Trout Growers

Aquaponists who are growing their plants with trout

Members: 123
Latest Activity: Aug 19

Places by state to by trout fingerlings

Boulder - Klein Creek Trout farm will sell you rainbow fingerlings

Discussion Forum

What do yo do to keep your trout tank water cool?

Started by Tom OBrien. Last reply by Jim Fisk Aug 19. 21 Replies

Do you try to cool your fish tank water? Or do you just monitor the water and maybe feed less when the temperature goes up? I've got the fish tanks in the basement so they aren't seeing the 90 degree…Continue

Dissolved Oxygen/Tank Loading

Started by Phil Slaton Jul 2. 0 Replies

One of the most important items to consider is Dissolved Oxygen and Tank Loading in your fish tank.  You overload a tank’s dissolved oxygen supply and you will experience a fish die off back to the…Continue

Keeping your Pond or Tank Cool This Summer

Started by Phil Slaton. Last reply by Phil Slaton Jun 20. 2 Replies

Keeping your pond cool and oxygenated should be your primary focus during the hot summer months.  The warm weather has a dramatic affect on oxygen levels in your pond - the warmer the water, the…Continue

It's getting cold, should I keep feeding the trout?

Started by Bart. Last reply by Bart Nov 8, 2013. 6 Replies

I have a 1000 gal system, with the fish tank 3' in the ground within my hoop house. That being said there is no heat added to the structure so it's getting cold in there. The current water…Continue

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Comment by Jeremiah Robinson on April 23, 2014 at 9:11am

Wow Neal, you're raising all those fish together in the same tank?  I would have guessed they'd fight.  Are they all of a similar size?

Comment by Jim Fisk on April 23, 2014 at 8:52am

I came upon an old Trout raising book and thought this quote to be of interest. Source at the end.

I think it is safe to say that sluggish flat water at 70 is dangerous,
if not fatal, to trout ; while they will live in vigorous
rapid water which occasionally runs to 80. I have
found 85 to be fatal to them in all kinds of water.

Good stuff. Keep your Trout water rolling!

@ Anthony: I never saw your post below before. I get only some notifications on here. Anyway, I knew the moment you joined this forum we had much in common. My brother-in-law lives in Seattle but alas we are a long ways off. Otherwise I would love to share labor on our mutual projects. Keep on trucken. Sounds like you have a great little oasis there.

Comment by Anthony Payne on January 1, 2014 at 9:47am

Jim sounds like a nice farm. We live in town, suburb of Seattle so this system will do fine. We can raise chickens but that's it as farm animals go from the city's stand point. My wife told me that we live to close to the places we don't want to be. I'm in the process of making our back yard our sanctuary so we have a place that we can shed the city off. The only hard part will be the sirens and cars sounds. It's not that bad. We will move but in-tel then I will grow what we need, well as much as I can. We are hunter gatherers so our freezer is full of fish, venison, elk, chantrells, and a few other mushrooms my wife hunts, not to mention the rough grouse. We are looking to bring down the amount of money we spend on produce that come from a far off land picked before it should. I don't understand how they can have cheep prices on foods that have flown from Mexico, I can't get a ticket that cheep to fly. We would like not to purchase produce. My wife is a meat cutter and we get deals on beef and pork. (Bob Campbell I did watch that video and it was boring) so between our occupations her in the meat and me in the kitchen we eat pretty dam good.

I will have to have some lighting in the winter as we get about 6 hours of light. I love pesto and want to have basil in the winter. Pesto on salmon is to die for!!!, but at what cost this will be looked into in more detail. I want to grow watercress this adds a nice peppery zing in the salads.

I want to make my backyard all edible plants. I just want to go out in the back and harvest our dinner. I know I can get this set up so it looks like a nice yard for entertaining and eating. I like to cook over fire. I made a fire pit and built into it a flat stone area for dutch ovens cooking fish over open fire or any meat brings the true taste of how should taste, that's just my mind set. I'm drawing up plans for a smoke house for smoke curing and bacon. We have a small pond I want to incorporate into the AP, but fear that may not be wise. It can be it's own system. I will have to build a bio-filter and water feature maybe NFT around the pond in the growing season. Maybe a wicking bed of some kind. I keep plugging away and all will soon come to light.


