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Re: Outdoor Aquarium Qs

Aloha C:)lin.

Although I no longer have winter problems with my tanks (used to live 
in Vermont), I'll take a crack at your questions.

1 If I have an uncovered tank, will their be a problem with frost or
will the water temp. protect the emersed leaves?

Any leaves left unprotected or not adapted to extreme cold 
temperatures will be susceptible to frost damage.  I don't think that 
the water temperature is going to offer any protection to leaves that 
are out of the water.  If you could cover your tank thus providing an 
insulating layer of warm air, your plants may survive.  I used to put 
blankets or card board boxes over my veggies to protect them from an 
early frost.

The wind chill factor is also something to be concerned about, so 
protect your tank from exposure.

2 Will heat loss in winter be a major problem?

Yes!  While in Vermont, we had a 45 gal tank indoors.  We lived in a 
very old farm house that was not well insulated, so our fish probably 
thought that they were living outdoors.  We insulated the bottom and 
sides of the tank with half an inch of insulating foam, had a covered 
top, lights that produced a lot of heat, and two heaters.  What we 
observed was that the heaters were almost always on!

I supose that if you have heaters in your tank, you could over winter 
you plants and fish.  But it just seems to me that you will be 
subjecting your fish and plants to very harsh conditions.

Evaporation is also a problem in the winter, since winter air is very dry.

Besides, your winter concerns, your warm summers combined with 
possible direct sunlight will present the opposite concerns...too 
warm conditons for your plants and fish.  We used to float ice bricks 
in our tanks on extremely hot Vermont summers (probably 3 days of the 

Good luck.