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Cold Weather Aquaponics


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...

Location: Anywhere that it gets cold!
Members: 75
Latest Activity: Dec 10, 2021

Discussion Forum

Cold weather Tilapia

Started by Ian Cameron Nov 16, 2017. 0 Replies

I picked up 20 fingerlings last November to grow out. Well, kept 2 males and 3 females aside to see if they would breed. Hmmm, I guess they like the greenhouse environment because I am now the owner…Continue

Cold weather problem?

Started by Jeff S. Last reply by Ian Cameron Nov 16, 2017. 3 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

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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.

Comment by Jeff S on August 25, 2017 at 7:39pm

A bucket heater is used for heating paint in a 5 gallon bucket. There are some that would warn you about fish safety but I've never had a problem. Mine is in my FT but you could put it in your sump. This is the one I use in my FT It requires some wiring to a outlet box.    

This is the one I use for my greenhouse fans. It's plug and play and would work for the FT.

This is the bucket heater:

I would run a ground wire into the water in your tank just in case of a problem.

I use 1" foamboard insulation on my FT. Thicker is always better but raises cost.

Comment by Yaacov Levi on August 25, 2017 at 8:34am

Ditto on the insulation, styrofoam boards/panels around both would be money saved, a  couple 4 X 8 4"panels would  cost very little, under $20 I am sure.

Comment by Michael simonzi on August 25, 2017 at 8:00am
Thanks for the suggestions. My sump is an IBC container so I would have to rig something up like a water heater element in it and attach a sensor with the probe in the tank. What's a water bucket heater?
Comment by Jeff S on August 25, 2017 at 7:02am

I've tried the DIY heaters on YouTube and had problems. I've used a 1500 watt bucket heater in my IBC fish tank for 2 years with no problems. You just have to plug it in to a control thermostat. It keeps the tank and sump warm. Just make sure whatever heater you use that you've insulated the tank to keep costs down.

Comment by Yaacov Levi on August 25, 2017 at 6:38am

I would heat both the tank and the sump, if not the unheated one will pull down the heated one.


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