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#13246 10/28/05 12:16 PM
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1) WARNING! DO NOT PLACE A FLOATING HEATER IN A PLASTIC WATERING TROUGH!

I refer specifically to floating heaters where the electric heating element is exposed (without a cold temperature cage) below the water line. If and when the heating element touches the side of the trough, you will have BIG problems.

My story of the day the watering trough burned to the ground is not an exaggeration!

2) Stupid of me not to think of pipe insulation as one possible aid in this effort (we use a lot of it at work on Liquid Nitrogen lines).

3) I personally have had a bad experience with heat tape, which melted it's own insulation and shorted out. It is entirely possible that this fiasco was the result of my own mistakes in installation. Regardless, Bruce, I suggest you set up, adjust, and monitor whatever powered heating system you use over a long a time as possible (weekend at the farm?) before leaving it to it's own devices. A bright guy like you is probably already figuring on doing that.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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#13247 10/28/05 12:17 PM
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Sunil :

That is a good one " gassed fish ". \:\) Even the non-gassed ones in my aquarium sometimes get frisky and try to fly and they never make it back if they clear the top. \:D Screen is a good idea. ewest
















#13248 10/28/05 01:37 PM
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Your right I forgot he had a plastic tub. I was thinking it was a metal one for some reason. I agree do not use the heater in a plastic one.


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1/10 - 1/4 acre pond plus 16 ft deep/ Plus 40 ft by 20 ft by 6 ft deep koi and fathead minnow pond next to it. Upstate NY

#13249 10/28/05 03:46 PM
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Bruce, with some research, I bet you can come up with some sort of indirect heat exchanger and regulate the temps. to really get the little fishies off to a good start. After all, you did save 5% on the tank. Or, put them in an aquarium in the office. You may get frequent return customers to check on their growth. ;\)


#13250 10/28/05 04:00 PM
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Burgermeister wrote "Or, put them in an aquarium in the office."

I know Bruce agrees! You can never be to close to the gas.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

#13251 10/28/05 10:18 PM
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OK, now...Thanks to you guys I've updated the YP project. When my Morton building was completed there was some extra insulation, (the kind with a shiny backing) that was unused and they asked if I wanted it. I said OK, and now finally had a use for it. It came in sheets of 3' X 4' and was in pretty good shape. I took some scrap 1" PVC and suspended it from the ceiling with some stainless wire. This gave me a crude scaffolding for a "tent" of sorts. I used twist ties pushed through holes in the insulation that I made with a drill. Then I took my radiant heater and set it on the lowest thermostat setting within the tent. I also shortened the drain pipe so that all water contained within the pipe will be much closer to the main volume of water. The heater was pointed between the tank and the drain. I will monitor energy usage and water temperatures throughout the winter and report to all how this is doing. Does it sound like I'm a little less likely to have a disaster?










Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#13252 10/28/05 10:46 PM
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Where's the mesh cover, Man?


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

#13253 10/29/05 06:20 AM
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 Quote:
I took some scrap 1" PVC
You just proved there is no such thing as "scrap" material - only temporary surplus you haven't figured out a use for yet. ;\)

Looks like a good, freeze-proof solution, Bruce. As long as nothing gets too hot from the radiant heater, you should be in like Flynn.

One (more, for now ...) question: Your water supply hose comes from outside the "tent." Your well must have it's own freeze-proof area for pressure tank, controls, etc. I assume you're figuring keeping the water moving through the hose will prevent freezing (should work in theory). What gets screwed up besides the hose if it manages to freeze (power outage stopping pump, or ???) anyway?


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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#13254 10/29/05 06:42 AM
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I think if you go with a heat lamp, you could get one heckuva tan in there! \:D


It ain't much of story if you don't have pictures!
#13255 10/29/05 08:31 AM
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Great job Bruce !! Just be careful of that heater as Theo noted. Next week over wintered YP rule. By the way don't take any flash picts. in there --the reflection would be a killer. \:D

ps If the window faces into the open end it may give you more light for your fish and may have some effect on the expir. if the intensity is to strong like a mirrow effect. Watch the glare on the water and see if it bothers the fish. ewest
















#13256 10/29/05 08:34 AM
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Cool set-up Bruce! Question : How far does the hose run from the well to your tank? If there is a long run, you might want to use the home depot every thing 30% (if yellow tagged of course) and grab some insulated tubes, the type used for the copper water lines in your home. Cheap added protection!


Ted Kennedys car killed more people than my gun ever did.
#13257 10/29/05 09:33 AM
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Indoor perch grow best in dim or low level lighting. The tent may shield the fish from full overhead lighting whenever you turn on the indoor lights. Since your water level is so close to the tank rim a plastic mesh cover might be a good ideas as sunil suggests.


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#13258 10/29/05 12:34 PM
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Very ingenious. I would go with Ewest's suggestion of a timer(15 amp) as the thermostats will stick with prolonged use, and an appliance 6ft cord. I see you have a heavy duty extension, but that much current for a long time may heat it up. Just keep tabs when you are there. Will you be covering up the open end?

BTW, anyone, I have only caught and eaten a few small YP in Tx., but found them very good. How do you compare them with BG for table fare?


#13259 10/29/05 03:57 PM
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The open end of the tent points toward the window, but will never have direct sunlight. I'm going to switch to a shorter extension and put on a timer (I already have both). Should I place a piece of clear plastic over the top, and drape it a little over the opening to create a trap for the warm air to stay in the tent? I'm also going to wrap a little insulation around the outlet. The hose comes from a frost-proof hydrant and travels only about 12 feet. I think I could increase the flow during the coldest part of the winter to preclude freezing. Also, if the hose did freeze I think that would be one problem that wouldn't have fatal consquences since the aerator would continue to run. Thanks for all the great responses so far!

