Aquaponic Gardening

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I love Aquaponics but have yet to start my own set up. I'm still trying to fill in my knowledge gaps.

I am concerned about Styrene leaching into food from Polystyrene floats used in DWC, Anyone know anything that will stop me being concerned? Everyone seems to think it's only a matter of time before Aquaponically grown food is classed as organic but this will not be the case for DWC using Polystyrene floats.

Hope someone Knows more than me (should be easy!)

 

 

 

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2" is most common.  You will probably have to ask if they will special order it for you or you could order it through Green Acres or something.

Balsa wood rafts.  There we go.

Wait until you see the price on the 2" stuff.  We get ours from a building supply company.  Inquire about a whole skid worth, the discount is worth a few free boards.

Indeed, if you are going to be needing more than a couple 4x8 sheets of the stuff, you will definitely want to look at buying from a more wholesale outlet.

I appreciate the help, only need a sheet for small backyard unit. I will try some wholesale building supply. Thanks again.

You ought to be able to get away with 1" for something like that.  That's all I use for my little system.

You might also be able to layer multiple sheets of thinner stuff together to get the amount of float you want.

Agreed.

TCLynx said:

You might also be able to layer multiple sheets of thinner stuff together to get the amount of float you want.

The only problems I've ever had crop up from using the 1" (I think mine was actually 1-1/4") board was too much moisture around the crown/stem region of some plants, and certain plants are much less "mobile" once they get big-ish. Meaning it's much more difficult to take the net pot (2") out of the raft then put it back in without damaging some (too many for my liking, in my case) roots...since the roots grow out the sides of the net pot as well the bottom. (This doesn't happen with the 2" board)...

If you do end up gluing two 1" boards together make sure you do not use silicone caulking or any glue that has acetate in it, (or any other type of non-polar liquid) as this will do a number on your polystyrene melting it and releasing the toxic styrene you were worried about. Most silicone caulking has acetate in it and will mess up your board.

I used an acrylic based caulk and that has worked well and does not deform or otherwise melt the polystyrene.

thanks for the help, I think 1'' glued will work the best in small situation. while you are being so helpful, 3/4" gravel has been equally hard. Don't want to spend for Hydroton, can smaller that 3/4 " gravel (size of hydroton ) work as well. Disadvantage to smaller rock.



Vlad Jovanovic said:

The only problems I've ever had crop up from using the 1" (I think mine was actually 1-1/4") board was too much moisture around the crown/stem region of some plants, and certain plants are much less "mobile" once they get big-ish. Meaning it's much more difficult to take the net pot (2") out of the raft then put it back in without damaging some (too many for my liking, in my case) roots...since the roots grow out the sides of the net pot as well the bottom. (This doesn't happen with the 2" board)...

If you do end up gluing two 1" boards together make sure you do not use silicone caulking or any glue that has acetate in it, (or any other type of non-polar liquid) as this will do a number on your polystyrene melting it and releasing the toxic styrene you were worried about. Most silicone caulking has acetate in it and will mess up your board.

I used an acrylic based caulk and that has worked well and does not deform or otherwise melt the polystyrene.

Hi Miles,

 

 

I don't know the answer from personal experience but Murray Hallam swears by 3/4" and sneers at any smaller size.
 
Miles Perryman said:

thanks for the help, I think 1'' glued will work the best in small situation. while you are being so helpful, 3/4" gravel has been equally hard. Don't want to spend for Hydroton, can smaller that 3/4 " gravel (size of hydroton ) work as well. Disadvantage to smaller rock.



Vlad Jovanovic said:

The only problems I've ever had crop up from using the 1" (I think mine was actually 1-1/4") board was too much moisture around the crown/stem region of some plants, and certain plants are much less "mobile" once they get big-ish. Meaning it's much more difficult to take the net pot (2") out of the raft then put it back in without damaging some (too many for my liking, in my case) roots...since the roots grow out the sides of the net pot as well the bottom. (This doesn't happen with the 2" board)...

If you do end up gluing two 1" boards together make sure you do not use silicone caulking or any glue that has acetate in it, (or any other type of non-polar liquid) as this will do a number on your polystyrene melting it and releasing the toxic styrene you were worried about. Most silicone caulking has acetate in it and will mess up your board.

I used an acrylic based caulk and that has worked well and does not deform or otherwise melt the polystyrene.

I've used plenty of 1/2" river rock and done very well with it.  Bigger might be better but use what you can get.

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