BLUF: Bringing the fish indoors for the winter and would like design advice using (2) 55-gallon drum barrels. I have (3) 5-gallon buckets as optional usage.
First of all, hi everyone. I'm so glad to have found this community and looking forward to learning/sharing.
I am a relatively new AP guy. I have a 350 gal, three-tiered IBC-based AP system. Top tier (largest) houses the fish, middle tier is the grow media/filter, and the bottom is the sump w/ DWC (raft). I use a single pump from the SUMP back up to the main IBC tank. The system was started back in June and finished cycling around mid-August (took a little longer than expected). I used feeder goldfish for cycling. I've since added 4 adult Tilapia (8-9"), 16 medium Tilapia (4-5"), and approximately 25 feeder goldfish (1-3"). The media grow bed (lava rocks) is growing with plants (half-filled). The sump is currently empty.
My water parameters are as follows (pH/Ammonia/Nitrite/Nitrate): 7.2/0.25/0/3). The Nitrate's are a little lower than desired but so far it's been just OK.
Anyway, winter is approaching out here in the high desert of California. The nights will drop down to high 30s (F). I am going to harvest the remainder of my plants and am deciding to bring the fish inside vice heating the tank. I purchased two 55-gallon drum barrels and also have multiple 5-gallon buckets to use. Anyone have any design ideas specifically for just keeping the fish warm and comfortable through the winter?
I was thinking keeping the fish in a 55-gallon drum that would overflow into a 5-gallon swirl filter and then into a 5-gallon bio media filter and where a small pump would feed water back into the main tank. Any other ideas?