03-17-2013, 07:27 AM
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Do you have a link to Snipe's article that you mentioned? The biggest issue is temperature control, and choosing a species that can handle some temperature swings. Depending on the surface it's placed on, amount of sun/shade, as well as size will determine the temperature stability. I run a 150 gallon tub outdoors for the summer, usually starting with a few trios of platys. It will get close to 90F on really hot days, despite my strapping a large sheet of white styro over the top first thing in the morning. Some cold water in the evening helps it drop.
I'll start pretty early with mine, usually April, but I do have a 1kw bucket heater & temperature controller. It gets partial shade from my garage, but not much. Being a black tub, the sun helps heat it early in the season, when it gets warmer I put in a thin layer of light colored gravel. I also have it on a couple wooden skid tops from the start, insulates from the colder ground. These get pulled out when it warms up, as I want that colder ground to help maintain temperatures. A good heavy rain helps cool it in the summer, as well as providing a free water change if it rains hard enough.
From a few trios I'll have a couple hundred fish by the end of the season, just in time for all the local auctions & swaps.