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Unfiltered Tub pond

This is a discussion on Unfiltered Tub pond within the Ponds and Waterfalls forums, part of the Other Aquatic Environments category; --> How beautiful that turned out! I just got my pond partly set up today. I bought a peace lily to put in mine, but ...

Old 03-27-2010, 06:23 PM   #11
How beautiful that turned out!

I just got my pond partly set up today. I bought a peace lily to put in mine, but the pond is already quite shaded.

I bought a plastic stock tank at the farm store. Will get pics up soon!
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:39 PM   #12
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I guess that I am not the only person thinking about the same thing!

I have decided to use a 30 gal for space reasons. Still not going to filter this pond nor am I going to introduce flow.

I was wondering if I can use garden soil as a substrate instead of gravel. I dont want the fish waste getting stuck between the gravel but broken down into the soil.

I plan to put all my mollies, including the now almost 2 and a half week old fry in this setup. Maybe my betta breeding pair in a smaller version.

Let me know what you think...
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:25 PM   #13
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ByTheWay . . .

This is the first website to officially dedicate a page to unfiltered tub ponds!!!

Lets make this page a more used page. Post updates on your projects here!!!
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:39 PM   #14
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Thanks TankMAster. Sorry that I posted my project onto your thread.But you are right. I looked online and could not find anything good on Tub pond projects. On YouTube someone used a flowerpot but it did not look very good. I might put my pictures on that web-site.

As for garden soil in the tub I would not use that as some garden soil has fertilizers and plant food in it.Some will float up on the surface and foul your tub pond water.Use aquarium gravel. Walmart had a small bag for $3.25 and a bigger bag for not that much more. If you want to cycle the tub fast I would use Eco-Complete on the bottom. If you have an indoor Aquarium with filter pads in the filter you can squeeze them into the tub pond like I did. Or you can use some of your aquarium gravel or sand from your indoor aquarium. If you know someone that has a aquarium borrow their filter pad or a small scoop of gravel to get the bio going. I also used this stuff called Cycle to get the bio going. Do a 1/4 th water change once a week and use a water test kit to test the water once a week . I like the API dropper test kit as they are more accurate then the test strips. I would not worry so much about fish waste as these water filtering plants should take care of it and getting the bio going in the gravel will help also with the water changes til it gets up and running. The Water Hyacinth is a very good plant according to my Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine article dated April 2008. Here is some of the stuff that was written in the magazine below:

Water Hyacinth
-This is probably the best vegetative filter for the pond, water garden, or fish tub. It is so efficient in removing wastes, it can double its population size in two weeks. It is so highly regarded that it is often used for sewage treatment.
-Water Hyacinth is most practical because as a floating plant it requires no potting, displacing less water and making less mess.It shades your fish tub from the sun while helping to keep heat from evaporating at night. Its long thick roots are natural spawing mops and hideouts for a vaiety of fishes. It will flower a couple of times in the season, but more frequently with some fertilizer. So as a not to introduce more nutrients into your fish tub, you can sit your water hyacinth for a day in fertilized water and then depostit it back in your water garden. This will enhance its green color, if yellowed, and promote blooming.
- This plant is a invasive plant in many parts of the United States and the rest of the world, so it might not be available in your states.It can not overwinter, even in the home aquarium, so don't bother. Just purchase one or two new plants at the start of the season.Water Hyacinths do best when placed outside when water temps reach 65F.
- Other plants include flowering Pickerel Pontederia spp., are some of the best water filteration plants. Especially good is the variety of P. cordata known as "Crown Point", Hornwort floating plant sucks out fish waste faster then fish can excrete them. Carbon dioside,ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and phosphates all go into this fast growing foliage, Anacharis is another great water filtering plant.

Placement and removal

Timing the placement and removal of your fish and plants is also important. You can start your tub in early spring, as the plants start to grow.Since there is no fish or food wastes to be utilized. You can put out your tropical fish when when the day temperature reaches 70F or higher consistently for several days. Over the summer your fish will adjust well to the slowly changing temperatures, and you can take them in before the first frost date in your area.Refer to your species specifications. As an example, here in the northern New Jersey area the warm season generally runs three months from late June through late September. Cooler-water fish, like goodeids, paradise fish. variatus platies.white clouds mountain minnows, and rosy barbs can often go out and stay out a couple of weeks longer. But watch your forecast and don't tempt fate! Better to have a shorter fish-tub season than a dead one.Your plants however will continue to grow and bloom through the fall. And so will your enjoyment of this outdoor niche of the aquarium hobby!

Last edited by eileen; 03-29-2010 at 10:59 PM..
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:19 AM   #15
I've heard that the day night temperature swing can be really stressful to the fish. Around me by June when I guess I'll put the fish out the average temperature is about high 70s high, 60 low, hottest in July gets around low of low 70s, high is high 80s-low 90s. But mine is burried in the ground so I figure it'll keep it around a more stable temperature, warmer in the nights and not getting too hot during hot days, right?

Another thing, not sure if any stores around me carry pond plants, I'll check later, I was thinking a lily would be perfect for shading the water, but was just wondering if anything more would probably be too much, my pond is around 50gallons, about 4foot wide by 2 feet across I guess, it's curved so not really sure about dimensions and such. If I can't find any stores, I'll probably buy this package, http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...30&pcatid=2430
Are those good plants? Would they likely get too big or anything or be too much?

Also, does it need to cycle? And would I need to put conditioner in the water or can I just let it sit out for a while before the fish go in or I put the water in?
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:35 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by eileen View Post
Thanks TankMAster. Sorry that I posted my project onto your thread.
No no no . . . don't be sorry. I guess we just made history with regard to this hobby.We may not be the first to have setup an unfiltered tub pond but we are the first to offer information and updates to other enthusiasts who type :" Unfiltered tub pond" in Google !!

