Aquaponic Gardening

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Just a thought,  but had anyone used a recyclable material for their growbed media?  About ten years ago my dad was crushing glass bottles and making stepping stones and other concrete items.  The glass had a few stages of grinding to go through before turned to sand.  One of the last stages was a small chip of glass that you could squeeze in your hand and it not cut you.  He made a hydroponic system and used that glass as a media and grew huge tomatoes.  He sent it off and had it tested just as you would test soil, and the PH was out of the roof.  We still have that machine and a few others like it that chip up plastic, glass, cardboard and other types of recyclables.  My thoughts are maybe using chipped plastic bottles as a media,  either in a GB or in NFT cups.  Wonder if it will work. 

Any ideas of other material that may possibly work?

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many people have talked of using glass as media but it is usually too small to make very good media, remember that the best Flood and drain AP media seems to be in the range of 1/2" to 3/4"

I"m currently using bottle caps as a floating media in one of my water plant beds to help reduce certain types of algae though it isn't stopping other types.

There is some worry about possible leaching from plastics but aside from that (there is possible leaching from about 95% of stuff we use in AP) I see no reason why you shouldn't test some stuff out and report back to the group. Everything is likely to have some pros and cons. The chipped plastics may tend to be a bit light and some may float and therefor not provide as much support as heavy gravel but then again, same holds true for clay balls.
How is that working out for you? I would think that the roots would need something more stable than bottle caps. I can chip pretty much anything up to whatever size I want. I'm just trying to find something that will normally go to the landfill and recycle it to use as my media.
The bottom of the bin has regular gravel to give the water plants something firm to anchor in. then I put plastic drink bottle caps on top.


chris taylor Swamp Creek Farms said:
How is that working out for you? I would think that the roots would need something more stable than bottle caps. I can chip pretty much anything up to whatever size I want. I'm just trying to find something that will normally go to the landfill and recycle it to use as my media.

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