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Plastic Kid Pools?

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Hello everyone.

I've seen a few small plastic kid pools on sale around here and I was considering buying one and making it a new home for my 2 Comet goldfish. They're growing fast and I don't think I'll be able to upgrade any higher then my 29 gallon tank... I feel guilty letting them live in such a small space. I've thought of a lot of things: adoption, [but they're very common and cheap to get..so I don't see anyone taking them in/I don't want to offer them to a LFS if they're just going to toss them back in the feeder tank to be killed...] I've even considered taking them to a really nice park here in California. There's a pond with ducks, turtles,[sO MANY TURTLES.] lovely green water...But there's also two monstrous Koi fish lurking in those waters, and again I wouldn't want them to get eaten. D:>

I'm not sure what to do...I figured at least with the pool, they'll have more room to swim,

but then again it would have to be in my backyard. [we have 4 curious dogs] Would I still have to purchase a pump? Weather conditions-there's just so much more to worry about if I put them outside.

Advice please!

I kind of wish I knew these boys would grow big back when I bought them 3 years ago. >.<'

Pet$mart Didn't have their info tags out. Darn them!

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From personal experience, the outdoor kid pool can bring in Racoons, unless these beast dont live in California. Racoons are very smart and found many ways to outdo the preventions to reach the small kid pool and get to the fish. Better wait for the experts advise here in any case. Maybe they will tell you if you can get filters and keep that pool in your basement, maybe you would be fine. One thing i see pll do, is post it forums for aquariums in their region, saying they will give their fish for free, but you speak to them and make sure they can take care of them (interview basically). As for aquarium, i think common goldfish might be 20 gallons per fish (I could be wrong), so a 40-45 gallons should do it, if you had the space (takes less space than the kid pool, thats for sure). As for the kids pool outdoors, other than other animals coming in the backyard, i dont know if putting it outside will expose the fish to extreme temperatures. I live in Canada, and in hot days, the pool can be quiete hot, and the fish will die. The little kid pool doesnt have enough water to stabilize itself (thats my experience anyways). Also, dont know how your winters are, but if it gets freezing, there isnt enough water in those tanks to help either. Hope that helps.

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I used to live in West LA, just half a block off Santa Monica Blvd. - a seriously urban environment - and I STILL had racoons! And, boy, did they make a mess of my pond. I found the black beach pebbles that I had put on the bottom of the pond, literally, 10 feet away OVER the fence! I just imagined them sitting there haunched over the pond, scooping up the rocks out of the water with their little paws and giving them a good chuck over the fence. INTENTIONALLY! And then laugh about it! Just like the woodchucks chucking wood on the Geico Insurance commercial! There's absolutely no way those rocks could've managed to get over the fence accidentally. And I had them when I lived in NoCal too. And they made short work of 5 koi and 12 goldfish.

So, I totally love ponds and think your fish deserve a nice big home and I totally encourage you to try to do it, but you definitely will need to take a few security measures.

Securely put a mesh over the pond that the racoons can't pull off and give the fish an underground cave that they can hide in AND that the racoons can't reach and/or flip over. The racoons will get right in the water as long as they can still stand, so..........

Yes, you will need a pond filter of an appropriate size.

You should also try to situate it, if at all possible, so that it gets shade from a tree or other overhang. The water can get pretty warm in summertime if it's in the sun all day.

Also, because those little kiddie ponds tend to crack pretty easily and the weather really dries them out, I would also suggest finding something to burm up the sides of the pond.

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i personally would do it seeing as how your unlikly to find a good home for them. it will be some work coon proofing but im sure it would be well worth it

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Here is a very simple pond set up that would be great for your fish. You can make a simple cover for it from 2x4s and hardware cloth.

You could use a kiddie pool in place of the stock tank. The difference is that a stock tank will last for decades and you'll need to replace the kiddie pool every year (at best).

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wow, nice one Shakaho, that pool looks solid and great, really like it, and you can easily keep it at home. Wow, still amazed by it, all of it for under 100$, thats amazing. The only thing i still worry about is the heat in summer for a small 50 gallon tank. As Lynda suggested, have it under shade at all times, or they will die on that one un-expected day that is super hot and you are not there, happened to me anyways. Also, Lynda suggested somekind of a grid, i agree, but make sure it cannot move, better if it locks, as those racouns are much much much smarter than you think. I had made a grid type protection from wood, and sometimes even put rocks on it so racoons cant get to it...well guess what, the got to it. Then attached the grid to the floor with ropes which worked, it was a pain to undo and redo, but had to do it every night, otherwise taking a big chance. If there are no racoons for sure in california, then thats one big hasle out of the way, and just a simple grid could suffice. Hope you make it work, let us know, i am sure curious to know what happens, as i dont have a backyard anymore...

