Fanatic End Frames on the Aquaponics Greenhouse – The Build Continues!

Well, I’m glad to say that I’ve finally been able to get back to the ‘build’ portion on my Aquaponics Greenhouse!

Hard to believe its been nearly 3 months since I’ve had the opportunity to really get back towards the building portion of the green house.

The main reason with the delay has had to do with finances and usual things that life like’s to throw at you to put a kink in your productivity, but thankfully I’ve been given a respite, so now back to the build 🙂

As it is now December, most people in the northern hemisphere are experiencing winter. I am not among them. Living in Phoenix, snow is not an option, but we have been able to dip into the 30’s during the night at some times. During the day our temps have been holding steady in the 60’s, so we’ve been more fortunate then most with regards to harsh weather (that’ll be made up for during the summer). With that comes keeping the tanks water at a reasonable temperature for the fish. At this point it has been achieved using some large aquarium heaters and they’ve done a fine job at keeping the fish alive. Their appetites however are another issue,they have greatly decreased due to the waters drop in temperature. With that comes a decrease in growth.

Up till this point as the greenhouse goes, I’ve been using shade cloth (which was a necessity during the summer months). Ideally this should have been taken down in late October or early November and replaced with actual greenhouse film to help retain heat during the nights that can be collected during the day.

So now that I’m back on the build, that is now my intent, to get the greenhouse’s end frames built and the applying the greenhouse film so as to help keep the heat in and the cold out.

As with the whole of my build, I am not going by any set plans. I find ideas online (mainly from Google images) and then pull elements that I like along the way. So with the end frames I first determined the door width by measuring where the inner wall of the greenhouse meets the grow beds and then measuring that out to just where the grow beds inner wall ends. In the end it gave me a door width of roughly 3 1/2 feet, which is more than adequate to get in and out of. Door height is not bad either, I do have to dip my head a bit upon entry, but its acceptable. Once inside I have plenty of head clearance.

After looking at how others have put their end frames together, I decided to mount the outer frame of the door to the 2×6 Cedar base and use that as the bottom part of the frame for the door versus adding in another 2×4 piece along the bottom. Mounting the frame was done using some deck plates and screws. Attaching it to the top I used a metal tape which can be easily wrapped around the PVC piping, then screwed securely to the door frame itself. In this way I eliminate any sharp ends that might rip in to the greenhouse film.

To the sides of the door I also added in a couple of 2×4’s at roughly 45 degree angles to add additional support to the door. As you can see to one side, the pieces are not aesthetically the same, I had to shorten one sides support in order to provide clearance the PVC piping that enters/exits the greenhouse.

Next up will be to build the actual door itself. For this it is simple 2×4 construction. Build the rectangle with enough clearance for the hinges and latch, then add a 45 degree cross member inside the door to maintain the doors rigidity. Later I’ll add some seals to help keep the inside as sealed from the outside as I can to maintain internal temperature.

On the other side of the green house I had contemplated adding a second door so as to have access from both ends. Ultimately I decided against this as I want to make sure that side will be able to accommodate a small swamp cooler for the summer months.

All in all, some good progress. Like most things on this build, it just surprises me how much better it looks than what I think it will look, ultimately because I do not consider myself a big DIY’er, but this project just might prove me wrong 😉

Posted on December 23, 2012, in Aquaponics, Garden, Greenhouse, Hydroponics, Inspiration, Solar, Talapia. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What are your plans for keeping it cool enough in summer? The shade isn’t enough right?

  2. The shade did fairly well at keeping the temps down, though the water still peaked at 96 degrees.

    For the Talapia, they still had a good 10+ degree buffer to go, but I’m thinking of adding something to directly shade the tank as well. I’ve also seen use of a small swamp cooler work fairly well in another system. But that’s only good up to 103-105 before it becomes ineffective.

    So for now, sticking with the shade cloth, adding in a shade structure for the tank.. and if funds permit, swamp cooler.

    As long as the water temps stay between 85-95, I’ll be happy.. and so will the fish 😉

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