Is copper tubing (ie. stock tank heater) an issue for invertebrates


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I had been planning on a 500W stock tank heater (which turns on/off below 45 degrees). However, most of these have exposed copper tubing for the heater element.

Is this an issue for invertebrates (which I've read are sensitive to copper?

More details, in case they're relevant.

I'm building a 150g stock tank water garden (two actually). It'll have goldfish, Japanese trap door snails and some cherry shrimp. For plants hornwort and marimo balls that I hope will survive the winter, and seasonally hyacinth, water lettuce, lilies, etc..

I'm in the mountains of Southern California and mid winter we get a few 20F nights, and a few days that don't reach 32F. Worst I've seen is 2" of ice for a few days, and then it melts. It has a bubbler and keeping a hole in the ice has not been a problem.

Anyway, looking at adding a heater to keep the water a "little warmer" than it might normally get down to. I'd just like to keep the water closer to 45 than to 35F. My backup plan is an quartzite aquarium heater, but on those the range seems to only go down to 68F. It'd probably never actually heat the water to that temp so it'd just run continuously.

Math notes:
150 watts should heat 150 gallons 10 degrees in 24 hours... except that ignores the continuous heat loss.
450watts should heat 150 gallons 30 degrees in 24 hours... which would be too much.
300watts should heat 150 gallons 20 degrees in 24 hours... which is my backup plan if I can't use/find a heater with a lower thermostatic control temp.

Open to feedback on my heating plan in general too.
 
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Inverts and copper are like oil and water literally
 

brokensword

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I had been planning on a 500W stock tank heater (which turns on/off below 45 degrees). However, most of these have exposed copper tubing for the heater element.

Is this an issue for invertebrates (which I've read are sensitive to copper?

More details, in case they're relevant.

I'm building a 150g stock tank water garden (two actually). It'll have goldfish, Japanese trap door snails and some cherry shrimp. For plants hornwort and marimo balls that I hope will survive the winter, and seasonally hyacinth, water lettuce, lilies, etc..

I'm in the mountains of Southern California and mid winter we get a few 20F nights, and a few days that don't reach 32F. Worst I've seen is 2" of ice for a few days, and then it melts. It has a bubbler and keeping a hole in the ice has not been a problem.

Anyway, looking at adding a heater to keep the water a "little warmer" than it might normally get down to. I'd just like to keep the water closer to 45 than to 35F. My backup plan is an quartzite aquarium heater, but on those the range seems to only go down to 68F. It'd probably never actually heat the water to that temp so it'd just run continuously.

Math notes:
150 watts should heat 150 gallons 10 degrees in 24 hours... except that ignores the continuous heat loss.
450watts should heat 150 gallons 30 degrees in 24 hours... which would be too much.
300watts should heat 150 gallons 20 degrees in 24 hours... which is my backup plan if I can't use/find a heater with a lower thermostatic control temp.

Open to feedback on my heating plan in general too.
you might be surprised at your electricity bill if you're going to heat continusously. Consider erecting a greenhouse tent of some sort to keep what heat you have and generate more if you get sun in the winter months. At 150 gallons, it won't take much to erect something. I did this on my 7k pond and get enormous benefits; warmer water, almost no ice which means fast opening of the pond in spring, and no wind taking away warmth and evaporation.
 
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you might be surprised at your electricity bill if you're going to heat continusously. Consider erecting a greenhouse tent of some sort to keep what heat you have and generate more if you get sun in the winter months. At 150 gallons, it won't take much to erect something. I did this on my 7k pond and get enormous benefits; warmer water, almost no ice which means fast opening of the pond in spring, and no wind taking away warmth and evaporation.
OMG, your pond is amazing! #Goals

Thank you for the ideas. I am aware of the electric bill concerns. While I am in the mountains, this is still Southern California, and the cold spells when I think supplemental heat would be beneficial are only a few days a month for a few months of winter. That's why ideally I just want a heater that shuts off at 45F, not 68F. Still I might power it with a dedicated non-grid tied solar setup. So many ideas...