Comment by Jim Fisk on December 31, 2013 at 8:32am

So many questions!

For my part I heat the GH and the AP water with Sun and well Sun in the form of the stored energy in wood. Most of you know by now that I heat everything here on the farm with wood stoves saving us probably 3000.00 to 5,000.00 a year in fuel costs, managing our wood lot, and getting great exercise. The GH heater is my own design that heats the air and the water. I am in the process of building a whole new design that I will add to my set of woodstove plans I sell on Ebay after much testing and refining. It is a combination of "rocket stove" (all of my designs already are wood gasifiers) but with the ability to load 24hrs worth of wood at a time rather than the rocket stove method of small but often loads of wood which I would never tolerate (I have a life). This one will be state of the art as home builts go and I am considering entering it in the national contest next year if time allows.

I try to never let the water drop below 50F in Winter and never over 73 in Summer. Takes a combination of methods from insulation, solar heat storage, wood heat, 55F well water. In other words what ever I have at hand that helps cut costs and saves the environment.

From all that I have read and witnessed 50F water temp is as low as the bacteria that run the AP system will tolerate before they go dormant. Probably 60F is the lowest things like tomatoes will tolerate before they go dormant so the peak of Winter (right now) I do not expect much from tomatoes, but Kale, Swiss Chard, Broccoli, Lettuce, Snow Peas, Cabbage, Spinach, need I go on? all do very well and I have not even insulated the GH one bit YET (FTs are insulated with foam sheets known as floor underlayment). That is coming as soon as I can get back to moving forward with my design and at that point the variety of Winter veggies will expand dramatically. So far no grow lights either. That may well be in the future plans however if Tomatoes and the like are to produce in Winter.

Yet at this primitive stage of our build 4 adults get to eat organic veggies and Trout numerous times a week. Of course we also raise chickens (about 35) sheep (4 to 6) and soon goats milk (2 bred at the moment). I would guess that we raise just above 50% of our food ourselves and the goal is around 98%. Some things just aren't worth raising at home but not much. We also make beer and wine whenever possible and have planted everything from Mulberry Trees (best wine ever) to Apple and Pears, and nuts, etc. We strive to be self sufficient and planned our AP system to be as little work as possible while contributing the max it can produce. It is and will always be a work in progress just like the rest of our homestead.

And Anthony, we feel your Payne

We have all been bitten. AP is a way of life for many of us. Can't wait to see you up and running. AP is for do'ers and I got the impression from the get go that you are just that. Don't let anyone stand in your way. They will come around. My wife has watched me do so many things in the 30+ years we have been together that she knows there is no point in holding me back. She lends a hand whenever asked and hangs on for the ride.

Wow 2014 tomorrow. Yikes! Happy New Year! I wish a bunch of us could get together and talk shop, well AP anyway.

Comment by Jeremiah Robinson on December 31, 2013 at 8:06am

Just greens in winter for me, here in zone 5.  Spinach and winter greens do ok.  Last night was 15 in the greenhouse and they survived.  They don't really grow much in Dec-Feb, but I think that has at least as much to do with lack of light as it does cold.

Comment by Bob Campbell on December 31, 2013 at 7:32am

I've been wondering how well vegetables grow in the cool water required by trout.  Are you limited to lettuce and other cool weather crops or are you also able to grow tomatoes?

Comment by Anthony Payne on December 30, 2013 at 6:49pm

Well Glenn I don't have a system up and running at this time. I'm in the process of making my first system. I have been doing much research on this awesome thing of aquaponics. I have been bitten bad! Just got three barrels free (score) today. I have drawn out plans on my drafting board for the gh and have rearranged them a few times. Looking into pumps lights. The fish have, from the get go going to be trout as we are salmon trout people. All of my info has come from the nice people on this site and others and the book by Sylvia. I had a dream last night that my whole back yard was old hot tubs filled with trout and my house had veggies growing on all the walls inside. The family thinks I have lost it, but they will see and eat the smoked trout salads and eat there words. So for the info on the keeping the gh heated ask more people, I'm the greenhorn here.

