Can Geothermal Heat Pumps Help Me Raise Catfish? - Ask the Expert Episode 171

People use geothermal heat pumps in many creative ways, not the least of which is raising catfish. Is this a creative method to use in aquaculture?

Video Script:

Today's question is an interesting. "Hey Dan, I want to raise some catfish in an IBC tote in my well-shaded back yard. Is there an easy way for me to keep the water in the tank seventy degrees year-round? I was thinking about a small geothermal coil in the ground. The tank holds about 275 gallons. Could I get by with a small horizontal coil buried six feet deep?"

Wow. I don't know. Maybe. This is a bit outside of our expertise, you know, building a water heater for catfish-growing. I mean, maybe a two ton water to water unit could do it if you buried the line six feet deep. Usually we would do a 600 foot coil in 250 foot trenches. Maybe you could circulate the water through the ground with no mechanical pump.

What you really need is probably a thermal engineer. Or you could get a pool heat pump. For like a swimming pool.

Have more questions? Just ask them in the comments below or on Facebook or on Twitter. 

4 comments (view/add)
  • Ethan
    Posted on 5/22/2020

    What kind of discharge temperatures are common for a geothermal open-loop system?

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 5/22/2020

    In heating, the water would be 10 - 15 degrees cooler than the incoming water temperature. For summer cooling, the water would be about 10 - 15 degrees warmer.

  • ethan miller
    ethan miller
    Posted on 5/19/2020

    My open-loop geothermal system discharges into an underground dry well currently. Can I use the discharge water for a backyard water feature?

  • Kyle
    Kyle from Ingrams
    Posted on 5/20/2020

    The water discharged from a typical geothermal open-loop is perfectly safe. It shouldn't pick up any chemicals or pollutants from the process. It should be fine for a backyard water feature.

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