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Thread: help tubbing

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    Question help tubbing

    hello i been thinking of tubbing for quite some time and i have a couple of questions first how do i keep my water cool since the weather out here gets up in the 120s and the sun its really hot and secondly how do you tub meaning what do you put in the tubs plants, substrate, fish etc thanks for the help





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    Member Astarell's Avatar
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    To help keep it cool, in summer have plants that cast a lot of shade. Water lillies, duckweed, etc. You can also just toss a frozen waterbottle or two in there to beat the heat. You'll have to change the bottles when they melt so it can be a hassle but still effective. If you are doing water changes, you can also use this time to add slightly cooler water back in, but don't get it too cold or you'll shock your fish. Another option is to have a fan pointing at the surface of the water; this will cause evaporation and cool the tub, but you will need to replace the water more often.

    The best fish depends on the type of tub. Goldfish tubs are pretty common, but they need a bigger tub. If you've only got a smaller one then guppies are an excellent choice. They are flashy enough to keep you interested, playfull, and they'll eat just about anything. If it's going to be a long-term tub you can also save money by getting just a trio, two females and one male and they'll populate the whole thing for you; though an all-male tub would be stunning. Mosquitofish are another good choice; I haven't researched it but I believe you can put mosquitofish and guppies together.

    I personally would do no substrate and if you have to have underwater plants put them in pots on top of a raised plastic lightgrate. You want to find one that your fish can't fit through the holes. If you're using smaller fish like mosquitofish/guppies this may be difficult. You can purchase plastic canvas at almost any craft store that will do the job for smaller fish, but you'll probably need to attach multiple pieces together as they don't come bigger than 1'x 2.5' (At least that I've seen) I reccommend putting in a drainage hole near the bottom of one side under where the grate is in case you need to do water changes. Obviously you want to use a valve that can be opened and closed. It will pull from the water under the grate first, which gets out the dirty water (presumably why you need a change) first. Not a requirement, especially if you don't plan on water changes but I like to have it as a 'just in case'.

    What are your temperatures in winter? You may need to bring your tub inside or purchase a small heater. Also, does it rain a lot where you are? If so you'll want to put in an overflow (A hole near the top, no valve required unless you need a hose to carry the water away from your tub.) It would be a good idea to cover the inside of your overflow with cheesecloth or similar so fish don't fall out as the water level rises.

    There are two types of tubs that I have seen, and which you go with is really a matter of personal preference. There are plastic tubs that you buy (I used a 50 gallon rainbarrel because it had a built-in overflow and drainage system.) Or a wooden tub that you make, with pond liner inside. Both are good options. The wooden ones seem to be shallower with more surface area, and the plastic ones that I've seen are usually deeper with less surface area, assuming the same gallons for both. It's mostly an aesthetics thing, whatever you think looks good.

    If your winter is cold and you choose to bring in your tub, I would put wheels on the bottom of a wooden tub to make transport easier. Make sure you get locking wheels so they won't move around when you don't want them to though. Or place your plasic tub on something with wheels, I used five rolling plant stands superglued to the bottom. One in each corner and one in the middle, but depending on the tub size you could do just 4. I've also seen a flat wooden frame built from 2x4s with carpet on top to keep the tub from slipping and wheels on the bottom.

    Sorry, I know this was long-winded but I hope it helps. Depending on your area you may need to be wary of raccoons or herons as well, something to keep in mind.



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    Senior Member jetajockey's Avatar
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    I have 6 tubs set up currently. Some are 18g walmart utility tubs ($4) and the others from Lowes 20g @ $7. The bigger the tub the better, more volume means less swings in temp.

    I keep my tubs in an area where they only get sun about half the day. Once it starts getting too hot, I'm going to pull the tubs up against the house so that they are shaded for most of the day.

    I have lava rocks in some, no substrate in one, dirt in one, and gravel in some. The only plants I put in are the kind that don't have big root structures so they can be left floating. I may end up putting potted plants in at some point also, but I'm going to do that on the plant ledge in my pond first.
    Come check out our channel for fishkeeping tips, plant giveaways, and more! http://www.youtube.com/user/PeabodysParadise



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    yeah im looking to make money out of these by putting some swortails in there but i dont want to cook them and i really appreciate the help



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    Senior Member jetajockey's Avatar
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    Best of luck. It is possible to have them out there with no filtration and no feeding but I've done both and the fish are much healthier and grow/breed more with filtered water and regular feeding ( every 2-3 days)



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    i'm assuming you're out in the desert with those high temperatures. you definitely don't want the water temperature to get anywhere near 100 -- most fish will poach well before that, and water holds much less oxygen when hot than it does at room temperature. shade the tubs for at least the hottest part of the day, either by location in your yard or with a screen (sunshade material from the nursery). you could probably drape it over the tub in a tent-like shape as long as you aren't restricting air flow.

    altho your daytime air temperature is going to be a problem for many plants, floating plants / leaves to cover the surface will be pretty much mandatory to help keep the temperatures down, and will help with the oxygen problem; at the very least, get some good floating and submerged oxygenators. check with a local pond or garden store to see what works in your area. also, if you live in CA like i do, a lot of the better warm-weather floating plants (e.g. hyacinths) are restricted; this is true for a number of other states (e.g. FLA), so check your local rules.

    see http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...rading-ILLEGAL

    if you have rooted plants, repot them in a non-fertilized medium such as sand + sphagnum moss or coconut coir; the normal fertilization level in potting soils will cause a huge algae bloom, which will knock the night-time oxygen levels down.

    if the water (not the air) temp starts getting over 80 you should definitely have an airstone going to keep the oxygen level up. i have never had that problem -- my tub has been running for a few years now with no filters or airstones, only topping off for evaporation and dog-drinking losses -- but i have much cooler summers.

    you should also shade the sides of the tubs or paint them white to reduce the heat load from that direction.

    in any case, expect to do a lot of topping off to account for evaporation; my small (~10 gallons of water) tub in mostly full sun loses about 1/2" of water a day during the summer, and we normally don't get much over 80 here.


    don't put in mosquito fish if you want to have ANY other kind of fish with them; they will harass anything smaller than 12 inches long

    if you need to either cover your bottom grate to keep the fish out, or make your own "pots" (more like burlap bags) for rooted plants, you can get weed barrier (basically very fine black plastic non-woven cloth) by the yard at most nurseries, and probably at Home Depot or Lowes.



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    would suggest shading and if at all possible at those temps bury them in the ground, the surface of the ground heats fairly rapidly but a few inches down could make the world of difference.
    Never thaw Bloodworms in a glass similar to the one your drinking from.

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