Aquaponic Gardening

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What are your thoughts on system design?  Media vs raft.  Deep media beds vs shallow.  Siphons vs timers.  Tell us your thoughts and let's get the conversation rolling

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Sylvia,

Thanks for clarifying on that! That's encouraging to know that I'm heading in the right direction for my second system for edible fish, should I ever get around it. It sounds like it would be best to grow my salad greens in that one, since I can go thru a couple heads of lettuce a week. If I were to grow my fish in a barrel, could I just float it on top of the water and treat the fish like an organic version of a normal aquarium?

Also, here's that video on the NYC Science Barge (produced by River Wire, where topic is Urban Farming): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqcBCcSLDlo
This is a different video on the NYC Science Barge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF44p7FG2AQ

One of their main focuses is to show that plants can be grown in any medium with just water and nutrients. They included a shot of basil growing in Legos. Thoughts?
Heck, I've had basil growing pretty much in just it's own roots and a plastic pot getting constant drip of filtered AP water.

I'm gonna try plastic drink bottle caps as media someday. Currently filling a mesh tube with the caps of the stuff going to recycling, once it's full we will hook some water to it and see if I can figure out how to put some plants in it.
TCLynx said:
Heck, I've had basil growing pretty much in just it's own roots and a plastic pot getting constant drip of filtered AP water.

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Yep, that's all it takes... that's all that I use in my hydro trays... occasionally I might add some trace elements
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OK, I can see a pretty funny contest coming on here of what is the most bizarre media anyone can grow in. I'm looking around my kitchen and thinking that pistachio shells would work, and packing peanuts....
Emma, I actually had the good fortune to visit the science barge when I went to NY to look at colleges with my daughter over spring break last year. They weren't planted yet - they are a seasonal operation - but very cool what they are doing in a tiny space. Impacting a lot of young lives out there. And don't you just love the worm raft?!

Emma Lysyk said:
This is a different video on the NYC Science Barge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wF44p7FG2AQ

One of their main focuses is to show that plants can be grown in any medium with just water and nutrients. They included a shot of basil growing in Legos. Thoughts?
Well, drat! I started up my system and noticed two things: My drainage hole is too high so there's too much water in the beds (would be better for water input), and I sprung a leak.

Should I just buckle down and lay the beds atop two 2x4s and let gravity drain it from holes in the bottom, sacrificing one of my hoods and lights? Or does anyone have any other uncomplicated ideas? I thought about a drip tray but decided it wasn't worth the trouble.
Couldn't you just drill another hole lower in your tray to lower the water level? As for the leak, is it hard to find? Because can't you fix leaks with silicone caulk?

David

Emma Lysyk said:
Well, drat! I started up my system and noticed two things: My drainage hole is too high so there's too much water in the beds (would be better for water input), and I sprung a leak.

Should I just buckle down and lay the beds atop two 2x4s and let gravity drain it from holes in the bottom, sacrificing one of my hoods and lights? Or does anyone have any other uncomplicated ideas? I thought about a drip tray but decided it wasn't worth the trouble.
The leak is in the silicone. It didn't dry all the way through or something. The first problem with drilling a second hole lower is that I couldn't drill one large enough to accommodate the tubing without running off onto the bottom of the tub. The second is that I would need to prop up the grow beds to sit up higher to get the water to drain into the tank and perhaps put more holes in to get it to drain in an appropriate amount of time.

I set one of the grow beds on top of the tank with drain holes in the bottom and it seems to work fine. Now to figure out a way to get the second one to sit there without crimping the air tubes.

David S. said:
Couldn't you just drill another hole lower in your tray to lower the water level? As for the leak, is it hard to find? Because can't you fix leaks with silicone caulk?

David

Can you post a photo Emma... it might help us figure out the options available

Emma Lysyk said:
The leak is in the silicone. It didn't dry all the way through or something. The first problem with drilling a second hole lower is that I couldn't drill one large enough to accommodate the tubing without running off onto the bottom of the tub. The second is that I would need to prop up the grow beds to sit up higher to get the water to drain into the tank and perhaps put more holes in to get it to drain in an appropriate amount of time.

I set one of the grow beds on top of the tank with drain holes in the bottom and it seems to work fine. Now to figure out a way to get the second one to sit there without crimping the air tubes.

David S. said:
Couldn't you just drill another hole lower in your tray to lower the water level? As for the leak, is it hard to find? Because can't you fix leaks with silicone caulk?

David

One of the things I use in my biofilter is plasic dish scrubbers, those things like a brillo pad! They work great and are easy to clean. Just hard to find in bulk.

Sylvia Bernstein said:
OK, I can see a pretty funny contest coming on here of what is the most bizarre media anyone can grow in. I'm looking around my kitchen and thinking that pistachio shells would work, and packing peanuts....
I knew I was forgetting something. When I was posting that the night before, my internet died shortly thereafter. I e-mailed 3 of them to my photos section (I'm operating on a smartphone for the moment, so I can't link them easily).

RupertofOZ said:
Can you post a photo Emma... it might help us figure out the options available

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