It’s taken a few weeks working several hours every day after work, but we’re finished with grow bed construction. I’m sure these are super over engineered, but better safe then sorry for this much water.
The curved beds were constructed in sections with a wider back and a narrow front side. After building all the frames and setting them next to each other, we reinforced with more vertical supports, added horizontal supports under each leg to distribute the load. The beds are screwed to the floor beams to limit any potential spreading of the sides. The outer beds are around 36″ in height (a bit taller than a standard table) and the center bed is 40″ tall to give us a bit more head room coming up the stairs.
The center bed spans across half the stairway opening and is double reinforced to spread the load across the beam and the two columns. All my numbers work out to be well above what’s needed (the structure is designed to support four times the projected load), but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive about filling the beds with almost 10,000 lbs of water.
The next steps are adding a layer of one inch foam over the plywood to help keep our water temps consistent and then a 20mil poly liner to waterproof everything. We’ll be installing those things this week. This is kind of bitter sweet as this marks the last of the large build out and we just have utilities stuff left. Hopefully in a week or two we’ll be able to fill the system and add some minnows to start the seasoning process.