Comment by Jeremiah Robinson on December 30, 2013 at 5:59pm

The only solution is heavy insulation around the tanks and grow beds (including above), and  thermal mass in the greenhouse.  You can epoxy a bucket heater so it'll heat the water (not sure if you were trying to heat the greenhouse - that would get expensive).  Heating my tanks to 50 costs about 50 bucks a month in winter, in my crappy hoop house with a well insulated system.  Low tunnels over your grow beds can help too.

Comment by Glenn Dennis on December 30, 2013 at 5:28pm


Here in Mi my water temp in winter in my green house drops into low mid 40's.  That seems to cold to feed fish since bio filter will not remove ammonia. How do you handle this.  Heating water has been to expensive for me.

Comment by Jim Fisk on December 30, 2013 at 9:08am

Just a few more thoughts based upon experience:

The smaller the fingerlings the more the loses. The bigger they get the tougher they are. I have always purchased the little guys (actually the size of a "finger") and that is when I suffer the loses. So for starting out Jeremiah is probably right on. Some of ours (trout) are a good 16" now. Must eat more fish!!

Now with a stable system (1 1/2 yrs old) and knowing enough to ck PH BEFORE introducing the little guys, always into their own separate tank, the fingerlings do great. As to the Summer we do have a deep cold artesian well so maintaining temps is just a matter of filling the sump occasionally with our 55F well water (no pump needed so no cost to let it run over for awhile. Excess water just disappears down the sides of the sump). So far it has been that simple but remember I have the fish room walled off from the hothouse and that helps a great deal as well. I used metal roof in there with every 3rd panel a gh panel for subdued but occasional sun as the day goes by. Next step in there is to build the real wood walls and insulate them with 2" foam boards. Right now the walls are 2 tarps thick with outside temps near zero F many nights so that will be a big improvement and look so much better.

As to the trip to the hatchery we just bring a 5 or 6 gal pail with a cheap Wally World (Walmart) aquarium air pump and stone plugged into a small 12v-120v inverter. I keep a lid all set to go with the air hose fed thru the lid and bungee the lid on to prevent spills and jumpers. Use a wire tie above and below the lid on the air tube to keep the stone on the bottom. Last time I used one of our 6gal beer making pails for 50 fingerlings.

Another thing I keep meaning to mention to those starting out and designing their system is to strive for as much difference in elevation between the sump and the fish tanks as possible. (assuming you can do a sump system) This gives you 2 big benefits: faster flow thru your pipes (which means far less clogs) and greater choice of growbed height (for easier working height, ours are just above knee height) while still allowing for good flow back to the sump. Below grade sump also allows for burying your pipe return(s) so pipes are never in your way. I have seen so many systems now where you are always climbing over pipes. Plan for a nice neat easy access system with as little pipe in your face as possible. If I ever get this house finished I will get back to my set of plans on our system here. Right now I can't even finish all that I started in the AP GH. Plans are still stalled at 105 pages. Can't write up and show photos and details on what I haven't finished, Soon I hope.

One more thing worth mentioning for those choosing a pump is to remember that "head" is measured from the surface of the water in the sump and NOT from the pump. When I fill the sump to the top there is a very noticeable upswing in flow in the system. This is often overlooked. Don't spend more than you need to on your pump. I use the Little Giant 1200gal pond pump for our 2000+gal system and it is plenty. Also pond rated pumps are designed to handle solids so by putting it in the clear water sump you will enjoy many years of service. I will pick up another around yr 5 I figure for a spare. Nearly 2 yrs now without a hiccup. Remember, no matter which pump you get make sure it is NOT oil filled. I see what appear to be oil filled "sump" pumps in way too many member's pics. Disaster waiting to happen. "Pond" pumps are designed to be safe for aquatics, both plants and critters such as fish. Oil filled WILL leak and wreak havoc eventually.

All for now as I have bell siphon orders to get out so



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