greenhouse *UPDATED* New aquaponic greenhouse build. *PIC HEAVY*

Ok, so about a month ago I decided (after a lot of research) that I was going to build an aquaponics system in my back yard. Then after a little more thinking the idea grew into a bit more, as I decided to also build a greenhouse to put it in. Here is the progress that has been made so far. Please let me know what you think.
 
So this is the sketchup design I made to get my measurements and a list of materials from. The system is composed of a 330 gallon fish tank, a 60 gallon filter, two 200 gallon sump tanks, two 4'x8'x1' media filled grow beds, and two 4'x4'x1' deep water culture beds
01-Design.jpg

 
Once I had the design done I had to get the materials, a couple of trips to Lowes and I had this.
02-Materials.jpg

 
Next was leveling and squaring the area to build, then I framed up the two side walls and front door. you can see the fish tank and sump tanks good here.
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Then I got the beam up and the roof on.
04.jpg

 
I hated the conduit roof, so I went back to Lowes and got some stuff to do a better roof with.
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Finished framing everything, if there is anything this project has taught me so far it is; If you dont have a miter saw, get one.
06.jpg

 
Rocks delivered
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Got a way to put the plastic on the roof, and put screen on the side walls.
07.jpg

 
I have to bury the sump tanks about 1.5' so I got them marked off and started to dig. Turns out that there is a lot of rock just under a this layer of grass....
08.jpg

 
Break time
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Well, thats what I have gotten done so far. I will keep yall updated on my progress. If anyone is interested in the sketchup file just let me know and Ill send it to you. Thanks for looking!
 
 
 
Yes Please re post.  
        I just met a guy, retired from a state job that ran the Aquaponics/Horticulture program.     I have always had an interest in this field of work.         I may  build an IBC setup this summer.    
   
              The days he works( part time ) has been a wealth of knowledge pie!   
 
Looks good so far.  I would beef up the header over the door.  It looks like a 2x4 laying flat.  I  would also consider some diagonal bracing on wall at corners.  A metal flat strap or t-strap.  Since you have a mid support at the ridge you might be ok with out collar ties.  You could add them latter.  Are you putting polycarbonate on roof or 6 mill sheeting? What type of media?  
 
Nice post! I look forward to seeing where this goes!
There are several members using Aquaponics, so if you have any questions, please post them and hopefully someone here can answer.
I have some Aquaponics PDF files which I would be glad to email to you, if you're interested, just let me know.
 
Are you going to use Flooded Grow Beds or use Bell Siphons in the Grow Beds?
 
 
Rairdog said:
Looks good so far.  I would beef up the header over the door.  It looks like a 2x4 laying flat.  I  would also consider some diagonal bracing on wall at corners.  A metal flat strap or t-strap.  Since you have a mid support at the ridge you might be ok with out collar ties.  You could add them latter.  Are you putting polycarbonate on roof or 6 mill sheeting? What type of media?  
 
I agree with Rairdog about the door header.
 
Just a couple of suggestions.
I would nail two 2x6s together, turn them up long ways and put them up under the 2" board at the top of the door opening, as it is a load bearing wall. Some of your roof weight looks to be resting on the single 2x? at the top of the door.
 
Like so:
Drawing_zpslte7fzxi.jpg

Your design looks great the way you have it laid out. However, I don't think you need two sump tanks, from what I can tell. With two tanks, you will need two sump pumps to return the water to the fish tank. My friend and I built a similar setup  using one tank and one pump, it also works great. That would also cut the amount of digging you have to do in half, as well as the cost of the pumping system. Just dump both grow beds into one sump tank. As it fills, it will raise the float switch, turning on the sump pump and drain the sump tank down to the point that the float switch turns off the pump. If the pump fails, the sump tank will only fill up to the point that the water in the fish tank drops below the skimmer pipe.
 
Also, we used three more barrels. From the fish tank, the water is skimmed off and sent to a barrel which is setup as a vortex filter, then it goes through a media filter barrel, then into two deep water culture barrels, then to the grow beds. This would increase the area of your grow beds by 16 sqft each or 32 sqft.
 
Like I said, just suggestions...
 
Keep up the great work!!!
 