I'm actually already planning on building a box around the stock tank for a welded wire cover (hog wire). Technically the tank is 2' deep and unfenced so otherwise a drowning hazard. It'll also have a little shed roof kind of thing (like you might see over a well) to help keep the leaves, pine needles, etc out. I really need to put the picture in my head on paper. However, I also probably will have it built by then. My plan is to have it both built and ready for my temporarily indoor fish and plants moved in for spring (April 1st really).
 

brokensword

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OMG, your pond is amazing! #Goals

Thank you for the ideas. I am aware of the electric bill concerns. While I am in the mountains, this is still Southern California, and the cold spells when I think supplemental heat would be beneficial are only a few days a month for a few months of winter. That's why ideally I just want a heater that shuts off at 45F, not 68F. Still I might power it with a dedicated non-grid tied solar setup. So many ideas...

I'm actually already planning on building a box around the stock tank for a welded wire cover (hog wire). Technically the tank is 2' deep and unfenced so otherwise a drowning hazard. It'll also have a little shed roof kind of thing (like you might see over a well) to help keep the leaves, pine needles, etc out. I really need to put the picture in my head on paper. However, I also probably will have it built by then. My plan is to have it both built and ready for my temporarily indoor fish and plants moved in for spring (April 1st really).
thanks for the compliment.

Being in Cali does have that advantage, true. Still, keep an eye on the elect bill just in case so you won't be surprised at season's end.

btw, won't the goldfish eat your shrimp? Speaking of goldfish, you don't have to worry re temp about them as they can handle even being frozen (can't find the link, but I saw the pic!) though I'd try to keep it as warm as practically possible.

If you're going to have plants, careful not to cut out all your sunshine with the shed roof. Watch your hornwort as such oxygenators can give O2 during the day but at night, they take it in. I'd keep your hornwort herd down to less than half your sq. footage and let your floaters filter the water column.

Good luck!
 
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thanks for the compliment.

Being in Cali does have that advantage, true. Still, keep an eye on the elect bill just in case so you won't be surprised at season's end.

btw, won't the goldfish eat your shrimp? Speaking of goldfish, you don't have to worry re temp about them as they can handle even being frozen (can't find the link, but I saw the pic!) though I'd try to keep it as warm as practically possible.

If you're going to have plants, careful not to cut out all your sunshine with the shed roof. Watch your hornwort as such oxygenators can give O2 during the day but at night, they take it in. I'd keep your hornwort herd down to less than half your sq. footage and let your floaters filter the water column.

Good luck!
TY again. My shubunkins right now are 2-4" and in a 30 gal aquarium. I don't think they're big enough to eat the shrimp (yet) but we'll see. My hope long term is the shrimp will have enough hiding places in the stock tank(s). The shrimp actually arrive next week.

The shubunkins were in a 40 gal preformed pond for 6 months and survived the first 2 freezes of winter just fine (went dormant at the bottom of the pond), but then a raccoon found them in spite of being well hidden among the rocks. So, I moved the surviving ones inside until I could build a safer pond for them. Then I bought 3 more. Now I'm buying shrimp and snails. It was never my intent to have an indoor aquarium, but I couldn't get a new pond built fast enough. Anyway, this is where I'm at with my "simple pond weekend project" becoming more complex by the day and I figure pretty much par for the course for getting started in the this hobby.

Anyway, I'm not worried about the goldfish freezing at all. I am hoping however that a little warmer water (45-50F) would be enough to keep the shrimp alive through winter without having to move them inside. Ultimately I could move them inside, but I'm trying to find ways to keep them outside without sentencing them to a cold death.

Ok, now really getting into the weeds (pun intended)... but I am also planning on having a two tier setup, where there as a small 30 gal tub, that waterfalls down into a 150/250 gal stock tank, and had the thought to segregate the plants... or even a mini-bog. I think I have all the work I can handle for the summer already though. They'll all get decent sun, not as much as I'd like, but I think enough. It's small enough tat supplemental artificial light isn't out of the question either.
 
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brokensword

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TY again. My shubunkins right now are 2-4" and in a 30 gal aquarium. I don't think they're big enough to eat the shrimp (yet) but we'll see. My hope long term is the shrimp will have enough hiding places in the stock tank(s). The shrimp actually arrive next week.

The shubunkins were in a 40 gal preformed pond for 6 months and survived the first 2 freezes of winter just fine (went dormant at the bottom of the pond), but then a raccoon found them in spite of being well hidden among the rocks. So, I moved the surviving ones inside until I could build a safer pond for them. Then I bought 3 more. Now I'm buying shrimp and snails. It was never my intent to have an indoor aquarium, but I couldn't get a new pond built fast enough. Anyway, this is where I'm at with my "simple pond weekend project" becoming more complex by the day and I figure pretty much par for the course for getting started in the this hobby.

