My fish food..... for the chickens.

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INresponse

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I don't know where else to put this so here it is. I have a 100 gallon water tank where I have guppies so I can feed extras to the chickens, ducks, turkey and the goose. The tank is inside a small greenhouse to help protect it from the cold of winter and the heat of the sun in the summer. I have an under gravel filter, a side mounted filter, and a heater to keep the water at a constant temperature. We keep the good looking fish to procreate and the plain looking fish and those with deformities are fed to the birds as a treat. It is fun to watch the chickens and turkeys peck into a few inches of water to try and catch their treat, and the ducks and goose enjoy diving into their pool to chase the fish treats. Eventually I hope to sort out small groups of the colorful fish to sell to others with their own fish tanks, hopefully making just a few bucks but at a better price than the local fish stores. I found that I can buy bulk fish food flakes online at a far better price than the local fish stores, and the one large bucket has lasted 2 years and and I still have about a third of the bucket left. I enjoy checking on them each morning and each evening, even though they are pretty much self sufficient aside from the daily feedings.

I started with 8 fish, 5 females and 3 males, and they all had their own color scheme. It didn't take long for them to create many different colors in their offspring and a big variety of color patterns. Last spring I added 3 more fish with their own unique colors, including an albino female and a white female. They have each helped to produce several more colors and patterns.

In the winter months I place a piece of plastic over the tank and add a piece of a pool solar cover to help hold in the heat. At night the small amount of moist heat that escapes condenses on the plastic roof of the green house and "rains" down on the plants in the green house to water those plants. The warmth of the water helps keep the greenhouse warm overnight. I have seldom had a problem with front inside the green house, normally just on the inside of the plastic of the ceiling where there is only one layer of plastic.

Moral of the story, if you have a small green house and a need/desire to raise some fish the fish tank would be helpful in maintaining the temperature of the greenhouse during the winter months.
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Grimm

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K and I had Guppies before the girls were born. We had 5 large glass tanks and each housed a different color we were breeding for. This was before I could get K into the thought of homesteading and when we had mice and ferrets(as pets only). I bred the mice as fancy pets and they were super sweet. Fun side business at the time.

I have thought of a tank/pond set up for goldfish or minnows when we move again but in a greenhouse is a new idea I like.
 

INresponse

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Being that it is a 100 gallon water trough type tank it is impossible to move when full, and because it is outside it wouldn't stay warm in the winter unless it is inside of some sort of building, so I built a small greenhouse around it to shelter it in the winter and even though I cover it with a piece of plastic it helps keep the green house above freezing in the winter. It is rare for us to have multiple days in a row with below freezing temps and the sun usually warms it up pretty good during the day. The fish tank heater is the appropriate size for 100 gallons, but if it gets real cold I have a water line heat tape wrapped around the bottom and the box it is in has scrap insulation inside trash bags to help keep everything warm in the winter and cooler in the summer.
 

Neb

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Being that it is a 100 gallon water trough type tank it is impossible to move when full, and because it is outside it wouldn't stay warm in the winter unless it is inside of some sort of building, so I built a small greenhouse around it to shelter it in the winter and even though I cover it with a piece of plastic it helps keep the green house above freezing in the winter. It is rare for us to have multiple days in a row with below freezing temps and the sun usually warms it up pretty good during the day. The fish tank heater is the appropriate size for 100 gallons, but if it gets real cold I have a water line heat tape wrapped around the bottom and the box it is in has scrap insulation inside trash bags to help keep everything warm in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Wonderful idea!

The Princess has promised me i can convert a back porch into a greenhouse when I finish the remodel. I have a 300 gallon aquarium that is waiting to go into that greenhouse. It is glass coffin suitable for Snow White 6' x 2' x 2'.

Unlike you we do get spells of 20 or more days with temps below freezing. The aquarium will be against the inside wall of the house to minimize issues with freezing. It will have a heater incase.

About 30 years ago, before I went to college and had time for it, I had a 100 gallon tank in the family room. It was filled with plants I collected from Lake Chautauqua with dirt instead of gravel. I used a grow light to keep the plants alive. Only after the plants were well established that I introduced fish.

Guppies found enough food in the plants as well lots of places for the baby guppies to hide. Clown loaches and multiple female beta splendid with one male. The male beta kept building bubble nests but never bread any. With a small bio system I didn't have to feed them! I only had to top off the water when evaporated.

I had an external filter but it failed after I was immersed in college. Surprisingly the fish did fine without the filter. The plants kept the water clean as long as the light was working.

I hope to duplicate that experiment using natural sun light instead of a grow light. Instead of guppies maybe gold fish (aka carp).

Sorry about 5he run on but this is a goal near and dear to my heart.

Ben
 

joel

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It is a good thing that water can hold more heat than rock, a gravel floor would help heat an unheated greenhouse.
 

INresponse

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Sorry about 5he run on but this is a goal near and dear to my heart.

Ben
No worries. I appreciate the information. The thread is here for everything similar to the title. If I ever get the house livable I hope to add 2 or 3 more 100 gallon stock ponds, or a couple larger sizes if possible. I hope to move the existing green house over to another location next year but in the future I hope to build a large green house, dug 3 or 4 into the ground, and large enough for our 15' above ground pool and also a large stock tank for the fish, plus enough space and shelves for herbs and onions and garlic and similar. The plan is to keep the pool heated enough to swim most the winter (rocket mass heater) and the pool water will also keep the greenhouse warm. The green house will need ventilation, I understand that. The stock tank pond will be home to the fish, on a much larger scale. Hopefully, if the plan works out there will be a small sitting area in there as well for shade in the summer and a comfortable place to sit in the winter.
 
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