Summer Tubbing

Geoffrey Rea

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27 May 2017
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759
Location
Cambridgeshire
Decided to give summer tubbing a whirl this year.

After a visit to a local garden centre late in the day when it was empty, an array of wonderful solutions to problems you didn’t even know were an option adorned the shelves. Marketing with pictures of people on boxes smiling at their pond filter (can’t be normal behaviour, must be some sort of filter fetish I’m not aware of). Sales assistant peeping over the shelves like Golum just spying and waiting....

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“You want UV steriliser precious.....?”

To be fair he was a really nice chap just doing his job but personally can’t stand being sold to. Anyhow, I figure the point in these sort of projects is they should be inexpensive fun so made a sharp exit.

Ordered a plasterers tub 4ft x 2ft and 1ft deep which should arrive soon:

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165 litres when full although won’t be filled to the top so 150 litres approximately.

Have never done anything like this outdoors or pond related so we’ll see how it goes.

Tub will be positioned on the patio so will receive just over 6 hours of sunlight early on, a break from direct light in the afternoon, then just over another hour late in the afternoon/evening.

Had a rifle through the unused equipment box and found an Aqua One sponge filter and Eheim air pump. Sponge filter will be running 24/7 with UV resistant airline running to the air pump in the house.

Also found a ton of pots and clay weights from plant purchases.

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Will try some of the easier species from the tanks indoors in these with a little aquarium soil. Also got frogbit and a nymphaea bulb to put in.

Any suggestions on pond plants to suit that can sit potted in 30cm of water with 6 hours of light would be most welcome.
 

MWood

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22 Aug 2017
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70
Location
London
Heteranthera zosterifolia has gone wild in my shady ‘pond’ (a half barrel) which has even less sun than that. Different leaf shape and growth habit to in the tank, and some nice emersed stuff too, including purple flowers. Survives over winter too. Also got some crypts, P. gayi and Rotala in there doing well. Thalia dealbata does well, as do various Colocasia and Iris.

Tempted to stock it, but it would mean way less live food for my tanks inhabitants...
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Joined
27 May 2017
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759
Location
Cambridgeshire
Thanks for the reply @MWood that’s really informative so thank you. There’s a fair bit of content out there from people doing this on the continent and the US, but very little in the UK.


Tempted to stock it, but it would mean way less live food for my tanks inhabitants...
Got this idea in the old noggin as well but without knowing what temperature it would sit at day and night in the intended location, we’ll have to wait and see. Can run a heater in the tub if needed and cooling isn’t a problem as the garden hose is setup right next to it. With lockdown I’ll be here to monitor it.

Tempted to have a go at a little breeding project. Possible candidates are White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Celestial Pearl Danios or Odessa Barbs.
 

MWood

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22 Aug 2017
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London
I’ve found the temperature stays pretty stable, obviously depends on air temps but retains heat overnight and doesn’t climb too rapidly when sunny, which is definitely a big plus for fishkeeping. The surface is 2/3rds covered with plants though, including water lilies. Nymphaea helvola, N pygmaea and ‘Perry’s Baby Red’ have all worked in similar situations.

There are tonnes of temperate/sub-tropical species which should be fine, including those you’ve mentioned, and I daresay it would be possible to get a decent number of fry with enough plants in there. Quite tempting given the mooted price rises of fish post-corona!
Probably the biggest issue is evaporation, needs a top up most days when it’s warm, something of a pain.

There’s a thread on here about unheated aquaria somewhere actually... Medeka could be another option. Got me plotting again now!
 

Geoffrey Rea

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27 May 2017
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759
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Cambridgeshire
Medeka could be another option. Got me plotting again now!
Rice fish should definitely be viable, probably too productive if anything.

Only mentioned CPD’s as they would go nuts with the daily water top ups of cool water. There’s five left from an original batch of twelve bought years ago. Could add a few more to diversify the genes. They’re always courting in the indoor tanks especially after water changes. Reckon they would produce offspring constantly if it wasn’t for predation of their young in the main tank. Have a AS600 tank planted up they can all end up in at the end of the season.


The surface is 2/3rds covered with plants though
Intending the same with this setup. Will use the sand removed from the main tank monthly as a base for the tub. Can put a course sponge in as a spawning mob. Rain will bring in food but can start up another culture of microworms - oh my word the smell :lol: Wife will love it just like last time, will tell her it’s the bin that smells funky and hide them somewhere out of sight.
 

Steve Buce

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30 Dec 2018
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317
Location
Leicester
I have set up a tub for some blue neos,
Plants hornwort and elodea densa and some water mint
Lots of daphnia , ramshorn snails and other critters
It was 25c couple weeks back then last week dropped to 15c but is creeping back up

Rice fish would be a good addition to your setup and with their rise in popularity, maybe profitable
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
759
Location
Cambridgeshire
Rice fish would be a good addition to your setup and with their rise in popularity, maybe profitable
Gonna commit and try and breed out the remaining Celestial Pearl Danios before they all expire. Had them a few years now so it’s now or never.

