Saturday, March 23, 2013


My aquaponics adventure continues with the addition of fish to the system. The system is still cycling but, given my difficulty in finding a pure source of ammonia (outside of peeing in the fish tank) I've decided to switch to the cycling method using fish.

I purchased forty little feeder goldfish - Comets, I think they're called - and brought them home to my awaiting 200 gallon tank. When I arrived home and checked the temperature of the water, I was unpleasantly surprised to find that the recent temperature drop and approaching storms had dropped the tank to 68 degrees F. That was just outside the three degree limit of transplanting my little feeders coming from a tank that was about 72 degrees F.

Using my hillbilly ingenuity, inherited through ages of cheapskates and country bumpkins in my family, I fashioned a makeshift heater from materials I had on hand. What does every Southerner have on hand? A turkey fryer, of course! Okay, so I'm not completely Southern yet, I will receive my official membership card after I've bought that second turkey fryer, and that car disappears under the grass in my back yard.

In retrospect, this makeshift, emergency fish tank water heater works perfectly. I was able to establish a cozy temperature in the tank of 72 degrees F. and maintain that temperature (give or take) for two days now.

Now, if these storms would just pass and the sun would shine again, I could go back to using my makeshift solar water heater until later this spring when I'll struggle to keep the water from a low boil.