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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2008
    Posts
    487

    Default bubbler for water trough - any luck?

    Anyone have any luck with using a fish tank bubbler to keep water troughs from freezing? What state are you in?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2001
    Location
    Canuckistan
    Posts
    447

    Default

    It worked for our small fish pond. We took the fountain head off and the movement of the water on the surface was enough to keep it open from freezing totally over. It could work.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2007
    Posts
    10,308

    Default

    The trouble with this system is that you produce "super cooled water." I'm not so sure that's a good idea, although I have no specific proof that it's a problem.

    G.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    10,060

    Default

    My goldtrout live outside in a 44gal galvanized stock tank.

    This is the first Winter I haven't brought them indoors and so far a floating de-icer is working to keep their tank unfrozen.

    We've had some pretty brutal windchills and cold nights and so far so good.

    I left their circulating underwater pump going too and so far it has not frozen. I think the moving water will keep a larger portion of the surface clear of ice than the de-icer alone.
    Last edited by 2DogsFarm; Dec. 1, 2010 at 02:23 PM.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    45,034

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    Some 30+ years we made our own bubbler with a lenght of copper hose, that we made some pin prick holes the last 12" and we hooked it to a small grill propane bottle.
    That gas came out bubbling from the bottom and kept the water somewhat open right above it, but the smell was fierce.
    Horses didn't seem to care, but we scraped that idea.

    Maybe with an air compressor that would have worked better, but we didn't have electricity close to tanks then.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2004
    Location
    N. TX...just N.East of paradise...
    Posts
    2,049

    Default

    No tried a bubbler, but I wonder about floating something in the tank that doesn't freeze? Like a gallon container of alcohol partly full) that might float around and keep a hole open? Just talkin off the top of my bubble air head LOL
    "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    45,034

    Default

    Around here, many use plain black inner tubes, some tractor sized ones.
    Some even tape black plastic to the middle to cover more of the tank and get more sunlight warming the tank, although then the tubes need to be smaller, so the horses can drink from the edges.

    Those work to keep the water moving also and you can move them to break whatever ice forms if it is that cold.

    If cattle start flipping them off the tanks, some tie them down to the edges enough to keep them in there.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,770

    Default

    Here is some interesting advice on using the water pump idea in your winter tank. Sue Greenall was gracious enough to post it on a Driving list for everyone. She has been using this method successfully for several years. Maybe her method of doing things is just what you need. She is located in Vermont, where winter is not for the wimpy! She is very experienced in horse care, rides endurance, drives horses and writes GREAT animal stories.

    >The best water "heater" is a small circulating pump that we drop into
    >the tank and plug in. The motor provides some heat but the moving
    >water never freezes even at 20 below. We often run them only at night
    >if it is sunny out. Be sure to get one with a side output, not a top
    >output or else you will have a fountain. The pumps last two to three
    >years and use a fraction of the electricity of what tank heaters do.
    >A 1/4 or 1/5 HP pump keeps a 250 gallon tank ice free. We run the
    >wire through a PVC pipe so the horses don't mess with them and also
    >run a bare wire into the tank and hook that to a ground pipe for safety.
    >
    >
    >Sue Greenall
    >
    >Animal Lovers' Bedside Stories - $12.95
    >to order your copy - go to
    >
    >http://www.greenallcarriage.com



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2008
    Posts
    487

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goodhors View Post
    Here is some interesting advice on using the water pump idea in your winter tank. Sue Greenall was gracious enough to post it on a Driving list for everyone. She has been using this method successfully for several years. Maybe her method of doing things is just what you need. She is located in Vermont, where winter is not for the wimpy! She is very experienced in horse care, rides endurance, drives horses and writes GREAT animal stories.

    >The best water "heater" is a small circulating pump that we drop into
    >the tank and plug in. The motor provides some heat but the moving
    >water never freezes even at 20 below. We often run them only at night
    >if it is sunny out. Be sure to get one with a side output, not a top
    >output or else you will have a fountain. The pumps last two to three
    >years and use a fraction of the electricity of what tank heaters do.
    >A 1/4 or 1/5 HP pump keeps a 250 gallon tank ice free. We run the
    >wire through a PVC pipe so the horses don't mess with them and also
    >run a bare wire into the tank and hook that to a ground pipe for safety.
    >
    >
    >Sue Greenall
    >
    >Animal Lovers' Bedside Stories - $12.95
    >to order your copy - go to
    >
    >http://www.greenallcarriage.com


    Sounds perfect!!! Anyone know where to buy these pumps?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,588

    Default

    When I lived on the water in NY, some people had bubble systems for their docks/boats. Maybe look into something like that?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    5,335

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Some 30+ years we made our own bubbler with a lenght of copper hose, that we made some pin prick holes the last 12" and we hooked it to a small grill propane bottle.
    That gas came out bubbling from the bottom and kept the water somewhat open right above it, but the smell was fierce.
    Horses didn't seem to care, but we scraped that idea.

    Maybe with an air compressor that would have worked better, but we didn't have electricity close to tanks then.
    gee just light the escaping gas it would heat the water's surface to keep it clear of ice...also would be good for removing the whiskers from the horse's nose



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    45,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clanter View Post
    gee just light the escaping gas it would heat the water's surface to keep it clear of ice...also would be good for removing the whiskers from the horse's nose
    Some around here still use that system and some are smokers and not very careful!

    Another way that works is to put in the big metal tanks a 55 gallon barrel, filled about 1/4 with large river rocks, add plain diesel and light it up.
    That burns for several hours and keeps the big tanks defrosted, at times all night.
    Those barrels don't last that long in there, so you have to watch when they are getting worn and replace them.

    Works fine for cattle and in big tanks, where they can't get to the fire and get burned.
    People here use those, but I am too scared of fire to play with it, so have not tried it.



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