Aquaponic Gardening

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Hello folks, while new  Aquaponics, I have been a part time employee at our little salmon hatchery. We raise about 60,000 coho from egg to fry stage before releasing into the wild. I ran into an article back in the summer in the Hatchery International magazine about aquaponics and its acceptance on a world wide scale. In the article, and subsequent write ups, I saw that plastic pellets(?) were being used in some bio filters as a substrate. Now, being an ecological type of person I was wondering if anyone out there has used this type of substrate in a back yard system. I'm thinking that any way to reduce, re-use, recycle would be a great way to put together an environmentally friendly aquaponics project. I'm thinking of using chopped up plastic milk containers. Seems to me that will give me a good surface area to start the bacterial process on. Any ideas on this?

Ian

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Some people have looked into such things.  There are some issues with using plastic as a "gravel" replacement in media beds that I think is mostly related to the plastic perhaps not giving much support to the plants.

That said, I have used drink bottle caps as a top layer of media in water plant beds with heavier gravel down in the bottom.  The fact that the plastic floats a bit was actually a benefit in this situation since I was trying to reduce algae but still allow the plants a kinda "flooded" feel to their environment.  I've only really used this for growing water chestnuts and water cress so far.

I've seen other people use drink bottle caps as floating media in bio-filters.  I'm sure you could use chopped up milk containers to make bio-filter media.

Now there are filter medias made from recycled milk jugs and the like but they are kinda an industrial process to make.

Hmmm....well I think I'll give it a shot. What the heck, I'm just experimenting, with an eye to create some form of community based living food bank.

TCLynx said:

Some people have looked into such things.  There are some issues with using plastic as a "gravel" replacement in media beds that I think is mostly related to the plastic perhaps not giving much support to the plants.

That said, I have used drink bottle caps as a top layer of media in water plant beds with heavier gravel down in the bottom.  The fact that the plastic floats a bit was actually a benefit in this situation since I was trying to reduce algae but still allow the plants a kinda "flooded" feel to their environment.  I've only really used this for growing water chestnuts and water cress so far.

I've seen other people use drink bottle caps as floating media in bio-filters.  I'm sure you could use chopped up milk containers to make bio-filter media.

Now there are filter medias made from recycled milk jugs and the like but they are kinda an industrial process to make.

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