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Water in my sump was 54 degrees at 8:30 this morning so the water in the fishtank must've gotten down to 50 degrees last night.  The fishtank is 1 degree less than the sump, which doesn't make sense to me since it is enclosed more and larger.  I have a solar heater that Jim Troyer made me for the day but want something supplemental for the night.  David Schwinghamer posted last year, I think, about his success with Catalina 500 Watt, I believe this one: .  David, if you see this, has that still been working for you?

Also wondering if folks with ponds seem to have an easier time or still have to heat?

It's not even cold, yet, so I'm worried.

Thanks!  Kim

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Hey Matt!  Post the pics of your tote's insulation for Kim please, thanks

It's not the water temperature or the solar heater that is the problem Kim; it's the heat loss at night. 

For the record we have had water temps in the 80s in this system this past week.  We are using 500 feet of 1/2" drip tube to collect solar radiation.

That is probably the most current post I have with the insulation.  I have actually changed this now, to where I took off the insulation and painted the Fish Tank green to absorb heat from the sun.  I have also added a 100 foot of coiled black 1/2 inch tubing, that runs during the day to absorb more heat - going to see how that works out and maybe daisy chain more if it works well.

Jim does the same water run through your ponds and into your other systems?  If not, do u find it's warmer in the pond/jacuzzi... and/or where there is more water?  I keep thinking I'm gonna get a pond eventually.  thx for all your help!  :)

Matt, how has the insulation worked for you?  Do u have tilapia and if so, has that brought u through a winter or 2?  with no heat pump?  I think I want a heat pump to have just to be on the safe side, at least for the coldest of nights.  I'm wondering what the downsides of a heat pump are (cost?  extra electric cord, can it burn a hole through the tote?...) 

thx for the pic and info!

Matt, did u leave the top open or cover it?  heat rises, so it seems it'd be good to cover it.  I wonder if enough oxygen would get in if the pump left off and covered?  Also, you put the silver side facing out.  What about painting it black or a dark color so it absorbs the sun?  thx!

Hi Kim

Great questions

The in-ground pond system has about 700 gallons in the entire system.  This morning it had cooled to 64 degrees f and was 72 late yesterday afternoon.

The jacuzzi system is comprised of 3 jacuzzis, plus 100 gallons of sump and a 5' diameter grow bed filled with cinder media, there should be about 2000 gallons of water.

The two systems are totally separate, except, I move water from the pond to the jacuzzi sys for top up water since it is not set up with it's own water source.

Solar Heaters:

I have struggled with how to attach the drip irrigation tubes into the system in an aesthetically pleasing manner.  I have finally settled on manifolds I am building myself from 2" PVC manifolds.  I'm making and selling these if anyone is interested; the three manifold set is $90 made with 2" tubing, they allow you to run 10 tubes each way as long as you want them to be (A long single tube has too much friction to flow well.)

Both  systems are both fed with 1" PVC lines and flow FT water off the system pump. 500 feet of this tubing is available at Home Despot for $44; $35 at Sprinkler World if there is one nearby your location.

The in-ground pond system has 600 feet of tubing and at 1:30 today it is 71f after starting out at 64 degrees at 8:30 am.

The jacuzzi system uses 1000 feet of tubing is currently at 70f and was at 58f this morning at 8:30. Looks like the jacuzzi system needs some foam skirting and covers to reduce overnight heat loss.

Here is a picture of the collectors. The set on the left is for the pond system, the tangled mess on the right is the new system for the jacuzzi side.  I need to pull the 30' tubes into straighter lines and trim them to length now that the heat from the sun and water weight have straightened them out after coming off the factory roll... they do work well

Thx, Jim.

I can vouch for Jim's solar heaters.  The water coming out of them is significantly hotter than the water in the system before I turn them on each day.  John Malone's example of water, air relationship really helped show how the more heat u can build up in the day will help out at night!

thanks Kim 


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