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Thread: Heaters

  1. #1
    Moderator jackalope's Avatar
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    Heaters

    This thread is for those who want to get an idea of what size heaters they need for their system. For instance:

    I'm building a 475 gallon indoor pond for growing out my tilapia ...... will a 1000 watt heater be enough to heat that large of a tank, or will I need a larger heater? I'm looking at the heater that badflash has recommended in other posts from Jeffers Equine Suppy Clik ...... I'm wondering if I'll need more than one ! My problem with this is that is says it will keep a 5 gallon bucket at 110F ..... this tank will be a little bit larger I believe badflash uses these in his 100 gallon stock tanks, so I'm pretty sure that it will be OK in that small a unit, but how about almost 500 gallons?

    For the winter, I had to put all my fish into two 30 gallon glass tanks, and I'm having a hard time keeping my 30 gallon tanks up to 70 with 2 - 300 watt aquarium heaters per tank turned up to the maximum temps, this is what worries me about the 1000 watt heater, will it be enough?

    Any ideas?

    THX? TIA jackalope
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  2. #2
    Moderator davidstcldfl's Avatar
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    Re: Heaters

    Hi Jackalope, ...I too, have been thinking about and checking out heaters. I'll share what I read at some of the different sites.
    The recommendations I read are, 3 to 5 watts per gallon. If the area is cooler, stay in the higher range ( they gave the example of aquariums in a basement).

    At that rate, 500 gals would take (at least) 3 of the bucket heaters. Then, if your circulating the water...you would lose lots af heat... Maybe, put a heater in the sump to warm the water before going back to the FT (?)

    I'm building a 500 gallon tank outside. I'm putting 3/4 inch styrofoam between the frame and the liner. I was more concerned about keeping it 'cooler' in the summer. Now, I'll make sure I have a styrofoam lid too (for winter, when needed)

    Could you wrap the sides of your glass tanks with styro, to help keep in some heat ? Maybe even set the tanks on some styro ? I think I remember Stucco was talking with someone about having a heavy load sitting on it and the styro holding the load (?) I remember a picture of a pallet of tile/stucco mix sitting on styrofoam(?)

    I went in a local pet store looking/ pricing some heaters. The owner warned me, when I did get one...(everyone is sold out of them here)..let it sit in the water for 15 mins or more BEFORE plugging it in and turning it on. He had several people cracking the glass by not doing it.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - President Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Moderator badflash's Avatar
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    Re: Heaters

    There are a bunch of variables when it comes to this. How much insultation is there between the room and the tank, how much between the tank and the floor, how much evaporation is there?

    When the losses to the environment equal the heat input, the temperature stops going up. If the temperature surrounding the tank drops, the heat input must go up. During the summer when the basement is at 75F, I get by with 1KW cycling and keep 85F. In the winter with basement temps at 60F I have 2KW and have trouble keeping above 75F.

    Hope this helps, but you can't really figure this out exactly because there is so much going on.
    The best fertilizer is the farmer's shadow

  4. #4
    Moderator jackalope's Avatar
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    Re: Heaters

    Thanks for the input!

    I want to make it clear that this thread is not just for my questions, but for anyone who has a question about heaters ...... that way someone skulking the Forum without joining, and wanting answers to his/her questions will possibly be able to find an answer to their dilemma . Since we don't have a specific heading for heaters, this will help centralize the heater questions, just as we have centralized other questions such as pumps, etc.
    I use the Linux Operating System ...... Free as in beer!
    You're never too old to learn something
    Aquaponics - food'n'fish at your doorstep

    Helena, Montana - Home of the Northernmost Monument to the Confederacy

  5. #5
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    Re: Heaters

    Having built a few fish room/ buildings I have found it is more stable and practical to insulate and heat the room. And exchanger warms the feshs air. Also, a dehumidifier will aid in not only reducing down the damaging humidity, but also produce heat.

  6. #6
    Moderator davidstcldfl's Avatar
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    Re: Heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by rfeiller
    Also, a dehumidifier will aid in not only reducing down the damaging humidity, but also produce heat.
    Good point, Thanks rfeiller.
    My 'soon to be' fish building is well insulated. Running the AC in the (9 months of ) summer helps with the humidity....but, I guess I'll have to buy a dehumidifier for the winter.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - President Ronald Reagan

  7. #7
    Moderator badflash's Avatar
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    Re: Heaters

    De-humidifiers are not as effective as using ventilation. In winter I vent my fish room outside and heat my house with wood. Costs far less than the power to run a dehumidifier. Healthier air too.
    The best fertilizer is the farmer's shadow

  8. #8
    Moderator urbanfarmer's Avatar
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    Re: Heaters

    I tried using a dehumidifier in my green house. The sucker ate almost 20KWh per day, which translated to $2.60 to run it daily. It did keep the greenhouse very tropical, but the electric bill wasn't worth it.

  9. #9
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    Re: Heaters

    compared to the damage moisture can do to a structure, i personally found it reasonable. but, mine doesn't run that much.
    i've talked to guys that are using some of the high output lighting and paying 160 per month per light. power varies in cost depending on area considerably.
    my 1200gal per day RO system cost a bunch to run. everything is a tradeoff. the guys in my area that are dropping 10k at a time at the hydroponics stores are all raising pot. i know of no other crop in CA that will pay for the heating, lighting, pumps, RO, dehumidifiers, chemicals, fish food, etc. (no i don't raise pot) certainly $3 per pound talapia and a couple of heads of lettuce doesn't. and i didn't even mention the number of hours of labor involved. i do it to have better veggies and the challenge of something new. my $10 a piece tomatoes (oh and the rats ate most of veggies including tomatos while i was away on an emergency) are kinda the laughing stock of my family and friends. but i get a lot of satisfaction raising living things.

    Enjoy the wonder of God's creation.

  10. #10
    Moderator urbanfarmer's Avatar
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    Re: Heaters

    Quote Originally Posted by rfeiller
    compared to the damage moisture can do to a structure, i personally found it reasonable. but, mine doesn't run that much.
    i've talked to guys that are using some of the high output lighting and paying 160 per month per light. power varies in cost depending on area considerably.
    my 1200gal per day RO system cost a bunch to run. everything is a tradeoff. the guys in my area that are dropping 10k at a time at the hydroponics stores are all raising pot. i know of no other crop in CA that will pay for the heating, lighting, pumps, RO, dehumidifiers, chemicals, fish food, etc. (no i don't raise pot) certainly $3 per pound talapia and a couple of heads of lettuce doesn't. and i didn't even mention the number of hours of labor involved. i do it to have better veggies and the challenge of something new. my $10 a piece tomatoes (oh and the rats ate most of veggies including tomatos while i was away on an emergency) are kinda the laughing stock of my family and friends. but i get a lot of satisfaction raising living things.

    Enjoy the wonder of God's creation.
    Let them laugh, at least you are doing something that makes you happy, healthy, and wiser!

    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor ; spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." --Theodore Roosevelt

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