Container pond - temp problems? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Container pond - temp problems?

I've been wanting to set up a container pond but it's been in the 90's for a couple weeks in my area. How do plants and fish handle the high temps?

Even in a partially shaded area, I'd guess the water would still reach 90F....and my only option is to place the container on cement which will add to the heat issues.

I'm considered using a rubbermaid container and sponge filter and letting it run for a few weeks to see how it goes before buying something that looks nicer.

Also - will all fish eat mosquito larva? Don't want to add to the bug problems
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 04:44 PM
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To handle heat/algae problems, make sure you have floaters, like water lettuce or water hyacinth to block out about 60-70% of the water. Both of those are good nitrate sponges too.

I'm using guppies for the bugs, but white clouds, platies, bettas, pretty much any fish larger than a bug will eat a bug. Also, skeeter larva are a favorite fish food.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 04:48 PM
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Insulation around the tub would be good too. Dirt is a good insulator.
Yes, fish will eat any bugs.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 05:19 PM
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It has been about 100 degrees here for a few weeks. I don't see any problems with the plants. I do have to add water to compensate for the evaporation almost every other day. I just keep a few Gambusia affinis out there to deal with the bugs. They are also fine. Well it is not just a few anymore.

The half barrel gets direct sunlight for about 6 hours. The rest I keep more in the shade. The birds love the water.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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It has been about 100 degrees here for a few weeks. I don't see any problems with the plants. I do have to add water to compensate for the evaporation almost every other day. I just keep a few Gambusia affinis out there to deal with the bugs. They are also fine. Well it is not just a few anymore.

The half barrel gets direct sunlight for about 6 hours. The rest I keep more in the shade. The birds love the water.
What's the water temp during the day? Do you get a big drop on cold nights or are you running a heater?

I have a discus tank so I know plants/fish do fine in the mid-80's, but mid or high 90's concerns me. Especially for the fish.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 06:03 PM
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I keep White Clouds and Red CHerry Shrimp in a 20 gallon tub. Last year I didn't have as many floaters and the sides weren't isulated (I now keep the tub inside a half barrel insulated with dirt). During a 95+ heat wave, I lost all my White Clouds. I still had hundreds of RCS at the end of the season. This year with the insulation and better surface coverage, I haven't had any heat-related deaths that I'm aware of. I lost a few White Clouds right after introducing them, but I don't think those deaths were weather-related. The remaining fish are very happy

Worth noting, I didn't have any fish in the container for a good month or so. I have damselfly larvae in the container now that are too big for the fish to eat. I kill the larvae whenever I can catch one, but some are still survivng. I'm sure they are eating any baby shrimp they can find.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 06:06 PM
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I forgot to mention that the floaters and isulation slow down the heating/cooling cycle as well. I think the temperature spikes are probably worse than the fish being in warmer-than-usual water.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 06:21 PM
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I don't know the water temp. I do not use a heater. The coldest night in the last two or three weeks was probably about 60. With fish the biggest problem I have is raccoons. No big fish can live out there without becoming snacks. So I just keep the Gambusia, they do fine.
I think you just need to see it as a small pond and grow things suitable to a small pond. I have a water lily out there that survived the winter but had all its leaves destroyed by hail twice in June. I put cuttings from my aquariums in there to see what will survive. Most things do fine. Water hyacinths multiply faster than guppies.

The bug cycle is about 10 days to 2 weeks. If you just want to keep a few plants you can just empty the water out every 10 days and replace it. That takes care of the bugs pretty much.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm going to give it a shot with a rubbermaid tub temporarily to see if fish can handle it. I really need to keep fish in it just to control mosquitos. I'm a magnet for those suckers! Otherwise its a no-go..

I have bad reactions to any kind of insect bites and don't use bug repellent anymore since I had a mishap with one of my tanks

What do you guys use for filtration in container ponds? I have cycled sponges....just need to get another airpump....unless theres a better way to go...
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkTank View Post
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm going to give it a shot with a rubbermaid tub temporarily to see if fish can handle it. I really need to keep fish in it just to control mosquitos. I'm a magnet for those suckers! Otherwise its a no-go..

I have bad reactions to any kind of insect bites and don't use bug repellent anymore since I had a mishap with one of my tanks

What do you guys use for filtration in container ponds? I have cycled sponges....just need to get another airpump....unless theres a better way to go...
I am doing the same thing.

110 Gallon Summer Stock Tank!

I am going to add more pics later.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 08:59 PM
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I just sent you a PM ThinkTank.

Zefrik, I like your container. It just needs more plants
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 09:04 PM
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I surrounded my tub pond with a thin layer of dirt and bricks. Keeps the tub below 80 on the hottest days but normally it stays in the mid 70's.
Always about 10 degrees cooler in the pond that outside.
It also only gets sun in the morning and for a few hours at noon. Enough shade to protect it from the worst heat but enough sun to grow any plant I throw in there.

I use a fountain pump in a bucket of lava rocks for filtration. Works great. And the added surface movement helps keep things real cool.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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bricks. that didn't occur to me. I have a few hundred bricks left from the previous owner of my house.
I could stack them around the tub. build a little box of bricks. not sure how I would keep the stack stable or make it look nice without using mortar.

thanks for the idea!
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 11:06 PM
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yup, the brick will work. Insulate with lots of dirt. You can plant ornamentals in the dirt to make it look nicer.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 11:17 PM
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i have a rubbermaid stock tank i live in south texas the hottest place on earth where 100 degrees is a coldfront to us lol anywhoo.... i just use a circular 3" airstone from wallyworld and thats it aeration is the key for temp control outside. you can do other modifications as were suggested in the end its up to you.
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