Rubbermaid Pond Idea - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Rubbermaid Pond Idea

So I currently have a small comet in my indoor 10g tank. I haven't had the money or means to move him anywhere else but have been tossing around the idea of a small rubbermaid indoor pond, maybe something I can move outside in the summer months. I want to get him into something bigger without spending tons of money. I want to be able to take down my 10g and replace it with the indoor pond.

Will it be more work than the 10g? I have had issues with algae in my 10g and want to make sure I can keep up with a planted indoor pond as well as keep the fish happy. Not sure how to rig up the lighting either. I also have cats, would wire meshing over the top of the tub be sufficient?

I am just so inspired by the idea of an indoor pond and getting my comet into something bigger. I like the whiskey barrel idea. What kind of equipment can I get away WITHOUT using? I want the lowest maintenance possible. :P I already have quite a bit on my plate. Any help from other ponders will be appreciated!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-02-2011, 09:35 PM
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Hi! I would love to help! I have a 75 gallon with 5 fancies in it, but also have a 100 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank in my basement that currently houses my 18 pond comets for the winter. In warmer weather, they live outside in two smallish ponds. I also have cats...7 of them. (OK, only two are mine, the rest belong to my roommate.)

My first thought is that a whiskey barrel with a hardsided liner would be prettier than a stock tank, but also much smaller and your fish would be more able to jump out since the water level would need to be closer to the top than in a stock tank.

You could cover it with something to keep the cats out, but unless your cats are serious hunters you probably do not have to. I keep the stock tank half covered with a board, and our cats like to sit on the board and drink out of the tank. My youngest cat used to like to stroll around the rim, but she fell in once and that was the end of that.

Re: lighting and planting...can't help you much there! I have not tried either, as my set up is just a hibernating/holding tank for the winter. It is in my basement, and it gets cold, and dark, down there. It's very functional, but not pretty. But before you feel bad for my fish, here is a shot of the upper half of their summer home. There is a second pond out of frame at the bottom of the waterfall...

Re: stuff you MUST have...a filter is at the top of the list. I made my own with some craft mesh, a smaller Rubbermaid storage tub, and a small pond pump. It was a bit of work, but I enjoyed the design process and it does a good job. Next winter, I will be upgrading to a DIY "out of the tub" type that is sometimes called a "skippy filter".

OK, enough for now. Hopefully someone else will chime in with plant advice.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by glassbird View Post

That makes me want to go dig up the yard
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 03:15 PM
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The plastic stock tanks work very well for goldfish. If you have just one fish and move it to a 50 or 75 gallon stock tank, you don't need a filter, just something to circulate the water. An airstone or pump will do, just keep up with your water changes. As for algae, don't worry about it. You won't be able to see most of it because the sides are opaque, unlike an aquarium where you can see ALL of it. And goldfish will eat a lot of algae.

You can light the tank cheaply with a fluorescent shop light, or clamp lights with spiral compact fluorescent bulbs from the hardward store. How much light you need depends on what plants you want to grow. If you don't have plants, you only need minimal light, just enough to read by will be plenty.

Stock tanks are usually 12" or 24" deep. Use a 24" deep one, and drop the water level about 6" below the rim. Don't put anything on or near the tank that your cats can stand on. A cat trying to balance on the narrow edge of the tank, reaching down 6" to the water, will not be able to catch a healthy fish. Most likely the cat would fall in trying, which will solve the problem. Cats are not raccoons or otters--they don't go swimming after fish.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-10-2011, 02:20 AM
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Egg crate (a lighting product) over the tank will stop the cat, and keep the fish in, if he is inclined to jump.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2011, 12:08 AM
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Egg crate might keep a cat from sticking its feet in, but some cats might try to walk across it. Unless it is supported somehow, wetness may result!

Still, other materials might work. Pond mesh is sold to keep leaves out of ponds in the fall. Or maybe some hardware cloth (rigid metal mesh).

Hmmm...pond mesh might not be safe for cats. If a cat were to fall in and get entangled in the mesh in the water...I may be overthinking this, but I have seen both of my cats on the inside of a "fish-only" habitat (briefly) and the shear quantity of sudden physical energy expended (and the amount of air-borne water) was impressive both times.

My older cat jumped "on top" of a 29 gallon tank that was normally covered with a sheet of plexi-glass. But I had just removed the plexiglass for cleaning. I swear he must have touched the bottom of the tank at some point, because he reversed his trajectory faster than I could see what he did. He was barely damp, but 1/4 of the water was thrown in a 3 foot circle. (He is a big cat.) And then my younger cat fell into the Rubbermaid tub pictured above. It was way over her head, but she managed to pull herself out.
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