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Old 04-04-2006, 04:52 AM   #1
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Possible to keep Rainbow Trout in home aquarium?

It's always been a "dream" of mine to keep Rainbow Trout in a tank. -Pause for giggles- So my dad and I are big trout fishermen, and have long held a respect and admiration for this species among the fishes of the world

Can any of you guys think of a way that it would be possible to keep them, besides spending hundreds of dollars on refrigerant systems for my tank? Is there any way they would survive in water as warm as 70-74 degrees?

This is more of a "think out loud" post than a serious question needing answers, but I was just curious if any of y'all had ever heard of anyone keeping trout, or had any suggestions for me. Thx~
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:58 AM   #2
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most fish are able to survive in rom temperature tanks, (70-80) I would be concerned with their max size, swimming requirements? (some fish require alot of room to stretch their fins so-to-speak....like gar) And are they a schooling fish? This would require an even larger tank.

You might be best off just going with an outdoor pond?
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:45 AM   #3
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Actually, it's a good thing to "think out loud". I'm sure there may be a smattering of folks who made the attempt and may be willing to share what the results were.

My only input here is that there are just some fish that are not suited for the standard home aquarium.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:45 AM   #4
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I think you should just admire and respect them in their natural habitats.

70-74' is the upper range of temperatures they can survive in, but they will not be happy fish and will not likely show their beautiful natural colors under the stress of being kept in a small hot aquarium.

But I do love these fish too and can daydream of how cool it would be to create an artificial flowing stream with glass sides that I could see them swimming in against the current picking off stoneflies.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:33 AM   #5
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don't rainbow trout get huge? like, over 12" ?

you're talking about 250gal tank minimum for the one fish, and that's still squat for swimming space compared to his natural surroundings.
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:44 AM   #6
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Maybe a shaded outdoor pond with lots of powerheads would work.

I remember seeing a pic here of a custom-built above-ground outdoor pond with a glass wall to view the fish from the side. Darn if I can't find it. The member was from Singapore. Does anybody know what I'm talking about?
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:44 AM   #7
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you'll probably need a chiller, you can get them here http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...?N=2004+113768
don't know how big it would need to be though. I've always thought they would be nice to hav as well, but i think they would be better off in an outdoor pond.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:08 PM   #8
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I would aslo think that strong current would be required....
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Old 04-04-2006, 01:20 PM   #9
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Do rainbow trout have any close-specie relatives that might be more suited for an indoor setup?
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Old 04-04-2006, 03:20 PM   #10
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I have some second hand experience with keeping trout inside. When my husband and I were in grad school, he was in charge of a "living stream" set up in a research lab. All I can say is those fish got more attention than I did! Between the temp, current and keeping infection down, it was a lot of work. On top of all that, the stream kept crashing--he had a terrible time getting the bacteria to seed and properly cycle the tank. As for fishy relatives, I'm at a loss.
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Old 04-04-2006, 03:33 PM   #11
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One time when I went fishing I caught a rainbow trout!! They are very pretty. Dont know anything about keeping them in a tank though.
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Old 04-04-2006, 03:55 PM   #12
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I don't know if they are even in the same genus but Balas are about the closes thing that most people keep in a home tank that and perhaps Oscars. But most alike would be Koi. People with fish that size would be the best to ask.

I would love to see a setup with rainbows in it. As for the question above about them being a schooling fish. The answer is yes.

I think the hardest part about this would be collection of a smaller fish(s). A younger fish would more easily acclimate to the conditions you provide for it then an adult fish. I say contact the local office of fish and wildlife to find out of any one is stocking streams / lakes with the fish and find out who the provider is. That might be an easier way to collect smaller fish then to try and grab them out of the wild. As last I check there is a size limit keep one. And like most smaller fish they probably eat more bugs and objects of opportunity then hunting after something like the adult fish.

that's my 2 cents worth.
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:46 PM   #13
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My nephew has a trout in his 55g. He caught it when it was only half an inch long. He is now about 2 1/2". He has tetras, minnows, plecos, and a few others in there with it. He seems to be doing ok. I myself wouldnt try it as trout need to be in nature more so than a tank , JMO.
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:46 PM   #14
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a know a guy that is currently trying this actually. he has a massive tank i think it is 8 feet by two feet and not sure how tall. he is running chillers on it and has 2 very powerful filters for it. he has a few in there but he killed them cause he doesnt have any experience. he bought 200 feeder fish and put them all in at once so the fish ate themselves to death. he will be trying again soon though.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:10 PM   #15
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I think probably all trout are individuals, except when they get together to spawn. I know the seatrout around here are territorial and very predatory.

