Aquaponics 101 – Designing the Greenhouse

A very busy week on the terrace. My Malawians (Joshua and Obvious), have eventually got it slightly level, and compacting has proceeded with a manual “stamper” after the petrol plate compactor just sank into the clay after three days solid rain. Many thanks to Knysna Equipment Hire for the plate compactor.

I went to P.E. this week and bought a load of 40mm PVC fittings and some pipe from Astore Africa, to put the theoretical model into practice. The size of the greenhouse is still going to be 3.5m wide (3m high) at the facade and 5m long, with ribs 1m apart. Strength is all important and I am considering bracing the PVC with wire or threaded bar. They are also going to be supplying me with the plastic film that goes over the frame.

The height at the facade is 2M straight sides and then a 1m slope to the apex. to give you an indication, I am exactly 1.8m (6 ft) tall, so I designed it so that I can walk upright inside. Here is a front view with the overall height represented by the pipe sticking up in the middle.


If you look at the ground on the right hand side you’ll see a yellow tape measure representing the 5m length.

Here is another view from the top.


I have to find a way to bend the pipe so that all the curved ribs are exactly the same. If I can get the design just right, who know’s maybe I can sell these greenhouses in kit form? They’d work out at about 1/3 of the price of a conventional steel frame. Anyway here is an image of a template for the curved rib.


My plans for this week are to order two mesh pools from Hydrex (done), arrange for a quote to lay a concrete slab for the base of my greenhouse and also a quote to get electricity to the terrace.

The grow bed section, ie. outside the slab, is going to be covered with gravel because brick-paving works out too expensive.

And after a hard days work, what better way than to end off than with a potjie and a bottle of wine on my deck.





One Response

  1. Looking great, Synaptoman! Keep up the good work. Hope that you give a summary of the whole process upon completion, including costs?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: