Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Aquaponics progress - building the greenhouse

I mentioned ages ago that we were thinking about setting up an aquaponics system.  We ordered it back in September and the kit was delivered to Kingaroy in December last year.  We unloaded it from the ute and left it stored safely in the shed while we thought about where/how to build our greenhouse.

Aquaponics is a system that combines hydroponics and aquaculture.  The water cycles between the fish tank and hydroponic vegetable grow beds.  The fish produce nutrients that are consumed by the vegetables, and in turn, the vegetables removing those nutrients cleans the water for the fish.  We just need to feed the fish.  The system needs to be in a water proof greenhouse so that rainwater doesn't dilute the process water, and needs access to electricity to run the pumps, so we needed to build a greenhouse.

After much deliberation and assessment of possible locations, taking into account access to electricity, the limited number of flat spots on our property, sun and shade available, and the boggyness that we experienced just about everywhere during the floods last year, we finally decided to build an extension on our existing shed.  I forgot to take "before" photos, so this is a progress update after one weekend working on the greenhouse, in case you all thought we'd given up on the aquaponics idea!

Our next step is to order poly sheeting for the roof and greenhouse fabric (solarweave) for the sides.  As well as additional guttering, ridge capping and down spouting to finish off the shed.  Our goal is to finish the greenhouse before the first frost so my chillies have somewhere warm to live through winter.

building the greenhouse shed extension 


all the joins are welded rather than bolted

more joins

view from the other side with the concrete that we mixed by hand

more concreting

more welded joints
(And that's as far as we got because then we bought another property and we're going to move there once we build a house!  So the extension is my seed-raising area, and we'll set up the aquaponics when we move.... eventually!)

Have you used an aquaponics system?  Any tips?

7 comments:

  1. Looking forward to seeing the next 'during' photos and how it all turns out at the finish AND what grows in it in the years to come :)

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  2. WOW!! exciting! Can't wait to see the progress

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  3. Thanks, it was a relief to come back to work on Tuesday for a rest! It was a big weekend, but its good to see some progress.

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  4. > We just need to feed the fish.

    How would you like to avoid even this or at least reduce the amount of feed.

    If you grow Diatom Algae in the fish ponds, you can avoid or reduce feed.

    Diatoms are the best natural feed for fish in lakes and oceans.

    We have a simple solution to grow diatoms in fish ponds.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What an ingenious system! I can't wait to hear how it works out for you when it's all done.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

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