How to convert a bathtub into a fish pond

Written by lynn holmgren
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A bathtub can make an excellent addition to your backyard---as a fish pond. It is large enough to hold a small collection of fish and deep enough so that it will not freeze completely. Above ground or sunk into the earth, a bathtub simply replaces the preformed liner usually used to create a backyard fish pond.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bathtub
  • Cleanser
  • Water
  • Towels
  • Silicone
  • Putty knife
  • Rubber stopper
  • Shovel
  • Submersible pump and filter
  • Small, hardy fish
  • Chlorine remover

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  1. 1

    Choose a location for your bathtub fish pond. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, which will stimulate algae growth in the water.

  2. 2

    Clean the tub thoroughly; rinse and dry it out with the towels.

  3. 3

    Use a putty knife to seal the overflow drain with silicone. Use a standard rubber stopper to plug the bottom drain so you can easily drain the tub to clean it.

  4. 4

    Measure the dimensions of the tub and get digging. Dig a hole big enough to securely hold the tub. You also may choose to leave the tub above ground.

  5. 5

    Fill the tub with water. If you are on city water, use chlorine remover to treat the water.

  6. 6

    Install a small, submersible pump and filter.

  7. 7

    Add your fish. Choose small, hardy, native species such as rosy red minnows, fathead minnows or mosquito fish.

  8. 8

    Help keep the water clean by adding water plants such as lilies, floaters and submerged plants.

  9. 9

    Top off your fish pond with water daily. Clean it out once or twice a year or when there is abundant algae growth.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure your water is chlorine-free, as any chlorine likely will sicken or kill your fish.
  • Do not keep koi, as they will outgrow the bathtub pond very quickly.

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