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Roxy

Seeking advice on keeping fish outdoors

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I've read most of the threads on this topic. I'm very interested in trying a small scale outdoor pond. I have some fancy guppies that are young. I also enjoy lion head gold fish. I was thinking of getting either a hard plastic or inflatable children's pool to start with. I also have access to several 20-30 gal tanks. My neighbor has about 25 empty tanks. My concern is the cooling night temps or if it's a rainy summer that average highs are around 20 degrees.  What type of equipment and precautions will I need? I know I will need a cover to keep cats and crows out. What would be a good choice? I want to experiment with using plants as filtering. I plan to run air stones. Would fancy gold fish be suitable, or for raising and growing out guppies?  Would a different choice of container be needed?  If all goes well this year, the plan would be to do something more permanent next year. I'm about 15 minutes away from Jasper National Park gates, so our climate has variability.  Are there any solar pond keeping supplies?

 I don't want to keep feeder gold fish, comets or minnows. Reason being that I wouldn't have space to over winter. Since I'm almost at my limit for indoor tanks. I live in a 1995 manufactured home and don't want to risk bigger tanks eventually going through my floor in a few years down the road.  I've been reading on several forums and the above fish need a lot of gallons. I have 1 Rosy from a group of 6 my son was given, last August. This was when he set up the 15 gal.

i inherited them when for Valentine's Day my son set up my 55 gal. I went against sound fish keeping practices by not quarantining some Petsmart purchases from Edmonton. I lost all but 2 of 9 livebearers. Then I lost 5 of the Rosys all within 4 days. So now the lone Rosy is 3". I never thought they get so big.  Its still a mystery, why they were the only ones of my established tank to die with the new fish. It wasn't a fun Easter weekend watching fish die. 

The funny thing, I have guppies from 3 days old, 2&3 months and 4 adults. Along with 3 swords and a pleco all were fine. I did the higher temp and on day 2 added aquarium salt only half strength. Before the salt I had lost 5 3" Rosys. I would figure baby guppies would be the first to die. I never did figure out what caused the die off. So since I like my livebearers, I don't want to lose stocking room to minnows. 

I look forward to hearing others experiences and suggestions.

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