Water hole/tank and freezing temps

crashnrondo

Yearling... With promise
Hello, I added a 110 gallon stock tank and it's been a magnet for deer and bear since but now it's getting colder. It's a 110 gallon plastic stock tank from Tractor Supply, I'm wondering if I can just leave it to freeze or should I pump most of the water out before freeze up. Thanks for the replies.
 

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You can leave it if it is an actual stock tank, those are made for everyday farm and ranch life. Plenty of ice has been chopped out of one so cattle can drink.
 
I have one from Tractor Supply that has been out several seasons.

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Thanks for the replies, yes it's a regular stock tank dug into the ground. It will for sure freeze solid, but it seemed to be tough enough.
 
With it in ground leave whatever water in it that you can. Will keep the ground from pushing the sides in as the ground freezes.
 
I’ve always wondered where the deer get the water when we have early freezes and no snow. Creeks, etc.. but some areas are devoid of that !
 
do you have to worry about mud getting in being level to the ground?
 
do you have to worry about mud getting in being level to the ground?
Actually I've read and seen several videos that say to put mud and sand in the bottom so the water is more natural tasting to them. Not sure if it's true or not but I left sand and several shovels of dirt in mine, deer really hit it hard all summer and fall. In fact I'm still getting pictures of them checking it even though it's frozen.
 
Have any of you come up with a way to keep the water tanks from freezing? I have thought about an aerator or bubbler hooked to a battery with a solar panel, but I am not sure if this would just slightly prolong the inevitable freeze or greatly increase the time the water would stay unfrozen. I was thinking a 12v 20ah Lifepoe4 battery, a dual bubbler that draws .4 amps, and a 12v 20watt solar panel. I am no engineer so I am uncertain if this would even keep the bubbler running 24/7 or not. I assume once it freezes there would be no thawing taking place with the bubbler? It would run about $140 to give it a shot, but I just dont know if it would be worth it. I can imagine if it would keep the water open/unfrozen it would be a real attraction in the dead of winter.
 
Have any of you come up with a way to keep the water tanks from freezing? I have thought about an aerator or bubbler hooked to a battery with a solar panel, but I am not sure if this would just slightly prolong the inevitable freeze or greatly increase the time the water would stay unfrozen. I was thinking a 12v 20ah Lifepoe4 battery, a dual bubbler that draws .4 amps, and a 12v 20watt solar panel. I am no engineer so I am uncertain if this would even keep the bubbler running 24/7 or not. I assume once it freezes there would be no thawing taking place with the bubbler? It would run about $140 to give it a shot, but I just dont know if it would be worth it. I can imagine if it would keep the water open/unfrozen it would be a real attraction in the dead of winter.
If its cold enough to freeze the water its cold enough to reduce the battery life enough that a solar charger isn't going to keep up with it. maybe a wind powered mechanical option would work?
 
I've got a few buried stock tanks within reasonable distance of electricity and bought a stock tank heater from Fleet Farm to try. Never got around to running the cords this year. Obviously not applicable in every scenario but it should do the trick with a few applications.
 
If its cold enough to freeze the water its cold enough to reduce the battery life enough that a solar charger isn't going to keep up with it. maybe a wind powered mechanical option would work?
I hadn't really thought about that. I do know of multiple ponds with windmill aerators. I will have to do some research...
I've got a few buried stock tanks within reasonable distance of electricity and bought a stock tank heater from Fleet Farm to try. Never got around to running the cords this year. Obviously not applicable in every scenario but it should do the trick with a few applications.
I wish I wasn't so far from an electrical service...that would be ideal.
 
I don’t worry about them freezing although I’ll will occasionally throw a chunk of wood or board in there to help with thawing when the suns out.
 
I have heard that a jug filled with salt water helps. Maybe a black jug.


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I have heard that a jug filled with salt water helps. Maybe a black jug.


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I have heard that too, but haven’t tried it yet
 
If you hook up a tank heater look at the electric meter spin when it's cold. then unplug it and look again...
 
If you hook up a tank heater look at the electric meter spin when it's cold. then unplug it and look again...
I just did the math and it's 20 cents/hour to run the tank heater. Certainly not cheap but in the grand scheme of this hobby, nothing really is.
 
I am a believer in water tanks after this year. Not that I was a non-believer before, I just had never put much thought into them. On properties where water is everywhere they would likely not have the same impact. However, I have more trail cam pictures of deer at my water tank than any other location. Even with it froze and snow on top of the ice deer are still coming to it. If there was a reasonable and cost effective way to heat one to keep it open I would likely do it. I think the drawing power would be hard to beat when all other water sources are in the frozen state. I have a number of pictures of deer trying to break the ice to get to open water. I plan to put in at least 2 more tanks this year. Locating them between bedding areas and food plots seems like the ideal location to me.

buck pawing ice 2.jpg.
 
Our stock tank sprung a leak a month or so ago, so I helped my dad replace it. When we pulled the old one out there were 3 pieces of 6” pvc pipe placed vertically in the ground about 3’ deep spaced evenly under the tank. Dad said my grandpa did that years ago to let heat from the ground help warm the tank. He swears it works. Surely there is an engineer or something here that can confirm or dispel this theory?


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Our stock tank sprung a leak a month or so ago, so I helped my dad replace it. When we pulled the old one out there were 3 pieces of 6” pvc pipe placed vertically in the ground about 3’ deep spaced evenly under the tank. Dad said my grandpa did that years ago to let heat from the ground help warm the tank. He swears it works. Surely there is an engineer or something here that can confirm or dispel this theory?


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Frost tubes are common on cattle operations. Most have gone to larger tubes than your dad’s 6” units, but the principle is the same.
 
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