Backyard Aquaponics

dealing with cold weather in Melbourne
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Author:  Qatada [ Nov 22nd, '17, 04:29 ]
Post subject:  dealing with cold weather in Melbourne


Temperatures in Melbourne have finally started to raise but i see long winter again. Last year the cold lasted for very long and the growth in my small farm which sits in my balcony was not encouraging. i have silvers but will have trout this year. My question is as i am thinking of building a bigger system than the balcony one what is the best way of dealing with cold weather given you have a green house. i saw some videos of compost heating online and geo thermal heating. what would be the best for a 18m x 5m green house? And with the crops which crop are good for acquaponic system to a place like Melbourne. Because i dint have pretty good results with broccoli, cauliflower and broad beans especially if the water gets very cold. i am looking for ecnomical ways of heating water. On the side note is it ok to plant lattuce in summer here in dwc beds or should i go with something else. i am planning a new system with 1000 liter ibc tank 1 10 feet gravel bed and a 10 feet long dwc bed.

thanks in advance for the help.

Author:  IDL [ Dec 1st, '17, 03:59 ]
Post subject:  Re: dealing with cold weather in Melbourne

I would just use a low energy space heater, or, a heater for the water. I don't know about that geo-composting stuff to heat it. And lettuce will do great in a DWC bed, I know that.

Author:  Qatada [ Dec 20th, '17, 10:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: dealing with cold weather in Melbourne

thanks for the response do you have your beds out side or do you use a green house?

Author:  Terra [ Dec 20th, '17, 11:05 ]
Post subject:  Re: dealing with cold weather in Melbourne

Have you seen Geoff Lawtons video on a cold climate green house

In my next shift of my system (around the back of my shed ) I'm going to do this much smaller scale of course

In the featured video the parts cost around a $1000 dollars so pay back time would be real quick as they get to minus 25celsius ... reenhouse/

I have used black poly laid out on black plastic run on a timer to stop my systems from crashing to very low temperatures .

Electricity costs in Australia rule out any electric heating

I had a go at compost heating , trouble was continually raiding the heat never allowed the compost to get going , I think you would need a massive pile to be effective.

The Rocket mass heater concept is worth a rethink , trouble with them is constant feeding of fuel for a period of time is required , they have evolved so a slow combustion wood heater can be used .

Heat goes out the back of stove and through the riser as normal and then through a very long exhaust buried in the thermal mass , so a fire could be lit each evening depending on overnight min temperatures .

Author:  Gunagulla [ Dec 20th, '17, 14:45 ]
Post subject:  Re: dealing with cold weather in Melbourne

Just looking at Melbourne's climate data, and see that it isn't really that cold, winter maxima are about the same here, but our minima are lower, yet things like chard, cauliflower and other cruciferous veg grows fine. Are you sure it isn't a lack of sunlight that's the problem? I don't use any heating for my systems.

Author:  Qatada [ Dec 21st, '17, 04:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: dealing with cold weather in Melbourne

i came across some permaculture acquaponics webinar in which the person propsed a design where there is chicken house next to the green house. he says that way the green house gets heated up abd the chickens get fresh air. the co2 that they release helps in growing plants as well. Does this idea look worth trying? i am thinking of building a sheep shelter next to the green house with a mesh seprating them.

Author:  Qatada [ Dec 21st, '17, 04:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: dealing with cold weather in Melbourne

Hi Terra thanks for the response the video you posted is what i am actually after. to understand it. i don’t know what sort of pipes they ise underground and how deep it is. plus how expensive it would be to build it

Author:  Nhibbo [ Dec 24th, '17, 18:51 ]
Post subject:  Re: dealing with cold weather in Melbourne

Hi Qatada. I am also in Melbourne and I managed to keep water temps around 14C in my small cut and flip ibc system (which is out in the open) by building a solar heater and using insulation on the FT. My larger system had no heating and was hovering around 10C at times. (I have really noticed the size difference in the SP's since the fish in the larger system (cheated) went off their food for quite a while.
I built the heater from 100m of 13mm poly pipe wound around a sisalation covered light square mesh wire frame (oval cylinder shape about 1m high and 45-50cm diam, then wrapped a clear plastic sheet around the outside with a styrofoam lid). I connected a 480L per hour x 3m head solar pond pump to drive the system. I built it on a wooden platform with the return pipe above water level to stop back siphoning at night and placed the base of an ibc frame behind it (also covered in sisalation) as a parabolic reflector. Total cost was around $85.
For next winter i will build a greenhouse 6mx4mx3mH and would like to put in a larger FT, say 4500L which might then need more solar heaters to be built. Overall, I was very happy with how the heater performed, especially with zero running costs. You are welcome to come over and take a look if you like.

Author:  Nhibbo [ Dec 24th, '17, 19:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: dealing with cold weather in Melbourne

"cheated"????....that was supposed to be unheated

Author:  Qatada [ Dec 26th, '17, 19:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: dealing with cold weather in Melbourne

hi Nhiboo

i would like to come and see your system. What’s your address in Altona? My number is. if you let me know a convenient time for you i will come down. i am planning a big system as well and just not confident enough.


Author:  Nhibbo [ Dec 27th, '17, 07:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: dealing with cold weather in Melbourne

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