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Question 8
Products..

What type of pond products do i need to buy if any,do i need special stuff to pour in to keep the pond alive or keep it clean or whatever,im complete noob to this..

Last edited by Juicebox; 01-15-2013 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:57 PM   #2 
thekoimaiden
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You do have a pretty tall order there, but tub ponds can be a lot of fun. Let me make the first suggestion that you go as large as possible. Tractor Supply and farm stores like that will carry livestock watering troughs that go up to a few hundred gallons. Now I'm not saying get one that big, but they will give you more size and shape options. It will also interest you to know that a larger body of water holds heat better than a small body. Now to your questions.

1) You'd probably still need a 150 - 200w heater. And as for how to run it, either extension cord or have an outlet installed near the pond. That's what I have with mine. A third option is to get native fish that would be more resistant to the natural changes in water temp. Keep in mind that tank heaters aren't made to be used outside, so if you get a heater you'll have to look into pond heaters.

2) I'll answer this one and your bubbler question at the same time: you will need some kind of water movement. This can come in the form of a little fountain, filter, or bubbler. But you need something. It's up to you to decide what look you want for your pond and what type of water movement you choose. If you have enough floating plants then you won't have to worry about a biological filter.

3) I've already explained that you will either need an outside extension cord or have an electrician install an outdoor socket close to the pond.

4) Water changes will ultimately depend on your final stocking as well as the number of plants. Also keep in mind that when it rains, the pond will overflow. This is a kind of water change.

5) Already answered in 2)

6) I'd leave the gravel out. In a small pond like this you want as much water volume as possible. Plus if you put anything down there then dirt and poop can get stuck in it and you'll have to clean that out.

7) If you want submerged plants then pots are your way to do. Floating plants are what I recommend most. They will have access to the most light and will grow the fastest. They will also shade your fish from the sun and predators.

8) I don't quite understand what you're getting at with "pond products." You're basically building an outside 50 gallon tank. It's just like any other 50 gallon tank except you need to make sure the hardware can resist the elements.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:23 PM   #3 
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thank you very much for the reply... great to be gettin some more info..

regarding water changes,what happens if it doesnt rain for 3 - 4 weeks would i then need to do water change or 2.. and regarding over flow from rain,will i have to drill some holes in the top of the tub on the sides to allow the water to spill out, i think if water just spills out the top of the tub maybe the plants could spill out with it or even a fish or 2..



with pond products i was talking about stuff to get bacteria into the pond,some kind of kick start to the pond,is it good idea to scoop up some mucky water from a local stream or pond and pour 1 or 2 liters of this into the tub to get some bacteria and little critters in there?
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:14 PM   #4 
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I take a lot of my fish outside in the warmer months-its mainly Bettas, but I do take a lot of the plecos, guppies, flagfish, snails and marble crayfish outside for the summer to grow out and/or make room in the house for special projects....Anyway.....

Since this is just going to be short term for the summer-I use a lot of the 5gal buckets, 250gal watering trough, 55gal plastic trashcan, a little tyke baby bed, turtle shaped sand box, glass tanks and several other things that hold water. They vary from 250gal to 5gals and range from 8-10inches deep to 3ft deep.

I don't use any added aeration or heaters-if anything the water gets too hot. I don't make water changes per se'-I allow the rain to flush the tanks and if I don't have rain-I will flush or top off the tanks/containers with the garden hose-Since I have well water I don't use any dechlorinating products.

In my 250gal I have about 3in of gravel in it-but that is more for drainage reasons-I can pull the plug and drain without any fish being drained out, this is so I can collect the fish easier at the end of the summer and to help keep the water fairly clear. Otherwise, the other containers don't have substrate per se'. I do like to use Oak leaf litter-most of these containers will start out half full with dried Oak leaves. I like the water to be dark for many different reasons-but one reason is so the water stays a bit cooler.

Then I add massive amount of live plants-Mainly stem plant cuttings that are bare rooted to float and lots of floating plants like water lettuce, frogbit and duckweed. I will do a trims for a few week before hand and keep these trimmings in a bucket getting ready to go outside once the temps are stable.

All these plants function as the filter, provide cover and microorganisms. I don't plant the plants because most of the containers I use are solid in color and mostly in the shade, so planted plants wouldn't get enough light to grow very well. They do grow well enough with the diffused sunlight to filter the water-plus, with all the organic in them that are breaking down-naturally produce CO2 and this is not only great for plants-it also drives the pH down making any byproducts less harmful to the fish.

Most of these containers-especially the 5gal buckets-I have drilled holes about an inch down from the top-this works for the overflow to prevent the fish from being washed out. With some I will place them on a slant and use fine mesh attached-this is to keep the fish from washing out when it rains or I flush the container. On my 55gal plastic trash can-I have it on a slant and have another container under it to catch the overflow and any fish that might go with it-I use this one for my plecos because it grows the best algae...lol....

If you use organic material-like dirt, leaf litter and live plants-these will function as the bacteria starter-even without added aeration-If you have enough live plants they will produce the needed oxygen for the water, fish and beneficial bacteria. Then you have the wind that can help provide some water movement to assist with gas exchange.

I have one container that I have buried that I use for the flagfish since they like the water a bit on the cooler side and sometimes my water can reach 110F during the heat of the day-but that buried 25gal container will maintain 70-77F nearly year around...well except in extreme winters...lol....
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