Small container pond idea - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Small container pond idea

I have a large glazed (on the outside only) ceramic pot on my deck that I has no drainage hole so I haven't used it for regular plants. Was going to see if my husband could chip or drill a hole in the bottom but too afraid we will crack it so didn't try. It's been rinsed out by rainwater. Had the idea why not put some aquatic plants in it? So the other day I filled it up with old tankwater, threw in a handful of substrate from one of my tanks, some pieces of hornwort, spirodela polyrhiza floaters, watersprite, subwassertang, and a fragment of anancharis/elodea. (The subssertang sinks. I think it would be cool if the subwassertang started to cling to and grow up the insides of the planter). There is a lfs next town over from mine, when I go there again I'm going to get some of the water lettuce they always have.

The planter holds just over five gallons. It gets shade all morning and direct sun four or five hours in the afternoon (I can move it if I need to). Unfortunately the outside outlet on the deck doesn't work, so I have no filter on it. I thought I would remove some water every day for my deck plants (how much?) and replace with fresh conditioned water, tank water if it's been a wc day lately, or let rain refill it if expecting a thunderstorm...

Right now it is covered with some window screening to keep out mosquitoes; I'd rather have a fish in there. I'm going to add a broken bit of terra cotta or ceramic pot, and thought also of fastening a piece of java fern or windelov fern to it. This would give a fish some shelter. There are coons in our neighborhood, but I don't know if one would come up on my deck (never seen evidence of that).

it's just for the summer. Here's my ideas for what inhabitants I could put in there?

- two male guppies or
- a few endlers or
- one American flag fish or
- one or two feeder minnows or
- one or two White Cloud Mountain minnows or
- an actual mosquitofish, but I've never seen them for sale around here

Are any of these a good option for this filterless setup?
what if I put in one or two Malaya shrimps?

My other crazy idea was, if I find another baby fish in my tank (my serpae tetras spawn all the time) perhaps I could put it in the container pond until it grows big enough to not be eaten by the adult fish.

Any Feedback appreciated!
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 04:10 PM
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You may have to consider temperature too. If you live somewhere especially hot you may have to consider moving it inside before you put any type of fish in there.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 04:12 PM
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And also most of those fish require filtration even with alot of plants.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 04:24 PM
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I like your ideas and most of the fish choices should work. The flag fish will do a great job of keeping algae under control but may be frustrated when first put into the pot with no algae present. Maybe after a couple weeks would be a good time to add the flag fish if you go that route, or just feed it a bit until the pot becomes established with algae and little critters to eat.

I seldom change water in outside pots unless there is a heavy fish load.
The plants will do a good job of keeping nitrates down.

I've had poor luck keeping water lettuce alive in small pots for some reason.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 09:57 PM
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5g is kinda small. It's essentially a standard bucket. Fill it up with soil and water and grow bog plants in it. Fill water to just below the top of the soil to prevent mosquitoes and algae.

Cinnamon fern
Lobelia Cardinalis
Irises

Can make it look like a regular plant pot

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies. Yes it does get kinda hot here - we have lots of days 95-98 degrees in mid summer. I guess that rules out fish then. What about shrimps. I'm not going to bring the container inside.... i will stick with plants and maybe get those mosquito dunkers. I like the bog idea, too. Especially fond of ferns.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 03:07 AM
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Thank you for the replies. Yes it does get kinda hot here - we have lots of days 95-98 degrees in mid summer. I guess that rules out fish then. What about shrimps. I'm not going to bring the container inside.... i will stick with plants and maybe get those mosquito dunkers. I like the bog idea, too. Especially fond of ferns.
95-98 is pretty high for cherries and the temperature fluctuation will also get them they like stable conditions. I hate to be a party pooper but i think shrimp and fish are out of the picture....
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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It wouldn't have been cherries. I have Amano and Malaya shrimps. But giving up on that idea. Just going to do plants. Unless.... wait... what about triops?? They're creepy enough looking I don't want any in a tank but wouldn't it be fun to have a few in the pond planter haha. Eggs can survive to 98 degrees (in estivation) but the adults are done in at 93 the internet tells me.... but if I just hatched a few at a time I could replace the ones I loose in heat waves.

Is that a crazy idea? I always thought it would be cool to keep a few because my husband is really into trilobites and they look kinda similar.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 12:36 PM
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From what youve told me it seems that they may work, since you said they dont like temps over 93 maybe do some floating plants like duckweed for some shade and I think that could actually work out. Best of luck to you and I would love some pictures if you go through with it.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. I think it would be fun. Triops would eat the plants but I could just keep throwing my duckweed and hornwort trimmings in there, good use of that. will definitely put up some pics if I get it to work. Thanks for the inputs, all.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ09 View Post
I have a large glazed (on the outside only) ceramic pot on my deck that I has no drainage hole so I haven't used it for regular plants. Was going to see if my husband could chip or drill a hole in the bottom but too afraid we will crack it so didn't try. It's been rinsed out by rainwater. Had the idea why not put some aquatic plants in it? So the other day I filled it up with old tankwater, threw in a handful of substrate from one of my tanks, some pieces of hornwort, spirodela polyrhiza floaters, watersprite, subwassertang, and a fragment of anancharis/elodea. (The subssertang sinks. I think it would be cool if the subwassertang started to cling to and grow up the insides of the planter). There is a lfs next town over from mine, when I go there again I'm going to get some of the water lettuce they always have.