Good job on the collar ties, dia. bracing and header.  I would be more concerned about shade cloth than plastic at this point with your AL hot summers.  I will have my up in a couple weeks.  You could probably wait until fall with your climate before needing plastic.  Lots of plumbing to do lol.  Looks like the sumps are dug.  Get that baby cycling and planted out. 
 
My shade cloth is just suspended with mason string and snap rings.  It pulls out and back in seconds.
 


 
You have done an awesome job!!!
This project is coming together really well and you have me hooked. I can't wait for more updates! 
I really want another greenhouse, so I am living vicariously through your project for now... :drooling:
A tree fell and crushed mine several years ago during a hurricane... It was a total loss... :cry:
I hope the weather cooperates for you soon!
 
Well thanks for the kind words every one. Whilst I have yalls attention, where do you guys stand on the insect screen on the sides of the greenhouse? I was going to have mine permanently attached to the 4 foot walls under the roll up sides. But, as I thought about it, how would I get pollinators in the greenhouse for my plants? This won't just be used for plants with perfect flowers like tomatoes abs peppers. I'm thinking of ditching the insect screen and just putting up rabbit wire to keep the dog out. Will still keep the roll up sides for winter though.

Thoughts?


On a side note, I was super happy that I had not wrapped the greenhouse yet. We had a major hail storm yesterday.
 
You will be fighting heat build up and will probably have to open up the gable walls as well as the knee wall.  You just have to stay on top of the nasties because they will get in no matter what.  Aphids are a real problem in an elevated GB.  They have free range and will take over.  Check undersides of leaves daily.  Cabbage moth's will also get in so keep an eye out for leaves with holes.  Trace them down to the stem and you can usually find them.  Curcubits and legumes will need pollinators.  I prefer these outside after trying in AP for a couple years.  They take off great but quickly use up all the nutes and don't produce well.  Especially the first year as it takes a little while to mature the beds and build up nutes.  One of the biggest disappointments I see is when someone builds a new system and stuffs it with cucumber, pumpkins, melons and other vinning crops.  Starting with lots of greens and building up will keep you much more satisfied.   Tomato's do ok but try to keep with smaller less bushy varieties.  I big indet tom will suck up everything in one bed.  Then it will end up with a K deficiency since there is not a lot a K in the fish food.  Peppers do ok if you can keep your ph down.  Hard well water is always a problem for me and peppers/strawberries.  City water is buffered and ph will drop out from nitrification.  RO and rain water will drop ph even faster.   You will end up adding stocking full shell grit to keep ph up depending the source of water.
 
Rairdog said:
You will be fighting heat build up and will probably have to open up the gable walls as well as the knee wall.  You just have to stay on top of the nasties because they will get in no matter what.  Aphids are a real problem in an elevated GB.  They have free range and will take over.  Check undersides of leaves daily.  Cabbage moth's will also get in so keep an eye out for leaves with holes.  Trace them down to the stem and you can usually find them.  Curcubits and legumes will need pollinators.  I prefer these outside after trying in AP for a couple years.  They take off great but quickly use up all the nutes and don't produce well.  Especially the first year as it takes a little while to mature the beds and build up nutes.  One of the biggest disappointments I see is when someone builds a new system and stuffs it with cucumber, pumpkins, melons and other vinning crops.  Starting with lots of greens and building up will keep you much more satisfied.   Tomato's do ok but try to keep with smaller less bushy varieties.  I big indet tom will suck up everything in one bed.  Then it will end up with a K deficiency since there is not a lot a K in the fish food.  Peppers do ok if you can keep your ph down.  Hard well water is always a problem for me and peppers/strawberries.  City water is buffered and ph will drop out from nitrification.  RO and rain water will drop ph even faster.   You will end up adding stocking full shell grit to keep ph up depending the source of water.
Thanks for the info!
 
Got the sump tank dug,... My freaking bald head is on fire!!!!!! :mouthonfire:
 
You see that cable in the hole? Yup, I unearthed the neighbors phone line... how I didnt cut it in half Ill never know.  :doh:
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Got the tank in, gonna wait to cut the hole in the top until I am sure exactly how big I want it.
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:dance:  :party:  :dance:  :party:  :dance:  I cannot explain how happy I am that the sump tank hole is dug! I dont have to dread it anymore!!
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EDIT: Oh by the way,... We're getting chickens, Apparently.... :rolleyes: 
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