What can I keep in a summer tub?

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Jeremy Gay advises on which fish would suit a tub in summer months.

Q: What fish would I be able to keep during the summer months in an 80 l tub up in my greenhouse, planted with dwarf lilies and marginal pond plants? Filtration is via an air-powered sponge filter and I have a heater that’s set to 70°F. Is there anything else I could keep alongside a mixture of 12 gold and regular White Clouds in this tub?

CARA MASON, VIA EMAIL

A: Jeremy replies: A pair of Paradise fish, Macropodus opercularis would do really well in a planted tub like that and the male would soon build a bubblenest in amongst those lilies and marginal plants. Or try a pair of Florida flagfish, Jordanella floridae. If you crave something brighter, opt for some Variatus platies, Xiphophorus variatus, which are available in many colours, will graze algae, and are surface dwelling so you should always see them. They’ll breed too. Rosy barbs would thrive in the tub and spawn regularly, although they would eventually outgrow it. Zebra danios would do well, although you could try some of the slightly more unusual Danio species like D. choprae and D. quagga, both of which I keep outside in the summer. Feed live mosquito larvae and Daphnia, maybe add a Ramshorn snail or two and you’ll have a lovely temperate tub.

Variatus platy.                                                       Danio choprae.