Anyway, I'm not worried about the goldfish freezing at all. I am hoping however that a little warmer water (45-50F) would be enough to keep the shrimp alive through winter without having to move them inside. Ultimately I could move them inside, but I'm trying to find ways to keep them outside without sentencing them to a cold death.

Ok, now really getting into the weeds (pun intended)... but I am also planning on having a two tier setup, where there as a small 30 gal tub, that waterfalls down into a 150/250 gal stock tank, and had the thought to segregate the plants... or even a mini-bog. I think I have all the work I can handle for the summer already though. They'll all get decent sun, not as much as I'd like, but I think enough. It's small enough tat supplemental artificial light isn't out of the question either.
I've never kept shrimp, so don't know, but others here have tried to keep tropicals outside and they're stretching the limits of 'survivablity'; I'd really err on the side of 'normal' temp and not the range these shrimp of yours can handle. It would be too much heartbreak and guilt if this was my attempt and they died.

You should post some pics as most here like to see others hard at work...ah, I mean, see their purty projects in the makin'!! ha

Be sure those raccoons can't get under whatever you set up as they've been known to be very clever. By pure chance, I lucked into completely screening my pond in and had no idea how many issues I've avoided just by that one simple decision! I even watched while I was weeding the beds around the pond, a 4' blue heron land and walk steadily around my pond (until he got to MY side), trying to figure out how to get at my fish. Wish I'd had a camera and after 20 minutes, I got bored and chased the bird away. Hopefully startled the hell out of it...damn varmints!

And you're right re how quickly an outdoor 'pond' be it of any size, gets into your blood. I guess no one's taken you aside and told you in less time than you know it, you'll be lamenting how small your pond is and how large your next one is going to be...I ain't kiddin', either!

Good luck!
 

Jhn

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will add if the cherry shrimp don’t make it, try ghost shrimp. I have kept them outside in my ponds for 2 years now, they have even made it into the 300 gal. Stock tank, that gets ice over 6” thick with just a pond breather in it for the winter.
 

brokensword

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will add if the cherry shrimp don’t make it, try ghost shrimp. I have kept them outside in my ponds for 2 years now, they have even made it into the 300 gal. Stock tank, that gets ice over 6” thick with just a pond breather in it for the winter.
I wouldn't think you could keep shrimp as an outdoor pond inhabitant. The bit I researched states a low of 65 with some people stretching that a bit lower. Have you had a lot of success with ghost shrimp? Are they with your fish or by themselves? Interested to hear your experiences here, @Jhn .
 
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Jhn

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I wouldn't think you could keep shrimp as an outdoor pond inhabitant. The bit I researched states a low of 65 with some people stretching that a bit lower. Have you had a lot of success with ghost shrimp? Are they with your fish or by themselves? Interested to hear your experiences here, @Jhn .
Even though I put them in all my ponds, I am not sure if they are in my large pond, to hard to see any if the shrimp have made it but they have done fine in my 1800 gallon pond for 2 years now. To be honest I didn’t think they would make it, because of temp and the goldfish, turtles and native minnows in the pond. It was mostly an experiment I figured at worst they would be food for the fish and especially the turtles if the shrimp didn’t make it.

The pond they have survived in, has tons of hiding places between sunken logs, river rock and a very thick forest of anacharis and vallisneria. They’ve lived in the stock tanks attached to the pond, as well, had to drain one last year as the tank started to settle. To my surprise there was about 20-30 ghost shrimp at the bottom of the tank. These tanks are up against the back of a garage but sit above ground and get a iced up every winter. This could be why they are sustaining themselves as the stock tanks just have plants in them and some various species of fish fry occasionally end up there, and is gravity fed back into the pond. Have found them in the skimmer net of the pond proper as well, so they are making it in the pond too even with all the predators in there.

Where I am located in Maryland the past 2-3years the winters have not been very cold for very long. Usually we have been getting days in the 30’s and nights in the teens only for maybe February, which I thought would be enough to do any surviving shrimp in, but apparently not, the rest of the time days are in the 40’s and nights get into the mid 30’s maybe below freezing but not consistently. I don’t know if the shrimp would make it if we had a more severe winter like we used to get, a few months of cold weather where it would dip into the single digits even during the day for awhile.
 

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