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Livestock tank de-icers

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by RICKP, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. RICKP

    RICKP Let'er Buck

    My question is, has anyone tried a livestock tank de-icer in your buckets for those cold weather jobs?
    I read about using fish tank heaters in your 5 gallon buckets but, I have about 4 - 50 gallon barrels cut in half that will hold multiple heads at once. Problem is, when it gets cold, all work comes to a stand still.

    Any thoughts???
     
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Tank de icers float for the most part and only keep a space open on the top of the tank free from ice. They don't heat the whole tank. Others just circulate the water so look at the product. You would be better off setting up hot water heater elements and thermostats in your tanks. As for using the 50 gal drums, they will rust in time and ruin your specimens if the water in the barrel itself comes into contact with them.
     

  3. RICKP

    RICKP Let'er Buck

    Seawolf, what I have is 50gallon plastic barrels cut in half. Learned my lesson with the metal and rust.
    The feed store has either 1000 or 1500watt heaters that sit on the bottom. Do you think that would hold the temp correctly?
     
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen those. Take a good look at the instructions with them. How hot do they heat? The bucket heaters get to 180 degrees and can be controlled with a thermostat. If the tank de icers only heat the water to just above the freezing point like my outdoor heated dog water buckets they wouldn't work at all for maceration or degreasing. On the other hand, hot water heater elements and thermostats would work fine with the plastic containers. You still have to cover and insulate them though.
     
  5. RICKP

    RICKP Let'er Buck

    Thanks for the help. I'm wanting to build a good set up this summer so I'm ready for fall hunts.
     
  6. they will not keep the water warm enough. use the elements and thermostats from lowes / home depot. if you are leaving them outside you will have to insulate around the barrels for sure
     
  7. michael69

    michael69 Active Member

    Allied bucket heaters will keep the half barrels at 120 all day long...as long as they last, there not very reliable
     
  8. AH7

    AH7 New Member

    1,281
    2
    I loved the idea of the livestock heaters until I checked the stats. They don't get anywhere near hot enough. They won't even heat the water to room temperature. Gotta go another direction.
     
  9. RICKP

    RICKP Let'er Buck

    Thanks guys, I go the other route.
     
  10. I wanted to try the drain plug de-icers as well but after reading up on them they basically just keep the water warm enough not to freeze. I've been using the bucket heater and they work awesome but as Bugs said kind of unreliable. I go through 2 a year so always looking for something else to try.
     
  11. michael69

    michael69 Active Member

    They work but they can die at any moment, usually right when you need them the most.
     
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    For those bucket heaters, try slathering a good coating of high temperature gasket sealer or silicone on the weak areas. I have two now that are going into their second year of use. I heavily covered the welds and any soldered points with the sealer after cleaning the metal completely of any grease and oil. This was done when they were new out of the box. So far so good.
     
  13. hamman

    hamman SKULL AND BONES TAXIDERMY

    Get you some of the 100-150 gallon rubber or plastic livestock tanks for your tank. Attach an adjustable thermostat to the outside of the tank and get you a good hot water heater element and fix it inside the tank with a small bird bath water pump in the bottom near the element to circulate the water around the tank and keep the temp constant all the way around. Then get you as many buckets as will fit in it and start degreasing your heads. I can do 7-8 heads depending on the size of the antlers in a 150gallon tank with the square buckets you can get from most restaurants no matter where you live. I usually have to degrease deer for 2 months at a minimum and my beetles will clean the meat off faster than I can get them degreased so I have enough room now to do 28 deer heads at the same time. IF your doing it for the public and you are expecting them to understand why someone else got there head back last week and now they are gonna have to wait until this fall to get theres even though they dropped there deer head off in December and the other guy in early November you have another thing coming in this business.
     
  14. reddogloki

    reddogloki New Member

    Where do you get your bucket heaters Sea Wolf?
     
  15. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    They are the Allied ones. I got them on sale at the hardware store. Tractor Supply has them cheaper but we don't have one of those around here.
     
  16. You probably won't find them at Tractor Supply anymore this year either. They are "out of season" so once sold out they won't be getting more in until next fall. I got the last one in like 100 mile radius of me. I had to get them to call around to all the stores too find one.
     
  17. reddogloki

    reddogloki New Member

    Thanks, I found a couple still up on the top shelf at tractor supply today.