Rice fish next season!

Plants hornwort and elodea densa and some water mint
Thanks for info @Steve Buce completely winging this project so it’s appreciated.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
759
Location
Cambridgeshire
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A bit of a switch up in the 1200 so Guyana got chucked in a pot with some Amazonia soil, we’ll see how long it lasts. Added a stem of Limnophila Aromatica to the trial. The two swords (Argentinensis) are just to see if it’ll work.

Will run the tub with a heater until we get back into the 20C plus weather if it gets too cold.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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759
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Cambridgeshire
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Had to compromise on the aquaponics idea. Unfortunately our second and last income has been knocked out in this never ending COVID-19 / economic uncertainty.

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Instead gave the tub an upgrade with stuff that’s already in the unused equipment box. Had a dual Eheim air pump so running a sponge filter and a diffuser now. Also put another small internal filter in to provide some gentle circulation around the tub and a bit of redundancy.

Got a live daphnia culture coming in the post this week. Would normally just chuck a tablespoon of blood meal in the rain barrel and leave the lid off, they just appear. But not doing that in the tub and need the rain water clean to top up the tub. The added tap water should be aged enough now mixed in with the rainwater to support a culture hopefully. Will feed them on yeast to get things rolling.

The Lobelia Cardinalis should flower at some point soon, help the bees and butterflies. Typha Minima for extra water treatment. Iris Versicolor will hopefully give the dragonflies somewhere to be as there’s a fair few in the garden this year.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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27 May 2017
Messages
759
Location
Cambridgeshire
Daphnia are steady and managed to fish out a few CPD’s from the 1200.

Popped down to Maidenhead Aquatics in Huntingdon earlier and picked up another six for diversity. Really great quality fish and all seem to be doing well. Also bought the pond plants from there which had obviously been handled carefully and came in really healthy.

Not sure if Sam the manager is on here but a big thank you to you if you are mate. Had pretty much given up on the tub idea after the advice I got visiting the first garden centre. It’s only because we got chatting when picking up those barbs that the tub idea went ahead. Glad it did because it’s turned out to be a lot of fun.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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27 May 2017
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Location
Cambridgeshire
All CPD’s accounted for a day after introducing and seem to be settled in, which is a relief.

Moved the last remaining hatchetfish in. Was on the fence about it but he honestly looks like he’s hit the jackpot. Lean the nasturtium over the tub and give it a shake... raining aphids - certified fresh! 😂
 

Geoffrey Rea

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27 May 2017
Messages
759
Location
Cambridgeshire
Quick update....

Got it! Got the last bloomin’ CPD out of the 1200! It would have been easier catching a Yeti, but it’s done, there’s fireworks, much celebration and it didn’t require dynamite.

In other news the Guyana has started picking up in the tub:

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Tub is being EI dosed, Guyana is in ADA Amazonia soil and with the varying water level gets to experience the sweet sweet access to Co2 in the air couple of times per week. The CPD’s frequent this area and the ‘unhappy’ riccardia from the 1200 is now serving as a spawning mop and attracting the CPD’s attention.

As for the hatchetfish I fear he may eat himself to death in here. It’s a non stop buffet and amazing to watch him in his element when hunting (centre shot) :

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Also installed a heater for the cooler nights between now and next week.

Ordered more Daphnia as can see a few but not as many as would be desirable. Have not a clue what varieties I’m receiving so can’t comment as to what’s working. May use the rain barrel as a constant supply and feed from there despite prior comments. Microworm cultures are also coming along. Hoping for some CPD fry in the not too distant future if they can hide without getting eaten.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Joined
27 May 2017
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759
Location
Cambridgeshire
First flower:

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Guyana is also holding its own and occasionally pearling in the sun:

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Having to remove frogbit every other day as it’s rampant, but it’s feeding the compost bin pretty effectively.

Removed all the floaters yesterday to have a look see and all the CPD’s are looking well. Will begin feeding microworms daily now in the hope there’s some offspring in there who can avoid being eaten.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Cambridgeshire
Cheers @CooKieS

Encourage anyone to try this it’s a lot of fun!

Tempted to take the remaining rocks in the shed and build up an island, attach Fissidens moss just at the waters edge and some already emersed Pinnatifida just dipping its toes in the water.
 

CooKieS

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19 Jan 2016
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France
Cheers @CooKieS

Encourage anyone to try this it’s a lot of fun!

Tempted to take the remaining rocks in the shed and build up an island, attach Fissidens moss just at the waters edge and some already emersed Pinnatifida just dipping its toes in the water.
would love to try, can you give me some tips in PM? :) Thanks man
 
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