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RonPaul

My Design w/ Drawings. Comments/advice welcome

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Hello,

The diagram you see above is my 40' x 20' (or about 13M X 6.5M) Greenhouse. There is one large 8000L-10000L below grade tank with 2 woden 2ft wide planks and several rows of vertical planters. The grow bed area is 322sqft(7000L). The blue lines are water pipes about 8ft above the floor that will deliver the water from the tank to the grow bed. The red lines are the return water pipes about 1 ft above the floor, that will bring the water from the auto-syphon to the large tank.

Since Greenhouses are VERY expencive to build and heat in my area(Canada). I need the very best design that optimises these two requirements:

#1 Thermal Storage: A huge tank for thermal storage of heat from the sun durring the day(Water is great for thermal storage 4X more dence than concrete) This means Less $$ spent on heating at night

#2 space optimized: the cost to build a greenhouse to withstand the canadian winter is not cheap so I Need to design to use all my sqft hence the belowground tank with vertical planter draining back to the tank. This tank is not to expencive to build and for the growbeds I am thinking to make my own with fiberglass.

This video is what i am bacing my design on. The greenhouse in the video is twice as big as my planned greenhouse and has a bigger fish tank (24000L) than what i would need.

post-10017-13795791198392_thumb.jpg

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My Greenhouse will Be about 800 sqft

What type of system would work best for a space this size ? Continuous flow or flood and drain

Also what would be the advantages/disadvantage of using a bio-filter?

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Hey RonPaul,

Where abouts in Canada are you? I would seriously consider looking at a passive solar greenhouse with an insulated north wall. Seal it up good like a house with an exterior grade door with weather stripping. You'll need vents for hot summer months, but plug them up good when it gets cold. Are you planning on heating it in the winter? You may want to consider running a minimalist system in the dead of winter, I.e just do the bare minimum to keep the fish alive for a few months. This will depend on how cold your area is.

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Hi Pseudo

I am in North Rustico PEI.

The Greenhouse will be designed with out a heater . Earthship+ Passive solar Greenhouse + subterranean heating and cooling system

It sounds expencive but its not to bad. 3 of the 4 sides of the greenhouse will have 7 foot thick earth walls(thermal Mass) followed by R-40 ridgid insulation then some more earth. The north side of the celing will be steal roof ontop of R-40. The south side will be all Glass. The solar heat will be traped inside by the huge amout of thermal mass. The sun will pour solar heat into my greenhouse simmilar to filling a bucket with water... Also the Subteranean heating and cooling system will cool the Greenhouse in the summer and heat it in the winter for pennies of electrictiy.

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PEI, very nice. I finally made it out to PEI a year and half ago. After that trip, hitting a few other east coast areas in the process, I could finally say I've been coast to coast to coast and everywhere in-between; every Province, Territory, and Ocean.

You greenhouse sounds very elaborate. How do you plan on holding the earth together. Depending on the height, you'll need a pretty heavy duty retaining wall.

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Google "earthship". The retaining walls are used tires filled with compacted earth. when filled with earth each tire weighs 300-400 lbs. The original design is from architect Michael Reynolds so all the walls are built to the correct load bearing specs

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One thing to keep in mind is solar insolation. Those earthships are efficient, but they are also in an area that has relatively warm days and cold nights. I doubt they experience the extremes you deal with.

What kind of fish are you planning on raising? A cool water species and you might only need to heat in a blizzard. I would look at a backup heater. There was a blog from another person in canada that built an earth sheltered greenhouse and had to abandon it as underground temps were too low. I'll try to find it again and post a link. I had read up on it heavily, but decided against trying to build one , since all I had was a shovel to dig with. A rocket mass heater might be just the thing you need to keep it running without having to spend a fortune.

Are you going to include a solar water heater of one kind or another?

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Hi Ravnis

I was thinking about starting with a local cold water Trout and PEI mussels. Atleast untill i make it tru a few cold winters

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