Next year's water garden plans...


Joshaeus

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Hi all! The past two years I have kept fish outside in 15-20 gallon pots with lots of aquatic plants; however, water lilies invariably get outcompeted by the other plants in such a small setup, and have never bloomed for me. Thus, next year I am planning to have a 4 by 2 by 2 foot metal water trough as a water garden, like this one; https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/p...4-ft-l-x-2-ft-h-100-gal-capacity?cm_vc=-10005

My idea is to give a dwarf water lily half the water garden, introducing it at the start of April to give it a head start over the water lettuce and hornwort I would add later. How would this container work for a water garden? Thanks :)
 

sissy

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not sure if it would effect the growth of the plant from the metal .I bought the tuff ones from tractor supply
 
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Any container that holds water will work fine for aquatic plants. However I wanted to say that I don't think your problem is that your lilies are being "outcompeted". Water lilies are heavy feeders and need regular fertilization to bloom. Are you giving them any direct fertilizer?
 

Joshaeus

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I wasn't, no...but that was compounded by the fact the water lily was being covered by water lettuce. I will add fertilizer to my plan next year as well. How would fish do in the metal container?
 
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Galvanized containers are not a good long term solution for fish.
Zinc, which is the metal used for galvanization, is a bioaccumulator, which means it will build up in the fish's bodies and shorten their lifespan.
 

Joshaeus

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Ah...ok. I guess metal is out...how about the Rubbermaid or tough stuff troughs? They are black rubber. The 110 gallon is 20 inches deep, 54 long, and 36 wide - perfect for small fish like what I was planning on (Aphanius mento perhaps?)
 
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Joshaeus

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I will :) most likely hard water because I am considering this fish, Aphanius mento;
 

Joshaeus

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Aquabid regularly carries them. They can even be found on ebay occasionally :) I will be keeping them in the water garden from April to October, and inside in a 10 gallon the rest of the year. They are hardy from 36 to 95 degrees. They eat anything, and are not crazy hard to breed. The only downsides are (A) they are quite aggressive (fin nippers), and (B) the bright color is maintained from April to September (the fish are drabber the rest of the year)
 
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I tend to shy away from fish that are hard to find.
They sound like they're fairly adaptable, there must be a reason they're not being raised more in captivity.
I would certainly look into raising them myself if there was a benefit for the species.
I just don't know much about them.
 

sissy

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I use tuff stuff ones because they have straight sides compared to the rubbermade ones .Both of my filters are the tuff stuff ones and I have 2 for baby fish .I have the rubbermade ones also but don't like them as much because of the slope to them .I think the tuff stuff ones hold up better also .
100_4271.JPG
 

Joshaeus

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Where do you get that egg crate? Looks like it would be very good cover for small fish and useful shelving for plants.
 

sissy

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if you are talking about the blue things they are soda bottle holders and I wanted black but all the guy had was blue .They hold the big bottles of soda .He had gallon bottle holders but they were to big .They held water bottles
 

Joshaeus

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Change of plans! I am going to get the cichlid Apistogramma borellii next month for use next year in my water garden. They are hardy to 50 degrees, so they could stay out mid May to mid September in my climate zone. Here's a picture;
Apistogramma_borellii[1].jpg
Anyhow...I am thinking of having two water lilies in the water garden, one a hardy lily and one a tropical lily. I've overwintered the hardy lilies before in large Ziploc bags with some water placed in the fridge, but...how do you overwinter tropical water lilies? Thanks :) (PS...this is only if I am able to get the 110 gallon trough...if the landlord does not permit it I will be getting a 40 gallon water trough and sticking to just 1 hardy lily)
 

sissy

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those are a pretty color my filter tanks are 40 gallon tuff stuff ones
 

Joshaeus

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Do you think the 40 gallon tuff stuff ones are deep enough to serve as water gardens? They are only 13 inches deep
 

Joshaeus

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They are? The 40 gallon ones? I mean height, not width
 
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sissy

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If you want bigger the 100 gallon 1 is better it holds around 110 gallons and the 40 gallon filled to the top holds 50 gallons .But that is filled to the top and if the fish jump out ,that could be bad .the 40 gallon is to the lip and 14 inch's to the top The other one that is 100 gallons would be better at 20 1/2 inch's .
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100_5319.JPG
 

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