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In for an experiment?

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In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:18 pm

For some of you the summer is a 'dead' period in terms of fish keeping whereas for others it finally gives them time to spend some more time on their hobby.

I would like to propose to those that want to try something out, to put some of their fish outside this summer. You don't need to have a pond or a high tech set-up for this, nor a garden. Actually, a 'Walstad' type set-up with lots of plants in a container as small as 5 gallons goes a long way to keep several fish successfully outside in a corner of a balcony or a small patio.

Some of you may remember the set up of @Guppyguy from last year, where he turned an old garbage bin in a summer residence for endlers and other livebearers. For the past 2 years I have successfully kept guppies and swordtails outside and this has made me long for more. The critters and algae in this setup made that I hardly did any feeding and no water changes at all. Only some top ups during drier times.

I plan to keep a pair of paradise fish in a 20 gallon container with a lotus and some hornwort this summer, as well I am working on a set up for leopard danios. To this end I bought a 70 liter container in Canadian Tire, acquired a Madagascar lace plant and plenty of moss.

There are plenty of fish that qualify for a summer vacation outside, like several barb types, some corydoras and minnows or even shrimp.
@Alexmtl: what about trying to keep a few of your sunfish outside this summer and see how they fare compared to the ones inside?

I will post my results and set-ups in this thread and I invite others to do the same.
Who is with me for this experiment?
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Fores41 on Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:25 am

may have to try this with some swords I have although I may have to use a heater for night times as we can get pretty cool 10C at night some times.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by alexmtl on Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:43 am

@Biulu wrote:Actually, a 'Walstad' type set-up with lots of plants in a container as small as 5 gallons goes a long way to keep several fish successfully outside in a corner of a balcony or a small patio.

I love the "Walstad" idea. If any of you want the Walstad article (not her book) on plant biofiltration, just PM me.

@Biulu wrote:I plan to keep a pair of paradise fish in a 20 gallon container with a lotus and some hornwort this summer, as well I am working on a set up for leopard danios. To this end I bought a 70 liter container in Canadian Tire, acquired a Madagascar lace plant and plenty of moss.

Sounds like a great setup. I think I will use hornwort and moss as well.

@Biulu wrote:I will post my results and set-ups in this thread and I invite others to do the same. Who is with me for this experiment?


I'm in. I love the idea. Not sure the fish or creature yet but now is the time to get started. I have to figure out what I am going to do about the raccoons who routinely visit, that I'm sure are the same raucous bunch that haunt Gary's outdoor ponds. I can imagine everytime he takes his broom out to chase them away they scoot over to my neighboorhood.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:43 am

@Fores41 wrote:may have to try this with some swords I have although  I may have to use a heater for night times as we can get pretty cool 10C at night some times.

Great Tim! If the container that you uses is somewhat insulated, the water will not show the large fluctuations that your daily temps have.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Repteel on Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:39 pm

@ alexmtl Maybe so type of cage/ cover made of chicken wire with pvc or wood as a frame?
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by alexmtl on Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:57 pm

@Repteel wrote:Maybe so type of cage/ cover made of chicken wire with pvc or wood as a frame?

Yes I was thinking about chicken wire and a frame. Not sure how I can make a hinged door yet so that I can access it. My other thoughts were along a lid of chicken wire and frame fastened with butterfly bolts to a tank rack frame. Giving myself this week to ponder, but I will at least get some water in the tanks to age.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Wed Jun 14, 2017 10:10 am

This book came out just on time!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072KGV93B

Pond tubs, a great guide for anybody trying something outside this summer.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by alexmtl on Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:24 pm

Hmmm, just saw a mother raccoon with three babies hanging around the toolshed. Well I'm going to give this a go but I have a feeling that this may be more of a dessert (for them).

I don't think the pygmy sunfish are ideal candidates. They need food for them at the bottom and I reckon that most food will be mosquito or midge larvae which are surface feeders.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:11 pm

@alexmtl wrote:Hmmm, just saw a mother raccoon with three babies hanging around the toolshed. Well I'm going to give this a go but I have a feeling that this may be more of a dessert (for them).

I don't think the pygmy sunfish are ideal candidates. They need food for them at the bottom and I reckon that most food will be mosquito or midge larvae which are surface feeders.

