Freezing Water

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Sungura
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Freezing Water

Postby Sungura » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:48 am UTC

Okay it has been so long since gen chem and I can't seem to figure this one out...if no one knows I'll go experiment.

Basically, I raise & show rabbits, and I use water bottles not crocks for their water. Now, the water bottles are plastic, with a metal tube at the bottom with two little metal balls inside, it works via vacuum to not leak out unless the click the ball with their tongue. I also am in MI, and lately the water bottles (32 oz size) have been freezing totally within 10-12 hours, but they will be worthless before that as the area by the metal tube (obviously) freezes first and once that happens, they can't get the water.

Now, knowing that water has a high specific heat, I of course fill them up with warm water to try and prolong the time it takes to freeze. Obviously if it froze at a steady rate it would be best to fill up the whole thing. But...it doesn't. It freezes by the metal tube first, and once that's frozen, the fact that most of the water is still not frozen does not matter. So, is it best to fill it up all the way, or only partway? As if it would still freeze at the same rate for full vs. partial fill, then partial fill would be easier as it would take less of my time to thaw it out.
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BlackSails
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby BlackSails » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:43 am UTC

I think a full bottle will freeze slightly slower. Probably not enough to make it worth it vs a partial fill.

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Re: Freezing Water

Postby frezik » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:27 am UTC

This seems relavent, though the effect tends to be hard to reproduce:

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/General/hot_water.html
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby parallax » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:58 am UTC

You could try insulating either the cage, the bottle, or the metal spout. If you occasionally shake the bottle, that should stop the bottom from freezing first.
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby evilbeanfiend » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:36 am UTC

hows about this as a solution http://www.amazinghealth.co.uk/pet-heat-pads.htm

you can also get covers for water bottles

you could also try cutting back on dry food and increasing their hay and fresh veg/fruit as this seems to mean they need less water
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby Firnagzen » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:55 am UTC

Sorry, but there's two things I have to nitpick first.
a) The bottles don't work by vacuum, they simply work by gravity pulling the metal ball down so it blocks the spout.
b) The water in the metal tubes freezes first because metal conducts heat better.

Point b) in mind, maybe you could try insulating the area around the tube with some cloth wrapped around it or something?
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Sungura
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby Sungura » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:08 pm UTC

The insulating ideas are lovely, however, rabbits chew anything and everything. Heatpads, etc would all just be chewed, if they were electrical the cord would be chewed through, or the fibers/cloth used in making them could quickly give them a GI block, etc. I have ruined quite a few good blankets draping them around the cages - even though I made sure they were a few inches from the cage, but as they hop and the stack shifts some, a few would figure out how to catch it as it swung closer and pull it into the cage and chew it. Smart little critters. So, I'm not sure what I would insulate the tube with and not have them chew and ingest it. I realize the metal conducts better which is why it freezes first because plastic is a better insulator. And sorry 'bout the vacuum thing - something leftover from when I was 7 and questioning and that's what my father said (he's usually wrong, I should've known) gravity makes much more sense *smacks self on forehead*.

And yes, I give them as much hay as I can in the winter, which as of last week is as much as they want because a friend brought me a whole bale of nice grass hay with some alfalfa mixed in from central MI...they get it for $3/bale! I can't get that around here at all so this is awesome to have. Yet I digress. They really need the pellet feed. Poor things are is such crappy condition as it is. Hay doesn't have the nutrition they need. Fruit/veggies is a urban myth that their diet can be staple from that. If I were to feed a whole carrot to one, their digestive system would get screwed up. ;) I'm not so much worried about the lack of water they are getting, it gets thawed out once a day and since they are bottles I can monitor their intake to know they aren't getting dehydrated. It's just more a PITA to me to have to be thawing them all the time, especially full bottles.

So since it seems the consensus is that filling, say, halfway would not make much of a difference to how fast it freezes, and thawing then about a quarter or less of the bottle (because they'll drink about a quarter to a half of a bottle before it freezes) would be a lot easier :D
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Velifer
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby Velifer » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:34 pm UTC

Instead of changing the laws of physics (which some people might not appreciate), or engineering a solution (often difficult), think of process changes.

Have twice or three times the number of bottles you need, keep a set or two by the door in the house. Any time you go out to the bunnies, just carry a basket full of water bottles with you and swap them out.

I'm sure this could be improved upon.

(My hens have an IR lamp above their water tank to keep the ice away.)
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby sgt york » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:50 pm UTC

Solution 1: Add ethanol to the water. Will reduce the freezing point of the water and make the rabbits more manageable.

Solution 2: An interior warmer. For large livestock, they make trough warmers; it's a metal block that hooks to a power cord and heats up. There is a thermistor in it that only allows the thing to kick on if the temp is below 1C. I imagine you can find similar product for small animals. If not, it wouldn't be too hard to build, depending on how many water bottles you have. Bore a hole in the top of each bottle and run the system inside the bottle. Seal up the hole with epoxy. Wire comes out the top of the bottle, which I am assuming is outside the cage.

