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Old 04-11-2005, 09:36 AM   #1
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Setting up an outdoor aquarium

Hi Everyone,

I was thinking of setting up an outdoor aquarium since I don't have room in the house anymore for my 50 gal aquarium.

Would it be possible to set up the tank outside? I live in Southern California near the beach where it doesn't get too cold, maybe 40s to 50's on winter nights.

I want to make it as self sufficient as possible.

What kind of fish can withstand cold temperatures? What food sources can I provide....plants, algae, etc?

What can I do to control algae? Can algae eaters stand the cold water? How about snails? I don't want snails that will breed too much and take over the tank.

Is it save to put electrical things outsside if it rains? Heaters, lights , filter, pump?

I don't want to run a heater all the time and run up my electricity bill.

I don't have a whole lot of time to maintain the tank but would still like to set it up.

Thanks
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:43 PM   #2
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This sounds like something that the members in the Pond forum could help with, even though it is not technically a pond. May I move it over there?
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Old 04-11-2005, 12:46 PM   #3
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Yes, it's ok to move it.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:29 PM   #4
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The fact that you don't have a lot of time to maintain the tank but want to set it up anyway is a bad sign.

To the topic, running something above ground with a heater outside would become very expensive very quickly. I would say that your best bet would be to stay with hardy species that will withstand the cold nights. In a 50 gal, you could happily house a few (2-4) goldfish or perhaps a small school of hardy fish. As far as filtration, you could just go with a small pond pump with a simple fitler attached (Most of the half barrel ponds are right around 50 gal. My biggest concern wtih your pond is heat an algae. Since most ponds have solid walls, you don't have to worry about algae growth. When you put them outside with unlimited lighting, you might start to have a problem very quickly. I don't know of any plecos that like it as cold as you are going to get, so I would suggest a few (perhaps 2-3) apple snails as they are not (I don't think) prolific breeders. On a similar note, make sure your tank isn't getting too much direct sunlight. Most tanks are sheilded from the sides and a few surface plants are able to take care of this problem, but with exposed sides you will be more at risk of overheating your tank.
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Old 04-11-2005, 01:46 PM   #5
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Outdoor pool

I'm not too worried about overheating the tank as the temperatures here are very moderate, rarely gets over 90-95 degrees here. I could also put some plants around the tank.


I was thinking about running a heater at around, say 55-65 degrees, mostly for the really cold nights. I wonder how expensive that would be to run a heater at night at a low temperature?

What types of fish are the most hardy? I heard white clouds were pretty hardy. I like the way they look too.

I could go for a couple of snails and I could scrap the sides occasionally.

Can fish live off of the plants? (do they eat them)

I was hoping to use my outside hanging filter on the aquarium outdoors too.

I know I said I don't have a lot of time to maintain the aquarium but I just don't want to throw the tank away and I don't have space to store it in the garage either. I just thought it would be neat to have an outdoor aquarium if it was possible.
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Old 04-11-2005, 04:26 PM   #6
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White clouds is actually what I was thinking when I suggested a hard schooling fish, though you may want to look up their specs just to see if they can handle the temp. In theory, I don't see why you couldn't run the HOB outdooors. All of the pump mechanisms seem to be enclosed, but I am not positive. Perhaps if you kept it under an overhang or something, which would also lessen your sunlight. Keep us updated with your ideas.
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Old 04-14-2005, 10:56 AM   #7
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Here is a site that lists some cool water hardy fish you might consider, assuming their info is correct:

http://aqualandpetsplus.com/Misc%20C...ter%20Fish.htm
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Old 04-14-2005, 12:57 PM   #8
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First of all let me appologize for giving the following link on another forum (AA is still the best!) but if you want an outdoor tank, you have to see this, it is awsome:

Click me for an outdoor aquarium
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:31 PM   #9
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Outdoor Aquarium

[img]Thanks for the info!

I have set up my aquarium outside. It's been about 3 weeks now and the fish seem to be doing fine. I bought some Zebra Danios that were being sold as feeder fish and set the heater at 69 degrees. At first one of the fish had a slight case of ICK but I treated it and it seems fine now.

Haven't had any problems with algae yet. I try to scrape the glass every once in a while.

I noticed some cat paw prints on the glass but no scratches so far.

I'm planning to add some White Clouds if my fish store will get some for me.

I have a picture of my set up but I'm not sure how to attach it....of if I can.

So far so good.....

Thanks!
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:34 PM   #10
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Let me try to attach an image again....
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