The Indoor Aquaponics Grocery Store — 3 Comments

  1. Hey Jack, I saw a comment on youtube you hadn’t replied to and it made sense to me. Is there any reason you can’t heat the water in the whole timber frame pond setup to keep Tilapia alive and pipes from freezing so you wouldn’t have to drain the setup? Seems to me once you have it at temperature it wouldn’t take as much to keep it at temperature. Could be really efficient with a solar hot water heater setup? I live in southern AZ so I think we are similar in temps and I used water heaters a ton in construction, installing floor tile with a wet saw, heated the saw water, thinset water, grout water, etc because they work best around 50-70 degrees on top of being much more comfortable than 30 degree water cutting you off the saw lol.


    What do you think? Just too much energy reliance to keep it heated? I would hate to have to drain that system every winter, even just keeping it running at 35 to keep from draining would seem to make sense. Plus with heated water you might be able to trick the plants into growing still? maybe a hoop house over them to keep wind away? Just rambling my thoughts, feel free to shoot my hopes down lol.

    • I don’t find it to be practical when we have say a week of below freezing temps coming and no tilapia are now in nor will ever been in the timber frame ponds. To hard to get them out for one thing.

  2. I’ve been raising aquaponic tilapia in my shop for several years.  It’s a basic IBC set-up with an old bathtub as an additional grow bed – about 200 gallons of water total.

    The furnace keeps the shop at 45° and I run two 500 watt aquarium heaters to keep the fish water at 70-75°.  In my experience, tilapia go belly up if they get down to about 50° and for optimal growth they’d like it to be 80°+.  The warmer water does help with plant growth.

    For pumps, I’m running a pair of 264 GPH Harbor Freight specials.  They work well and are plenty cheap at about $18.  Eventually the impeller shaft will wear out but I just cut new ones out of a stick of stainless TIG welding rod.  The pumps have never failed otherwise.   I’ve run flood and drain with both bell siphons and timers, but long ago settled on running continuous flow.

    I have 400 watt grow lights (MH/HPS) over each grow bed but will be switching to the Kingbo LEDs soon.

    It sure is nice to have fresh lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, celery, sweet potato leaves, greens, scallions, herbs, etc in the middle of our midwest winters!