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Hi I´m interested in growing strawberries in water rafts. I have a few questions about it and will appreciate your input.
1: Can I pour the water directly from the fish tanks into the growbeds?
2. How wide and deep should the containers, where the plants grow be? Do I need to put rocks in those to retain the bacteria?
3. How much oxigen do the beds actually need? would the circling of the water be enough?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Gracias

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Ricardo,

I think you are trying to grow without a sufficient filter system. If you try to grow your strawberries in a raft system that is receiving water directly from the fish tank without a filter or a media bed between the fish tank and the rafts then you may experience an issue of waste from the fish tank accumliating on the roots of the plants and choking out oxygen from the plants. You may experience an initial growth from the effluent from the fish tank, but it will soon turn the root system dark and choke out the oxygen to the plants. Sylvia, in her DVD talks about this at length, when she discusses Green Acre Organics system. They constructed a hybrid system where the fish tank dumped into a long media bed and when the water came out it went into the raft system cleaned of most of the solids. If you have a media bed and a good healthy dose of worms in the media beds you will probably find a better outcome. I have tried to cut out the media bed and did not do really well.

Good Luck,

Clark Fullwood

g

Clark, thank you for your reply. It totally makes sense. Can i fill the filter tank with spounges instead of gravel or stones? The two tanks I´ll be using are pretty large and I´ll definitely need a big tank to capture the water from the two tanks. Filling that tank with media will be quite expensive not to mention heavy.
I appreciate any suggestions you may have regarding light media types.
ricardo

Ricardo,

Just to be clear. You need to have your raft beds after the media bed. Your media bed would not need to capture all the water from the raft bed. The water needs to go thru the media be on way to raft bed. If you have say a 4x8 foot media bed with gravel and a couple thousand red wiggler worms, That should clean the waste from your system sufficiently to keep the roots of the strawberries clean. The water from the raft beds then dump back into your sump tank, where the system starts all over. This is provided that your sump pumps into both the fish and sump at same time. Otherwise it goes back into the fish tank As far as sponges go I don't think they would be heavy enough to stay in place and filter the solids out as they generally too closed cell in structure. But that is my opinion. Now the more fish you have then you may have to increase the media bed size. I hope that helps.

Clark
 
ricardo restrepo-castaño said:

Clark, thank you for your reply. It totally makes sense. Can i fill the filter tank with spounges instead of gravel or stones? The two tanks I´ll be using are pretty large and I´ll definitely need a big tank to capture the water from the two tanks. Filling that tank with media will be quite expensive not to mention heavy.
I appreciate any suggestions you may have regarding light media types.
ricardo

Clark, thank you. It's all beginning to make sense now. I'm a little confused about the sump tank . You say that the sump pump has to pump water from the sump tank into the fish tank and into the sump tank at the same time. Why is that? I was hoping to pump the water from the sump tank into the fish tanks and start the cycle all over again.

I thank you for your advise.

ricardo

Harvesting strawberries from rafts seems like it would be a very tedious task. That's probably why I usually see them growing in pipes where the fruits hang down for easy picking. I guess you could lean the raft up vertically against a wall while picking...

Depending on how densely you stock your tanks, that is not always true. I am designing a low density system. I will not have any filtration between the beds and the fish tank. I will have a LOT of oxygenation and 128 sq ft of grow space with about 20-30lbs of fish. 

Clark E. Fullwood said:

Ricardo,

I think you are trying to grow without a sufficient filter system. If you try to grow your strawberries in a raft system that is receiving water directly from the fish tank without a filter or a media bed between the fish tank and the rafts then you may experience an issue of waste from the fish tank accumliating on the roots of the plants and choking out oxygen from the plants. You may experience an initial growth from the effluent from the fish tank, but it will soon turn the root system dark and choke out the oxygen to the plants. Sylvia, in her DVD talks about this at length, when she discusses Green Acre Organics system. They constructed a hybrid system where the fish tank dumped into a long media bed and when the water came out it went into the raft system cleaned of most of the solids. If you have a media bed and a good healthy dose of worms in the media beds you will probably find a better outcome. I have tried to cut out the media bed and did not do really well.

Good Luck,

Clark Fullwood

g

Averan, thanks for your input. That's a great idea. I'll keep it in mind. I have a question though, if you plant the strawberries,or any other plant for that matter,on a pipe, does the water have to run constantly through the pipe? If so, is that healthy for the plant? I still don't have clear knowledge of how that works.
Same exact principle as dwc rafts, roots are always in running water. It's typically referred to as NFT. I have found that I can turn off the water to my pipes at night to save a bit of energy and reduce heat loss and the plants have plenty of moisture to keep the roots from drying out.https://www.google.com/search?q=nft+aquaponics. There's pros and cons with either method, but always nice to know you have options.



Averan said:

Same exact principle as dwc rafts, roots are always in running water. It's typically referred to as NFT. I have found that I can turn off the water to my pipes at night to save a bit of energy and reduce heat loss and the plants have plenty of moisture to keep the roots from drying out.https://www.google.com/search?q=nft+aquaponics. There's pros and cons with either method, but always nice to know you have options.

i have a very small system running out of a 75 gallon fish tank into a plastic coffee can on a pump with a basil in it. its doing great the water runs every 15 and off for 15 except for at night when the lights are off the pump does not run and it seems to be doing great also not running a media bed yet. . its all indoor running smd led lights.  was wanting to try some strawberries in a gutter  on a float bed. 

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