If you recall, on the first post this blog ever made, I offered a list of techniques that you could use to winterize your aquaponics. Today we start tackling these ten techniques, in no particular order. We won’t cover one every week. There will be breaks and some will take more than one week. We also won’t be able to cover them in the kind of detail you’ll need to actually build a system – that would be next to impossible in a blog format. For that you’ll have to attend a class, such as the one I offer. But they’ll get you started thinking about the issues you need to be thinking about to grow in the cold.
This week, we’ll start with a simple technique.*
- Passive Solar Greenhouse Design
- Insulated and Air-Sealed Fish Tanks and Grow Beds
- Insulated Piping
- Multiple Layers of Thermal Protection for Plants
- Fish Selection for Cold Hardiness
- Plant Selection for Cold Hardiness and Freeze/Thaw Tolerance
- Efficient Water (Not Air) Heating
- Programmable Temperature-Dependent Pumping Controls
- Strategies for Maximizing Nitrification in Cold Water
- Aquaponics-Integrated Hot Tubs (Seriously)
Insulate Your Pipes
Here’s a video that explains the basics of how and why to install piping insulation on your aquaponics system. It’s not really all that complicated, but somehow I still managed to blather on about it for 3:51. Enjoy!
To make your system sing,
You’ve got to add some bling.
To get it right the first try,
visit your local plumbing supply.
*I sort-of started a couple weeks back, with an explanation of how to heat your water, but the main point of that one was to direct your attention away from the heating itself, and to the gathering and storage of solar heat. The point is that a well-designed system will seldom need any heating, so it doesn’t matter what you heat with. We’ll eventually loop back around to talk about efficient water (never air) heating techniques, to do a more efficient job of adding the small amount of heat you actually need.