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I started wondering if using DOW blue board was really safe for aquaponics. Well the anwser was "NO" after calling the 1-888 # on the product pdf, I said I'm looking to purchase a large quantity of blue board for Aquaponics, he said ok let me take down all your information. He took my name, address, business name, phone # and then said that DOW did not endorse my application for their product and could not give me the contact information for a distributor. I asked why, he said it was because chemicals from the foam board product would leach and be absorbed by the plants, I asked but he would not list the chemicals. I then stated US Gov. was certifying organic produce grown with their product and he stated, they knew and did not endorse the application. We spoke a little more before him thanking me for my time and hung up. He was quite mono-tone, seriously professional and polite before he hung up. So I found 2 suppliers of Expanded polystyrene board, they do endorse the application, and the one I purchased from in Chino,CA. even gave me a tour of the manufacturing facility.

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That would be a very good and constructive idea Damon. There are some other points of confusion in regards to poly-iso foam boards that you, because of your time at the FAP farm, may be in a unique position to help clear up. I would suggest we move further discussion on this topic over to here...http://aquaponicscommunity.com/forum/topics/polystyrene-floats-in-d...

 since much of this and more, has been covered there (only without all the unfortunate negativity). I'm not sure how to go about moving threads around...other than directing people to the above link.

i think your comment acting as a giant yellow road sign to the intelligent conversation will suffice.

El ray  Thanks for the persistent follow through.  Can you list the contact info so I can call directly.  I am in need of a distributor here in so cal..thanks again  chuck

I hear alot of talkie talkie and not a single phone call to DOW ???

Any rookie who has time to "research" and post on fourms, has time to call DOW. Excuses excuses = Guilt

Yes, if Blue Board is safe then why don't you call DOW? WHY? Because any commercial operation would be legally obligated to cease and desist the use of the product and then you'd have to admit flawed practices and start with new.

Using blue board is like growing with GMO's. What's acceptable today, won't be once the truth is uncovered. So all you blue boarders keep enjoying the ride, but like all waves of ignorance it will end.

To all you conspiracy theorists I'm not selling anything, only giving away valuable knowledge. All great ideas are ridiculed before accepted as common fact. I expect trolls to take what they want and leave behind what they don't understand.

El Ray, have you been drinking again?

Reads like a spam bot for Viagra. A really really smart one with fingers and a spellchecker.

Go away tro


Vlad Jovanovic said:

El Ray, have you been drinking again?

yeah, and i bet if you wasted your time calling any balloon manufacturer they wouldn't endorse them for use as condoms even though they would serve the same purpose just as effectively. (although it may be a bit uncomfortable)

we went over this before... if people use a product for anything other than it's manufactured purpose the company that produces said product is legally obligated to condemn any other use because it's not covered under their prescribed purposes of use. they would be held liable for something that the company itself hasn't looked into.

now, if dow ran a very academic study, let's say just throw a piece of blue board into a fish tank and see if it hurts the fish... if the fish come out ok, then they would be able to say, legally, that the blue boards could be used in an aquatic environment... but, since use in aquaponics is still a very small thing, i doubt a test, even one as easy as this one, would be conducted any time soon.

hop off grandpas cough medicine son... you'll do much better that way.

I got the same information from Dow as El Ray did. Totally shut down and no info on distributors. Forget Dow AND Corning. Jon turned me on to the Beaver plastic product and we have been using it since june in our commercial system. No problems with certification, great service from Beaver and at a great price.

Kenji Snow

Ouroboros farms, Pescader, CA

Aquaponics IS the farming evolution!

Hi Kenji, just for the sake of clarity...You got DOW on the phone and they said, quote "...chemicals from their foam board product would leach and be absorbed by the plants..."

Your farm looks really amazing btw...

Absolutely. They stated AP was not the intended use for the product and that they will not assist in locating their product if it was intended for AP usage. I asked why and he stated that the product was never intended to be used in AP and that Dow would not be responsible for leaching or other contamination of food crops if used in any way other than what Dow intended. I understand their concern about liability. They wouldnt discuss it any further and promptly hung up. They seemed very familiar with the fact that their product was used in AP. I called a week later and asked for a distributor. They asked me what I was doing with it and I told them as insulation on a large poultry barn and and they gave me the info. I decided on the Beaver product anyway. Thanks for the compliment on the farm.

This feels like deja vu...When I got them on the phone (a couple of times) I could not goad (no matter how hard I tried) to get them to say that their product "will leach"...anything... Just that they could not endorse their product for any use other than the one that it was designed, manufactured and intended for. Which again are two totally different things.

I'm going to drop this now because 1) I really don't care all that much. Personally I went with a local company and had them withfrain from using any of the potentially problematic brominated flame retardants (or any type of flame retardants)  present in many construction grade extruded polystyrene products. 2) I fucking hate DOW corp and try to not support them by not purchasing their products whenever possible. So if you and Jon have an alternative available for folks that's really cool.

But hopefully people will choose to use rafts that are devoid of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), not because of an unrealistic fear that "it will leach in an AP setting and be taken up by the plants" (which is hog wash, HBCD is toxic to aquatic life and would sooner kill your fish than somehow magically be taken up by your plants), but because by using a product like yours (Beaver Plastics) which is devoid of HBDC flame retardants, people are not adding to the problem that HBDC's present to our eco-system when their rafts have outlived their usefulness and need to be tossed. For anyone into AP, this is probably reason enough, without all the scientifically/chemically unfounded fear mongering. HBCD and their use are already banned here, and hopefully soon that will also be the case in the US (not real likely though).

So screw DOW, If I lived in CA or the US I'd contact you or Jon Parr on principle alone. DOW corp ranks right up there with DuPont and Monsanto, so if there is a superior and ecologically safer alternative...why the hell not? From what Jon says, it's cheaper too...and no drilling out all those 2" holes

I'm quite happy with the Beaver Plastics rafts, and I'm working with them to modify a design to make them better (design-wise not material-wise). The only lame thing is that they are made in Canada, and shipping to the US is pricey. I'm also working with some EPS pros here in the states (New Mexico) to produce the same thing, and additionally they will be dipped in opaque epoxy right at the factory. That way there is no need to paint, or drill, and the longevity should get into the decades. The Beaver rafts last only a few years in direct sun, unpainted. Probably the same for DBB. Painted, both last many years, maybe 10ish? BUT, dipped in opaque resin, I see no reason they would not last 20-30 years, maybe more, and eliminate the concern over paint or EPS leaching. Plus, I hate white rafts in open sunlight. They are fricken bright, and totally uncomfortable to work around, not to mention that white, yellow, and pale blue attract pest insects. I painted mine dirt-brown, and instantly the garden was pleasant to be around again.

El Ray, who is the supplier you have in Chino? It seems odd that you would swim with sharks here and slam DBB, and not give the alternative supplier. I was unable to find them. We are all certain that Dow does not approve their product for AP use, and as stated many times here and elsewhere, "why would they?". It doesn't make sense for a big company to stick their neck out for a potential drop in the bucket in profit. We get that. The lack of Dow support does not constitute any potential danger or warning. Even a warning from them would only be at face value without some science to back it up.

Other things to weigh when deciding, are the differences between extruded (DBB), and expanded (Beaver). Expanded has better resistance to water-logging, but also has those annoying little white beads that erode and make a mess of things. And the density, DBB being 1 lb and Beaver being 3 lb. This means that a 1" Beaver board is still stronger than a 2" DBB. 

I'm going surfing. Later gents

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