Aquaponic Gardening

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putting up a 800 sq. ft. greenhouse. Looking for input on integrated design incorporating grow beds, vertical towers and DWC. Property has gentle slope from north to south and from west to east. Location is Southern Cal so temps are mild year round. Solar panels will provide basic power with grid backup. Ideas welcome..Initially going to use decorative fish and crayfish for nutrients; switch to food fish later on. Thanks 

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What is the layout and type of greenhouse?  Can it support towers or would you need structure to support it?

Layout (?) is full southern exposure on long part of greenhouse; unit is 50' long by 15' wide in a Quonset hut type of greenhouse. Hoops are channel steel attached to steel posts driven @ an angle to match radius. It will be lined inside and out with thick plastic of the kind used locally here. The plastic provides diffuse even lighting to the plants. We are planning on having the towers end in the growbeds so they would support the weight. Overhead connections would be for nutrient input and stability. Current thinking here is to have the growbeds on a flood and drain system with bell siphons that would return the water to the raft beds. These beds would be sloped so as to refill the fish tank or sump system that would keep fish tank full. A catwalk would be built in the middle of the greenhouse so as to protect pipes.Pretty sure I can build it for a whole lot less than Nelson and Pade's 20 freaking grand mini farm setup. Thanks for reading....

:-)

Paul Westberg said:

Layout (?) is full southern exposure on long part of greenhouse; unit is 50' long by 15' wide in a Quonset hut type of greenhouse. Hoops are channel steel attached to steel posts driven @ an angle to match radius. It will be lined inside and out with thick plastic of the kind used locally here. The plastic provides diffuse even lighting to the plants. We are planning on having the towers end in the growbeds so they would support the weight. Overhead connections would be for nutrient input and stability. Current thinking here is to have the growbeds on a flood and drain system with bell siphons that would return the water to the raft beds. These beds would be sloped so as to refill the fish tank or sump system that would keep fish tank full. A catwalk would be built in the middle of the greenhouse so as to protect pipes.Pretty sure I can build it for a whole lot less than Nelson and Pade's 20 freaking grand mini farm setup. Thanks for reading....

Is it going to be a commercial/semi-commercial setup or just for home use?  That slope is perfect for towers in single-face production by the way.  I'm a little jealous.  I've been looking for a place around here with a slope like that, to no avail.  

I think you have a lot of potential there. Towers draining to growbeds or DWC even would work pretty well.  Make sure you design it for the system you'll want someday.  i.e. fish and application.

Keep in mind that the bottoms of the DWC beds can slope but the top edges of the bed need to be level since the water will be level.

Nate:

     Thanks for the feedback. As one of the people I consider to be in the forefront of this new science I appreciate your comments. At this juncture I am just getting it going with dreams of future small time, (farmer's market) type sales. Actually we usually give our extra to the local food bank or homeless shelter. They not only need it but you can write if off. With the time demands on our real jobs; that is our best option for now. The single face towers is what we had in mind when we planned this; I just didn't know what it was called. You are so right as to your comment on long range design; I have done too many projects twice when I didn't think them all the way through. That was really the reason I posted this discussion; so as to have multiple minds input before I even set up the first grading stake. I'll check out your towers on the store; maybe we can do some bidness.



Nate Storey said:

Is it going to be a commercial/semi-commercial setup or just for home use?  That slope is perfect for towers in single-face production by the way.  I'm a little jealous.  I've been looking for a place around here with a slope like that, to no avail.  

I think you have a lot of potential there. Towers draining to growbeds or DWC even would work pretty well.  Make sure you design it for the system you'll want someday.  i.e. fish and application.

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