And in case someone doesn't have their sense of humor engaged, my first proposal is a joke. I personally think this is obvious, but ya never know.

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Re: Freezing Water

Postby Iv » Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:11 pm UTC

It may be a stupid idea but... wouldn't that be possible to create a warm airflow with a hair-dryer or two ? Depending on how your cages are tidied, a few PVC tubes and a hairdryer could provide for a steady warm air wind.

I used to have a rabbit with the kind of bottle you describe. In my case, the bottle was outside the cage, and the metal part also included the bottom section of the bottle, making it possible to put something on the metal that would be out of reach for the animals. If this is the case, couldn't you glue a strong resistance to this metal part with a thermic glue, hook it to a PC power unit and let it warm ?

Of course, in both case it requires some over-watch or a thermostat to regulate the temperature if you don't want to make the poor animals suffocate or burn at the touch of their bottles...

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Re: Freezing Water

Postby Firnagzen » Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:15 am UTC

Velifer wrote:Instead of changing the laws of physics (which some people might not appreciate), or engineering a solution (often difficult), think of process changes.

Have twice or three times the number of bottles you need, keep a set or two by the door in the house. Any time you go out to the bunnies, just carry a basket full of water bottles with you and swap them out.


Wow. That should have been obvious. *smacks head*

I vote for this solution.
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby Carnildo » Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:29 am UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:
Firnagzen wrote:
Velifer wrote:Instead of changing the laws of physics (which some people might not appreciate), or engineering a solution (often difficult), think of process changes.

Have twice or three times the number of bottles you need, keep a set or two by the door in the house. Any time you go out to the bunnies, just carry a basket full of water bottles with you and swap them out.


Wow. That should have been obvious. *smacks head*

I vote for this solution.


Alternatively, coat the metal part in platinum or some other suitable catalyst and drip fuel on them so that the fuel oxidizes, thereby keeping the metal warm.


Won't work. The platinum will reduce the oxidation temperature, but you still need to heat it up to several hundred degrees to get things going.

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Sungura
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby Sungura » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:33 pm UTC

I love how this thread has progressed, you all crack me up.

Thankfully I have not had them freeze since i made this post (of course, I should have just posted sooner! posting is magic!).

Actually, adding some EtOH would be funny I think :P They metabolize things incredibly fast it seems, so I wonder how much affect that would have... *is joking I would not try this so no PETA folks jump on me now*

As far as multiple water bottles, I don't feel like spending...about $100 to get a second set ;)

I doubt rabbits could take a few hundred degrees; I think I would loose them to heat stroke at that point ;) But kudos for creating thinking!
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby wst » Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:14 pm UTC

Sungura wrote:Actually, adding some EtOH would be funny I think :P They metabolize things incredibly fast it seems, so I wonder how much affect that would have... *is joking I would not try this so no PETA folks jump on me now*
Get a hookah to store the water in. Also, you can have the mouthpiece venting into the cage to keep them quiet/high (depends what you put in it).
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby Sockmonkey » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:01 pm UTC

You can't be the first breeder to have this problem so I'd ask around on a rabbit breeders forum for a solution.

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Re: Freezing Water

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:30 pm UTC

Sungura wrote:*is joking I would not try this so no PETA folks jump on me now*

You keep rabbits in cages. PETA already hates you, so I wouldn't worry about them.
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby Sungura » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:46 pm UTC

Meteorswarm wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Sungura wrote:*is joking I would not try this so no PETA folks jump on me now*

You don't think that animals are happy, fun-loving people who deserve to be loved and pampered like kings. PETA already hates you, so I wouldn't worry about them.


Honestly, PETA gets on my nerves. I can sympathize with a lot what they do, but they've taken it to such a degree that they're no longer respect-worthy.

Sea kittens? Really?

I know, I saw that. I wanted to barf.

The thing that gets me too is what they lobby for, it's like they don't even know animals. Rabbits are used for making antibodies. It used to be you just nicked the vein in their ear to bleed them. Now, you have to use a needle, etc like you would on a human to draw blood. It is so stupid. With the nick, they barely jumped. Now the poor things just screech and screech (they have a very loud very sad very painful sounding screech when they are in pain, it is a horrible sound). Now they say that the needle method is more humane? Give me a break.

On topic now - yes other breeders say "get crocks". I don't like using crocks though, because they are very hard to keep clean and the babies can drown in them, or they just make a mess. And then you have cold, wet rabbits from the ones who like to play in it and don't learn. As for the freezing though, they are "easier" as you just clang them together to get the ice to pop out.
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby wst » Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:50 pm UTC

Sungura wrote:As for the freezing though, they are "easier" as you just clang them together to get the ice to pop out.
For a moment I thought you were talking about cold, frozen rabbits there. I was just imagining someone holding 2 rabbit ice lollies/popsicles by their ears and clanging them together.
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Re: Freezing Water

Postby Whelan » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:58 pm UTC

My biology teacher refers to microscopes as bunnies, and tells us not to held them by the ears. I got an image of someone banging two microscopes together.
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