Total container pond newbie w/stocking questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-28-2018, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Total container pond newbie w/stocking questions

Hello! I am setting up a container pond for my mother for the summer. I have experience with planted aquariums, but have never attempted something like this before. There is some disparate info online so I was hoping I could get some answers from you all here

I am thinking about a 110 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank. Is something like this deep enough to help keep the temperature relatively stable? https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...k-tank-110-gal

We'd like a few small fish for interest and to eat unwanted critters. I'm aiming to keep the livestock load low so I can avoid using a filter if necessary. Is going without a filter doable? If needed, it's not an issue -- just wondering.
I have been contemplating maybe 3 (max) feeder goldfish, and perhaps some snails. Are goldfish a good idea without a filter in a setup like this, or is there another species that might fare better? Barbs? White clouds? Betta sorority? Mollies or guppies? How many would you suggest for a good balance, considering this will be well-planted and frequently water changed?

The container pond will be on a back deck and mostly in shade but with enough sun to keep the plants happy. We live in northern Nevada, so it gets a bit warm during the summer (upper 80’s mid 90’s), and around 60's during the night, which is why I wanted to be sure the water is deep enough so the possible fish and plants don’t overheat. In the winter it will likely be moved into the garage and/or heated.

I am also looking for something to add water movement for circulation, maybe a small fountain? Air stone? What would you suggest that works best with this kind of stock tank?

Would a CO2 infuser be necessary or a good idea for a container pond this size?

Thanks in advance!!

Last edited by peachcobbler; 04-28-2018 at 08:04 PM. Reason: Spelling
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-29-2018, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by peachcobbler View Post
Hello! I am setting up a container pond for my mother for the summer. I have experience with planted aquariums, but have never attempted something like this before. There is some disparate info online so I was hoping I could get some answers from you all here

I am thinking about a 110 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank. Is something like this deep enough to help keep the temperature relatively stable? https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...k-tank-110-gal

We'd like a few small fish for interest and to eat unwanted critters. I'm aiming to keep the livestock load low so I can avoid using a filter if necessary. Is going without a filter doable? If needed, it's not an issue -- just wondering.
I have been contemplating maybe 3 (max) feeder goldfish, and perhaps some snails. Are goldfish a good idea without a filter in a setup like this, or is there another species that might fare better? Barbs? White clouds? Betta sorority? Mollies or guppies? How many would you suggest for a good balance, considering this will be well-planted and frequently water changed?

The container pond will be on a back deck and mostly in shade but with enough sun to keep the plants happy. We live in northern Nevada, so it gets a bit warm during the summer (upper 80ís mid 90ís), and around 60's during the night, which is why I wanted to be sure the water is deep enough so the possible fish and plants donít overheat. In the winter it will likely be moved into the garage and/or heated.

I am also looking for something to add water movement for circulation, maybe a small fountain? Air stone? What would you suggest that works best with this kind of stock tank?

Would a CO2 infuser be necessary or a good idea for a container pond this size?

Thanks in advance!!

Sounds like a nice container pond project. Your question about a "CO2 infuser": if it were me... nix any ideas about CO2 (not really necessary with an outdoor tub IMO). With your Nevada summertime temperatures, I would make sure D/O levels are favorable. Adding a small water fountain would definitely help with surface agitation/water movement. If you are fairly good with DIY projects, a filter would also be a good addition (it would not have to break the bank - you could probably use a plastic tote with some type of inexpensive bio-media and pre-filter materials, plumb an intake/output, add a pump, and you are ready to roll). Filters could be external or internal (I prefer external - frees up extra space inside the tub). If you are not a DIYer, there are several plug & play options out there (and if you really have some extra bucks to play around with, a U.V. is a nice option). Again, just my opinion, but a filter is a nice tool to have.

Nothing wrong with a few feeder goldfish & snails for starts. Might also want to consider some Gambusia (aka: mosquitofish) in addition. I think Gambusia affinis is now being regulated in the state of Washington (considered an aquatic invasive species). Don't know what type of plants you may be considering... a lot of possibilities to play-with/choose-from. I would definitely include floaters into the mix. Keep us updated on your project! Really like your username ~ nothing finer than peach cobbler in the summertime.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-29-2018, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a nice container pond project. Your question about a "CO2 infuser": if it were me... nix any ideas about CO2 (not really necessary with an outdoor tub IMO). With your Nevada summertime temperatures, I would make sure D/O levels are favorable. Adding a small water fountain would definitely help with surface agitation/water movement. If you are fairly good with DIY projects, a filter would also be a good addition (it would not have to break the bank - you could probably use a plastic tote with some type of inexpensive bio-media and pre-filter materials, plumb an intake/output, add a pump, and you are ready to roll). Filters could be external or internal (I prefer external - frees up extra space inside the tub). If you are not a DIYer, there are several plug & play options out there (and if you really have some extra bucks to play around with, a U.V. is a nice option). Again, just my opinion, but a filter is a nice tool to have.

