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Sparky19862

Help with unheated tank!

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Ok so I was gifted a 4ftx15x18 and clearly can't just let it sit in the garage doing nothing, and I've run out of room inside the house so I've built it outside on the patio. At the moment it's just got some white quartzy type substrate in it and an old aqua clear HOB filter and a small air stone cyclin the water. I don't have any spare heaters so I was thinking of just leaving it as an unheated tank.

However I live at the top of Rosewood and it gets pretty damn cold here in winter! So my question to all those wiser than I, what plants and fish will survive these sorts of temperatures? I want to keep it as low tech as possible and with just a filter and air stone. It gets fairly good natural light all day round so I don't want to put a light in there nor do I want to add co2 to this tank. I'd say the worst the temps get here are around 5 deg max in the worst part of winter. So any suggestions for plants and fish that could survive these conditions would be great!!

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Luke

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Rainbows??@rainbowrunner White clouds, rosy bards, goldfish Plenty of options :P

Daharazabgel, I want to avoid goldfish if i can! Got a few at the inlaws farm in a water trough if i ever want any though!

I will admit ive never seen any white clouds at any LFS ive been to!

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Local natives or if your into ferals - platties, swords, goodieds, flag killies, bronze/pepper/albino cories. Only hassle is it's getting a little late in the season and anything that's a bit touchy not outdoors already might have a challenge adjusting.

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Local natives or if your into ferals - platties, swords, goodieds, flag killies, bronze/pepper/albino cories. Only hassle is it's getting a little late in the season and anything that's a bit touchy not outdoors already might have a challenge adjusting.

Thats what I was worried about, and it would kill me to sit out here every arvo enjoying my beer looking at an empty tank!!!

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All above suggestions are great, if you have the chance, jump into one your local creeks and see what you can find, there should be various shrimps, gudgeons and possibly rainbows that would suit your tank wonderfully. Otherwise various livebearers and white clouds would also suit. Plant wise, most should be able to survive throughout the winter, I only had troubles with the more sensitive stem plants such as various rotala species, everything else was just 'dormant' throughout the colder months and then once the warmer months kicked in, the plants thrived.

Here's my old setup that I had running on nothing but an internal filter for a few years, the rainbows that I had would also become 'dormant' during the colder months & rarely eat; they also became quite skittish during the winter months so definitely keep the lids on.

8439523355_d656afe3e6_o.jpg

Initial experimental setup

Outdoor Experimental Rainbow & Sailfin Molly Tank

Final layout before it was decommissioned

http://www.qldaf.com/forums/photography-video-lounge-23/rippling-creek-bed-3ft-outdoor-planted-tank-83774/

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John, am I seeing rightly in your journals on this tank that you had bristle nose in there unheated?? No losses?? I had also been thinking shrimp too but I don't know how tough they are when it comes to climate. I have some RCS I bought around oxley, so far so good with the guppies.

The whole concept of NOT heating a tank is what's really throwing me off!! I've always heated tanks, I've always kept then indoors.... It's time to step out of my comfort zone which I'm fine with doing , just a little apprehensive about stocking a tank to find the frozen solid in the morning because they can't take the temps!! I'd live to get down to the local rivers and see what's there but I've very limited time and my abilities when it comes to fish is not the best...

Thanks for the advice and don't be surprised if I PM you to pick your brains some more on your old setup !!

Luke

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^perfect

Anyhow yeah the bristlenoses were only temporary inhabitants, I had to bring those in during the colder months. The only permanent inhabitants were the rainbows, riffle shrimps and livebearers. If you're able to catch anything locally, that would be a bonus as they would have adapted and be able to handle the local temps. Not sure how the RCS will fare but glass shrimps and macrobrachiums are EZ PZY to catch using a net or bait trap in your creeks. Otherwise, hunt down some riffle shrimps (some shops stock them) which are well adapted to living in both icy cold & also warm waters.

Plant wise, you should be alright, in fact from what I have read and experienced with some mosses and ferns, they prefer cooler temps. and as a result look more lush + grow faster. I over-wintered my rainbows but the lowest temp. would have been around 10C so not sure how they would fare for you in Rosewood, I guess just a matter of trial and error like what I did & see what works.

& yeah not a problem mate, feel free to PM, glad to help ;)

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The main trick with outdoor tanks is at the start and end of the cold season where you have hot sunny days and clear cold nights. On glass tanks or shallow ponds this can cause huge temperature fluctuations within a 24 hour period causing stress and stress related diseases like white spot even with true cold water species. I would overcome this with a heater until it became steadily cold or position tanks to shield and insulate to reduce daytime temp increases. Once the cold is constant, the fish will be fine.

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Ahh so much info, I thought it was going to be far simpler to have a colder tank!! Saving grace at the moment is ive still got to wait for the tank to cycle anyhow!! Wont be throwing anything into it for a few weeks so thatll give me time to look around and find some suitable inhabitants!!

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