Can Fish Live in a Galvanized Tub?

A galvanized tub is a great option if you are looking for an inexpensive way to build a pond in your backyard. Although they are not the most aesthetically pleasing, they do provide some benefits that more expensive options might not. That being said, there are some things to consider before purchasing one of these containers as your new water garden.

I am sure you have seen the galvanized tubs that are used for outdoor ponds at your local home improvement store. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but do you know if fish can live in them? I will tell you everything I know about this topic below.

Is it safe to keep fish in a galvanized tub?

Yes, but there are some things you need to do to make sure the water stays clean and healthy for your fish.

Once you have purchased your galvanized tub, installing it into your pond does not take very long at all. I would recommend lining the inside of the tub with a pond liner so that you can keep any debris from getting into the water.

The tub will eventually start to rust, and you don’t want that to be inside your fish tank. Another thing that you will need to do is add a strainer toward the top of the pond. This way, if anything does fall in, it has a chance of staying out while everything else sinks to the bottom.

Pufferfish swimming
Pufferfish swimming

I do not recommend putting any plants in this open pond as the fish will most likely eat them. This is why it is a good idea to use a strainer or some type of netting on the inside top of the tub where you will be placing your pump and filter. You can then place your rocks, logs, and other decorations around the strainer to hide it.

What is the effect of galvanized metal on fish?

Although galvanized metal is not always toxic to fish, it still has a few effects that you will need to consider before placing your fish in it. The first thing you need to know is that the metals used in the process of galvanization (such as zinc and iron) do leach into the water over time.

These acids can sometimes cause the death of fish, especially if you have a lot of them or you don’t clean your pond often enough. That being said, one of the benefits of this system is that it doesn’t allow for algae to grow.

This can help keep your water clearer and healthier for fish. The best thing I have found to combat the leaching effect of galvanized tubs is to clean your pond on a weekly basis.

You want to keep it at least 3/4 full when you are doing regular cleaning, but it’s better if you can fill it all the way up and filter out as much debris as possible. When fish begin to die off from the effects of galvanized metal, you will need to empty the tub and start over.

Not all fish are affected at the same rate by this metal though. Some of them seem to have no problem with it at all while others die almost immediately.

How to line a galvanized tank?

When you are looking for a way to line your galvanized water garden, there are several options you will have. The first thing that I would recommend is to use pond liner so that the toxic acids from the metal don’t leach into your fish tank and kill them.

You only need about 1/2″ of this lining inside the container if you want it to be effective. If you are planning on planting, I would recommend installing a heavy-duty liner as the fish will dig around and uproot the lighter pad.

A second option is to use an epoxy coating, which can help prevent the leaching effect. This is probably one of my favorite methods for lining this type of pond, but make sure you are up to the task of doing this type of project.

The last option is a geotextile that is made out of polypropylene and it works great for lining these items as well. The best part about using this material is that it does not require any kind of adhesive to keep it in place.

What kind of fish can be kept in a galvanized container?

The best thing about keeping your fish in this type of container is that you have a lot more freedom to choose the types of fish as opposed to the type of tank. The main reason for this is that you don’t need a pump or filter to keep these containers clean.

As long as you install a strainer on top of the pond, you will not need to add any oxygenating plants or filter systems. This gives you total freedom when it comes to choosing your favorite fish.

Some of the best types of fish to keep in these containers are goldfish, koi, and other similar varieties that prefer to live in the colder temperatures of water. Most tropical fish do not survive for very long when placed in these containers due to the cold temperature and lack of oxygen.

What size galvanized container should I use?

Size is one of the most important factors when you are considering which type of water garden to buy for your fish. Just remember that a larger container will be more expensive, but it will also have a longer lifespan. The life expectancy will usually range anywhere from 1-5 years with smaller containers, and if you purchase a larger container then it will be even longer.

I would recommend that you keep the length of your fish in mind when choosing one of these containers.

You want to make sure they don’t outgrow the container too quickly because that means you will need to clean it out and start over. The extra size can also help if you have a lot of fish because they will be able to spread out instead of becoming overcrowded with your other pets.

When it comes down to cleaning these containers, the biggest chore that you will face is removing the water and debris from inside of them. That being said, you want to make sure the container is large enough so that you don’t have any problems with this maintenance. Just remember that a larger container will need more time spent on cleaning it out as well.

How to Clean a Galvanized Container?

When it comes to cleaning out a galvanized water garden, you will need to keep in mind that you cannot use any harsh chemicals or cleaners. The acids and minerals used to coat the inside of these containers can cause serious damage if they come into contact with fish.

There are several options though on how you can clean your container without harming the fish. The easiest way is to use natural plants that can help remove any debris and algae from the container.

The most common types of plants that you will find for this purpose are water cabbage or aquatic mosses because they don’t need a lot of light and they do an excellent job at cleaning out debris build-up. If you choose these types of plants, then you only need to clean out of your container once every month or so.

The other option is to add fish that are indigenous to the pond as this will help with keeping up the cleanliness of it. These types of fish are specifically bred to thrive in these types of containers and they do an excellent job at helping out around the pond.

Another great option is to use aquatic snails as they will eat anything that falls onto the floor of your container. By placing a few of these in your water garden, you can have them do all the cleaning for you, while also providing natural food for your fish to eat as well.

How deep should my galvanized container be?

Your depth is another key factor when you are choosing an appropriate container for your fish. The reason that this will matter is that the deeper the container, then the warmer it will stay in temperature. This means that you may want to choose a tank with a larger volume of water if you live in a colder environment.

If you live in a warmer area, then you will want to find a container with less depth so that it doesn’t heat up the water too much. Again, this is something that needs to be determined on your own preference and location.

References:

Galvanized Stock Tank Fish Pond https://theaquariumadviser.com/galvanized-stock-tank-fish-pond/