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Another option is a water trough used for horses. They come in various sizes: 50 - 70 - 100 gallon. They are considerably more expensive than a kiddie pool, but are much sturdier. You wouldn't have to worry about it cracking either. You can get these at Southern States or The Tractor Supply store. Just a thought :)

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.....The difference is that a stock tank will last for decades and you'll need to replace the kiddie pool every year (at best).

This is probably quite true. It may seem like an inexpensive option at the moment, and if you need to do "just anything" right now just to get it done, then it's fine, but, in the long run, using the kiddie pool will probably turn out to be more expensive.

.....If there are no racoons for sure in california...

Nope, I can quite assuredly tell you that there are definitely racoons in California, even in the urban downtown areas of Los Angeles.

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If you were to put them in a kiddy pool in the back garden, I guess you could fold some chicken wire over the top of the pool? if there is anyone in your neighbourhood with a large goldie pond who would be willing to take them on, that could work :P

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The only thing i still worry about is the heat in summer for a small 50 gallon tank. As Lynda suggested, have it under shade at all times, or they will die on that one un-expected day that is super hot and you are not there, happened to me anyways.

I have mine sitting on a patio that gets partial sun for the plants. That's FL sun. At this time of year we have, within a degree or two, highs of 94 and lows of 76. The water gets to about 85 during the day and drops to the high 70s at night. The tank water stays cooler than the air because of evaporation from the large surface area and from the little fountain. I have my plants sitting on small plastic stools, with part of their pots under water. This gives the fish hiding places which they love and also shades the pond.

About 10 feet away I have a 100 gallon tank which has about the same surface area but is twice as deep. It has a waterfall from the external filter which moves several times as much water as the fountain filter. That pond runs about 5 degrees warmer than the 50 gallon (at the top anyway). I'm not sure why it's warmer, but I think the sun heating the larger exposed sides of the tank may be a factor as well as the smaller surface area to volume ratio.

Protection is pretty easy. If mine were exposed to predators (it's in a screened patio) I would get some 2x4s and frame a box to sit around it, cover the sides with plywood, and make a hinged, latched door for the top with a 2x4 frame and a covering of plastic hardware cloth. The tank is rather ugly, so the box can be decorated any way you want. I like tiles.

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ok, well, thats great the temps are staying cool, just that i had tried the cheap kids pool in my younger years, and it was working great, till one weekend day we left somewhere for the whole day, and I think there were no shades (not 100% sure), and half of the fish died from the heat the same day. Maybe it was an isolated case, but i had covered it up ever since in the hot summer days, and did not have the same problem happen again. Perhaps the reason was with a kid pool, it has a wide area of sun contact, and low depth of water, so more sun heat can get into it. Just curious Shakaho, were your fish in a small Kid Pool as well with the varrying temps with large lenght and very little depth, not like the nice link you sent with the strong rubbermaid pool that seems to have a nice depth?

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And remember that Racoons are smart! Make sure your rigging of the chicken wire or hardware cloth is really really good. I've even seen the aftermath of those bandits pulling a chicken bit by bit through chicken wire they are big pests!

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Zfarsh, I was talking about the "instant pond" in the link. It's 12" deep. The fountain makes a huge difference. I just went outside and stuck my finger in the pond and then in a bucket of water, the same depth, sitting next to it in the shade. The water in the bucket was noticeably warmer. The same bucket sitting in the sun would have hot water in it, but the pond only warms a little when the sun shines on it. I have plants in the pond sitting on stools which shade the water, even though the pond isn't in the shade. A kiddie pool with a fountain partially shaded by plants on stands should work as well as a stock tank. I'm not recommending an above-ground pond with no shade, but you can create shade.

The main reason fish die suddenly in too warm water is from oxygen deprivation. The warmer the water, the less oxygen it holds. Furthermore, in warm weather the metabolism of the fish speeds up so they need more oxygen than they would when it's cooler. I put an airstone in the bigger tank, since the waterfall isn't as effective as a fountain in oxygenating the water.

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ah, i see now, so that fountain / air stone made the difference, and i now see the oxygen deprivation problem. Also, at the time, i didnt have live plants, but that certainly can help too for shades. Thanks for the tips.

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