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Weather extremes in Kansas

Discussion in 'General Aquaponics Discussion USA & Canada' started by EricKramer, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. EricKramer

    EricKramer New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
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    Kansas weather can be harsh. Summers are hot and dry. Daytime temps are 90 - 105 degrees F between June and September. Summer nights are about 70 - 80 degrees F. Winter daytime highs are in the 30s generally, but can dip very low sometimes. Single digit nighttime temps are very common from Nov thru Feb. In such temperature extremes what should an aquaponics system in this area look like? Not even an outdoor greenhouse can maintain stable temps year round in the grow beds and fish tank water. What's a person to do in this state if he wants to engage in aquaponics year round? Does my system have to be mobile so I can run and hide from the weather when required (move it indoors)?
     
  2. Murray

    Murray Site Admin Staff Member

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    Hi Eric,
    Grow plants that are seasonal.
    Fish suitable for your area.
    It can be a bit testing but doable. Obviously everything is better in a greenhouse and the better the greenhouse the better the result.

    HOT......heat wave here today 44.6C = 112.3F Dammn hot. The water temp in my tanks is up to 33C (92) today. My biggest system is 29.0C (84F)
     
  3. EricKramer

    EricKramer New Member

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    Thanks, Murray. Your summer temps make mine seem positively balmy. It's winter here now, and tomorrow morning is supposed to be -4 degrees F. The best fish we have in Kansas that can tolerate wide swings in temperature is channel catfish. I'll use them. By going seasonal, and breaking down my tanks and grow beds before the winter deep freeze sets in, I may never achieve the same years-old, mature, well cycled systems you have. My nitrogen cycles will always have to be restarted from scratch, year after year. Is that a fair assessment?
     
  4. Bill C

    Bill C Member

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    Here are some thoughts, not sure if they will work...
    Have as much water in your system as possible, more water =more temp stability.
    Put as much of that water at ground level or below. The ground will help protect the water from the worst swings in air temp and again add to temp stability.
    Obviously a greenhouse will help. I have heard of some that are double layered. You can even put "mini green houses" over the individual grow beds. I understand that each layer effectively moves you 1 growing zone south or about 100 miles per layer therefore, a double layered green house plus mini green houses over the GBs should = about 300 miles equivalent...more or less.
    Plumb the system with the sump at the heart system, ie. everything drains to the sump, the FT and all the GBs. This way all your feed lines will be "pressurized" and and any part of the system can be isolated from the rest of the system if/when required...meaning, to conserve heat you could cut off the GBs and recirculate between FT and sump.
    You could also install some kind of heating element designed to keep the water above some min temp appropriate to your system. Just a guess but depending on your fish and what you are growing that might be around 40 degs or so.
    In a winter like we are having this year the best solution may just be to shut it down for while.
     
  5. magnusthescott

    magnusthescott Member

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    kansas you have one thing available i do not here in oklahoma, atleast in most homes. Do you have a mechanical room in your basement or an unfinished room, lots of folks keep their sumps and fish tanks in their basements for temp swigs and stability and then move their grow beds seasonally from outside to inside using a basement window as their ingress egress for plumbing
     
  6. Damon Polta

    Damon Polta Member

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    Jan 26, 2012
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    you should check out some of the green house strictures in northern ohio. places like chef's garden and Green circle growers are operational year round and our temp. shift annauly is a bit more extreme than you say you experience. due to living in close proximity to the great lakes we deal with an extremely high humidity in the summer. the actual temp. could be 90F out side, but because of the humididty it could feel as if it's over 130f. and in the winter being on the lake it gets super cold. nothing like hundreds of thousands of open water to let the cold north wind roll through. we spent most of last month in the negative numbers for the actual temp. but with the windchill it was averaging -15f - -25f for most of january. we bottomed out at -42 one day.

    point being, those green houses are still operation considering the harsh winter. heck, it was supposed to be above the freezing point for the first time since december today... instead we got 6in. of snow in the past 12 hours.
     
  7. Bill C

    Bill C Member

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    I just remembered, there is a guy up in Wis. that has a large commercial operation year round in the middle of the town and does not use any kind of power to heat his operation. He is in a green house, says the water stabilizes the temps, and he puts a large compost pile in each corner. Says it stays reasonably warm all winter.
     

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