outdoor tubs and pests? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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outdoor tubs and pests?

Outdoor tubs and ponds seem to be a hot item right now. But then I also just found mosquitoes in my wood soaking tub. So if one has a planted tub, how do you deal with mosquitoes. Seems a couple throw away fish would work but then that invites raccoons. I already have trouble with them raiding the cat food bowl and I'm sure they would really do a job on any plants if there were fish in the tub.
Got any tricks to keep mosquitoes and raccoons out but plants and fish still in?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-25-2014, 10:16 PM
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Outdoor tubs and ponds seem to be a hot item right now. But then I also just found mosquitoes in my wood soaking tub. So if one has a planted tub, how do you deal with mosquitoes. Seems a couple throw away fish would work but then that invites raccoons. I already have trouble with them raiding the cat food bowl and I'm sure they would really do a job on any plants if there were fish in the tub.
Got any tricks to keep mosquitoes and raccoons out but plants and fish still in?
Mosquito fish, as their name implies, are absolutely wonderful when it comes to eating mosquitos, and they blend in enough they should be able to camouflage themselves quite well... Extremely hardy pond fish, but I know a lot of my pond books recommend them for small relatively stagnant containers as they will keep the mosquitos away! You can also use a fine black net over top of the container to keep the racoons out.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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I've not dealt with raccoons myself but only observed when a neighbor had goldfish in a small concrete pond. He was never able to find a way to keep the coons out. But he was not trying to grow any plants and just considered it a risk to take.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 01:56 AM
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I've not dealt with raccoons myself but only observed when a neighbor had goldfish in a small concrete pond. He was never able to find a way to keep the coons out. But he was not trying to grow any plants and just considered it a risk to take.
As weird as it sounds when my BF put in our pond, the tip he was given was to make a pretty good "lip" on the pond. He did 3-4 layers of slate (just scattered), which in turn made it so the water level was out of reach of the raccoons. If they tried to get the fish, they would fall right in. The pond was installed in 2003 (according to our records), and we have never lost a fish. If you can keep the water line quite a distance below the lip of the container, it should, in theory, keep the racoons out. It's worked wonders for us. Just by having the rows of slate around the pond, we've had no losses.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 12:22 PM
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Mosquito fish, as their name implies, are absolutely wonderful when it comes to eating mosquitos, and they blend in enough they should be able to camouflage themselves quite well... Extremely hardy pond fish, but I know a lot of my pond books recommend them for small relatively stagnant containers as they will keep the mosquitos away! You can also use a fine black net over top of the container to keep the racoons out.
There are much more interesting options for mosquito control than dambusia, which are not actually especially good mosquito eaters and would rule out anything else in the pond...quite a few fish eat mosquitos better than dambusia. If yours is a container pond, paradise fish would be excellent for mosquito control, though unless they are Macropodus ocellatus you'd have to take them in and put them out a little later and earlier than dambusia, respectively.

Incidentally, raccoons could be discouraged with a screen lid that you would remove when you wished to view the pond.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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I've never dealt with coons directly but I can't see any screen that would stop a determined one who was looking for food. My sister once had a pet which they tried to close in at night. It was a real struggle!
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 05:11 PM
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I've never dealt with coons directly but I can't see any screen that would stop a determined one who was looking for food. My sister once had a pet which they tried to close in at night. It was a real struggle!
My bad...meant hardware cloth or some other more rugged mesh. I agree that window screen would not stop a coon!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-26-2014, 10:03 PM
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There are much more interesting options for mosquito control than dambusia, which are not actually especially good mosquito eaters and would rule out anything else in the pond...quite a few fish eat mosquitos better than dambusia. If yours is a container pond, paradise fish would be excellent for mosquito control, though unless they are Macropodus ocellatus you'd have to take them in and put them out a little later and earlier than dambusia, respectively.

Incidentally, raccoons could be discouraged with a screen lid that you would remove when you wished to view the pond.
I don't know, their hardiness is what I love about them, but I guess with a container pond it would be easy to move it indoors for the winter :P.

I'm telling you, make the reach to the water HARD. It's a pain in the butt when I personally have to get into the pond, but I don't want no raccoons stealing my prized Koi.



