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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Stock Tank Pond

I had a little container pond last summer with 2 mollies in it which I enjoyed immensely until it sprung a leak while I was out of town and I came home to find everything dead

I decided to get a sturdier container this time and started off with this little pond with 2 feeder comets.

I do know that isn't big enough for 2 comets. My plan was to upsize next year. But my other plan to downsize on my inside tanks wasn't working well. I got down to one tank but had a group of fish I was having trouble finding homes for and they couldn't stay in my 20 gallon quarantine tank forever. So as usually happens whenever I say I am cutting back, I wound up with something bigger. I bought this 155 gal tank at the feed store.
and in went the other fish. 4 Eastern Dollar Sunfish, 5 Golden topminnows, one lined topminnow. The comets went in as well, the smaller container is now a tomato planter. I stuck some filters from tanks I had broken down in there, but I want to DIY a dedicated pond filter. Pond plants are impossible to find in Silicon Valley for some reason so I scrounged around the regular plant nursery to find plants that could be used as marginals. Water is very tannin stained right now because I didn't listen to the "don't use potting soil" advice. I'll run some Purigen to clear it but for now the fish seem to like the water dark.

They have a lot of hidey holes in their but weirdly I find them in the inch of water on top of the baskets a lot. Hopefully they don't that at night when the critters are out hunting!

Aesthetically, I'm having trouble making this look the way I want it to. I keep playing around with plant placement but I am strting to think it's just a limitation of the shape of the container. I have a water lily on order so maybe once that fills out and hides some of the inner workings I will like it better.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-27-2015, 09:51 PM
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Nice!

I also did not like the plant placement in mine, but as they fill out they will take over more space and look better. I also planted my marginals in a coco lined basket thats meant to be a windowbox and I like it a lot. I built a filter with a solar pump and a pitcher I got at Goodwill.

Love these tank ponds!
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-28-2015, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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I pulled a dead topminnow out of here this morning and just caught another sickly looking one (by hand, so he is sick alright) Sick guy is in a bucket for now. Not sure what is going on. Tested the water and it is great. Tannins should not hurt the fish but I did a partial water change and started running purigen anyway. Something they caught from the comets maybe?
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-28-2015, 07:18 PM
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Looks like temperature in there will be high. Metal isn't exactly a great insulator. Put a thermometer in there.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 02:49 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like temperature in there will be high. Metal isn't exactly a great insulator. Put a thermometer in there.
I have a thermometer in there. It's been between 68 and 72 degrees in there today.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 03:30 AM
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I have looked into this before and I understand it is pretty much not a good idea to put fish in a galvanized stock tank. A significant amount of zinc gets into the water.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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I have looked into this before and I understand it is pretty much not a good idea to put fish in a galvanized stock tank. A significant amount of zinc gets into the water.
Hrmmm, that puts a damper on things. The comets were in that smaller tub for a month with no ill effects. Maybe the other fish are more sensitive. Maybe I'll drain it and put a pond liner in it?
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Leaving this here for anyone who makes the same screw up I did and finds this thread in the future. I can't empty the tank and put a pond liner in until tomorrow so I looked for any info on how to minimize the damage. There are a couple studies on native fish using calcium to protect from lead and zinc poisoning. I happen to have some API Cichlid salts (calcium chloride) so I put in 50mg/L (the amount used in one study, though I do not know my zinc levels that amount was not harmful and was protective to the fish in the study.)

Hopefully that will tide them over until tomorrow.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 03:39 PM
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Should of got the plastic ones for ponds.


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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 04:15 PM
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For a garden galvanized stock tanks look a lot nicer than the plastic ones. I have wondered about putting an epoxy seal on the inside of a galvanized tank, but I don't know how well it would adhere to the metal(?).
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-29-2015, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, if I had it to do over again I probably would get plastic. Would love it more if i could dig but i have no space for that. The galvanized had a nice, "finished" look to it and having seen people use these and have goldfish in them it simply did not occur to me it would be toxic. Lesson learned the hard way. It turns out goldfish and koi are resistant to metal poisoning, hence my comets are fine.

So, now I have to put a lot of work into it to make it usable. I have a pond liner, tonight I get to move the fish, drain the pond and install the liner. Tomorrow I get to put it all back together. Fingers crossed the calcium chloride was enough to protect the fish in the meantime.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like the calcium chloride worked. No further losses today while I was at work anyway.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 02:29 AM
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MAYBE
The tannic acid from the potting soil made the water more acidic, and the zinc was released from the galvanizing better than in the small tub that had (presumably) more alkaline water.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hydrophyte View Post
For a garden galvanized stock tanks look a lot nicer than the plastic ones. I have wondered about putting an epoxy seal on the inside of a galvanized tank, but I don't know how well it would adhere to the metal(?).
I saw epoxy paint recommended as a solution when I was researching this problem. People had used it, said it worked well. The fumes kill me, I decided to do a liner instead.

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MAYBE
The tannic acid from the potting soil made the water more acidic, and the zinc was released from the galvanizing better than in the small tub that had (presumably) more alkaline water.
Yeah, I had that theory as well. The ph in the problem tank was 7.6, my tapwater is 7.8. Enough to make a difference? I don't know. I think it was the same problem in the smaller tank but the comets just aren't as sensitive.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 11:59 AM
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There's a pool epoxy sealer that people use to make plywood tank. I forget the brand. It comes in black and blue.


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