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ok, this will sound like an odd idea.  Not even technically the basement I referring to.

 

I have a walk-in basement.   There is a door, and a section that is like part of the basement, but it is not under the house.  So you walk out a door, and stairs go up, etc.

 

Area is small, roughly 7'x6'

 

Starting my first aquaponics and despite jsut starting I can tell I will be disappointed in the number of fish I can grow in a limitted 175 gallon tank.  Can't really go bigger,  I could fit a 55 gallon drum on it's side under the stairs which woudl take only a few fish (kindof wanted to get the drum setup and put crawfish in it to eat (I realize I would not be getting many, but it would be liek a small side with the fish.

 

So I had the idea, that I could by hand, dig next to this pit greenhouse, or whatever you would call it, like 6' down.  Question would be how impossible it would be.  I have dug a couple feet down before and end up hittng boulders and use a sledge hammer to smash.   Area would be like 6'x6' and would need to be at least 5-6 ft deep.   Two walls would already be there, one is the concrete side of the house, and the other the side of this pit greenhouse, also concrete.  That would leave only two needed walls (did I mention my budget is like a couple hundred dollars).  I would put in a couple cinder block walls with mortar, perhaps some plastic on the ourside of them to help resist some water from coming in.  Don't really care if some water seeps in if it rains a lot as it already does.  Also would make concrete floor.  Also dabbled with idea of using rock, as I have 1/2 acre of my law that is woods and filled with large boulders (from when the foundation was dug 60 years ago).  Those would lower cost of the cinder blocks but woudl need more concrete mix.

 

I would be doing this to the left of the stairs (pic below), and would remove like 4'x4' of the current wall, so I could access the new section.

 

Then I would pick up a 350 gallon tote, and use that in the new section.  I would need to crawl to get in there since it would not be that deep.  I assume digging 8' down by hand is out of the question.  I would put some grow bins on shelves in there too.  I would have the tank and beds higher than the 175 gallon existing tank and just use gravity as I do with the other beds, so I will not need additional pumps (I could add an additional small one if the fish seemed to need it). 

 

I wanted to do trout in the 350 gallon tank as I just got some at the store andit was really good (never had it).  Still planning on catfish in the other.  I am waiting to see how hot the room gets in the summer here, but I speculate it will never get > 70-75...which is about the max a trout can handle.  I would not be surprized if it stayed in the 60s all year.  So I was thinking maybe get the trout end of the summer when it is cooler, and then harvest end of fall the following year.

 

To cook the trout, I put them in the toaster oven tray, dumped genesee beer in the tray (all I had as I don't drink), and put gracked black pepper on them with fresh chopped dill.  Cooked 25 min @ 350 degrees.  Best fish I ever had, tasted liek it was boiled in butter.  Not sure if that is the usual taste of that type of fish, or from the beer (never cooked anything in beer).

 

 

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Hi Matthew:

 

I wish I had a walkout basement, ours doesn't have any windows to the sun on the back wall.

 

Can you post pictures of the outside where the hole would be dug?  Why not just put stock tanks unenclosed out there?

Hi Mathew.  That is quite a plan you have there.  You've done a great job of explaining it, but I'm still having trouble picturing this in all the dimensions needed to go from what you have now to what you are proposing.  My main thought is "do you have a friend who is an engineer, a contractor or an architect?"  Sounds like you could be getting into some structural issues around foundation and support that you might want to have someone look into.  Also, make sure that condensation won't cause a rotting problem.  thanks for the trout recipe!

I will need to take some outside pics.  I drew a crude diagram.

 

reason I don't just put the tanks outside, is I am in Rochester, NY with cold winters.

 

I do not want to have to heat the water or the room (too costly).  The current room stays > 45 degrees year round.  I would not be against running a small furnace duct to bump it up a little, but what I did was put windows with screens on the basement door and leave them open so it stays at liek 50+ degrees jsut from residual heat from the basement (unheated).

 

Don't plan to get architects or engineers involved as I see no need.

 

The house is solid concrete, basement goes down 8 feet.  Also because it is concrete I have no worries for mold.  Been standing since 1942, I have no concerns for the foundation.  If I were uncovering like half the house that would be one thing, but a 6'x5' on a wall being exposed I have no concerns, especially since the current walk-out part does just that anyways and has no issues,.

 

I look at this as just building a cold frame that is deeper than normal with concrete walls, and I will remove part of the wall of the walk-out part to acces it.  Heat will just drift through it as it does around the current part.

 

Seems quite simple, I have to dig a hole, and put up 2 walls, then a bunch of old windows as the roof (already have them).

 

I have done stuff with mortar and cement before, not too concerned if the wall is not perfect.



Matthew said:

I will need to take some outside pics.  I drew a crude diagram.

 

reason I don't just put the tanks outside, is I am in Rochester, NY with cold winters.

 

I do not want to have to heat the water or the room (too costly).  The current room stays > 45 degrees year round.  I would not be against running a small furnace duct to bump it up a little, but what I did was put windows with screens on the basement door and leave them open so it stays at liek 50+ degrees jsut from residual heat from the basement (unheated).

 

Don't plan to get architects or engineers involved as I see no need.

 

The house is solid concrete, basement goes down 8 feet.  Also because it is concrete I have no worries for mold.  Been standing since 1942, I have no concerns for the foundation.  If I were uncovering like half the house that would be one thing, but a 6'x5' on a wall being exposed I have no concerns, especially since the current walk-out part does just that anyways and has no issues,.

 

I look at this as just building a cold frame that is deeper than normal with concrete walls, and I will remove part of the wall of the walk-out part to acces it.  Heat will just drift through it as it does around the current part.

 

Seems quite simple, I have to dig a hole, and put up 2 walls, then a bunch of old windows as the roof (already have them).

 

I have done stuff with mortar and cement before, not too concerned if the wall is not perfect.

I think your idea is fairly feasible, but not on your allotted budget. You'll burn through that on cinder block alone.

Matthew, be sure to call before you dig, underground lines can be dangerous.   Most cities have someone who will come out and mark underground utilities free.

 

  Always remember safety first.   Your idea sounds good though.

Dig and square up hole to your desired size. Line hole with 3/4" plywood. Add pond liner 
no lines back there (back of house).  All are in the front.

Richard Wyman said:

Matthew, be sure to call before you dig, underground lines can be dangerous.   Most cities have someone who will come out and mark underground utilities free.

 

  Always remember safety first.   Your idea sounds good though.

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