Aquaponic Gardening

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First I should say water and electricity do not mix so please be careful. I saw a you-tube video on building this. I had a safety problem that needed to be changed  and made better. Water heaters have a metal tank that the heating element screws into. The tank of a house water heater is grounded and so should this heater. It also should be used on a gfic circuit.

The recent weather change  made me worry about the water in my new system getting too cold 50 degrees. I built a solar water heater with a single tube 200 Ft long and an old water heater frame. I soon figured out that it was not producing enough heat to keep the +400 gal at 60. I found this forum and read about the multi pipe with manifold idea and will change my solar water heater to that soon.

I needed a way to get the water temperature up so I made this heater.    With some changes.  You will notice the green ground wire is under the rubber gasket before the element is screwed into the  1" threaded coupler to a 2" pipe. With this method the flange is removed from the coupler before assembly .

When tightening the element be careful that the rubber gasket does not compress too much.

I than used a large quantity of Ge silicon I .   It is important the the silicon does not have mildew resistant  stuff in it.  After the silicon dried I assembled the coupler to the elbow and  filled the elbow with more silicon.

Here is the finished heater  I did not use any  thing to keep fish fro getting into the tube since all my fish are lager the 2" pipe If you have smaller fish, scrimp or other creators you might want a screen.


This heater should only be used when the pump is running  since it heats fast. In 2 hours It raises the 400+ gals 5 degrees so be careful. I could have used a 240volt 2000watt at 120 input and had  1/2 the heat . 

I would suggest a Control Products TC-9102S-HV Single Stage High Voltage Digital Temperature Controller    to control this heater and make sure you have  the large enough amp wiring to the unit. This unit might be a little over the top but as I expand the AP it will be just right.

  • 1 3ft long 2" pipe
  • 2" elbows
  • 2" Tee
  • 1 coupler 2"  to 1" threaded

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Replies to This Discussion

Has anyone connected a pv solar panel dc to a 120 v  ac water element?

Hi Bill:

I couldn't tell if you did but others should know to choose a stainless steel heating element.

It is good that you have this heater in operation as the manifold system I created is not keeping up this week in the above ground jacuzzi system.  The in-ground pond system is doing just fine however.  Guess I should plan a digging party.

all the best, jim

2000 watts is a giant PV system BTW

yes, it will make heat! its only as much as you have in PV voltage, but it does work.
Azwildbill said:

Has anyone connected a pv solar panel dc to a 120 v  ac water element?

here is a link to the ones were doing these days. works great.. try the through wall version for the best and safest option.

happy heating..

Yes a stainless steel is a good idea for the element. I plan on using it less than 30 days a season and I made it easy to inspect . Having a below ground fish tank is the next project. I was going to do a 6x8 4 ft deep raft pond with scrimp and tilapia. I have seen a video on YouTube and was wondering what side material would be best. Blocks water resistant wood.

was wondering what side material would be best. Blocks water resistant wood.

I believe John Malone said he would not build the box again to support the pond liner.  I watch John build that system and thought it was the cat's meow several years ago. I would think in our dry climate, that just digging the hole should be sufficient because the water pressure would keep the sides in place after filling the lined hole with water.  Additionally, masonry fence technology lining the sides of hole and a couple of feet of deck area might be an good option and would work well with a pond liner too.

Safety update

I ran into a problem with the design of the heater. I touched the water this morning and noticed a little shock. I decided to take it apart and find out what was wrong. Consider these changes if you make 1.

1   The silicon I used did not stick to the pvc pipe. Use marine grade silicon or a resin (epoxy) glue

2   The rubber gasket blew out 1 side allowing water into the electrical area. consider using no gasket  and securely tightening the element into the plastic fitting.

3   Make sure it is gfic  grounded. If it trips break it down and find the problem.


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