Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer Tub Update: May

It has been almost a month since I began my summer tub experiment. It's in full swing now. I added the mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) roughly two weeks after I started it. I put in roughly 15 fish, most of them females. They aren’t very visible, but I have seen them a couple of times when I checked on the pond. Unless I see some overcrowding, I’ll wait until the end of the summer to remove some and really take a count of how many I have in there.

Two females and a male mosquitofish

The plants took off after I added the fish. The frogbit has taken over, and I recently removed a couple of handfuls. The water lettuce hasn’t done as well, but that could be because the frogbit is chocking it out. Earlier in May my iris flowered, and the potted grasses are also doing well. 

The iris that flowered on 10 May 2013

Since my koi pond is simply too shaded for most plants, I have never been able to have lilies. This tub with its 5 hours of sun is my best chance to grow them. A week ago I bought a lily plant from Lowes and decided to give it a try in the tub. It has been doing great! No flowers yet, but it sprouted and has broken the surface. I’m really hoping to get a flower or two from it later this summer.

The lily in the middle with dwarf water lettuce in the foreground.

Thus far I feel this is going very well. Because of the cool spring we had I don't feel I could have added tropicals until at least May 15. It's a good thing I wasn't planning on them this year. Although I can't see the mosquitofish that well, I want something that I know will survive on my first try rather than something I will have to worry about while I get the basics down.

Full tub shot!


  1. I just discovered your site by accident, and enjoy what I have seen and read. I myself have 2 tanks of 20 and 15 gal. unheated, that have cooler minded tropical fish and one with native shiners as well. For you tub might I suggest fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas. I first became introduced to them as a mystery fish living in mine tailings where 2 sons of mine work, and where we fish for blue gills, (catch and release of course.) They found a place in a 10 gal. tank and in my heart as they lived and reproduced in that cichlid fashion of theirs. The problem is obtaining them, here wild is best as pet stores contain very sad feeder fish. As an aside, them and Gambusia as well as dojo loaches are everywhere here in SW. Idaho.


    1. Hey Gregg! Glad you like it! I've actually gained an affinity for fatheads because my grad school raises them for toxicology studies. The males get really impressive when they are in full breeding colors! When I set up a little tub pond again, those guys will be at the top of my list!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.