Cooling/heating outdoor pond tank?

farvoyager

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We are considering moving all the newts to our back porch. It is on the East side of our house in a very shady area, however I have a few concerns and wondered what some of you might think - all of your tanks look awesome btw!

Our winters tend to be very cold (can go to -20 F) and our summers, though brief, can be rather hot (usually in the 90's F but can get into the 100's) What methods do you guys recommend to keep the tanks warm in winter and cool in summer? I have several different varieties of newts/salamander - all in their own separate glass tanks. Breeds include Eastern Newts (red eft stage), several varieties of Cynops P., a Chinese crocodile newt, Japanese Gold Dust newts, and one long-toed Salamander which wandered into our driveway one year and is native to the area.

Any thoughts or suggestions about cooling and heating these tanks while they are outside?
 

Otterwoman

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I am planning to just temporarily move my newts outside for part of the spring/fall this year. I think it would just be too hot in summer and too cold in winter for them; I live in NY.
 

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Is the porch enclosed with glass, or just screened-in? Do you have any temperature readings regarding how the porch temperature correlates with outdoor temperature? I would suggest getting some porch temperature data before committing yourself to putting the animals out there.

One suggestion I have is to get the *largest* possible tanks/tubs that you can. A large container of water will hold a lot of "thermal mass" - it will take a long time to freeze or overheat, and the daytime/nighttime water temperatures will fluctuate much less. Start scouring freecycle and Craig's List for large tanks.
 

farvoyager

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Thank you Jennewt. We decided not to do the porch enclosure for now... Unless we can find some way to keep the temperature better regulated in the future, we aren't going to jeapordize the newts.

Our back porch is enclosed - it is part of an outdoor enclosure which we built for our cats so that they could go outside without worrying about cars or predators.

I was thinking of keeping the newts out there in a separate area (screened off from cats of course) but the temperature issue is just too much right now...

Meanwhile my husband is investigating the idea of turning a dorm fridge into a cooling unit for the tanks, so if we ever do decide to move them out there we would have more control over the temperature.
 

Jennewt

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I would encourage you to try to use the porch. Some of the best breeding successes have happened in semi-outdoor enclosed areas like this. I would recommend putting a big tub of water out there right away and take water temperature readings throughout the summer. It's very possible that you do NOT need to worry about cooling! Does the porch have a dirt floor? If so, build a pond! I have a pond in a room similar to what you describe - it stays cool simply by virtue of being in the ground, and our cool nighttime temps. The air temp can reach 100F in mid-afternoon, but the water has never gone over 74F.
 

vincent

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Hi I keep a lot of my stuff outside they do a lot better plant heavily with ferns this keeps sun temp down and use very fine mesh on top as a lid and if possible make one side out of mesh as well, floating plants diffuse the light in to the water just scoop them out when you get too many. Don't have them raised off the floor as the sun can then really bake them and your newts wont be happy. If you dont want to use ferns use your local weeds they grow everywhere and you can achieve a good effect I have some pics of my outside vivs on frogforum what I keep my tree-frogs in but there is a couple of pics of my green-toad enclosure which is a indoor plastic rabbit hutch you will get the idea ::happy:
 
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