If you are putting enough moss and other plants, I think there will be enough food in the lower parts of the tank.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:18 pm

Here are my 2 set-ups so far:

IMG_2416[1] by Biulu, on Flickr

This is a 70 litre container that I bought for a few dollars. It is not very strong though and if it were not for the fact that it is partly embedded in soil, the plastic would be greatly deformed already.

I plan on keeping leopard danios in it, hence the dollar store mats as it is an egg scatterer. As plants it has: a Madagascar lace plant and a Cuperus (Papyrus plant). I still need to plant the 'Pijlkruid' (Sagittaria sagittifolia) that I obtained during a kayak trip yesterday.

This resin barrel I have used successfully for 2 years already:

IMG_2417[1] by Biulu, on Flickr

It has a German variety of water lily, again, some of the pijlkruid (sorry guys, don't know the English name, only the Dutch one...), a bunch of cabomba and some horn wort. It houses already a pair of paradise fish (Macropodus opercularis).

The Cuperus is a great nitrate remover and I found it at Canadian Tire as part of their new 'exoticas' line. They also provide some shade.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by l_l_l on Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:40 am

I'm contempling setting up a very small 5g tank with dirt and plants, with some endlers in it.

We'll see how this goes.

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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:01 am

@l_l_l wrote:I'm contempling setting up a very small 5g tank with dirt and plants, with some endlers in it.

We'll see how this goes.

Sounds good! I had guppies the first year and remember that Guppyguy used an old garbage can for keeping endlers outside.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:04 am

The final set up:

IMG_2437[2] by Biulu, on Flickr

Plants: Flame moss, Madagascar lace plant, Bacopa monnieri, Cuperus and Sagittaria sagittifolia.

I currently have 2 types of danios at a sheltered place so they can get used to the temps as my fish closet is around 30 degrees already. They are leopard danios and Celestichthys erythromicron, a micro danio from Myanmar.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Fores41 on Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:33 am

Hey Biulu are those Blue Paradise Fish you have outside or the Blacks? I plan to buy some Blue's for out side.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:52 am

@Fores41 wrote:Hey Biulu are those Blue Paradise Fish you have outside or the Blacks? I plan to buy some Blue's for out side.

Yes, they are (opercularis). They are the hardiest but I know that @Zedex put some black ones outside successfully last year.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Fores41 on Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:04 am

Thanks Biulu
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:30 am

@Fores41 wrote:Thanks Biulu

I think it is a great choice Tim seen your water conditions as these fish can withstand a large range of temperatures and also thrive in hard water.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Fores41 on Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:28 pm

I may try some Swords in another tub just for fun. My Paradise were suppose to come in today and they did not maybe next week. All I can do is wait and see now.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:36 pm

Most Mexican livebearers are a safe choice for a tub pond.
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Sbenson11 on Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:05 pm

Putting fish outside for the Summer?

That's a bad idea, it will never work Smile

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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Fores41 on Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:27 pm

This from the guy with how many fish outside in ponds this time of year. Shocked Rolling Eyes
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Sbenson11 on Wed Jul 05, 2017 6:12 pm

@Fores41 wrote:This from the guy with how many fish outside in ponds this time of year. Shocked Rolling Eyes

Oh those guys



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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:56 am

An update on my tubs:

20246491_527933837553124_1182234417333869301_n by Biulu, on Flickr

Even the sagittaria is flowering! If anybody knows what the small yellow flower is, please let me know. I got it at Big Al's as a pond plant.

20294571_527933844219790_4534481725639712262_n by Biulu, on Flickr

This one has more 'under water' plants. In this picture you can see how the Madagascar lace plant developed very well from just a bulb. This tub has algae; hair algae mostly and some slimy green algae.

I do see fish swimming in the blue tub and I think it are the choprae's. Have not seen any shrimp, nor my paradise fish. I only touched a paradise fish one time when I moved something around in the water.

20293085_527933814219793_373033403077534034_n by Biulu, on Flickr
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Biulu on Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:11 am

Found the name of the plant: Water Poppy (Hydrocleys nymphoides)
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Re: In for an experiment?

Post by Sbenson11 on Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:26 am

Very cool, filling in nice.

Bigger plans for next year?

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