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Robyn's 50 Gallon Rubbermaid Storage Tub Pond

Last Updated: 1/7/14

The Final Chapter:
This pond has been destroyed by me. It was demolished on 6/13/99. All of the living plants and animals in this pond were moved into the 50 gallon lotus tub temporarily until a new 153 gallon liner pond was completed for them. Everything below is information from the past.

Picture of my 50 gallon pond, taken 4/12/98. The things floating on the surface are toad eggs and some parrot's feather.

Previous Physical Aspects

Built late summer, 1996.
50 gallon plastic rubbermaid tub in full sun, buried.
90 gph Beckett pump, exits through a frog spitter - pump died on 9/12/97, replaced with an OASE (Aquarius 1) of similar strength. Pump removed and de-icer added during winter.
The sides began to collapse more and more so that by 1999, I decided to replace it with a 153 gallon liner pond.

Previous Inventory

Fish:

Constantly changing. In 1997, I had about seven fathead x rosy red minnows born spring 1997 and their dozens of offspring which I moved to the large pond for the winter on 9/11/97. In summer of 1998, I had a few dozen white cloud mountain minnows and longfin zebra danios that developed from eggs I took from my 20 gallon tank inside. I intended to sell most of these fish to an aquarium store, as much as I wanted to keep all my "great-grandchildren" (they are progeny of fish born in my tanks). The store reneged and refused to take them so I had to find an alternative. This pond was clear to the bottom (my big pond was only clear about 3 inches down until September when it too was clear to the bottom; it has been clear ever since then!)!

In late September, 1998, I removed danios and white clouds from the pond into my 5 gallon tank inside. I collected 20 longfin zebra danios and 8 white clouds. In December, 1998, they moved into a 40 gallon tank with their parents and a plecostomus.

On 10/4/98, the 50 gallon pond was cleaned out to get the last 4 white clouds. Besides them, the pond had plants, hair algae, a hundred or so green frog tadpoles from tiny to legs forming, a male green frog starting to go into hibernation, and a huge bullfrog fully in hibernation. These all went back in after the bottom was shop vacuumed. The female bullfrog was a yucky brown, squished down, eyes closed, and no "meat" in her tummy. She kicked a few times and went back to sleep. It is important not to clean the ponds too late. I should have done it a few weeks sooner but there was no time! If it were not for the tropical fish in it, I could have skipped the fall cleaning.

I added the mosquito fish from my two tub ponds beginning in late October. As of 10/18/98, 103 mosquito fish were in the 50 gallon pond. The sides were beginning to collapse in so I began planning a small (turned out to be ~153 gallons) lined pond to replace it when the pond falls apart.
Spring 1999: I occasionally saw a fish but the pond seemed devoid of life. As you can see under my 50 gallon Lerio tub pond inventory, only a single female mosquito fish and her fry survived the winter. Either they ate each other or predators got them because the pond never froze with a de-icer present.

Other animals:

Green frogs from the big pond visited. Plus, there were insects and microorganisms present. When I cleaned the pond out on 9/11/97, it was full of leeches and tiny ramshorn-like snails as well as lots of baby minnows. The bottom half of the water was black. In April 1998, the pond had a trillion toad tadpoles (toadpoles I call them) and at least one salamander larvae. By June 1998, I saw just one salamander, a number of tree frog and toad tadpoles with legs (some were leaving), and a pair of green frogs. The male let me pet him! See above for the frogs I found when cleaning the pond out in Fall 1998.
In the spring of 1999, a pair of green frogs and a solitary common toad (as opposed to the many American toads that breed in my 1800 gallon pond) took up residence.

Plants:

A small litter pan was planted with anacharis, bacopa, cabomba, foxtail, and hornwort. Only anacharis and hornwort survived to be moved to the 50 gallon Lerio tub pond.
Parrot's Feather was planted and thrived under and above water despite the deer constantly ripping it out and eating it.
I tried water hyacinth but the deer always ate it so it stayed in the big pond.
I put in some small frogbit and some mosaic plant (Ludwegia sediodes) for the summer in 1998. They died off before winter.
A pot of sweet flag was added in Summer 1998 when I divided my one plant into 7 huge plants!
Added in the Fall of 1998 from other ponds = hornwort, salvinia, duckweed, and water celery (supposed to be neptunia).


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