Aquaponic Gardening

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I have found Meramec C Gravel, but I'm not sure if it good to use in my grow beds?  Also I am not exactly which size PVC pipe to use. 1, 1 1/2 , or 2 inch. I can't afford any mistakes in these supplies right now so someone can help I hope. Thanks so much.

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Thanks Harold. You know I bought my 55 gallon barrles f
rom a guy who told me they were food grade. But I was going to see if they were safe or not, so I just cleaned them real good with some dish liquid and rinsed a few times. Then I filled one with water and left it sit to see if the birds would bath or get in it for drinks. I haven't seen one in it , but I could be missing when they get in. So I am kind of wondering.
Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi All,

Great idea Eric testing the PH. I did the same when starting my AP. It was suggested that i purchase a freshwater master test kit, test the PH of some of my intended system water in a container, get and record the reading( neutral water is PH 7), place some media in this container for approx. 24 hours and test again. This way i will find out if the media is raising the PH of the water. I was told that a neutral PH of around 7 is good and above that meant that the media was buffering(raising) the PH in the water.

keep us posted on how your rocks work out.  everything I've read says "use 3/4 inch".  I'm in the same delima as you, hydroton is just too expensive on startup.  gravel should be 1/6 to 1/10 the cost.  you'll have some pretty expensive veggies and fish if you pay the full price. 

 

good luck!

I will,  and I surely don't understand why that hydroton has to be so expensive. If I am not careful in what I use I could go broke over this stuff. Shouldn't things that come from the earth be free, and should people really own nature? I did get that pea gravel though. I am going to use one of my barrels and a screen to spray it from dust and dirt. I have a guy on my page who said he washed his rock for a couple weeks. I'm thinking if I shovel a scoop at a time on top of a screen from a window, they have tiny holes, over a barrel. I can clean it quicker, and I am doing it by my earth gardening to water it because he was concerned about all the water waste. I am glad he brought it up, because he made me think

Jon Baldwin said:

keep us posted on how your rocks work out.  everything I've read says "use 3/4 inch".  I'm in the same delima as you, hydroton is just too expensive on startup.  gravel should be 1/6 to 1/10 the cost.  you'll have some pretty expensive veggies and fish if you pay the full price. 

 

good luck!

Hi Adrena,

Usually, as an indicator, we let the water sit in the barrel to see if algae will grow in it. If algae grows in them, we assume that the contents weren't  toxic enough to inhibit plant growth. If you want to save water, fill a container with water and rinse small amounts of gravel in it by hand, you aim is to remove the heavy sediment only, while cycling the system( over some weeks) the colored water clears up on its own, rinsing with a continuous stream waste a lot of water.

Thanks I'm glad you told me that. I don't want to waste a lot of water. I was going to get a sprayer for my hose and spray the crap out of them, lol



Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Adrena,

Usually, as an indicator, we let the water sit in the barrel to see if algae will grow in it. If algae grows in them, we assume that the contents weren't  toxic enough to inhibit plant growth. If you want to save water, fill a container with water and rinse small amounts of gravel in it by hand, you aim is to remove the heavy sediment only, while cycling the system( over some weeks) the colored water clears up on its own, rinsing with a continuous stream waste a lot of water.

I use this product mixed with pea gravel and have had no problems so far, and its alot cheaper than hydroton.

http://www.wormsway.com/detail.aspx?t=prod&sku=SR365

 

Thanks. I may add some of that later.

Mike Vann said:

I use this product mixed with pea gravel and have had no problems so far, and its alot cheaper than hydroton.

http://www.wormsway.com/detail.aspx?t=prod&sku=SR365

 

Harold I found out my barrels had been filled with natural and artificial peach flavor and some kind of meat product. I think from the cleaning I did already, it should be safe.

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Adrena,

Usually, as an indicator, we let the water sit in the barrel to see if algae will grow in it. If algae grows in them, we assume that the contents weren't  toxic enough to inhibit plant growth. If you want to save water, fill a container with water and rinse small amounts of gravel in it by hand, you aim is to remove the heavy sediment only, while cycling the system( over some weeks) the colored water clears up on its own, rinsing with a continuous stream waste a lot of water.

Hi Adrena,

Sounds good to me, the toxic stuff usually in black barrels, but you never know, so good of you to do some investigating. Have you dreamed up a design for your AP as yet? The rules of thumb document will give you all the specifications for your component ratios- ie. water,fish,media sizes.

Yes I think I have it right from you tube videos back in January. That's when I started planning this but didn't get too far like I thought I had it all figured out, lol. I believe the ratio is equal in fish pool size per gallons as to grow bed but I can have up to 3 times the amount grow bed compared to fish pool. I still call it a fish pool, lol. I don't know what everyone else calls it, but my fish do get to swim in it. At least they don't have to pull weeds from the garden before they are allowed to swim. That's what my mom did to me and my sister when we were kids.I guess that's how I started to love the garden, compared to my sister who will not lift a finger to help me and she's my roommate, lol. She watches me sweat and drinks her coffee, lol. I couldn't even find the rule of thumb document.

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Adrena,

Sounds good to me, the toxic stuff usually in black barrels, but you never know, so good of you to do some investigating. Have you dreamed up a design for your AP as yet? The rules of thumb document will give you all the specifications for your component ratios- ie. water,fish,media sizes.

I am still trying to figure out the design. I do know I am putting most of my grow beds in my green house because of the rabbits. I figured out how to make the bell syphons and a friend is going to help me cut them. I am using 1 inch pvc and 1/2 inch inside them. I still have to get a couple pumps, but I have a couple extra small air pumps for extra oxygen to add in. I am still cleaning the rock, but I have to get some stuff to build the shelves for the grow beds in my green house. I'm going to put 7 of the 10 inside there. Then plant things the critters won't touch in the 3 outside of it.

Adrena lee said:
Yes I think I have it right from you tube videos back in January. That's when I started planning this but didn't get too far like I thought I had it all figured out, lol. I believe the ratio is equal in fish pool size per gallons as to grow bed but I can have up to 3 times the amount grow bed compared to fish pool. I still call it a fish pool, lol. I don't know what everyone else calls it, but my fish do get to swim in it. At least they don't have to pull weeds from the garden before they are allowed to swim. That's what my mom did to me and my sister when we were kids.I guess that's how I started to love the garden, compared to my sister who will not lift a finger to help me and she's my roommate, lol. She watches me sweat and drinks her coffee, lol. I couldn't even find the rule of thumb document.

Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Adrena,

Sounds good to me, the toxic stuff usually in black barrels, but you never know, so good of you to do some investigating. Have you dreamed up a design for your AP as yet? The rules of thumb document will give you all the specifications for your component ratios- ie. water,fish,media sizes.

Hi Adrena,

FYI here are the rules, which you can read in the meantime http://aquaponicscommunity.com/page/aquaponic-gardening-rules-of

Here's an easy way to make a bell siphon   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzZzjK7aFrA      I used this simple method, and has been working for almost 1 year without any maintenance whatsoever.

 

Since you have more media(beds) than FT(Fish Tank) if you want your fish to be comfortable, you can grow 1 fish to a maximum of 1 pound in 5 - 7 gallons of water. So total volume of water in the FT divided by 5 or 6 or 7.

 

If you really want to drool over designs, take a look at our photos at the top of the page, I tell you we have everything on this site!

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