growing plants & fish in a galvanized tub

Hendersonville, TN(Zone 7b)

Okay, I want to buy an 8' diameter steel galvanized tub/trough to use as a pond in the ground. Mostly I'll plant iris in it and elevate them off the bottom but I also wanted to put some fish in it. Any idea if the metal will hurt the fish or the plants? I wouldn't think it would hurt either since they are used for livestock and horses to drink out of, but I wanted some opinions.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Many years ago I had a friend that was going to clean his aquarium so he put his tropicals in a metal lined cooler. Not long and they were belly up.

Hendersonville, TN(Zone 7b)

Hmmm. thanks! I also thought this week about perhaps lining it with a black rubber liner like you use anyway.

Lakeland / Memphis, TN(Zone 7a)

We use a galvanized tub for our filtration for our koi pond. The first year - our plants started off terrible - so we figured it was because of the heat it holds. So we insulated the outside and put a wooden frame around it. It does do better with the plants now, but still not great. The water hyacinths do good, but the parrots feather does not. Friends of ours got the similar size tub, but in rubber - and theirs does remarkably better. Not sure if it all has to do with the tub, or the water. So far, filtering it into the koi pond has not seemed to tarnish the fish. We've had it thru 2 summers so far.
Not sure if that info. helps or not, but wanted to share our experience.

Hendersonville, TN(Zone 7b)

Thanks, n2birds - it helps to know other's experience. I plan to recess this trough into the ground, so the ground should keep it from holding so much heat. Tractor Supply has rubber troughs too, but I figured they would crack at some point and have to be replaced--the galvanized steel wouldn't. It might rust out at some point down the road but if I cover it with the back rubber that probably will solve alot of problems.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I'd go with the black plastic preformed ponds myself. If they do crack, they're easy to fix with silicone and/or duct tape. (Yep, I've done this!) To reduce the risk of cracking, which usually occurs when the water freezes, you can buy a pond heater to use throughout the winter. It's a glass tube with a heater in it, similar to what you find in aquariums, and it will keep the water from freezing. If you're going to have fish in there, you don't want the water to completely freeze anyway. If you run the heater, you can still run a fountain in there all winter. When using a heater, you want to keep it off the sides of the pond. I put mine in a pot of rocks so it's stabilized.

There's also the thick black plastic pond liner you can buy and then make your pond just about any size and shape you want. They hold up well. Tree roots will burrow thru them if you have trees whose roots surface. But you probably don't want a pond near a tree anyway or you'll continually be cleaning it out.


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