Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

i love geting a good deal, repurposeing or just dumpster diving. curbmart is my favorite store. many of us have found that one place where that one item is way cheaper. here is where you let us know. AP can be unnecessarily expencive if you dont know where to get a deal. this whole thing is all about redusing waste. so share what you have found.

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i hit on a few things in the last week, one of witch is that you just have to look at things like a kid again. my daugter desided that it aint soooooo bad helpin dad fill pots with little balls. she got right in the tub we used to rinse in and comented the it felt like a good masage. then she wanted to be the one to put the seeds in. later when the subject of school sience projects came up, she declared "can i build a small set up so other kids can see this"? we run around trying to perfect our systems so the family can eat good yet before the first seed sprouts we may already have reaped the greatest reward of all, our kids education and interest in what we do

all my plants grow out in the yard, i have found that i my not be compleatly happy with hydroton but then again it wont be the first time nor the last so lets get down to brass tacks. i had to re plant my first plants (brocolie) because the wind was knocking them over, so i grab the stem, tip the pot over and pour out most of the little balls, set the plant deeper and refill. the wind (not a lot, just gusts) still sems to wigle the plant around till the poor buger dont know what end is up. step 2. start the pots with less than optimal amount of media,  let the sprouts develop leaves and slowly add media over time hoping that this will result in a lower root ball and better ancoring but if the little round balls keep moving out of the way the plans will still fall seems to do with resistance and weight ( yes the stuff is fun to stick your hands in but tell that to your tomato plant while its on its ass ). OK i know that if i fill giant containers full of the stuff the roots will go down a mile or if i realy had nothing to do with my time a big ball of string might help. but where im at chatahochee (river rock) is only $65 a TON and hydroton is $40 for 40 pounds. somthing tells me that pot growers have more cash than me. 

Gotta tell ya, I've got grow beds that hold more than half a ton of rocks.  A ton of Expanded clay would definitely fill more grow beds than a ton of rocks does and washing it would be a bit easier for the person doing all the lifting.  But guess what, provided the cheap river rocks pass a vinegar fizz test, I go with the cheap rocks and count the heavy labor or rinsing them as good excersize.
whats a little back pain between friends?

TCLynx said:
Gotta tell ya, I've got grow beds that hold more than half a ton of rocks.  A ton of Expanded clay would definitely fill more grow beds than a ton of rocks does and washing it would be a bit easier for the person doing all the lifting.  But guess what, provided the cheap river rocks pass a vinegar fizz test, I go with the cheap rocks and count the heavy labor or rinsing them as good excersize.

Well if you throw a party (maybe call it an aquaponics workshop) you can get a lot of gravel washed very quickly.  Just have to have enough washing bins and baskets set up for several people to be washing at the same time while others shovel and other dump.

 

By the way Clay, that post about your daughter, Priceless.

call me nuts buy i have some of the shelves that homedepo uses, 12 feet tall. someone better talk me out of building a 3 layer ultra high garden in the sky with a quikness before i go and ruin the skyline on my block. ps i just found out that the cops were in my back yard at 4 am a few days ago looking through my plants. i guess some one heard aquaphonics and there little alarm went off and they called the boys in blue. im personaly glad they are on the prowl, a drug dog would loos his mind if let loose on my block. he he he.

LOL.  How is code enforcement in your area?

Keep in mind that the lower levels of a 12 foot tall garden are going to have trouble getting enough light.

@ TLC, depends on what you grow in those three layers. I for one have a thing for verticle growing. My concern is with stability.

That is a considerable structure with lots of weight in it but if anchored and on a soild foundation>...I say Yahoo! Lets go for it!

I'm not sure I would want to be climbing the ladder to get to the top all the time.
One thing I'm thinking about doing is digging up some local clay, mixing it 50/50 with sawdust, making a jig to create the balls and pit firing it. There resulting product should behave like hydroton, holding water and being about the same weight.
I know of some one who did something sort of similar perhaps but he called his goat dung scoria.
make sure you get the heat high enough or you may find you just made a big mud pie :)

Jonathan Kadish said:
One thing I'm thinking about doing is digging up some local clay, mixing it 50/50 with sawdust, making a jig to create the balls and pit firing it. There resulting product should behave like hydroton, holding water and being about the same weight.

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