Nothing wrong with a few feeder goldfish & snails for starts. Might also want to consider some Gambusia (aka: mosquitofish) in addition. I think Gambusia affinis is now being regulated in the state of Washington (considered an aquatic invasive species). Don't know what type of plants you may be considering... a lot of possibilities to play-with/choose-from. I would definitely include floaters into the mix. Keep us updated on your project! Really like your username ~ nothing finer than peach cobbler in the summertime.
Thanks for your reply (haha, I was trying to come up with a handle and decided that I like cobbler well enough, so...it IS rather delicious in the summer). I think at this point I will definitely add a filter...I've seen some people talk about placing pumps in baskets of lava rock or using mesh bags of some other media layered over an internal pump for small "ponds"(?) I'll have to play around with it. Ultimately, it needs to be easy to upkeep.

I'm still researching plants. I love the look of cattails and dwarf papyrus for marginals, and those long spindly-looking things that have a bit of a corkscrew shape to the stems (forgive my lack of naming knowledge, still have much to learn). Maybe duckweed and water hyacinth, and/or a lilly of some kind for floaters. Also, anacharis and two or three other kinds of submerged oxegenators. Maybe some moss...

I've heard about Gambusia, gonna have to check if they're regulated here! I'm concerned feeder golds would ultimately be unhappy in this amount of water...and thinking further, mollies prob aren't a good idea either. But, first thing's first! I keep waffling on the exact kind of container. Was gonna go galvanized stock tank but it seems that they sometimes poison the water. I like the rubbermaid for the depth but it's not exactly attractive. Half barrels look great but I haven't found any around that are as deep as I'd like. :/
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 07:49 PM
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I've set up a makeshift stock tank pond for koi until I get my house bult. Mine is 1000 gallon and I've got 6 koi. U would go with the black rubber maid tank over galv. Simply for the temperature fluctuations from day to night. As far as stocking. If your going to heavily plany it and have some kind of filtration you could go with more goldfish then 3. Ponds are completely differebt then aquariums. Filters are much the same though. I run a 55 gallon drum with filter material topped with 30 lbs of lava rock in bio bags. You don't need anything that big. You could use a 5 gallon bucket made in the same manner. Their very easy to make. YouTube will be your best friend in this project. Good luck.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 07:34 PM
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It wouldn't work on a deck but your temp would stay a lot more stable if you sink the container into the ground. Just be careful. I started off with a 300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank. Now the main pond is over 3000 gallons!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-07-2018, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies!!

Update: My project has changed slightly and is now a 30 gallon pond with a decent filtration system. My mother wanted something more aesthetically pleasing, so I got one of the round faux-stone ponds from Aquascape along with one of their urn filters. It will be here soon and I've already acquired some plants -- water hyacinth, some parrot feather, creeping jenny, horse tail, and an unknown species with purdy white flowers (well, they told me what it was but I've already forgotten for the moment EDIT it's a water hawthorne!). I've also ordered some other marginals (grass, black gamecock iris, a dwarf lily), as well as a big bunch of hornwort and some moss balls to throw in the bottom, and a small chunk of driftwood. Not gonna add substrate.

I think I might set up a smaller container just for plant overgrowth. I know a few people who would be interested in starting a patio pond, so I can gift propogations or overflow to them.

I've decided on white cloud minnows and possibly shrimp once we're all cycled. I'm also considering a few male guppies, OR cherry barbs. For the winter, everyone will either be moved inside into a tank or I'll put the entire pond in the garage with a heater.

TOTALLY geeking out about this project, it's such a welcome diversion from my job and school stuff and is satisfying my fish nerd side. It's been too long since I left the hobby and I've always wanted a pond. So dangerous ;D

Last edited by peachcobbler; 05-07-2018 at 08:32 PM. Reason: words are hard
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-08-2018, 12:00 AM
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One of the best things about summer ponds is that you can totally put your extra aquarium plants outside. I've had great luck with crypts and ludwigias myself
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