I am from South India (Tamilnadu). Here AP is relatively unknown. When I started knowing through web browsing, first thing I was attracted towards the book by Sylvia. I already have little experience in soil less farming (Wheat Grass Growing). Now I am trying to combine both aqua and agri. As has been advised by Sylivia, I am trying in a small way with Growth Media based planting. Here the Clay Balls are very costly since everything is only imported. Regarding my doubts on Growth Media, I will soon post in the respective section.
I agree with Ryan, various gravels and river rocks should be readily available in India. Test any media with vinegar to make sure it doesn't have limestone in it before using it. (limestone will make it difficult to keep your pH low enough for your plants).
Hi welcome. I started with blue gravel as the grow media, and seems to work. I have another bed with clay balls and that also seems to work as well. I think there is a lot of flexibility in what you can do, just try it out with what is local. Just make sure its not limestone, because that plays havack with the pool chemistry.
I'm running an aquaponics research project to try and find out how they work in practice, where you can keep track of your pool chemistry, system changes etc on-line (web, or smartphone). You can then view other people's diaries and see what others are doing. There seems to be more variability in pool chemistry than recommended with no apparent ill effects. A quick look at some of the diaries, and many are over 20 at least at times.
Anyone joining can view the diaries of other people so that can do a comparison. You may want to join this, and use this to track how your system is going, and see how others are working, and help the aquaponics community. Who knows what we can find out. The site is on www.ourresearch.net.
If importing grow media is not an option local clean river rock can be a good alternative.