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How are you, Aquapons, heating your water?

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thanks chief
TCLynx-I was saying that my fish tanks will have an R15 cover so I was hoping that evaporations would be low. My grow beds are rafts on the ground with R15 sides & bottoms. The rafts give you an R7.5 and I will cover them at night with the same R15 so hopefully they too will have little evaporation.

TCLynx said:

 

I don't know if there is much you can do to avoid the evaporation from the grow beds.  What kind of grow beds?

Because I do not have an extra 3 or 5K for a wood boiler it will have to wait. I could make my own using a 55 gallon drum barrel but it would not be as good as a manufactured boiler. Also because we are in the middle of March and by the time I get everything going I would think that most of my cold winter nights will be gone. Then hopefully with some good growing and sales I can put in a good wood boiler. But I may just go ahead and make the 55 gallon boiler and just see what it does because with what you all are saying about the 60 degrees being at least the minimum I should have to help in the evaporation and condensation issues. The 55 gallon boiler will lose a lot of heat because of its design but would add something. I would love to keep it in my Utility room but I am afraid of the mess, smoke and that it might not work and spend time & money trying and my Utility room would be too hot. I talked about putting the 55 gallon drum in the greenhouse but the same applies if I can't stop the smoke. But at least the heat loss coming from the steel drum would help heat the greenhouse itself.

Barney Sponenberg said:
Joe- I would also recommend heating the air temp to atleast 60. This will give you some decent growth with cold weather variety greens as well. At first i was only heating the water and after i put in a modine unit to heat the air as well (both work off my wood boiler) i actually used less wood.

Im in VA and like TCLynx I think im gonna ditch, not literally, my Tilapia so I dont have to heat the water. But, I've got 195 2" tilapia that I'm gonna need to overwinter somehow, not sure how big they will be by the end of the summer but doubt they will be ready for harvest.This is my first batch hatched from some fingerlings raised to breeding size.

 

I have alot of space in my heated and insulated garage, so moving them in there for the winter is possible. This seems like alot of trouble, catching them alone, but I only need to survive one winter. Maybe another smaller Intex aboveground pool and a water heater element installed in the filter? Or maybe next time,if it works out ok, I'll raise the fingerlings indoors during the winter so that they will be ready for harvast outdoors at the end of summer.

If you and your family are eating your fish size doesn't really matter. Tilapia grown from spring through fall should be large enough to eat at home.  The only reason they need to be "market size" is when they go to market.  Tilapia grow very fast. They can be raised as a seasonal crop.


Richard Wyman said:
If you and your family are eating your fish size doesn't really matter. Tilapia grown from spring through fall should be large enough to eat at home.  The only reason they need to be "market size" is when they go to market.  Tilapia grow very fast. They can be raised as a seasonal crop.

 

 

Hopefully they will be large enough to harvest them down to a more manageable quantity, like say 50. I noticed some of them are barely 1" if not under, so I might start the culling process when I move them to my growout tank. Or maybe just keep all the males.

Don't know if anyone's seen this already or not, but came across it today on YouTube and seems like a possible solution. He also has a great make-it-yourself indexer worth checking out.

 

Rocket Mass Heater

 

I am in NEFL, so this might be overkill for me, but looking for ideas to keep my fish productive through the cool months we have.  Might just go with the channel catfish as per TC... Does the water need to remain a certain temp to keep the plants happy, though??

 

Good luck.

 

 

If you can keep your water from freezing, there are some plants that will grow on happily even with frost or ice on them.  My broccoli seemed to really like the cold.
Most of your cole crops love, thrive on a frost or cold weather.  Up here in MI we try to hit a cold snap before harvesting from our dirt gardens.  A friend and I decided we were going to hook up a air conditioner, crank it down,  to a poly tunnel in hopes to sweeten up our summer kale... this was  a wisecrack, but seems feasible one cool summer night.  
Yeah, there are some good cool weather crops for us FL people to have fresh stuff year round.  Have you had any luck with veggies out of season using a greenhouse?

TCLynx said:
If you can keep your water from freezing, there are some plants that will grow on happily even with frost or ice on them.  My broccoli seemed to really like the cold.

Here is my experiment:

I have a Tilapia Tank about 275 to 300 gallons that is circulating an over-head gravel growbed. I want to enclose the system in a lean too heated green house but until the Green House Fairy gets out of economic exile, I will make an 1 1/2" thick foam cover (jacuzzi style) to cover the tank at night while 2 waterbed heaters cook 24/7 (about 600wats), This size tank should take about 750~900 watts to heat so Im close. The circulation will be stopped in the evening as that just pulls the cold air back into the water. So far temps at night as in the 60s so no worries yet. Will up date how the Temp maintenance goes.

 

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1976-11-01/Wood-Hot-W... here is how I'm going to heat the water for my home ... although I don't know how you'd control the temp, it might give ideas (wood stove water heater)

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