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Aquaponics heating

 
Gabriel Leirbag
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I am trying to create a aquaponics set up in northern WI to harvest fish and produce year round. I was planning on building a hoop house green house. And am trying to figure out a method of maintaining heat for the tanks in winter. Any input?
 
Amedean Messan
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That is a tough issue which I am currently working with in NC. WI is way up there so you are more likely will have to incorporate greenhousing. I have theorized a system with concrete growing beds sealed with compacted clay allowing the water to collect thermal energy. Also to be more economical you can have a greenhouse cover that fits over the growbed instead of an entire greenhouse. Most winter crops dont grow very tall so this is entirely possible.. Also consider that water is an excellent thermal battery so if you have a heating source you can preheat the water and maintain a constant temperature by introducing a steady flow heat exchanger.
 
Gabriel Leirbag
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I was thinking about possibly a rocket mass heater. To heat water that could then be used to maintain the temperatures of the tanks by letting hot water run into them. But then the question comes of getting rid of water to make room for the hot water intake. I was thinking trout would be best for the winter months since they can live in colder water. I was considering the fish tanks being submersed in the ground and made from well insulating materials to maintain heat.
 
Cj Sloane
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Gabriel Leirbag wrote:IBut then the question comes of getting rid of water to make room for the hot water intake.


You will loose an amazing amount of water through transpiration/evaporation esp if you have plants in your grow bed over the winter. You'll want a CHIFT PIST set up (so you don't change the water level in the fish tank) you should have wiggle room for the water level in the sump tank.

BTW, trout wont last in the hoop house over the summer.
 
Amedean Messan
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But then the question comes of getting rid of water to make room for the hot water intake.


You do not want to heat the water directly as a safety precaution, instead run a non-insulated pipe that is transporting heated water that is subcooled from an entirely different tank. You will need some electronics to control the mass flow rate of water in order to control the enthalpy or rate of heat exchange. It is harder to control the heat source than it is to control the flow of water. This is a thermodynamics solution which will require an active pump that adjusts according to temperature differences and I could probably build one out of Arduino that will not be too expensive. Currently there are no aquaponics solutions that do this which will be a project I will pick up in the future so keep around here for a bit and you may hopefully see a design in a thread .
 
Hoeye Vokter
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Why loose heat instead of taking some safety measures around the hot water intake to make shure the fish can't come to close?
The speed of the pump would also regulate the temperature if you pump water from the tank, past the rocket stove and back into the tank.
I guess there must be some kine of regulaters out there that can also regulate the speed of the pump?

Maybe also hook up a GSM system with a thermostat sending you a message when the temperature drops.. =o)


Aquaponics with rocket mass heater:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NAPFdMdyZk


 
Amedean Messan
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Well, I have a concern in the possibility of sterilizing the water around the heat exchanger. The bacteria are critical the same as the fish in the aquaponic process. As far as losing heat, I think this depends on the setup such as the greenhouse suck factor or the distance from the heat source, etc.

I believe that for larger scale operations using water circulation to heat growing beds has potential but I am not fixated on the system. There are some pros/cons I am going to have to further consider. Another design challenge is maintaining high levels of carbon dioxide inside the green houses as this does directly effect growth rates. Burning wood does generate carbon dioxide so there is a two fold benefit with heat.

There are additional design considerations I am looking into such as fully enclosed or even subterranean concepts. I have to do more math on the value of energy expenditure and upfront capital requirements, all these I have not done yet.
 
R Scott
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RMH with the exhaust running under the tanks. Nice slow heat that shouldn't cook your fish.
 
Amedean Messan
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If the tanks have thermal mass under them than yes. With the push for localization in the food industry I see hybrid aquaponics/greenhouses having tremendous potential for extending the growing season indefinitely in temperate regions.
 
Morgan Morrigan
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access to lots of manure?
can make manure beds in ground. aqua above?
 
John Sizemore
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Amedean Messan wrote:Well, I have a concern in the possibility of sterilizing the water around the heat exchanger.

If you had a heat exchanger that actually had localized heat high enough to kill the bacteria there it would not really cause problems over all as long as the water temps were right. Remember sun light on the water kills bacteria. The nutrients the bacteria held would still be a food source for other organisms and the amount killed would not be significant.
 
John Sizemore
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Why not copy the growing power group’s ideas. http://www.growingpower.org/chicago_projects.htm
While my experience is with tilapia because I lived in the tropics a few years, I think shifting the fish to what the environment supports would be easier than coaxing the environment. Having tilapia breeders in a 55 gal aquarium in the house over the winter and raising bass in the greenhouse would work easier. Introduce the tilapia babies in the main tank with bass when the water is warm. The will breed and produce food over the summer and as the water gets cold they will go into a death spiral for easy pickings for the bass.

http://www.meadowlarkponds.com/tilapia.htm
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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