That embankment on the pond, you could probably try to replicate with a container, especially if you left the water 5-6" below the top of it. We have a lot of racoons, and have not lost a single fish... It's a struggle to reach the water line for me TBH. I am only 5'0" but if I can't reach, sure as hell no raccoon can reach it.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking of a much smaller container. More like a tub than a pond. But I had also assumed that a coon would just dive in and go after what he wanted? My chain of thought was that keeping fish would cut the mosquito problem but maybe make an even bigger mess when the coons were catching fish. I can just see one going after fish but doing in all the plants in the process. I have not really been up close to any in the last 50 years or so. Maybe they were just more impressive when I was smaller! One certainly did a job on my sister's house when they had a young one.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 01:18 AM
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I'm thinking of a much smaller container. More like a tub than a pond. But I had also assumed that a coon would just dive in and go after what he wanted? My chain of thought was that keeping fish would cut the mosquito problem but maybe make an even bigger mess when the coons were catching fish. I can just see one going after fish but doing in all the plants in the process. I have not really been up close to any in the last 50 years or so. Maybe they were just more impressive when I was smaller! One certainly did a job on my sister's house when they had a young one.
Well I thats why I was thinking maybe having the water level lower could help, and anything that can use around the edge of the tub to make it harder to climb on could help too.

I do know another option you could use is a motion activated alarm/light thingy. I saw it in Fosters and Smith where they have devices that are motion detectors and when something passes by, an alarm and a light goes on. I don't know how many neighbors you got though so I don't know if the alarm would be the greatest idea, but most of the time at night, if you shine a light at a coon, it's normally enough to startle them... Well for most "normal" raccoons..

Only other thing I can think of would be to use netting over top of it..... I use the green fencing stuff from Home Depot on my 300 gal tubs when I have to leave the fish in their over night if the pond hasn't filled, and it's kept them fairly safe, and it's strong too.



Oh and that would be one of the other reasons I recommend mosquito fish. They blend into most pond surroundings. They aren't going to be all that noticeable to a racoon at night, especially since the love to hide underneath plants. Look into fish that are natural colored... they blend in better especially at night.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 01:38 AM
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I wonder if you surround the container with something spiky would help deter raccoons like those spiky things to keep birds away so they don't poop everywhere.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 01:41 AM
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For mosquito larvae prevention you can use these:

http://www.amazon.com/Mosquito-Dunks-116-12-8-Ounce-Quick/dp/B0001LE1VC/ref=sr_1_2?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1401154667&sr=1-2&keywords=mosquito+bits

Just sprinkle a few grainules in your containers and the larvae should start to die. You need to reapply each week. The active ingredient is Bacillus thuringiensis.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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I may need to just back away from this. I had thought of the dunks but I am reluctant to use them with fish. Maybe I need to go one way or the other. Either without fish and use the dunks or try to work with the fish. We have lots of the little green lizards (Anoles?) and find when we use the dunks in the rain barrels we kill lizards and find them floating in the barrels.
My wife and I both grew up on or around farms and when we think of some of the troubles we have seen with coons, I'm not sure I'm dedicated enough to start that fight! They have such a distinct foot print that you can't really mistake when they have been there and done the dirty deed. Thanks for the attempt to help from all but for now, I'm putting this idea back on the shelf.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Monster Fish View Post
For mosquito larvae prevention you can use these:

Amazon.com : Mosquito Dunks 116-12 8-Ounce Quick Kill Mosquito Bits : Mosquito Killer : Patio, Lawn & Garden


Just sprinkle a few grainules in your containers and the larvae should start to die. You need to reapply each week. The active ingredient is Bacillus thuringiensis.
What you would normally buy as "BT" in products such as Dipel are more for caterpillars. The BT in these blocks and what is used for skeeters is Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti)BT as in Dipel won't do much for the skeeters.

Rich, it is an organic product and is target specific. In fact Monsanto spliced it into potatoes to kill the potato caterpillar. And we then eat said potatoes.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
I wonder if you surround the container with something spiky would help deter raccoons like those spiky things to keep birds away so they don't poop everywhere.
That's the advice Ted Coletti gave during his presentation on patio ponds at NEC... stick something the racoons would prick their fingers on in the pots the plants are in.
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