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Good day all, I am new to the forum so I apologize if this topic has already been discussed elsewhere. I have seen the following post; In a few years I plan on moving up to Maine. The weather is quite cold in the winter and relatively warm in the summer. My main concern is the cold weather where sometimes it drops down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Would it be possible to build a raft system deep enough (I was thinking about 4 feet) and have the fish and crustaceans live in the grow bed? This would make it much easier for me to heat the water and would make it much easier for me since I don't have to worry about pipes freezing and bursting. As mentioned in the forum, I would have to add a screen in order to prevent buildup on the root system of the plants. My idea was to make the Bed about 12 feet wide, use 8 foot wide rafts and have 4 feet of clearing for the fish to receive some sunlight as well as feeding/maintenance. Does anyone foresee any issues with this design? Parasites, bacteria, lack of circulation? I appreciate any feedback! Kamil
Date: August 13, 2011 Hello to everyone. We are sixty-five year old retirees, living in the country on 10 acres in Ontario, Oregon. (about 60 miles from Boise, Idaho and 60 miles from Baker City, Oregon in the opposite direction). This means we live in eastern Oregon, USA. (Yes, there really is an eastern side.) Our side of Oregon is drier, higher in altitude, and colder than the western side, (which is where everyone seems to think of when they think of "Oregon") Not our side is where all the trees grow, the weather is more temperate, and they get lots of rain. We might get 8-10 inches of moisture a year, compared to the eastern side receiving 60-80 inches. Our side of the state is quite warm for a month in the summer - mid-nineties to mid-100s. It is also cold in the winter - in the single digits (even minus-digits, sometimes) a few days many winters. Depending on the year, we can have almost no snow -- or on other years we can receive many weeks of snow. Last year we had 12 inches of snow from November through about February. The year before we had a few days of scant snowfall. We want to convert an abandoned inground swimming pool into an aquaponics greenhouse. I think I have figured out how to manage cold through a combination of heat-generating sources, and by planting cool-weather crops during the coldest weather. I think we can also manage the very hot days, as well, with venting, a fan, or maybe even an evaporative cooler on the hottest days. Together with planting warm-weather crops during the warmest weather. The greenhouse will be on the south side of the house, where there is almost no shade. It will face the south on the front, and run lengthwise east/west. The only close tree is 15 feet tall, on the east side, that has very little shading impact on the pool area. Hubby has bought into the advantages of having an aquaponics system and is ready to make it happen ... if I can provide him with information about building a greenhouse top to the pool that will withstand snow loads and wind (we also live on a hillside.) I found geodesic designs, which seem to deal with these issues. I, personally, like geodesic domes a lot, and think they are wonderful. However, hubby is correct to say we can't justify spending thousands of dollars on any system to save a few. And, I don't think he wants to build one. (Though he could -- he can do almost anything. He's very capable.) He also wants a reasonable payback time. Does anyone out there in Aquaponics HQ cyberspace have experience in an evironment such as ours? I'm thinking someone from Idaho, eastern Oregon, Colorado, Utah, etc., would have similar weather and issues. Australia, as wonderful as it is, just doesn't seem to have quite the same weather issues as we do. The only thing preventing my husband from being willing to begin a build right now, is that he needs to understand how to build a greenhouse that will withstand the environment we have, cost-effectively. I need to provide my very smart and capable husband with information that proves someone else has dealt with the same issues, successfully. He would also appreciate reassurance that someone, in a like environment, is already successfully doing aquaponics. If anyone out there is doing aquaponics ... or thinking about it ... maybe we could get together once in a while (kind of like our own "meet-up", or club) share information and experience. I'm very eager to start. My dream would be to have a cover built in a couple of months, and start the inside set-up soon after, so the system is finished and well-underway by February. So .. this is our introduction of ourselves to you. It is nice to make your acquaintance(s).