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Ok so i stay Southern California. It's nice year round. I wanted to try setting up a tub outdoors. I was thinking a stainless steel container of some sort but I have no idea where to find one. I'm thinking i want something that will hold over 100 gallons. I'm pretty sure it can be done quite easliy. The winters aren't bad at all out here. So the questions. What should I keep them in? Where can i find something large enough? Filteration and heating? The list of questions is long. Has anyone reading this successfully raised cichlids outdoors?
 

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I have not done it myself but there are a number of people in this area who do. We do have a bit of winter sometimes but they work around that. For containers, look at using stock tanks normally used for water. Made of a plastic/resin type material, they are made to stand up to cattle. (plenty tough) and don't have the downside of bending rusting and such. Look nicer to me,also. Farm supply stores in your area? Hope that gives you a start.
 
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You should look into heavy-duty plastic livestock ponds. They can easily be drilled for bulkheads, lightweight, durable, and cheap. They make sizes from 15-300 gallons. Metal containers are not the best to use because they can leak zinc which will poison your fish.
 
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You might be able to use a pool filter with bio material that's what my LFS uses for there outdoor 300g koi ponds. You can connect the whole system and run the system with a couple of them.
 

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Rubbermaid makes big tubs designed for farm use. They have them at local tractor supply stores. I know people on here have used them outdoors and inside. I would use a heavy duty pond filter--something that can handle being outdoors.
 

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I use a Rubbermaid 300-gallon stock tank for plants and fish in the summer. There are plastic/resin stock tanks up to 600 gallons and possibly larger. Most stock tanks come with a drain plug which is very handy. Do an internet search and you should find what you are looking for.
 

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I have a preformed pond I'll put some out in late spring & bring them in in early fall (Im from Pennsylvania). Which reminds me I've got fry to move outside. :fish:
 

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czar_wilson said:
How are water changes handled on an outside setup?? Are they even done??
I clean my pond twice a year. Between the plants & everything, its a balanced system you cant totally achieve in a home aquarium. It's possible in a dutch tank but those are only lightly stocked which is why they can achieve it, imo.
 
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