NANFA-- Cheep outdoor tubs

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Tue, 08 Jan 2002 11:45:41 -0500

Date: Sat, 5 Jan 2002 11:49:03 -0600 (EST)
Subject: NANFA-- Cheap outdoor tubs

> I've found some cheap outdoor tubs - concrete mixing tubs from Home
> Depot.
> A 2'x3'x8" (16 gallon) is about $11 and 18"x28"x6" is $5. They are shallow
> but they can't be beat for price.
These make great turtle tubs!

> I am thinking of setting up a stand where the little tub overhangs the
> big tub. And, setup a pump in the lower tub to pump water into the upper
> tub, run through lava rock, maybe some plants like pothos/spath and then
> trickle down into the lower pond. A home-made hydrophonic system and a
> great small pond for a patio.
> Sajjad
They are easy to install bulkhead fittings on and the hydroponics idea
is excellent for fish and turtles. In my basement growing area I had a
50 gal oval Rubbermaid with a ramp to my turtle table. I had various
ferns , Selaginellas, Prayer Plants , Anthurium , Philodendrons and
Spaths rooted in trays of lava rock which I routed the water thru. Also
there were a couple spaths rooted in plastic mesh pots of lava rock in
the tub itself. These had to be raised up enough to let the roots feed
from the water but keep the foliage out of reach of the turtles which
loved to munch on plants!

I had Mexican and Honduran Wood Turtles (Rhinoclemmys p. pulcherrima &
incisa) a few Belize Woods (R. areolata) Green Swordtails, Guppies,
Mexican Blind Tetras and Flag Fish in the tub. Rhinoclemmys are
predominantly vegetarian and insectivorous and seldom bother fish- if
ever. In the adjoining tub with the Striped Mud Turtles I had a swarm of
these blue wild type platties that proliferated from feeder fish that
never got eaten. I guess muds are too lazy and after a while the fish
learn to avoid them. Above the whole thing was a lush jungle of orchids
and airplants sustained by a 400 watt Halide and 400 watt Sodium light.

I eventually got out of this back around 1995 when rats got into the
cellar and started shredding the plants. I poisoned the rats (and PETA
be damned!) but my morale was so down in the dumps - that violated
feeling you get when your house is burglerized- so I shifted my
interests back to ponds and outdoor plants again. Consequently the
plants were eventually lost to one cause or another and I sold or gave
away most of the tropical turtles. The only fishes I would have though
worth keeping from that setup were the platties but some swordtails had
leaped over from the other tub and hybridized them into oblivion!

Now that I'm about half finished with the greenhouse - which I should
have built years ago- I am looking to put together a much more elaborate
setup. I will probably just go with Florida fishes like Killies and
maybe some cold tollerant Cichlids like the Texas one and the sighted
form of the Mexican tetra if I can find it.

Also I wonder if it is possible to get the wild type blue platties
again. They're much neater than green swords and I think they handle low
temperatures well.


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