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Cold Weather Aquaponics

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Cold Weather Aquaponics

This group serves the needs of those who grow in the cold parts of the world.  We'll discuss greenhouses, insulation, air sealing, fish selection, heaters, etc...

Website: http://frostyfish.com
Location: Anywhere that it gets cold!
Members: 69
Latest Activity: Sep 1

Discussion Forum

Cold weather problem?

Started by Jeff S. Last reply by Ian Cameron Apr 22, 2016. 2 Replies

I had an infestation of some kind of bug in one of my grow beds. I was able to flood it several times and eliminate the problem. I couldn't figure out why only one bed was affected and then I thought…Continue

To heat or not to heat

Started by Jeff S. Last reply by Mike R. Feb 11, 2016. 43 Replies

Last year I spent a ton heating my fish tank and built low tunnels around my beds to keep plant temps up. This year I'm thinking about heating the greenhouse to around 50-60 and by doing so cut down…Continue

Spring is Here?

Started by Ian Cameron. Last reply by Zach Mar 21, 2015. 1 Reply

Hi folks, well it certainly looks as if the weather over here is definitely getting warmer. Leaves are coming out on the weeping willow etc. The in-ground has survived the winter beyond my wildest…Continue

Winter Wonderland

Started by Ian Cameron. Last reply by Jeff S Feb 6, 2015. 19 Replies

Hope everyone's greenhouse is doing well this winter.Some images of whats going on outside and in the GH.Continue

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Comment by Jeff S on September 1, 2017 at 7:40am

I have pics in my photos on my page. It's more of a concept than design. There's no doubt in my mind that this is how I would go if I did it again. The design shows multiple FTs but can be done with one. Not sure how familiar you are with rocket mass heaters but the base is the heat "battery" that retains and releases heat slowly. The water in the FT also acts as a "battery" for more heat storage for the GH. I've never built a RMH but have done a lot of research on them.

Comment by Michael simonzi on September 1, 2017 at 6:22am
I'd love to see your plans for the rocket mass heater. There are a lot of creative people out there providing ideas that help hold down the costs. I know the costs will come down in time but my first heads of lettuce are going to cost me at least $1,000 a piece lol. I am going to attempt to sell to local restaurants once I get everything up and running.
Comment by Jeff S on August 29, 2017 at 10:54am

Right now I have okra, tomatoes, egg plant and peppers in the greenhouse. I'll switch to cool weather plants for the winter. Just grow for fun and personal use. Don't have much on it but you can check out my Facebook page "Fish House Gardening" to get an idea of what I'm up to. My outside gardens have lots of different things growing. Not sure what the actual cost is for the bucket heater operation. It will depend on GH temp and tank insulation. I haven't built a rocket mass heater yet but from what I've seen it would be the absolute most economical way to do the whole operation with propane and bucket heater as a backup. I have the plans for my design on my home computer and will try to send them to you later.

Comment by Michael simonzi on August 29, 2017 at 9:53am
Jeff how much has it cost you to operate that bucket heater?
Comment by Michael simonzi on August 29, 2017 at 9:40am
My GH is insulated and will be heated with a propane. I know I'm going to be dealing with humidity but withthe propane heater and my exhaust fans it shouldn't be too bad. I built the structure out of all pressure treated lumber for that reason. I want to grow orchids as well and they love humidity. I'd love to see your rocket mass heater design. What do you grow and do you sell it or is it for personal consumption.
Comment by Jeff S on August 27, 2017 at 7:00pm

I just dropped it in the FT. My GH is only 8x22 and I kept it at a minimum 55 degrees with a wood heater and a propane heater. Will probably cost you more to heat the GH than FT. What kind of heat will you use? It will be tough to control the humidity with towers. I have a cool design for a rocket mass heater system to heat everything. Haven't implemented it due to having to rebuild everything in my GH but I'd be happy to share the design if you're interested.

Comment by Michael simonzi on August 27, 2017 at 5:44am
Do you put the heater in something or do you just drop it in the water? I had a small IBC container system set up in my garage just for the purpose of learning and it kept the garage warm all winter with two of those glass tube heaters. But this is being set up in a 22x30x17 greenhouse and with all the grow towers and media beds I'm going to have a lot of water flowing over a large area so perhaps I'll pick up 2 so I can pre heat the return.
Comment by Jeff S on August 26, 2017 at 10:22pm

If you have it in a hoophouse or greenhouse and insulate the tank should be no problem heating it. Also dissipated heat from the FT will help warm the greenhouse. I run my grow lights at night to use the heat from them during the coldest part of the day. My system is 500 gallons too.

Comment by Michael simonzi on August 26, 2017 at 4:55am
Jeff: thanks for all the information and the web sites. Would a 1000 watt heater maintain the temp in a 500 gallon FT? I was thinking I was going to need a hot water heater of sorts.
Comment by Jeff S on August 25, 2017 at 7:41pm

If you put the heater in your FT you don't have to worry about your sump running dry and frying the heater.

 

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