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My husband and I are establishing our first AP system. We are using the flood and drain method and our grow beds are two halves of a blue barrel. I am attaching pictures of what is going on with our media.

When the system is flooding, the media gets higher and higher since it's starting to float. Not too much, but enough that when the system is draining, the media shifts and we get a valley in the middle. I'm afraid that our plants will shift along with the media and become a mess.

We were considering adding an inch or two of heavier media on top, but I wanted to check with you all to see if you had any advice or recommendations.


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Are you draining the water before it reaches the top of the media? You should have a couple inches of dry media on the top.

Is this Viastone or Plantit? It takes a few days for the moisture to penetrate all the nooks and crannies to reduce buoyancy. As Alex said 2 inches of dry media on top should hold things down.

Thanks for the replies. It is Plantit. We do have 1 1/2 inches on top, but we can add some more. Our system has been running for almost a week now.

Many folks run into this problem. We use beautiful granite here and everything stays in place. You are also going to have to be very careful pulling off dead leaves or harvesting some leaves and such to avoid pulling the entire plant out. If you bury the Plantit under gravel you are wasting the very high price you paid for the media as it will be on the bottom. Our media beds in granite cost 130.00 as opposed to 2300.00 for Hydroton which I am assuming costs similar to Plantit?

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