Hello all, this is something that has been troubling me lately. I am currently fabricating a compact patio system that is constructed almost entirely out of white oak. I want it to be nice enough to keep inside but also be able to withstand the elements if used outdoors. The ideal wood for this in my opinion is California Redwood. However building an entire system out of CRW is not practical because building the fish tank and grow bed out of slats of lumber instead of plywood is unnecessary and very expensive. So I decided to go with oak plywood sheets for the grow GB & FT and use oak boards for the vertical supports. In order for the oak to be able to withstand the elements for many years (like redwood will) it is going to need to be treated with some kind of sealer. This is where my problem lies. I am worried that once the pine is treated and if there is a decent rain storm, all the water the runs off the unit and into the FT might contaminate the water. I realize that even if this did happen it would be very minimal but still, avoiding contaminations like that is one of the reasons some people are even interested in aquaponics. Does anyone have any thoughts on this or is anyone aware of an all natural way of sealing the wood so even if a small amount of your system's water comes in contact with it, it wont have any detrimental impact of the health of any living organism in the system?
I am also building a system for a small patio. I was concerned about the same thing and did quite a bit of research on the subject. I found a wonderful product that I am using. So far it has performed as advertised. Based on my limited use so far, I would recommend it. It is call P2 - Superseal. I purchased it from East Riding Koi Company. The only down side for me was that they are located in the UK so shipping was a bit steep. Even with that, I would purchase it again. This is their website.
Thanks, that stuff seems great. I'm curious what it is made of. The description on the website was just a story about how it didn't kill their Koi haha. It is probably a water based sealant or a natural oil or something like that.
I did a little more research myself and came across a wonderful product called "Milk Paint". It is made from casein, lime and natural pigments. It is actually 1/3 hydrated lime so if there is any runoff into my system it would be quite beneficial! This stuff is perfect for aquaponics. Here is a link to the best website offering milkpaint http://www.realmilkpaint.com/products.html
Hi Ben, you should look into it yourself, but I'm pretty sure that 'pondsafe product' (likely) use a 100% acrylic emulsion. (BTW...Beware of the term 'acrylic co-polymer' when researching a product, as often times, these days, the term is now used as a 'code word' for vinyl, but without disclosure from the manufacturer it is hard to know). At any rate, I think there is a company in the US called "Earthpaint" that makes a line of paints and wood stains that fit may your bill if shipping from the UK seems inhibitory. They seem very helpful in answering questions. Might be worth checking them out?