Patio Tanks Rock!

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
15,138
12,536
2,910
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
When I lived in Wisconsin, I also kept a patio tank here and there.

But temp swings were my ultimate concern, so to maintain even semi-stable temps, I used my in ground ponds as sumps.
Without the pond for stability, swing from 80'F during the day down to 50'F at night was not uncommon, even with the pond as a sump night temps in the 60sF to mid 70sF during the day were normal, in up to 300 gallon tanks.
Fish had to be chosen carefully to handle the night cool downs.
Being into cichlids, I found many could not handle those swings, and many failed during cold spells.
I found Uruguayan and "northern" Mexican species worked best.
Below a pair of Australoheros sp Red Ceibal, in the outdoor tank pictured above.

Gymnogeophagus also worked well.

Herichthys carpintus, Geophagus brasiliensus, and some Tilapia could also handle the swings, but my outdoor window in Wisconsin only lasted the few months between May and late Sept so not the most relaxing of pursuits.
 

Ulu

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 13, 2018
1,536
1,788
154
The Sunny San Joaquin
So you would drain that tank in the winter?

Our Winters are very mild here, but we will get at least one or two days that go below 32 Fahrenheit. I intend to add some more insulation to this business and run these things 24/7/365.

78 degrees heated sump water should be coming into the house, where room temperatures pretty much average 68-70 degrees in the winter.

In my sump photo above you can see three heaters but I took out the cheapy PS+ heater.

Both it and my old AquaClear 50 powerhead were leaking voltage into the system. I was a little concerned with that metal stand and all.
 

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
15,138
12,536
2,910
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
Yes I drained the outdoor tank in winter, and had to bring in, even the cold water fish into a kiddy pool in the basement.
My yard ponds (4ft deep) would freeze solid to the bottom. Even in my fish house in Jan thru April the electric bill would easily run over $400 per month, so heating a pond enough to keep it thawed, would have been prohibitive.
 

Ulu

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 13, 2018
1,536
1,788
154
The Sunny San Joaquin
Maybe I need a fishroom. Well, another fish room. Outdoors.
But then it wouldn't be a patio tank.
It would be an enclosed patio tank.

Ehhh . . . . :idea:
I think I'll just insulate the tank and plumbing.
 

jeaninel

Aimara
MFK Member
Oct 15, 2014
1,248
922
135
california
Ulu Ulu where do you live? Is algae a problem in the outside tank?
 

Ulu

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 13, 2018
1,536
1,788
154
The Sunny San Joaquin
I live in the suburbs outside of Clovis.

I actually cultivate algae in the outdoor fish tank because it helps purify the water of the indoor fish tank without having it clogged full of algae but frankly I wish it would grow some more because it's healthy for the fish.

They've been getting very fat eating the roots off of my Ivy and so I put that in a pond basket, and then they pruned The Roots off of my Garnet yam, and I did the same for it today.

20190826_135037.jpg

We have an ornamental eucalyptus tree that is quite old and large and it provides a good deal of the shade for my patio, but I am being careful about keeping leaves out of the tank because I heard that eucalyptus is not good for the fish.

20190826_134949.jpg

I have no evidence that this is or isn't true however .
 
  • Like
Reactions: jjohnwm

Ulu

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 13, 2018
1,536
1,788
154
The Sunny San Joaquin
My intention is to build a sort of Arboretum over the area where are patio tank is located because there is no awning for about 10 ft.
15668700815451680826745.jpg
 

Ulu

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 13, 2018
1,536
1,788
154
The Sunny San Joaquin
Maybe something like this, and about 10' from the house.
abor.png
It looks too tall because of perspective issues.
 

Ulu

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
MFK Member
Dec 13, 2018
1,536
1,788
154
The Sunny San Joaquin
I have ordered a longer custom sump for my patio tank, and I'm going to reconfigure all the filtration in it.
It will be 42" long, wich just allows for some insulation on either end, and it will fill the stand, longwise.
It will also be 3" wider front to back, but about 2" shallower to allow for easier cleaning.

It will only increase max sump capacity from 30 to 40 gals, but because of the shape it will allow more water and make my life easier.

Right now I have floss in 2 pond baskets, that hang in the Tidycat bins. I have lots of well cycled old aquarium gravel and larger gravel in the bins as bio media, but this was always a temporary solution until I bought a larger sump. The bins will go to recycling. New media, which I am aging now, will go into hanging pond baskets. This will make it easy to remove and clean, but I anticipate just changing floss and flushing the baskets right in the sump.
 

duanes

MFK Moderators
Staff member
Moderator
MFK Member
Jun 7, 2007
15,138
12,536
2,910
Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
Here on the island of Taboga, our desalinization plant has been down for at least 4 months.
This has meant to flush toilets, buckets of sea water are toted up, drinking and cleaning water comes from a well 6 blocks down the street (carried in home buckets), and there is no water for water changes on the tank, other than rain water, so the the tank have evaporated down lower than its overflows, to the point the sump is not useable.
There has been no filtration, and water movement only comes from a single airline.
fullsizeoutput_1923.jpeg
But because (I assume) the planting is so heavy, no fish have perished as of yet.
It is kind of simulating the dry season here (even though its the rainy time of year).
Sunight hits the tank about 8AM full force.
fullsizeoutput_1924.jpeg
by 11 AM the sun is almost completely over the patio roof.
fullsizeoutput_1928.jpeg
and for most of the rest of the day, it remains in the shade, below.
fullsizeoutput_1929.jpeg
At about 3PM some filtered sun enters from the west.
I am amazed the plants do so well with only @ 4 hours of direct light per day (on sunny days).
 
  • Wow
Reactions: Ulu
zoomed.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store