The planter holds just over five gallons. It gets shade all morning and direct sun four or five hours in the afternoon (I can move it if I need to). Unfortunately the outside outlet on the deck doesn't work, so I have no filter on it. I thought I would remove some water every day for my deck plants (how much?) and replace with fresh conditioned water, tank water if it's been a wc day lately, or let rain refill it if expecting a thunderstorm...

Right now it is covered with some window screening to keep out mosquitoes; I'd rather have a fish in there. I'm going to add a broken bit of terra cotta or ceramic pot, and thought also of fastening a piece of java fern or windelov fern to it. This would give a fish some shelter. There are coons in our neighborhood, but I don't know if one would come up on my deck (never seen evidence of that).

it's just for the summer. Here's my ideas for what inhabitants I could put in there?

- two male guppies or
- a few endlers or
- one American flag fish or
- one or two feeder minnows or
- one or two White Cloud Mountain minnows or
- an actual mosquitofish, but I've never seen them for sale around here

Are any of these a good option for this filterless setup?
what if I put in one or two Malaya shrimps?

My other crazy idea was, if I find another baby fish in my tank (my serpae tetras spawn all the time) perhaps I could put it in the container pond until it grows big enough to not be eaten by the adult fish.

Any Feedback appreciated!
Here on the West Coast we have both Bi-Mart and Grocery Outlet, who seasonally sell those really large, made in Mexico ceramic planters. I believe that the largest ones are somewhere near 18~22 gallons. They're big enough for an outdoor potted palm or small tree. The downside is they always have a hole in their bottoms, which will need something silicone glued over to keep from leaking.

This would be the minimum size I would consider for a outdoor fish tank/containers. Granted you can keep small fish in a little tank inside, I even kept some Chopra Danio in a 5 gallon quarantine tank and was discovering newly free swimming babies half ways through their second week of staying in the tank. But it had a heater and a filter in addition to a bunch of Java Fern and floating plants.

Keeping this container in direct sun is going to be a problem with it's small size, not to mention that it will heat and cool quickly as Summer progresses to Fall. If it could be kept in a place of indirect lighting it might be *OK* but it's still awfully small. It might be better with some snails and some small arthropods like Daphnia

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Well I can move it to a shadier spot. I am not aiming to buy a larger container just to have a patio pond, I just wanted to make use of this one I couldn't grow regular plants in. The idea of a small fish was mostly to control mosquitoes. I don't know if any snail could live thru the summer heat. I like the idea of raising my own daphnia- any chance they eat mosquito larvae?? Crossing my fingers a triops might, if I decide to go that way.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by JJ09 View Post
Well I can move it to a shadier spot. I am not aiming to buy a larger container just to have a patio pond, I just wanted to make use of this one I couldn't grow regular plants in. The idea of a small fish was mostly to control mosquitoes. I don't know if any snail could live thru the summer heat. I like the idea of raising my own daphnia- any chance they eat mosquito larvae?? Crossing my fingers a triops might, if I decide to go that way.


I would dump a couple feeder goldfish in it with some rough plant like anacharis, maybe some frogbit for shade, it grows like a weed for me.

These feeders are in 125 gallons full sun western exposure and the water today is 89 degrees. I've done this for several years and the fish grow and multiply.

This is a one gallon jar that I found somewhere in the spring. For some reason one night before I went in for the night I added a couple inches of soil, some gravel and stones, handful of anacharis and a sad looking feeder goldfish. This was early May. I don't have a recent picture but the water is clear, fish happy and alive. I move it around to kinda keep it in the shade as the season progresses. Plant your pot! Make your own little bit of heaven and no matter what happens you've saved a poor feeder fish from becoming some creatures food.



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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2017, 04:01 AM
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I think I'd rather see a White Cloud or a pair of Mosquito Fish in that little jar, even a little feeder goldfish is a lot of fish for just one gallon.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Well I put some plants in it


I threw in some watersprite, duckweed, subwassertang, hornwort and elodea. The watersprite and elodea outright died. Subwassertang got pulled for my fry box a few weeks ago. (The terra cotta pot was going to be shelter for a tiny fish which I decided not to get)

Duckweed (spriodela polyrhiza) is super happy. It's multiplying, has better color than in my indoor tank, undersides turn purple and roots are thicker.

Hornwort grows differently than from in my tanks. Needles are very fine, short and dense. It's rather pretty. A few days ago I cleaned out tons of dead, rotting stuff left from its transition period and now there are just a few bunches of it in here, but I'm sure it will keep going.

It's kinda scummy down in there, from the dying plant bits. I did toss in a few small malaysian trumpet snails just for the heck of it, don't know if they're alive. I keep a window screen over it most times, but don't mind gathering the few mosquito larvae that show up, to feed my tetras.

It doesn't get fed. When the water gets low, if it isn't raining I add a bit of tank water, that's it. I'd like to try water lettuce, I think it would look nice, but I haven't yet made the trip out to the lfs where I've seen it for sale.


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