The rainbow trout would probably not fare well in captivity and as far as I know, no trout are sold as aquarium residents. The tank would definately have to be large and I wouldn't recommend anything under 300 gallons. They would need a ton of water movement, too.

HTH
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:38 PM   #16
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not that it will help, but a local casino hear had a pretty large tank full of trout in their lobby. it looked very natural and nice, but it was VERY large. you couldent see the whole thing so I couldent even guess on the size, but it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:33 AM   #17
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Brook trout can be even prettier than rainbows and tend to be smaller - but you would still need a huge tank.

I don't know how effective a chiller would be on a tank that large. Chillers move heat out of your aquarium and into the room. This could be a problem in the summer. I think you would be better off putting some large fans blowing on the water surface. These fans would also help add more oxygen to the water. Adding more oxygen will reduce the "badness" of the warmer temperature.

I also recommend setting it up (or at least dreaming of setting it up) as a river tank.
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:41 AM   #18
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This is an idea that has always interested me as well. I'm also a big trout fishing fan, however not a very good one.

There's a rainbow trout tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California that I love. I actually just took a picture of it last week that I'd like to post but my home PC crashed out and I can't uploading it to my webserver from the laptop. If anyone is interested in seeing it, email me @ MidniteRPS13@aol.com

The tank is a paludarium setup and the water is ice cold. The water flows over a little waterfall into the display tank which is pretty deep, probably about 5ft, but the footprint doesnt really seem that large, maybe 4ft, I'd need to look at th pics again. The fish don't swim laps or anything they just hang out in the strong current like running on a treadmill or a hamster on a wheel.

Think about most times you see a trout in a stream. They're just hanging out swimming in the current until an insect gets thier attention and then they eat it. I think a long tank at least 2ft deep with some large river rocks, as well as a substrate of several different grades of river rock, with a heavy current moving in one direction produced by powerful pumps and powerheads would be satisfactory. The larger river rocks would provide pockets of water where the current was being deflected, this would be a spot where the fish might rest if it found it nessesary.

These large rocks could be made out of styrofoam and concrete as part of a 3D background(a topic I'm not going to get into here) which would be hard like stone and any shape or form you'd like.

I don't think you could get away without a chiller though. The fish would really like a cold tank. This would also probably cause a lot of condensation on the glass which I noticed a lot of when visiting Sea World that has a Golden Trout Tank. Sorry, no pic of that tank. I can get one next time I go, maybe in a few weeks.

Anyway, this reply is already too long so I'll wrap it up but I want to touch on size real quick. Trout, specifically rainbow can get to sizes well over 20lbs. This can be almost 2 feet long. For a more natural setting you'd want to have smaller fish. Trout farms would probably be willing to provide you with fish and you could just release them into your local bodies of water where the farms make their drops or maybe even return them back to the trout hatchery. Another option would be to have a trout pond and retire your trout into the pond when they got too big for the tank. I'd suggest using native species and only releasing if it would be legal to do so.

The least popular solution would be to eat them when they got too big. So sad, yet so delicious. I'm j/k, I'd hope you wouldn't eat your pets.
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:23 PM   #19
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there is a way to do this witout a chiller if you have alot of land (atleast an acker) and a hefty wallet and axcess to a backhoe. First the tank it would halfto be atleast a 125 gal 6'x 18" next the pump a pool pump would pobably do around about 2000 gal an hour next you would need about 250-300 foot of 1 1/2" flexiable pvc pipe. Now we come to the work part dig a trench the length of the pvc pipe in horshoue patern and about 6 ft deep. After the trench is dug put down about a foot of fine sand lay the pipe on the sand and add another foot of sand ontop now fill dirt back in conect the filter to pipe output into the pipe run flexiable pipe to the tank from the pump (this wiil be your intake)now the other end of the pipe from the ground goes in the tank fill tank start pump add water to compensate for the pvc volume add six or seven (or one huge one) air pums to the line coming in and that should do it add trout and buy a ciack.LOL. If you are gonna dreem dreem big.
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:42 PM   #20
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hmm. using ground temperatures to cool the tank? but i think im wrong

and the pipe going outside, or will you have to make a "special" room for it?
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