Bruce


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#13260 10/29/05 04:51 PM
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Bruce,
If the hose freezes the frost free hydrant is no longer frost free. It too will freeze. I would insulate the hose!
If you insulated the outlet drain with 2 inches of insul. making sure it is air tight esp. next to the tank, I don't think you would need any heat to prevent freezing of the outlet. The water in the tank will prevent freezing.

BTW I too envy Cecil & his huge trout & perch!


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#13261 10/29/05 05:23 PM
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As the temperatures begin to drop in the next few weeks could I measure the temperature of the water exiting the sweeper nozzle to determine if insulation is necessary? The temperature coming out right now is 54 degrees F. Would it begin to drop over time if freezing is imminent? What's the best way to insulate a hose again?


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#13262 10/29/05 06:53 PM
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You're right Bruce, the water leaving the hose will have to drop in temp before freezing & should be an indicator.
Hardware stores, Lowes or refrigeration & plumming supply houses have foam insulation for pipes. I would want at least 1/2" wall insul. for the hose. It's important that there be no air gaps between joints of insulation. The ID (inside diameter) of the insulation should match the OD of the hose.

I would feel safer insulating against freezing in case the heater fails.
Also, IMO the heater isn't necessary to prevent freezing if insulation is applied properly.

I like your project!


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#13263 10/31/05 10:50 AM
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Yesterday I bought 5 six-foot lengths of 3/4 inch hose insulation at 1.94/unit and covered the hose along the entire length. I'll try to get another picture on at some point. Thanks again to everyone for continuing to give me input. \:\)


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#13264 11/01/05 06:47 PM
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Bruce,

Can't wait to see the finished results. Looks great so far...

burgermeister,

My opinion on YP is they are the best tasting fish (walleye are close)...of course I was a WI native so that might have something to do with it...

#13265 11/01/05 07:52 PM
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Congrats Bruce on such an apparently effective and frugal design. My wheels had stopped turning trying to figure out how I could overwinter tilapia for summer stockings here in Ohio fairly cost effectively and now you've started them up again. Maybe I could make a similar set up in my basement, with a small water heater fed in part by the geothermal furnace?? I'll have the space since the wife shot down the idea of an indoor trout stream down there. Come to think of it, I think I still have a 1000 gal. water trough in the barn. I'd hate to send the heated water down the drain though...oh wait, I have a couple of good size aqarium filters sitting around here someplace...yep the wheels are turning now. Thanks for the inspiration.




"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." Stephen W. Hawking
#13266 11/06/05 10:01 PM
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Update as of noon on Sunday November 6, 2005

Yellow perch purchased: 452
Number lost in transport: 2
Mortalities from temporary overflow: 3
Euthanized due to deformity: 1

Number remaining: 446

Observations: Approximately twenty of the fish have distinguished themselves as dominant. These fish are close to 6 inches. About half of the fish are apparently not feeding yet. Overall body condition of these fish is good, but their abdomens are sunk in and don't seem interested in the feed. I called the supplier and he said that I should switch to their original Zigler slow-sinking feed. I am in the process of acquiring this feed at this time. Throwing in a nightcrawler creates a frenzy. None of the fish are able to consume a whole nightcrawler, but the larger yellow perch end up with the broken up pieces.

Plan: Remove the 100 slowest growers in about a month after trying new feed. I don't have enough room for all 446 to grow out so somebody has to go. I have several pondmeisters locally who would happily take them.


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#13267 11/07/05 01:32 AM
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Wow, I go to Hong Kong for 9 days and you guys are already wintering up. I must admit that this is an ambitious project and you once told me I had too much time on my hands.
I really thought that the someone would have done this with tilapia first. Bruce there is an aquaculture project somewhere in the northeast where they are raising fish at a much greater ratio than yours, I will try to relocate it. The key to their success was water movement and filtration while feeding at an extreme rate. You have the flow and filteration part,.and as an aside, wouldn't the flow of water protect your pipes from freezing? That is a question from a warm weather guy who could no ever imagine 10 degrees fahrenheit, and would struggle with 10 celsius.
I am pretty sure the gas induces giggling but is not addicting. I have however, read reports of its affect on the gonads.
Here is the link, it refers to a dentist being a big influence.http://www.auri.org/news/ainjul98/tilapia.htm


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
#13268 11/09/05 04:49 PM
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Update, as of noon on Wednesday, November 9th.

I arrived at the farm and found the tank to be in the midst of a massive algae bloom. Debris was everywhere. I threw in one pellet and "blam", a yellow perch hammered it. Then I threw in a nightcrawler and once again fish were nailing it from every direction. DO was measured at 9ppm so the water quality was OK otherwise.

It took me approximately 15 minutes to drain the water, all the while scrubbing the sides of the tank. The refilling took about an hour and the water looked just as perfect as it did before the bloom.

Surprisingly, the fish ate a nightcrawler immediately after the tank was cleaned. They seemed unphased by all the activity.

While the water was down I removed 108 of the smallest YP to reduce the BOD on the system.

My total number of fish is now 338. One perch was almost seven inches?!? Looks like I've got a cannibal.


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
#13269 11/09/05 07:32 PM
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Bruce :

I can see it now -- a movie -- Clash of the Titians- Cannibal Yellow Perch vs. Toothed Condello Bluegill - watch them fight as they dodge the sweeper nozzles. \:D \:D :p
















#13270 11/09/05 07:42 PM
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That is EXACTLY what I want. \:D \:D

Just throw in about five female feed trained smallies and twenty male feed trained redears. I would have pondmeisters from all around the country coming to visit me!!


Holding a redear sunfish is like running with scissors.
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