- not starting a system soon enough!!! I think you need to make a lot of errors to really learn about how aquaponics works. Reading and watching others will get you so far, but you learn so much more by doing it. Start small and leave room to grow because aquaponics quite addictive!
David, you are not alone. Many people have filled grow beds with even worse gravel. I've heard of people using marble chips as media and those poor plants never did like it.
Yes test media first. However, if you can't afford or get around to changing out the media, there are some plants that seem to like a high pH. Watercress is one but it likes cool weather. And if you need a hot weather beast to suck down nutrients, I'll suggest bananas but beware they may fill the grow bed beyond imagination with roots and be a pain to remove later, but it might be an effective way to remove the offending gravel as well and my ducks love eating up banana plants when I let them.
1. Cutting poly for the Raft on the floor and walking around on it. My raft resembled a strainer when i filled it from all the tiny holes that were punctured into it.
2. Having to re-plant tomato and pepper seedlings 3 times in a row before i discovered that they can't survive around cigarette smoke.
3. Using rainwater as source water for AP, after 5 months i had to adjust the falling PH everyday until i replaced it with city water.
4. Getting complacent with water testing after consistent stable readings. Then changed the fish feed(had antibiotics i suspect),after 1 week the test showed 5ppm nitrite!. It's a miracle they survived!
that looks pretty yucky!