Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chest freezer out of commission

So the freezer somehow sprang a leak.  had to top up the water every few days.

Decided that I should do away with the liner and rather fix up the freezer properly.
This is proving to take longer than I had hoped.  As in going on 2 weeks.
Result is that most of the tilapia have died..
Those that are left are probably genetically disposed towards tolerating the cold weather..
Bruno my dog had a field day.  He ate every last dead fish..
For some reason I am unable to add pictures to the blog today.  Will try gain later..

In other news, the trout are doing very very well!
They are eating like starved banshees.. will be eating a couple of them tonight!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fish are balmy in the freezer!

We had a couple of fish deaths from the cold.  I lost maybe a dozen or so fingerlings and one plate-sized guy,  You may remember old Geoffrey from an earlier post.  I took hm back outside since he was all better and the cold water promptly killed him.  And I did not shock him.  I lowered his temperate overnight before taking him outside..  Oh well.  A memorial service is scheduled for old Geoffrey.  Felt really bad about it.

Decided to do something about it.  So I got me a beat-up old 350L chest freezer..  
(while my wife rolls her eyes)

So why would I use a chest freezer if I am complaining about the cold?   - because the freezer is very  very well insulated and will keep the heat inside.   Of course the freezer is not turned on   :-)

I lined it with black plastic. 
Getting it in and neat is quite difficult...  Involves a whole lot of patience.  That substance that I have soo much of.

But a bit of packaging tape helped it along..  Was worried about the lid pinching the airlines, but it appears ok.  (If I put my ear to the closed lid I can hear it bubbling away inside)

Please notice the all important lid-closing device on top...  Will install some sort of latch to keep it closed.  Later.      And please also notice my helper on the side..  She felt the needed to check he seal personally..

And this morning, I checked the temperature again:   28 degrees Celsius!
And they seem happy!

Woo hoo!!
This is fun..

Next steps:
I would like to measure the effectiveness of the insulation.  So I will be monitoring the temperature in the tank (it should go up and down as the heater switches itself on and off) - from this I could figure out how much power I am using to maintain the temperature.  I have the option of adding more insulation, but I think 90% of the energy loss at this point comes from the cold air that is getting pumped in via the aerator.

Tomorrow I am getting trout for the AP system!