Aquaponic Gardening

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I'm building a Flood and Drain system, 35 Gallon, 1:1 grow to aquarium ratio.  I purchased Hydroton as the medium, and did my best to clean all of the clay dust off the hydroton before placing it in the growbed.  Some dust remained and now my aquarium is somewhat murky.  Any tips for removing the Hydroton dust from the water, without a full or partial water change?

Also, for anyone from San Diego out there,  any sources for greater than 2'' wide PVC, in San Diego County?  It seems that Home Depot and Lowes only go up to 2''.



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Hello Brandon,

I wouldn't be too concerned with the dust in the water. It will eventually settle out, and the water will clear up. Let the system cycle continuously for a while. If you are really concerned you can run the water through a charcoal or sand filter.

If you are looking for sources of large diameter PVC pipe, I would look for PVC sewage pipes. Maybe there is a local plumbing supply store, or call a local plumber and ask him/her.

My hydroton dust settled out, even with the siphon churning the water, and once on the bottom pretty much stays there. Once in a while I do a little siphon vacuuming (just like with aquariums) to get it off the bottom.

You could put a sock on the water inlet to the grow bed or outlet from the grow bed to help collect a bit more of the dust but the truth is it really isn't anything to worry about.  As your bio-filter starts to cycle up and create a nice layer of bio-slime on everything, the dust will start to stick to the bio-slime and the water will clear.  When you first start up a system the water will stay cloudy longer but once you get a good bio-slime going, when you add more beds you may find that the water will clear up much faster (bio-slime is great stuff.)

Yup, as other have said here the dust will eventually settle out of its own accord - but similarly to adding a sock, I added a fine mesh filter (normally used for holding food scraps going into the sink) over the water inlet to the grow bed... more out of curiosity to see what was being picked up... it was quite a lot at the beginning, but then over time it settled to really beautifully clear water.  Or let the water flow over a sponge when it comes into your grow bed.  That can be easily rinsed and usually picks up quite a bit of the dust.

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