Imagine all those searching for information or those battling for space for tanks. This thread is going to have more hits than any other pond page on the net!

This is a outdoor tub alternative to a standard freshwater aquarium!

[applause] . . .

We just made history!

__________________________________________________ _____________________

Does anyone think that this setup will suffice for breeding?

I think the sun and the moon have total effect on when and how often fish breed. Take guppies for example. Fry born in this setup will be really hardy and have deep colors compared to fry born in an indoor setup. Being outdoors, I think the sun and moon play a vital role in lighting and may trigger the urge to spawn sooner.

In the wild, these fish spawn like crazy. If you move these fish into an aquarium environment, their climate changes. There is no sun or moon to tell them when its the right time to spawn but just a tank light.

Although this is just a theory, it does make sense.

Has anyone noticed their betta making huge nests during a full/new moon? I have. Keep your male betta outdoors for 1 - 3 days, making sure there is no bubble nest. Observe his enclosure and take note of the size of the nest.

This is a challenge to find out just how much a fish may change it's behavior outdoors compared to a simulated environment indoors.

Take note of color changes and feeding habits maybe even stress levels.

How does the unmonitored water conditions affect the fish.

Leave a few female live bearers who won't drop outdoors in this setup and see if they will spawn.

I don't know what outcome this may have on the fish. Maybe we can help each other by trying a few of these experiments with live bearers. I would like to know if this setup has a positive/negative influence on the fish in it.


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Old 03-30-2010, 11:15 PM   #17
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Well the yellow pond platies that I got from a garden plant shop are from an outdoor pond. I also know someone that belongs to The San Diego Tropical Fish Society that raises Mollies in a outdoor pond. I noticed that TankMAster you have Mollies. The weather here in San Diego California is mild even in the winter time but those yellow platies adjusted to the cooler temps in my tub pond in the morning the pond is shaded and then in the afternoon to the evening it gets the sun on it. I bought a heavy duty roller that holds up to 500lbs to put under the tub pond to move it when I need to. I like the idea in moving it around my yard as the weather changes.The 2 platies that I have in it one is pregnate so it would be nice to see babies from her later in the summer time. As for cycling the tub pond I would just use filter media from an exsisting aquarium or pond and buy some bio product to speed the process. I have some of the pond water from the pond that the fish came from and I used the bio sponge from my aquarium in the house and squeezed that intio the tub. I will check the water every week and do a water change if I have to but I think the plants that I got in the tub should filter out anything bad in the water. You can buy pond plants on-line but some places charge alot for shipping. Try looking at pond shops in your area. I found waterlily bulbs at Homedepot in the garden section for $9.98. Also try craigslist in the FARM/GARDEN section as some people have pond plants for sale. I found a few and the prices were really good. I found one in my area that had the water hyacinths for 2 for $1.00. His girlfriend had to many Mosquito fish and those were free and she had to much Hyacinths in her pond and wanted to thin it out. I found mine at a garden nursery for $2.99 for 1 water hyacinth, the water iris was $9.99. They also had other water plants for sale. Some nurserys back east will not carry this stuff til the weather warms up .You can buy all the pond stuff and get ready when they start caring water plants.

Last edited by eileen; 03-30-2010 at 11:26 PM..
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:58 AM   #18
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I live on the East Coast of South Africa. It's a sub tropical region where almost every house has air conditioning. This shows how hot it can get here.

On average the temperature here is like 28C - 32C or 82 F - 93 F so having an outdoor pond here is ideal!

I plan to put my mollies outdoors soon.

Do you think my 2.5 week old molly fry will survive outdoors?


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Old 03-31-2010, 11:37 AM   #19
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I don't see why they would not survive. If you have enough plants in the pond to shade them in the heat and a place for them to hide. The tub pond will need to go through a cycle like a aquarium. You would need to place them in when the temps. are stable for them not to hot or cold. I would just do like you do when you get fish from the pet store. float them in a bag for 15-30 min. to get used to the water temp. and then add water from the pond maybe 1/2C at a time over the course of an hour. That's how I put the pond platies in that I got from the Garden Nursery. You will get so many babies putting them in a pond. I bet you get more then if they were in an aquarium in your home.But what will you do with all the baby fish? You can rehome them/ sale them to the local pet shop/Use some to feed you bigger fish you may have/ Or give them away for free for someone else to maybe start a outdoor tub pond. Did you ever thing of digging a large hole to sink the tub pond in as this will make the temps. stable in the ground?
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:08 AM   #20
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Yip. The ground insulates the heat but not much. Seeing as theres a huge opening at the top of the tub, It doesn't really matter if it's above or below.

I guess the bigger the enclosure, the more fry survive. I plan to sell them but really want to experiment on this new type of hobby.

If I can get more fry outdoors than in a glass aquarium, why don't I just leave them outdoors?

Mollies are worth alot here. . . here are the cheapest prices in my area

in USD . . . .

Juvenile - medium sized Mollies @ +/- $2.50 - Each
Small Oscars (4 inch) @ $10 - Each
Guppies(mixed) - $2 - 2 pairs
Veil tailed betta (male or female)- $5.50
Tiger barbs - $2.50 - each
Angel Fish (mixed) - $6 - each
Small (2 inch) common Algae eater - $6 - each

All these are estimate conversions from my currency (Rand) to US dollars. It works out to similar prices found in the states and online.

Prices of mollies should be cheaper because they are no way being selectively bred and sold here. I know of a store that sells selectively bred 2 inch mollies @ $5 each! An adult Oscar @ $40 each.....

I hope I can break the market with mollies at $1.50 each.

Kind Regards

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