Aquaponics 101 – Plans are for changing.

What a week! This project is as slippery as an eel. Everytime I think I’ve got it sorted, circumstances change. After the gale force winds last week, I chickened out of building my own greenhouse frame out of PVC, and drove through to P.E. and bought a galvanised iron frame (6m x 3m) from Rhino Plastics, custom made in France for the job. It has no straight sides and slopes right down to the ground, so one loses some headroom, but at least I know the whole thing won’t blow away. The child-bride and I set about constructing the frame which would have been quite easy, but for the fact that they had sent no plastic film and some of the parts were incorrect. Anyway, the replacement parts are being sent to me tomorrow by courier.

Here is a side view of the frame. (You can see the door leaning up against the bush in the background)


I stuck to the plan for another 2500L water tank as a sump, and constructed the slab and placed the tank in position over the weekend. As far as the other tank is concerned, I don’t think that water collection is going to be a problem. We have only had 5mm of rain since putting the tank in, but it’s already a quarter full (about 600L). Still a lot to go, but I’m out there every day doing my rain dance.

Here is a picture of the new sump with the greenhouse frame in the background. (Yes, I am going to build a retaining wall around it.)


I am too scared to add up my costs so far, and labour is costing me a bit, but I am really trying to do as much as possible myself. Here is a picture of a little side retaining wall that I built. I know I’ll never get a job as a bricklayer, but hey, it may not win any competitions but at least it works.


Here is a picture of Joshua and I pondering things. The placement and size of the two ponds can be seen by the geomats on the ground. The height of the ponds can be seen by the mesh in my hands (1.2M)


I have 800 Tilapia fry booked and arriving on the 30th from so I have to move now. My tasks for the next week are;

  • complete the greenhouse.
  • lay the slab for the inside of the greenhouse.
  • install the two ponds.
  • fill the ponds.
  • install the pump next to the sump and lay temporary piping to circulate the water.

Oh, and I suppose I’ll need to get power down to the pump. After that I’ll get cracking on the grow beds and then re-plumb.

Enough for now. I’m getting tired just thinking of all the work to be done.

Be Good



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