Aquaponic Gardening

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I would like to hear how you are dealing with the issue of heating your system.  I am trying a retrofit on a pellet stove to heat my greenhouse and system.  The least expensive fuel I have been able to find is wood pellets. What have you discovered that works well?

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What pellet milling equipment have you looked into?  I love the idea of making my own pellets, but the equipment I have researched is pretty costly.   Once you made that investment the ingredients would be very affordable if not free.   Basically in my area there is  an unlimited source  of wheat and barley straw.  

I looked at Pellet Pros.  I think their equipment is imported from China.  A good pellet mill with a gasoline engine I believe is about 3 grand.  You need a hammer mill as well.  I will be running mine with my steam engine eventually. The initial investment is hefty but it should payoff in the long run.  Particularly if you go in on it with someone else.  The mills I have looked at produce several hundred pounds an hour.  You can produce a great deal of fuel in short order.

Yeah there are  videos on youtube of guys using  paper waste to make pellets.   I would be more interested in using wood, straw and yard waste.  

They have mills that process different types of biomass.  I will get one that can be used to make feed pellets as well.  These are designed for softer biomass.  Straw, soft woods, grasses, etc.

Seems like the right direction to go.   

Not to change the subject. I'm also interested in a pellet maker for surplus duckweed. Will Allen is using indoor compost piles to heat his greenhouses in Wisconsin. I wonder if you could run water tubing through the compost piles to heat the water?

You can use the same pellet maker for biomass pellets and feed if you get the right one.

You can run the pipes through compost, the issue is the labor to keep it turned and warm, without damaging the pipes, and consistency of temp. Depending on the type of fish you raise this may be of little concern as long as they are warm enough...

Almost ready to install the pellet stove in the mechanical room of the greenhouse.  It will be exciting to test it and see how well it performs.

Pellet stove is working well! It is warming the greenhouse, and heating water as well.  I will give more stats as I collect them.  But so far, it is using about $4 worth of pellets a day.  Water temp in storage tank at about 120 degrees.  This will go to a storage tank in greenhouse to help heat the greenhouse as well as circulate through a hydronic system in the fish tanks to warm them.  Still have to acquire an aquastat to control temps in the FT.

Good afternoon,

 I am new to AP and live a bit west of Seattle, near Bremerton. I am planning a greenhouse with a rocket mass heater to deliver heat the GH immediately, and also to heat the mass to retain now and release the heat through out the night. Goal is to keep the GH in the 70's during the day and the FT in the 60's at night. APLynx thinks that if the GH is in the 60's to 70's both the growbeds and the Fish tank will be nearly the same temps through the Winter. This is all still in the planning stages, now, but the IBC totes are due this week, so soon.

Also plan catfish, and perhaps Blue Gill, as it seems both can handle the chill and provide good meat. Goal for the system is to provide most of the vegetables, some fruit, and the occasional fish for a Family of 3, with hungry friends.

Found this heater recently, and we are using it to heat a greenhouse for a customer.  They run on natural gas or propane, are non-electric, and the open space you see in front will allow for a heat exchanger to be adapted for heating water.  We are going to build a heat exchanger that will attach to the slanted sheet metal above the air heat exchanger.

Finished wood gasifier wood burner HW/HA for GH. Here are some photos for those interested in using wood. Right now I am running one 3/4" x 6ft SS loop as can be seen in photos (it blackens by itself). I will make a coil for the other side soon and I will put together a YouTube slide show of construction. Brings up temp about 10 F in 24 hrs for 1500 gal while it heats the room. For those who have purchased the plans I will be sending you about 60 pics of the build. The blower is a new addition and works amazing. Quickest start ups ever.


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