Aquaponic Gardening

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I had noticed some aquapons painted the outside of the growbed totes and thought why do they do that. Then I had an "A HA" experience because I can't spell epiphamy.  The paint is to prevent Algea growth.  My question is to paint or not to paint.  Is painting the ouside of the growbed totes of enough benefit to justify the endevor??   I'm being carefull because i may have to paint 25 growbed totes.

Our system is in a green house with no shade.

As a point of interest if I can help just one person .... I just found out one reason to keep the water level one or two inches bellow the surface of the grow media .... to prevent Agea growth.  Amazing the simplest things can be of so much benefit. 

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Michael

I just got my system up and running few weeks ago...

I painted the exterior of the totes because the sun's UV rays will break down the polypropelene I've been told.

I ended up using some spray paint from Home depot that's kind of new, made for wood,steel,and plastic.

I won't know until next year of course how it holds up in the weather, but they've been painted for 2 months now and the paint is sticking so far.

The algae probably won't be problem in grow beds (I don't think so anyway) because your media is supposed to be 1-1/2" to 2" above the high water line. Your fish tank though you want to keep direct sunlight out of according to many people on this forum who got algae attacked and lost a lot of fish.

Brad

 

Thank you Brad for taking the time.   Your input is very valuable for one thing I've been working on a stock tank cover and wasn't sure wether to use a large mesh or more of a shade cloth.  Shade cloth it will be and the totes do need to get painted.  Thanks again. 
 
Bradly said:

Michael

I just got my system up and running few weeks ago...

I painted the exterior of the totes because the sun's UV rays will break down the polypropelene I've been told.

I ended up using some spray paint from Home depot that's kind of new, made for wood,steel,and plastic.

I won't know until next year of course how it holds up in the weather, but they've been painted for 2 months now and the paint is sticking so far.

The algae probably won't be problem in grow beds (I don't think so anyway) because your media is supposed to be 1-1/2" to 2" above the high water line. Your fish tank though you want to keep direct sunlight out of according to many people on this forum who got algae attacked and lost a lot of fish.

Brad

 

Michael, like Bradly says, painting the outside of your IBC totes should go a ways in protecting them from the suns UV rays. Or, if you have long lines of them you can cover the rows with an appropriate UV resistant film.

The IBC's themselves are usually HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) plastic. The fill caps (or bungs) at the top are also polyethylene, as are the 2" ball valve dust caps. Only the ball valves at the bottoms are polypropelyene to my knowledge and not the totes themselves.

At any rate, not much in the way of plastic or rubber seems to last long in my greenhouse unless it is protected somehow or manufactured UV resistant. All sorts of stuff gets brittle and fails. Some things have lasted almost a year, some much less. (I've only had this greenhouse for just over a year), and some are still doing just fine (so far).

The HDPE parts and pieces (IBC's included) seem to be holing up the best. (Last year I laid out various pieces of different types of plastics and watched how/when they fell apart). But... I'd highly suggest painting the IBC's AND blanketing them with some sort of UV resistant sheeting or film.

It has been my experience that with plastics, paint will last longer without flaking off if you rough up the surface with a bit of fine sand paper before you paint it. This seems to give the paint some 'tooth'.

They do make UV stabilized IBC totes if you can find them at a decent price, that might be the way to go...

Thank you Vlad for your response.  I had not thought about blanketting the IBC tote.  So we will use sand paper, paint and use some kind of blanketting barrier.  Thanks.

Michael

One more thing...I also painted the ABS and PVC piping on all my piping that's in the sun...as it will get brittle and break down too.  That's a basic requirement in construction for any PVC piping exposed to the sun the same reason. 

On PVC and ABS piping use an acrylic water base paint. 

Bradly thank you Another valuable piece of the puzzle paint any PVC exposed to the sun.  Thanks

Yup, either paint or cover up any exposed PVC. One of the test pieces of unprotected PVC (a 2" 90degree elbow) that I set out with the bunch of other types of plastics already shows some discoloration after only 10 months. It hasn't yet become brittle or crumbly, but I'm sure it will given time. Should you be using any extruded polystyrene foam for any reason definitely paint or otherwise protect it...Also, I was amazed at how fast some of the zip-ties suffered.

What is called "Latex Paint" in the U.S is in fact an acrylic based paint.  The expensive, top of the line exterior brands being 100% acrylic based. Or, in the case of the cheaper exterior paint and especially Interior Latex stuff...you get a cheap acrylic co-polymer mixed with vinyl/pva. Which wont be so great against the suns UV rays.

So if you go for a good quality (expensive) "Exterior Latex Paint" you are in fact probably buying a 100% acrylic based paint. Beats the heck out of me why they were or are called "latex" apparently  they have never ever had any latex in them (not even back in the 50's when they first started selling them. Or, if where you live they actually sell stuff marketed as 100% water based acrylic paint, just go with that...I'm just sayin' cuz different stuff is called different things in different places...

Vlad ..... Good lord I have allot of PVC, 25 grow beds to paint the the hoop house is 50X20 .... 1 1/2 pvc pipe.  O well it is better than tearing it down and rebuiling in a couple of years.   I should have used gray electric pipe I understand, now, it has UV protection but unfortunately I used the white because every Hop house I saw on you tube had white PVC pipe.  O well this builds caracter ..... sure I'll be saying that to myself the entire time I'm painting .. You gotta love life right ..... otherwise it aint worth living.

I should have 5 or 10 gallons of recycled exterior latex paint in the garage.  Wow ... how was it that guy Hucle Berry Flyn got voluntears to help him.    Thank you how ever painful I needed to know.

 

Well you could always wrap them in a thin UV film if something like that is available...or use 'union couplers' and just change out the PVC when it becomes necessary (might be not so resource conscious of an option though)...

My grey PVC is the one that has the discoloration (though mine is not electrical UV protected grey PVC...it's just PVC-u which is how they mark 'Un-plasticized' PVC in the E.U)...the white PVC male thread adapter that was bought in the US is holding up fine so far...no discoloration yet...But PVC will break down in the sun eventually...I wrapped a bunch of mine in foil-backed bubble wrap...I imagine that in the land of Coke and Honey you should have all sorts of options available :) ...oh yeah...if you use tape to hold any UV film you wrap, use the good UV resistant greenhouse tape...the crap I used (available) turns to dust if I manhandle it...

Hold an Aquaponic "workshop" for some Huck Finn type help...washing media, painting whatever...

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