Aquaponic Gardening

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Comment by Donna Landrum on May 31, 2011 at 4:27pm

lol Robert said that should have said "mass rocket stove or heater".  I deal mostly w/the fish end of the project so please overlook my errors.  Thanks!


Comment by Donna Landrum on May 31, 2011 at 8:50am


Catfish were our first choice also but after the loss of our first batch of fingerlings & additional research we abandoned them for the more forgiving Tilapia.  Len, my FIL, is trying hybrid bluegill in his outdoor system.  Our fish tanks are in a workroom attached to our garage/workshop.  We kept the room heated to around 70 degrees over the winter with an electric baseboard type heater & turned off the water to the outdoor planters.  We used a homemade biological filter to take the place of the planters.   It worked really well & even on the coldest days, low teens, the water in the tanks rarely fell below 70 degrees.  My understanding is that as long as the temps do not fall below 60 degrees the tilapia will be fine.  Granted they won't grow as quickly at lower temps but my goal was to keep them alive over the winter & grow/harvest them this summer.   We definitely noticed an increase in our elec bill this past winter.  We did have an exceptionally hard/long winter so it was difficult to tell how much of the increase was due to the elec heater or our central unit.  We are going to build a radiant rocket stove to heat the room & new greenhouse this coming winter.  Hopefully this will offset or do away with the expense of electric heat.  Robert has done a lot of research into the rocket stove concept & has built a small prototype which shows promise.

Comment by Steve Stark on May 30, 2011 at 9:50pm


Just wondering how you are going to heat the water in the winter? That is one reason that I am trying to make catfish work. They are more adaptable to winter temps as it would get very expensive trying to keep the water 80 degrees year round. I am also toying with the Idea of setting up a smaller system in the garage and move my fish in the winter.



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